Mabuhay, I’m Jason Vitug!
- Bestselling and New York Times reviewed author
- Award-winning entrepreneur
- Founder of phroogal.com & The Smile Lifestyle
- Traveled 40+ countries
- TEDx speaker
- Certified breathwork & yoga teacher
- Storyteller and aspiring filmmaker
Stop working harder just to buy things to comfort you; instead, work hard to create a life that needs less comforting.
How I can help you
Knowing who I am, what I stand for, and what I do ensures success when we work together.
I’m a wellness storyteller helping people transform their lives towards self-acceptance, creativity, and purpose.
I’ve given 150+ talks, written two bestselling books, driven 28,000+ miles, and broke the social taboo about money. I create. I read a lot, listen to podcasts, learn on YouTube, and binge-watch sci-fi shows, specifically Star Trek. I meditate, practice yoga, and hike.
I make a living through my writing, speaking, and businesses. I often work with finance, wellness, and lifestyle brands. I partner on special projects. I create in-the-box, outside-the-box, forget the box-even- exists wellness programs.
I’m grateful that I get to pick the work I do, the people I do it with, and when I do it. This hasn’t been an easy journey, but I’ve learned a thing or two, and it’s my mission to share them with you.
You can access my work on this website and on my financially-focused websites (thesmilemoney.com and phroogal.com). For more in-depth wellness courses, you’ll find my online academy on thesmileuniversity.com.
What you’ll learn from my writing
- How to better yourself and go beyond your perceived limits
- How to love yourself unconditionally
- How to find your calling and purpose in life
- How to travel the world and gain experiences
- How to reach financial independence
- How to stop stressing about money
- How to forge your own path
Who I am
After years in the rat race, I made the unthinkable decision and got off the traditional path. I didn’t want to wake up one day realizing I chose the convenience of “comfort” of the known over the challenges of the unknown. It’s in this space I’ve discovered my capabilities, pushed my boundaries, and grown my mindset. It has transformed me and empowered me to create my life… on my terms.
- Author of You Only Live Once, a bestselling New York Times-reviewed book
- Author of Happy Money Happy Life, an instant bestseller
- Bylines for US News, Business Insider, Medium, and more
- Associate Producer for documentaries (my IMDB profile)
- Produced award-winning shorts
- Took a gap year in the middle of my career
- Backpacked through 20 countries in 12 months
- Visit 40+ countries as of 2023
- 4x cross-country US road trip (one with my parents)
- 3 years of non-stop daily meditation practice
- A happy caregiver to my parents and a loving dog-dad
- Founder of phroogal.com with over 1 million visits
- Founder of The Smile Lifestyle (thesmilemoney.com and thesmileuniversity.com)
- Creator of the Road to Financial Wellness project
- Entrepreneur of the Year awarded by the Urban League of Union County Young Professionals
- 2x Winner of Best Collaborative Project, Plutus Foundation
- Successfully crowdfunded $78,501 in 30-days through Indiegogo
Professional education and certifications
- Bachelor’s in Finance, Rutgers University
- Master of Business Administration, Norwich University
- Project Management Certificate, Villanova University
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Certificate, University of South Florida
- Psychology of Financial Planning Certification
- Certified Breathwork Specialist
- Certified Yoga Teacher
Want my professional history? Connect with me on LinkedIn.
My other interests and projects
You’ll find my articles on this site covers these interests.
- Having a business as a means to support their lives and adds value to their community.
- Supporting entrepreneurs through Kiva.org – 54 loans in 46 countries (view my profile).
- 50+ entrepreneurial events as a collaborator, keynote speaker, panel participant, and fireside guest.
- 20+ mentored business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
- Serving as a board member for the Urban League of Union County in New Jersey.
- Committee member of the Plutus Foundation.
I originally went to college to be a filmmaker, but life had different plans. I now get to dabble. I’m currently working on my first screenplay alongside the memoir I’m writing.
I want to connect with more filmmakers who envision sharing overlooked and underrepresented stories.
I’ve backpacked, couch-surfed, road-tripped, cruised, and ridden the train in many parts of the world.
Travel gives us the opportunity to have experiences. Some of these experiences can turn into memories. These memories appreciate over time. Memories have value and can be exchanged with others that build connections. And often, these connections open up new opportunities to travel.
In my quest to feel better about myself, I’ve read, watched, listened, and attended classes, and I share what I learn with others.
You’ll notice how much of my writing is about pondering our existence, thinking about daily life, and enjoying the small wonders I discover.
History and Astronomy
I love learning about the past because I believe it gives us insights into our present-day condition and potential future.
And you’ll find me gazing up at the night sky and pondering the universe’s origins and the possibility of life beyond our planet.
My travels and lived experiences have reinforced a belief there is something more.
Spirituality, for me, is much more than following a religion; it’s about how we can connect with ourselves, others, and the world, thus reconnecting to something greater.
I read research papers and books to learn ways to better myself. If we aren’t growing, then we’re dying.
My interest is varied to include neuroscience, cognition, behavioral psychology, singing bowls, breathwork, nutrition, and fitness.
7 Days to Financial Wellness: The email series to make your money smile.
- Day 1: Money Mindset: Understand your money relationship
- Day 2: Manage Money: Think cash flow, not budgets
- Day 3: Earn Money: Build your income strategy
- Day 4: Grow Money: Invest for your future
- Day 5: Borrow Money: Use credit as a tool
- Day 6: Protect Money: Safeguard your assets and family
- Day 7: Happy Life: Your path to health, wealth, and freedom
Kickstart your wellness journey!
Enroll in a free 7-day financial wellness email series sent to your inbox written by me from The Smile University.