Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 0:16
Once upon a time, there were 10s of 1000s of makers struggling every day they built for hours and hours but didn't chip and didn't earn enough income. One day, the no code wealth podcast came to help them find a way because of this, makers became founders and live the life they deserve. Because of this, founders live lives of abundance, freedom, and creativity. That's what I'm really all about. Hello, my name is Aziz and from being a poor boy born to a single mother in North Africa, to failing multiple startups, yet, learning a whole lot to barely escape and alive the war in Ukraine, even living as an illegal immigrant. I've lost everything twice. And now I'm rebuilding my life. One more time, 1% a day sharing the wisdom of luminaries I've interviewed on this podcast from Google executives to Amazon, Microsoft, Forbes, Technology Council, Harvard, Financial Times, even a priest from the Vatican church. Everyone is welcome, here. So let's begin. My guest today is Dagobert Renouf. Dagobert left a high paid software job to bootstrap Logoology.co with his wife, and his father in law doesn't approve of this decision. Logology helps you get a designer Quality Logo for your startup in five minutes. Dagobert. How are you today?
Dagobert Renouf 2:04
I'm good today. I'm good today. Like it's a it's a holiday right now. It's Easter Monday in France. And I love that. It's so quiet. Nobody's working? Nobody, that's cool. And me and my wife. We're just working on this startup that we love so much. So it's very enjoyable to work. When everybody is quiet to help.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 2:26
I know exactly what you mean. Because I love working at night. And often after midnight. It's so quiet and productive in a way that doesn't happen during the day. So I can imagine that tranquility. And to explore your mind on this more relaxed day that leads to introspection. What is a topic or an insight? Or something that is on your mind these days that you think about a lot? Because it's important for you?
Dagobert Renouf 2:59
Yeah, hi. Now, I often think about that the war, you know, height now does the war in Ukraine. And I'm grateful that I haven't been directly impacted by it like you have, for example. And at the same time, it brings a lot of perspective to, you know, what are we doing building a startup chasing our dreams and how fragile it all is, like, I feel like with my startup, it's a game of like, for the past almost four years, doing our best every day, overcoming challenges, never feeling that, that safe, and always feeling kind of like, it's chaotic, and it's risky. But you still go through it, and you still try to you know, overcome challenges. And I'm like, now with this wall thing going on and this planet. Although right now, this height isn't that huge, but like it's still present as this height of like, escalation and maybe like in the worst case scenario, nuclear war. And I'm like, wow, you know, we're building all this, we're building our lives, following our dreams. Like it all can be, you know, wiped out, like, very quickly. And so it gives me a feeling of that it's so that it's kind of like, in a way meaningless because like, it can all disappear, disappear. But in a way, it's also super meaningful, because it gives every day that I have and I'm grateful to be alive. Like it gives it even more meaning. Like, for example, right now I'm very happy of the of the day I'm having, I'm enjoying this day. It's a day of freedom. It's a day of autonomy, of working on what I love with my wife, as my co founder as they can have, like, very grateful to have that life and enjoy it. And so yeah, I mean, having this set of losing it all is kind of like it's scary, but it's also I'm also grateful that it makes me appreciate the journey and being lucky to be able do that you know even more,
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 5:01
I really understand what you're saying. And yes, I was living in Ukraine in Kyiv, long term and I lost everything there, I had to run for my life, I had trauma in the beginning. But then, through introspection, I chose to get better rather than be bitter, to consider this a force, new chapter or new page in my life, and to dive deeper into that, because war makes you realize how fragile everything is, I will tell you, there is that beginning, fear when you're building your startup, that you might fail and lose everything. But I spoke with many successful entrepreneurs, who get another fear, which is, when you have more money than you're used to, you worry about losing it. Also, if you invested in the wrong thing, or if you keep it in the bank, and there is a war or a problem, or an IRS issue. And therefore this fear is double, where in the beginning, you're afraid of not succeeding. And then there is a success fear where you're like, Well, if I lose this AI, it caused me so much, that I don't want to restart from the beginning. So they live in fear as well. What are your thoughts about this, to me, personally, I believe we should have something that cannot be taken from us, like the goal of who is the person I will become, that is able to create that success. And then that is something nobody can take from you. But of course, when you're successful, you also fear losing it or investing it in the wrong thing, or, like buying apartments, and then suddenly there is an earthquake, or whatever it is. So there are as well.
Dagobert Renouf 6:50
Yeah, you know, to me, it's that maybe it's because of like, you know, what I went through in my life, because I went through some very challenging stuff, family wise, and I have this feeling that it never, I mean, it will never be solved. Like, the fear you have, like, I mean, the fear, I have the, I mean, it will always be there. And I'm not like hoping that it will somehow go away. And more like learning to embrace it more and more. Like I'm learning to enjoy that, you know, it's a tough journey, there's ups and downs, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. And I think it's probably going to be similar. Maybe even harder, but it's going to be the same thing. If one day, you know, we make 10 times more money, we get somehow, like, let's say, rich, and then we realize there's all these new stresses. And I feel like an axe actually ties up to the wall thing. I feel like the game of life is to always be playing it. And like this fantasy of like, oh, one day, I won't have to play the game anymore. One day, I will be able to just you know, chill, or whatever. But I feel like it's, it's a mistake. And it's a lie. Because once you do that, you kind of like lose purpose. And, and therefore you lose happiness, you start being bold, you don't love your life anymore. And there's this thing about kind of like, like a war, but like, it brings you to the reality, even though it's like very traumatic, and like you don't want it you don't wish that it happens, obviously. And you can actually, you know, you could have less hard thing to go through, it would still be beneficial. But there's this thing about showing you that like, no matter what to do what you do, you're never really safe from having to play the game of life, and having to show up and having to fight for like living the life that you dream of. Because like, even if you like the example of your friends who have tons of success, well, there's something that can make all of that disappear. And it's not to be anxious. It's not to be scared. It's to embrace that. You're never going to be settled, like the life if you stopped moving anyway, like life kind of ends anyway, like you stop living, you stop progressing. And I feel like it's more about making progress from where you are now to the next step. That's like the whole game. And even if height now let's say I go to Step 100 And there's like, a war going on and I get back to step 10 Well, whether I'm on step 100, or I'm on step 10. The only thing I have to do is go to the next step. It's like always the same thing and it never ends. So yeah, to me, that's that's how I see
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 9:39
it. Thank you actually, in two of my favorite books, there is the Way of the Superior Man there is a whole chapter about killing the fantasy that there will be a perfect day where you have everything and you can just chill and relax because that that never comes and if it comes well. You will feel like dieing if you're not doing anything, just sitting on the beach all day, but even more importantly, the 10x rule, which is by Grant Cardone, which I really recommend the audiobook because his energy is really contagious, where he says, when you succeed, the only thing you get is the privilege on working on more complicated problems. That yeah, what you get, yeah, as you succeed, you get harder and more difficult problems. And that's really what you look forward to that we should fall in love with things that are eternal, which is the appreciation of life, this present moment, because the present moment is everything. And the person who are be we are becoming because we cannot control success, or the outside reality or anything external. How do you approach this? Because, well, you're an entrepreneur, I know you have your goal of how, like the monthly recurring revenue and yearly recurring, our annual recurring revenue and all that. But really, all we can control is our action, we cannot control the results. So and that's why there is fear, because it's been afraid of things we cannot control. And that's why we fear losing them, because we're not as much in control, I will ask about two things. How was luck or coincidence, a big factor in your life that you noticed? And secondly, a lot of new entrepreneurs are paralyzed because they're waiting to be perfect before they start thinking there is one right? Correct plan that will work every time? How do you open yourself up to failure to risk to the possibility of not getting it? What motivates you to go through that? So one is a word there good, Lucky circumstances that helped you? And second, how do you deal with that fear that other people can learn to love it and appreciate it and use it?
Dagobert Renouf 12:08
So that first question about luck. It's interesting us because they do have something to say about that. So like two months after I started lug ology, so that was, we started September 2018. Two months after that, my mom died of cancer, very kind of like out of nowhere. And so as you can imagine, it was pretty traumatic. And you know, at that time, we had saved, we had two years of runway to build dog ology, and I thought, Oh, this is a lot of money, we're going to be able to succeed. And then that happened. And then to be honest, like it caused such a shitstorm. With my dad, with some parts of my family like this, I couldn't do anything productive for like three months. And I had to handle everything, I had to handle the funeral. Because I was an only child, to my mom. And I had to do that I had to go through the, you know, the experience of losing my mom who died when she was 62, we had a pretty bad relationship at the end. But still, it's like losing your mom, it's like you fall down like black hole. Anyway, having to go through that. And seeing like, savings just disappear, like you'd like you're not making progress on your startup because like you're too, you know, going through shit. And at the same time, you have to pay for all the stuff related to due to her passing. And basically all your plans just like shadow, like in minutes, like it like in a couple days, everything just falls apart and all the neat plan of like, oh, within two years, we're going to be profitable, then you realize you've been six months in and you're not making any progress. And you're running out of money, because it's going way faster than you thought because of these external events. So that was like what I would define getting unlucky. Now at the same time, my mom was she was in depth and like, so that was even more stressful. Because I had to, you know, take some of that. And at the same time, because she died so young, she was 62. At the company, she worked that there was like some insurance for it. And I had no idea about it. Even my mom didn't know about it. I mean, she didn't even remember she signed up for that. Like the person who was taking care of my mum at the end. She told me about it. I'm like, oh, you should definitely call them this can be important. And so I called them and I ended up receiving, you know, what would be the equivalent of three more years of runway or two or three more years of runway, like out of that that came out of nowhere, like completely surprising and nobody expected that. And that's what I would call getting luck. You know, that's what I would call getting lucky. And so that's just to give you like this perspective on it. And Yeah, and like to just to end that, on that note, it's that, well, with this money, we, you know, getting out of like the traumatic experience of having my mother die, and then getting this lucky events after the unlucky one at Main that mean, we could keep going with the startup because we had some external money come in, I mean, kind of like, I call it like an angel investor, because, you know, that's kind of like what it is. And so yeah, to me, that's, that's my most clear experience of like, randomness, luck, bad luck, and how in at the end of it, you're not in control of anything, you know, to be honest, before I got that money, and I knew I could get that money. I was like, Okay, I'm gonna go back to a job. It's been like, eight months, we haven't made any progress, and we almost don't have money anymore. So it's like, completely failed. But then I had this lucky thing happened. And we could keep going. And eventually now, I, you know, we started getting a salary out of it, and we're probably going to be able to make it work. So you know, that's just good luck and bad luck in a nutshell, that I don't control things. Yeah. So I think it could be. I don't know if you want to react to that. Because if I answer the next door,
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 16:15
well, that's how I believe life really is. And that's how it motivates me. Because I remember when I had my first startup, which I worked on two years, and it failed. And it wasn't like progressing. Well, I learned a lot. Now I know that mistakes, but at least at that time, every morning, I will wake up and say, today could be the day where something lucky will happen, that will change everything. And that's what kept me motivated, where you're not seeing the results, the things you're doing are not working. I understand that in life, when we take an action, the result can come after many months. So we cannot just say it's not working, maybe it's not the time for it to work. But what motivated me is the understanding of randomness that, well, you can get lucky today, and therefore you should keep trying. And that's what kept me going for a long, long, long time.
Dagobert Renouf 17:13
Yeah, that's actually admire you that you're able to do that. Because it's not something I'm able to do like I don't I mean, I think of it I haven't got, I have a practice of being grateful, you know, for things that are positive that happened to me, but at the same time, and that's how I'm going to answer the second part of the question. Sometimes it just seems impossible to stay motivated, because you just don't see how it can work. Like you. I mean, literally like, so for me, that was like February, last year. So February 2021. I just, you know, it had been almost three years, and I just couldn't see how it would be successful. I mean, I had some things I had, like some happy customers, I knew the product had some value. But I had no idea how we're going to get to a point where we sell 10 times more than height now, to start to finally be a bit profitable, like how can we go from selling to logos amounts to 20, or 30, which is like closer to where we need. And it seemed completely hopeless, and impossible. And what kept me motivating, motivated. So I was an so it was a negative motivation. Like, at the end of the day, when I had no hope, no idea how we're going to succeed. The only reason I kept going is that because Oh, I think is going to work was a think it could work even though I don't know how, but I still believe it could somehow work with that, you know, magically, something could happen, like, as you said, like getting lucky. But I kept going mostly because I really didn't want to have a job again. And that's actually that taught me a lot that experience because I used to only focus on positive motivation. Because it seems more inspiring, you know, like, it's more inspiring to be like, oh, yeah, I'm motivated to change the world, I'm motivated to, like, improve the lives of people, you know, like very positive, high level stuff. And, you know, and I have some of that, but at the end of it, when you don't have any luck for a while, you feel down you don't have hope. Well, changing the world is like very abstract. And what helped me the most was like, I got kind of addicted to the freedom of building my own company, not having a boss, not having to do what every of somebody else wants me to do. And just being in charge and having full autonomy to build my dream company, my dream life. And I have become so used to that after a few years. I was like, Okay, I still have some savings. And you know, I would rather spend to the last, you know, dollar of my savings to keep doing that, because I enjoy it way more than having a job, I would rather do this, even if it fails at the end. And it's all a waste of money. But it wouldn't be a waste of money because I would enjoy my life more doing that than getting to a job again. And at the worst case scenario I have, I know, I can get a job back in a few months, because I'm, I'm lucky to be working as an engineer, and it's easy to find a job in my place. But, you know, so I was like, I can just go all in, even without hope. And I'm, and I'm motivated, because I just enjoy it way more than anything else I could do. So even if it fails, it's more enjoyable to me. So that's what gets me going.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 20:43
I agree. And to say it, I'm negatively motivated, but in a way that is unique, I guess, to me, that I'm defiant, where I look at my life, and I think I refuse to have this, I don't care, you know, I will do whatever it takes for me to get the life I deserve. Because I believe I have a relationship with time that I realize how short life is. And I noticed that the end of the day, that day was like five minutes or whatever it is. And therefore I think well, if I, the day, and life is so short, why would I accept to live it in a life that I don't want or I don't enjoy your I don't like and therefore it's the same where I say, okay, if I'm not enjoying my life anyway, I will spend it working until I get the life I want and sacrifice whatever is needed, so that I will have as many minutes or hours or years or days exactly, in that place where I'm at least thinking okay, I like this. Now it's a good place for me. And to be positively motivated. I don't know if you understand what I mean, where there is a level of negative motivation. Although Yes, of course, it's about not wanting a job and everything but more. It's saying no to life that I refuse to not have the life I want. And then when that happens, then it becomes Okay, I have the life I want. How can I make the world better from that place where I'm going positively? So both are useful? What is your comment on this?
Dagobert Renouf 22:25
Yeah, you know, it makes me think of the Maslow's hierarchy of needs, which is this, you know, psychological concept of a pie made of needs of like you need every level, every level level before you can have the upper levels, like lower levels are things like food, shelter, safety, if you don't have that you can't be thinking about, Oh, I dream of making a living building products I love like, if you can't even be sure you're going to make a living, you first need to get that settled. And once you can make a living with like your work or your skills, then you start thinking about, Oh, I wish I built my own thing, something that fulfills me. And then when you do that, you start thinking, how can I also fulfill other people? And how can I help other people? And yeah, I think my realization towards negative motivation is that, like, it's also acknowledging these lower motivations. And not just the higher ones, not just pretend like we're just like pure beings focusing on the well being of the whole world. And only that, but also remembering, oh, I also need to take care of myself, what I like what I don't like, because if I don't do that, I'm not going to have any bandwidth of energy to help others. So it's like, you know, I mean, like, very basic stuff to say, but like, you know, help yourself first, and then you can start helping others. And reminding myself of like, I need to help myself first. So I need to make money I need to, and then I need to be happy. And then I can help the world.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 23:58
I love our discussion I recommend for you since you want to be aware of all the levels a book by Don Beck. It's based on the graves model, and the book name is spiral dynamics, by Don Beck and his co author, where they speak about the levels of evolution of consciousness. How, you know, people can be at different degrees of evolution. And the higher you get, the more you're aware that all levels are valid in different circumstances and situations while in lower levels. People think oh, my way is the correct way and everybody else is, is beneath it or not as good as it so it's about being integral in thinking that go Bears. Really, I wish for you to have all your goals and dreams to come true. I encourage your work and your thought up and your time with your wife and everything on this Beautiful day. And if people want to follow you, to learn more about you to have conversations with you, or just to use your product, what are the best links for them to go, and I'll make sure to write your Twitter in the description as well.
Dagobert Renouf 25:17
Yeah, so I really enjoyed this discussion, too, it was very simple, and yet very deep. So I really appreciate it. And I'm grateful, you know, we got to meet and we got to do this. Now about the links, there's really, it's really simple, because I only spent time in two places, which one is going to be Twitter. So you can find me, you know, you can just type for Dagoberto news on Twitter handle is dego a newf. And that's where you know, and I try to interact with everyone. Because because I spend so much time on it, you know, your account has gone a bit bigger now, over the last few months. So I have a lot of people, you know, I'm talking to but it's always enjoyable, like to feel like you're on the journey. And it's the same journey other people are on. And you can just, I mean, I think just talk about that endlessly with other people and feel like we're like, on the same journey together. So if you're building a startup, if you're like, or you're thinking of building a startup or whatever, I'd love to meet you there, on my Twitter, either by interacting, or by sending me a DM if you want to. And now the second thing, you won't find me directly, but my product, which I'm running with my wife is called lithology. The website is local Aji, that CEO, and it's basically me and my wife, putting all of our all of what we learned and what we know about brand design, and designing logos and buying identities for startups that we used to do, especially my wife used to do that for more than 15 years, and finding a way to bring all that meaning and depth about it. But in a way that's affordable when you're just starting out. So it's really about having the same precision, I mean, as close as we can to doing a customer and design for your startup, which helps you you know, communicate who you are, connect with customers. And the idea of legality is to make it fully automated. So you can actually just take a quiz about the values of your startup takes a few minutes, and then we're going to tell you exactly the kind of brand colors, fonts and logo designs that match you. And then you can just, you know, buy one of those. And all of these designs were made by my wife over the past four years now. She's designing logos every week. She's designing some right now in the room next to me, adding new logos to our database every week. So eventually, we could help every founder in the world have a beautiful buying identity when they get started. So that's the two main things about me. And yeah, you can find out more if you want