[EP26] Why It Takes Courage To Follow Your Dream And Make It Come True | Jeremy Lang

[EP26] Why It Takes Courage To Follow Your Dream And Make It Come True | Jeremy Lang

In this episode I’m joined by Jeremy Lang.  Jeremy is the Founder of Open Mind Developments and PELA – a company that he started in 2007 that has grown into a multi-million dollar venture that is developing products made of environmentally sensible materials.

Jeremy shared his REAL entrepreneurial journey that started with an idea that he was hesitant to share with friends and family for fear that they would talk him out of pursuing his dream, to a company that has a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) to create a waste free future. 

His willingness to vulnerability and honestly share the true story of the sacrifices he (and his family) made along the way are what make this one of the best interviews I’ve done to date.

Episode Topics

(Click Links Below To Watch In Video)

3:59 | Should I call this the StraightCow show? 🙂
6:20 | How Jeremy and I first met on a hockey bus from Saskatoon to Regina
8:46 | How Trevor and Sharmila supported Jeremy in the early years of PELA’s launch
10:04 | Jeremy shares the story of first seeing flax fields on fire in Saskatchewan as a kid
12:07 | Jeremy talks about his path from employee to entrepreneur to starting PELA
15:34| Jeremy explains the challenges of building a brand and business around an idea
19:23 | Jeremy speaks about the sacrifices he (and his family) made that no one knows about
28:48 | Trevor and Jeremy discuss the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, why people need to know about this and how it’s impacted PELA’s mission
31:47 | Jeremy talks about spending his last $10k to attend a mastermind event that changed everything for him
37:07 | Trevor and Jeremy speak about why it takes courage to turn an idea into a multi-million dollar business
41:03 | Trevor and Jeremy talk about how daily habits compound to create the success you want to achieve
47:00 | Jeremy speaks about why “storytelling” has become a critical tool to help PELA achieve their mission of creating a waste free future
51:57 | Who is the ONE person/mentor that has been most influential in your life (all time)
53:22 | Who is the ONE person/mentor that is the most influential in your life (right now)
56:54 | What is the ONE philanthropic cause that means the most to you and why?
1:00:30 | What is the ONE thing you are most grateful for in your life right now?
1:01:03 | What is the ONE thing that you are most curious about right now and wanting to explore more in your life?
1:06:17 | What is the ONE thing that scares you right now that you know you must meet with bravery?
1:11:15 | Where can people find out more about you and connect with you online?

Episode Quotes

“I always wanted to start a company. We went on vacation in 2007 to Hawaii and my wife bought me a book – The Greatness Guide by Robin Sharma. There was a line in it that said – Hell on earth is being on your death bed and meeting the person you could have become.  That was the kick in the butt to get going for me” – Jeremy Lang

“Everything in nature goes in cycles…it goes back to the earth.  Whereas plastics are a linear progression.  It just keeps building and building and building. Recycling is broken.  Less than 10% of plastic waste gets recycled. That’s just ridiculous” – Jeremy Lang

“The first team in any business is your family. We have well over 1 million customers (with PELA) now, but in 2018 we were still operating out of the basement.  From 2011 to 2018 it was pretty much me and my wife (Jerilyn) working evenings, weekends, early mornings and working a full time job” – Jeremy Lang

“Over 5 years when PELA first started we had 6 miscarriages and IVF failed 3 times.  And when I look back on that, I think the business was a way for me to bury my head and not be there. That’s how I dealt with it. Looking back at that, what’s best for my family is my main guiding principle now” – Jeremy Lang

“It’s important for people to hear this. PELA right now is an extremely successful company – financial, impact, job creation, culture – but people need to know it stated with an idea and you and your wife writing handwritten letters at your kitchen table on vacation days. That’s the real story that people need to know” – Trevor Turnbull

“There’s an old First Nations saying – “We are the people we’ve been waiting for”. We just assume there is this magical group of people that are going to make changes in the world. There isn’t…“they” doesn’t exist, it’s us” – Jeremy Lang

“I spent the last $10k I had and signed up for this Mastermind Talks event in Napa Valley. The first night I got there I thought – I don’t belong here. I called my wife and I was breaking down. But, I got to know a few people and realized these are people that can think and speak the way I’m feeling. That’s where I met Matt (our CEO) and Brad (our Chairman)” – Jeremy Lang

“In University I had an Entrepreneurial course and we had an idea that we called Quickbites.  It was essentially an online ordering system to deliver food. It was Skip the Dishes or UberEats, but this was back in 2002.  That was my first multi-million dollar idea that didn’t see the light of day” – Trevor Turnbull

“I’m the heart, Matt’s the brains and Brad’s the muscle. You can go so far with the heart, the brains and the muscle alone. But you can go way farther when you have all 3 of those working together and complimenting each others weaknesses” – Jeremy Lang 

“10 years are going to go by whether you are working on your dream or not. It’s going to go by like that. If you have a few hours a day and you have something that you believe in that you want to do, if you put a couple hours into it every day, over 10 years you’re going to get somewhere” – Jeremy Lang

“Your smallest daily habits ultimately lead to your greatest successes on the other end. It compounds. It’s just that nobody gives you a high five or celebrates the fact that you got up early again” – Trevor Turnbull

“If you are in a job and if you don’t want to be like the people above you (in the organization), you are probably in the wrong place” – Jeremy Lang

“Why can’t you be extremely successful and passionate and make lots of money and create massive impact doing what you love? The minute that believe you can’t, you are right” – Trevor Turnbull

“I am so excited about Lomi. Food waste brought into the landfill makes up 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions. With Lomi it’s almost like seeing a little miracle every day.  You put in your food waste and it’s gone, it’s created soil, it’s amazing” – Jeremy Lang

Episode Resources Mentioned

New PELA Case announcement (Facebook Post – October 2, 2012)
Jeremy’s first video shoot in Stanley Park for PELA (Facebook Post – Sept 23, 2011)
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (National Geographic)
The Greatness Guide – Robin Sharma (Book)
The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy (Book)
Jeremy’s story on Mastermind Talks 

Guest Contact Info

PELA Case (Our Story)
Lomi – Kitchen Composter
Connect with Jeremy on LinkedIn