Jason Zook

Human Billboard


Photography by Kathleen Carney

While moving around quite often as a kid and experiencing a more-than-normal amount of change early on in his life, Jason grew up living in six different states and went to four different high schools. His interest of the Internet came early but instead of sticking with it, he went the “safe” route and got a college degree that accompanied a 9-5 job. After over three years at said job, Jason ditched that world and has been an entrepreneur for a decade now.
Jason founded IWearYourShirt.com, where he wore shirts for over 1,600 brands and brought in over $1,000,000 in revenue. Interesting enough, he sold his last name twice in 2013 and 2014 after a family divorce in which he netted $100,000 and led him to his final last name (Zook). Jason wrote the first-ever fully sponsored book; 204 companies supported his idea for SponsorMyBook.com, making over $75,000 before writing a single word for it (let alone selling a single copy). Creativity For Sale is not a best-seller and he says he is  “damn proud of that.”
In 2015, he sold his future on BuyMyFuture.com. It’s his way of letting people buy access to his life’s work (past and a future) for one price and they’ll never pay him again. The first year was last year and 165 people bought. It will open again this year in the fall.
Jason spends the majority of his time writing and helping entrepreneurs take more action in their businesses at JasonDoesStuff.com. He has two podcasts: Invisible Office Hours and The Action Army. He is currently enjoying a minimalist life living in San Diego, with his amazing girlfriend Caroline and their dog Plaxico. Whether you want to buy his future or not, check out him and his ‘minimums’ – he is an interesting cat, nonetheless.

Calvin & Hobbes Collection

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I grew up looking forward to the Sunday newspaper so I could enjoy that week’s full-page Calvin and Hobbes comic. I remember as a kid feeling like I was Calvin; always daydreaming and coming up with my own adventures. I own every Calvin and Hobbes book that’s been printed and recently got this hardcover collection as a gift. I still crack a smile while flipping through the pages of Bill Watterson’s amazing comic.

Buy Now$60

Forever Spin Top

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My friend, and fellow Minimums alum, Jeff Sheldon told me about these cool spinning tops he’d seen on Kickstarter. I missed out backing their campaign, but was able to order a few of them from their website. When the idea for BuyMyFuture.com came to me, I knew I wanted to send a physical gift to the folks who purchased. I sent all 165 buyers their own Forever Spin Top in stainless steel, and they’ve enjoyed having them on their desks as much as I do.

Buy Now$225+

Purple Cow book

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It’s hard to say Seth Godin’s book Purple Cow isn’t the most influential book in my life. Two and a half years into a dead-end 9-5 job in 2006, this book landed on the desk in my cubicle. I think I got about seven pages in before slamming the book shut and saying to myself, “I am a purple cow, I am unique, I need to make a change in my life.” Truthfully, I don’t think I’ve read the book since then. But I keep it as a memory of where my entrepreneurial journey started.

Buy Now$14

Wallet Ninja

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I will completely admit I almost threw this thing away when I got it as a gift a few years ago. It’s not sexy. It’s not beautifully designed. But hot damn, it just works! I keep this little tool in my wallet and find myself using it all the time for random tasks. Most recently it helped me put together a piece of IKEA furniture. Plus, it’s safe for travel, which is really convenient.

Buy Now$7

Cotton Bureau for Shirts

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When I was running my IWearYourShirt business, I was promoting a company every day via the t-shirt I wore. For nearly five years I didn’t have to make a decision on the upper half of my wardrobe. In 2013 I shut that business down and remember the moment standing in my closet wondering what shirt I would wear. I had heard about Cotton Bureau because I was always on the lookout for interesting t-shirt companies. I love their business model and love supporting fellow creatives, designers, artists, etc by “backing” them and their t-shirt designs. The Y’all shirt by designer Katherine Rainey is my favorite so far.

Buy Now$26

Shark’s Tooth Collection

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In 2000 I moved to Jacksonville, Florida for college. I had previously lived in New Jersey and desperately wanted to live in a place that was warm all year round and near the ocean. During one of my first trips to Ponte Vedra Beach (just southeast of Jacksonville), a friend bent over and picked up this shiny black object off the sand. I thought it was just a shell of some sort, only to find out it was a fossilized shark’s tooth. Every trip to the beach after that included time hunting for shark’s teeth in the sand. The bigger teeth in my collection were only ever found after a hurricane. Fun fact: When a shark’s tooth is black in color, it’s estimated that it’s at least 10,000 years old!

Shop Now$25+

Bronson Weekender Bag

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I’d been searching for a very specific type of duffel bag for a long time. I wanted something with a specific color of leather and a bag that was hand-crafted in the USA. I was introduced to Blue Claw Co. through a friend. I ended up doing a custom order for my SponsorMyBook project, and then they released this absolute beauty of a leather duffel bag. The Bronson Weekender bag is the perfect duffel for a short trip. It looks great, the leather is incredibly soft, and I know it’s a piece I’ll be able to keep and pass down for many generations.

Buy Now$495

Portraits from @rustamhasanov on Instagram

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The Instagram Explore page is one of my guilty pleasures. I don’t spend much time on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social platform these days, but I will get sucked into 20-30 minutes of scrolling through the Explore page. One morning I stumbled upon an interesting looking sketch and clicked through to see more from the artist. I commented on one of the sketches in the artist’s feed and asked if he did commissions. We exchanged a few emails and a few days later a postcard arrived in my mailbox. I loved the look and style so much, that I commissioned the artist again to do a portrait of my girlfriend and our dog. This is our way of having a family photo in our home, without having a standard framed photo of us on a shelf.

Shop Now$20+

Gray Converse

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I used to be obsessed with shoes. In college I think I owned about 60 pairs at one point. It probably didn’t help that my part-time job at that time was at Athlete’s Foot (still a horrible name for a shoe company). When I discovered Minimalism in 2013, I decided to get rid of my shoe collection and try wearing just one pair of shoes all the time. I love the simplicity and timeless design of the Chuck Taylors.

Buy Now$50

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