Clément Houllier (auum): « Embody your choices »

Let’s explore deeply the nature of Clément Houllier, CEO & cofounder of auum, thanks to the questions asked by the podcast host Geoffrey.

Do you have any advice that has been given to you that has been very useful in life so far?

Follow your own instincts and if you decide to listen to people, do not systematically follow their recommendations. Frankly, I don’t know how many comments I’ve had about the management of my company…

Take the advice, do what you want to do and embody your choices. That’s really the most important thing I try to do. It doesn’t matter what your style of management, CEO, entrepreneur is. Embody your choices, and to do so, you have to be consistent with yourself.

So listen to people, because you can take things from what they tell you, but don’t take everything. I’ve often been given a lot of information: you have to do it this way, that way. And in fact, I didn’t feel it, so I didn’t do it.

You’re the only one who has a 360° view of your company, of what’s going on and what you’re capable of implementing or doing.

Is there a sound you could listen to on a loop right now?

I listen to Orelsan quite a lot.

I also loved the series about him that I found fascinating on Prime Video, Montre jamais ça à personne. I thought it was incredible, very fair and authentic. And I think it’s quite fascinating to see how he has evolved, and especially the relationship with his associates like Skread or Gringe.

They have created a relationship that is similar to the relationship we have with the four cofounders of auum. I think it’s pretty amazing how he hass managed to build that and still be himself after all these years and after the success as well, and to see that it’s a long road. It’s constant work, and that’s also what entrepreneurship is.

I think that the transpositions between these jobs where you are more or less the master of your boat are also hard, stressful jobs, with a high mental load but which allow you to generate very high sensations and emotions.

Is there anything about you that people would be surprised to learn?

I used to play guitar in the metro.

Is there a habit you’re trying to get into or stop at the moment?

Basically, I like not to be addicted to things and therefore to never be in excess, to always be in the right place. So I’m not saying I always manage to do that, but I try not to go on social networks too much, not to drink too much coffee, not to drink too much alcohol.

It’s all about having a consistent rhythm and not being excessive. So that’s the battle I fight all the time. At the moment, my thing is to drink less coffee and to continue to maintain a consistent lifestyle. And every time I feel that I’m going too far, I try to rebalance immediately.

If you had to give one piece of advice to someone who would like to follow your path, what would it be?

Do things that really excite you, even if it’s not easy. In any case, you have to find an element, and I’ll give you my example.

What excites me are human adventures and their construction, you see, it’s not even the ecological character, because the sense of history of our project is undeniable and it motivates me. But that’s not what excites me every day.

What excites me every day is building a company with ambition and creating something huge with humans. You have to find your self, what really excites you every day. For auum, it’s been four years now, but we’ve hardly done anything, we’re only at the beginning of the story, and we’ve still got another four years to go at least.

Be able to put the same intensity, the same rhythm for five years on a subject. And if you want to do it for five years, you have to be really passionate.

Is there a book that has marked you?

That’s one of the things I should do: read a bit more often. I’m very into comics, so I’d say World without end by Jean-Marc Jancovici.