CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Nurasyl Serik, Co-Founder & CEO at Remofirst

Nurasyl Serik is the Co-Founder & CEO at Remofirst, a startup providing global payroll and compliance for remote teams.

Learn about the daily routines from the most successful people in the world by signing up to our newsletter

To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I’m originally from Kazakhstan, and have lived most of my life in the UK. I got into the Remote Work space about 6 years ago, about 4 years before it became a trend. My co-founder is from Ukraine, and when we were starting companies in the UK we were bootstrapped, so a way to save on costs was to be remote-first. 

Many of our initial startups failed, but we had one successful exit with Felix Math which was an AI maths product. With that product you could take a picture of any maths equation and it would give you a step-by-step solution in seconds.

We realized there that one of the biggest challenges we had as remote-first companies was hiring people around the world in a compliant way. We tried some legacy solutions but they weren’t quite tech-savvy or fast enough for our needs. 

We didn’t know why global payroll was so painful in this day and age, and that served as a big motivation to tackle this industry and build something that we could use ourselves. So in that way, we kind of became our own first customer as it was a pain we had always felt. 

Once we sold that company, I became a product manager at a company called Job Today where I led the division that built out payroll in the UK. That was my first experience building out a payroll system, and after that I felt inspired to try to build the next generation of global payroll systems for the future of work. Today I am the co-founder and CEO of Remofirst.

What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

After waking up and taking some time to have breakfast with my wife and walk my dog, I get online to greet my team. We are distributed around the world, so I can start work as early as possible as we have some team members who are already halfway through their day (and others who are still sleeping for a few more hours). 

The first thing I do is check my email for any pressing matters that need my attention. I want my investors to know that I am readily available for any of their requests, so I make sure to get back to everyone within 24 hours (or pass any requests to relevant members of my team). After that I go through my (pretty lengthy) to-do list and start tackling that.

Since our company is distributed, instead of logging off altogether while several of our team members are working, I take some breaks in the afternoon and come back for a couple of hours in the evening so that I can better collaborate with those team members across the world.

What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work-life balance to me means the freedom of work. The way that I’ve found balance in my work and personal lives is by adding flexibility to my schedule.

We make it a rule at our company to only meet when necessary and give our employees more time to “flow”. This flexibility, or freedom, allows me to work when I’m most productive, and get work done while also accomplishing personal tasks in my daily life.

Elon Musk, Kobe Bryant, Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles, receive a new daily routine each week about some of the most successful people in the world.

In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I’ve made some changes to my eating lifestyle recently to take into account my body’s specific needs when it comes to food and nutrients.

Each of our bodies is unique, and I recently found out that my unique body does not digest certain foods well. So I’ve made some changes that overall have made me feel much better in my day-to-day life.

Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I recently re-read a book called Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares. It feels very appropriate given the stage we are in with Remofirst, and is a great read for anyone trying to increase their customer growth.

If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

I would like to hear from the leadership team at Syncro, where they were just honored for having the happiest employees with the best work-life balance. 

Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

I think flexible options like working remotely are what will help us achieve the ultimate work-life balance. Whether we are working from home and doing laundry in the background, or working from a new country and watching the sunset while finishing a report — flexible, remote work is what will let us achieve the work-life balance that makes us feel fulfilled. 

Before you go…

If you’d like to sponsor or advertise with Balance the Grind, let’s talk here

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.