Monday, 27 August 2018

My Road to Dreamforce Part 2/Self Care Series: Let's get Physical

Have you bookmarked my session, Empower your Admin and Supercharge your Business, yet?

Fitness and Health are huge parts are very important parts of self care, so this week I'm going to to talk about two ways that the Salesforce #Ohana have had a positive affect on my health. This also ties in to Dreamforce - 29 days to go if you're keeping track!

As this is my first Dreamforce, I have been taking the advice of all my more experienced Ohana friends. One piece in particular, was to join the #FitforDreamforce18 challenge. Let's face it, Dreamforce is quite physically demanding, sometimes hitting up to 25,000 steps a day, so it makes sense to amp up the fitness levels in advance.

Enter - #FitforDreamforce, run by the community for the community. Originally started by Bill Greenshaw circa 2011, the challenge is now run by Art Ordoqui and Navid Rastegar and uses the Fitbliss platform to track and tally steps.

I'm the first to admit that I need to work on my health and fitness, and this challenge is a step (haha) in the right direction for me. The main challenge this year has participants split into six different groups, each named for a Salesforce mascot. I'm doing the admins proud and was placed into #TeamCloudy!

As I write this, #TeamCloudy are currently in third place, and I'm number 8. I've also been absolutely smashing my activity goals - nothing like a bit of friendly competition to get the blood flowing!

I also wanted to talk about something else brought to my attention through the #Ohana. A few weeks ago, Lauren Touyet hosted a special #OhanaCoffee with guest Cheryl Feldman to talk about the ketogenic diet. As someone who has struggled with their weight my entire life, I thought I'd give it a go. What have I got to lose? Turns out, plenty! Haha.

Anyway, I'm happy to report that being on a ketogenic diet is already having quite a positive affect on my health, and overall wellbeing. Not only that, but there are several members of the Ohana Community also on ketogenic diets, and they have all been incredibly supportive and encouraging.

Between the #FitforDreamforce18 challenge and a new diet, I'm quite amazed at the positive impact on my health that Salesforce is having... certianly not what I expected when I first logged in all those months ago. A big thank you to the #Ohana that run the programs I've talked about today.

Disclaimer: Always talk to your doctor before starting a new fitness or diet regime. 

Shout out to my home gal, ONJ! Soundtrack: Physical - Olivia Newton-John

Monday, 20 August 2018

Self Care Series: Show me how to Say No to this

So, this isn't exclusively about Salesforce, but I know it applies to a lot of us active community members. Plus this is my blog, so I can write whatever I want. I'm going to call it my "Self Care" series.

Saying no. That's something a lot of us have trouble doing. A lot. I'm still trying to why out it's like a compulsion, but I think it has something to do with the fact that I hate letting people down. But honestly, at times it really does get like the dopest slow jam on broadway and I find myself asking "lord, show me how to say no to this, I don't know to say no to this." And while we're not talking about cheating on a significant other, this is still something I struggle with... big time.

Ever since I was a little kid, I've always been the one doing more extra curricular activities than anyone else in my class. Fast forward to now, and it's still a similar story - I'm on the boards of two arts organisations, playing in three bands, being a Salesforce User Group leader, being on the committee for a Salesforce Community event, and more.

A lot of this is self inflicted - if there's an organisation I enjoy being a party of, I usually will offer to help. I recently did this for WITness Success - I had such a great time, that I want to help future events. And is here is my conundrum... I obviously really do want to help, but do I have the time?

When it comes down to it, I really do just love helping, and I really do hate having to say no, but it's not necessarily the healthiest thing in the world to keep saying yes to every opportunity that comes my way.

I actually said no to a big offer earlier in the year, and it was really hard for me, but I think I'm finally starting to be a bit more selective with the opportunities I accept, as if history is any indication, I'm going to continue to be presented with them.

So that got me thinking, maybe I've finally reached the stage in my life/career when I can be more selective with what I say no to, which will mean that my yes will mean more and I can choose the opportunities that really speak to me. I also feel like maybe I can negotiate my terms a bit more, so that I can be involved in my own way - this would be ideal when volunteering time for WITness Success!

I find myself burning out every now and then, which usually means just catching a bug or a bad cold, but it tends to knock me out pretty hard. It's usually my body's way of telling me to slow down and rest, if not, I'm going to make you! It just so happens that this past week has been one of these episodes, and I'm actually not surprised. I'm hoping this means I've got it out of my system until after Dreamforce!

After some discussions recently with two Salesforce Ohana ladies that I look up to, Jean Velonis and Melinda Smith (both core members of the WITness Success team), they offered up some wise words. As we grow up, our priorities change, and it's ok to say yes when you're passionate about something, but you have to make sure that your spouse, significant other, kids, loved one etc. are not coming in second fiddle to whatever it is your are dedicating your energy to.

When I told my hubby I was joining a new band recently he asked sheepishly if he'd still get to see me, which made me take a step back and think. Maybe taking on this new commitment will mean I'll have to give up another one.

So what I've learned, and what I want to share with you all is that we should just be smarter about what we agree to and think about the implications it has on our lives, and the lives of our loved ones. They are the ones that need us most and we should listen to them and say YES when they need us, even if that means saying no to something else.

I know this is something that most of us will continue to struggle with - we're the natural leaders, and we can't help ourselves. I'm happy to say this is something I'm working on, and I hope you can too.

Soundtrack: Say No to This - Hamilton
but you should also check out this song: No - Iva Lankum

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

My Road to Dreamforce Part 1... I've got work to do!

Ever since I discovered the Salesforce Community at Trailheadx earlier in the year, I have wanted to attend Dreamforce. I've heard it described as many things from "Sleepover camp for adults" to a "family reunion", and both sound amazing to me!

But here was my conundrum... how to get there by myself, without the help of my employer? Among the many people I spoke to about this, I was lucky enough to chat with the wonderful Mike Gerholdt and Rebecca Saar from the Salesforce Admins team when they were in town for the Toronto World Tour.

They offered up some key advice "speakers get to attend for free", but also took that a step further telling me that "everyone has something to share". They made me see that even though I'm only in my first year of my Salesforce journey, I had something to say, and thus "Empower your admin and supercharge your business" was born.

Another piece of advice given to me was to partner up with a buddy, so I ended up joining forces with the first Salesforce friend I made, Michelle Hansen. We met the night before Trailheadx when we were both waiting in line together for an Ohana pre-bootcamp dinner.

We started working together on an outline and an abstract, and were finally ready to submit! After what felt like waiting forever... I received an email from the Admin team, at which point I called Michelle straight away to tell her that our session was accepted and WE WOULD BE SPEAKING AT DREAMFORCE! What's even more exciting, is this is the first Dreamforce for both of us!

Why am I so excited about this? Well, obviously all the Ohana know why it's a big deal, but when sharing this news with my family and friends, I told them we've been selected out of 1900 submissions to speak at the biggest technology conference in the world!

So now for the hard part... We've got some serious work to do. Has your employer empowered you? If so, how, and what sort of affect did it have on the business? Anything you wish they would do to empower you? Let me know - I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Soundtrack: Work to do - Mayer Hawthorne (Isley Brothers cover)

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Can I get a WITness?

For my first post-introduction post, it is only appropriate that it be about one of the most awesome weekend's I've had in a longtime - WITness Success.

Held this year in Denver, WITness Success is a Salesforce Community event specifically curated for Women in Tech (and allies) by Women in Tech. The event is only in its second year, but came highly recommended to me by some fellow WITs at Trailheadx earlier in the year. As soon as I heard about it, I decided on the spot that I needed to attend.

As luck would have it, I also won the raffle in the lead up to the event for early registrants, and was lucky enough to receive a room upgrade!

Before the event even began, I was fortunate enough to spend some time with some wonderful people in the form of a Baseball game, Daydreamin at 5280, and a couple of group meals. If there's one thing I'm starting to learn, it's how important it is to socialise with the Salesforce Ohana, to share experiences and to learn from each other.

While I was prepared for a different kind of event, I really didn't realise how profoundly different it would be. My conference was off to a great start, participating in the "Be a Multiplier" workshop with Leah McGowen-Hare and Chris Duarte from Salesforce, some volunteer time at the registration desk, and then to close out the first day - the Allies Dinner. The evening was filled with good food, good company, and most importantly, the amazing stories of how our community goes above and beyond to be Equality Allies. 

The next day, it was time for the meat of the conference... and boy did it not disappoint! There were three engaging keynotes featuring again Leah McGown-Hare, Beth Comstock, and Gillian Bruce with a panel of truly inspiring stories.

The sessions covered an array of specifically non-technical content including some expert tips on working remotely, career opportunities and the doozy - the importance of knowing my worth and promoting myself. I can honestly say, I've never learned so much about myself in such a short period of time. My head is still swimming in the thoughts of career possibilities, looking after myself, how I can help the community... and of course, how long until next year's event!

To any Women in Tech, and of course allies thinking about attending, I highly recommend it! There are no doubt countless more profound experiences to be had, and life skills to learn.

Highlights - Meeting Melinda Smith and Kristi Campbell from the TwoWIT podcast. Chatting with Gillian Bruce and Becky de Loryn from Salesforce.


(This is a thing I like to do with my blogs - name them after songs!)

Wednesday, 1 August 2018


So I was on the train the other day, and it finally dawned on me that I should start blogging again... especially now that I have something I can wax lyrical on for hours. Who would have thought a former publicist would actually miss writing? I started thinking about what an adventure this is turning out to be... and so my natural progression was to one of my favourite 80s movies (even though I only watched it for the first time this year)... Adventures in Babysitting.

I plan on being very active in the community, so I figured it might be good to document my journey along the way. So here's a little bit about me - born and raised in Sydney, Australia, I moved to Toronto, Canada in 2011. In 2017 my company decided to move CRMs over to Salesforce, and just like that I became an accidental admin.

I'm the leader of the Toronto Women In Tech user group, a certified admin, a Trailhead Ranger and enjoy playing the trumpet and comic book culture when I'm not Salesforcing.

What am I going to write about? Well... anything and everything. I'll have a few posts coming up from the past few weeks and my time at WITness Success. 

Until next time... Don't mess with the babysitter.

Mind Over Matter: Low Code Love

It's no secret that I'm a fan of low code solutions. While I love dabbling in some html as much as the next person, and I'm look...