The 10K mission is to give people the freedom to do more of the work they love. For Salesforce customers, that means building solutions that bring business initiatives to life and make users’ lives easier. For our independent Salesforce experts, it’s about connecting them with cool projects and customers that speak to their passions and interests. Today we are featuring Tasha Rucker, an independent Salesforce technical consultant, and entrepreneur.
How did you know it was time to go independent?
My full-time job turned predictable and consistent. I had stability, but I wasn’t excited about my day-to-day anymore. I started to crave variety and curiosity, so that’s when I started dabbling with freelance work at the beginning of 2020.
My freelance work was engaging – I absolutely loved it. I couldn’t ignore the feeling that my mind was asking me to lean in, so I paid attention. My side projects were taking away focus from my full-time job, with a company I cared about and respected, so I took that as my sign to go all-in on my independent business.
What did your first few months look like?
I started transitioning out of my full-time job during December, so I had some downtime to map my out goals and draft a business plan. Come January, my independent Salesforce work never stopped. I had client relationships and opportunities lined up in advance, so all I had to do was connect with folks about my new availability.
In the beginning, I struggled with managing my bandwidth and knowing my maximum workload. To be fair, this is something I still struggle with. It’s important to maintain a consistent pipeline but I also need to recognize when enough is enough. Luckily, I haven’t stretched myself too far, but it’s a conscious practice.
What have you grown to love about being an independent consultant?
I love choosing my own projects and doing work that keeps me curious. I have a lot of pride in my clients and learning how their businesses work. Being independent also gives me the opportunity to touch more corners of the Salesforce platform. I like to call it trial by fire – this is how I’ve learned the most.
Best practices matter, too, but exposure to a wider variety of projects allows more opportunity for creative solution-designing. The best consultants gain insight from experience.
That said, I’m a life-long learner. I can design my own professional development and it’s funded by me. Whether it’s which conferences to attend, present at, or how to market my brand – I have the freedom to choose. It feels good to invest in myself and my future.
Are there any lessons you can share from your journey?
Practicing honesty with your clients is key. Be transparent about your knowledge and abilities. It’s okay to not know everything. Salesforce is becoming more complicated with every release, so it’s impossible to know how to do and implement everything. Customers will respect you for not wasting their time or resources.
I also recommend dedicating time to professional development. When you’re working by yourself you don’t have a manager recommending new skills to gain. The responsibility lies with you, but it’s fun to customize that path.
For anyone considering the leap I’d tell them it’s scary at first, but there are so many opportunities and people willing to help. I feel like once you get a taste of independence, there’s no going back. I love being the boss.