David Sparks and Mike Schmitz spent their careers working for the establishment. Then one day, they’d had enough. Now they are independent workers, learning what it takes to succeed in the 21st century. They are… free agents.

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Latest Episodes

#28: David's Origin Story

August 22nd, 2017 · 47 minutes

Jason asks David to explain where he came from, the background of his career, and what the circumstances were that led him to become an independent worker, and then asks him to reflect on his two-plus years no longer being employed by a law firm.

#27: Bird in the Bush

August 8th, 2017 · 43 minutes

Passion projects can be an enjoyable outlet. But how do you balance the work that pays the bills with the work that feeds the soul?

#26: A Batphone to My Heart

July 25th, 2017 · 58 minutes

Telephones and text messaging seem like necessary evils at best, but for many small businesses they're required. You just need to figure out how to use them effectively--and set rules so that they aren't abused. While Jason leaves the phone off the hook, David describes his trial of Google Voice and ultimate decision to use a live receptionist ser…

#25: Breadcrumb of My Life, with Stephen Hackett

July 11th, 2017 · 56 minutes

Relay FM co-founder Stephen Hackett discusses his origin story, including an abortive attempt at being an Apple blogger, a fateful meeting over tea with Jason and David, how he left his job to become a full-time podcast entrepreneur, and the personal challenges he first encountered when he went independent.

#24: Take Care of Yourself

June 27th, 2017 · 43 minutes

What happens if you're a lone-wolf independent operator, and then you get sick? Jason was recently out of commission for several days, and David had serious health issues immediately upon going independent. What strategies can help mitigate against illness? How can you avoid getting sick? And what's the deal with disability insurance?

#23: It's Hard To Get on a Different Train

June 13th, 2017 · 40 minutes

When should you form a corporation, and if so, what kind? David has some broad advice, though you should be sure to consult with a local attorney and your accountant before making any final decisions.

#22: Staying Agile

May 30th, 2017 · 27 minutes

One of your great advantages as an independent worker is your agility. While larger companies have more resources, they can be much slower to react to change. David and Jason swap war stories about adapting and changing, including Jason's decision to leave one podcast and start another.

#21: The Second Feedback Episode

May 16th, 2017 · 57 minutes

We're once again answering your letters and tweets In a wide-ranging episode covering all sorts of aspects of being an independent worker.

#20: Jason's Origin Story

May 3rd, 2017 · 59 minutes

David asks Jason to explain where he came from, the background of his career, and what the circumstances were that led him to become an independent worker, and then asks him to reflect on his two-plus years no longer being employed by a big corporation.

#19: Nobody Grades You on the Scaffolding

April 18th, 2017 · 59 minutes

Every independent worker will agree that being organized is important. But should you adopt an organizational system? How can these systems help you, and are they worth the investment? Jason and David detail their own personal organization systems and discuss approaches to getting more organized, as well as tools to use to help in the process.