'We had nothing' - Cork businessman Pat Phelan on going from addict to serial entrepreneur 2 years ago

'We had nothing' - Cork businessman Pat Phelan on going from addict to serial entrepreneur

From butcher (and addict somewhere in-between) to total industry leader.

There's no denying it takes immense courage to make a complete U-turn in life, one that's all for the better.


Cork man and tech entrepreneur, Pat Phelan managed to do just that, beginning his first big business venture with Cubic Telecom in 2005 (sold in 2012) and Trustev in 2013.

He admits, however, nothing about being an entrepreneur was plain sailing, either in terms of business or on a more personal level. For Pat, it meant having to come face-to-face with his own demons.

On the latest episode of All In, he acknowledges that he's not a particularly driven person. Still, he has managed to succeed over and over again, and this push to try and do something extraordinary all started with one life-changing moment.

Hear more of Pat's story and the full #AllinBusiness interview here which includes that very-near deal with Google


When asked where he thinks he'd be now if he had never quit drinking, Pat says:

"Dead. I just wouldn't exist."

He grew tired of the amount of effort and money it takes to feed a habit, along with the constant 'waring down.'

Talking about his family he says:


"We had nothing. I had two kids and a wife, they weren't babies anymore and we didn't own a house, we didn't own a car, there was zero... I hadn't provided. My father was a great provider. There was kind of a deep shame and a, 'listen, we better get on with this.'

In 2015, Pat sold Trustev for $44 million but continued to work tirelessly within the company afterwards.

Fast-forward 20 years and the founder of SISU Aesthetic Clinic —  a chain of doctor-led cosmetic clinics that are truly revolutionising the cosmetic beauty industry — has clinics around Dublin, Cork, Killarney and Limerick since opening in 2018.

 Watch the full episode here:

All In, backed by AIB, is available everywhere that you find your favourite podcasts and on YouTube every Wednesday