My Salesforce Marriage

My “marriage” to Salesforce started way back in 2008, when I landed a job in Sales Ops as a reporting analyst. I was told one of the systems I'd be working with would be Salesforce. "Have you ever heard of it?" I was asked. At that time, I hadn't, but it would end up changing my life.

The first time I logged in to Salesforce was for data loads—so obviously I didn't know, or realize, the full power of the platform. It wasn't until the following week when I was at Dreamforce Europe (what's now known as Salesforce World Tour), that I attended a series of small breakout sessions and began to learn more about workflows, fields, and reports. And to be honest, it was all a bit daunting.

But within 6 months, I had become the “go to” person for anyone needing help with Salesforce within the company, plus I had achieved my first certification. I was Administrator certified and proud! Two months later, I went on the Administration Essentials for Experienced Admins course, which (after months of practice, study, and experience) led to my Advanced Administrator certification.

It was then that it clicked. I believed in Salesforce! I could see how it could change companies, as well as people's working lives, for the better. I wanted to help others achieve that. I was hooked. So I “tied the knot” with Salesforce and went off to become a consultant.

My Actual Marriage...Thanks to Salesforce!

I met Chris when I was working for a major ISV and the company he was then working for purchased one of our products. He'd never seen Salesforce before and had only heard it of it in passing.

As the lead consultant working on their implementation, my role was to train Chris and his colleagues on the managed package. Chris was blown away by how easy it was to make it their own, and found my enthusiasm for Salesforce infectious.

On the second day of training—having never touched Salesforce before—I'd given Chris an exercise that required him to create several workflow rules while I stepped out to take a call. Thirty minutes later, he'd not only completed the exercise, but he had extended the solution to cover additional business scenarios that needed addressing! Chris, like me, had become an utter Salesforce fan.

Our mutual love of Salesforce soon turned to love for each other (cheesy, but true!). We became a “Salesforce couple,” attending London World Tour before traveling to San Francisco together for Dreamforce. Chris was overwhelmed by the huge community feel at these two events and the ethos of #SalesforceOhana in general. He became determined to shift his career from IT project management to Salesforce consultancy.

The Spouse Trailhead Challenge

And therein came the tough part. Having only four months' experience with Salesforce, with no formal training and no certifications, Chris began the difficult task of searching for a company that would take him on and give him a chance. The search lasted five long months. 

But happily, an opportunity came knocking, and keen to prove to his new employers that they'd made the right decision, Chris took to Trailhead and spent the entire two months of his notice period achieving 120 badges. By the time he started his first Salesforce job, he was able to hit the ground running with assignments to three chargeable implementation projects within his first month.

Eager to avoid being outdone by the newbie, I was inspired to start earning badges too. It quickly turned into a “battle of the spouses.” We once spent an entire evening one-upping each other on Trailhead (sad, but true!). I currently only have four more badges to go until I'm a Ranger. Chris has 135, so he's been a Ranger for ages, but I have more certs, so think I'll let him have that one!

Chris has now started his own certification journey. As an incentive, he has filled the wall around his desk with certificate frames. He's planning on replacing the "inspirational" messages he currently has with real Salesforce certificates very soon, and he's already scheduled his Administrator exam for the summer.

A passion for Salesforce is what brought us together, but it is Gemma that fueled the courage I needed to change my career. A courage that I could have only achieved with her help and encouragement. I'm completely in debt to my wife for the equally amazing and challenging job I have now. I look forward to more Salesforce-based adventures with her!

As for me? I recently passed the Salesforce Certified App Builder transition exam, with plans to achieve the Sharing and Visibility Designer and Community Cloud Consultant credentials by the end of the year.

You see, sharing a passion for Salesforce is what motivates us. Every day Chris comes home with a smile on his face, brimming with new ideas and marveling at the difference he can make to his customers and colleagues with this platform. And I take inspiration from his joy to do the same.

You are always going to find success when you're “All In” together. Find someone as passionate about Salesforce as you are—study with them, collaborate with them, do Trailhead Challenges. Share your ideas and have fun! That way, just like us, you'll find success...together.

Gemma's Certifications
Salesforce Certified Administrator December 15, 2008
Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator November 25, 2009
Salesforce Certified Developer January 19, 2011
Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud Consultant January 23, 2012
Salesforce Certified Service Cloud Consultant May 17, 2013
Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder May 16, 2017

If you’ve been inspired by Gemma and Chris's story, we may not be able to help with your love life, but you can learn more about how you, too, can become a Salesforce Certified Professional!