I Might Be Hangout Impaired…or What’s This Thing Called “Community” all about?

Dreamforce ended about two months ago, and I just discovered something. It’s good to be able to stay in touch with friends via social media, but it’s even better to do so through live, streaming conversation and video. I recently spent about 45 minutes hanging out on Google with Zachary Jeans.

The First Thing I Learned
My first takeaway from my conversation with Zachary, actually happened before the conversation even started. I discovered that I don’t really know how to fire up a Google Hangout. Of course, I’m a “tech-child” of the 70s & 80s, and if my memory works, our creed was to simply try things to see if they work, and hope we break anything while we were in the “error” stage of “trial and error.” We felt that reading the manual (or help screens) was for wimps, and if we actually did some reading there was no way we’d admit to it, short of penalty of death.

(Editor’s note: The previous statement is not an admission of guilt, expressed or implied, however, this statement just might be a little bit sarcastic.)

The Second Thing I Learned
My second takeaway from my conversation with Zachary (which actually did happen during the conversation,) is that faith can move mountains. (Ok, I already knew this, but talking with Zachary reaffirmed it.) Back in June, 2012, Zachary decided to follow a dream and founded a company centered around his passion for social media. At the end of August, 2012, he made the decision to give up his career driving trucks across the country to devote all his efforts to his new company. He struggled for a while, as many start-up companies do, but he had a few things going for him that have gotten him to the point he’s at now…a successful businessman, supporting his family while doing what he loves. He had (and still has) the following things working In his favor: 1. the support of his wife and son; 2. A strong faith that The Lord won’t give him more than he can handle; and 3. A strong network of supporters and friends, some of whom he only knows through social media, and others he has met personally, and all contribute in some way to the success he is now enjoying.

The Third Thing I Learned
My third takeaway from my conversation with Zachary, was another reaffirmation of something I already knew, but it is so huge that it merits pointing out because many people still don’t get it. What’s “it”? It’s the secret sauce, it’s what floats people’s boats. It’s It’s what turns people’s cranks. It is why some people get out of bed every morning and continue to suffer through another day on the job that they may not enjoy. It is also why some people feel like they don’t work at all, even though they are on the job, hard at work, for 50 to 75 hours a week (or more.)

“It” is “Community.”

Community

What’s Community?
Community – a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

Community – without it, I wouldn’t know a lot of the great people I know today. I wouldn’t know the “Answers Champion”, the master of the “Safe Habbah” statement, the one and only Steve Molis. I wouldn’t know the ButtonClickAdmin, Mike Gerholdt and his trusty sidekick, Jared Miller.

Community – without it, I wouldn’t know some of the best User Group leaders on the planet. I wouldn’t know the CRM Doctor, Rhonda Ross. I wouldn’t know the awesome leaders of two of the largest Salesforce user groups, Leyna Hoffer and Denise Carbone. I wouldn’t know the world traveling, master at starting new user groups, Joshua Hoskins. I wouldn’t know one of the latest additions to the ranks of the Salesforce MVPs, Sarah Duetsch, whose inspiring story of community and the drive to get certified brought us all to tears as Dreamforce 2012 started. And if it weren’t for community, I wouldn’t know Cher Feldman, whose recent blog post told the story of a great career transformation, powered by the force.com platform: (insert link to Cher’s blog post)

Community – if it weren’t for community, I wouldn’t know the great Community Managers of the world: Erica Kuhl, Matt Brown, Samanthia Achuff, Eanna Cunnane, or April Nassi.

Community – without it, I wouldn’t enjoy going to work every day. I work with a great group of people, who, whether they realize it or not, are a community too.

Community – without it, I wouldn’t be who I am today, and to all of you in my Community, thanks for everything you do. It is greatly appreciated!

That’s the Power of Love…I mean the Community!

To quote the book “212 – the extra degree” by Sam Parker: “At 211, water is hot, at 212, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And steam can power a locomotive. One extra degree makes all the difference.”

To quote Brendan Conroy, Certified Salesforce Administrator and Salesforce MVP:  “The Community is that extra degree. The effort and expertise from Community members genuinely makes miracles happen.” You can find Brendan on Twitter and the Salesforce Success Community.

It’s really odd how sometimes things go full circle. I got the idea for this post in late September, 2013, and was reminded of it again while enjoying the opening a keynote at Dreamforce in November, 2013, when Marc Benioff introduced a special guest – Huey Lewis and the News, who wowed the crowd with “The Power Of Love”

It wasn’t accompanied by the video from the movie “Back to the Future”, but after attending Dreamforce, and seeing how much emphasis Salesforce has placed on API and Mobile, it seemed appropriate for me to use that clip. With all the massive changes that have been baked into Salesforce.com over the past years, Salesforce Releases – 2011-Now, it’s really great to realize just how much Salesforce.com cares about what their customers want and need.

It’s a return to the grass-roots…it’s back to basics. It’s True To The Core! It’s … Wait for it … It’s

Back to the future!

Its Midwest Dreamin’ 2014, coming to Chicago, Summer, 2014.

What’s Midwest Dreamin’ 2014?

It’s the best of user groups combined with a Dreamforce-like atmosphere (with only 250 of your closest friends.)
Stay tuned for more details and how you can register to attend.

Interested in helping to sponsor Midwest Dreamin’ 2014? Send an email to: midwest.dreamin.2014@gmail.com