The Balancing Act episode #1: Juggling family duties as a startup founder

Welcome to The Balancing Act, a special collaboration between Sleek and Parents in Tech that features our fellow Sleekers on topics ranging from creating work-life balance, balancing career ambitions, and striving in the tech industry – while being a parent!

In its first episode, join podcast host, Qin En, as he explores the challenges of starting a company as a new father with our co-founder and CEO, Julien Labruyere.

Listen as Julien shares his experience of how he started Sleek while raising a family of 2 boys in a completely different culture.

Continue reading to learn more about some important talking points shared, or listen to the podcast.

How parenthood has shaped Julien’s perspective as a CEO

Julien’s journey into parenthood coincides with his journey in founding Sleek. Reflecting on how parenthood has changed his life, shaped his perspective, and influenced the way he leads and grows Sleek, Julien highlights these 3 points.

1. Building the company culture.

Being a parent makes you focus more on the long term about the things that really last. Julien spends much time thinking about questions like “what are you here for”, “what are your values”, as these are the things you want to teach the kids. It is more about the values than how to do things per se.

The SLEEK culture – Simplicity, Loyalty, Entrepreneurial, Excellence and Kindness – are values that Julien brings home as well.

2. Being more supportive and empathetic for employees.

Julien tends to be extremely understanding and empathetic towards Sleek employees who are parents or going to be parents to navigate the dynamics between family and workspace.

The number one rule he follows is to never ask or expect from someone else what he would not do himself.

3. Making conscious Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts.

For Julien, he’s always been aware of the impact we have on the environment, but he feels much more stressful as a parent to not leave the children with a planet in such a bad state. That is just a powerful engine. For the corporate secretary, you see boxes of papers being moved around for no reason while Sleek is all about the opposite, to do everything digital. And Sleek is on a mission of achieving carbon neutrality in its own operations.

“As you become a parent, you think about things that you were not even aware of before. You don’t see the world the same way.”

You don’t have to be perfect at time management to run a business & family at the same time

Entrepreneurs who become parents are often concerned whether they’re fully equipped with all the skills to juggle two kinds of life. Julien thinks it is actually the other way around. Parenting teaches you a lot about working under tiredness. And it prompts you to be a much better leader by building your endurance, patience and making you less radical in your strategic thinking.

The most important lesson he learned is about delegation. To be 100% present with the Sleek team when at work, and to be 100% present with his family when at home, he needs to identify what are the parts that are irreplaceable, and whatnot, then outsourcing it.

One piece of advice for parents in tech

Parents in tech, if you're thinking of being an entrepreneur, I think you should go for it. Being a parent and an entrepreneur has more commonalities than you might think. You have a co-founder to deal with. You have big plans. You have realities that sometimes are very far apart that you need to adjust, to iterate, again and again.

I know a lot of people are sometimes shy of crossing the river and becoming their own boss. If you are a parent, you are actually crossing a much bigger river than any business.

Julien Labruyere

What’s next?

Inspired to make the switch to tech? Join our supporting community here at Sleek. Take a look at our available positions here.

Start a business in less than 3 hours with us. Talk to our experts today.

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