Brian Johnson is the Founder & CEO of Heroic Public Benefit Corporation and the author of Areté: Activate Your Heroic Potential. He’s 50% Philosopher + 50% CEO and 101% committed to helping create a world in which 51% of humanity is flourishing by the year 2051. As a Founder/CEO he’s raised $25M+, made crowdfunding history, and built and sold two social platforms. As a Philosopher/teacher, he’s helped millions of people from around the world, trained 10,000+ Heroic Coaches from 100+ countries and created a protocol that research shows changes lives. He lives in the country outside Austin, Texas, with his wife, Alexandra, and their two kids, Emerson and Eleanor.

The Short Story

As a Founder/CEO, he’s raised $20M+ and built and sold two market-leading social platforms. As a Philosopher, he’s served tens of thousands of people from nearly every country in the world with his Heroic membership and trained over 3,500 people from 90+ countries with his Heroic Coach program—which has been demonstrated through research to change lives.

His YouTube channel has 225,000+ subscribers and 20 million views while his podcast has another 14 million downloads. He was also featured in the documentary Finding Joe on Joseph Campbell and the modern hero’s journey alongside Deepak Chopra, Laird Hamilton, Tony Hawk and the late Sir Ken Robinson.

His podcast Heroic with Brian Johnson, which launched as the #1 podcast on iTunes, has been featured as the #1 Health podcast and has over 15 million downloads.

In March 2021, with the support of 2,500+ Founding Investors from 75+ countries around the world, Heroic Public Benefit Corporation made history as the first company to close a $5M Reg CF equity crowdfunding as part of their $11M Seed round.

The Slightly Longer Story

As a Philosopher:

Brian 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. He started sharing what he 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, Brian created his second business, Zaadz, a social platform for people who wanted to change the world.

After selling Zaadz to Gaiam a few years later, Brian decided to give himself a Ph.D. in Optimal Living—integrating ancient wisdom, modern science and practical tools to optimize and actualize. As part of his Master’s project, he distilled 100 of the best books on optimal living into 6-page PDF summaries (and 20-min MP3s). He called these “Philosopher's Notes” and created a profitable business sharing the wisdom he was learning as a demonstration that we can get paid to do what we love in service to the world. Brian’s Ph.D. dissertation was a simple book called A Philosopher’s Notes and a class he taught called “Optimal Living 101” (which is now an integrated part of the curriculum at Harvard-Westlake).

Over the last decade, Brian created 600+ Philosopher's Notes. And, he also created over 50 Optimal Living 101 master classes on everything from optimizing your energy and confidence to your productivity and happiness. He also created the Heroic Coach certification program that has been joined by 10,000+ people from 115+ countries around the world and is scientifically proven to change lives.

As a Founder/CEO:

When he wasn’t reading/writing/teaching, Brian raised $25M+ to finance the creation and sale of two market-leading social platforms (eteamz + Zaadz), then Optimize, and now Heroic.

A 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 him as the CEO before selling to the Active Network in 2000.


A 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 helped people Optimize every aspect of their lives with more wisdom in less time. Our premium Wisdom membership served over 100,000+ individuals from every single country in the world. Acquired by Heroic in 2021.


Heroic is a social training platform that integrates ancient wisdom, modern science, and world-class, scientifically proven behavioral design tools to help you show up as the best, most Heroic version of yourself.

We’re also a history-making, crowdfunded Public Benefit Corporation committed to helping create a world in which 51% of humanity is flourishing by the year 2051 as we strive to run our business the way we think our heroes would—with wisdom, discipline, courage, and love.

It’s always Day 1 at Heroic. Learn more and join us today at