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Chef Robert Irvine is the host of Food Network’s hit show, Restaurant: Impossible. He’s an entrepreneur with numerous successful businesses and founder of the Robert Irvine Foundation, which gives back to America’s veterans and first responders.
In this episode of Motivational Mondays, Robert shares the inspiration behind his book, Overcoming Impossible.
What inspired Robert to write his book?
Restaurant: Impossible has filmed over 320 episodes in the last 13 years. Every week, thousands of people asked him to help save their restaurant or business. So, Robert decided to write a book that covered success stories—as well as failures—to show the determination and grit it takes to succeed.
The book includes case studies of his businesses that started and failed, as well as those of Fortune 500 CEOs who bounced back. It’s not a book that lays out how to find success; however, it focuses on integral pieces of success like empathetic leadership, overcoming your ego, and building trust.
Applying business acumen to your personal life
Robert shares many personal lessons in his book. A balanced life can’t exist as an entrepreneur so you have to set boundaries. Robert has a family and he’s on the road 345 days a year. He’s on the phone with them every morning and night, and when he’s home, he turns off the WiFi, puts away his phone, and immerses himself in family time.
He points out that business isn’t always about making money — it’s about communities. How do you help the person below or above you get better? You have to know your employees and what they want. If you know their struggles and can help them through, you’ll get a better employee.
Robert’s mission to give back
Robert believes when you serve someone a meal that comes from the heart, people respect that. After working alongside Gary Sinise at his foundation, he founded the Robert Irvine Foundation, focusing on the mental and physical health of veterans. A portion of the proceeds from every one of his businesses goes toward giving back to US vets.
Listen to this episode to learn about...
[0:53] Why Robert embraces a people-first approach in business
[2:10] Why there’s so much turnover in the restaurant industry
[4:08] What inspired Robert to write Overcoming Impossible
[8:59] Robert’s early life and career trajectory
[11:20] Robert’s mission to use his businesses to give back
[13:50] How to apply business values to your personal life
[19:00] Fostering authenticity and trust into your business culture
[23:01] Why you shouldn’t accept money from family and friends
Listen to the bonus episode to learn why Robert believes in trusting the people you hire and why he’s not a fan of micromanaging.