Finding fulfillment through fun work and values

The other day I woke up in Brooklyn, looked out my window, and thought: 

  1. I don’t want to go to work.
  2. Why am I waking up in New York?

Earlier in 2015 I decided that everything I do would be with the intention of happiness. This means being hyper-thoughtful of times when I just may not want to participate or do something, and acting on that feeling. I love New York, it’s home since birth but my curiosity and adventure is thumping. I called Cesar Romero to learned about his experiences working remote with Under30CEO. Working remote seems like the answer to my morning thoughts–but doing it for the right company seems to be the biggest challenge. Cesar shared resources on companies that he’s noticed in the ‘market.

Buffer is one that has always had my attention. I’m a digital media junkie so Buffer is a naturally aligned product. Buffer’s also got a really great story and the founders seem to be folks that would pass my airport test. They also started the company after reading Dale Carnegie’s, How to Win Friends and Influence People. One of my favorite self-help books.

Culture is extremely important when you’re remote (it’s a big deal in person too). That’s another thing I appreciate about Buffer. I found their cultural principles on a culture deck and took the time to record them into one place because I thought they were great. These are below. I’ve sprinkled in things that I thought add value in Bold:

The Buffer Culture……Core Value: Everything is always a work in progress

  1. Choose positivity and happiness
    • Strive to approach things in a positive way
    • Avoid criticizing or condemning your team
    • Avoid complaining
    • Let people save pace—even when they’re wrong
    • Be deliberate about giving appreciation genuinely
  2. Default to transparency
    • Take pride in opportunities to share beliefs, failures, strengths and decisions
    • Use transparency as a tool to help others
    • Always state your thoughts immediately and with honesty
    • Share early in the decision process. Avoid “Big Revelations”
  3. Have a focus on self improvement
    • Be conscious of your current level of productivity and happiness. Make continual changes to grow. 
    • Have a higher expectation of yourself than your employer
    • Regularly and deliberately do things that make you feel uncomfortable
    • Develop habits that improve your mind and body
  4. Be a “no ego” doer
    • Don’t attach your personal self to ideas
    • Let others have your best ideas
    • Approach new ideas thinking “What can we do right now?”
    • Be humble
    • Ship fast. Ship frequently. As soon as there is an improvement it should be out the door. (Consider the personal application here too)
  5. Listen first, then listen more
    • Seek to understand. Then look to be understood. 
    • Focus on listening>Responding
    • Approach life with: everything is a hypothesis. You could be wrong. 
    • Be suggestive rather than instructive. Replacing phrases such as ‘certainly,’ ‘undoubted,’ ’should’ with ‘perhaps,’ ‘i think’, ‘my intuition right now,’ ‘could.’
  6. Have a bias towards clarity
    • Speak, Code, Design, and Write in a clear manner instead of being clever
    • Over-communicate, repeating things more times than you would intuitively
    • After meetings, do e-mail followups clearly stating deliverables for everyone. Ask for feedback in case you understood something incorrectly. 
    • Use more words to explain, even if it feels obvious
    • Don’t make assumptions—ask that extra question to have the full picture
  7. Make time to reflect
    • Find time for reflection. That’s where life-changing adjustments come from
    • Have a calm approach to discussions. Ponder points in your own time.
    • Find time to jump out of the trenches into the higher level thinking that will move the needle
    • Understand the value of patience and treat it as a muscle which needs practice to grow
  8. Live smarter, not harder
    • Value waking up fresh more than working that extra hour
    • Always aim to be fully engaged in an activity, or resting
    • Single task your way through the day
    • Be at the top of your game-focus on expanding your capacity of mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual energy
    • Choose to be where you are most happy and most productive. Fearlessly seek that. 
  9. Show gratitude
    • Stop and take appreciation for your circumstances regularly
    • Approach consumer conversations with humility and the idea that ’this is a privilege to serve them’
    • “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” -Isaac Newton
  10. Do the right thing
    • Choose what’s best for customers and the company in the long-term
    • Correct the mistake even when no one would notice
    • Strive to provide the best solution, even if that means foregoing profit
    • Get excited about opportunities to help others

How does this look different than your work culture today?

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