But, like many, he struggles on the inside.
"I still have social anxiety," he tells CNBC. "I still don't have the kind of confidence that I wish I had."
Going into business has helped tremendously with his social anxiety.
"Many years ago I made the decision to invest in small business because it drew a parallel for me between my childhood — feeling alone and like an underdog," Lemonis says.
"As I got older and was blessed with different resources and different opportunities," he says, "small business was a nice platform for me because it allowed me to partner with people who I felt shared similar characteristics."
Being able to connect with hardworking people who also felt like they were the underdog inspired him.
"I felt like I would be able to relate to them in that sense and do it on a personal level and a professional level," he says.
In fact, it helped him realize that he could help others push past their own doubts and succeed.
"Everybody likes an underdog," says Lemonis. "I think what I like most about underdogs is helping them become winners, not making them winners but helping them help themselves."