Jim Sweet: “These are not things that men speak about on a regular basis”

I would give men permission to talk about their mental health. My book was written about me and how I deal with my mental health. I have been surprised by the number of men who have reached out to me after reading the book to talk about something in the book. I feel as though […]

Thrive Global invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive Global or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

I would give men permission to talk about their mental health. My book was written about me and how I deal with my mental health. I have been surprised by the number of men who have reached out to me after reading the book to talk about something in the book. I feel as though the book has given these men permission to talk about things like gratitude, meditation, self-compassion and journaling. These are not things that men speak about on a regular basis.


The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.

As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jim Sweet.

Jim Sweet was born in Boston, MA and lived in New England for the first 32 years of his life before relocating to Southern Washington County, NY in 2004. He enjoys spending time outside with his wife, two teenagers and his dog. He works hard to follow his own advice and keep his mind, body and spirit at the top of their games.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I grew up in Warwick, RI with my parents and younger sister and brother. We lived on a cul de sac and it was a magnet for the kids in the neighborhood. I remember playing street games and riding bikes in endlessly.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

A few years ago I heard the quote “Discipline Equals Freedom”. To me that means if I find discipline in my life I will also find the freedom that comes along with it. If I stay disciplined with my household budget and I am able to save money due to that discipline, I will have the freedom to spend that money however I like.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

I listen to the James Altucher podcast on a regular basis. One of the themes of his podcast is “Choose Yourself” It has taught me to think past the regular restraints that hold us back in most things in life. He had a podcast where he said that everyone has a book in them. He talked about how to write and self-publish a book in 30 days. I followed his cues and ended up writing and self-publishing a book. It was something that I never thought was possible and the podcast gave me the confidence and motivation to write the book.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?

I have had a 26 year career in sales working for a Fortune 500 company. During the 26 years I have had an opportunity to work all over New England, Metro New York City and currently work in Upstate NY and Vermont.

What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?

As the Pandemic unfolded and I stopped traveling for work, I found myself with much more time at home and I started writing a book. The book is about the things that I try and do on a regular basis to keep my mind, body, and spirit working together for a peaceful life.

Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?

A couple of months into the Pandemic, I would have a dream where I was wandering around in the country near my house. One night I had the dream, woke up around 4AM, and went downstairs and wrote the first chapter of my book. Once I put all those thoughts down on paper, I got the confidence to continue with the book.

How are things going with this new initiative?

Things are going well. I have enjoyed learning all about the self-publishing world and how to market my book. I am connecting with other people in that world and found that the self-publishing community is very supportive to new authors. I have also been able to connect with people who have read the book and have found something in there that spoke to them.

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There was a guy named Mike Fitzsimmons who I worked closely with when I was first out of college and starting work in Boston, MA. He was a salesperson and I was his inside support person. He enjoyed a lot of success inside our company and one day he said this about the job “It is not hard work and if you work hard at it, you will be successful.” It helped me understand that hard work will help overcome many gaps in my skillset no matter what I am doing in life.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?

I was on a call for work with about 25 other managers in my District. I didn’t realize that my boss had heard about and read the book. He brought it up in front of my peers and spoke about how it helped him slow things down in his life. He then ordered the book for each manager in the District and encouraged them to read it.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/df4662e5cb701ecd5e2f94481674dcd9

So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?

I try and follow the practices that I wrote about in my book. These include gratitude, yoga, journaling, self-compassion, meditation, and maximizing sleep. I also make a conscious effort to stay away from the news. I stay off screens for at least the first hour of my day. While some may say that this will keep me uninformed, I say that being uninformed helps my mental wellness. If there is something happening in the world (a global pandemic for instance) that I need to know about, I will find out about it without consuming it in the news.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I would give men permission to talk about their mental health. My book was written about me and how I deal with my mental health. I have been surprised by the number of men who have reached out to me after reading the book to talk about something in the book. I feel as though the book has given these men permission to talk about things like gratitude, meditation, self-compassion and journaling. These are not things that men speak about on a regular basis.

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!

I would like to have lunch with Ryan Holiday. I found his books on Stoic philosophy to be a great way to ground myself. I think that having access to an ancient philosophy such as Stoicism and being able to apply it to modern life is a very powerful tool.

How can our readers follow you online?

https://www.jimsweetauthor.com/ is the best place to start. It has my blog which I publish three times a week as well as links to my social media.

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

John Seymour of ‘Sweet Chick’: “A vehicle for negativity to transform into positively”

by Karina Michel Feld
Community//

Amanda Filippelli: “Goal steps”

by Ben Ari
Community//

Josh Otusanya: “Mental Health Matters”

by Phil La Duke
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.