|Occupation||Entrepreneur, author, writer, public speaker|
|Known for||Blogging, Fitness, Entrepreneurship|
Sol Orwell is an entrepreneur and business developer, most known for his work as the co-founder of Examine.com with Kamal Patel. He was recognized as a 2014 Game Changer by Men’s Fitness and profiled by Forbes as a seven-figure entrepreneur.
Orwell was born Ahmed Farooq in Pakistan. His father worked for a petrochemical company and traveled frequently. As a result, Orwell lived in Saudi Arabia, Japan and Houston, Texas before attending high school in Canada. By the time he graduated and began studying computer engineering at the University of Toronto, Orwell was running several popular gaming-related websites. The success of his websites made it difficult for Orwell to maintain his university grades, which resulted in a loss of his full scholarship and nearly caused him to drop out.
After Orwell finished his degree, he sold several websites, retired and became a digital nomad, which allowed him to spend five years traveling the world and living in the United States and South America. Upon returning to Toronto, he purchased Examine.com for $41,000 and began developing it.
Websites and businesses
Orwell’s websites and businesses have included aggregators like Dealcatch.com, virtual currency resellers serving online gamers and local search engines. He has bought and sold many domains and websites, including Beat.com, BusinessLoan.org, and Webmaster.org, but claims he “was never good at [domains]," which is why he focused on business development instead. By "understanding the underlying numbers" for his businesses and tracking data, Orwell is able to focus his time on the metrics that most help a specific website improve.
Current work and philosophy
Orwell has stepped back from an active role in Examine.com to focus on other projects. He blogs about business development in the context of making money online on SJO.com and serves on the advisory board for Schwarzenegger.com as a health and fitness expert.
In January 2016, Orwell inspired "#cookielife", an online movement which resulted in his followers baking and mailing him cookies. Over two hundred individuals participated from around the world, with flavors including chocolate chip, hazelnut, and triple chocolate, in the style of cookies, brownies, and pies. By November 2016, he had posted over 50 pictures of various desserts sent to him via the #cookielife and shared his #cookielife experience in Men's Health. Orwell also hosted a "Cookie Off," inviting 18 bakers to compete in a chocolate chip cookie baking competition. As of February 2018, Sol Orwell retired his #cookielife after receiving over 200 cookies in the mail.
In July 2018, Orwell hosted his Toronto Chocolate Chip Cookie Off, raising over $100,000 for charity.
In 2017, Orwell began to harness #cookielife for philanthropy by hosting another Cookie Off in New York City, inviting 33 bakers to compete and donating the proceeds from ticket sales to charity. The event raised $30,000 for She's the First, a charity supporting girls' education in developing economies.
In 2018, Sol Orwell hosted a chocolate chip cookie off in Toronto that raised over $100,000
Orwell has also hosted a Sausage Showdown, with proceeds going to Community Food Centres Canada.
In 2019, Sol Orwell hosted his "final" Cookie Off in Toronto, raising over $175,000. The final tally raised from his food offs came to over $300,000.
- "About Examine.com". Examine.com. Examine. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
- Sean Hyson. "The examine.com founder is helping to further the public's knowledge about nutrition and supplements". Mensfitness.com. Men’s Fitness. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- Elaine Pofeldt (30 July 2015). "A Young Entrepreneur's Passion For Hacking His Diet Sparks A Seven-Figure Business". Forbes.com. Forbes Magazine. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- Ron Jackson (October 2015). "Dreaming About Turning Your Domain Into a Booming Online Business? Better Call Sol!". DN Journal: The Domain Industry News Magazine. DNJ. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- "About Examine.com". Examine.com. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
- Elliot Silver (10 May 2011). "Examine.com Launched by Domain Investor". domaininvesting.com. DomainInvesting.com. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
- Adam and Jordan Bornstein (March 2016). "22 Qualities That Make a Great Leader". Entrepreneur.com. Entrepreneur Network. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
- Tim Ferriss. "How to Build a Million-Dollar, One-Person Business – Case Studies from The 4-Hour Workweek". Tim.blog. The Time Ferriss Show. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
- Sam Solomon. "Sol Orwell: Co-Founder of Examine.com". SignalTower.co. Solomon & Company 2016. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- Sol Orwell. "About SJO.com and Sol Orwell". SJO.com. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
- "#cookielife". Facebook.
- Sol Orwell. "How I Lost 50 Pounds—While Eating Cookies Every Single Day". Men's Health.
- Rachel Pedersen. "Why Are Dozens of Entrepreneurs Sending This Man Cookies? A Lesson in Networking". Huffington Post.
- Candace Braun Davison. "This Is North America's Best Chocolate Chip Cookie". Yahoo.com. Yahoo!. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
- Sol Orwell. "#cookielife – how I convinced 200+ people to send me cookies and raised $50000+ for charity". SJO.
- Sol Orwell. "How our charity food offs evolved from raising $950 to over $100,000". SJO.
- "Event Spotlight: NYC Charity Chocolate Chip Cookie Off". AllSeated.com. AllSeated. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
- Candace Braun Davison. "Is This The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie In North America?". Delish.com. Delish. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- Sol Orwell. "A night of 30+ cookies, networking, and $30000+ raised". SJO.com. SJO. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- Elaine Pofeldt. "Looking To Make a Difference In 2018? Three Ways Ultra-Lean Businesses Can Give Back". Forbes.com. Forbes. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
- "#cookielife – how I convinced 200+ people to send me cookies and raised $150000+ for charity".
- Elaine Pofeldt. "Creative Ways For Micro Businesses To Give Back". Forbes.com. Forbes. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
- "How we leveled up the Cookie Off and ended up raising over $175,000".