We had the privilege of talking to Paul McCabe, CEO of Pulseroll to discuss his exciting brand, top business tips, securing investment from Anthony Joshua and what it’s like working with the champ!
Interview by Ben Farrin
Hello Paul, firstly, thank you for your time. I’ve recently learnt about your business and products and everything Pulseroll related looks very promising! Maybe you can start by telling us about your products and what problems they solve?
Our products are designed to help keep people moving and doing more of what they love, such as playing sports, going to the gym, walking the dog or even just going to the shops. They relieve pain by reducing muscle stiffness and cause the muscles to relax which can have a huge impact on a person’s general well-being.
As well as many highly credible partners you’ve got 2-time World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Anthony Joshua as an investor and global ambassador. How did you land the investment deal with AJ?
I was at the English Institute of Sport meeting another boxer when AJ and his team walked in by chance. Five hours later, and after picking off his team one by one to prove I had the right intentions, I got the chance to meet the great man. Since that day four years ago, he has been using our products. I never cashed him on social media and always remained respectful. I think AJ and his team saw that I was a hard worker, passionate, lived and breathed Pulseroll. I then approached him in 2020 about becoming an investor. With him using the products for 4 years, liking what the brand stood for and the journey we were on he decided to invest.
What was the process like when pitching to raise investment for Pulseroll Limited?
Extremely exciting. With AJ, it started in a meeting with his management team in 2019. We then sent a presentation deck in 2020 sharing our journey to date, explaining our vision and the potential in our category as Pulseroll moved from just fitness to fitness & wellbeing. I think our validation in various scientific studies also added to our credibility.
What is the aim and vision for your business?
While I set financial targets, I do not live my life by targets as I believe there is no ceiling on what can be achieved in life. Our industry will be a $4 billion USD industry by 2024 and I know that Pulseroll will be one of the leading global brands in 2021. My vision is to help not just the elite athlete but the everyday man and woman in the street to be able to do the things that they love as pain free as possible, and to the maximum of their potential. Whether it be in sports, fitness, playing with your children or grandchildren or even to help you sleep better, Puseroll is about premium quality but at affordable and realistic prices. We all know how being in pain and not being able to do what we love can affect our mental health and if we can slightly help improve that for somebody that is suffering then this would be very satisfying.
How much focus goes into the product development, and as the business CEO and founder, where does your main focus lie?
R&D is massive and can be overlooked but you have to keep thinking and keep moving….
You need to plan for what is next, what is exciting, how do you improve on what you feel is already the best product on the market. I very rarely, if ever look back on life, (possibly it is not the healthiest attitude) but I spend very little time dwelling on success or what is right but rather how do we move forward to keep being hungry, while always staying humble and appreciative. As a CEO with a fast growing team, I am very fortunate that my team is very talented, hard working and I make sure they understand they are all accountable and if they do not perform to their best. They are not just letting themselves down but also their teammates as every role in work has a knock on effect to the next person up or down the chain or next department. My role now is very much as the driving force, to keep my energy levels high, and always lead from the front with performance, results and positive energy while we continue to nurture our brilliant team spirit and philosophy.
What impact has the pandemic had on your business, and how have you dealt with any challenges you might have faced, along the way?
In life I always spend energy on what I can control, I could not control the terrible pandemic but I could spend the time when most of the world was shut down to work behind the scenes, catching up on work I never had the chance to do, planning for the future on both the short, mid and long term wins. As always I find the aspects of life to appreciate while having empathy for others. I never took a day off and was at my desk every day of the pandemic, I relish working at the weekends as it is the extra that you do that ultimately makes the difference.
You’re clearly a very driven, determined and passionate business owner and entrepreneur – what top tips would you offer to young people wanting to launch their own business?
I have had my own businesses for 20 years, however it took me 15 years of having my own businesses until I found my true passion when Pulseroll was born in 2016. Why has Pulseroll gripped me so much, very good question! The most important thing is that you have to love what area of business you are going to get involved in, you have to embrace challenges, you have to make sacrifices and welcome them rather than feel sorry for yourself. Appreciate the opportunity you have, ignore negative energy, surround yourself with like minded people, for example, a business coach I have is a priceless resource and soundboard.
Be yourself and stay true to yourself, do not try to be somebody that you are not, you are unique for a reason. Embrace getting out of your comfort zone, don’t let things that don’t work to plan knock you down but importantly do become a very fast learner. Treat people the right way, always look at the other side of the coin, what is in it for the other side for them to help you / work with you. Visualise what the end point might be, it could be X £ or X retailers and then reverse engineer this by manageable chunks, write your wish list down, use a journal to make notes, weekly, monthly and yearly targets.
Who in the business world inspires you?
Great question, I don’t study too many people although I am just starting to listen to more podcasts. The Richard Branson book was inspiring, he was a very normal guy in many ways that was passionate, committed, became very successful but always stayed true to himself with his character and who he is, he created and lived his brand. He doesn’t try to come across as a know it all business man as many others suddenly become when they are successful. I also learnt a lot about having a positive mindset and how to keep things simple from a brilliant guy called Norman Vincent Peale (he died in 1993 aged 95!)
You’re clearly very active on LinkedIn. How important is it, in your opinion to be active on social media and what is your top LinkedIn tip?
LinkedIn is important but equally, if not more so at times, can be your personal social media account as it can give a real insight into your life and what you stand for as a person. Social media can be a window into your life if used and portrayed in an honest and organic way. LinkedIn is important as this is your business shop window as building credibility is key but it is also important to support others back on LinkedIn as why should they support you if you do not support them back.
What’s the best and worst day you have had whilst running your business?
I have never had a worst day that springs to mind, you have setbacks but in the blink of an eye I force myself to reset, appreciate, learn, don’t let others bring me down (as they have no right to) and I go again. Take all feedback non emotional (not to heart), shrug off opinions that you do not care or respect and learn from the ones that you do value. Preparation I would say for meetings and presentations is key, know your stuff and the answers to the questions that pop back to you, if in doubt be honest and say you will get back with the information. How you process and let go of disappointments is vital as if you can not do this then it will destroy your business and your wellbeing.
The Best day……… Great question as so many…. Every day my 4 year old little girl comes to visit me in my office is my best day followed by the day that the AJ deal was sealed! AJ for me is not just a sporting icon but a phenomenal role model as a man, I wrote his name on a white board just after I set up and to then have him use my products, meet him and then become my business partner was and still is a dream come true, while I also will appreciate the support from 258 MGT and AJ’s internal team who helped this dream come to life. I have many proud moments, being stopped at a train station or airport as somebody recognised my Pulseroll clothing and telling me that they love our products is very humbling. Reading our Trust pilot reviews is always a proud moment as is seeing world class athletes and sports clubs use our products, I can honestly say that I am living my dream, I do not look at Pulseroll as a job but more of an extremely hard working and very challenging hobby.
Moving away from business for a moment, I noticed you liked a comment on LinkedIn about the Tommy Fury VS. Jake Paul fight. What is your opinion to these kind of fights (and contracts)?
Being an old fashioned boxing fan I think it is awful for and embarrassing for the sport, social media ‘boxers’ are fast tracking above boxers that have given years of their life to their sport yet are being overlooked. Boxing is a dangerous and serious sport and should not go down the Wrestling route, Fury v Jake is no interest to me neither is 2 social media fighters who create beef between themselves
On the boxing front, and bringing things back to business, how much involvement does AJ have as an investor, and what’s it like to work with him?
AJ is the dream investor and business partner, from both close and afar he keeps his eye on what is going on, the ‘pressure’ of having AJ as a partner is something that I relish, embrace and love, part of me works so hard to repay his trust in me. He could have cashed in and received millions of £ to work with another brand yet he decided to actually invest money into Pulseroll, all very surreal to me.
He is always chatting about various ideas, new products, improvements, he is extremely business savvy and like me is always looking to find the 1% improvements in life. The 258 Team are also involved with Pulseroll on a weekly basis, their support, network and belief in Pulseroll is priceless, welcomed and appreciated.
AJ knows that Pulseroll is on a phenomenal trajectory of success and that our journey is going to be an exciting, fun and high energy journey.
What are your short, medium and long-term goals for Pulseroll?
Ha, great question! I am so driven I just take it 1 day at a time, I know that if I keep learning and delivering to my maximum every day then the results and success will take care of itself. Within the next few months my internal team in many ways will be able to fend for themselves, our successful and winning global Pulseroll machine is almost built, then I might be able to relax an extra 0.001%! However, I am so obsessed and in love with Pulseroll so I will never take my foot off, it is an extension of my family as is all of my Pulseroll Team. I have goals of X retailers and X revenue but for it is to continue being the very best version of me while helping my team become the very best versions of themselves. As my daughter Estela, has already learnt to be such a good delegator, I could see her being the CEO of Pulseroll one day and bossing me around! In the mid term I would very much like to focus part of my time with charity projects, this is both my mid term goal and long term destination, it doesn’t matter who gets the help as there are so many people so less fortunate.
Thank you for your time, Paul. It’s been a pleasure catching up with you and I look forward to seeing your business grow from strength to strength.