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Making Sustainably Profitable LIFESTYLE Decisions with Nathan Shields

The guest on today's episode of the Profit by Design Podcast is Nathan Shields, the host of the Physical Therapy Owners Club podcast. Nathan has made some really interesting choices when it comes to both lifestyle and business. And he is with us on the show today to share his experience about making the kind of lifestyle choices that are sustainably profitable. We tackle some really juicy topics with Nathan today, about getting out of comfort zones, creating successful partnerships, and investing in ourselves through coaching. We also discuss trying to implement things that we've read on our own, versus getting help and bringing in an expert or a coach to help with our business.

Nathan is a Physical Therapist and he and his partner, Will Humphreys, co-founded Rise Rehabilitation Specialists in Arizona in 2002. They merged and sold Rise Rehabilitation Specialists in 2018 to form Empower Physical Therapy, which now has 20 plus PT clinics across 3 states. Nathan co-founded Rise Diagnostics in Alaska in 2014 and he is currently CEO. In conjunction with his extensive training and experience in orthopedic physical therapy, Nathan is an APTA Board-Certified specialist in Clinical Electromyography (EMG/NCS) and is proficient in Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Diagnostic Testing (MSKUS). He is one of only a few physical therapists across the nation who perform these diagnostic services.

Show highlights:

  • Nathan shares his story about building a business, selling it, moving to Alaska, and starting a new business there.
  • What Nathan did in order to start pulling himself out of his business.
  • The indicators that showed Nathan that he needed to pull out.
  • He saw that staying in his comfort zone would ultimately not serve either him or his family.
  • Working on his vision and mission, and building a team.
  • Nathan brought on a truly visionary partner.
  • What got Nathan to Alaska.
  • The difficulties Nathan experienced around making new choices in his life.
  • Nathan offers some sterling advice around creating successful partnerships.
  • The importance of a potential partner having values that are in alignment with your own.
  • Some of the best business practices that Nathan teaches on his podcast.
  • Nathan shares some tips and strategies for growing a really profitable business.
  • There's a significant return on investment when it comes to investing in yourself through education, coaches, and consultants.
  • Dr. Sabrina shares an experience from when she was first starting out in her business, where she invested a third of her business revenue into coaching and her business revenue doubled the next year and continued to grow.
  • Nathan and his business partner also paid for some of their executives to get coaching and consulting as well.
  • It pays off in multiple ways to train your team up very well.
  • Making the mistake of thinking you can implement the ideas that you have read in a book into your business by yourself.
  • Why it's so hard, as a business owner, to make applicable the things you have learned from books without the help of a coach.
  • Nathan talks about the kind of books he likes to read.
  • You're never done with growing a business.
  • How moving to Alaska has helped Nathan to grow.
  • The importance of family in Nathan's life- he has six sons and a daughter!
  • Nathan is looking forward to his next big venture.
  • Looking at the things that energize us.
  • Dr. Sabrina recognizes the importance of having the time to really be there for your family.
  • Nathan would have encouraged a younger version of himself to overcome fear by getting coaching, training, or consulting, and networking more.


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Apply at for a Profit Audit of your business.

Apply at to be 1 of the 5 business owners Dr. Sabrina works with in 2019 to triple profit, identify your business Sweet Spot, and put the team and systems in place so you can take a 4 Week Vacation.

Books: E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

            Good To Great by Jim Collins

            The Four-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris

            Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey

            Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Get in touch with Nathan:

Nathan's podcast:

Nathan's email:

Nathan is also on Linkedin

About The Author

Dr. Sabrina Starling, The Business Psychologist and international best-selling author of the How to Hire the Best series and The 4 Week Vacation™, is the founder of Tap the Potential and host of the Profit by Design podcast. At Tap the Potential, we work to free business owners from the constant demands of a growing business.

We believe work supports life, not the other way around. Clients in our Better Business, Better Life coaching program have more time for what matters most and more money in their bank account than they’ve ever had. Next, we send them off on a 4 Week Vacation™ to celebrate their hard-earned journey to take their life back!

Dr. Sabrina and her team at Tap the Potential are on a mission to change the story of entrepreneurship from one of long hours, grinding it out, to one of sustainably profitable businesses that support and enhance life. The Tap the Potential Solution™ and our Tap the Potential Family of Business Owners are disrupting small business as usual. We are on our way to making the Tap the Potential Solution™ the mainstream model for growing business.

By 2023, 150 Tap the Potential clients will have taken 4 Week Vacations. These are the trailblazers, role modeling what’s possible for entrepreneurs. In many entrepreneurial circles, it is becoming more and more common for one entrepreneur to ask another, “Have you taken a 4 Week Vacation™?” (as opposed to asking “How many employees do you have?” or “What is your annual revenue?”). Taking a fully unplugged 4 Week Vacation is rapidly becoming the recognized symbol of entrepreneurial success.

Never one to accept the status quo or back down from a challenge, Dr. Sabrina’s How to Hire the Best series grew from her desire to solve the toughest hiring challenges interfering with her clients’ growth and profitability. What sprang from her experience working with entrepreneurs in rural areas catapulted her into becoming the world’s leading expert in attracting top talent in small businesses—no matter what hiring challenges those businesses are facing—and earned Tap the Potential’s reputation as the go-to resource for entrepreneurs committed to creating Great Places to Work with thriving coaching cultures and highly engaged team members working from strengths.

As The Business Psychologist, and with her years of driving profit in small businesses, Dr. Sabrina knows what it takes to find, keep, and motivate exceptional performance out of your biggest investment—team members.