About Brian Johnson
Hi There! This is Brian. I appreciate you taking the time to learn a little about me. The super-short story? I'm the Founder and Chief Philosopher of Optimize.
I love studying and embodying wisdom while helping people Optimize their lives so we can change the world together. I also love my wife and two kids, burpees and sunrise trail runs.
… Before we talk more about me, let’s talk about YOU.
Did you know that the word Optimize comes from the Latin optimus which literally means “the best”? Yep. In our case, we’re talking about helping YOU be your absolute best self. That’s what I obsess about all day every day and why I do what I do.
With that, on with the bio…
I've spent 1/2 of the last 20 years as a Philosopher and the other half as a Founder/CEO. Here’s the quick look.
As a Philosopher
I read a ton and traveled a bit, studying Socrates in Athens, Aurelius in the Danube of Hungary, Jesus in Jerusalem, and Rumi in Konya, Turkey. I started sharing what I was learning via a daily newsletter that quickly went from a couple hundred friends to thousands of people.
After several years of reading, writing, and thinking, I needed to make some money again but didn’t feel like going the typical self-help route so I created my second business (Zaadz). After selling that a few years later, I had enough money to take a little more time off. I decided to give myself a Ph.D. in Optimal Living—integrating ancient wisdom, modern science and practical tools to optimize and actualize. As part of my Master’s project, I distilled 100 of the best books on optimal living into 6-page PDF summaries (and 20-min MP3s). I called these “PhilosophersNotes” and created a profitable business sharing the wisdom I was learning as a demonstration that we can get paid to do what we love in service to the world. My Ph.D. dissertation was a simple book called A Philosopher’s Notes and a class I taught called “Optimal Living 101” (which is now an integrated part of the curriculum at Harvard-Westlake).
Over the last decade, I’ve created 600+ PhilosophersNotes. And, I also created over 50 Optimal Living 101 master classes on everything from Optimizing your energy and confidence to your productivity and happiness.
In other news: I also have a podcast called Optimize (that launched as the #1 podcast on iTunes and has been featured as the #1 Health podcast with over 13 million downloads). Then there’s the YouTube channel (with over 200,000 subscribers and 20 million+ views). And, I was featured in the documentary Finding Joe alongside Deepak Chopra, Laird Hamilton and Tony Hawk and contributed a chapter to Be the Solution alongside Whole Foods CEO John Mackey and Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus. All after graduating Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA where I studied Psychology and Business
As a Founder/CEO
When I wasn’t reading/writing/teaching, I raised $10m to finance the creation and sale of two market-leading social platforms (eteamz + Zaadz), then Optimize, and now Heroic. Quick look:
Social platform for families involved in youth sports. Serves 3m teams worldwide. Little League Baseball used our technology. Highlights: Winning the Anderson School at UCLA’s biz plan competition as a 24-year-old entrepreneur then raising $5m and hiring the CEO of adidas to replace me as the CEO before selling to the Active Network in 2000.
Social platform for people who want to change the world. Pre-Facebook. Highlights: Raising $3m from investors including John Mackey (CEO of Whole Foods) who became a friend and mentor before selling to Gaiam (GAIA).
We help people Optimize their lives so we can change the world together while creating an exemplary business that scales.
- Learn More
In November 2020, we started Heroic. In short: We’re building a platform that trains heroes. We raised $11M ($5M through crowdfunding, in the first Reg CF in history of that size), partnered with MetaLab, and are now working towards the April 9th, 2022 launch of the Heroic training platform.