We’d like to know more about the fun side of the MVPs! And from what we heard, so do a lot of people in the community. Welcome to the Proust for Salesforce experts.
There is nothing more satisfying than to hear someone say, “You’ve helped remove a roadblock”, or “you’ve encouraged me to take the next step”.
Q: How did your love for Salesforce start? Was it a conscious choice or did the whole universe just conspire and make it happen?
In 2006, I became an accidental admin. I didn’t know what Salesforce was, but my company rolled it out to over 300 sales users. The admin gave notice two weeks after rolling it out and I was asked to field calls, which really meant take messages from the sales organization until they could backfill the position. Well, taking messages was neither solving nor supporting the sales team, so I worked with my Salesforce Premier Support Rep who helped me understand some of the basics and then I started to dive in and figure it out.
At the time I was a Sr. Marketing Programs Manager and there were rumors of the company beginning to experience some difficult times. I knew, if it were true, marketing and training are the first to lose funding and my days could be numbered. I had a supervisor who was of the same belief and offered me a choice, continue with the Salesforce admin position or take a chance and continue with marketing programs. Ten years later, you know which decision I made!
Fast forward to 2009. My company was acquired and they had their own Salesforce team located in another state. I was given a choice, transition into a new non-Salesforce position or take a package. During my “consideration” period, I received a phone call from that same supervisor mentioned above who by now was with a different company herself. She asked, “When are you going out on your own to do Salesforce consulting”. My response, “funny you should ask”. And the rest is Salesforce history!
Q: What is your current role?
I’m an independent consultant working with small and start-up companies who have generally self-implemented and are looking to cleanup data and put in place more of the native features and functionality for both Professional and Enterprise Editions.
These relationships often involve helping a company define their business processes. It’s interesting to see how common it is that companies aren’t able to map out their processes and they realize they are winging it. It’s an eye-opener.
Q: What does being a Salesforce MVP mean to you?
Being recognized with an unexpected induction in 2013 as a Salesforce MVP has been an unbelievable honor for which I will forever be grateful. To continuously show my appreciation and respect for the honor, I look for ways to continuously give back to the community that continues to support me. Whenever I have the opportunity to make an introduction, provide guidance, lend support, or answer questions, I think about how I have received the same and it fills me with pride to be able to follow in the footsteps of others who have pioneered in the community. Giving back in-person provides me with the most pleasure because I know immediately if and how I’ve contributed to an individual within the community. There is nothing more satisfying than to hear someone say, “You’ve helped remove a roadblock”, or “you’ve encouraged me to take the next step”.
Q: If not a Salesforce expert, what would you have become?
If I hadn’t become an accidental admin, I most likely would have continued as a Marketing Programs Manager. I’m so glad this particular accident happened!
Q: Which blogs / channels do you follow to get your Salesforce elixir?
I think like most people living in this fast-paced, superhighway of information in the Twittersphere, I take in whatever is hurled at me via Twitter, Success Community groups, Facebook, webinars, invitations, etc. I find that in-person discussions and learning both stick with me better because there is a personal connection. It makes a better “bookmark” for me than reading blogs. I find value in blogs for supplemental information after I’ve attended a webinar, watched a video, or sat through a Dreamforce/User Group session. So blog writers, keep the content coming! And, if you are a video blogger, send your site my way!
Q: How does it feel to be leading "MVP Office Hours"?
I am one of three co-hosts for MVP Office Hours (originally founded by Joshua Hoskins) and it honestly takes all three of us to hold a bi-monthly call (1st & 3rd Fridays, 2p EST). We’ve surpassed the 100th episode and I’m humbled to have been pulled into the fold by my current co-hosts, Jarrod Kingston and Dale Ziegler, for this continual contribution. It has been a great opportunity to bring other MVPs, both admins and developers, to the call who have specific expertise that the community can tap into on a regular basis. If your readers haven’t heard of MVP Office Hours, they can get all the latest announcements via Twitter (@MVPOfficeHours) or through the Success Community (MVP Office Hours). It’s a one hour Q&A call where any question can be asked. (Insider tip: watch for a Trailhead announcement in December!)
Q: What’s next in line for you after the coveted MVP title?
I’d like people to understand that being honored as an MVP is the result of genuine, selfless giving to a community that seeks help and support. Having a goal to become an MVP isn’t the right mindset and goes against the fundamentals and core of the program.
At the point in which my MVP tenure ends, my contributions will not change. I enjoy helping others see their worth, own their goals, and reach potentials they didn’t think possible. I had a mentor years ago who said it was her job to remove my roadblocks. It changed my life and view of my self-worth. For that I’m grateful and pay it forward as often as possible through mentoring of my own.
Q: What has been your most memorable Dreamforce experience till date?
Each year I say that year was the best Dreamforce ever. However, 2016 was honestly the best and I can’t image any future year exceeding this year’s highlights. For me Dreamforce comes down to the people. It’s where I meet like-minded people who drink the same darn Kool-Aid I drink! We get excited about the same things and inspire each other to continue to stretch beyond challenges that make us uncomfortable.
2016 was no different, with one exception! Through the Success Community, I made a “virtual” friend three of four years ago. We live on different continents, live among different cultures, and have an age difference of 20+ years. We never thought we’d be fortunate enough to meet in-person, but the day finally came in San Francisco, at Dreamforce 2016 when I met Deepak Anand in-person and was able to give him a proper hug-of-thanks for all of his community contributions!
There’s a second part to this 2016 Dreamforce story. I met Mayank Srivastava in 2014, who resides in the northeast, and this relationship too started out virtually. It was about a year into our regular chats that we discovered we were both “virtual” friends with Deepak. So, the three of us spent most of Dreamforce together guiding Deepak through his first Dreamforce and first trip to the United States. It was truly an amazing Dreamforce! It won’t be topped.
If you don’t know either of these fine gentlemen, get to know them and follow them via Twitter (@deepak_kanand, @sriv_mayank) and Success Community, and make sure you give them a proper thank you if they’ve solved your questions on Answers! They have brilliant, selfless minds!
Q: Other than Salesforce, what does your world look like?
My husband and I are three years new to the Carolinas, so we continue to explore the beautiful south and enjoy the seasons. We spent 20 years in Florida, so this Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer thing is all new to us. And, we love it!
I consider myself lucky to work remotely, thanks to technology, so that I may witness a small herd of deer scampering through the yard at any given time and to welcome new fawns each season. I wouldn’t trade this feeling of calm for any big city life. It’s where I belong. But, if I want big city, it’s a short drive. I guess, I have the best of all worlds!
Q: What’s something about you that you think would surprise others?
I’m a self-proclaimed introvert who forces herself to break out of her shell. I’ve worked to overcome this struggle to force myself to strike up conversation with strangers. Having Salesforce in common sure does help break that ice and it gives me a sense of a “safe place”.
Q: Anything we missed?
I offer this… if you are struggling to remove roadblocks and want to either begin or increase your community contributions, please feel free to connect with me via Twitter (@Jackieforce)… yes there is a story behind that Twitter handle, or through the Success Community. I’d welcome a chat to hear about your dreams and goals. I can help to remove roadblocks even when you don’t realize that’s what you are up against.
Salesforce Certified Admin