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Anyone can learn Salesforce, right? Yes, but the fact of the matter is that it can be a long process. Just how long depends on what you already know and where you want to go.

However, not only is it a long process, it can be a long, tiring process.

Oh, and did I mention that it can end up being a very tiring process?

But it doesn’t have to be that way…

Time flies when you’re having fun as they say. When you have a little motivation, the long hours just seem to be a thing of the past, right?

Learning Salesforce doesn’t have to be a long, tiring, boring process that only computer geeks and math nerds can do. In fact, the average Joe can do it, but only if you can pick up on one secret driving factor that I’d bet all of the greatest minds in the Salesforce Community have.

With this one factor, learning Salesforce becomes something you can practically do in your sleep. No kidding.

To learn Salesforce, you just need a little motivation, so I’ll give you mine…

But First, a Word of Introduction

Before I reveal to you that big secret, allow me to tell you my untold story and show you where it’s gotten me so far.

So who am I?

Well, my name is Parker Edelmann, and my journey with Salesforce began back in July, 2015, when I was introduced to Trailhead. Having obtained Trailhead Ranger status, I’ve earned over 150 Trailhead Badges, including four of the Superbadges. In the process, I’ve gotten well over 100,000 points.

A major accomplishment of mine has been becoming 3x Salesforce Certified as an Administrator, Platform App Builder, and Platform Developer I.

Parker Edelmann, a 3x Certified Salesforce Professional

Perhaps you’ve seen me on the Trailblazer Community, the Developer Forums, or maybe even as a guest presenter on Automation Hour.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, too. Yes, I may have come a long way in a short time, but…

There’s Something I’ve Never Told Anyone Before…

And I mean that, too. I’ve never told a single soul this fact about myself that I want to share with you now. At least, not publicly anyways. If you already know me, you’ll probably find this somewhat shocking…

You see, I began my journey in 2015, when I was only 13. (!)

Yes, you read that right: 13.

So now we arrive at an interesting question:

Who am I, really?

In short, I’m a highly-motivated, passionate individual that’s hungry to learn Salesforce, as I’ve shown you already.

And the best part about all of it is that I’m only 16.

I’m 16, and I’ve already climbed the mountain of becoming a Trailhead Ranger, the mountain of becoming three-times Salesforce Certified, and that of nearly 1000 posts and comments in the Trailblazer Community.

And this is just the beginning; there are new mountains to climb, more challenges to overcome, and still more trails to blaze. And by God’s grace I intend to blaze them all and go where no Trailblazer has gone before.

That’s motivation.

Better yet, that’s power.

But what was my secret? What was that motivating force behind all of it?

Read on, and I’ll tell you my full, true story for the first time and reveal what motivated me to do it, and, more importantly, how you can take this motivation and use it for yourself.

It All Began with Trailhead

As I mentioned before, my journey with Trailhead began on July 20th, 2015, and I now have over 150 Badges, including 4 Superbadges at this time.

I won’t bore you with a detailed story of my life, I promise, but again, a very important question needs to be asked here: what motivated you to get 150 Trailhead Badges?

Forget that, a better a question would be what motivated you to even start learning Salesforce in the first place?

Really, a lot of reasons, but looking back, I think it all boiled down to wanting to learn a valuable skill. Salesforce wasn’t very hard to learn with Trailhead; not to mention the fact that it was just plain fun.

The ease of learning and using Salesforce, the gamification qualities of Trailhead, the possibility of landing a job that involved Salesforce, and some other reasons instilled in me a passionate and intense desire to learn Salesforce.

And that desire brought me along to 150+ Trailhead Badges. And that’s just the beginning of my tale…

Certifications, the Mountain That Challenged Me to Climb It

3x certified at the age of 16… That’s more than many people in the industry, I’d say.

So let’s ask the question again: what motivated you to get three certifications?

Simple: I didn’t have the knowledge or experience necessary to pass the certifications when I first discovered them. So I changed that…

Mt. Everest

Why do people climb Mt. Everest? “Because it’s there.” I took it as a challenge to learn what I did not know and prove that I was capable of passing the exam.

I just had to learn it.

Certification is a benchmark of knowledge and understanding, if not the standard of Salesforce excellency.

If for no other reason, I felt I absolutely had to attain to that standard just for the sake of doing so.

From the day I started learning Salesforce with Trailhead, to the day I passed the Administrator certification, was almost exactly one year. A month later I passed the Platform App Builder exam, and in May I passed the Platform Developer I exam.

I learned so much studying for those certifications, yet, being honest for a moment, certifications look good on your email signature and your resume, but beyond that, what is the real value of a certification?

It’s the wisdom, the knowledge, and the experience that comes with studying and passing the certification. That’s the real value, worth more than money, and certainly far more than the $200 exam fee.

I did it because I wanted to learn. That’s why.

So What’s the next Mountain, and Why Do You Want to Climb That One?

Again, very good question. The very purpose of learning something is that you hope to put it into practice one day, right? Well, it’s time for me to put it into practice.

My next mountain to climb will be getting a remote job. Having mastered declarative administration essentials and obtained a good understanding of Apex, as well as Visualforce fundamentals, my goal is to go towards the developer side of the platform, what some call the “dark side” of the platform.

The first step in climbing this next mountain of course will be to start looking for suitable admin/developer positions and demonstrating my current skills and experience. If you happen to know of a remote opportunity or just want to say “hi,” feel free to contact me or connect with me on LinkedIn.

I think it’s safe to say that once I land a job, I’ll be sharing my job-hunt experience, including tactics and strategies I used. So if that interests you, don’t forget to subscribe and you’ll get notified first-thing.

Back to the question at hand, why do you want to climb that mountain? What’s got you wanting a job so bad?

Again, there’s a lot of reasons, but if you’ve been paying attention, you can probably guess the primary one.

So what has been my motivation? What is that secret driving factor that has made all of the difference for me?

The Secret Is a Strong, Unquenchable Desire to Learn

That’s my motivation. That’s why I’m here today.

That secret driving factor is simply a desire to learn. That’s it.

And it’s brought me from not knowing a thing about CRM systems to looking for employment configuring and perhaps coding in one.

I am fully persuaded and completely convinced that with a desire to learn and a will to act on it, anyone that wants to learn Salesforce can do it.

The desire to learn can take you anywhere you want it to.

And that’s a fact.

Show me a person that wants to learn, and I’ll show you a person who aspires to do great things. And if they’re willing to do what it takes and go where the desire to learn leads them, then I’ll show you a person who will do great things.

But it only works if the desire to learn is strong enough. If that’s the case, then how do you strengthen that desire?

Trailhead does an excellent job at making you want to learn already, but what if that’s not enough for you?

So How Do You Get That Desire to Learn?

There are probably many ways to do it, and perhaps some better than what I’m about to show you, but I don’t think you can go wrong asking yourself these two questions:

  1. What is it that you want to accomplish?
  2. What will I need to learn to get there?

The first question deals with where you want to go, what your dream destination is, and what everything you learn should contribute towards. The second deals with the specific knowledge you’ll need to acquire, that is, the individual steps you need to take.

What is it that you want to accomplish?

Will you settle for the low foothill or strive for the high mountain peak?

A word of advice I have for you when answering this question is to set your sights high – the sky’s the limit – because you can’t go any higher than what you aim for. There’s a high mountain range of opportunity out there, don’t settle for a foothill. Figure out exactly where you want to go. What’s the ultimate end? Why do you want it?

Really let it sink in and write down all of the benefits of getting there. Realize all of the positive effects it will have on your life. Once you do, it should set in that you’d be leaving a lot of money, or whatever else your goal entails, on the table by not getting there.

Odds are that you’re likely in a less than optimal position. So the point is that you need to realize that there exists a much more ideal position, the profound benefits of achieving that position, and that you’d be nuts not to at least strive toward it. Never lose sight of it and remind yourself constantly about it.

What will I need to learn to get there?

Now that you know where you’d like to go, how are you going to get there? You’ll probably need to learn some new skills. You’ll need to figure out which ones and which should take priority.

Knowing this will help you to have direction, focus the desire to learn on a single subject, and will keep you motivated. Don’t be afraid of how much there is to learn; the more you have to learn may mean a bigger benefit in the end and maybe even small benefits along the way.

And if that doesn’t instill a desire to learn into you, then you either haven’t aimed high enough, or you haven’t sat down long enough to realize all of the benefits of simply learning valuable, useful information.

So what do you want to do? What do you need to learn to get there?

Give those questions a long, hard, honest think.

Well, friend, we’ve come to the end of this post, and I have just one last question for you:

Are you ready to learn Salesforce and do great things?

Please, let’s connect on LinkedIn (don’t forget to tell me you came from my blog) or use my contact form to send me a message and you can tell me what great things you aspire to do and what you want to learn. Let me know if this has helped you. In return, I offer to you my friendship.