Starting a Business - Even When Your Family Doesn't Want You To

Ever had friends or family question your decision to start a business or discourage you from going full-time? Michele and Lucie Baratte dive into that in part 2 of their conversation.

Michele: Hey, everyone.

Welcome back to software social.

This week, we have part
two of my conversation with

Lucie Baratte of logology.

I have a totally different.

Kind of burning question for you.

Lucie: Okay.

Okay.

Go ahead.

Michele: So, you and
Dagobert are married.

Um, It sounds like you were
married shortly before you had

the idea to launch logology, if
the idea came on your honeymoon.

Right?

So one of my favorite sort of sub-themes
of Dagobert's memes, which

by if, you haven't seen Dagobert's memes, we'll have to link to

it from the show notes, but he just.

Post lots of funny entrepreneurship
memes, on Twitter, but one of my

favorite sort of sub-themes in there
is how your father is this like

unspoken character, um, in his memes.

There will be like ones, you know,
all these ones about like, you know,

how his father-in-law is like, oh,
like you're not making any money.

Like, why did you like quit your
corporate job to make nothing like,

you know, and basically just kind of
ragging on him for, like, not being

more successful or, kind of being an
entrepreneur doing something more risky.

I dunno if you've ever seen, you know,
us this an American show, but like the

big bang theory where Howard's mother
is this character that, you know, and

there's some theater name for this.

So I know we have some theater
fans listening, so I apologize.

I don't remember the name of it,
but you'll have to tell me of a

character who is only seen off stage,
but is very much like a character.

In these memes.

And I'm just curious
how you feel about that.

And also like, does your dad
know that he's this character in.

Lucie: Well, um, my dad
doesn't know about it.

I want to say yet because
I'm afraid he will soon.

Um, well, I'm sometimes anxious
about this, but de Dagobert is very

confident in saying, I don't care.

He can look at it.

I can explain myself
and you know, it's true.

And I was just like, yeah, you
know, I know it's true, but, um,

I'm afraid of the family of the
consequences, you know, in my family.

Michele: The dirty laundry and.

Lucie: Well, I, I, yeah.

I don't like, uh, conflict that much.

But I have to say that, these
meme about my father, brought

me so much relief myself.

I really needed to laugh about it with
Dagobert be and with everyone on Twitter

because it hasn't been a very, I would
say easy relationship with my, father.

I am the only, daughter.

I have three little brothers.

Sometimes I think I was,
uh, raised like, uh, a boy.

But yeah, it was hard.

My.

I have to admit to say also that there is
a family history about creating his own

business and being a founder, so it's a
long story that was, uh, that began in

the early my great, great grandfather.

Everyone in my family was a
founder, but was only men.

Only men were founders.

Only men were able to run a business.

And the sad story is that, my grandfather
lost the business that was launched by

my grand grand father and maintained
by my grandfather and my grandfather

didn't, manage to maintain it.

And it was something of, I think,
a big disappointment and certainly

something about shame for my grandfather.

And so my father inherited of this
dynamic and when he was in his

30, he launched himself a business
in the industry, but it fell.

And I, I knew my father, I have
to say quite depressed this last

30, 30 years, he has now become
a teacher in business creation.

So yeah, he, well, I'm not
completely at ease to say things

about him, on the podcast.

But since I feel like we are in a,
casual conversation, I have to say that

it's difficult for me to, deal with
his, um, personal is, um, personality

of, very negative and, and grumpy.

And it's never enough, or, uh, it's
always, uh, be careful, you're gonna

fall, be careful you're gonna fail.

And when you fail and say, uh,
I told you so, so it's difficult

to grow with this kind of energy.

And I, just got, uh, 40 years
old last year, so I had to deal

with, how I'm gonna finally.

Be get read of this image that is
putting on me and that is putting on

Dagobert and on our business,
because he was kept on saying that it

was not gonna work, that we should stop.

And you know, when you are in the, hardest
part of the journey, well, I hope it was

the hardest part of the journey and, but
when you are in this very, dark times,

the last thing you need is someone,
who's supposed to love you saying you are

not gonna make it and you are not able
to do this and please stop now because

you are making yourself ridiculous.

Michele: Mm.

He

Lucie: So it's so, uh, It's such a
relief to be able to laugh about this.

And for Dagobert, it's a
bit different because, uh, well,

Dagobert is younger than me.

He's eight years younger than me.

It was not easy for him to
stand, how it is the expression.

Yeah.

Stand in front of my father when you don't

Michele: stand up to him almost.

Lucie: stand up to him

Michele: up for himself and for you.

Yeah.

Lucie: It doesn't have so
much experience for example.

And, all we had was the vision, the
passion . the desire and the conviction

that, well, the idea that we can make
it for the moment, we don't know how

we are not successful, but we know
something is good in this and it can work.

We just have to have more
time to make it work well.

So it was, very difficult last year.

Uh, like we were not,
um, making so much money.

It's been already, three years, two
year and a half working on logology.

So we were quite disparate, not finding
the good marketing solutions and

marketing was not our first talent.

I would say obviously like, like
many, tech developer or designer,

like me, the first thing you think is
not marketing, but we had to learn.

So Dagobert begin to make, uh, these
memes and yes, it was interesting

to see that we are not alone.

And Dagobert, I think discovered
that he was not alone in this.

I would say male competition
too, you know, because it's

something about boys and men.

Like it's not only my father, it's
sometimes my brother, you know, when

they are all together and uh, which
one is making the most money, which

one is the strongest and you know,
I'm sorry, but I think this is kind

of childish, stupid, uh, men game.

And it's complicated because even if
you don't want to be in the game, people

will always, put you back on the ring.

Is it the good word, the
ring when you go boxing

Michele: Yeah.

Lucie: And so you have to find the
right, uh, posture and it's not easy.

When you take punches in your
face to stay, clear that

it is okay, I can do this.

I don't have to be the ashamed of myself.

And I can laugh about the situation
because yeah, in a way, it's funny, if

you think about this, like this, uh,
grumpy character saying, find a job.

Yeah, that was very funny because my,
father on the other side, he really,

I think, tried to help, help us.

Like for him, it was something to help us.

He gave us, yeah, some useful advices,
some useful tips, but, one day it

was very funny because, Dagobert
was talking with him and he realized

that the plan, the great idea of my
father helping us was in the end to

close the business and say goodbye.

And I was like, what?

, It's not the solution.

Well, it's not the solution that I want.

That is very interesting, but
also that my father is someone.

So, I would say yeah.

Interest in businesses and
entrepreneurship and who is, like I said,

uh, teaching entrepreneurship to students.

But on the other hand, it's someone
who doesn't like to take risk.

He hates risk.

He hates, not to know what to do.

So , it's not like someone going
with the flow, you know, it's, not

this kind of personality for him.

So that's a very paradoxical,
personality, which is interesting.

It's about the variety of, uh, human,
personality and it's uh, yeah, it's

very good that we could laugh about
this, but I'm still a little bit afraid.

Like if my father watched this,
so see this, or if my father

listened to this podcast, hi dad.

Um, no harm taken.

Michele: Yeah.

Lucie: Let's talk about this.

I, tried to talk about this a few times,
but it's very, um, difficult and it's

also, I think a conflict of generation.

My father comes from industry.

He doesn't know about digital
and apps and all this seems a

little bit odd to him, obviously.

And we are in a generation of,
exploring all the possibilities

of take nowadays, even with no
code, you can do so many things.

And, so yeah, it's two different
worlds who can't get to

understand really each other's.

But now lately, it's easier with my dad.

I think that now that we are making
money a little bit enough to get

one salary and, and it's growing
and logology is growing and growing

each month and it's so exciting.

And, uh, they go siding and, uh, Dagobert,
has so many followers and, and a rich

community, with people is sharing so
much, My father is slowly changing his

mind about technology slowly, slowly.

Is still a little bit
suspicious, like, Hmm.

Maybe you'll fail at the end of the year,
but you know, it's, it's a, I think,

sorry, dad, but it's a dumb philosophy
to think like this because yes, we'll

fail obviously in something someday,
like a failure is just part of living.

And I think to me, with all this
history family of, fails and men and

patriarchy, I really don't want, I, I
think I reject this philosophy because

I can't see, I can't see failure.

I think I can't accept it.

I think when you accept failure,
you are dying a little bit.

You think like you are dying a little
bit and it doesn't mean you can't, take

failure and say, okay, I fell on this.

Okay.

This failed, but it's already
something part of the way.

Okay.

I fell on this, but let's go on
something else and keep on, running and

keep on, uh, you know, like you are
an athlete in your head, I love I'm.

I'm not good at sports, but I'm fascinated
by the mental preparation of the athletes.

Well, you felt okay.

You felt, but if you go on
and you keep on running, well,

you won't remember the fail.

You would just take it, maybe do
something about it, but not stay

with it because when you stay with
it, you can't take risk anymore.

You can't be alive
anymore, or you can't, you.

See this.

And lately recently, my father and
my mom, uh, said to me, well, look

at the situation with logology.

Do you really think you're
gonna make money with this?

Because look, last year you did this
and you were wrong and we knew you were

wrong and you still did the mistake.

And I say, what can I say?

I did a mistake.

We did a mistake.

Yes.

We lose a lot of money.

We, uh, it was very expensive and not
only money because money is not the

end of the world is just a part of the
problem, but it was very hard on us.

And what can I say, I made
this mistake and I'm gonna make

other mistakes in the future.

I have to say to you, other
mistakes will be done.

and you've got to get prepared, but
I think, and I believe, logology.

I know we can do something.

I know it can be great.

And I have to do this because otherwise,
why are we living for, if we don't,

you know, follow the desire and just
listen to can, maybe with it won't work.

Cuz it's the same with relationships
you have to, uh, would say, nourish

the trust and it's nourishing
the desire, nourishing the trust.

Well, it doesn't mean you have to
be, uh, completely, I don't know

the, the world in English, but when
you do, obviously dangerous thing.

It's not that.

But when people say, when one
say listen to your heart,

well, your heart is not wrong.

When you listen to your heart,
you know, you can trust something.

There is here, there is a rock inside us.

Where you can land and you were talking
about road trips and what's beautiful

when you are in a car and especially
United States because wow, the landscapes

are so beautiful and it is so big.

It's very different from Europe.

There is beautiful landscape in Europe.

I'm not saying, but you can drive
10 hours in not, uh, seeing anyone.

So that's an experience for Europeans
like me yeah, for me, it's something.

And you know, it's like, you
are watching the lab landscapes.

You are watching mountains and country
and, and yet you are not moving.

Like the car is moving,
but you are not moving.

You stay still.

So it's like meditation in a bit,
like when you meditate and you can

look at what's happening when you
watch a movie and things are happening

and you are still, uh, sit on your
chair and you know what I mean?

It's like the world is always movement.

The thinking is always in movement.

The emotions are always in movement.

And in the same time,
you are always still.

You are always here ways here.

Your heart is always inside of you.

It's just, uh, like a gym it's not easy
to do, but yeah, maybe because I'm 40 I

have time to, to reflect on these and no.

So you can't, um, you have to know,
certainly you have to know when to

stop and not to get sick of working too
much because otherwise, the subject,

the idea is not to forgot about
yourself is about trust in your guts.

So yeah, trust my guts.

And I know I will make mistakes
in the future, but I refuse

to see it as a failure.

Michele: Mean, I guess we, you know,
sort of having empathy for your father

here, you know, he carries so much shame.

It sounds like right?

The shame of watching his father's
business collapse that was in

the family for generations.

I'm, sure that brought him tremendous,
uh, shame or, or was put upon him

and then him saying, no, I can do it.

I'll have my own business.

And then his own business failing
and effectively retraumatizing him.

Like he, he sounds traumatized
by these business failures.

And when you are cloaked in shame,
you don't have a process to, uh,

really process those in a healthy way.

When you don't feel like you can
talk about the failure and say, yep,

this was a failure and I'm going on
to the next thing and that's okay.

You know, but socially having that
shame thrust upon you and then also

internally thrusting it upon you.

It, it also, you know, you
described him as kind of

depressed, like it's isolating.

Right.

And, you know, I love how, um, Brene
brown says that the only feeling

worse than shame is feeling alone.

Um, and so often that feeling of shame
leads people to feel alone, feel that

they're the only ones in that situation.

And then, when you have gone through
a trauma, it's very normal to try

to prevent anybody who love from
going through that same trauma.

And so he is sort of trying to protect
you from that trauma, but in a way that

is actually not healthy for you, right.

That it does, does not see you for you
and see you for your own potential and

for your business, for its own potential.

And also regard your business
as, a stepping stone.

It's, you know, a, growth mindset
in so many ways is it shows how

hard that is to step into from
a position of unresolved trauma.

And so I think we can kind of forgive
people for not being able to take on

that growth mindset when, when their own
trauma is unresolved and they haven't

had the opportunity to resolve it.

But then I can, I can see for you,
you know, curse breakers, like,

I feel like you, you're kind of a
generational curse breaker here.

Um, and you have to have
that chip on your shoulder.

You really do cuz you have that
vision for what you wanna do and,

and that empathy for your customers.

And I think that's, so important.

But it's also, you know, I think this
kind of situation you're in and I

think is why Dagobert's memes
resonate so widely too is because

this kind of thinking that why would
you leave a stable corporate job?

Why would you leave your stable agency
job to start this business where you

didn't make any money for at least a year?

Like, There's a perspective of, you know,
especially in families where either there

hasn't been entrepreneurship or there's
a history of financial instability or

not having enough money that, you know,
when you get to the point of having

a stable paycheck, like, that's it.

You've achieved it.

That's success.

Why would you want
anything else beyond that?

Right.

And, and this is a very common mindset.

And for people who are starting their
own businesses, getting over that

hurdle of their upbringing and what
it tells them is normal and expected.

And what's safe for them, whether
risk is safe for them, right?

Those are very common.

And I think that's why, you know,
his memes and, the character of your

father, which, you know, I guess if
your father is listening, um, hello, Mr.

Barratte, um, you know, um, it's not just
him as a person that's resonating, right?

It's what that character represents.

And that represents that voice,
whether it's in somebody's head or

it is a family member, or it's their
old boss or an old coworker, or a

friend who's saying like, who do you
think you are to make a business work?

And it takes a lot of resolve and
passion and vision, which all of

which I see in you to say, yep.

I understand that, it's totally
crazy, but I'm gonna do it.

And if I fail, that's just my first step.

There's gonna be others.

And then people look at
you and they're like, yeah.

Okay, fine.

Right.

Like, but you gotta have that
chip on your shoulder of, passion.

Lucie: Thank you, Michelle.

Um, yeah, and also I think, that's why
another thing that resonates so much

with everyone is that the generational,
our parents or grandparents, they did

so much to conform to, uh, society.

I would say like, uh, what was the
dream of my grandfather, my grandfather.

He wanted to, well to run the business
that he inherited from his father,

but also just to have a stable job,
to make money for his family, that,

he could protect his family, that
all his children will be healthy

and they will have opportunity to
also have a family make =money, be

happy and, you know, buy a house.

Michele: Yeah.

Is he the world war II generation?

Lucie: Yes,

Michele: Yeah, exactly.

They're very strong, understandable
drive for stability, which is

very understandable.

Yeah.

Lucie: Yes, completely.

And, in my family, there were,
uh, terrible, stories about war.

They were traumatized by this because
my great, grandfather was killed by, the

Nazis in a terrible story in the village.

Well, so all this leads to people want
to have more stability and for the

last, dozens of, decades around the last
decade and, people want, to, just have.

I would say with the quotes,
like normal, what they call

normal life, what is normal life?

Normal life is stability,
comfort, and yeah, you could

do every sacrifice to go there.

And sometimes I'm wondering, if my
father wanted so much to run a business,

maybe would have been happier to say,
okay, I, I am, uh, full-time employed

in this company and it's okay for me.

Maybe he had to fix
something from the past.

That was not his thing, but for
many parents and grandparents, the

image of success for us is not,
taking risk, uh, making apps with no

users or, uh, it's yeah, it's, um,
it's another vision of the world.

And I also think that my generation
and the generation that is coming

after my, after us, after me is not
so keen about working at any cost.

Like you don't want to be in the
biggest company ever, or you don't

think of your career in the same
company, for years, like before you

want to travel, you want to experiment,
you want to know who you are.

You want to find yourself.

And I think all the thing that we are
talking about, uh, self development

and, uh, wellness is something that.

My generation and the people younger
are feeling deeply and we are not ready

to make the same sacrifices that our
parents made and our grandparents before.

Michele: And I guess we have not, you
know, and speaking of me personally,

as an American, you know, you as a
European, this also, this varies quite

greatly from country to country, right?

Or as a French person even, right
because there's massive trauma

going on within, Europe right now.

We have not had those same
debilitating sort of society

wide traumas that they had.

And that's just, that does us personally,
we've had other traumas that we've

gone through, um, in terms of, you
know, recession and, financial crisis.

I know that I mean, that really
held me back going full time.

Like, I mean, I was in my first week of
college and I remember just, everybody

I say, running around just, kind of like
chickens with our heads cut off because

everybody's college fund was gone.

Right.

And that's a very American
experience of that.

My husband, who was in Denmark,
who was paid to go to college,

like it was free, you know?

I mean, he, wasn't really aware of
it versus for us, you know, I mean,

our parents had saved for, you know,
18, 20 years for us to go to college.

And then all of a sudden
the money is just gone.

And you know, people's parents losing
jobs and while we were in school

and like not knowing if you could
come back the next semester, right.

And that very much influenced my
own perspective on starting my

own business because I was like,
I ha you know, this is great.

You know, I have a great, like
full-time job that I love and we

have this side business that's
allowed me to pay down my debt again,

very American perspective here.

Like, I, I remember like getting to pay
down all of my student loans, right?

With money from geo geocodio
that gave me the extra money

to do that in the early days.

And that was so liberating.

But then it got to a point
where it's like, well, I don't

need anything beyond that.

Paying off my student loans early,
that's a huge mark of success, right?

Cuz many people are paying student
loans, their whole life for both, for

themselves and for their children.

And so it was really hard for
me to wrap my head around, well,

why would I do something else?

And then eventually the business just
got to a point where we had to go full

time on it, in order to keep it going.

But I think we all carry these
sort of, you know, we have

individual traumas right.

In our own lives, but then there's also
sort of there's generational traumas.

There's there's social traumas that
we carry that impact how we think

about running our own businesses
and, whether we are ready to do that.

And whether that's a risk that we want to
take in our own lives and how we react to

kind of failure and, instability, I feel
like it's something we don't really talk

about enough as an entrepreneur community.

You know, you kind of hear people
make snippy comments about how, you

know, entrepreneurs who get a ton
of venture capital, like they're

often from wealthy families because
if they fail, it doesn't matter.

Right.

But I think there's something.

First of all.

I think there's something to that.

The fact that knowing that
if you fail you're, not gonna

fall through the floor, right?

There's gonna be something
that catches you.

But I also think we need to talk
more about that, um, that feeling,

that people, that face from their own
families or their communities, that

entrepreneurship isn't something for them.

And that just choosing the stable option
is the most responsible thing, which is, I

think something I felt as a parent, I felt
like it was the most responsible thing

to keep running the business as a side
business, even though it would've, I, I

wrestled with this quite a bit, actually.

It was whether I was like, well, I
feel like it's the most responsible

thing for me to work full time and do
a side business, but I know it would

make me happier to run a business.

And, but I feel like it's the best
thing for my family, for me to keep

having a job and I remember a friend
saying to me, like, you know, if you are

happier, like you'll be a better parent.

You'll be a better spouse.

You'll be a happier person.

That's worth something.

And, you know, and then someone
else was like, ever since I met you,

you've wanted to run a business.

And now you have the chance, like
why, why , why are you even, you

know, considering this, right.

But like, we have those, the
things that we carry, right.

Lucie: Yeah, it's so completely normal
and beautiful because as a mother, I can

imagine, uh, much you want to protect
your kids and what you were speaking.

I was thinking of, we are speaking of the
past and the trauma of the past, from your

country or my country and the different
family history or country history.

But also I was thinking of the future
and maybe also the perspective we

have on the future is not the same.

For example, nowadays we spoke
about a lot of climate change.

And I know this is a very anxious
feeling for a lot of people and we can't

respond to it everyone in the same way,
like some will say, okay, so maybe

we'll die in 10 years, so let's do
whatever we want and others will say,

okay, I wanna protect what I've got.

I wanna protect my family first.

And I'm not saying when you are an
entrepreneur, you can protect your family.

Obviously you are, I'm sure you're
protecting your kids and doing your job.

As an entrepreneur is something I, I
agree with your, friends is something

better, because you're happier.

So it's good for the children,
but it's a complicated question.

Michele: A big topic.

Lucie: Yeah, very interesting
one too, but I'm not sure we

have the time speak about it.

Michele: I'm uh,

Lucie: love to, I would love to

Michele: I feel like we could just

Lucie: with this.

Yes.

I would love to talk about you more.

It's so good to have, this conversation
with you and to share all this with you.

I have so many question for you.

Um, I would love to talk even talking
about the subject of children, because we

are both, women, and both entrepreneurs.

And I think it's a subject
we don't speak so much.

Uh, and so it's very, relieved
and comforting to speak with you

today, all this sensitive subject.

Michele: Yeah.

Lucie: I dunno, it's a good word, but

Michele: I'm uh, yeah, we'll have
to have you on again, but I, yeah.

I'm so grateful for your, openness
and your, vulnerability, about this.

Lucie: Thank you for Your
welcome and, uh, kindness.

Thank you very much.

Michele: Well, Lucy Baratte, co-founder
and art director of logology.

Um, If people wanna find out
more about logology or about

you, where should they go?

Lucie: They should go on logology.co
doco or on the Twitter profile of

logology and Instagram on Facebook.

And they also can find me on
Twitter on Instagram or Dagobert.

Michele: Of course.

Lucie: Yeah, of course.

Michele: All right.

Well, thank you.

Lucie: To see, um, to

Michele: The memes.

I will, I

Lucie: The memes.

Yeah.

Michele: Okay.

Thank

Lucie: thank you very much.

Thank you so much, Michelle.

It was a pleasure to talk to you today.

Michele: Likewise.

Lucie: much.

Michele: Thanks again to Lucy for
joining me, I think, as you can tell,

um, I really enjoyed talking to her
and felt like we could have just

gone on forever and, really felt like
I had to cut off the conversation.

Before we go today, I want to give a shout
out to all of our listeners, who've become

software socialite and support our show.

You can become a supporter for $10
a month or a hundred dollars a year

at software social.dev/supporters.

Chris from chipper CI, the daringly
handsome Kevin Griffin, Mike

from gently used domains, Dave
from recut, max of online or not,

Stefan from talk to Stefan,
Brendan Andre of bright bits,

Aaron from Tuple, Alex Hillman from
the tiny MBA, Ramy from memo.fm,

Jane and Benedikt from user list,

Kendall Morgan, Ruben Gamiz of
signwell, Corey Haynes of swipewell,

Mike Wade of crowd sentry,
Nate Ritter of room steals, and

anna maste of subscribed sense,

Geoff Roberts from outseta,

Justin Jackson from mega maker, Jack Ellis
and Paul Jarvis from fathom analytics,

Matthew from appointment reminder,
Andrew Culver at bullet train, John

Kostor, Alex of Corso systems, Richard
from stunning, Josh, the annoyingly

pragmatic founder, Ben from consent kit,
John from credo and editor ninja, cam

Sloan, Michael Koper of Nusii proposals,

Chris from URL box, Caeli of Tosslet,
Greg park from trait lab, Adam from

rails autoscale, Lana and Alex from
recapsy, Joe Masilotti of railsdev.com,

Avid Kahl, James Sowers from
castaway.fm, Nathan of develop your

UX, Jessica Malnik, Damian Moore,

Audio audit podcast checker,
and Eldon from nodlestudios.

Thank you for listening.

Won't you join us?

Get an email when new episodes post. No spam, we promise!

checkmark Got it. You're on the list!
2021 Software Social