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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

#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.

#18: A Series of Logical Decisions, with Greg Pierce

April 4th, 2017 · 44 minutes

Agile Tortoise's Greg Pierce discusses what he's learned in a decade as an independent developer and consultant.

#17: Stop Digging

March 21st, 2017 · 28 minutes

Not all clients are good clients. If you don't manage the herd, you could lose the farm. This is why it's important to consider the right time, and right way, to fire a client. We discuss fireable offenses both obvious and subtle, and the best approach to take when firing a client.

#16: R2-D2 on My Desk

March 7th, 2017 · 53 minutes

Jason and David discuss their home-office set-ups and the challenges they face when working in a house they share with other people. When do you lock your doors? How do you "go home" at the end of the day? What gear do they use? And do they admit to their clients that they're working in their pajamas?

#15: Put on the Business Hat

February 21st, 2017 · 41 minutes

You can't earn a living as a Free Agent if you don't get paid. In this episode we discuss why the sign of a true professional is ensuring that they're being compensated. Why is getting paid so hard? How do we handle billing? When you're on your own, you're the one who has to make sure that the money is flowing in. If you don't get paid, you won't …

#14: Putting Numbers in Boxes, with Andrew Carroll

February 7th, 2017 · 38 minutes

A new year brings accounting and tax challenges for independent workers, so we asked accountant and financial advisor Andrew Carroll to join us. Andrew recently went out on his own and now provides tax and financial advice to free agents and entrepreneurs.

#13: Promotion Can Feel Gross

January 24th, 2017 · 39 minutes

Being good at what you do isn't enough. You also need customers, clients, or whatever else you need to pay for shoes. That may mean you have to do a little promotion of your own. But you can be really great at what you do and still terrible at self-promotion. Tricky stuff!