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About Brian Johnson, the
Professional Optimizer

Hi There! This is Brian. I appreciate you taking the time to learn a little about me.

The super-short story? I'm a Professional Optimizer. 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…

Brian Johnson

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

After selling my first business (eteamz) over 15 years ago (at 26), I had enough money to take a little time off to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up. I became a lover of wisdom—a philosopher. My quest? I was obsessed about understanding what makes great people great. What is it about that .0001% of people in the world who truly optimize their lives, actualize their potential and give their greatest gifts in greatest service to the world? (And… enjoy the process!)

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 500 PhilosophersNotes. And, I also created over 25 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 8 million downloads). Then there’s the YouTube channel (with over 125,000 subscribers and 12.5 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

After selling my first business (eteamz) over 15 years ago (at 26), I had enough money to take a little time off to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up. I became a lover of wisdom—a philosopher. My quest? I was obsessed about understanding what makes great people great. What is it about that .0001% of people in the world who truly optimize their lives, actualize their potential and give their greatest gifts in greatest service to the world? (And… enjoy the process!)

Ancient library in Ephesus

Brian in Turkey

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.

John Wooden

Me

Brian with John Wooden

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).

Finding Joe

Brian Finding Joe

Over the last decade, I’ve created 500 PhilosophersNotes. And, I also created over 25 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 8 million downloads). Then there’s the YouTube channel (with over 125,000 subscribers and 12.5 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) and our new biz Optimize. Quick look:

eteamz
eteamz

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.

zaadz
Zaadz

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).

optimize
Optimize

We help people Optimize their lives so we can change the world together while creating an exemplary business that scales.

“The world's best value in personal development education.”

Michael Gelb Headshot
Michael Gelb

Author of New York Times bestseller How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci