IAM1655 – Holistic Entrepreneur Focuses on Human Optimization of Health, Wealth & Happiness

Podcast Interview with Nathan Poole-McCullough

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”: It was great to hear about Nathan's story and how that has inspired him to help so many others. It's especially powerful to hear his entrepreneurial story and how he started so young. I love the name of his company and the reason behind the name too. It was also great to hear about how Nathan mentioned a podcast with Tom Brady and how it gave him a leg up on success. Also, entrepreneurship is a marathon.

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Nathan Poole-McCullough Teaser 00:00

I feel like when I work with people, there's no judgment to them because regardless of what they've done, you know, I don't really deprave, I can bring that to and you know, bring that relatedness and bring that ability to bring perspective in dark times or bring awareness and mindfulness when people are going through difficult times.

Intro 00:23

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:48

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and we're doing something a little bit different this year with some of our episodes we're repurposing some of our favorite episodes around specific topics related to entrepreneurship. This month we're focusing on entrepreneurship and community.

Us, we, our, together. And we're gonna look at entrepreneurship and industries in different types of entrepreneurship and ultimately what that really means. But we're also gonna delve deeper into the importance of community, networking niche communities, and how that supports being a CEO entrepreneur and business owner.

So sit back and enjoy these special episodes around entrepreneurship and community.

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Nathan Poole-McCullough of Rising Phoenix Wellness. Nathan, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Nathan Poole-McCullough 01:34

It's awesome to be here, brother. Thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 01:36

No problem. No problem. And what I wanted to do was just read a little bit more about Nathan so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Nathan is a holistic entrepreneur focusing on human optimization. His focus is on removing the blocks from people from achieving optimal levels of health, wellness, and happiness and becoming the best versions of themselves. Nathan, are you ready to speak to the I am CEO community?

Nathan Poole-McCullough 01:56

I'm ready brother.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 01:58

Awesome. Let's do it. So the first question I had was just to hear a little bit more about your CEO story and what led you to start your business.

Nathan Poole-McCullough 02:04

Wow. I guess the real launchpad was I got my master's degree in philosophy in 2012 and wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with that.

In 2008, they took most of the funding away from higher education, and so I got sort of left in a spot where I decided to finish out my education, but was in a ton of debt and was looking at basically, living, being a professor and sort of living the broke college professor lifestyle.

And I think it was about, I wasn't gonna get outta debt until I was about 70 years old or something. And at that time, I played college sports and my body was breaking down a little bit and I got really into nutrition and wellness at that time. So I did a couple of personal development courses and I just decided that I wanted to explore entrepreneurship.

It's something that I did when I was much younger. I sold baseball cards and I started a painting company. Was like when I was 17 years old and paid for the first couple of years of my undergraduate that way. And then kind of lost track of the entrepreneurial way for a while.

Cause I got really fascinated by philosophy and higher education. And then when I came back, I decided to move. I had a friend of mine that was growing up. I was getting ready to launch a company in New Zealand. It was a wellness franchise of wellness clinics and he had been calling me for years to try to get me to come out and partner with him.

And you know, I was just really on the philosophy track and couldn't be persuaded. And then when the economy took a really big downturn, it was enough to propel me to take a look. So I just decided I'm gonna go for it and take a leap into it and that's when, that was my first sort of foray back into entrepreneurship and growing business.

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It was in the area of health and wellness, which was already a big passion of mine, and the rest is history.

Gresham Harkless 4:09

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper and hear exactly what you're doing with Rising Phoenix Wellness. Could you tell us a little bit about how you're serving the clients that you're working with?

Nathan Poole-McCullough 04:17

Yeah, so I think most of my clients are people that have experienced a sort of breakdown in their health or they're coming up against some crisis. Right after I jumped into my entrepreneurial journey, I had a breakdown in terms of my own health. I drinking a lot and getting into substances, and so I used my own path in health and wellness to heal myself, and that really is where I come from now in terms of going through recovery and using entrepreneurship as something to direct my obsessive kind of personality into.

And I got really hyper-focused into healing modalities and a lot of mindfulness practice and doing a lot of spiritual retreats. A lot of the same strategies that I used to get well are the same ones that I use with the clients that I have now. So I focus a lot on, like you were saying in the beginning, working on the blocks that people have.

I tend to get a lot of guys that are in business and they're using different strategies that don't serve them to deal with stress and for whatever reason, I think I just manifest that particular type of people. But that's a lot of my main focus, the talks that I do in public are generally around those areas.

And you know, that's generally what shows up for me. So I do a lot of one-on-one coaching and working with people online. And then I do a lot of group programs as well, where we walk people through detox, holistic cleanses. Things like that usually are a first step into wellness-based recovery and you know, going back to people reconnecting with themselves.

Gresham Harkless 06:08

Okay, that makes perfect sense. And now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this is kind of what you feel kind of sets you apart or distinguishes you or your organization.

Nathan Poole-McCullough 06:18

I think what sets me apart in a lot of ways it's the darkness that I went through. I really feel like, what's that movie with Batman? Where the guy, he's born in the darkness?

Gresham Harkless 06:30

It's not the dark night though, right?

Nathan Poole-McCullough 06:32

I can't remember the guy that wears the mask anyway, when he's fighting Batman, he says, you know, he doesn't have any problem-fighting in the dark.

Gresham Harkless 06:40


Nathan Poole-McCullough 06:41

And Rising Phoenix Wellness is a nomad to, obviously, the bird that comes outta the ashes.

And so I feel like when I work with people, there's no judgment because regardless of what they've done, I don't deprave them. I can bring that to and bring that relatedness and bring that ability to bring perspective and in dark times or bring awareness and mindfulness when people are going through difficult times.

So I think that really gives me, a unique position and thread to work with when I'm working with people because they know that the space is safe, there's no judgment. And, you know, I think also that's given me a really unique advantage when it comes to the rollercoaster that is entrepreneurship.

You really have to have persistence and resilience more than anything. Because yeah, there's gonna be really shitty times.

Gresham Harkless 07:38


Nathan Poole-McCullough 07:38

And so I think in my coaching, I think that's what gives me a really good leg up. And then also just entrepreneurship in general. I really believe that you can't kill me, right?

There's nothing that can keep me down. So I've lived in, four or five different countries. I've slept on couches, I've done everything when I've been getting my business up and going, so, I feel like you can't kill me. So I feel like that's a huge advantage.

Gresham Harkless 08:04

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Now I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but it's something that you feel kind of makes you more effective and efficient as an entrepreneur and business owner,

Nathan Poole-McCullough 08:16

A CEO hack. Well, I think there are two things. I mean, the first one is hopefully people are already doing this, but I'm using Google calendar or something to map your whole life. So when I was going through my early Leadership and coaching programs with a company called Landmark, they really drilled into me the use of time to, like Grant Cardone says, you have to dominate time, right?

You have to be the one that's caused, not at the effect of time because most people do not do that well. And if you can schedule your life and make sure that you're, like, I always teach people, take the five things that are the most important to them, and make sure that that's a number one priority. When you put it in your calendar and then you schedule your clients, you schedule your days around those things, the more your days are scheduled and the more that you have your time mapped down in advance, you can be so much more present.

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When you're with people, you can be so much more effective because you're not in overwhelm, because you know where you're supposed to be and when, and for me, having a really good grasp over that is so critical. You know, I watched, I listened to a podcast one time with Tom Brady. and he said that he has 365 days in his year planned out.

He knows when he is eating, when his practices are, when his press conferences are, and everything is set out in advance. And the person was like, well, don't you think that's a little o c d? And he said, yeah, you can look at it that way. But the other way to look at it is that he knows everything that's coming.

There's a very low chance of being blindsided by everything. He can be present in every moment. He doesn't have to worry about did he forget something. So I feel like that is just a massive skill that the most effective entrepreneurs master and the newbies generally struggle with a lot.

Gresham Harkless 10:04

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And yeah, you can always say control what you can control. And if you can plan out as much as possible and know exactly what you're gonna do and be able to kind of understand that everything's not gonna go according to plan, but you plan out what you can. You know, as he said, Tom Brady knows when his workouts are, and what he's gonna do for the next 365 days of the year.

That gives you an advantage. So I definitely love that CEO Hack. Now, I wanted to ask you for a CEO nugget. This might be a word of wisdom or piece of advice, or if you can happen to a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Nathan Poole-McCullough 10:32

To me, I think the most important thing, and I think I really follow Gary V on this, and that is, it's a marathon man there.

If you're in this for real, if you're gonna be an entrepreneur, you gotta be in for real, which means you're in for the long haul. And it doesn't mean that your business is always gonna look the same in one year's time, two years time, four years time, 10 years time, it's not, God knows, my business has like totally changed from when I first started.

You know, it grows organically. But I think the one thing that I've done well, and I will always teach the people that I mentor, is do not get caught up in like the small stuff. This is a marathon. You're gonna go through times when it feels like it's imploding, and that's okay. You know what I mean?

We've all, we all go through that. It's part of the journey, that's what has people quit and that's what has the people that win, they deserve to win. And I think that's just so huge is being able to keep that mentality intact where it's like, this is a long haul. I cannot be killed no matter what happens.

And you just gotta, if you're willing to keep getting up and keep putting one leg in front of the other, it's like everything's cramped up. You don't feel like there's any fuel in the tank. If you have the capacity, which is all up here, man, it's all psychological to be able to remember that this is a marathon and this is part of the process and everything is happening for me, not to me.

I think people will be just fine, but I think in the grand scheme of things with the sort of immediacy that we have in our culture at the moment, with everything that goes so quickly and everything so fast.

When I'm coaching millennials now, man, more and more I see they wanna make a million dollars in six months. Or they feel like it's not working or you know what I mean? It's just like, that was not in the consciousness when I first started hustling. And I think there's one thing that you can teach young people is don't give up on the massive.

You know, the 10 x and the hundred x thinking and that type of mentality. But like Gary V says, you know what I mean? Do not discount the hundred K a year. You know what I mean? Understand that it takes time. This is a marathon and have that mentality. I think that's the key for me.

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Gresham Harkless 12:46

No, that makes perfect sense. And I think that's a great reminder to, like you've said, the way the world is sometimes, you know, you want everything to happen yesterday or a week ago and, but in reality, it takes time to do that. And it is a marathon in order for you to sometimes reach your goals. So I think that's a phenomenal reminder.

And now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO we're hoping to have different quote and quote, CEOs on this show, entrepreneurs and business owners, and look at what that means. So I wanted to ask you, Nathan, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Nathan Poole-McCullough 13:14

So, man, that's a great question. I think for me, being a CEO means two things in particular, that jump right off the top of my head. One is being a hundred percent responsible for everything. Being able to have the mentality where it's not just the victories that you take responsibility for, especially for me, I'm coaching, I have about whatever, so first definition is you're a hundred percent responsible for everything. That's gotta be the attitude.

And the second thing is that everything rises and falls on leadership. As John Maxwell says, you're the law of the lid. You're the lid. And you have to be self-aware enough to know when you're getting in the way and when you're leading by example.

I think that's just so critical, the idea that you can never ask anybody to do anything that you haven't done or that you're unwilling to do. And so those are the two things that I always keep in mind. I have to lead by example, no matter what, even if I don't feel like it. And I'm a hundred percent responsible for everybody's results, no matter what.

I feel like those are the two mindsets that I'm constantly trying to keep in my own head when it comes to whether am I being effective when I'm doing my own self-analysis in terms of our organization. If I'm doing those two things well generally, things are going pretty well.

Gresham Harkless 14:43

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And I love those two parts of the definition and I think that's a great thing to keep in mind for anybody that's out here hustling, that's the CEO, entrepreneur, business owner.

Nathan, I truly appreciate you for taking some time outta your schedule. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there is anything additional, if you wanted to let our readers and our listeners know, and then also how best they can get ahold of you.

Nathan Poole-McCullough 15:02

I'm on Instagram, Nathan Mccullough on there, and also Facebook. Same. Otherwise, I think that I'm gonna be starting my own podcast soon, so I have Rising Phoenix Wellness Podcast in the mix at the moment, but I'm really inspired by what you're doing. So I'm looking at this idea of being a holistic entrepreneur is my new sort of thing that I'm looking at, you know, I'm a holistic health coach and so I've been trying to integrate, okay, what does it mean to be an entrepreneur?

What's it mean to be holistically optimized and trying to figure out how to holistically optimize entrepreneurship, you know what I mean? Cause so many of us are in business. So being able to optimize our minds and our bodies is so important. So just keep in touch, on Facebook and on Instagram.

Hook up with me there and I'd love to just stay in touch with people and be able to roll out the podcast soon.

Gresham Harkless 15:56

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And we'll have those links in the show notes so that you can follow up with you Nathan. But again, thank you so much for your time and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Nathan Poole-McCullough 16:03

Yeah, appreciate it brother. You're doing a great job, man. Keep inspiring people.

Outro 16:07

Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast, powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I am CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Subscribe and leave us a five-star. Grab CEO gear at This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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