Interview with Dr Qian Xu, Founder and Medical Director of Skin Aesthetics

Read how Dr Qian Xu, Founder and Medical Director of Skin Aesthetics needed to overcome imposter syndrome and believe in herself to build her business – and how a business coach has made an important difference to her success.

What’s your career background?

I am a medical doctor with a background in surgery and emergency medicine. I have been specialising in aesthetics medicine for the past five years.

How did your career change after having children?

Having children made me want to be successful even more. It was really important to me to keep my own identity, and I wanted to set a good example for my children. I firmly believe that it is not the amount of time we spend with our children that matters, it is the quality of that time. So I don’t feel guilty at all for working.

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When did you get the idea for your business?

When I was considering leaving surgery, I wanted to do something that made use of my surgical skills and artistic eye, and aesthetics medicine ticked all the boxes.

How did you move from idea to actual businesst?

Booking onto a Botox and filler course was the easiest part. At that time, I had no business knowledge. So after the course, I was thrown into the deep end and it was sink or swim.

From a business perspective, it was a very steep learning curve for me, mostly from trial and error. For the past seven months, I’ve had a business coach, which has made a world of difference; I have achieved more in the past seven months than I have done in the previous five years.

What’s your USP?

I’m a caring doctor who takes a holistic approach, and will always act in my clients best interest for the long term, even if it means saying no to their requests. I am committed to improving the safety and standard in the aesthetics industry.

Who’s your target audience?

Although I can help everyone, I seem to naturally attract female entrepreneurs or busy corporate women who need to look good for their business or work. I think it’s because they can relate to me better. I also have a special interest in helping people with acne, acne scarring or pigmentation.

How do you spread the word about what you do?

So far, it’s been mainly through word of mouth. Happy clients telling their friends about me is the best form of advertising. Also, I do a lot of networking, and have teamed up with a few other businesses for cross-referrals.

What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?

The little voice in my head. Getting over the imposter syndrome was the hardest thing. Once I started to believe in myself, everything else fell into place.

And your proudest moment so far?

When my daughter told me she was proud of me and wanted to be just like me when she grows up.

Why is work so important to you?

Because I believe I have so much more to give, and I can make a real difference in people’s lives. I find that very rewarding.

Who inspires you?

My father was my inspiration for most of my life. Now my list is much longer. Steve Jobs, Anthony Robins, Richard Branson just to name a few.

How do you balance your business with your family?

I realised that I couldn’t do it all myself. The best decision I have made was getting a nanny to help with childcare. This meant that I could be the fun mum in the little time I have with the kids.

I also have a quietly supportive husband who has had to take on a few more household tasks so that I can get on with the business. They know that I’m doing this for them, and in order for me to do it, I have to put the business first for a while.

What are your three top pieces of advice for someone wanting to do something similar?

  1. Be clear why you are doing this.
  2. Have a vision of what you want to achieve.
  3. Go for it and do whatever it takes!

You can find out more about Skin Aesthetics on their website.