Archives for July 2022

What I Learned as an Ally Attending WITness Success

Our team had the opportunity to sponsor and attend not only one but two amazing conferences last week: Midwest Dreamin’ and WITness Success

After a two-year long hiatus from in-person events, we were grateful and raring to get back in action. We met some amazing people, reconnected with friends, and raffled off some delicious 10K Buffalo Trace. The energy, excitement, and hope left us buzzing. 

WITness Success Allies Dinner 

Friday evening was a top highlight of my week in Minneapolis. For the unfamiliar, WITness Success is a two-day event dedicated to empowering, supporting, and investing in the Salesforce Women in Tech user group members and leaders. 

That night, I had the honor of moderating a panel of powerful, inspiring, and all-around impressive women at the WITness Success Allies Dinner. It was an incredibly moving experience. This group of career-driven and altruistic women offered the vulnerability to tell real stories about their triumphs, setbacks, hopes, and frustrations. 

The reality is that women in tech face an uphill battle their male counterparts do not. In recent years our industry has finally recognized this as a fact and that’s certainly progress, but there is still more work to be done. Our women peers need more effective allies to bring about real change. 

Here are the most important things I learned from our conversations. 

Actions don’t have to be tremendous to be impactful

The idea of perfection or achieving big results tends to paralyze us into sitting on the sidelines. 

It goes something like, “Well, if I can’t do XYZ at this scale or reach “this number” of people, then is it even worth it?” 

We’ve all been there. However, the truth is that even small acts can make a big difference. Impacting one person makes a difference. Aim to focus less on achieving the ideal outcome and just reach out. Opening one door can lead to a world of opportunity. 

One of our panel members said it perfectly, “Just say, yo!” Check-in on your people and provide support where and when you can. 

What it takes for allies to do tremendous things

It takes the intention to go above and beyond to help someone. Allies can make a huge impact by daring to be bold in their actions and words. Use self-awareness to detect real-time opportunities to speak up or make connections. It’s all about follow-through.

Allyship isn’t just for men

It’s everyone’s responsibility to inspire and create change. You don’t have to be in a position of power to give others power. There is room for all of us to be better allies for each other. 

It takes courage to be an ally (or to be helped by one)

Sometimes we’re scared of saying, doing, asking, or offering the wrong thing to people who need help. That’s why it feels easier to not do anything at all. On the flip side, it’s difficult being the one who needs to ask for or receive help. It’s scary to be vulnerable. 

Courage is key to both allies and the people who need them. Being bold is the way to unlock achievements for not only others but also yourself. Embracing vulnerability creates an opportunity for real growth. 

A special thank you 

I want to thank Gabriela Pedroni for organizing the WITness Success Allies Dinner, Melinda Smith for believing in and supporting the concept, and all of the incredible women who shared their stories. We sincerely missed Jocelyn Fennewald – much of this materialized after our conversation at WITness Success 2019. Until next year, remember to “Just say, yo!”

Meet Matt Gvazdinskas, 10K’s New Chief Strategy Officer

Today we are thrilled to announce the addition of Matt Gvazdinskas to 10K’s executive leadership team as our first-ever Chief Strategy Officer. 

As our new CSO, Matt will capitalize on 10K’s momentum, leading the charge on identifying key strategic objectives and providing the structure necessary to bring them to life. 

Matt has a storied Salesforce career and has been a friend of 10K for a number of years – he’s also a longtime Louisville-local like our CEO, Nick Hamm. With decades of experience in boutique Salesforce consulting operations, working with startups, and most recently, successfully navigating a startup acquisition, Matt’s background makes him an awesome fit for the exciting journey ahead. Get to know Matt and his goals for 10K this year. 

You’re 10K’s first Chief Strategy Officer. What is your vision for this role and what are you most excited to accomplish in your first year?

10K has tremendous people and momentum built on customer and expert success. I see the CSO role having two main objectives: 

  1. Enable continued momentum for our team by providing support when needs arise.
  2. Work with Nick and the leadership team to identify key strategic objectives, take responsibility for the execution of those initiatives, and free the rest of the team as much as possible to grow their respective business functions.

My first year is all about building scalability into everything we do. I have a roadmap in place that will quickly guide us to some amazing outcomes on foundational projects. I think we’ll make a real difference that will be felt by our customers, experts, and anyone that interacts with the 10K team. From there, it’s a constant cycle of evaluating goals and priorities and iterating to keep us on track.

Our on-demand model is pretty unique in the industry. Why do you believe in the model and why do you think what we’re doing matters so much in the ecosystem?

I’ve worked with a variety of large and small SI’s, ISV’s, and internal Salesforce practices and they all shared one challenge – finding and retaining experienced Salesforce talent. 

10K’s on-demand talent model is unlike anything in the Salesforce ecosystem. We’re giving customers and partners the ability to tap into a reliable and experienced talent pool so they can focus on solving business problems. At the end of the day, that’s what everyone is out here trying to do – get project work done. 

We’re also uniquely positioned to help make that happen in today’s business climate. Whether widespread layoffs are on the horizon or not, customers still expect to get more value out of their Salesforce investment. And given Salesforce’s rapid product evolution, maintaining internal expertise to keep up with it all – business acumen, technical skills, etc., eCommerce, project management, etc. – is next to impossible. 

That’s where 10K steps in. We connect customers with on-demand Salesforce experts, exactly when they need them, to level up their Salesforce program. 

You’ve accomplished a lot in your career so far, why is 10K your next move?

Thank you! Yes, I’m very proud of everything I’ve experienced and accomplished in my career. When thinking about my next adventure, two things were really important to me:

  1. Finding a role that allows me to leverage my experience as a product-led growth and execution-minded professional. 
  2. Working with people that “get it.”

Nick has built an impressive team of people that truly know how to serve the market and put customers first. The role of CSO is one that Nick and I imagined together, so it was easy for me to envision what it would look like to be at 10K. I feel accountability and excitement for contributing to its success. 

10K’s vision is to give people the freedom to excel at the work they love. How do you see yourself and your role in this vision?

I love our mission. Internally, I want to establish smart processes and systems to free up our team so they can focus on working with our customers and experts. Externally, I want to help as many experts achieve their goals as possible by expanding the 10K Expert Community. This will naturally benefit our customers by giving them new levels of access to the diverse skill sets we offer on-demand.

What is your favorite adventure?

I love being outdoors, especially in the mountains. I also love challenging myself with mountain biking. Riding with my younger brother (who is a beast) in Colorado definitely pushes my physical limits. I’ve also really enjoyed watching my two sons fall in love with skiing. That’s something my parents did for me growing up, and I am really thrilled to be able to give my kids those experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.

10K’s Independent Salesforce Consultant Report Shows Post-Pandemic Entrepreneurship is on the Rise

The way we look at work has changed dramatically over the past decade, and that change has accelerated since the spring of 2020.  

Major global challenges gave the world pause, and for many, a time to reflect on what is most important. With far-reaching circumstances outside our control, many of us faced the blunt reality of how quickly life can change.

Life is too short to spend the majority of it doing work that’s too stressful, doesn’t respect you, or makes you feel good. 

Cue up the “Great Resignation” and what some are now calling the “Great Reshuffle.” Workers continue to walk away from the jobs and companies that don’t provide the flexibility they deserve, and many are embarking on an entirely different journey – entrepreneurship. 

Download the 2022 Independent Salesforce Consultant Report to see this year’s top findings. 


The Salesforce ecosystem is vibrant and lucrative, where people of all skill levels and backgrounds can find and fall in love with new tech careers. This is in part thanks to Trailhead democratizing ongoing education in a way that no other major tech company can compare. The opportunity to learn new skills and meet customer demand has paved the way for Salesforce talent, new and seasoned, to advance their careers in the ecosystem. 

This is important because the customer demand for Salesforce expertise is skyrocketing. So much so that an impressive 40% of independent Salesforce consultants started their own business during the pandemic between 2020 and 2022. As a Salesforce partner and advocate for Salesforce talent, it’s encouraging to see more and more Salesforce experts capitalize on the opportunity to bet on themselves. 

An impressive 40% of independent Salesforce consultants started their own business during the pandemic between 2020 and 2022.

Our 2020 Salesforce Talent Ecosystem Report marked the first time we surveyed and presented research on independent Salesforce consultants. Now, we are proud to present the first report entirely dedicated to the growing population of independent Salesforce talent. 

Our goal is to shine a spotlight on who these experts are, what they value, and where they need support. We have a strong sense of duty to create awareness for independents and connect them with the customers who need them. 

Building your own business is far from easy. It takes guts. And more than that, it takes trust. I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the Salesforce ecosystem’s brightest independent consultants, from architects to developers, integration specialists, and more. They are a highly-motivated breed of talent with the courage to be their own boss. They are also some of the most experienced, skilled, and engaged Salesforce professionals around, demonstrating a genuine commitment to solving complex customer challenges and building solutions for real impact. 

We invite you to become more familiar with the Trailblazers and innovators shaping the future of the Salesforce consulting ecosystem. They are the force that will continue to take the Salesforce ecosystem to new heights for years to come. 

See this year’s top findings. 

10K Independents Week with Jeff Mevorah

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 Jeff Mevorah, an independent Salesforce technical consultant, and entrepreneur. 

How did you know it was time to go independent?

I worked at a few different SI (system integration) partners and then an in-house client team right up until I went independent. 

Working with partners, my Salesforce work touched every aspect of the project lifecycle – business development, project management, etc. – so burn-out was constant. I transitioned to an in-house client team for a change of pace, but that’s when I realized I missed hands-on consulting. Going independent just made sense. 

What did your first few months look like?

I went independent in March and my first few months have been great. However, I will admit it was scary to take the plunge. There was also a lot of internal questioning. Will I be working even more hours? Do I have the resources to make it happen? Is this even possible? 

In the end, the calculated risk was worth it. I saw an opportunity and couldn’t resist. Yes, there’s added responsibility, like building and maintaining a sales pipeline, client relationships, etc. but the freedom being independent affords is the best part. 

What have you grown to love about being an independent consultant?

I get to choose the number of hours I want to work and build a schedule that fits my lifestyle. I live in Colorado, so I plan around the weather for the things I love – skiing, hiking, and being outside. 

Owning the ability to say yes or no to certain projects is also a great part of being independent. You don’t have that luxury with full-time jobs. It’s been awesome to lean on my network of previous partners I’ve worked with for new projects. These are people I’ve worked with and like working with – it’s a win-win. 

Are there any lessons you can share from your journey?

Think like an entrepreneur and get yourself out there. Tell everyone about your new journey. At first, I was hesitant to post on LinkedIn and promote myself, but I realized I had to get out of my head. My network has shown me an outpouring of support. It’s also a major source for project leads. The Salesforce community is incredibly supportive.

10K Independents Week with Lamin Ceesay

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 Lamin Ceesay, an independent Salesforce architect and entrepreneur. 

How did you know it was time to go independent?

It was all about freedom. I wanted to be in control of my career and gain the ability to choose challenges that excite me. 

I also knew there was a real business opportunity. At the time, I noticed that most of the Salesforce contractors focused on mid-size customers. There was a gap for startups and smaller businesses – companies that didn’t have big-time budgets but still had room to get more out of their Salesforce investment. I wanted to help those smaller companies. 

At the same time, I deeply cared about giving motivated and younger talent an opportunity to develop their skills. The best way to do that was to build my own consultancy. It’s been three years since I went independent, and my business now has five full-time employees and two contractors. 

What did your first few months look like?

There was a big learning curve. Running a business was totally new for me. I was surprised by all that goes into being the boss besides the technical project work. It’s been three years since I went independent, but I’m still learning about sales, marketing, networking, and how to strengthen the positioning of our services. 

There was a lot of experimenting in the beginning. With some trial and error, I got better at hiring the right talent and setting the right price points to break into the market. I took a consulting workshop that was incredibly helpful and connected with other folks who helped with some key business decisions. 

What have you grown to love about being an independent consultant?

I get to choose which clients I work with. This is a significant motivator because there are industries I’m more passionate about than others. Being the boss also allows me to drive solutions for our customers. I choose the approach for how to get to the root of their needs, how to act as an extension for their team, and how to get the job done.  

Going independent has also given me room to be more active in the Salesforce community and contribute to the development of younger talent. I love co-hosting the Toronto Marketing Cloud Community group – it’s one of the ways I’m able to provide training and mentorship. 

Are there any lessons you can share from your journey?

Prioritize your pricing and positioning from day one. When my business entered the market we offered pricing customers couldn’t refuse, but that ultimately played against us. It’s difficult to raise your prices once they’re set and relationships are built. 

To find your market niche, do some competitive analysis. Compare your offerings to consulting firms, other independent consultants, etc. You don’t want to compete with the big players, but you have to find a place to compete and provide value. 

Also, networking is key. Connecting with the right people can help you overcome imposter syndrome and answer some difficult questions that come with starting a business. Research other agency owners who already walked the walk. This will help you find your blind spots. 

The Salesforce ecosystem has so many evangelists from all walks of life. Reading about their journeys motivated and helped me envision what I wanted to accomplish. They made it seem realistic and gave me confidence that I could build my own Salesforce business too. 

Surround yourself with positive people who can support you on your journey – this will help you take the leap. 

4 Steps to Start an Independent Salesforce Consultancy

Is the idea of entrepreneurship calling your name? 

According to our 2022 Independent Salesforce Consultant Report, you’re not the only one – 40% of independent Salesforce consultants started their own business during the pandemic between 2020 and 2022. 

Independent consultants are a rapidly growing segment of the Salesforce talent population. If you’re thinking about betting on yourself, this is your time. Customer demand skyrocketed last year, and there’s no sign of slowing down – there’s plenty of project work for everyone. 

Is the independent lifestyle for everyone?

The “ah-ha” moments and motivations for going independent vary from person to person, but there are amazing benefits nearly every expert stands to gain. This year’s top-cited benefits included flexibility, the guarantee to work remotely, earn more money, and the freedom to choose projects. Going independent makes room for all those things and more. 

However, the reality is entrepreneurship isn’t a walk in the park. There are going to be times when money dries up, flexibility isn’t an option, or you’re working more hours than planned. To create a roadmap that will guide you through the challenges of entrepreneurship, define your “why” for going independent. Establishing a strong ethos is the key to success. 

Starting an independent business may sound daunting. However, when it boils down to it, there are only four steps to make it a reality. Here is the framework for establishing an independent Salesforce consultancy. 

Find the right circle of advisors

In addition to finding mentors – trusted peers to run scenarios by and entrepreneurs who have walked the walk – it’s important to have a go-to network of specialized advisors. They will play a crucial role in your support system and help with strategic decisions. 


A good CPA will help choose the right business structure – s-corp, LLC, etc. – with certain tax implications and project income in mind. CPAs also help with estimating quarterly taxes, how to save for those tax bills, and general tax strategy. 

Insurance brokers

Being the boss also means absorbing all of the risks that come with doing business. Some customer SOWs and MSAs have specific insurance requirements – errors of omission, commercial coverage, etc. – that standard homeowner insurance won’t cover. Business insurance is an absolute must. An insurance broker can identify the right insurance and appropriate coverage necessary to ensure you’re not at risk. 


Contracts need to be tight in the interest of your business and services. Get a trusted business attorney on retainer that can help draft and review client contracts. 


User group meetings and in-person events are trickling back. This is great because even the most ardent remote-work fans need to get out and connect with people every so often. For business and sanity, it’s beneficial to nurture relationships in person. It’s also an opportunity to learn, help others, and practice vulnerability, too. That’s where growth happens and new connections are made. 

Establish an official business entity 

Establishing an official business entity – LLC, S corp, etc. – solidifies an official transition to entrepreneurship. It also symbolizes the commitment to independent consulting as a full-time job. Taking this step may feel scary at first, but it’s also part of the thrill! 

An established business entity is also a non-negotiable formality for many potential customers and partners. They want to work with experts who are protected from liability and can provide a non-personal social security number. A business entity also signals to customers that a long-term partnership is the goal. They can enter into a contract or project feeling confident they won’t be left hanging after three months because entrepreneurship didn’t pan out.  

Refer to your financial and/or tax advisor to decide between an LLC or S corp. There are important tax implications and business aspirations – subcontracting, hiring employees, how to pay yourself – to consider. 

Separate personal and business finances

With an official business entity in place, it’s time to get the financial back of house in order. Choose a trusted financial institution to open an official business checking and savings account. 

It is crucial to keep personal and business finances entirely separate. Intermingling accounts and their activity – personal and family expenses, business expenses, business income, etc – will inevitably create a nightmare when it comes time to file personal and business tax returns. 

Create a contingency plan

If we have learned anything since 2020, it’s that life is unpredictable. No amount of research, foundation-building, or financial planning can insulate business owners from the inevitable curveballs. Contingency plans provide peace of mind and actionable steps in the event business doesn’t go according to plan A. 

Start with ensuring financial security. It’s ideal to start the entrepreneurial journey with 3-6 months of emergency expenses saved up somewhere where it can’t be touched. Pretend that money doesn’t exist. That way, if a client doesn’t pay an invoice or steady work dries up, the business has a chance to survive.  

It’s also important to keep service positioning flexible. The Salesforce platform and market demand are constantly evolving, so consider the top three skills you bring to the table. React and adapt accordingly to net new clients and maintain a healthy pipeline of business. 

Finally, know when enough is enough. It’s okay if the business doesn’t work out or the entrepreneurial lifestyle isn’t a fit. It’s a safe bet to go independent because there is always an opportunity to go back to full-time work. We all have responsibilities – rent, families to support, food to put on the table – and there’s no shame in pivoting back to traditional employment.

If you’re a Salesforce consultant thinking about taking the leap to independence, we’d love to hear from you. Learn more about how 10K helps bridge the gap for independents in their first few months of business and other success stories.