Fitvision Business of Wellbeing Podcast Takeaway Tips from Bobby Kerr

The Business of Wellbeing Episode 3:


On the third episode of The Business of Wellbeing Podcast we caught up with Bobby Kerr who is the former CEO of leading coffee company, Insomnia.

Insomnia Coffee started as ‘Perk’ over 20 years ago in 1998, eventually having over 100 stores by the time Bobby sold his share in Insomnia Coffee in 2017. In this episode of the Fitvision Business of Wellbeing Podcast, we learn of how Bobby balanced a successful business, family life and how he managed to fit in hobbies like sailing and running, which has now led to him participating in the Dublin City Marathon this year!

In this episode, we take a look at Bobby’s philosophy towards the workplace and what constitutes a happy workplace as well as a successful one. We also delve into topics such as mind-set, resilience and goal setting, with Bobby giving us some of his tips on how we can promote and look after our wellbeing, both professionally and personally.

Here are 5 of the key takeaways for Personal Success from our chat with Bobby:

Dedication and Discipline

Bobby highlighted in our chat the importance of being dedicated when it comes to looking after your wellbeing. He mentioned how he actually schedules his runs into this diary, so they become a priority and he quotes if you have a meeting at 12 o’clock ‘I won’t let you down, I’ll be there’- so why should our exercise routine be any different? Why shouldn’t we ‘schedule a meeting with ourselves’?  What was also interesting about our chat with Bobby was the discipline he had on himself. He mentions how he would schedule his managers meeting on Thursdays at 2 O’Clock and it had to be finished at 4:30 so he could get to Dun Laoghaire to fit in his sailing.


During our chat, another key point Bobby highlighted was the process of how he decided to work on the business rather than working solely in the business. He quoted “2+2=5” in relation to when he teamed up with Insomnia, he realised in order to see the bigger picture and become a bigger entity, he would need another resource in order to grow. This resource was in the form of a partner, but Bobby also highlighted the importance of having good planning and effective systems in place to help focus on the long-term vision of the business. In Bobby’s case, to be most productive, taking a step back from the day to day running of Insomnia shops, allowed him to actually take 10 steps forward- something very evident considering they ended up with over 100 shops!

Support Networks

Bobby touched on the area of his family life and how vital they were in the success of Insomnia. He credits his wife Mary and his daughters who were of huge support throughout the growth of Insomnia. Again, something we have seen with our previous CEO’s, having a good support network around you in vitally important and can have a major impact on someone’s wellbeing.

Goal Setting

A huge area we focus on in our podcasts is the area of goal setting. We discussed this with Bobby and his response was refreshingly honest. He admitted that he had always planned for growth. He always wanted to expand his coffee empire but to what extent? Bobby said “I wasn’t here for just one shop” but he constantly had to ask himself “how many can I open? How many can I afford to open?” Bobby advised you have to be realistic. You want to strike while the iron is hot but you don’t want to over trade and walk a tight rope. Bobby gave us a parting message in this area of the fact that you have to exceed your own expectations…but don’t over exceed them.

Parting Advice

One common question we ask our CEO’s on the Fitvision Business of Wellbeing Podcast is what advice they would give someone starting out in business. Bobby gave us an insight into what he feels is key to being successful in business- Work as hard as is possible. It’s as simple as that. Bobby feels that for the first 2-3 years, it has to be front and central to everything you do. He believes that you need to commit yourself fully to achieving your goals and not only working hard and but working smart also. Bobby believes your work ethic speaks volumes about you and the goals you will achieve. He also highlighted the importance of being able to switch on and off when running your own business, something which he feels is so important for anyone’s wellbeing.

Other areas he mentioned:

·       Attract people and keep people, be a good employer. Never make your workplace a place where people don’t want to be.

·       Work in good places - where you’ve worked is just as important as what you did.

·       “Every business is different but yet the same”.

The FitVision Business of Wellbeing Podcast: