Where’s the Beef?

Your mouth waters as you stare at the plate in front of you. You size up a sizzling, juicy burger, grilled to perfection. Charred top, juicy center, enchanting smell. That first bite sends your taste buds into a state of pure joy. Truly one of the best burgers you’ve ever gobbled.

Except it isn’t a burger at all. This “burger” is grown, not fed.

Stanford biochemist and entrepreneur Patrick Brown is now serving up one incredible burger substitute. Brown’s company, Impossible Foods, has spent five years working at the molecular level to craft the best darn plant-based burger in the world. So good you won’t miss the real thing.

Making plants taste like a juicy burger is a mouthful of work. Industry experts said it couldn’t be done, sentencing healthy eaters to a steady stream of cardboard-tasting substitutes. But Brown knew he could crack the code. He wanted to protect the environment, help people live healthier lives, and of course, build one heck of a company. “If people are going to be eating burgers in 50 years, they’re not going to be made from cows,” said Brown. “We’re saving the burger.”

Talk about biting off more than he could chew. But with his eye squarely on the prize, he refused to accept conventional wisdom. He scientifically attacked every aspect of the burger, from the raw-to-cooked color change to the red juices that ooze out when pressed into a fresh bun. He reverse-engineered a plant-based patty that is indistinguishable to the untrained eye… and mouth. His burger has more protein, fewer calories, and less fat than a traditional lean cut burger while being much more friendly to our planet.

Brown has since turned down Google’s offer to buy the company for nearly $300 million since he feels his work to make the world a better place isn’t yet complete. Now that he’s enjoying delicious success, it sounds clear-cut. But in those dark days before he proved out the model, it took intense grit, determination, and tenacity to keep his dream alive. What was his secret sauce?

Too often, we focus on the barriers. The roadblocks and brick walls that hold us back. The zillion reasons that we can’t achieve our vision. And even if we have the guts to chase a dream, it’s easy to become dissuaded when facing early obstacles. Brown did the opposite: each setback simply fueled his commitment. He realized that every failed experiment was a step closer to an elegant solution.

If Brown can convince carnivores that his plant-based products are as good as their beloved cheeseburgers, you can silence the critics as well. With focused creativity, unwavering tenacity, and voracious resiliency, you can get on with the work you were meant to do. To defy gravity. To leave your mark.

Even the seemingly impossible can become your reality if you’re unwilling to accept anything less. Your opportunity awaits. Make no beef about it.