Secrets of Success and Happiness, Part 2

My dad (Dennis B. Sweeney) always said:  “All things in moderation… too much of anything is rarely a good thing.”

Interestingly he used that advice in two distinct ways, as a warning against getting carried away with things (“it’s actually possible to drink too much beer”) and as an encouragement to lighten up (“it is actually possible to study too much”).

Regarding the latter, I believe Willy Wonka put it this way: “A little nonsense, now and then, is relished by the wisest men.”

Over the past weekend I went on a fun walk with two of my nieces and one of their friends.  It was a cool, crisp, blustery Autumn day in Cleveland, and we decided to enjoy it.  I was amazed that the leaves had already turned marvelous shades of yellow and red and were now covering the sidewalks.  The smell of fall was strong, and I found myself kicking up leaves and gathering pine cones along the way.  I am a 55-year-old man who often behaves like a 12-year old. Balance.

From 9 to 5 (I wish), Monday through Friday (I wish), I give everything I have to my work and my clients.  As my dad also said: “Anything worth doing is worth doing right.”  But when the day ends and/or the weekend arrives, I play.  I run, I jump, I sing, I cook, I shop, I fish, I doodle, I have even been known to just lay in my Cape Hatteras hammock and do nothing.  And sometimes in the middle of all this relaxation and outright silliness, I get a great idea for work. Balance.

When things are out of balance, they have a tendency to tip over, which is hardly ever a good thing.  On the other hand, it is absolutely fine if your pendulum swings to the extremes… just so long as it eventually swings back in the other direction. Or as my dad often said, “Work hard, play hard.” Balance.

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.