How Do You Get By?

How I Get By is a podcast that takes you inside how people get by financially– dream job? job from hell?  Find out how they do it.


How I get by podcast

Epis. #45:   a Travel Agent in the pandemic- time to change careers

Marti is a travel agent who lives in Thousand Oaks, California. After 10 years in the travel business, the corona-virus pandemic rapidly put the brakes on it- there were virtually no trips to plan. Fortunately, she was beginning a transition into wellness coaching, and with the pandemic she’s pushed her new career into overdrive.

She talks about the stresses and challenges of working as a travel agent, and her and her family’s budget cutbacks as a result of the fallout from COVID-19, but she also expresses her excitement for her new career in wellness, which she’s come to from her own experience with depression and autoimmune issues, which she is beginning to impart to her clients via one-on-one coaching, teaching classes and article writing.


Epis. #44:   Going Where the Work is- an American Architect in Paris

Nick Morof works for an architecture firm in Paris. Just a year out of architecture school at USC, he’s already established a solid career path, thanks to strategic internships in Detroit, Tokyo and the one in Paris that led to his current full-time salaried position. He talks about the strict Parisian quarantine protocol he lived through (fortunately his roommate has parents they escaped to outside the city), living in tiny apartments, and the self-driven qualities that served him well in getting through a rigorous architecture program. He also discusses how he’s been a careful spender, and why he moved abroad for work (which has a lot to do with the way that aspiring architects in the U.S. are offered a pittance for full-time work).


Epis. #43:   Christy, an Essential Worker in Albuquerque

Christy works at a grocery store – part of a national chain – in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A recent college graduate, she talks about what it’s been like as shoppers went into panic mode, navigating customers who don’t follow public health guidelines, and the empathy involved in her job, one which she compares with being a therapist. She also talks about her mature relationship to income and savings, and the possibility of transferring to another store, maybe in Colorado, while she start grad school.


Epis. #42: Project manager and commercial realtor Phillip P. discusses the comforts of wealth and the ways in which landlords can work with tenants in times of crisis

Phillip P. is a Santa Barbara-based landlord and project manager who works with multi-millionaires and billionaires. He talks about maintaining a minimum standard of comfort when he travels – which he does often for work –including everything from where he sits on the plane to where he draws the line when it comes to the quality of his hotels. He also describes how and why he expanded his work life into commercial real estate, the risks he took early on, and how he’s responded to the Coronavirus pandemic as a landlord.

In the wake of the recent and senseless killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, I encourage you to read about and support People’s Budget LA, which is reimagining communities especially plagued by police brutality, at


Epis. #41: 

Actor and standup comedian Ethan Herschenfeld on the complex relationship of being an artist AND having financial security

Ethan Herschenfeld is a standup comedian and actor (his acting credits include: Girls, Boardwalk Empire, High Maintenance, and the Plot Against America) living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He’s managed to reach a level of financial security that’s very unusual for a creative type. He talks about how he’s managed to do it (hint: real estate), his various early gigs including opera singer and college prep tutor, and, eventually, how much he spends, and even his ballpark net worth.


Epis. #40: 

Allen makes very good money in corporate IT, AND is unemployed in the same year as an Airstream trailer nomad

Allen (not his real name) works in corporate IT. He makes very good money, but only works about half of the year—the rest of the time he is “unemployed” (at least that’s how he essentially presents himself to people he’s dating). When he’s not traveling abroad, he’s traveling the country in an Airstream trailer, parking in RV parks, and periodically taking on corporate IT jobs along the way. He grew up mainly in the Seattle area, living in foster homes, being homeless, and hanging out with a group of what he refers to as “Asian supremacists.” He shares all these parts of his life, and also talks about how he does NOT like the work that he does for money, but accepts it for what it is, and that it allows him his “pretty luxurious” lifestyle..


How I Get By is hosted by Michael Shaw. As an artist who has ‘gotten by’ in a myriad of ways, he was curious to learn how others – not only artists, but individuals across the spectrum, financially and ideologically – get by themselves.  He created this podcast as a way to find out how creative types, analytic types, Type As, adventurers, retirees, Financial Independents, survivors, born-rich and more types get by.

If you’d like to recommend someone who you think ‘gets by’ in interesting ways, whether with lots of income or not much of it, please contact us using the email listed at bottom of this page.

Since late 2011, Shaw has hosted The Conversation Art Podcast, which takes a look inside the contemporary art worlds behind the scenes and between the lines.