Dr. Akil Palanisamy is a Harvard-trained physician, author, speaker, and holistic medicine expert. After becoming an MD, he felt that his education had been lacking in the areas of diet, nutrition, and the mind-body connection, and he went on to study holistic integrative medicine to fill the gaps. He now has a thriving practice in San Francisco, provides online classes, and is the author of “The Paleovedic Diet”, which integrates the best of conventional and holistic medicine. His interview inspires us to embrace growing our businesses slowly and organically to allow for more strategic and well-managed expansion.
What inspired you to become a holistic entrepreneur?
I have always loved science and after a few years in the lab realized that I missed being around people. After studying medicine I realized that it was missing a lot in terms of diet, nutrition, the mind-body connection etc. – studying holistic integrative medicine helped fill in all those gaps. I also was very inspired by some of my mentors in integrative medicine such as Dr. Andrew Weil, who I eventually trained with.
Tell us about your business.
I see patients in my office in San Francisco and also offer online classes that usually relate in some way to my book, “The Paleovedic Diet: A Complete Program to Burn Fat, Increase Energy, and Reverse Disease”
Can you share any strategies you’ve found to be particularly effective for growing your client base?
Social media and also my blog at doctorakil.com has been very helpful. I think just focusing on putting out content on my blog that I’ve personally found interesting and that I think will be of value to others has been productive. Not tracking my metrics like number of followers etc. every day and not getting overly focused on those, but keeping my attention on the quality of the content I’m creating.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in running your business?
Overwhelming influx of patients into my practice and not being able to see everyone because of an immensely long waiting list.
How have you overcome those challenges?
Starting to see patients in groups, publishing my book, and creating online classes so that more people can get the information I’m sharing without having to see me one-on-one.
What were some of the first mistakes you made that you would tell a new holistic entrepreneur to avoid?
One key thing is to not grow just for the sake of growing. It’s important to have a well thought out strategy about expansion and not take on too much. It’s okay to grow more slowly and organically if it’s going to be more thoughtful and well-managed. It’s okay to say no periodically and not take on more than you can handle.
What has been the best piece of advice you’ve received as an entrepreneur?
To be my authentic self every day and focus on putting that part of me out into the world in terms of content. To be still and quiet for at least a few minutes everyday and to go within to connect with that authentic self.
What is your morning routine?
Wake up, drink a glass of hot water with lemon, read some inspiring content for about 5 minutes, and ideally 10 minutes of meditation before starting the day
What is your favorite indulgence?
Most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?
Most memorable place you’ve ever visited?
La Alhambra Palace in Granada, California
Last book you read?
Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsh
If you could only have one kind of food for the rest of your life, it would be…
What is your go-to breakfast?
Hard-boiled egg with oatmeal and nuts
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
The freedom to express myself and the joys of creating something from scratch
Dr. Akil Palanisamy is a Medical Doctor based out of San Francisco, California. You can find out more about Dr. Akil and his practice, Doctor Akil LLC by visiting doctorakil.com or Facebook.com/doctorakil.