In this episode, I’m talking with Jean-Michel Chalayer. From a young age Jean-Michelle wanted to be an international businessman like his father, and he made challenging moves with his bachelor and masters studies to realise his aspiration. However, the tedious computer work and grueling hours of his first full-time role as a consultant, didn’t match his expectations. 

Seeing entrepreneurship as a better path to realising his international business ambitions, Jean-Michelle sought and found an opportunity to serve his fellow consultants, and other busy professionals, and Le Salon, London’s leading beauty treatment platform was founded. 

If you’d like to learn how to start and scale a 10 person, seven figure business, that’s returning to pre-COVID levels of a 100-200% year-on-year growth, like Jean-Michelle’s  Le Salon, then this episode is for you!


  • Staying true to childhood aspirations (02:12)
  • The importance of following what you want to study over school prestige (06:40)
  • The dual value of apprenticing to both apprentice and employer (09:20)
  • Using a masters to shoot higher earlier in one’s career (12:02)
  • Seeing consultants as business doctors (14:02)
  • Having an entrepreneurship plan B (15:57)
  • Financial incentives fuel short term desire but not long term fulfilment (16:42)
  • The importance of understanding the day-to-day work reality of future career paths (18:34)
  • Ensure you’ll find plenty of enjoyment in the early years of a career path or you won’t last (19:58)
  • The importance of sticking it out somewhere early in your career (22:27)
  • When you don’t enjoy something, you’ll probably not become very good at it (23:45)
  • Make friends with entrepreneurs if the career path interests you (24:42)
  • Purpose is about experiencing the positive impact of the work you do for others (26:54)
  • Business is all about people, people helping other people (29:32)
  • The journey into entrepreneurship normally begins well before the idea (30:02)
  • A problem you’re experiencing might result in an idea for a business (31:57)
  • How to find the right co-founder(s) (34:07)
  • Platform businesses and the need to serve two different types of customers (37:17)
  • Learning about your customers through social media (38:02)
  • The value of business incubators, and how applications can kickstart businesses (39:52)
  • Incubators vs accelerators (41:32)
  • How to overcome the lack of focus that sinks most entrepreneurs (43:02)
  • The value of getting comfortable with uncertainty and how to do it   (45:09)
  • The one thing he’d do differently – Focus more on customer interviews (49:35)
  • The importance of creating the time and space for one’s entrepreneurial journey (56:14)
  • Will a job like consulting help me to be a better entrepreneur? Probably not (1:00:37)
  • If you don’t know your path yet, focus on fundamentals (1:01:41)
  • Defining a businesses value proposition – Le Salon (1:02:30)
  • Structuring and scaling a business to 100-200% year-on-year growth (1:03:48)
  • Adapting to COVID and moving to ‘remote first’ (1:05:05)
  • Re-opening for business in the UK (1:08:25)
  • Connecting with Le Salon in the UK (1:10:51)



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