By Relay FM
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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. Hosted by David Sparks and Mike Schmitz.
||CleanFree Agents 56: Iterate in Public, with Sean McCabe||Sean McCabe has built a successful online business through teaching what he knows. He joins David and Mike to talk about the lessons he's learned along the way, including the power of rest and why he takes a sabbatical every 7 weeks.||9/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 55: The Math Works||Mike and David cover a variety of Free Agent topics including getting enough sleep, staying motivated, and David makes a big decision about his transportation.||9/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 54: I Have to Try It, with Casey Liss||Podcaster and programmer Casey Liss joins David and Mike to talk about his Free Agent journey, what caused him to take the leap, the tendency to do too much, and his desire to pull the thread which has led to him becoming an Accidental YouTuber.||8/21/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 53: The Value of Your Time||David and Mike talk about protecting your most valuable resource - your time. Mike gets inspired during his personal retreat and learns how to say “no.” David learns the hard way from his recent travels but has a plan for what to do differently next||8/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 52: You Can't Be What You Can't See with Ann Shen||Artist and businesswoman Ann Shen joins the Free Agents to share her journey from grant writer to successful artist to successful author.||7/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 51: Freedom Frogs||David and Mike talk about why “eating your frog” is an important Free Agent survival skill. David talks through a pivot in his approach to book publishing. Mike shares his struggles with “Imposter Syndrome” and how he overcomes it.||7/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 50: Bet on Yourself||Mike Schmitz joins as the new Free Agents co-host. In this episode, we get to know Mike better, learn about his journey, and discuss the show format going forward.||6/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 49: Panting to the Finish Line||Family members with employment issues remind Jason about just how far he's come; David grapples with letting go of control and working with an assistant; and Jason hands in his resignation and participates in an "exit interview" with David.||6/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 48: Lousy With the Stink of Freedom, with Merlin Mann||--||5/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 47: Personal Floating Holiday||David needs to deal with some clients who aren't paying him; Jason thinks about taking a personal day; David ponders creating a mission statement for himself; Jason questions whether he's unable to give himself credit for doing certain kinds of work.||5/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 46: Being Comfortable Is Not an Option, with Jaimee Newberry||Longtime web developer, tech executive, startup co-founder, inspirational speaker, and coach Jaimee Newberry joins us to discuss her own journey, when to go out on your own, when to walk way from projects, and how to deal with unexpected success.||5/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 45: Like Going Back to High School||David's home workspace gets invaded by teenagers, Jason reprises his old commute and learns to appreciate the ability to work from anyplace, and a listener reminds us of a classic technique: making promises that your future self has to keep.||4/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 44: Maybe You'll Get a Real Job, with David Wain||You might not realize it, but creative professionals in the entertainment industry are also free agents. In this episode we talk to writer/actor/director David Wain of "Wet Hot American Summer" and "The State."||4/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 43: Don’t Ask Us Permission||David attended a conference and was asked for advice (or was it permission?) from many potential free agents. When he got home, his professional life was in disarray. What are the lessons to take from that?||3/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 42: Learning Your Creative Rhythms, with Shawn Blanc||David and Jason go through the Free Agents Mailbag and welcome Shawn Blanc to discuss building an independent business with collaborators, solid project planning, and sensible work hours.||3/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 41: A Walk on the Beach||David has a big birthday and joins Jason in discovering the value of embracing a lull; David's wife gets a new job, leading to changes in working at home; and Team Sparky expands as David gets some help with his business.||2/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 40: Like Being in a Boat, with Kourosh Dini||Psychiatrist, writer and musician Kourosh Dini joins us to discuss his long journey to being an independent worker, mixing his various jobs, dealing with the stress of being on your own, and much more.||2/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 39: Quality Time with a Sledgehammer||--||1/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 38: Knit Your Parachute on the Way Down, with Thom Zahler||David and Jason talk to artist and writer Thom Zahler, an independent creator for 15 years in independent comics, licensed comics, and animated television, about his journey from art school to freelancer to full-on free agent.||1/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 37: The Twelve-Week Year||We wrap up the year with a discussion of navigating holidays and vacations, David's thoughts about getting projects to completion in the new year, Jason's update to his Not-To-Do List, end-of-year appreciation gifts for clients, and more.||12/26/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 36: My App Story, with John Voorhees||John Voorhees of MacStories is a brand-new free agent, a lawyer who left his job in Chicago to set out on his own as a writer and app developer. He tells us how he decided to leave the legal profession and go full time as an independent worker.||12/12/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 35: I Guess I'm Felix Unger||David and Jason discuss the importance of prep time, resetting your balance, gauging the value of your work, time tracking, managing ongoing commitments, getting sick and keeping clients happy, and the value of uncluttered office space.||11/28/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 34: I Think I Just Got Fired, with Marco Arment||App developer, podcaster, analyst, and secret entrepreneur Marco Arment joins us to discuss his journey from college to Tumblr, building Instapaper, getting quit-fired, setting out on his own, and working in bursts of productivity.||11/14/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 33: When You Say Yes to Everything||David struggles with time management. Jason gets a better perspective on how his business is performing.||10/31/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 32: It's Scary, Dude! with Kathy Campbell||Unicorn Sidekick Kathy Campbell joins us to discuss how she ended up becoming a Free Agent while behind a desk at her "real job," when having her new career discovered her.||10/17/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 31: Being Selective About Clients, with Aleen Simms||Relay FM Host and App Launch Map founder Aleen Simms joins us to talk about her accidental fall into freelance work and setting high standards for her clients.||10/3/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 30: Tito Needs to Pay the Rent||So you're working in a house full of kids. Or a partner who is there all the time. It can make working from home difficult to say the least. We discuss the good and bad of working around kids (and others) who are in your house with you.||9/19/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 29: The Spreadsheet||So you're thinking about going out on your own. It's time to build The Spreadsheet, a tool to let you gauge your potential income and expenses and give you a realistic view of what it will take to succeed.||9/5/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 28: David's Origin Story||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.||8/22/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 27: Bird in the Bush||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?||8/8/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 26: A Batphone to My Heart||While Jason leaves the phone off the hook, David describes his trial of Google Voice and ultimate decision to use a live receptionist service.||7/25/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 25: Breadcrumb of My Life, with Stephen Hackett||Relay FM co-founder Stephen Hackett discusses his origin story, including the personal challenges he first encountered when he went independent.||7/11/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 24: Take Care of Yourself||What happens if you're a lone-wolf independent operator, and then you get sick? We discuss staying healthy, getting help, and buying insurance.||6/27/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 23: It's Hard To Get on a Different Train||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.||6/13/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 22: Staying Agile||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.||5/30/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 21: The Second Feedback Episode||We're once again answering your letters and tweets In a wide-ranging episode covering all sorts of aspects of being an independent worker.||5/16/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 20: Jason's Origin Story||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.||5/3/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 19: Nobody Grades You on the Scaffolding||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.||4/18/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 18: A Series of Logical Decisions, with Greg Pierce||Agile Tortoise's Greg Pierce discusses what he's learned in a decade as an independent developer and consultant.||4/4/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 17: Stop Digging||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.||3/21/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 16: R2-D2 on My Desk||Jason and David discuss their home-office set-ups and the challenges they face when working in a house they share with other people.||3/7/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 15: Put on the Business Hat||You can't earn a living as a Free Agent if you don't get paid. In this episode we discuss why true professionals ensuring they're being compensated. When you're on your own, you're the one who has to make sure that the money is flowing in.||2/21/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 14: Putting Numbers in Boxes, with Andrew Carroll||A new year brings accounting and tax challenges for independent workers, so we asked accountant and financial advisor Andrew Carroll to join us.||2/7/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 13: Promotion Can Feel Gross||Being good at what you do isn't enough. You also need customers, clients, or whatever else you need to pay for shoes. That means you need to promote yourself. But you can be really great at what you do and still be terrible at self-promotion.||1/24/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 12: Right Now It's Only Me, with Katie Floyd||David's Mac Power Users co-host Katie Floyd, a very recent Free Agent herself, tells us about the early days of her independent life.||1/10/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 11: Balancing Dollars and Delight||We discuss cultivating and managing multiple income streams, why it's so important to do so, and both the risks and benefits of getting your money from a bunch of different places.||12/14/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 10: Indie Vacation||Planning and taking vacations as an independent worker.||11/29/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 9: The Feedback Episode||In a wide-ranging episode, David and Jason answer your letters and tweets.||11/15/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 8: Email Is Not Your Job||Managing email and setting rules about how you use it.||11/1/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 7: Be Like a Duck||So you've decided to leave the nest. What can you do to prepare while you're still working for the man? What's the right way to give notice, and prepare for the aftermath?||10/18/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 6: The Shawshank Redemption, with Shahid Kamal Ahmad||PlayStation veteran Shahid Kamal Ahmad left Sony to become an independent game developer. We discuss why he left and how he schedules his workday in his garden shed, the ShaShed.||10/4/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 5: Envision a Bonfire||--||9/21/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 4: Location, Location, Location||Deciding where to get your work done can be a difficult challenge for an independent worker. Can you work out of the house? Does renting office space make sense? What about co-working spaces, or that long wooden table at your neighborhood Starbucks?||9/6/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 3: My Curse and My Reward, with Myke Hurley||Myke Hurley, co-founder of Relay FM, discusses transitioning from his bank job to a full-time podcaster, including the inherent contradictions in working a dream job that never lets you take a vacation.||8/25/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 2: Booked Up With Myself||Just because you're independent doesn't mean you don't need a schedule. This episode is about building (and breaking) routines.||8/9/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Agents 1: The Temptation of Yes||In our very first episode, David and Jason discuss narrowing scope and taking on too much work.||7/26/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
A New Podcast with Familiar Faces
I am looking forward to following this show. David and Jason bring so much experience and practical application to their other shows. They have done a good job with the structure and length of the show.
I hope it will catch on soon, and begin gathering a large audience. We need more experienced guys sharing their expertise and advice in a likeable and knowledgeable manner. Listen to this show! and write your own review.
Looking forward to more!
Great first episode Jason and David -- on a topic that isn't covered as much as it should be. Looking forward to what you have in store for us!
More navel gazing
I like Jason and David. They are talented and their other podcasts are wonderful. This podcast highlights a problem with the Relay network - a problem that used to plague 5by5. The network fosters a clique of particular people and then they just create an insestuous array of shows where hosts mix and match. The end result is an echo chamber.
Furthermore, the network's founders have been obsessed with the meta-topic of independent business. During Relay's first two years, listeners have heard Jason, Mike, Stephen, and others constantly navel gaze about their independent career. I do not think people buy newspapers to read about how the newspaper is made or how difficult it is to make. You don't hear John Gruber talking on his show about being independent - he just does his thing.
This show is the embodiment of these issues and I do not plan to listen.