Running a Remote Team (E118)

  • Zee Ali
  • Founder of Z-SWAG


Zee Ali is the founder of Z-SWAG, full-service custom apparel, promotional merchandising, and fulfillment company. Zee has worked with brands including Chik-fil-a, Sony, Cricket Wireless, General Mills, and LinkedIn.

Zee graduated from Triton College with a Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management degree, in addition to studying graphic design and web development. While attending school, Zee discovered an opportunity to sell chef coats to his classmates by sourcing chef coats from the local flea market, filling his duffle bag and going classroom to classroom at Triton. His side-hustle transformed into a chef uniform and equipment company which later morphed into what it is today.

A true renaissance man at heart, Zee has many passions. His various talents place further emphasis on his versatility, which compliments his knowledge in business. To follow his journey, learn about what he is working on, and from his successes and failures, you can follow him on IG at @ZeeAli and




Charles (00:00):

In this episode of the Business of eCommerce. I talked with Zee Ali about running a remote team. This is the business of e-commerce. Episode one 18. Welcome to the Business of eCommerce. The show that helps eCommerce retailers start, launch and grow their eCommerce business. I’m your host, Charles Palleschi , and I’m here today with Zee Ali. Zee is the founder of Z swag, a full service custom apparel, promotional merchandising and fulfillment company Z works with brands including Chick-fil-A, Sony cricket, wireless, general mills, and LinkedIn. I assume on the show today to chat about how he runs a remote team. So hazy. How are you doing today?

Zee (00:42):

I’m fantastic. Thank you so much for having me on.

Charles (00:45):

Yeah, it’s awesome to have you. I love kind of talking about other folks who have kind of done the whole remote thing. I feel like that’s, that’s one of those reasons fundamentally why a lot of people get into this business because it’s something that you can run remotely, right? Not like there’s a lot of businesses, it’s just not possible. But e-commerce is one of the few things that it truly is like completely. Location independent. So how long have you been running this particular company for?

Zee (01:13):

Almost 10 years and years. Okay. And remote the whole time. So, so our team isn’t enormous. We certainly have, we have two offices currently. People go if they want to go, if they don’t, they, they can work from home. That’s up to them. For me remote is just easier. We accomplish this by providing clear outcomes of each job role. Here’s what we’re looking to achieve. So you don’t measure success by the time that they’re clocking in, clocking out. It’s by the results themselves. So if you provide clear KPIs and clear outcomes, it makes things a bit easier.

Charles (01:54):

[Inaudible] Are, so where are, where are you located for our stuff right now? Physically?

Zee (01:59):

Right now I’m sitting in Louisville, Kentucky, and tomorrow morning I will be in Chicago where our HQ is.

Charles (02:05):

Okay. What does office number two

Zee (02:08):

That’s in Chicago? That’s, that’s our flagship Porter’s that’s, yeah. Where the company all started

Charles (02:14):

And then it was the second office

Zee (02:16):

That is in Louisville, Kentucky. I’m in one of the conference rooms.

Charles (02:19):

Yeah. Okay. Very cool. Okay. And about how many employees?

Zee (02:21):

You’re both ten-ish. Say we have like seven full-timers and we’ve got like three to five kind of floating around here and there as, as we need them. So

Charles (02:34):

Yup. Yeah. You get to kind of round when you have that. So let’s round around 10, let’s say. And so part, so they sometimes work in the office, sometimes work from home, that sort of thing?

Zee (02:45):

Yeah, for the most part people just work from home. At the office here I have my assistant with me every day, like Monday through Friday. Just because I prefer having someone with me working with me one-on-one. It just easier me to do so.

Speaker 3 (03:00):

So if I change cities I’ll find someone to just work one on one with me. It just makes it easier for me personally. Because they’re kind of playing a role between some admin stuff, but then heavy on the personal assistant stuff like, make sure you’ve got everything sorted for the flights tomorrow, who’s dropping me off at the airport? How am I getting from O’Hare to the first client meeting? And from there, the next, maybe it’s as simple as Uber, but just coordinating and figuring out what needs to happen. And so I prefer having that person in person.

Charles (03:33):

Yup. And now, so how long did the company originally start off like this are going back 10 years ago. Was it just you and you kind of grew it? Like how did you decide to even do this in the first place?

Speaker 3 (03:46):

Sure. So I started this company on complete accident, so to back up all the way beyond 10 years, I was working at this place called classic residence by Hyatt. So it’s a upscale luxury senior retirement home community. It’s called the V now. And I was working there throughout high school and eventually I worked through the ranks and they gave me a scholarship to go to school. The stipulation was it had to be culinary arts. And so while I was studying there, I had a friend of mine who would always ask me to help him start selling chef coats to the classmates. He came to me because he knew I was always selling something, whether it be candy or music. And I used to sell, not proud of it now, but bootleg DVDs. And I used to always just, I was the guy that would unzip their, their coat and they had all this stuff.

Speaker 3 (04:44):

I mean, I literally didn’t, but at least that was the brand that I had created for myself. And so my friend and I, we started sourcing these chef coats from the flea market and we would fix them up because these were defective products that didn’t pass quality control. So typically if they don’t pass quality control, they end up in a landfill. Or if the manufacturers are conscious, they’ll end up wholesaling them off at ridiculous pricing to someone who wants to sell items that just don’t, just can’t make it to the retail shelves. And so we would just buy one, two, three, four or five coats at a time. This is very small quantities. And then eventually I had a full duffle bag full of coats and I needed help and I had an assistant going with me knocking classroom to classroom at my culinary school, selling chef codes. And then we got on dish chef pants and chef hats and aprons and kind of that’s, that’s how it evolved.

Charles (05:42):

Okay. So it really just started off very organically it sounds like. And there was no, and so now you provide and you work some huge brands kind of right at the intro here, like Sony clicker wireless. So you kind of grew it all the way in the past 10 years to now providing, is it like parallel to like, I’m trying to think if you go into like a cell phone store sort of thing, that shirt they wear, is that kind of the,

Speaker 3 (06:04):

Sure, so essentially we manufacture culture. So what that means is there are supporting physical pieces that we sell that we provide to our clients. But every client has a goal in mind, Hey, is it customer acquisition? Is it retention, is it recouping, you know, those lost clients and how can we do that? What are some really clever ways of doing that? It’s maybe building team morale, you know, helping build the culture so they could retain their, their team members. It’s not just retention of lost clients or or retention of existing clients, but we’re keeping onboard the team that they have. It’s very expensive to hire, bring someone on board and then they leave for a pay raise. That’s just a few thousand dollars more than what you’re offering them. And so we create these programs to help solve these different types of problems. Now a big supporting component of that is the physical pieces. So every brand, every company we work with has a different objective. Some could be trade shows, Hey, we have a trade show we’re exhibiting at, what should we do? What should we give out? How should we dress? How do we measure our ROI from this campaign? And so those are a few different things that we help with.

Charles (07:21):

Okay. I see. So how do you feel like remote has like helped you guys grow in comparison to if you were all in one place or has it or do you feel like it’s just kind of you know, it’s just part of the culture but it doesn’t really affect the company? Like how do you feel like it kind of plays into that?

Speaker 3 (07:39):

Sure. I think the whole remote thing is big deal, but I think we’re just going to start seeing more and more companies making remote work available for everyone. You know, I already see it now with so many companies doing it and then the companies that aren’t fully on board, they’re testing it like, Hey Friday’s work from home or Thursday’s work from home and work half a day at the office and work the other half at home on Fridays as it. For me, I’ve always started that way. Like it was just a one person, two person business and so like I would just work from home or from the coffee shop and it didn’t occur to me that I actually needed like physical infrastructure to do everything. Once you have things in place and fulfill, like we do a lot of fulfillment and warehousing. So we do have infrastructure for that.

Speaker 3 (08:25):

I don’t necessarily need to be there. There is a team there that’s dedicated to that. So yes, they must be there cause they need to be picking, packing, shipping these orders for clients all the time. So what I’m talking about is when you onboard a new client, we like to send out a lot of welcome gifts because we celebrate that when that commitment that that client is now made working with that business. So it can be as simple as sending them a water bottle with a handwritten note. And so we do that. So when we manufacture these products many times do ship them directly to the client and, and let them execute on their campaign that they want to or we’ll integrate it with their CRM and help manage all of that for them. So those, you know, we have partnerships and team members assisting and just managing that, that that team is a bit bigger than, than seven or 10 people. That’s, you know, Monday through Friday all they’re doing is packing, picking and shipping products out. Sorry, I’m bigger. I said, what was your question?

Charles (09:22):

No, just kind of how has it benefited the company to be remote? Like, cause some folks say it, I’ve heard people say it’s like a negative. Other folks say it’s like this positive where they can tap into different resources, different folks but they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. So I’m just kinda curious where you stand on that.

Speaker 3 (09:40):

Yeah. I mean as far as hiring, I mean we’re looking to bring on a handful of people in this new year and I’ve had many people say, Hey, I can’t work remotely. I must have team and people in the office to keep myself accountable. I need that. I absolutely need that. And I just can’t work with them because I can’t be in the office with you all the time. I’ve got a packed schedule, I’m traveling, I’ve got all this work related stuff. We want team members that can hold themselves accountable. Working from home could be challenging if the environment has it right. I hear people want to go wash their dishes or clean their house and do these things. That’s why you have to have clear outcomes, right? So if you have these outcomes that you’ve set for these individuals and you have KPIs and they’re meeting them, who cares? If you need to go look at your Instagram, I’m trying to work day for a few minutes. It’s okay. I don’t believe in micromanaging and standing behind someone’s shoulder as they’re working in an office environment. I’ve just, we’ve always been kind of remote, so I dunno, I don’t truly know what it’s like to put 10 people in a room and lock them up and,

Charles (10:45):

Yeah. But how do you, how do you, certain jobs or certain KPIs? Right? Well, you know, it’s delivered, you know, kind of the work product and what you’re trying to the results. But there’s others that are a bit more fuzzy. So on those kind of roles and even can be something as simple as support tickets, right? You could say you need to answer X number of support tickets a day or whatever that is. But that would be, it’s almost a bad goal, right? Because then people just kind of checking the box, answer go, you do. And that’s not even what you want. Right? Especially working with some large brands, you want the tickets to be solved correctly. So in a G in a role like that, you don’t want that metric of Hey, just answer 30 support tickets a day. It’s a silly metric. How do you set those kinds of KPIs? So that’s what a role


Speaker 3 (11:34):

So we follow this business framework called Baldrige. So Baldrige is the U S government standard of business excellence. So how do you spell that? B. A. L. D. R. I. D. G. E Baldrige. So Baldrige is adopted by, I’d say almost any fortune 500. There is now what? Baldrige. There’s a lot of benefits to Baldrige. But what it allows us is we, our goal is to empower all our team members, right? And so a part of that is if they’re working on support tickets and stuff, we have processes documented in a very mind numbing way that people should have very little questions to ask to, you know, to be able to execute a quantity. So if there’s an issue or an idea or an implementation that needs to happen, there’s a system that, that they’re following in or redo it. And if something breaks because things break all the time, everyone screws stuff up.

Speaker 3 (12:35):

And so when something goes wrong, we document it, we audit it, we add preventative steps, and then we use tools to actually execute on resolving issues in a very formal way. So these tickets sometimes require a lot of collaboration from the team. And so we have tools that allow us to do all of this together. So it’s not always necessarily like, Hey, you need to close 10 tickets per day. We don’t even have that many issues. So it’s not even a dedicated thing. It’s more collaborative. Hey, whose account is it? What’s the issue? Can back off this or admin team help get together and share their ideas. And how we can resolve this issue and prevent it from ever happening again.

Charles (13:16):

Okay. Yeah. Interesting. But how about for the jobs that are a little more undocumented? For example, marketing generate a new marketing campaign a little more in the creative side. How do you give someone like a playbook to run with that sort of role?

Speaker 3 (13:32):

So I kind of disagree. I think everything can be measurable. All of it. Every single role can be, you can, you can have KPIs for, so if there are or campaigns, right? So each job should have a mission and then those clear outcomes defined. So I in my mind know, Hey, we want to run, you know, we want to start getting aggressive on our SEO efforts. Cool. What does that mean? Does that mean we have to start cranking out tons of content? Does that mean we need our developers to work on the technical SEO part of it? What, what does that look like? How many articles are really gonna crank out? How many? Like we break everything down very granularly. So yeah, I see what you’re asking. I guess I don’t have anything. Heck, I’ll be honest, I don’t even have every single role broken down, but I do know that we’re at max capacity and we’re looking to hire. So even for me, it’s something that I’m trying to work on and refine and build. I’m only two years ago he started working on these outcome sheets and I wish I had started way before.

Charles (14:31):

Yeah. I’ve talked to folks all the time that do this and it’s always then you almost need a a process to document the process like this like self, like some sort of process to actually help grow these documents, right. And the documents to find the process. So it’s very like meadow when you start looking at it that way because then at certain point you need the team to help write the documents for themselves, I’m guessing.

Speaker 3 (14:55):

Yeah. So we have some non-negotiables. I can pull this up for you on my computer and I can go, go through a few of these. So upon hiring we have nonnegotiables doesn’t sound so nice or soft, but,

Charles (15:12):

And these are non-negotiables for that role. Right? So

Speaker 3 (15:15):

These are nonnegotiables for all team members across the board regardless of role.

Charles (15:18):

Okay. So organization-wide if you work here you must do,

Speaker 3 (15:22):

Yeah. You could also call it like a culture guide. I guess a rule. It’s just a, it’s something that I think is just super critical for all team members to follow. Now some of these things as I read them, you’ll be like, Oh, that’s common sense, but I don’t believe common sense exists. That’s there’s no such thing you have to train someone on, on doing it. One of my favorite things I love to do during interviews is I like to ask people if they can walk me through step by step how they make a peanut butter jelly sandwich. And get as deep and to get as detailed as possible. Cause I want to see how they think through the process of doing that. What does that sound like? I want to see how well they can articulate that process. I want to see how many steps they’re omitting.

Speaker 3 (16:04):

I’ve never had one person get as granular as I have asked them to be in it. And so we want to be super granular in our processes because what if you die tomorrow? I might die tomorrow. I hope not. I could, does that mean my company closes? So a part of Baldrige is that no one should be dependent on another person. No team members should be hoarding information. That’s why we have these non negotiables. So I’ll go, I’ll go through a few of these. So commitment to excellence. Willingness to actively document and improve the policies, procedures and training methods of the work performed. Next one, willingness to actively report issues and ideas that can improve Z swag, willingness to actively resolve and implement ideas, willingness to help develop and implement our TJ plan. Willingness to have a learning plan. Willingness to accurately measure and report progress. Willingness to promote consistent product, service quality and client satisfaction. And I’ll go over one, one more. Which is super important. Willingness to help coach, mentor and cross train other team members and performing their process.

Charles (17:21):

Hmm. Why? Why’d you say that’s the important one right there or the most important?

Speaker 3 (17:24):

I think they’re all important, but I just hear so many horror stories of, Hey, I’ve got this secret sauce and once I leave I’m taking it with me and it doesn’t work that way. You can do that somewhere else, not here.

Charles (17:38):

Yeah, it definitely, it happens. It’s very you don’t know what’s happening, but information does get siloed. Right. So it’s something that unless you have that baked into the culture of documenting it, it does start to just become, Hey, you know, go ask, you know, Kevin over there and he knows how to do X and he just becomes like the X guy and that’s every time you need that you ask him. But when he’s out sick, everyone kind of just sits around and wait for Kevin.

Zee (18:04):

They come, they crumble, they panic, they don’t know how to execute on his steps, on his process. Cause it’s not there. It’s not documented. It doesn’t exist.

Charles (18:11):

Yeah. I feel like that the documentation is the one thing about remote that to make it work, you almost have to document processes. Just because you’re not all sitting in the same office. You can’t just go tap Kevin on the shoulder. So you, you’re almost like forced to do this and that makes it just a much more resilient company.

Zee (18:32):

Just by, yeah. And also if someone wants to get promoted, it’s pretty simple. Perform an exit, hit on all of your objectives, on your tasks, complete your mission, right with excellence and have everything so well documented that I could hire someone else and promote you and they could just follow your process and systems because they’re so well done.

Charles (18:51):

Yeah, it definitely creates one of those the ability to know where you’re at and have like a scoreboard of, you know, if you’re trying to do X and you’re trying to get through some measurable outcome, you at least know where you are. Right. Did you get 80% of the way? There are 10. Cause I’ve had folks where you kind of hire some before and they sometimes, unless you define it ahead of time, they don’t know. So sometimes they think they’re doing great and you’re looking going, this isn’t so great. Like, and, and then you have to have that like tough discussion, that sort of thing. Just because the expectations weren’t set ahead of time.

Zee (19:25):

Well, it’s continuous improvement. I don’t expect the process to be perfect. So I’m pretty new to a little, we’ll have only been down here. I’m back and forth between Chicago and here, but been here maybe six months and I have an assistant here and I told her, Hey, can you please update our, your, your, your, your processes for when I’m traveling because I need someone to drop me off tomorrow morning to the airport. So I’m like, that’s probably not in your, in your process because you haven’t scheduled it. I don’t have a pickup on my calendar here. Can we get that in there? So now she’s updated it. And so whatever else, it’s not like that. And obviously I’m not, I can Uber it or Cabot take a cab. It’s not a huge deal, but I want the process to be super refined. I want it to be complete as it could be. And then we’ll, the next trip will be better and the next school even better. And it’ll just be super smooth. So maybe if I’m staying at a hotel and I want healthy foods and it’s waiting there for me. Right. So that’s a part of the process on the hotel calling task rabbit, having someone pick up some, some fruits and nuts and some snaps and having it there at my hotel room or at check-ins for me to grab. So you’re constantly improving. That’s just one example.

Charles (20:37):

Oh it does? Yeah, it definitely, it feels like it dovetails very, very well with the whole remote and you know, I’ll work at the same time so it creates less, like I’m coupling on each interdependencies amongst the team and you can definitely see how being all around just a good thing for the company, even if you were in the same office, but being a remote team, you kind of forced to do that. One thing you mentioned before, the show, I want to kind of dig into that was interesting. You said you live out of a duffle bag. That kind of interesting is you tell me more about that one.

Zee (21:09):

So I have at home, I have a beautiful home. No, not at all. So a few years ago I decided my lease was ending and I was living in a beautiful high rise in Chicago right on like Michigan Avenue. And as a kid, my dream was to always live in these live in tall skyscrapers because it was a sign of being successful and having it all. And that was the dream. And so once I lived there for a few years, I realized that that wasn’t really happy. It was fun and exciting, but I was a bit miserable. I don’t know, I just didn’t, it didn’t fulfill me like the way I thought it would. And so the lease was ending. I didn’t really have a plan and it wasn’t sure where I was going to move. I was looking at a bunch of places. It still hadn’t made a decision. So I ended up just donating most of my possessions. But my personal stuff, I gave most of it away and I left Chicago with three bags, not one to three. I had like two backpacks ended up back and I ended up going to Indiana. First I had, I was calling random friends. Hey, I, I don’t know exactly what I’m doing, but can I come crash? I those weren’t the exact words. I was like, I want to come up probably two or three years ago.

Charles (22:29):

Okay. It’s been running for a while at that point. So the company’s up and doing its thing.

Zee (22:34):

Yeah. I mean I was still working. It was just I myself wherever I was. And so I went down to Indiana land in New York. I was just kind of all over the place a little bit and I didn’t know what I was doing, but I had told myself the story that I was punishing myself. So why is that punishment or is that a vacation? Externally? It sounded like the drain. My friends were like, this is amazing. I’d love to be able to do all this stuff. And I kind of hyped up the story too. So I’m a bit guilty there. And this is probably like reflecting now, I can tell you it was more of a punishment than a vacation because I hadn’t hit certain milestones that I have wanted to hit. And as much as I’ve wanted to hit those, I don’t think I ever truly put my foot down on the gas pedal to get them. But I still wanted to punish myself. So when we do good, we want to reward ourselves. And

Charles (23:32):

This is milestones, like certain revenue goals, that sort of thing.

Zee (23:35):

Yeah, business milestones. And so I hadn’t hit them and so I was just very frustrated and upset and so I told myself I didn’t deserve a, and so yes, I didn’t like live on the streets or anything, but I had condensed all that stuff that I had into three bags. It’s just really, really hard considering I had a lot of stuff. I’m in the merchandising promotional space, we have tons of stuff. And so I got down to three bags. But along the journey I ended up tossing two of them and ended up settling with one bag because as time went on, I realized that these physical possessions didn’t really do much for me at all. In fact, I owned one pair of jeans. I have one pair of workout shoes. I have a, I bought a couple of suits and things now because I need them for conferences and work. But I’d say the core of my possessions is in one bag. So when I do laundry, the go, it goes back into that bag. I’m sure I have a side table and I have a closet, but I just, I put it in the suits, go on the closet, everything else goes into the bag. That works for me. So there’s less clutter in my head and in my life.

Charles (24:45):

So do you have a permanent kind of home-based now or is it, are you still kind of,

Zee (24:48):

I do, yeah. Yeah. I have a lease and all that stuff. Yeah. Office lease. This apartment lease, I’ve got all of it. But you still choose to live out of the bag? I choose to put all my possessions into my bag.

Charles (24:59):

Okay. It’s very the Netflix documentary a what is it? The middle minimalist. Yeah, it sounds very much like that. Is that something you kind of

Zee (25:09):

Follow? I mean, instead of buy what I need, if I need it, it’s gonna make a difference. If it’s going to save me time, money, yes, I will buy it.

Charles (25:18):

And do you feel like that’s kinda helped you, helped you with business or is that kind of just something almost like a thing on the side or do you feel like that has any effect on the business itself?

Zee (25:28):

I mean, I think if you declutter, you’re going to just be more successful. You have more of a clear mind. I think Steve jobs when he had left Apple or is fired for Apple, I think when he went to his next company next, I think it was called he made everyone take off. Like the room was all white. It was painted white because he just wanted clarity. He wanted it to be so plain. And clutter-free. And so I think that by tossing out or donating, getting rid of the things that you don’t use, if you don’t use it for 90 days or four months, six months, get rid of it. Like you don’t need it.

Charles (26:02):

Yeah. Interesting. Have you done any kind of international travel or has all kind of been domestic? Where are you kind of moving around?

Zee (26:10):

So I try to, I am to do three countries a year. I’ve kind of turned it down recently because I really want to just double down and focus on my business. And there are challenges while working on being remote. You need a lot of discipline for that, but I’ve got one for this year, one or two, two trips this year scheduled for international.

Charles (26:33):

Hmm. That kind of discipline, like those routines, how do you maintain that when you’re kind of, when you did this whole moving around, right? Like, if you’re waking up in a different city every couple of weeks, how do you, the gym and healthy eating and all these sort of things, like how do you maintain any sort of structure when you’re kind of moving around?

Speaker 3 (26:53):

Sure. So my secret weapon is this app called strides. Strides. Okay. Another one is called streaks. I liked using strides because they have really great UI and UX. But basically it’s got my morning routine, my evening routine, and anything that I want to build a habit up. So although I know what I need to do, I like, I like checking the boxes and I like knowing I completed it, but it’s not just checking the boxes, it’s being present as in completing them. So I’m not doing what’s on in the routine just to hurry up and get rid of it. So I can say I did it. It’s being really mindful and present and self-aware as in completing them to make progress in those different areas.

Charles (27:37):

What’s some examples of some sort of street skulls we have said?

Speaker 3 (27:41):

Sure. So I learned something from this program called warrior, and it was led by the strawman named Russ Perry’s, the founder of design pickle. And so I did a two day workshop that I believe a year ago, and it was life changing and I don’t say that lightly. It was genuinely life changing. So they had taught us a concept called core four, and I’ll do the best I can to explain this, but you can do more research online and nail it down. So here was my takeaway. So it’s called core four because there’s four areas of life. Your business, your body, your being in your balance, and it’s game of bide. So the goal is to get one point in each of these areas by 8:00 AM not no later than 10:00 AM seven days a week and have no compromise in these. So there’s two objectives you must complete in each of these categories.

Speaker 3 (28:35):

So I’ll just go through them in a, in a random order. So for business it’s discovery means go learn something, read a book, take an online course, watch a YouTube video that’s educational. And then the second part is teach it to someone. So teach one specific thing that you’ve learned from that specific training to someone. So that’s half a point for each. So that’s one point there. Or business for body, it’s a sweat and fuels. So sweat we’ve got for five minutes or 30 minutes or an hour or two hours, whatever you want to do, just sweat. So the goal is not to, it’s just to build habit. So if you can work out for 20 minutes, do it. If you can do it for an hour, do it right. Just get in the habit of building these, these streaks or strides in order to build momentum.

Speaker 3 (29:26):

And over time you’ll improve upon those. And maybe the duration will get better. You’ll learn how to manage your time better. And so the field portion is, it’s a green drink, a green smoothie. So that covers the, the body area. Now the being is meditating, followed up by journaling, journaling, using a pen on a physical notebook. So that’s one point together. And then the last one is balance. So this is your wife, your girlfriend, your children, your family. And so the best way to explain this is when we go to the bank and if there’s no money and we withdrawal it, we’ll get penalized. We’ll get fees, we’ll have a lot of financial consequences. So you should look at it the same way with your family. So the goal is to make intentional love deposits in this love bank, you can call it.

Speaker 3 (30:19):

And the goal is to fill up that love bank with their love language. So if they love affirmations or whatever it is that you feel that you make the deposits into their love bank so that when you’re traveling with the boys or where you’re doing what you’re doing away from them, that you have available the posits to withdrawal from. So that entire thing is, it’s, it’s core four. So that’s kind of what I’ve taken away. And so I’ll, I’ll pull up my strides and I can tell you I’ve added a little bit more to mine. So I definitely have the journaling affirmations, review my goals, my vision for, take my vitamins, read, teach drink one gallon of water, right? I’ve got with me here. Food journal. You know that I do the love deposits to my parents. I try to call them almost every day if I can floss. So there’s just a bunch of things on here and you can customize it to what you want.

Charles (31:18):

Ah, very cool. Yeah, I think having these written goals helps, right? Like I think some people, they say, you know, we’re talking right now, right after the new year I’m going to floss more. I go to the gym or whatever that is. But having a kind of mapped out, these are extreme like literally drink a green drink. Like that’s very, it’s not just like eat healthier. It’s like oddly specific on like every day I will do this, like this specific drink. I think that really helps. It helps for you to measure it, right? Cause just these like big lofty goals like workout more. You don’t really know if you hit that goal. It’s very nebulous verse. If you didn’t drink a green drink like you either you gotta to check the box or you don’t, there’s no, there’s no half checked on that one.

Speaker 3 (32:03):


Charles (32:04):

Yeah, I like that. That definitely. And it sounds like that sort of thing helps you. It’s stuff you can do no matter what. Right. No matter where you are. So even if you are remote, if you’re kind of moving around, if you’re in a hotel you can still journal, right. That’s something that very non-dependent non location dependent and that kind of probably helps you stay, keep this, this is a very specific retrain that you can do anywhere. It sounds like. Is that kinda how you

Speaker 3 (32:32):

Yeah. I mean no matter where you are or you can do, like this morning I was really busy. I’m a little Lanxess. I’m traveling like the rest this month it’s quite hectic. So it didn’t have like a hundred squats, pushups and a bunch of stuff in my apartment. I did not go to the gym like I had planned to. So it’s okay. I still got to work out of bed.

Charles (32:52):

Very cool. All right. I think that that helps. I like it definitely like it seems like you have a lot of routine written formulas and that helps. You can measure it, you know, where you are, you know, Hey did you, you just, you can, what is it? Look at what gets measured gets managed. It’s kind of the

Speaker 3 (33:12):

[Inaudible]. Yeah, because with up the routines, the goals are much more challenging. You need that, the habits, the routines in order to execute on everything else. So if you don’t take care of these areas, essentially it makes it harder for you to execute on whatever your goals and your plans are. So this structure really makes things easier because I feel better because I’ve worked out, I get a boost from that in green drink and I’ve taken care of my mental health. Right. Meditation is like exercise for the brain. So if you take care of these areas essentially should kind of care. It will carry over like in your day and your week in your, in your life.

Charles (33:50):

Very cool. Before I let you go, anything you kind of working on right now, you want to plug anything or anywhere people can find you more information about you.

Speaker 3 (33:59):

Sure. You can find me on LinkedIn or Instagram, just my name, Z. E. a. L. I. M. if you guys are looking for any sort of branded merchandising to help grow your brand, to really stay top of mind. I’ll share one really good example. So I’m down here. I’m in Louisville and the Louisville Slugger factory, the baseball bats, they’re all made here. And so a cool promotional campaign. This is a really good example is if, let’s say we have a list of clients we want to either work with and get our foot in the door with, or maybe there’s a list of some Austin clients, maybe we lost. And cause that happens, people lose clients. And so a campaign we’re running right now is we’re mailing out these awesome, they’re like 1820 inch baseball bats. They’re, they’re small enough where we’re going to laser etch the client’s logo on them, our prospect or our client’s logo on them.

Speaker 3 (34:53):

And then we’re going to engrave their name on the bat itself and the, the letter with it will say something along the lines of a, if you give us an opportunity, you know, to, to get at bat, you know, we’re going to hit a home run. It’s, you know, you have to come up with some witty copy with it. But things like that leave a big impression and they’re not going to toss something away that has their name on it, right. With their logo on it. And it’s just something unique. And so there’s a lot of different ways to utilize products to get a massive return on your investment. Most people just don’t know how to do that. And so that’s where we come in and we help people. So

Charles (35:30):

Very cool. Yeah, that’s one of those things where if you get that, you’ve kind of put it in your office up on the wall and you know, people come in, they see it. So stuff like that, those are, those are the best promotes, right? Because you don’t, like you said, you don’t just toss it in the bin and Hey, you know, another mug with someone’s logo on it. There’s something you’re actually gonna hang up and keep around. So that’s very cool. So I will lead to all that in the show notes and appreciate you coming on. It was great chatting. Yeah, it was my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

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