Sometimes when I’m chatting with other business owners, they are very intrigued by the fact that YNAB is 100% a remote company.
Well, almost 100%. We have a few people that work at YNAB HQ, three of us, to be exact.
But the other 40+ members of the team work from their homes, in their pajamas. One in a barn. One in a closet. It’s exciting stuff.
And the pajamas, lack of commute, and flexibility sound amazing (and they are!) but there are also downsides to remote work. It can be harder to collaborate and you have to double-down on communication. It can be isolating and slow at times.
When people ask about how we do it, they aren’t curious about the technology we use or logistics. They want to talk about how we build culture, how we facilitate a sense of belonging, and how we maintain camaraderie.
This line of questioning—as with most things—leads me straight back to budgeting.
Intention Is Everything
At the end of the day, no matter what you’re trying to do, what you’re trying to accomplish, the key is to be intentional.
If you say, “We are going to be a remote company,” then you need to be intentional about what you’re doing there.
You have to be aware of the pitfalls. You have to capture and accentuate the positives and try to mitigate the pitfalls, like communication and asynchronous situations, dealing with different time zones and things like that.
With your money, it’s the same—you have to be intentional.
You have to recognize and articulate your goals and then run all your decisions through that filter.
There are still concrete things you can and should be doing. You need to think hard about your strengths and weaknesses, where you can mitigate risk and maximize your talents, questioning your decisions to ensure they line up with your goals.
At the end of the day, it’s about slowing down, being thoughtful, and taking one step at a time. Make the best decisions you can make right now, with the information you have.
I never thought, “Oh I’m going to start a remote company.” But the first employee was remote and from there, I just thought, “Well that worked.” And the next one, that worked. And on and on. Until pretty soon, we realized, we are a remote company. That’s when we started having to be intentional about it. Isn’t that a little bit how we are with money?
And Again, With The Intention
Maybe you’ve started making a little bit of money. Maybe you’re even earning an adult wage. And you realize, “Wow. Ok. I guess I better figure out what to do with my money. I’ve got to be intentional about this or it’s going to get away from me.”
The key to maintaining an awesome culture at a company where we are all remote is pretty simple—we are very intentional about it. We are thoughtful, proactive, keen to the details, and work hard to make it work. It’s the same for our money.