Summer Begins. I’m Exhausted Already.

6:30am – eyes open, look at clock. Why am I awake this freaking early when I don’t have to wake up any kids or get anyone to school or practice this early? Pulls blanket over head and attempts to sleep some more.

7:15am – hears a door slam, feet patter down the stairs as the 11 year old makes his appearance. Try to sleep through the cacophony of sounds downstairs. He lets the dogs outside, roots through the pantry, pours cereal, laughs uproariously at a YouTube Video, let’s the dogs in, slams freezer door while getting out the pizza rolls, microwaves pizza rolls (slamming the microwave door), lets the dogs back inside, rinse, lather, repeat.

7:45am – finally give up trying to sleep, head downstairs for coffee, dole out morning medicine, nag 11 year old to clean up the unholy mess he’s got on the kitchen table.

8am – wake up 14 year old who has gymnastics practice in an hour. Make him sit up to take his meds and threaten him not to go back to sleep. Hold firm on the ‘No’ as he begs to be taken to Chick-Fil-A for breakfast on the way to gymnastics. Point out appropriate workout attire and the importance of deodorant as I continue the countdown of when we need to leave the house.

Open up laptop, check email, respond to critical emails, sign in to Salesforce, check Support Cases and triage as necessary. Review Chatter feed to see what users are up to. Yell upstairs to remind 14 year old to be ready in 15 minutes and that he needs to eat and put on deodorant (this cannot be repeated enough) before we go!

8:35am – head to the car to take son to summer gymnastics practice. He has to go back into the house twice for things he forgot before we even pull away.

This 20 minutes of driving in the morning with just he and I in the car is actually one of my favorite times. He’s relatively talkative and we will have some great conversations. Sometimes we listen to morning news podcasts and talk about events and politics. If you can find a time with your teenage son like this (even if you have to trap him in a car with you) do it!

9:20am – back at the house and sitting down at the laptop. 11 year old has promised he’ll work on cleaning up his room as he watched YouTube videos (yeah, right) so he is upstairs. 18 year old won’t be heard from or seen for several more hours!

Ok, sitting down at the desk to get some work done. Check email, reply as needed, triage Support tickets again, check the support Slack channels. Remember that I needed to pay a bill, log on to get that taken care of, check personal email and Salesforce Community email. Log into Trailblazer Community to answer message from a user asking about a Webinar I did, scan community groups and answer a few questions. Reply to a personal email. Open up Jama to see what is on the priorities list. We are testing an upgrade of several apps in our sandbox and I need to work through this – we are a few releases behind and trying to get caught up which means going through several sets of release notes to identify what is new and what I need to do to implement all the new features.

10am – Distracted by the loud cackling coming from upstairs. 11 year old is obviously working hard on his room. (ha ha) Get up to let the dogs out, gaze upon the filthy swimming pool and sigh. Was relying on someone to get this taken care of, but am tired of waiting on them. Head back to my computer to google pool services and put in a request. Get a call within about 5 minutes so spend the next 10 describing the pool, the services I need and talking about price. Finally get service scheduled and feel some relief – while it will ultimately cost me some dough, I’ve taken the reigns and know it will be in swim-shape for me and the kids soon.

Back to the computer. After going through the usual email/cases/slack routine, get to work on documenting the steps I need to take to implement a particular new feature in the sandbox. Will have to replicate it when we upgrade production so want to be sure I have everything down correctly. Work heads down until my alarm goes off. Gymnast has to be picked up at noon.

11:15am – head upstairs to remind 11 year old he is supposed to be cleaning, tell him I can actually see his brains leaking out of his ear from those YouTube videos. Yes, I know what you are thinking…you are thinking, how long has this kid been watching this morning? Yep – you can look back at the timeline. He has been watching entirely too long. But it is the second day of the first week of summer. And his constant laughter and giggles are really enjoyable to hear across the house. So yes, I feel slightly guilty letting him binge. But he’s a kid and it’s summer and I’ve got work to do. So judge me for that. I’m cool with it.

Head out to pick up the gymnast. Put on a podcast to listen to on the way. Sometimes this is relaxing, sometimes it is infuriating – depends on whether it is a political podcast or not. Lol. Park at the school and see a slack message from my boss. Spend the next 15 minutes on the phone with him to help him triage a few cases he’s not sure how to handle. Boy comes out, begs for fast food (I stay strong – we have food at home, we aren’t made of money, yada yada). Head back home.

12:30pm – Back at the house. Remember to add tortillas, hamburger buns and double A batteries to the grocery list. Tell the kids to feed themselves and rattle off from memory all of the available food in the house they are capable of making including instructions (where needed) and locations of the items. Reach into the gross water to drain the sink where dishes have been ‘soaking’ for way too long. Vow to get in there later to scrub everything.

Back to the computer. Email/cases/slack routine again, responding and triage-ing as necessary. Trying to pick up from where I left off. Brain is mush. Hungry. Bombarded by sounds of YouTube, Minecraft, Music, food packages, microwave and dogs playing. Remember I need to add the summer gymnastics practices to the family calendar, and pop a check in the mail to the lawn guys.

Today reminds me of this Comic about the Mental Load on women. It’s real y’all.

We are two days into summer.

I am halfway through the second day.

Need more coffee.

Also need a meditation room.

And maybe a margarita.

I’m exhausted already!

Posted in Help A Mom Out!, Quirky Stuff, The Joy of Parenting, Thrive Tribe | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trailblazer Day – Celebrating A Commitment To Skilling Up

Many of you have followed along this week as some of us attended the first ever Trailblazer Day. It was a true honor to be invited to attend and I wanted to take a moment and share my thoughts and takeaways.

Trailblazer Day

First off – this was an event to celebrate Salesforce signing a pledge to help skill up 1 Million people for the job market. Technology is a booming industry and Trailhead provides free training for people who are interested in gaining skills in this market. But it’s not limited to technology – there are interviewing skills, managerial skills, and a whole range of trainings that even those not in technology can take advantage of!

And I am proud to have been there to see this pledge signed and a commitment made by such an impactful company.

The event highlighted several of our community’s Trailblazers – people who have carved a way for themselves and are carving ways for others to succeed. People who I am incredibly proud to say are part of my Ohana. And THAT was certainly something to be proud of.

There was a lot of talk about why such a progressive, liberal company would stand side by side with someone from this administration to sign this pledge and I’ll be the first to say I was a bit taken aback, but it wasn’t about the person or the administration. It was about the pledge. Keep that in mind.
As I watched it all unfold, I came away with a few takeaways:

  • Our Salesforce and Trailblazer Community are like no other. Anyone would benefit from being a part of it.
  • While the ‘Leaders’ (both of the company and the administration) are the ones who get the press and make the papers, it is the boots on the ground that make shit happen.

I admit to being blinded sometimes by what the people in positions of power do, say and the effect they have on me, but I walked away this week with the realization that WE are the ones who can make a change. We can celebrate Trailblazer Day and this Pledge and these awesome Trailblazers and we can push for more.

We can push for more job creation and call for an end to the ban on transgender people in the military. We can push for equal wages regardless of gender or orientation or skin color for equal work. We can push for equality in ALL areas of American life. We can push for an end to how people are treated based on the amount of melanin in their skin. We can push for healthcare for all – and especially mental health care. We can push for every woman to make their own choices for their bodies and futures.

We can speak up and advocate and make a mighty noise with our boots on the ground.

There are a lot of us. If we all stomp our feet, the people in power who get the press and make the papers will be forced to listen.

So here’s to 1 Million people trained on Trailhead. And here’s to millions more raising their voices so we can all be heard. Will you raise yours with me?

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Guest Post: Favorite Things – Lightning-Style!

So as a reader of my blog, you already know I think Salesforce Lightning is fantabulous! But don’t just take my word for it! There are a whole crew of Lightning Champions out there to help answer all your Lightning Questions.

I’d like to introduce you to one of my very favorite Lightning Champions (and all-around super-duper-awesome-Ohana-member): Barb Dietz!

Barb is the Salesforce Business Analyst / Administrator for NTT DATA Services, she co-leads the Dallas, TX Non-Profit Community Group, is the Program Leader for Summer of Salesforce, is on the Planning Committee for Texas Dreamin’, a Golden Hoodie Recipient, a Trailhead Ranger and hold SIX Certifications! (Phew, I was exhausted just typing that all up !)

Barb love Salesforce Lightning as much as me and has written up this awesome list of favorites – take a look and fall in love with Lightning yourself if you haven’t already:

These are a few of my Favorite things…. About Lightning!

You have the tune from the Sound of Music in your head – right? Well, it’s not Raindrops on Roses or Whiskers on Kittens – but maybe something more like Dynamic Lightning Pages or Customizable Nav Bars.

If you haven’t made your move to Lightning yet, I thought I might entice you with some awesome reasons why you should. There are so many features of lightning that I really like, it’s hard to choose just a few, but let’s give it a try.

Starting with Dynamic Lightning Pages.

Being able to control the visibility of a component based upon the user details, custom permissions, a field value of a record (or related record) brings another dimension to Lightning. It gives you control over what your users see (or don’t see). Maybe certain information is only valuable to a specific set of users, or relevant to a record that meets certain criteria (like Opportunity stage or Close Date). There are dozens of reasons why you may want to save some real estate on your record page and not show a component. You can show one component to one set of users and a different component to a separate set of users. For example, maybe you want to display a dashboard on the Home Page for all your Sales reps that show how much they have sold, what is coming in their pipeline, and what is at risk. That is helpful for an individual Sales person, but what about the Sales Managers? They want to see all the information for the entire team. With Dynamic Lightning Pages you can display one Dashboard for individual sellers and a separate dashboard for the Sales Managers. Controlling the component visibility is done with Clicks – not code and there are so many options and / or use cases where this Lightning feature can be game changer.

Navigation in Lightning is next on my list.

Being able to easily and quickly customize your Navigation bar is a definite productivity win. I love how you can drag and drop to rearrange the tabs on your Nav Bar, you can quickly add a tab for just about anything…. a List View, a Report, a Dashboard, a specific Record (maybe one of your VERY Important Accounts could be saved as a tab on your Nav Bar). The drop-down options available on each tab provides a variety of selections for viewing Recent records, Recent list views, your Favorites all related to that specific tab. It doesn’t get much easier than that to find a record you had just recently been viewing. Walla – it’s right there on that drop-down menu.

Favorites are still one of my favorites 😊

Being able to quickly add a Favorite (with a single click) and go back to that Report, List View, Record, etc… Again, just by clicking on one of your favorites. Favorites are very easy to rearrange, remove, or add new. Definitely a time saver!


I’d be remiss if I didn’t include Dashboards on my list of Favorites. The ability to flexibly design a dashboard with the width and height that makes the most sense for each component. You can stretch components out, make them narrow and tall, whatever works best for you. The end result is you can easily create some really nice, eye catching dashboards in Lightning.

The Utility Bar

Utility bar provides quick access to productivity tools, such as Notes; to allow you take notes from any page, maybe a Macro you have configured to quickly complete a set of repetitive steps, a Rich Text utility that provides information about that particular app, or the History of recent items you have accessed (in console apps). The utility bar is a fixed footer for your apps and you can have different utility bars for different apps with different utility items. It’s like a bonus set of Navigation tools.

Pinned List Views

Remember the days when every time you went to a specific tab, you would see a list of the Recently Viewed Records. Well, with Pinned List Views you can set the default list view you would like to have displayed when you go to a Tab. No more recently viewed items – just exactly what you want to see!

I could really go on and on about the cool Lightning Features that are available, but since the title of this post is “A Few of my Favorite Things” – I’ll wrap it up here. If you haven’t made the move to Lightning yet – don’t fear the change. Instead, embrace the opportunity to use some of these great features and experience gains in productivity. Who knows, maybe these will become some of your favorite things in Lightning as well.

Connect with Barb:

Trailblazer Community: Barb Dietz
LinkedIn: barbdietz
Twitter: @bdietz972

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Salesforce Admin: Innovating the E.A.S.Y. Way

What do you do?
I’m a Salesforce Administrator.
<Blank Stare>

Raise your hand if you’ve gotten this response too. Even in the tech industry or business world, often times, people assume that means something different than it does.

Maybe they think you are an assistant to the Sales Manager, or some other role in ‘Sales’ related to ‘Administration’ – which (TBH) most people think of as paper pushing.

So, what is a Salesforce admin? A Salesforce Administrator is a business leader, deeply knowledgeable about how their company operates, intertwined in making all departments successful through process automations, and thus, integral to running a smooth & lean business.

Definitely not just a paper pusher, and not just specific to ‘Sales’. And look at those descriptors:

  • business leader
  • deeply knowledgeable
  • intertwined
  • integral

When I was asked to take over setting up a Salesforce CRM 12 years ago, I didn’t know what it meant to be a Salesforce Administrator. I knew it looked like a pretty cool tool (I love new tech) and I knew it represented something I could really sink my teeth into and learn (learning new things is my favorite) and ultimately I had hoped it would help me become more useful and maybe even indispensable in my company.

So fast forward to now and I look at that description of a Salesforce Administrator and I can honestly say I definitely feel as if this is an accurate description.

But it’s not the title that makes me a ‘business leader’, or ‘deeply knowledgeable’, or ‘intertwined’ and ‘integral’ to the business. Those things came from me. From my drive to become those things. From my love of innovation.

This past Dreamforce I was asked to be a part of the Admin Keynote. If you are a long time reader of my blog you may remember this post in 2015 which showed my excitement when celebrating Admins became official at the largest tech conference in the world.

I sat in the crowd in 2014 for the first EVER Admin Keynote and would never have imagined that day that five years later I would actually be featured and get to talk to THE Parker Harris to a room of over 6000 people and simulcast live across the globe.

Parker’s question to me: What’s your advice to everyone on how to deliver innovation?

My answer: I’ve got an E.A.S.Y. formula for you to remember! (because awesome admins love to write formulas, right SteveMo?)

So this is Innovating the E.A.S.Y. way:

Embrace Change

Always Be Learning

Show Your Work

You Got This

Over the next four blog posts, I’ll take a deeper dive into each of these and show you how you can ramp up your innovation game and become the awesome Salesforce Admin described above using this formula!

What are some other adjectives you would use to describe the role of Salesforce Administrator? How do you describe it when asked ‘What do you do?’

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Invisible Innovation

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it even make a sound?

If you are a reader of my blog you could probably be described as an innovator. As someone who introduces new methods, processes, and ideas. As someone who looks for ways to streamline, create efficiencies and generally make the world (and Salesforce org) around you a better place.

And 90% of you do it because that’s just what you do. It’s who you are. You are a noticer – you notice when something isn’t as smooth or seamless as it could be and you do what you can to fix it. Or when a group of users has a repetitive process and by implementing a few cool automation tools (I love you Lightning Flow) you can cut the time it takes them from 15 minutes down to about 4 minutes.

So you build something super-cool and let it out into the world. You write-up an email about why and how it works, you even record a quick video about it, then send it to those who will benefit the most.

Then you wait for feedback.

And someone might reply with ‘Cool bro, thanks’, but most are piled under with other emails and urgent matters and don’t get around to responding. You wonder if they even read the email.

You wonder if they have even tried out this new super cool automation.

And sure, some of your wonder is personal. You worked hard on this, and it’s nice to see that something is being used. But some is also about understanding whether you are like that tree falling in the forest. Can you make a sound if no one is listening? Are the users in your organization resistant to change, are they welcoming to new ways of doing things?

That’s sometimes a hard one to contemplate. And hard to measure. We’ve recently put together some great Lightning Screen Flows to save time for a group of users who have a heavy workload. But while we rolled it out, we had a hard time determining whether anyone was using it, much less get feedback on why they are/aren’t using it or what might make it better.

So we decided to create a very simple Automations Analytics process so we can see when one of our screen flows is being used. This way we can see who is (and who isn’t) using an automation and we can work to investigate why or why not and make changes or improvements as needed.

Here’s what we did:

  • Create a Custom Object called Automation Analytics
    • Add 2 fields: Automation Name (text field), Run Date/Time (date/time field)
    • Enable Reports
    • Give Create permissions for all profiles
  • Add a Record Create element to create a new Automation Analytics record at the end of each screen flow
    • Put the name of the Flow in the Automation Name field, stamp the flow run date/time in the Run Date/Time field
    • No need for any other mapping – the person who runs the screen flow will be the Owner of the new automation analytics record

Botta-bing botta-boom! Now you can report easily on when your screen flows are being used and by whom. You are, in essence, listening for trees falling in the forest!

Now, I’ll be honest, in our case the results haven’t been blazing. It confirmed my suspicions that the flows aren’t being used as we had hoped. But at least I know now. We can find out why and tweak the flows to be more useful. Or we can realize that this particular team is resistant to change and either try figure out their ‘WIIFM’ or make the decision to stop spending time trying to help those that don’t want the help and focus on other groups and/or processes.

Either way I can now point to real results when someone asks me to validate some of the things we are doing.

Take a look at some of your automations and see where you might want to build in some analytics. This could even be done with Process Builder as well. But only do it if you intend to act on the results. Analytics for the sake of analytics with no real plan to review and revise is just extra data no one needs!

Read my previous post on Innovation here!

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