Recycling and reducing waste is one of the key ideas we as entrepreneurs need to embrace. Whether it is recycling our content, our ideas or the food we eat, reducing waste is key in today’s world where we are producing way more than we can consume. This is entrepreneurship in the 20th century.
If you are an entrepreneur, artist, athlete or creative, one who makes something that didn’t exist before, then this is for you
In this volume of The Psychology of Entrepreneurship…
I interview Matt Bertulli about ending waste on the planet & about being an impact driven entrepreneur because:
- Matt is the Co-Founder & CEO of Pela Case, a very fast growing (mid-8 figures) house of brands focused on creating a waste free future.
- He is also the Co-Founder & CEO of Demac Media, one of the top global eCommerce agencies / managed services companies. He started out as a freelance developer 6 years ago and today Demac Media has ~90 employees and ~100 customers which represent north of $6B in global retail sales.
- He is the Author of Anything, Anywhere
- Matt Bertulli is an entrepreneur of the highest order, a fixer of one of the worlds’ biggest problems … and my friend.
In this episode we speak about:
- The psychology of being an entrepreneur and why its become cool to be a loser.
- The failure muscle every entrepreneur needs to cultivate and work
- Why you got to look closely at who can teach you what and where to find your mentors
- Idolising the Elon Musk’s of the world
- Pela Case’s mission of creating a waste free future
- Why your recycling efforts are quite useless
- Understanding food waste and how we have started to take our food for granted
- Kiss the Ground … the documentary
- The impact of Plastic WASTE
- How we recycle plastic at the moment
- Lomi – making composting easier and in everyone’s kitchen
- Solving the worlds’ most meaningful problems
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waste, plastic, entrepreneurs, compost, people, big, psychology, lomi, matt, world, throw, failure, create, entrepreneurship, problem, compostable, recycled, bigger picture, risk, food
Bri Seeley, Paula Veiga, Ronsley Vaz, Matt Bertulli, Gino Wickman
Previously on the psychology of entrepreneurship.
I can’t possibly charge that much. Why not? Other people charge that much? Why can’t you charge that much? When I’m presented with an opportunity, the filter through which I pass it through is does this align with that bigger picture vision? If I say yes to this is it bringing me closer to that bigger picture vision. I was so burnt out all the time, because I was constantly focused on external metrics, and I was constantly placing my worth my value my success on things that were outside of my control. This nefarious man, like the brain works and fucked up,
the mind is one of the most deceiving manipulative pieces of equipment, flesh, which human bodies on Earth, I never have trusted my brain
lives in our head. And you are the decision maker psychology of entrepreneurship.
Hi, it’s Ronsley If this is your first volume, welcome. This is a weekly series where I go inside the mind of an entrepreneur, artists, athlete academic to decipher what is the psychology of our decisions. I’m Australian, and I’d like to acknowledge our traditional custodians of country where I live and work. I pay my respects to elder’s past, present and emerging and acknowledge our continuous connection and contribution to land, sea and community.
Happy 2022 I cannot believe that it is 2022 already. That’s just crazy. Anyway, my wife, Rochelle , and I decided that I would for the his love. So as you are listening to this volume, I’d like you to think of your word for 2022.
My guest today for this volume is Matt Bertulli. Matt is the co founder and CEO of Pela, which is a company dedicated to creating a waste free future, specifically, plastic waste. They produce phone cases, air pod cases, smart watch bands and other tech accessories that are all 100% compostable, these kinds of entrepreneurs are my favorite to talk to because I just love business owners that start their brand with a bigger picture in mind, and not the bigger picture for themselves or their future, necessarily, but the bigger picture for the planet, and the health of this environment. And this conversation started out the way a lot of entrepreneurial centric ones do about failure.
Totally, it became cool to be a loser. It was it was super cool to fail. And and I mean, like it is a good thing too. But I think it’s swung a little too far. In that now you got a lot of people out there spouting off, there’s all kinds of content and shit around failure. And I think it’s just another form of hustle porn. Like, I love the culture, it creates, you know, like, so my family is mostly Italian and they’re self employed. And they built big businesses in Italy. And there are countries in Europe where failure is not celebrated in the way that it is. And in North America, right? Canada, the US, like if you’re an entrepreneur, failure is celebrated, like good for you. But in Europe, it’s a shame thing. And like in Japan, it’s a shame thing. And like, there’s certain cultures where it’s not at all true. And I kind of missed some of that, too. Like, I like that they’re really they don’t want to fail. And at the same time, I appreciate the western side, which is like they’re willing to try insane shit, because they’re okay with failure. So somewhere in the middle is where you probably want to be, I just really don’t like the, like setting setting out to like, I’m going to learn a lot because I know I’m going to fail a lot. And like
I love that entrepreneurs have a failure muscle, and over time, we can flex it a bit more and still overcome failure. I definitely feel like that’s true for me and my journey. I’m not sure that the fear of failure ever goes away. The perspective we have is one of personal glory. If we want to look good, it’s hard to ever fail. So if you don’t know about my $470,000 of debt after my first business, here is a short summary. I had a business which was my passion is my passion, which is cooking. I had a restaurant my first business was at a restaurant, three and a half, four years after operating it one day the doors were shot, and I had $478,000 a debt. That’s the long story short that I’d really learned to become the entrepreneur from that point, because I was three months married to my beautiful wife, Rochelle. And I had to pay all this debt back. And here’s the, I suppose best part of the story is that that debt got paid back in two years in one month. But what I learned in those two years in one month, I could not pay another $500,000 to learn from a university. But more about this failure muscle from that.
Yeah, I’m capacity is definitely the way to think of it right. So like, do you want it? Do you have capacity for it? Like, that’s definitely a big part of being an entrepreneur. And I think over time, it’s a muscle, like the, you know, I was actually I was talking to my personal trainer about this yesterday, when I was there. And he’s asking me like, where do I feel stress? And my comment back to him was like, I don’t know. Like, it’s, it’s I’m so like, I’ve got such a high tolerance for it now. That like my natural path, my naturopath does not like I have to take a supplement to feel stress like it. It’s just because, you know, there are periods of time when you are in like the business building mode, where like you are so high stress that you forget it. And I think you just create muscle, and you get comfortable with it. I don’t I’m with you, though, I don’t think that makes you a risk taker. I actually think like, I mean, I’m in the camp, that most great entrepreneurs are risk adverse, like they’re super risk calculated. And there’s enough great stories out there that would probably back that up from the Richard Branson’s of the world all the way, all the way down. The best story I can I can give on this would be like, you know, Pete, like the company I’m building now. Right, Pella? We are, I’m trying to create a waste free future. So like, when people ask me what I do, I’m like, Well, we’re the Tesla but for waist. And people like, well, that sounds really big. Yeah, I’m trying to make something really, really big and really, really impactful. And inevitably, you get to this whole point, like That sounds really risky. The honest truth is like, Yes, it definitely is. But here’s the thing that most you’re not going to hear very often. I’m only doing that. Like if I’m being brutally honest here, I’m only taking what seems like a big risk, because I have a massive safety net. And then I’ve already sold one company, my partner has already sold one company. If this thing fails, I don’t lose my house. I don’t starve my family. Like none of that changes. And that’s not talked about enough. Like when you look at these big, you know, big name entrepreneurs and the crazy shit that they seem to do, they seem to take on the world, right? And the reality is that if they fail, they don’t care. Their ego cares. But it doesn’t mean they’re on the street.
That’s quite a point. Perhaps your failure muscle is strong, because you know, you’ll be okay. If you fall, if you don’t have the kind of safety net Matt has. It’s much scarier. Right? I don’t know. I think some entrepreneurs make insane risks, while having almost nothing to fall back on the go big or go home mentality, I suppose. Or thinking you have nothing left to lose. So why not go for it?
Matt? Definitely. Man, it’s a this is a thing. Like I, I believe that if you were born in like, I was born in Canada, I was raised in Canada, I have very little excuse. You know, like, there’s a lot of safety nets here. Even from a government perspective, like, we just we have safety nets, and a lot of countries don’t have that. I don’t think that and I think that it’s still tough to run out and take, like large amounts of risk. Particularly, I find there’s some correlation between how old you get and how established you get in your life and how much risk you’re willing to take. For sure. Like, you know, a 45 year old lawyer is probably not going to leave that job to go start a company that’s going to try to like launch a rocket to Mars, probably not. The psychology of it doesn’t mean that that person can’t do it. It just means they probably won’t. And I think that risk and stress and capacity. Like when I think about it, you know, it’s usually I can create it. But I can only create so much of it based on how much tolerance for stress I have in my life for my relationship, right. So like, that’s that muscle is limited by not just like my own personal variables, like I think about people around me and like I’ve got a kid, you know, there’s only so much risk I’m willing to take.
Starting small is the philosophy that is eventually becoming a serious driving force for most startups to succeed today. For example, Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook from the Harvard dormitory. Yet one would assume that Facebook started big based on its current muscle in the social media industry. 17 years down the road Facebook has about 2.8 billion users and the market value worth over $500 billion Successful companies like Apple, Amazon, and Starbucks all have a humble story of their beginning.
At this point, Mac’s are talking about how entrepreneurs tend to idolize
honest to God, man, like, I don’t really even go in the rooms where I see like an Elon Musk, like, honestly, and most I mean, like the average entrepreneur, like, unless you are setting out to solve a massive global problem that is going to be at that scale. What do you think you’re going to learn from him? Like, what is Elon Musk going to teach you? That’s relevant in your life? If you’re a billionaire, and you are trying to launch rockets, dude, great guy to come talk to you. I mean, I’m trying to solve a massive problem. And I still don’t know, man, I think I would rather talk to somebody who is like, you know, maybe two steps ahead of where I am now, not 2 million steps ahead of where I want to be like the to the place that I want to get to, we just we idolize a lot of entrepreneurs who are not idolized. But like they get a ton of airtime because they’re great PR people. But in terms of like lessons to learn from them, I don’t I missing it. I don’t get it.
Okay, so pillowcase has a mission, Matt had a mission, creating pillowcase as a company. Tell us about that mission, Matt?
Have I found a mission that fits the market? And then can I build products that create products, and design waste out of the product from the start, and then make it so that people just see them as simple swaps, that’s how I look at things. It can’t, you cannot do that by only saying, but I’m only doing this for aspirational reasons, then it’s not true, then you actually aren’t about the mission. If you like, when I see a brand, say they want, they’re here to be the most sustainable x of y. And your shit is five times more than the B of y. You’re a liar. Like, flat out man. You’re You’re not telling the truth, if you have a true mission. So like if you’re using sustainability, in our case, as a marketing hook. And like it’s a positioning statement, as opposed to for me, it is actually the mission, like I want to create a future without waste. That’s my mission. Well, in that case, if I’m being honest with myself, I sell some products that are wholly outside of the reach of most people. And what am I doing about that, then? I don’t have answers. But like that’s, you know, as an example of listening, this is what I’ve currently come to, from an ego perspective, I think they call that legacy is what I hear is what it’s called. So there’s some part of me, sometimes it’s a bigger part, sometimes it’s a smaller part that likes the legacy, leaving a legacy of like I was here. And this is what I dedicated a good portion of my life to obviously not all of it. So that helps, right, in that I’m pretty confident I’m never going to solve the problem of waste entirely, I’m actually only only focused on certain segments of a two. But can I further the mission is how I look at it. You know, we set the mission big and kind of like a little abstract that people can interpret it in their own way. But there’s the other part of me to flip it back, which doesn’t like the idea that I’m never going to hit the goal. And that kind of keeps you up at night a little bit, which is you know, I I’m pretty confident I’ll get to a billion pounds a year of waste. You know, I have a road like we’ve got a roadmap and I believe strongly in it, I think it’ll work. But a billion pounds a year waste is nothing like in the grand scheme. There’s like, I don’t know how many 16 mil billion pounds tons of plastic into the ocean every year. Like it’s insane. It makes people’s head hurt. It’s like so all these people around the world are putting stuff in these bins thinking they’re doing a good thing, when in reality reality of that waste stream is 90% of that isn’t getting recycled. Actually a good chunk of it can’t be recycled because it’s mixed. So like when you see plastic, like packagings got plastic and paper. It’s not like the ripping that shit apart somewhere to recycle them separately. They actually they just torch it. Literally they incinerate it. So I think what it is, is, you know, the problem is big and gnarly. And it kind of gets people down, which at the same time is good. Everybody takes it out every week. It’s something you understand, right? You understand food waste, you get it stinks. It smells you throw in your garbage. You hate it while it’s in your house. You know, like any kind of peanut butter jar that’s still got peanut butter on the inside. Somehow peanut butter goes from being the best thing you’ve ever had to that jar is gross. I don’t want to touch it. Because it’s now like the remnants of the peanut butter. Well, if you didn’t take the remnants of the peanut butter out that jar is also not recycling. Like it’s not being recycled, so it’s just such a big topic
when we come back, creating a waste Three features
our aim with this audio documentary has always been to build a strong community of entrepreneurs and creators to provide a space where they can use their voice to share their authenticity with the world. As a valued listener, your voice matters to, we’d love to hear your feedback and ideas. So don’t be shy to let us know how we’re doing in the ratings and comments. If you have a message for our production team, or know someone who would be a perfect fit as a guest, you can find out more information on how to share your input at the psychology of entrepreneurship.com.
All right, before Matt tells us more about his amazing mission to create a waste free future. Let’s get a little perspective on this plastic problem. The next piece is from CNBC on the road plastics play in waste.
It’s true. Since the 1950s, humans have produced about 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic. Every year, 8 million metric tons end up in the ocean. Globally, only 9% of plastics are recycled. And with the Coronavirus crisis, we’re relying on single use plastics now more than ever, for masks and gloves to take out containers. But it’s not just a waste problem. Plastics and fossil fuels are inextricably linked.
Both the production and the disposal of plastic is a major climate change issue. Plastics mostly made from chemicals and ethane, which is a byproduct of hydro fracking.
And as the world tries to move away from fossil fuels, oil and gas companies are increasingly reliant on plastics to make money.
Rising electric vehicles will mean that the oil demand from the transportation sector will diminish as we go through the next 1520 years.
And so when those companies look for their growth drivers, they’re looking at petrochemicals and petrochemicals mostly means plastic.
Alright, Matt, gives us more perspective.
No, it’s massive. There’s a documentary that actually just came out called kiss the ground. And it talks about compost, and actually talks about soil and the importance of soil, particularly in the fight against carbon and climate change, which is very real and very much a problem. The word crisis, I can debate about the misuse of that but food waste in America like North America, I’m gonna I’m Canadian, I’m gonna lump Canada in with the US. I mean, we throw away like half of all of our food, like half just like we discard it. And then I think the majority that go like a good chunk of that just goes to landfill, as in totally useless. So the fun thing about food waste, is it could actually be the key to solving a lot of carbon capture. And that like the movie gets goes, it does a really good job of telling story about the power of soil, right?
I highly suggest checking out the trailer for kiss the ground on YouTube. I just did and wow. Okay, Matt, continue.
It’s like, if you ask your average city slicker, do you compost, they look at you like what’s a compost, you ask the average farmer, a rural liver they might have like most people in my neighborhood here in the interior British Columbia, they have a backyard compost. But a lot of people don’t even know that this is a thing. So what Peele is doing, we’re gonna be releasing, kind of like the teaser for what we’re about to launch on April 22. And on April 22, we’re going to launch a device that will help people compost in their kitchen. Right. And not only will it help people compost in their kitchen, but this little device it’s called Lomi Lomi and is the world’s first, not the world’s first kitchen composter. There’s been a couple of those. But we’ve designed a machine that will not only compost your food waste, it will also eat bio plastics and compostable plastics, right. So like you could take your food scraps from dinner, throw it in lomi, which looks like a you know, call it a small, really beautiful looking Apple design garbage can that sits on your counter, scrape your food waste in there, throw in one of my phone cases or any product that is, you know, we will like well actually test a ton of them. So I think of like little coffee pods that are compostable. Throw that in loamy with your food waste started at night like a dishwasher and the next morning you will have dirt, right and then we’ve got additives that we’ve created where you put it in with the stuff and it will come out usable dirt, which then you can throw in a garden and grow tomatoes or flowers. And it’s important, because if we can make like if we can make it super easy for people, right, then they have incentive to use it. And the reason I like food waste is it’s gross. And because it’s gross, people want to solve it. Like even if you have a compost bin in your house like nozel green bins, like we have them in several cities in North America where you scrape your food waste in that. And then every once a week they come in, they pick up the green bin waste. Well, the problem with the green bins is they like, they stink. They’re disgusting. Nobody likes taking them out. Like the whole thing is just gross. Well make it better. Right? So like, if you would throw if you were throwing out dirt, you’d be much more likely to participate in the system. And then can you make it so that like you actually build incentive around it?
According to plastic oceans.org, we are producing over 380 million tons of plastic every year. And some reports indicate that up to 50% of that is for single use purposes utilized for just a few moments. But on the planet for at least several 100 years, it is estimated that more than 10 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year.
I don’t know a whole lot about the recycling or waste situation in America. Well, sure. I know some but we tend to pay more attention to the problems of where we live, right. I think that’s just human nature. So what can you tell me about Australia? Matt? What’s going on in Brisbane from a plastic waste perspective?
So Brisbane pays. I don’t know how big Brisbane is. But like, I’ll tell you they pay a shitload of money every year to haul waste away from people’s houses, like a lot. It’s a big industry. If a significant portion of that waste is food and food scraps, which is the heaviest of all the waste. It’s heavy as hell, like if you got a garbage bag, it’s mostly old food, you know how heavy that is? Right? Imagine if if instead you were taking the, I guess the output of loamy, which would be half the size and half the weight of what you would typically throw away and that’s what you sent away to get composted? Well, Brisbanes waste management bill just got cut in half, because they’re hauling away half as much stuff. Not only that, but they’re also hauling away like food that’s been processed into the beginnings of compost. And compost is an important part of rebuilding soil. If you rebuild soil, you actually just solved a significant chunk of carbon capture. So in essence, lomi could actually be one of the biggest carbon capture inventions in the next however many years and it’s just gonna sit in people’s kitchens, you just distribute the load. Instead of saying like, we need to build some big machine or big, something that does it, it just comes down to dirt. So we’ve been working on it for a couple years. And we’re at the point now we’re like, okay, let’s let’s crowdfund this thing. Let’s get it out there. And it’s like it’s designed it works freakin works beautifully. Well. And it’s because it can also eat bio plastics. Here’s the extra level of insanity the whole thing. The world is not moving to bio plastics. That’s a big category of materials that would replace traditional plastics that can biodegrade or can compost in the right environment. The problem is the right environment. Those right environments don’t exist at large scale yet, right? So the infrastructure doesn’t exist. For like all of your like your toothpaste tubes and stuff to be made out of the same things that appeal cases. Well, if every house has a lomi device and the infrastructure absolutely exists. It means if your toothpaste tube was made out of a compostable polymer elastomer or some kind of resin that was designed to gracefully end, and you put it in Lomi, and you kind of got it broken down, then it could go away to a commercial composter or you can break down alone be fully or throw it in a compost, we’re basically accelerating that process, which then means all these big CPG companies that are responsible for producing the most plastic in the world can adopt bio plastics, because there actually is infrastructure. It just wasn’t us asking cities and countries to build big commercial facilities. All I’m saying is put in people’s kitchens, make another dishwasher that just happens to get rid of waste
psychology of entrepreneurship.
Coming up on the psychology of entrepreneurship.
What I believe is a true entrepreneur possesses six essential traits and you’re born with them and they can’t be taught. And so what I do is I take you into this deep dive into your soul to confirm that you have these six essential traits and that you were born with them. 95% of You Suck at money. You’re just terrible with the numbers. And so it pains me having seen it so many times. But most artists, athletes and creatives die broke, okay, and it’s heartbreaking because they made millions of dollars or could have made millions of dollars and they pissed it all away.
Psychology of entrepreneurship.
I interviewed Matt patootie because Matt is the co founder and CEO of pillar case of very fast growing made eight figures. House of brands focused on creating a waste free Future. He is the co founder and CEO of T Mac media, one of the top global e commerce agencies of managed services companies. He started out as a freelance developer about six years ago. I think it’s a little bit more. And today D Mac has over 90 employees and over 100 customers, which represent north of 6 billion in global retail sales. He is the author of anything anywhere. Matt is an entrepreneur of the highest order, a fixer of one of the world’s biggest problems and my friend
psychology of entrepreneurship
This is a must amplify production Special thanks to every guest expert that has appeared on the show, editing sound design and voiceovers by Thiago Veiga, Kelly Bonnyman and Paula Vet ga, produced and hosted by me Ronsley VAZ. For more episodes and way to listen, please go to psychology of entrepreneurship.com.
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Author: Ronsley Vaz
Ronsley is the founder & chief day dreamer at AMPLIFY. He is an author, speaker & serial entrepreneur.
He has a Masters’ degree in Software Engineering and an MBA in Psychology and Leadership. He is known as the creator of We Are Podcast – the first Podcasting Conference in the Southern Hemisphere, and the host of The Bond Appetit Podcast and Should I Start a Podcast. He has an audience of over 3 million in 133 countries.
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