We spoke exclusively to British Entrepreneur Amish Patel, Award-winning aesthetics artist and Founder of one of South-East of England’s most prolific aesthetics and beauty clinics, Intrigue Cosmetic Clinic, and the driving force behind his newest ventures; Intrigue Travel, Intrigue Health, and Intrigue Fitness.
Where did your entrepreneurial journey start?
“I had always been a hard worker. When studying for levels, I held a part-time job working 20 hours a week in addition to full-time at sixth form. I held this job right way until I qualified and then entered full-time employment as a pharmacist. In that part-time employment, I quickly worked my way up the ladder to become a floor supervisor and was one of the youngest in that position within the company. I always just wanted to be the best I could be, and this mindset has remained with me from the age of sixteen to today.”
“I’ve always been interested in taking on a challenge too. At university, three friends and I organised a charity event at the Royal Albert Hall in London. This was probably the biggest task I had ever undertaken as a university student, but it was a huge success and raised valuable funds. I guess that was the start of my entrepreneurial journey.”
How did you raise funding to set up Intrigue Cosmetic Clinic?
“I was fortunate to take over the family business of a community pharmacy. In the early part of my career, I raised the pharmacy profile and built the business up to a new level. I set up an eCommerce site, introduced numerous services, and won many awards.”
“I used profits from my pharmacy to go on to launch Intrigue Cosmetic Clinic.”
What was your biggest fear when you first launched the business, and how did you manage this fear and worry?
“My biggest fear was competing in an industry with many established and renowned individuals. However, as the business grew, my mindset changed; I realised that everyday clients would entrust me with injecting their faces. I knew I had the skills, qualifications, and experience, so it was about changing my mindset more than anything.
Aesthetics is work that I enjoy and an art form. I know from client feedback and the awards I have won that I have a natural talent for this area. When you focus on your robust skill set, you nurture and grow, and the fear dissipates and disappears.”
Intrigue Cosmetic Clinic has been featured consistently in the national and international media. What advice can you give other entrepreneurs looking to grow their presence and profile?
“Work within your skillset. You can’t be a master of everything. This is where delegating and selecting individuals who can strengthen your business comes into play. Utilize others for their expertise, and let your specialty and knowledge speak for themselves. “
You have expanded your aesthetics and beauty business into the health, lifestyle, fitness, and travel industries. How did that expansion into new territory come about?
” I get bored quickly, and my brain never stops; I’m always thinking, ‘what next?’. I love the process of creating ‘that next thing’, developing it, growing it, and, once established, focusing on the smooth running of the business to enable more free time again. I get bored again, and so, the cycle starts again.”
“In the case of intrigue lifestyle, the cosmetic clinic was unfortunately closed during the UK Pandemic lockdowns. Driving to work one day, I thought, what can I do? What fits into what I’m currently doing? Equally, I don’t want it to be too hands-on for me where I’m doing everything; I want it to be something where I can bring experts in and embrace their expertise. And it was on one particular drive into work that the luxury wellness concept of Intrigue Lifestyle was born. As a healthcare professional, wellness is integral to everything we do—a little ‘out of the box thinking about what wellness means to me and others. And so the umbrella company pulled in travel for relaxation and mental well-being. Fitness not only brings about improved health and wellness but mental wellness. Intrigue Health incorporates all of the pharmacy’s services. We also sell a curated collection of wellness products on Amazon to support people with self-care well-being within their own home.”
What is the driving force behind your entrepreneurship mindset?
“Just wanted to be the best I can. While I have the energy, I will keep going and growing until I simply can’t give any more!”
What does a typical day look like for you?
“I strongly believe in balance. Mornings offer some family time with family time at the breakfast table and the school run. Work is then Monday to Friday, 9 am – 6 pm. Some evenings I have to work late, or if I’m training aesthetics students in London, I may be home later, but when I can, I always try and get home for family time, putting the kids to bed. I also like to work out regularly and cook a nice meal for my wife, so my evenings are precious and organized. Every day is different for me; Managing a variety of businesses means that no day is similar! My weekly diary generally comprises a mix of aesthetic appointments, media interviews, and business meetings. Running various companies also has benefits in that no day is the same. One day, we can focus on onboarding a new personal trainer or reviewing a unique luxury holiday location to offer our clients.”
Did you make any business mistakes along the way, and how did you overcome them?
“As a business owner, I’m sure I have made more than I care to remember. But speaking with others, sharing experiences, and learning from friends and colleagues is how we all grow together.
The biggest mistake in the early days? There were two:
1: Not finding that balance in my day. This leads to fatigue and stops one from growing.
2: Trying to do everything myself. While managing costs in the early days, it is also important to realize that getting experts to do particular jobs perfectly rather than you in a mediocre way will lead to better growth and less stress.”
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
“I think becoming an entrepreneur involves finding that balance of work and family, so I ensure that it doesn’t affect our family life. Are you truly an entrepreneur until you find that important equilibrium and can book out your downtime?”
What piece of advice would you give someone just starting out?
“Keep at it. There will always be highs and lows in business, but you just got to keep going. Believe in yourself, and invest in your knowledge and the people in your businesses.”
What top three skills do you think you need to be a successful entrepreneur?
What lessons have you learned on your business journey?
“I’ve learnt to take note of who and what my competition is and does but not to obsess over them. I’ve learnt to become more agile in my business choices, so if something doesn’t work, then to review, learn from it and move on. The biggest lesson? To believe in yourself and your business.”
“I also believe you need to use your position and good fortune to the benefit of others; for example, I sit on various boards as a way to pave the profession for the next generations, and Intrigue Cosmetic Clinic is also a charitable partner for WOW (water on wheels) a wonderful charity helping families in India by supplying water barrels on wheels and we have already supplied ninety-two wheels to date, though our contributions.”
Are there any leading business figures, activities, books, or podcasts you recommend reviewing for further knowledge or inspiration?
“My inspiration comes from the people I meet through work and the friendships that have been grown through a shared love of the unique entrepreneurial journies we have all experienced. I don’t have time to read books or listen to podcasts as I am always forging ahead with my thoughts and business journey. For me, being inspired by people I know and respect has a far greater impact on me, and these aren’t necessarily all hugely successful business individuals; for example, my father inspired me from a very early age and encouraged me to pursue my business dreams.”
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
“As I’ve mentioned, I take inspiration from all around me, friends, family, and business figures. All have one thing in common; success only comes with hard work, dedication, and finding that one thing you are good at.”