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How This Entrepreneur Turned Past Trauma Into A Meaningful Business


For Mau Pan, an addictive personality was embedded from the start. From video games as a kid to partying in college, Pan always seemed to immerse himself into whatever consumed his focus. Eventually this turned into a three-year long downward of substance abuse and reckless behavior. 

With a sudden epiphany at hand, Pan decided one thing: his life needed to change. 

“I realized how those 3 years of self-indulgence were leading me towards self-destruction,” says Pan. “I experienced a moment of clarity that I hadn’t before.”

Pan knew he had a long road ahead of him, but with his drive to explore a deeper purpose and self-awareness of his addictive personality, perhaps he could wield it for the better and channel it into something meaningful. 

The Road to Recovery 

Navigating the more profound questions of life following his revelation, Pan discovered that his life goal, his purpose in life, was the pursuit of optimizing himself — becoming the best version possible to positively impact the world. 

“To meaningfully impact this Earth, one must become the best version of oneself,” he says. “This mantra eventually became the north star of my life, to upgrade four integral parts of the human experience—body, mind, heart, and soul.”

However, and as reflected nearly every day by the news coverage of the ongoing opioid crisis in America, the road to recovery is not an easy one. After 3 years of drug abuse, Pan’s mental and physical states were eroded. He was able to slowly taper himself off the drugs but soon realized just how degradative his experiences had been on his life. 

“At first, my brain was in complete haywire,” he says. “My neurotransmitters — the brain’s chemical messengers — were dysfunctional from the years of drug abuse. The social anxiety I used drugs to mask came back tenfold, my thinking was cloudy, and I could barely focus on a single task for more than a few minutes at a time.”

Pan understood that the task ahead of him was a daunting one, but was fueled by that subtle addictive personality — driving an obsession to improve his life. And he dove deep into self-optimization. 

Through a consistent confluence of cold showers, working out, reading a book a week, a ketogenic diet, daily meditation, and a regimen of nootropic supplements, Pan slowly began rebuilding his mental and physical state. 

“My memory started to come back, and I could focus for longer periods of time,” says Pan. “I developed a disciplined drive to accomplish things, and for the first time in ages, I felt fulfilled, productive, and sociable in my daily life.”

Soon enough, Pan started on a journey to transcend his limits. “Over the next half-decade, I did what I thought would have never been possible while I was in my drug-addicted state.”

Journey to an Optimal Life

Within 5 years of weaning himself off drugs and changing his life course, Pan co-founded multiple businesses in a range of industries, learned to play piano at the associate diploma level, and went from barely being able to lift a dumbbell to deadlifting 500 lbs.

“It’s been an incredible journey filled with joyful experiences and an ever-increasing wealth of knowledge,” he says. “But I didn’t want to use everything I’ve gained only for myself.” 

The ultimate point of human existence to Pan is to share that knowledge, collectively improving society and building stronger bonds. But how could Pan translate his entrepreneurial and life story into a broader, more health-oriented impact on society? 

Enter Philip Shehadeh 

Growing up as an athlete, Philip Shehadeh, 34, was accustomed to pushing his limits. He always looked for ways to break through his barriers–physically and mentally. From an athlete to an Anthropology student in college, to the boardroom and later as an executive, Shehadeh constantly sought alternatives and holistic ways to maximize the body and mind’s potential. Then, he met Mau Pan. 

Pan introduced Shehadeh to new formulas he had been avidly researching. After trying these combinations, Shehadeh found them more effective than anything else he came across. He was passionate and believed everybody should have access to Pan’s mix of nootropics. 

Shehadeh took on the role of a business mentor for Pan to compliment his existing knowledge of product marketing. The blend of their matching determination sparked an immediate interest between the two, thus forming a longtime friendship. It became clear that they were both insatiably curious about nootropics and holistic supplements. 

The duo explored the idea of starting a nootropics supplement company together, but that if they did, they would need to breach the market with a premium, science-backed supplement set. 

According to Shehadeh, “We’re in the early innings of a nootropics revolution. We’re just at the tip of the iceberg.” 

They knew their journey with nootropics would resonate with others looking to optimize their lives with tools available for them. This is how Nuoptimal was born.

Today, combined with Pan’s 6 years plus experimenting with cognitive enhancers and nootropics supplements, backed by clinical research, Nuoptimal may have hit on something big. 

The culmination of their efforts? metaBRAIN. 

“Containing a collective 31 nootropic ingredients, this bundle of supplements has completely changed how I perform and feel on a daily basis,” says Pan. “Combined with the 15+ tactics for an optimal life detailed in the metaBRAIN box, I’m confident you’ll experience powerful results as well.”

Nootropics and a healthy regimen got Pan out of a life or death quandary that few drug addicts ever escape. With those dark 3 years in the rearview mirror and a life never imagined ahead of him, Pan still remembers the mantra that got him to where he is today:

“To meaningfully impact this Earth, one must become the best version of oneself.”

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