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Connect With Our World-Class Faculty

Team Optimize is joined by world-class experts in productivity, peak performance, psychology, entrepreneurship, behavioral change, and more — including ground-breaking researchers, former Navy SEALS, best-selling authors, and elite Coaches — all to help you master every facet of your life and help others do the same.

Meet the Optimize Coach Team

Brian Johnson

Founder + Chairman

Brian Johnson has dedicated his life to teaching us how to more consistently show up as the best version of ourselves—closing the gap between who we’re capable of being and who we’re actually being so that we can give our greatest gifts in heroic service to the world, while creating a life of deep meaning, connection and joy. He’s spent a decade as a Founder/CEO creating (and selling) two market-leading social platforms (eteamz + Zaadz) and another decade as a Philosopher: reading, writing, and teaching. He’s the creator of PhilosophersNotes and was featured in the documentary on Joseph Campbell/the modern hero’s journey: Finding Joe.

Michael Balchan

President + Head Coach

Michael Balchan is a performance coach committed to helping you put Theory into Practice, so you can transform your life and help those around you to do the same.

Michael studied behavioral economics and psychology at Harvard, spent nearly a decade as a financial derivatives trader, and then built a thriving 1:1 coaching practice using the Optimize protocol. He’s a long-time student of Brian’s work, an Ironman, and a deeply committed husband and father.

Alexandra Johnson

Co-Founder + Chief Goddess

Alexandra Johnson is a former All-American volleyball player, health coach, and full-time Professional Optimizer. She’s a passionate student, teacher, and practitioner of all things Optimal Living. Alexandra is married to Brian and the mother of Emerson and Eleanor.

“There's always been this feeling inside me that there's gotta be "more" to life, without exactly knowing whatever this "more" actually would look like.

When I joined the Optimize Coach program, it just felt right from the start. I feel like I've come "home" in a sense of having found kindred souls in the pursuit of something bigger than themselves. (Shout out to Brian, Michael and everyone else who makes this possible, as well as all the other coaches!!)

I won't spend much time talking about the content (which is A++++++), but more about the awesome community and positive vibes that the whole program conveys. Engaging with the other people, implementing the strategies in my own life and now, as a next step, helping others to optimize their lives — this is as good as it can get for me.”

Jan Feldmann
Jan Feldmann

Coach + Consultant

Meet Our Luminary Guest Faculty

Cal Newport, Ph.D.

Leading Authority on Productivity and Knowledge Work

Cal Newport got his Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT. He is a Professor at Georgetown University and the bestselling author of Deep Work, Digital Minimalism and So Good The Can’t Ignore You.

In the Optimize Coach program, Cal helps us cultivate a Deep life so we can do the best work of our lives, amplify our interpersonal connections, and take our heroic flourishing to the next level.

Mark Divine

Former Navy SEAL Commander + Entrepreneur + Bestselling Author

Mark Divine is a former U.S. Navy SEAL Commander. After a successful career and MBA, Mark graduated at the top of his SEAL class. He has created a number of multi-million dollar businesses and is the bestselling author of The Way of the SEAL, Unbeatable Mind, and Staring Down the Wolf.

In the Optimize Coach program, Mark helps us forge uncommon mental toughness by teaching us the 3 steps to master our minds, how to form the habit of feeding our Courage Wolf, and how to coach others to act in the face of fear.

Tal Ben-Shahar

Positive Psychologist + Happiness Expert

Tal Ben-Shahar is one of the world’s leading positive psychologists—”bridging the gap between academia and Main Street.” He taught two of the most popular classes in Harvard’s history and is the bestselling author of a number of books on the science of happiness.

In the Optimize Coach program, Tal shares his wisdom on how to navigate the lifelong journey of happiness and increase our happiness amidst setbacks—like navigating relationship challenges with our partners.

Phil Stutz, M.D.

Renowned Psychiatrist + Coach

Phil Stutz is an internationally-known psychiatrist and coach who has worked with some of Hollywood’s most elite actors and executives over a career that spans four decades. He's the creator of, and the bestselling author of, The Tools.

In the Optimize Coach program, Phil teaches us The Laws of Action, so we can learn to act in the face of utter uncertainty--collecting turnarounds, building true confidence, and actualizing our potential as we connect with our highest selves on a moment-to-moment basis.

Mark Divine helped me understand that feeding the courage wolf is a practice that involves facing challenges and flaws… but by moving through it, you gain competence and confidence.”

Jean Goto
Jean Goto

Actor + Filmmaker

Tom Morris, Ph.D.

Leading Public Philosopher + Pioneering Business Thinker

Tom Morris earned his Ph.D. from Yale in both Philosophy and Religious Studies. For fifteen years, he was a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, where he quickly became a campus legend (often having up to an eighth of the student body in his classes). He’s also the author of over 30 books, including If Aristotle Ran General Motors and Philosophy for Dummies.

In the Optimize Coach program, Tom coaches us on spiritual alchemy, the importance of knowing ourselves and how to use the tools of The Perspective Telescope and Hill A/B to fuel our quests towards personal growth in virtue.

Alan Stein, Jr.

Peak-Performance Coach

Alan Stein, Jr. is a corporate performance coach and world-renowned speaker. He spent more than fifteen years working with the highest-performing basketball players on the planet, and now delivers high-energy keynotes, interactive workshops, and impactful trainings to help organizations improve performance, cohesion, and accountability.

In the Optimize Coach program, Alan teaches us the importance of The Unseen Hours, the art of storytelling, the power of using the tools we already have, and how to coach others (+ ourselves!) to boost motivation—even when moving towards changing goals.

Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

Leading Authority on the Neuroscience of Food

Susan Peirce Thompson is a Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester, an expert on the psychology of eating, and the Founder + CEO of Bright Line Eating Solutions.

In the Optimize Coach program, Susan coaches us on finding food freedom, how to integrate self-love with our desires to change, and mitigating cortisol (stress hormone) spikes as we navigate our idiosyncratic journeys towards our Bright-Sized bodies.

Tom Sterner

Mental Performance Coach to Athletes and Leaders

Tom Sterner is a leading mental performance coach, Founder and CEO of The Practicing Mind Institute, and author of The Practicing Mind and Fully Engaged. He works with high-performers (in athletics, business, and other domains) to help them to operate effectively in high-stress situations and achieve to new levels of mastery.

In the Optimize Coach program, Tom teaches us how to use meditation (and rescue mantras) to cultivate better responses, how to love the process of practice (and its endless challenges), and why the skill of non-judgment is so crucial in our growth journeys.

“Getting an opportunity to learn directly from Brian's mentor was one of the highlights of the course for me. Phil Stutz has incredible energy, and his "heart" tool has been revolutionary for me as a guy who tends to spend way too much time in his head.

Brendan Sonnichsen
Brendan Sonnichsen

Paramedic + Coach

Lanny Bassham

Olympic Gold Medalist + Peak-Performance Expert

After having a “mental failure” in the 1972 Olympic Games, Lanny Bassham went on to study the mechanics of mental performance under pressure. He then used what he learned to become one of the most decorated rifle shooters in the sport’s history. Since then, Lanny has been teaching Mental Management® to Olympians, business owners, Fortune 500 Corporations and the elite of sport and business community.

In the Optimize Coach program, Lanny teaches us the power of imprinting our self-image by controlling the Reinforcement phase of any event, the Three Step Peak-Performance System, and how to turn perceived liabilities into helpful assets.

Michelle Segar, Ph.D.

Leading Researcher on Sustainable Behavior Change

Michelle Segar is one of the world’s leading researchers studying the science of how to Optimize healthy behaviors. She is a Professor at the University of Michigan and author of No Sweat, which documents her decades of research into what actually works when trying to change health behaviors.

In the Optimize Coach program, Michelle coaches us on how to make healthy behaviors feel like a gift, what people get wrong when building healthy habits, and how to use self-care hierarchies to identify what’s most important.

William B. Irvine, Ph.D.

Professor of Philosophy + Leading Expert on Stoicism

William B. Irvine is a professor at Wright State University who teaches, writes, and most importantly, actively PRACTICES his philosophy of Stoicism. He’s the author of many books including The Stoic Challenge and A Guide to the Good Life.

In the Optimize Coach program, Professor Irvine teaches us stoic psychological tools for dealing with emotion, how to fully-appreciate the moments of our lives, and how the tool of psychological framing can transform our experience of any event.

Dr. Nasha Winters

Metabolic Health Expert + Cancer Treatment Specialist

Dr. Nasha Winters is a best-selling author and the visionary CEO of Optimal Terrain. As a thought leader in personalized precision medicine, Dr. Nasha works to educate doctors and researchers on how to apply integrative oncology both philosophically and therapeutically.

In the Optimize Coach program, Dr. Nasha coaches us on how to use the 6 Best Doctors framework and the Test → Assess → Address protocol to build healthy immune systems and Optimize the terrain of our health.

“Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU for this coaching opportunity! Dr. Nasha Winters is amazing and I so appreciated the opportunity to ask specific, personal questions on Optimizing my internal health 'terrain.' I’m profoundly grateful for this time!”

Kelly Stahlman
Kelly Stahlman

Disability Consultant

Pilar Gerasimo

Health Journalist + Author + Podcaster

Pilar Gerasimo is a world-classs health journalist and the founding Editor-in-Chief of Experience Life magazine. (Which has earned over 100 awards and reaches over 3 million people across the world.) She’s also the host of the Living Experiment podcast (w/ Dallas Hartwig) and the author of The Healthy Deviant.

In the Optimize Coach program, Pilar teaches us skills and tools to conquer the Unhealthy Default Reality of our society—like Ultradian Rhythm Breaks and the Trouble Clock—so we can give the world our very best.

Donald Robertson

Expert Practitioner (and Teacher) of Stoicism

Donald Robertson is one of the world’s leading thinkers, writers AND practitioners of Stoic philosophy. He’s also a cognitive-behavioral therapist, and integrates Stoicism into his work with individuals.

In the Optimize Coach program, Donald teaches us practical applications of stoic wisdom—including how to be committed to the process while remaining unattached to outcomes, the importance of cognitive dissonance, and how we can let go of destructive habits.

Patrick McKeown

Leading Authority on Optimal Breathing

Patrick McKeown is one of the world’s leading authorities on the science of breathing. You may not think breathing is that important but, well, you’d be wrong. There’s a reason why the most recent Noble Prize was given to researchers studying the power of oxygen on optimizing our health.

In the Optimize Coach program, Patrick teaches and coaches us on the biochemistry, biomechanics, and cadence of optimal breathing so we can feel, think, focus, perform, and be at our best every day.

Alan Cohen

Best-Selling Author + Master Coach + Spiritual Teacher

Alan Cohen, M.A., is the best-selling author of 27 popular inspirational books, including the best-selling The Dragon Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Spirit Means Business, and Why Your Life Sucks. He contributed to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and his work has been featured on Oprah.com, USA Today, and The Washington Post.

In the Optimize Coach program, Alan coaches us on how to trust ourselves, the power of listening to our internal voice of love (instead of fear), and practical tools for making decisions without stress and struggle.

The Luminary Coaching call with Tal Ben-Shahar showed me that happiness is not a state we suddenly achieve — life is an up and down process. And seeking happiness is a continual journey. Happy people have clear goals but don't seek happiness just in the achievement of the goal.”

Katharina Cugliari
Katharina Cugliari

Educator

Joe De Sena

Founder of Spartan + Endurance Athlete

Joe De Sena is the founder and CEO of Spartan--the world’s largest obstacle race and endurance brand. He is also a New York Times bestselling author of Spartan Up, Spartan Fit and The Spartan Way. His racing resume is the stuff of legend—over 50 ultra-events overall and 14 Ironman events in one year alone. Angela Duckworth calls him a “paragon of grit.”

In the Optimize Coach program, Joe inspires us with stories of perseverance, teaches us how to motivate youth (and ourselves) to cultivate grit + resilience, and coaches us on how to embrace challenges head-on.

Tripp Lanier

Men’s Coach + Author + Podcaster

Tripp Lanier is a professional coach, host of The New Man Podcast, and author of This Book Will Make You Dangerous. He’s spent thousands of hours coaching people all around the world to get out of the rat race, become an authority in their field, and make a great living doing the work they were put on this earth to do.

In the Optimize Coach program, Tripp coaches us on and how to own our unique stores (as coaches + leaders), how we hold ourselves back from getting what we really want, and to create more freedom, love, aliveness, and peace in our lives.

Gabriele Oettingen, Ph.D.

Leading Positive Psychologist + Creator of WOOP

Gabrielle Oettingen is one of the world’s leading researchers focused on the science of visualization, goal setting, and making your dreams a reality. She is a Professor at New York University, wrote Rethinking Positive Thinking and created the WOOP process.

Eric Maisel

Master Creativity Coach + Author of Over 50 Books

Eric Maisel is a master creativity coach and author of over 50 (!!) books on the creativity, mental health, and critical psychology. He’s a regular contributor to Psychology Today and leads acclaimed workshops all across the globe.

In the Optimize Coach program, Eric teaches us his secrets to creativity, and coaches us on conquering thoughts that don’t serve us, exiting the comfort zones of our coaching ability, organizing our creative projects, and discovering the creative projects that help us stay alive.

Lanny Bassham helped me see how life was working FOR me, not against me. Since then, I’ve been sharing that with EVERYONE I know. And visualizing the practice/work toward my goal, not the outcome.”

Pattie Beaven
Pattie Beaven

Animal Behavior Expert + Professional Coach

Paul Napper, Psy.D. + Anthony Rao, Ph.D.

Leading Experts on Psychological Agency

Paul Napper is a leading psychological consultant and coach for business leaders, and received his doctorate from William James College. Anthony Rao is a cognitive-behavioral therapist, received his Ph.D. in psychology from Vanderbilt, and regularly appears as a featured expert on documentaries and other media. Together, they’ve held academic positions at Harvard Medical School and authored The Power of Agency.

In the Optimize Coach program, Paul and Anthony teach us how to cultivate agency + remain adaptable amidst disruption and coach us on navigating meaningful conversations with love ones, creating opportunities in times of crisis, and separating ourselves from the pack.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D.

Positive Psychologist + Bestselling Author

Sonja Lyubomirsky is one of the world’s leading positive psychologists. She got her Ph.D. from Stanford and is the bestselling author of The How of Happiness and The Myths of Happiness.

In the Optimize Coach program, Sonja coaches us on cultivating deeper connection in our relationships, how to best process sadness, and how we can go about growing our happiness levels.

Christine Hassler

Master Coach + Best-Selling Author

Christine Hassler is a best-selling author, master coach, and podcast host who is committed to guiding people and organizations into their highest potential. Christine has appeared as an expert on The Today Show, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, E!, and PBS.

In the Optimize Coach program, Christine teaches us the relationship between suffering and passion, the power of observer consciousness + working with our inner-child, what most new coaches get wrong, and how to enroll new clients by coaching through objections.

Robert Biswas-Diener, M.D.

Leading Authority on Positive Psychology + Coaching

Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener is known as the “Indiana Jones of positive psychology.” He’s the author of seven books, including The Courage Quotient, and occupies a uniquely practical position in the psychology world as both a published researcher and practicing ICF certified coach.

In the Optimize Coach program, Dr. Biswas-Diener drops practical wisdom for being happier and coaching more effectively--including sharing the upside of our dark sides, how we can use emotions as information, how to connect authentically with our clients, and what it means to hold hands with our limiting beliefs.

Tom Morris’ energy and soul force came screaming out of the screen during our Live Coaching call!! I connected with him personally afterwards, and he was so nice and approachable.”

Toni Eastwood
Toni Eastwood

CEO of Beyond 2030

Caroline Welch

Mindfulness Expert + CEO of the Mindsight Institute

Caroline Welch is the CEO and Co-founder of the Mindsight Institute, helping thousands around the world bring more kindness, compassion and resilience into their daily life. She began her mindfulness practice forty years ago while working in Japan, and is the author of The Gift of Presence.

Ben Bergeron

Performance Coach to the World’s Fittest Athletes

Ben Bergeron has been coaching athletics since 1990, and coaching elite CrossFit Games athletes since 2009. He has coached five different CrossFit Games champions, including Katrín Davíðsdóttir, Mat Fraser, Cole Sager, and Brooke Wells.

Desmond Clark

Former NFL Tight End + Author + Coach

Desmond Clark is a former star NFL Tight End, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist. He’s the author of Principles of Winning, and is deeply committed to helping people live better lives by making good financial decisions.

Dan Siegel, M.D.

Neuroscientist + Mindfulness Expert

Dr. Dan Siegel is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and one of the world’s leading neuroscientists and mindfulness experts. He created the field of interpersonal neurobiology and is a New York Times bestselling author of many books including Mindsight, The Whole-Brain Child, and Parenting from the Inside Out.

“The Optimize Coach program has been like a race to the start line. With profound learning and direct support from Brian, Michael, our Swim Buddies, and the entire Optimize Team. The experience has been reaffirming and life-changing. And now as the program comes to an end, we’ve reached that wonderful realization that it is only the beginning. The race starts now.”

Greg Martin
Greg Martin

Educator, Entrepreneur & Executive

Nir Eyal

Best-Selling Author + Speaker on Psychology, Technology, and Business

Nir Eyal is a world-class expert on the intersection of psychology, behavior design, and technology. He’s the author of two bestselling books: Hooked (which teaches businesses “How to Build Habit-Forming Products”) and Indistractable (which teaches individuals “How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life”). Nir previously taught as a Lecturer in Marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford.

Travis Macy

Professional Endurance Athlete + Coach + Author

Travis Macy has completed over 120 ultra-endurance events in 17 countries. He’s the author of The Ultra Mindset and has broken records in Leadman (an epic endurance event consisting of a trail running marathon, 50-mile mountain bike race, Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race, 10k road run, and Leadville 100 Run, all above 10,200' in the Rocky Mountains).

Barry Michels + Kristan Sargeant

Sought-After Psychotherapy + Coaching Team

Barry Michels is a leading psychotherapist and bestselling author of The Tools and Coming Alive. Kristan Sargeant is a business coach & consultant and co-founder of The Guilde. Together, they combine the best of coaching, psychotherapy, and positive psychology to help people unleash their untapped potential.

Michael Bungay Stanier

Coaching Expert + Best-Selling Author

Michael Bungay Stanier is the Founder of Box of Crayons and best-selling author of The Coaching Habit and The Advice Trap. He was a Rhodes Scholar and in 2019 has been named the #1 thought leader in coaching.

The unexpected benefit to joining the program was the super charged accountability I suddenly felt to up level every area of my life. I already had good habits and was doing many of the things Brian teaches, but the program increased my accountability and awareness of the little details I could increase. I love that this program requires accountability! I have already started my own coaching program based on the optimize principles and feel my work has enormous resonance because I’m living everything I teach. I so appreciate the emphasis on moving from theory to practice and that we must be the change we want to see in the world.”

Brooke Snow
Brooke Snow

Identity and Habits Coach

Dr. Dale Bredesen

Authority on Neurodegenerative Disease

Dale Bredesen, M.D. is on a mission to end Alzheimers, once and for all. In his book The End of Alzheimers, Dr. Bredesen shines light on how we can not only prevent and treat Alzheimers, but REVERSE it.

Dr. David Perlmutter + Dr. Austin Perlmutter

Father-Son Physician Team + Bestselling Authors

Dr. David Perlmutter is a Board-Certified Neurologist and bestselling author of 5 books. Dr. Austin Perlmutter is a board-certified internal medicine physician. Together, they’re a powerhouse father-and-son team: New York Times bestselling authors of Brain Wash, and world-class experts on brain health.

Get Direct Support from Expert Luminaries

Optimize Coach features both a pre-recorded core curriculum and Live Coaching calls, where you have the opportunity to connect directly with our faculty for 1:1 support conquering your biggest challenges and stepping towards your most exciting opportunities. Live Coaching w/ Luminaries takes place multiple times per month throughout the course of the year.

“Alan Stein’s wisdom on eliciting client to officially "agree" to receive coaching — including the questions he uses for this — has helped me coach more courageously and powerfull, while treating others as sacred!”

Aneesah Wilhelmstätter
Aneesah Wilhelmstätter

Creativity & Transition Coach, Writer, Artist

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Our Commitment

We’re committed to giving you our absolute best in helping you become the most virtuous, heroic, energized, best version of yourself — so that you can most powerfully help others do the same, and so that we all have the strength to change the world together.

We intend to make Optimize Coach the most astonishingly priced program in terms of money invested to return on your life.

And, very importantly (!!!), the cash you invest will be the SMALLEST part of your investment. Expect to pay a LOT in terms of time and energy and courage and grit and actually DOING THE WORK.

In fact, if you *are* doing the work and *haven’t* noticed an impact on your life within the first 60 days, we’ll refund your payment. (And if at any point during the course of the program you decide that Optimize Coach isn’t for you, we’ll work with you to find a solution and make it right.)