‘A pastor and a hairdresser walk into a Salesforce admin course…’. Sorry, it turns out I’m no comedian, but there is a great lesson instead of a punchline.
A trailblazer is someone who’s found what they are passionate about, and been motivated by that passion to learn, improve their world and inspire others.
I speak to trailblazers every day – the Salesforce admins and developers who are driven to help their colleagues and organisations improve – and I see that their passions are as diverse as they are. Take Mark Tossell and Marcelle Braithwaite – on paper, these two couldn’t be more different, but their passions have seen them leap into new careers and be true trailblazers.
Mark has a degree in Mechanical Engineering, but spent 20 years as a Baptist pastor after graduating. He wrote a book not so long ago called Hope, Help and Healing for the Depressed – he openly discusses the depression he has lived with most of his life – and was invited to tour the US when that book was released.
When he returned from the tour he decided it was time to support his family by moving into the corporate world. A friend from the church reached out and asked Mark to manage his business’s new CRM system. Mark accepted the role, then realised he didn’t even know what ‘CRM’ stood for.
But he was passionate about the new direction his life could take, so this didn’t stop him. Mark spent the next three weeks watching YouTube videos from Dreamforce learning about Salesforce. Then he found Trailhead and realised it was exactly what he needed to structure his learning. He became active within the Success Community, sharing and seeking advice, and soon he was achieving things he had not even heard of a few weeks earlier.
Mark had true motivation to do well, not only for personal success or the success of a respected friend’s business, but ultimately to support and provide for his family. To achieve this powerful aim, he had to be a trailblazer.
Marcelle, meanwhile, trained as a hairdresser before realising the role simply wasn’t challenging enough for her. Her passion was finding something that would challenge her every day – and her drive to do more saw her jump on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney to take a beginners’ course in Salesforce.
She landed a job at Flight Centre as their Salesforce Chatter Administrator and, three years later, became the business’s Global Lighthouse Manager, overseeing all Salesforce teams. She has now been transferred to Flight Centre’s London offices to help engage users on that side of the world.
Writing a workflow might not be what you’re passionate about. Perhaps your passion is supporting your entire organisation or understanding the business strategy and process, and being able to make a name for yourself by becoming a vital part of that strategy.
Whatever your passion, I believe that passion and Salesforce can and should be a platform for careers. It is absolutely possible for an individual to use the fact that they are a Salesforce administrator to level up in their organisation, or take their career wherever they want to go.
I’m inspired by trailblazers, by their ambition, their drive, their ideas and their passion. Whether you’re a brilliant stay-at-home-mum, a great small business owner, an entrepreneur, a CEO of a major corporate or anybody else, being a trailblazer is about taking what you’re passionate about and putting intense focus on it. It’s about recognising passion then setting out on a journey to achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. That’s when trailblazers show their true colours.