Jason tells us how detoxing from social media changed his life, about Insta-Coffee-Hobbes, and why sharing life with his girlfriend, Caroline, makes him happy.
Jason Zook is an action taker who does lots of awesome stuff. You might know him as the â€˜T-shirt Guyâ€™ from that time of his life he got paid to wear a ton of t-shirts. Heâ€™s also sold his last name twice and written a fully sponsored book about his entrepreneurial journey, which was crowdfunded by 204 companies. Most recently, he sold his future and is mostly excited to help people find intentionality in their lives. He also loves Cheez-its and Skittles. If you want to know more about him, head to Google and search his name (there arenâ€™t a lot of Jason Zooks out there.).
Many things make Jason happy and he wasnâ€™t sure what to pick when Bernardo asked him to be on the show. So, he picked a few things and started by sharing the person that makes him the happiest: his girlfriend, Caroline. He mentions they live an amazing life together and are intellectually compatible. When Jason was running his business on his own, he was super overwhelmed. A company that made $1.2 million on paper left him about $100,000 in debt. She helped him work through handling this debt and in turn he has helped with her own, awesome projects. Mostly they laugh together, are super grateful, and try to have fun.
Next on Jasonâ€™s list of things that make him happy is creating the perfect morning. Weâ€™re not talking going to Tahiti and eating massaged pineapples. A few years ago, he felt that although his life was going well, he wasnâ€™t altogether happy. He asked himself what he could do for 5 â€“ 10 minutes each day to make his day a little brighter. He calls it Insta-Coffee-Hobbes, a routine that has been life changing, and this is what it looks like:
- Hewakes up without an alarm because, who invented that in the first place? What an awful way to wake up in the morning.
- He looks at Instagram for 5 minutes to see pictures of puppies and cars. Aka only positive things and not pictures of Donald Trump.
- He leaves his phone somewhere else while he goes to make his coffee.
- Making his coffee is a long process and he reads Calvin and Hobbes comics or something of the like while he waits for the water to boil.
A few escapes that make Jason happy are reading The Oatmeal or the Wait Buy Why blog. Both in the same vein, The Oatmeal is a series of comics that are simply out there and NSFW. (not so much in a porn type of way, more like weird penis fairies.) The Wait But Why Blog is more intellectual by way of fun things such as the use of stick figures. These are his technology go-toâ€™s. Otherwise he goes for a walk when he needs a break or he takes a 30 day break from social media to detox.
Jason believes social media detoxing is an important thing as he considers it our next addiction. In fact, heâ€™s written an article on how-to take a break from social media that receives lots of organic traffic. After his 4th social media detox, he tries to do at least one or two a year, taking breaks in between, like weekends. Practically speaking, itâ€™s just not good to be that attached to something. If you want to try it out for yourself, Jason suggests deleting your social media apps or at least moving them to another page on your phone. Or, if you want to keep them, Google Chrome offers a plugin that takes away your newsfeed and only shows an inspirational quote.
Why did he do this in the first place? There was a negative fog Jason felt throughout the day. What he believed, and what ended up working, is that if he invested in his morning, his life would be better. Before his morning ritual, he felt he his energy was being depleted throughout the day by things that were chipping at it. After investing in Insta-Coffee-Hobbes every day, itâ€™s much harder for outside circumstances have an effect on him. Also, he never feels the need anymore to start his day by reacting to social media posts.
The thing is you donâ€™t have to do it forever. Jason suggests the most important thing about establishing a positive ritual or detoxing from social media is that you do it enough to conquer the addiction. Although it may feel uncomfortable in the beginning, it is something that will help you look up and feel free in the long run. Or if you do want to do it forever, you can. Jason, for example, may not be using the internet at all in a few years and would love to move to a remote island (He thinks his grandma would totally dig the handwritten letters.). Per Bernardoâ€™s suggestion, maybe this will be Toledo in Spain.
We circled back and asked Jason a few things like what he enjoys about reading The Oatmeal and Wait But Why. He loves that they are relatable and funny. For example, they might have an article about robots taking over the world but offer a deeper look into A.I. Funny, but informational. He also enjoys that there is no agenda. The writers behind these two publications are simply looking to provide information. In his own writing, Jason enjoys doing something similar: being a normal guy, whoâ€™s curious and relatable.
The second thing we circled back to was Caroline. We were curious to know their story and Jason was happy to share. While they were both living in Florida, Caroline direct messaged him on Twitter to do a speaking engagement. After she haggled with him and got him to accept less money for his time, they kept in touch and began dating after some time. He was bogged down with his business and she proposed he hire her to help him run things. Theyâ€™ve pretty much been inseparable ever since. Their decisions, from discussing how much money theyâ€™ve made to whether or not a new water pitcher should be purchased, are made together. While there are no set long term plans for their future because theyâ€™re into living in the moment, Jason does hope to have enough projects actively generating income and allow them to have an even better lifestyle.
What else makes Jason happy? The beach, when heâ€™s putting something unique into the world that people are enjoying, and memories of reading Calvin and Hobbes as a kid. If you want to know what Jason is into currently, visit his website jasondoesstuff.com.
Links / Read / See / Hear
From Jason: Google him! Or go to jasondoesstuff.com.
Jason Zappolo for editing and mixing this episode; follow Jason on instagram.
Orly Margulis for social media support; follow Orly on linkedIn.
RocÃo CastaÃ±eda for ongoing support; follow RocÃo on instagram.