Are You Maxed Out?

If you’re on Empire Avenue, max out on my stock now before it jumps right back up! I’ll tell you why after you do…

Okay, you’re back and happy (at least you should be :) Or, you have no clue what I’m talking about. That’s okay too.

The last two weeks I’ve been off of Facebook, Twitter, email, work and life in general outside of my wife and kids. Thus, the drastic 27% decline in my Empire Avenue stock value and 4 point decline in my Klout score.

The day after our Summit 4 Hope hike, I took off for 7 days with my wife, Gwen, to Napa and a trip down the California Coast for our 10 year anniversary, followed by a week with our kids visiting San Diego, Sea World and the beach. Big deal, right? Well, it was. A really big deal.

Considering it had been 10 years since our last real vacation together and considering all that has happened in that time; marriage, first home, first career, opening SWIRE, birth of our triplets, growing SWIRE, growing family…it was needed. I don’t think I realized how much so until now. I was “Maxed Out”.

I wrote these words when I first opened SWIRE. I wanted it to be a mantra of sorts. One that extolls the virtue of truly living in order to create that which inspires others. I wholeheartedly believe in this new sort of business. One that you hear about from writers like Chris Brogan, Tim Ferriss and others. It’s more than just giving solid vacation time, good benefits and a happy work environment. Each team member must “Live” their life and find their own personal fulfillment in order to be effective and happy in what they do daily at SWIRE.

Pretty gross to actually visualize, but so true. I’ve found myself and other team members getting in the habit of later hours and more work. To what end? If we know we can produce better work as a team when we are happier and more balanced, then why would we do anything but that? Simple. It’s easy to get in a rut. Most of us do and many don’t ever escape it—sadly enough, our whole lives.

I still don’t have the elusive “answer”, but I do know that I’m not okay with being Maxed Out and not Living.

The simple fact is that no matter how much I love what I do at work, I love my family more. Yet, I don’t always show that. It’s tough for me to say that, but it’s true. I’m so grateful for having these past two weeks to clear my head. It’s given me a new sense of clarity on where I’m at and where I want to be – both personally and professionally. I’m committed to both my family and my team at work. I’m committed to leading by example and I’m committed to not subscribing to everyone else’s rules. I don’t know how soon we’ll get there, but I’m committed to going beyond traditional thinking in order to truly LIVE, CREATE and INSPIRE.

PS. If you decide to follow me on this journey, I’d love to hear from you. Comment below or you can find me just about anywhere online (and as of this week, on Google+ too :)

PPS. If you invested in my EA stock, no worries, I’ll soon be back up. But, I will be taking a more balanced approach to my social media time investment. The investment that matters most is my family, followed by my company. I do those right and everything else will follow suit.

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  • Steve Seybold

    Great post. It is definitely hard to find a good balance of Work & Life (especially here in the US).

  • Sukhraj Beasla

    Thanks for sharing. It’s important to step way and have work/life balance but unfortunately social media suffers. Don’t you wish there was a way to do it? :) 

  • Zack Swire

    When I came back, I found out via a friend @hoda007 that Empire Avenue has a “Vacation” feature in their store so you can buy some free time without getting dinged. Haha :) Don’t think Klout does that though. Either way, I don’t mind. My priority is my family. I love social media and it’s fun and great for me personally and biz, but my wife and kids come first. Nonetheless, a little social media during vacation isn’t bad. Just kept within reason! :)

  • Sukhraj Beasla

    Haha! I saw that too. Small world. I know Hoda! Very awesome guy. Also noticed Matthew Gallizzi is part of your blog. I just love how social media connects us all :)

  • Zack Swire

    Awesome! Hoda is a great guy and is working with us on eGood! :) I’ve only spoken to Matt online so far, but he’s been to our office for Waffle Wednesday (on a day I was out). Looking forward to meeting him and you as well! Cheers :)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing Zack.  I’ve been working through changes in my life to get my balance back.

  • Zack Swire

    Thanks Steve, it sure is but we’ll keep striving for it! That’s a promise :)

  • Zack Swire

    Absolutely :) I feel like lately that I’ve been constantly working on it, but I guess that it’s always a journey to get from where you are to where you want to be. Making positive progress is the key. Hope the changes are moving you there.