Over the weekend, I decided to clean off a shelf in my home office so that I would have a place to put all of my Dreamforce swag I am planning to acquire next week. Upon cleaning off my shelf, I came across some magazines that my high school newspaper used to put out to raise funds. As I was paging through the various publications, trying to decide if I should keep them or not a folded up piece of paper fell out I picked it up and opened it. It was the results from a practice Trigonometry Regents Exam I took in High School (in New York State, Regents Exams are statewide standardized examinations in core high school subjects required for a Regents Diploma to graduate). Spoiler alert: I failed. I didn’t just fail; my Math teacher wrote a note on it that I should consider dropping his class and that I just wasn’t smart enough to pass. Ouch.
A flood of emotions came back of me crying in the hallway at school when this math teacher told me I was going to amount to nothing and to stop trying and to give up. I remember thinking I was an idiot no matter how hard I worked and that I was never going to be good at anything.
I decided that it was time to take a dinner break from shelf cleaning/organizing. While I was eating dinner, I checked twitter and saw a tweet from Marc Benioff.
Mr. Benioff was thanking those who had shared their stories in response to a salesforce tweet about how salesforce had changed their lives. I had seen the tweet last week, but I thought I pretty much said everything I needed to say in this blog post from 2014 and in this video which aired at Dreamforce last year. In case both are TLDR/W: Salesforce enabled me to go from a hairdresser/secretary to having a rock star career in the Salesforce ecosystem where now the phrase Assistant Vice President sits next to my name.
As I was eating dinner, the folded up Regents Exam page kept staring back at me. I was pissed. What kind of teacher writes this to a student? I decided to write a letter to my HS math teacher. I don’t know if I will ever send it, but it felt good.
It felt good that I was able to tell him that he was wrong, very wrong.
In my letter to my former math teacher, I wrote that I am smart, I am great at what I do, and I did amount to something. Not only did I amount to something I use math every day to make decisions and drive technical solutions, but I also work and thrive in the Financial Services industry which relies heavily on math. I also explained to him that it’s not that I no longer fail or make mistakes, but that I’m not told to give up. I’m told to learn from my mistakes and failures so that I can grow.
Salesforce, the surrounding Salesforce Ohana, and Trailblazer Community made all of this possible for me. Salesforce enabled me to not only have a career but to be great at something and to make something of myself, even when others told me I couldn’t or wouldn’t.
Now to answer Salesforce’s question: How has Salesforce changed my life for the better?
I have a career that I love. Whenever someone tells me I can’t or I won’t, I’m able to respond back with I can and I will because I am confident in my abilities. Salesforce has helped people like me kick a hole in the glass ceiling for those who didn’t follow the traditional path into technology. I have not only been able to have a career, but I have been able to encourage others to be part of the Salesforce Ecosystem/Economy. I have become a more well rounded human being by connecting with people from all over the world.
Salesforce has changed me by making me a better version of myself.
I will forever be grateful. Thank you to every single Salesforce employee, I am great because of you.