Tag Archives: Happiness

Dreamforce 14: It’s All In The Shoes.

My #DF14 ProTips? Well, there are only two that count:Pretty Much Perfect

  1. WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES 
  2. DO NOT LUG YOUR LAPTOP DURING THE EVENT.

If you heed these two items, it’s pretty much a given that your Dreamforce experience will be epic. With over 100,000 thousand people converging to talk about the future of how we do just about everything, if you don’t make new connections with both people and ideas, it’s not due to lack of opportunity.

The event campus is bigger than ever (to say the least) and you will absolutely be wowed at each venue. For my nonprofit and Higher Ed folks, you’ve got more session content to choose from this year, and a dedicated zone in the Marriott Marquis to hang with your community. Branching out, though, is still a tremendous way to get food for thought and get your creative juices flowing.

  • The Foundation Zone is in the Marriott Marquis (campus map below in resources – AND in the Dreamforce App) – this is where you’ll find tons of Nonprofit-centric content and community, as well as Circles of Success (small moderated group discussions) and the Foundation Theater. Don’t miss our Nonprofit Kickoff  which takes place Monday at 1:15PM – 2:15PM in the Marriott Marquis Golden Gate (Rooms A, B).  Dollars to Donuts (is that still a thing?), this is a great place to find me, the N Nonprofit and Higher Ed community, and a ton of other folks from the Foundation team.
  • The Palace Hotel is the home for all things Marketing Cloud, where you will likely geek out for an extended period of time. This is likely the OTHER place I’ll be hanging at #DF14. There is SO. MUCH. NEW. in the Marketing Cloud world this year, don’t miss the opportunity to get in front of ALL the demo screens you can!
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Filed under Community, DF14, Higher Ed, Nonprofit

Find ME (AND some stellar sessions, to boot) at #DF14

 I’d love to Fist Bump with you at Dreamforce!

Here 996704_10152096401794231_221032568_n (2)are the places I KNOW I’ll be, and other than that, check my Foursquare

Dreamforce is such an awesome opportunity to meet people in real life. Every year I’m lucky enough to meet people who I know digitally but have never had the chance to see “in the world”. As attendance has exploded over the years, it gets harder and harder to be in the right place at the right time. My Dreamforce goal this year is to connect with as many people as possible – if only to fist bump and move on to the next amazing event!

 

I mean it, let’s connect “In Real Life” @Dreamforce

Monday

Foundation Zone: Nonprofit / Higher Ed Circles of Success – Getting Started with Salesforce[Nonprofit, Higher Ed] Monday, 10/13 9:00AM – 10:00AM Marriott Marquis, Foundation Zone Session Abstract: Wondering where to look for prescriptive guidance on deploying Salesforce? Struggling to figure out where to start and what questions to ask to ensure you don’t go down the wrong path?  This Circle of Success is your first stop! Foundation Circles of Success sessions run throughout Dreamforce during the Foundation Zone hours and walk-ups will be accommodated wherever possible.  

Foundation Zone: Nonprofit Kickoff [Nonprofit] Monday, 10/13 1:15PM – 2:15PM Marriott Marquis, Golden Gate A,B Session Abstract: Learn how the leading innovators are driving impact, and engaging supporters by connecting with constituents in powerful new ways. By leveraging social, mobile, and cloud strategies, these early adopters are disrupting the status quo and revolutionizing how they connect their donors, staff, volunteers, and programs to accelerate social good. We’ll feature some of the most inspiring and innovative game changers in the sector.

Foundation Zone: Higher Ed Kickoff [Nonprofit] Monday, 10/13 3:00PM – 4:00PM Marriott Marquis, Golden Gate A,B Session Abstract: Learn how the leading innovators are transforming higher education across the student lifecycle by connecting with constituents in powerful new ways. By leveraging social, mobile, and cloud strategies, these early adopters are disrupting the status quo and revolutionizing how they connect their students, faculty, staff, alumni, and corporations, leading to accelerated and scaled change. Multiple success stories will be featured.

Tuesday

Foundation Zone: Share Your Story: [Nonprofit, Higher Ed] Tuesday, 10/14 9:00AM – 11:00AM Marriott Marquis, Foundation Zone Share YOUR organization’s success with all of Dreamforce (and beyond)! This feature is open throughout Dreamforce during the Foundation Zone hours.

 Understand the Power of Social with The American Red Cross: B2B, B2C, Nonprofit, Higher Ed] Tuesday, 10/14 11AM-11:40AM Palace Hotel, Twin Peaks The Red Cross built a Digital Operations Center and a command center dedicated to monitoring and staying in touch with the public using social channels. The innovative center uses the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud to listen to social media conversations—gathering invaluable information during a disaster, or monitoring public preparedness for a serious situation.

Data gathered in the Digital Operations Center can also help determine where to position workers on the ground. ARC started with a centralized, national social listening program. They are now working to “decentralize” the program, in order to empower regions across the country to harness the listening power and standards of practice they have developed. Their goal is not  only to strengthen the work already happening at headquarters, but to also enable the regions to become more effective leaders in the digital space.  Join us to learn how you can do the same in your organization. Join Kristiana Almeida of the Red Cross to hear their journey and accelerate yours!

The Concert For Kids: Presented by Salesforce.com Foundation (and after party!): Tuesday, 10/14 8PM-1AM City Hall & Civic Center Plaza A benefit in conjunction with the Dreamforce Gala [All Attendees] Bruno Mars, Cake, and all of us. In a word, PHENOMENAL. In another couple of words: BENEFITING KIDS.

Wednesday

Leveraging Next-Gen Marketing Automation Tools in Higher Ed: [Higher Ed] Wednesday, 10/15 1:00PM-1:40PM Palace Hotel, Twin Peaks By providing meaningful and relevant messages, you can create rich life-long relationships with your students, alumni, and donors. Join us to learn how you can unlock Salesforce CRM data to engage your customers with the right message, through the right channels, at the right time by leveraging the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud.

Smith College will share how they are using Salesforce CRM with the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud to improve communications, increase marketing efficiency, and track results. You’ll leave this session inspired to create stronger, more meaningful connections with your constituents!

Engaging Your Supporters on Social[B2B, B2C, Nonprofit, Higher Ed] Wednesday, 4:00PM – 4:40PM Marriott Marquis, Club Room There are over 4.5 Billion aggregate social users and that number grows every day. Join us as one of the leading game changers in the nonprofit sector show you how they’re driving engagement on social channels for their organization.

Stephanie Startz, Associate Director, Digital Strategy at The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, will present on the benefits of using social media to reach the Parkinson’s community. She’ll  provide an overview of the MJFF strategy and tools they use to power their mission, including a dive into the tactics that have proven successful on their social channels.

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Filed under Community, DF14, Higher Ed, Nonprofit

I would rather …

I would rather die of passion than of boredom — Vincent van Gogh

March 30, 2014 marks Vincent van Gogh’s 161 birthday. March 29 marks my considerable lower number birthday. I

Vincent van Gogh, Self Portrait, 1889, Oil on canvas

Vincent van Gogh, Self Portrait, 1889, Oil on canvas

didn’t know that van Gogh was also a “March Baby” until I was doing a bit of research about him after being taken with the quote which prompted me to write this post. But the timing, coupled with the inspiration, seemed an appropriate opportunity to write.

Dear readers, if you’re still there for me, know that in my absence I have been working hard to come up to speed in my newest endeavor. For those of you who may not know, I’m honored to be working with the Salesforce Foundation supporting the world’s best nonprofits and higher educators with their digital and social media programs. My only purpose at the Foundation is to help organizations – amazing, inspiring, and excellent organizations – be even more amazing, inspiring, and excellent.

I’ve had many “I can’t believe this is my life” moments in the short time I’ve been working with the Foundation, and the promise of many more to come. But here’s the thing, I am also getting to feed my customers’ thoughts, challenges, and feedback to the incredible product team who is equally up for the challenge of building the future. It’s a thrill ride. It is the junction of my passion and my skills.

It is – simply – a #DREAMjob.

My involvement with my customers has already profoundly changed the way I view time. I’ve never had more to do – never – and yet I feel more invigorated than ever. Somehow, I’m also finding the time to give back to my community more than ever, taking up hobbies, learning a language, and enjoying my family deeply. Time has expanded in this even more deeply passion-driven version of my life.

In previous (and also awesome) roles, I was always busy. Hell, anyone who knows me knows I prefer to be at least a bit over-committed in my professional life. But this is a different level of busy, this is the kind of busy that is impossible, but worth trying. Worth really, really going for it. Why? Because I get to work with the people who are literally building the future.

I am honored. I am challenged. I am up for it.

Happy Birthday, Mr. van Gogh. And to you, whoever you are, may your day shine brightly and your talents expand to reach the challenges in front of you.

Learn more about the Salesforce Foundation, their 1/1/1 philanthropic model, and how their customers rock it out. And then spread the word. 

Have a thought, feedback, inspiration, or comment? Do tell!

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March 26, 2014 · 7:13 am

This is very exciting [real edition]

Photo Credit: BeautifulPeopleATX [Flickr]This week marks a milestone for me. One year ago, I officially moved from being an “internal resource” and became “A Consultant”. Those that know me well know that I agonized over this decision before taking the plunge.

My previous gig was awesome. I had cool puzzles to solve, an expectation to be creative and the trust of leadership to do my things my way. Mostly, that’s a rare and beautiful thing, especially when you get all the best tools to play with. Add to that the fact that I was lucky enough to have some really passionate and dedicated folks on my team and, well, you’re in a post that is (if you’re like me) hard to abandon.

Esteban Kolsky was right

But I went for it anyway. And here I stand one year later absolutely certain that it was the best career move I’ve ever made. I love consulting. I love my clients. I love the insane deadlines and my new-found ability to rock a presentation that didn’t exist like 15 minutes ago. I love having (even more) of an inside scoop on what’s going on in the industry. I adore working with the analysts, bloggers, and product developers who are – literally – shaping tomorrow for the rest of us.

While at a Social CRM conference in Silicon Valley last year, I asked Esteban Kolsky how I’d know if “Going Consultant” was the right move for me. I was feeling very fragile as this was in the first weeks of having made the move. I probably looked like a human version of a newly hatched bird experimenting with its wings for the first time. Sad. Uncertain. Needy. Gross.

Anyhoo, Mr. Kolsky looked into my eyes and said (essentially): Give it a year. You’ll never look back.

On Going For It

I’ve given it a year and I’m not looking back. I love the velocity of the SCRM industry. I an thrilled to know and to meet and to work alongside the incredible people who are making magic happen every single day. I love that this community is so connected that in almost any city in almost any country I can reach out to folks I’ve connected with through our shared passion and have lunch, dinner, or coffee with a friend.

I’d wager Mr. Kolsky doesn’t remember this exchange. However, I won’t forget it. His (probably polite) encouragement coupled with my desire to strike out into new frontiers and the support of a truly amazing mentor all helped me to quiet the monsters of doubt. These monsters were the voices in my head who derided me for walking away from the Corporate America sure thing on the fast path to VP-dom. They’re silent now.

Have I been too busy this year? You bet! Have I (still) been a workaholic struggling with work-life balance? Absolutely. But I’m working on it. I really am. And in the meantime, I just love this stuff and I  can’t wait to see what the next 365 days holds.

Next Stop: The Hat Store

To those who are on this ride with me: thank you. For your support and encouragement and patience. You know who you are (and if you don’t, I’m taking the next week or so to let all of you know!). Without you, I’m nothing. Really.

So, what do the next 365 days hold? Who knows! I can wager, and I know what I’m excited to work on…but the industry is accelerating and life just isn’t guaranteed. My goal: hang on to my hat and swing for the bleachers. 

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July 9, 2012 · 9:03 am

Yeah, I Love This.

This weekend we held our third Annual Florida Salesforce.com User Group Event, “Dreamforce to YOU – Florida“. It was our most ambitious effort to date, with 12 sessions spanning from Project methodologies to a highly attended Developer Deep Dive session. We had two guest speakers this year, and with them onsite, it brought our Salesforce.com MVP count up to 4 – I speculated that meant we were likely the highest MVP count per capita on Saturday ( I could be wrong, but it was fun to think so!).

But the BEST thing – the most exciting moment – for me was when attendees stopped me in the hall and said things like, I can’t WAIT to try the new formula I just learned! or I think I may have just found a job!. That’s what this whole Community thing is about, really.

How did this happen?

I started attending the Salesforce.com Orlando User Group over 4 years ago out of desperation – I needed to find employees who were creative, passionate, and really really into Cloud Computing. I was having NO luck through traditional methods. Cloud computing was then (as it is now) a hot profession, and talented folks weren’t just sitting about hoping someone would call. So after trying to get my HR department fired up to help me (no luck at the time) and then outsourcing through local headhunters, I faced the hard reality that it. Just. Wasn’t. Happening.

My last ditch effort IMMEDIATELY paid off. I met my first hire at that first meeting. He was a super star (still is!) looking for his next new challenge. He was just the guy I was looking for: smart as a whip, creative as hell, and looking for a tough puzzle to solve. I had a really tough puzzle and we made it official as fast as I could get the paperwork pushed through. That was the beginning of a great era: the era of getting things done.

I credit the Salesforce.com User Groups for making that year ‘happen’. I know I’d never have been able to push the ball as far down-field without the Community.

From there, the User Group and the extended Community has personally brought me friends, new skills, creative ways to attack my org’s issues, camaraderie, and the constant drive to do better. I’ve connected to some of the smartest people I’ve ever met (and that, my friends, is saying something!) through this Community. I was happy to become a co-leader of the Orlando User Group when there was a need shortly after I joined the User Group. Since then, we’ve had three Dreamforce to YOU events, many local User Group meetings, socials, and impromptu meetups. It’s been a fabulous ride!

Why is Community #AWESOME?

The idea for Dreamforce to YOU was simply to bring a day of content and collaboration to our Orlando User Group members. Co-leader Joshua Hoskins and I had just returned from Dreamforce 2009 and were totally

out of our minds with enthusiasm. What struck us then (and still gets me now) was how quickly things were accelerating in this space. We thought our members would probably take a Saturday to get together to talk about it. We were right! The first Dreamforce to YOU has very little resemblance to the event we put on this year – but the bottom line is the same.

It’s GREAT to have the camaraderie, connections, creativity, and collaboration an active Community brings. If you have a passion, and want to surround yourself with the people who can help you become the best version of yourself in that space, search for an organized community. There are Communities for just about everything now … and thanks to the little ol’ interwebs, a quick search gets you all details you need to jump in.

Find YOUR Community. Then Jump In. If you do it with a vengeance, it’ll pay off in spades (for you and for the group). I promise.

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Filed under CRM Evangelization, Service, Social, User Group

Failure is an Option.

Every journey has unexpected twists and turns. This year for me (both personally and professionally) has been riddled with them. I’m pretty good at planning to work and working my plan, but at times this year even the best plans were waylaid by situations beyond my control. That’s reality, folks.

Some of those situations were really devastating. At times, I felt ready to throw in the towel and at times my convictions were tested. On the whole, 2010 was a tough year for me, I’ll tell you. And I’m a pretty tough cookie. I called upon my mentors, my friends, my family, and my dad (he of the dial-a-pep-talk fame). Even with such tremendous support, I recognized a different level of challenging. I found myself thinking about “making it through this” quite a bit. And “this” kept being redefined.

So, when life comes at you harder than you expected, what do you do? I think a lot about winning.

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”  –  Thomas Edison

Honestly, It’s about continuing the journey. Success is reading the map, the conditions, and adjusting your course. the one-two punch of unforeseen situations can be exhausting. Was and is exhausting. I can share with you that there were times this year I found myself thinking, “What else could possibly go wrong?” and then steeling myself superstitiously as if simply asking the question would bring more bad. In fact, just writing that last sentence scares the hell out of me on some level.

But here’s the thing: something will go wrong  if wrong means “not the exact way you planned it”. I also know – with absolute conviction – that those things that went “wrong” in my life this year have also been the very same things that taught me a great deal about how to handle tough situations with grace. How to put things in perspective. How to remember the little things. How to love people while they’re still here. How to let crazy people be crazy and stay out of their drama. How to find the funny in anything. How to stay creative even when tired. How to keep. getting. up.

I’m reflecting on this now in mental preparation for the new year. I won’t miss 2010 for its challenge and heartache, but I will remember 2010 as a year of tremendous personal and professional growth. I’d love to tell you I’ve been energized by my successes this year but since they were in the “well, I got through that one” camp, I’d be lying to you. I’m still tired, but I’m happy to report I’m certain of my success. I’m planning on my success.

Now, you may not care about my success but what I’m getting at here is this: keep going. I can promise you that failure is only one of your options, not your foregone conclusion. Keep going. You never know, your success may be just around the corner.

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Filed under Corporate Culturati, life-work balance

Now Departing: Lessons from Alcatraz

While catching up with some of my favorite folks at Salesforce.com’s annual AMAZING Dreamforce 2010 global gathering, I kept running into people who were feeling a bit stuck. Some reported that they were excited for the future, but just not sure about “What’s Next” might mean for them. Others knew they had a problem with their NOW situation and were overwhelmed with what, how, when to do about it.

All of them had jobs. That’s the first thing that struck me. My take on this – even in my own NOW – is that we’re uber-smart or uber-lucky to have been delivered to a profession that is in demand now and will be in even greater demand in the future. But this blog isn’t only for people like us. I’m just pointing out that if you’re employed at all today, you’re one of the lucky ones. Don’t forget it and BBlook for ways to give back.  In the U.S., walk into a room with 10 people and one of them will be out of work. Another one will most likely be under-employed. If you’re working at all you’re fortunate. Network your colleagues less fortunate on your social feeds. Offer time or resources to helping get people back on their feet. A couple of things will happen as a result: you’ll appreciate your current reality in a new light and good things will happen for other people. It’s a win-win.

About the “What’s Next” dilemma…

Talented people want to be recognized, challenged, and compensated. We want to be a bit famous in our own stratosphere. This means recognized for our contributions and challenged to bring more to the table. These folks need to feel their moral compass is aligned with their employers’ or clients’. If not, it’s a deal breaker. These are people working from a place of passion, and passion ignites innovation when nurtured. So that “What’s Next” feeling is natural for passionate folks.

If you’re one of the people wondering what is just beyond the horizon for you, I want to share what I learned while visiting Alcatraz Island yesterday. While on the penitentiary audio tour, I found myself standing in front of the solitary confinement cells. The Hole. A former inmate incarcerated at Alcatraz explained that while he lived for 23 hours a day in complete darkness and isolation for months at a stretch, his mind was free to travel. He closed his eyes and envisioned light. He left his isolation even if only in his mind and traveled freely where he chose. This was his mechanism to cope with his current reality.

It hit me in a profound way. Not only because this man was expressing so beautifully the human reality of perserverance. but also that his solution is so powerful for all of us.

Even in those moments where we aren’t ready or aren’t able to make a move, our minds are free to wander.

Creative, passionate people: Is your mind free to wander? Or is your mind tied up with circular thinking on unhappiness? Solutions are born when you’re open to conceiving them. Quit ruminating on what you’ve already defined as unacceptable. You’re clear on that, now move on. Seth Grodin has a great blog on using your current reality as a platform for change. Then remember: you don’t have to be able to see every twist and turn and end state clearly to begin the “What’s Next” phase of your journey. Just be open to the journey and the adventure of it all.

“What’s Next” is the adventure you create. Close your eyes and Dream Big.

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Filed under Corporate Culturati, CRM Evangelization, life-work balance