It’s Independents Week and we’re celebrating by profiling successful entrepreneurs within the Salesforce community on the 10K blog. Follow along with us at #IndependentsWeek and #GoIndependent as we give a peek into each person’s journey to independence, lessons learned along the way, and advice for others who might be interested in joining the thriving Salesforce ecosystem.
Agile Coach | Salesforce MVP
Tell me about your business.
I launched get:Agile to help organizations achieve an agile mindset. My mission is to demystify this concept and help my clients implement agile — using Scrum framework and Kanban elements — within their own Salesforce ecosystem.
The name it says it all: Get Agile!, I’m helping organizations to become more agile whilst delivering Salesforce.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
Coming from business transformation background, as I became more enmeshed in the agile mindset I realized there was a real need to help businesses better embrace this concept especially within the Salesforce ecosystem and not only within development teams but across organizations. This process benefits the bottom line; in fact, adopting and becoming more agile has been proven to increase productivity.
In 2006 Salesforce made the switch from a waterfall approach to agile in order to improve productivity within a growing global engineering team. With that switch Salesforce increased productivity by 38 percent and major releases were completed 60 percent faster!
But as I assessed the industry, I was disappointed by the mass confusion or misuse of the agile concepts. Release dates were being missed or delayed, products weren’t being adopted to market, frustrated teams. I decided that enough was enough and that was time to have a wider impact on the Salesforce community.
What advice can you share with others who might be thinking about embarking on a similar path?
Don’t do it for the money. In today’s market demand there isn’t much of a difference (at least in the UK and if set as limited company) and brings another layer of activities for one to do like raising invoices, having accounts up to date, expenses, insurance, pensions, medical cover, lead generation, etc.
Now, if there is a deep reason you want to do so, go for it! The Salesforce market has high demand for talent. Being an independent consultant gives me the flexibility to be able to support the community in so many means that I wouldn’t be able otherwise.
Also, take advantage of advice from successful members of the Salesforce community. For example one of the initiatives I support is the The Mentorship Central, a group within the Trailblazer Community that matches mentees with mentors. You’d be amazed at how many people are willing to share their experiences, lessons learned and advice to new folks interested in leaving their job to start a new exciting adventure. I am very focused, of course, on trying to help my mentees embrace agile mindset not only within their work but in life, as I believe and have seen the positive impact it can have.
What are the best parts of being a business owner? And what is the hardest part?
Working for myself gives me the flexibility to support the community in the depth that I do, as well as the flexibility on how I do business.I conduct my business in a very honest and direct way and I hand-select the clients and projects that I work on. And because of my honest counsel I am able to directly see the impact I had on the organization.
The most challenging part of being an “independent” is that there is constant change, uncertainty is all around us. But that is a good thing, it keeps you on your toes and grounded. We (as is the companies we work for, products, and the market) are constantly changing. Kaizen, a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc., is my motto.
If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice from the future, what would it be?
I’m leaving you three last pieces of advice, whatever your journey is:
1. Value Individuals and Interactions over processes and tools;
2. Value Customer Collaboration over contract negotiation;
3. Value Responding to Change over following a plan.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our series this week celebrating “independents” within the Salesforce ecosystem. Read our previous posts from the week:
- How to go from admin to entrepreneur from 10K Advisors CEO Nick Hamm
- Why all successful entrepreneurs should have a “make your own lunch mentality”
- Why finding a mentor within the community is the key to success
- How to assess your appetite for uncertainty