What I have done, you can do

It is difficult to believe that I was depressed, broke and unemployed just four years ago – what an amazing journey it has been! With the help and support of family, friends and the Salesforce Ohana, my life has been truly transformed. I am very thankful.

How about you? Do you need a change? Personal and/or vocational transformation?

What I have done, you can do.

Take courage and make the break

They say that you don’t leave something, or someone, until the pain of staying is greater than the pain of leaving. That said, major changes are just plain hard. There is comfort in the status quo.

If you don’t make the break, your situation will not magically improve just because you want it to. Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different result.” You simply must make the break.

How do you find the courage to make the break? I can’t speak for you, but I know what works for me. I have gained courage from some pretty amazing family and friends, especially my wife, Christina. I have a few trusted counsellors who I turn to for advice, and they helped me to make the break. There are also some inspirational stories that have helped me along the way, such as those of Peter Lyons, Cheryl Feldman and Zac Otero.

I don’t know how you will find the courage to reinvent yourself, but remember this: courage is not the absence of fear; it is doing what you must while you are afraid. A great many of the choices that make life worth living and define who we are require courage. Asking someone out. Getting married. Starting a family. Moving home. Overcoming adversity. Ending toxic relationships. Changing careers.

Those timid souls who shy away from the scary choices of life seldom make more than a ripple in the fabric of time – they just simply were

Find your passion and make it your work

What do you love to do? What lights your fire? Where do your talents lie? If you could do anything for work, what would it be?

Only you can answer this question, and answer it you must, if you would break free from the painful present and embrace a fantastic future!

Life is too short to endure the misery of a stifling and painful vocation. You may have to do without financially, or burn the candle at both ends for a while, but it is worth it.

Be teachable

It takes patience and humility to put yourself back into the student’s chair when you have been teaching others for two decades, but that is what it took for me to reinvent myself, and I believe you will need to do the same.

I could not count how many hours I have spent reading, researching and learning online since May of 2016. For example, I have invested hundreds of hours in the free Salesforce online learning tool, Salesforce Trailhead online. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

Work hard and persistently

Thomas Alva Edison famously said, “There is no substitute for hard work.” A dream without a plan is a wish, and a plan without labour is a joke! Nothing worthwhile was ever achieved without consistent, persistent effort.

Over the years, since I started this crazy Salesforce journey, is has not been unusual for me to begin my work day before 6:30, opening up the offices at dawn, and sometimes I am the last to “close up shop” at the end of a long and arduous day. You don’t teach yourself a totally new platform, then implement that platform as the key business system, without putting in the hours. The same is true of establishing a new business as Salesforce partners – it is just plain hard work.

If you are lazy and unmotivated, do yourself a favour – stay where you are.

Embed yourself in a community

Whatever field of endeavour you choose to pursue, don’t do it alone!

No man is an island, entire of itself;
Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
John Donne

Join a community, embrace it’s culture, and contribute. Receive from the membership, and give back in return. I never would have made it this far without the amazing ohana of the Salesforce Success Community.

Perhaps the most relevant observation I have made is encapsulated in a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt:

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”

You cannot experience the incredible until you attempt the impossible. Ever since the day that I agreed to implement Financial Services Cloud when I had never even seen Salesforce, I have been continually pushing the envelope from a personal skills and experience perspective. I find myself repeatedly diving into a new system, solving a new problem, or making a new application. It just never ends! It could, though, if I refused to move forward and launch out into the deep. All I have to do is say “no”, right? If I did, the craziness would stop – but so would the awesomeness! So, I just keep saying, “yes”, and here I am.

No one ever grew in their comfort zone. Why would you expect to grow and progress when you won’t take a leap of faith and try something new, something difficult? Keep doing what you have been doing and you will keep getting what you have been getting.

I cannot tell you how many times I have been just moments from running away. How desperately I wanted to throw in the towel and tell our CEO to hire an experienced consultant, and let me get some boring job where I had a vague idea what I was doing! I was unqualified, inexperienced, untrained and overwhelmed. What right did I have to build a custom Salesforce org, Pardot marketing automation and Einstein Analytics for a growing wealth management business when I had no expertise in any of these systems or in wealth management? Who I am to partner in a new data analytics business and become the practice lead? Yet, that is exactly what I have done.

It takes courage, persistence, belief, support, and a little bit of insanity to do what I have done since June of 2016. It isn’t for everybody! As terrifying and stressful as it has been at times, I wouldn’t exchange it for the world. What a fantastic journey!

It all started with saying yes to a great opportunity that seemed impossible at the time.

“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” — Richard Branson

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