Originally Posted In 'Inside The Salesforce EcoSystem'
My Salesforce journey started 12 years ago while working for a major cable company. A small business unit had implemented Salesforce, and it soon became the corporate standard. I jumped at the chance to expand it to over 5.000 users across North America. Within two years, I had designed a custom CPQ and order management solution, integrated into 18 billing systems. An accomplishment still in place to this day.
From that point forward, I was hooked.
I ventured into consulting so I could broaden my experience across multiple verticals. While I loved designing solutions that were deemed “not possible” and pushing the limits of Salesforce, growing inside of me was a deep desire to share the knowledge and experience with companies that were just starting out. I wanted to build an app!
Years went by, and finally, I decided it was time to stop thinking and start acting. I quit my job, took everything I had, and bet on myself. I signed up to become an ISV partner and started building — each day getting more and more excited. I was finally taking action and doing something in life I wanted to do.
Then, the other day, I glanced at a new email that popped up on my phone: “Congrats! Your Application Passed Security Review.”
I broke down and cried. That message was the final approval required for a listing on AppExchange. Months and months of work came to an end with one simple email. Yet, the dream behind it was years in the making.
The journey to this point has been an amazing experience. I’m not certain what’s next, or how successful this or other apps will perform in the market. But as I look back at what it took to get this far, there are a couple of things I wish I knew and I want to share them with you:
You never know if you have something real, and you are the person creating the next niche.
For many of you who know me, I've had a dream of being published on the Salesforce AppExchange for many years. Well today, that goal has finally become a reality! While my first app in publication wasn't the plan, none the less I actually achieved my dream. Last year I finally decided to 'bet on myself' and take the plunge. The journey has been amazing and I can never look back on this experience with any regrets.
Along this path, it has been filled with excitement, fear, sleepless nights, self doubt, silent victories, and many other emotions. Building an app was the 'easy' part. Playing the role of product development, strategist, marketing, operations, and many of the other functions have been the hardest on most days. I realized I have been my own worst 'client' when it comes to requirements and 'sticking to scope'. Giving me an even greater appreciation for the consulting work I have done.
I have reached out to so many people along the way, and I can't begin to express my gratitude for your feedback and support. Coach Ty Vincent, thank you for the push and continual kicks along the way.
While many of us have dreams of starting our own software company and retiring in wealth and fame. For me, it has been about taking my creative sprint and channeling that energy into something constructive. Yes, of course, I hope to become successful and make a living. But, along this path things changed in ways I had never considered.
During this process, I took time to involve my children along the way so they could learn what their father actually did for a living. Mackenzie Stall, my oldest, performed my QA and UAT, providing invaluable insight into the workings of the 'Millennial User'. I had my 11 year old son, who was completely new to Salesforce, download and set-up one of my apps in under an hour. While the middle two were just happy to be able to use a computer playing with Gantt charts.
With those shared family experiences, it hit me. Not only was I able to show and involve my family in my project. My children were also able to see their father set goals and make them happen. A first hand account of seeing a dream become a reality! Being able to explain to them that regardless of the success or failure, you never know what will happen until you try. That it takes hard work, long days, and a disciplined approach to even begin to answer the question - 'Can my dream become a reality?'.
For this part of the experience, being a father and teacher, was the most amazing of all! This is the true legacy I am so proud to have accomplished by embarking on this journey.
I welcome all of you to please reflect, share, like, and comment on this post. Of course, you can also check out my first AppExchange app too!