Join the Other 1%

Every day we engage with technology that is always improving and just as we catch-up it moves on. From the latest smartphone release to viral apps to new updates for the products and tools we are already using, how can you stay current when everything is changing at such a rapid pace? All it takes is an extra 1% effort.

I started withSalesforce when I joined the support team for the then new HandsOn Connect Salesforce.com app in 2010.  At first, every day was an opportunity to learn about configuring and customizing Salesforce -- from the difference between native and custom objects to managed and unmanaged applications and the importance of migrating clean data.  Every day since, I’m always learning more and more about HandsOn Connect, Salesforce and how companies and nonprofits can leverage it to increase efficiency and maximize their impact.

There have been many “ah ha” moments over the years.  One discovery was learning about the  power of formulas.  Several years ago, I attended the “Formula Ninja” session at Dreamforce -- Salesforce’s annual conference -- and I was hooked on formulas and how they were a mandatory tool for any system admin. The following year, my colleague and good friend, Larry Deckel, attended the same session and learned the “power of one” trick which has since helped our customers greatly with reporting and analysis of volunteer engagement.

Recently I asked Deepa Patel, Sales Operations Manager at Basati and Salesforce MVP, to make a presentation on formulas to the San Antonio Salesforce User Group.  Although many of us thought we knew all about formulas, Deepa took us to a new level when she shared a tip on how to simplify a formula -- not only making it easier to read but also reducing the overall formula size to function better. She proved that even the most experienced Salesforce users have new things to learn.

Another breakthrough moment came when I jumped into the world of coding. I know just enough HTML to break any website, so I was entering new territory.  My challenge was to build a Visualforce component. I was out of my element, but up for the challenge. I turned to the Salesforce community and found other users and resources from which I could learn the basics and create my first visualforce component.  And while I’m still not a coder, the lessons I learned have helped me work closer with our developers to improve HandsOn Connect.

My most recent discovery hit me at a presentation by David Liu.  David, founder of SFDC99.com and a Salesforce MVP, shared with us that all it takes to learn code or anything you want to do in life for that matter, is to put in an extra 1%. 

You might be wondering how something as small as 1% could make such a big difference; what David calls the “magic formula for learning.”  You see, if you dedicate 1% more each day to learning (or whatever you do) at the end of a year you’ll be 37.8 times further along than someone who didn’t make that effort  Imagine what you or your organization could accomplish in a year if you were 3780% further ahead toward your goals. 

We always hear people saying they give 150% effort at work or school. It sounds good, but it’s a cliche. In fact, to make a phenomenal impact at what we do, it only takes an extra 1% effort … and all of us can do that! Whether that is learning more about the cause your organization addresses, attending our weekly 20-minute Connect University webinars, or studying for a Salesforce certification, set a goal to put in that extra 1% effort -- learn something every day and see where a year of learning takes you. You’ll be amazed.


Art Ordoqui is the Chief Sales & Customer Success Officer of HandsOn Connect Cloud Solutions, a global technology solutions firm that helps organizations — including volunteer action centers, united ways, food banks, habitat for humanity organizations, catholic charities, and many more — build and manage volunteer and donor engagement solutions. Art also serves as the co-leader for the San Antonio Salesforce User & Nonprofit User Groups.