Something I’m often asked is h0w do I find the time to do so much in the Salesforce community. And the answer is simple. I don’t.
I don’t find time, I make time.
If I waited until I had a chunk of time to myself with nothing else to fill it, the chances are I’d do pretty much nothing community-wise, so I have to make that time. For example, I’m writing this article at 5:45am on a Saturday morning. I’m naturally an early riser, but I could easily have stayed in bed for another couple of hours. Or I could have cracked on with some of the many other jobs I have to do this weekend, both professional and personal. But I didn’t. I got up early and made the time to write this article.
Make then use the time wisely
For most of us, time becomes increasingly scarce and valuable as we progress in our careers and our families grow, so it’s important to get as much done as possible in any time carved out. I don’t just get up early, open my laptop and wait for the muse to strike. As ideas hit me, I’ll create a draft article (usually via the Medium iPhone app) and note down any key points that I want to expand on — typically this is just a line or two, but it’s enough to give me something to think about in the background.
By the time the weekend comes around, I’ll have a pretty good idea of what I want do write about on Saturday morning. Which isn’t to say it’s cast in stone — sometimes some news will break in the Salesforce community that I have an opinion on, and my intended target gets pushed back a week or two.
It’s not an exact science
The amount of time that I set aside varies depending on what type of contribution I’m making. An opinion article, such as this one, tends to be an hour or two of writing a draft, correcting and tweaking, then publishing. If I’m writing a how-to technical article, such as
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Then it takes a fair bit longer, as I have to write the code and instructions, test them all from scratch (see what I did there) and then write the post that ties it all together. These often take half a day or more and might be something that takes me a month to produce, putting a couple of hours in a week.
If you want to grow your profile in the Salesforce community, then a guerrilla approach of a major contribution once every three months and then disappearing isn’t likely to cut it. The key for me is consistency. If you can establish a cadence to your efforts then it’s much easier to keep them up. The amount of effort involved is greater, but as it’s spread over a much larger set of activities it doesn’t feel like it.
The key is to get started though — I’ve lost count of the number of times that people have told me they plan to start contributing this year, but they just need to figure out the right tools, the perfect article. There will always be reasons to put off getting started — all the existing commitments of modern life for example. Break the analysis paralysis of waiting for the perfect time and idea.
Once you have your first article out there, it’s much easier to write the next, and the next, and the next. When you get into the habit of contributing regularly, if you skip a week you miss it. You’ll also see your audience build up over time, which will spur you on to do more. It’s a virtuous circle.
I’m better known in the Salesforce community as Bob Buzzard — Umpteen Certifications, including Technical Architect, 6x MVP and CTO of BrightGen, a Platinum Cloud Alliance Partner in the United Kingdom who are hiring the best people, regardless of who they are or where they are from.
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For 10 years organisations have relied on BrightGen to show them what Salesforce — and their business — is capable of…
You can find my (usually) more technical thoughts at the Bob Buzzard Blog