3 Minutes to read
Guillaume Moubeche, Co-founder & CEO at Lemlist
Learning Inspiration 🌈 #40
Guillaume Moubeche is the co-founder & CEO of Lemlist, a prospecting software that allows you to send personalized email campaigns. Lemlist reached €3 million in recurring annual revenue within three years, without raising funds.
Who is your biggest source of inspiration?
Russell Brunson: The co-founder of ClickFunnels, which I like because it is a self-funded company. And despite that, it is still valued at close to a billion dollars, which is impressive. I like the ClickFunnels approach to having a product, a community, and training. What Brunson has built inspires me a great deal today.
Nathan Latka: Entrepreneur and host of the number one business podcast called The Top Entrepreneurs. Nathan has also founded SAAS companies such as Heyo and Founderpath. I am inspired by what he does because he is very good at creating ultra win-win communities by connecting people who can bring value to each other.
How do you learn on a daily basis 🧠 ?
– Books: I try to read either books or book summaries. What is great about book summaries is that they are quick-reads, so that I can go through several within a week.
– Articles & Newsletters: I read blog posts of all kinds. I try to collect the best pieces every week in each category, whether on new technologies, growth, marketing, or entrepreneurship. My favorite blogs are Clearbit, Buffer, and The Growth Equation Newsletter. I am a big fan of Growth Equation because there are many articles on how to always be on top of your game, including professional and personal balance, nutrition, sports, sleep, and learning routines. The point is to become the best version of yourself. Nathan Latka’s newsletter is also a great source of content for me. We can find the metrics of current startups: revenue, fundraising, usage, etc. It gives me an idea of the SaaS market’s evolution, which is something I follow closely.
What are your favorite books 📚 ?
The Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. A must-read for CEOs because he discusses all parts of the life of a business. There are all the answers to the tough questions you can ask yourself around recruiting and firing. The answers given are not necessarily the ones that will work for you, but it is a start.
Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World by Rand Fishkin. I love stories from startup founders, so, obviously, I loved this book. This is an exceptional book that is, among other things, about Fishkin’s relationship with VCs and his almost exit to Hubspot. Fishkin also talks about what has not gone so well in his life and the ups and downs as a startup founder. It is a very quick read. This book made me realize that “I’m not alone” because founders’ loneliness can be challenging at times.
The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to Go from $ 0 to $ 100 Million by Marc Roberge. Roberge was the VP of Sales at Hubspot. He explains in his book how he grew the company to a $100 Million revenue. He describes his entire sales process from recruiting to allocating bonuses, setting up compensation, and growing the technical team. He goes deeper on several topics, including the type of people to hire at the start, the kind of interview questions to ask, and how to verify that people are right for the job. It’s an excellent book, very insightful.
What are your favorite podcasts 🎧 ?
The Top Entrepreneur by Nathan Latka. He interviews SaaS company founders. The great thing about Nathan is that he pushes his guests to their limits. Nathan asks tough questions. He can get through things quickly, so he is a real “bullshit detector” with his guests. Thanks to that, we quickly see the founders who tell you shit and those who are rather honest. From the founders who raised money, he helps reveal the reality behind-the-scenes, which is a little bit hidden by the big sexy amounts communicated in the press. For example, we will hear about a company that raised $38 million, but on the other hand, the company hasn’t even achieved a $1 in turnover in cash. The episodes are only thirty minutes.
The SaaS Podcast by Omar Khan. He interviews many startup founders who share stories about the difficult times they can go through.
La Galère 🇫🇷 It’s a good podcast that goes into detailed stories about what French founders have done, with short podcast episodes. The advantage is that you learn more in-depth about people’s lives and their struggles, just like we did to get by.
Any article you read recently and would recommend 📰 ?
I liked an article on Baremetrics. The founders have sold their startup. Josh Pigford talks about why they sold their company and how he came out with $4 million in cash. I found this a genuine example of what transparency can look like from founders. After this recent article, I think I fell in love with them.
What would you say to the 18 years old version of yourself?
I would say, “Spend a little less time in school and spend more time building a business because you learn more things.”
What was your biggest challenge this year?
The biggest challenge is recruiting, because you see, we have always been a small team that did a great deal with little means. We started to have more and more cash, enough to reinvest and recruit. Our team grew from seven people to twenty-three people in one year. At the age of twenty-nine, recruiting isn’t always something you have mastered, especially for your own company. It’s not always easy to recruit the right people over the long term, gain people’s trust, and ensure alignment with your company’s values. The hardest part was having to fire people who did not match our values but with whom I got along very well. It’s difficult when someone is a good employee, but you see that it is not the right person for the company.
To learn about this subject, I read many books and articles. Also, I meet with C-level executives several times a month to structure the recruitment process and make sure that hires are aligned with the company values. We list the key objectives and clearly define the required outcomes of each. Then, once the person is recruited, we discuss how to integrate them well to ensure that they can fully own their responsibilities by defining OKRs and KPIs.
If you were to stay alone on an island and only be allowed to bring one item, what would it be 🏝?
A boat with oars to try to get home to the mainland.
One last word 😊
I would like to share a quote that has often been attributed to Michael Jordan but was from Wayne Gretzky. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” I often repeat this quote to myself when I’m afraid to do something or afraid of being judged. This sentence, repeating it to yourself, provides balance and the courage to do things differently, to test things.
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