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EXECUTION Mr. Trash's journey to shakeup Private Equity (Trash Panda Capital)

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MrTrash757

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Hi all,

I have been debating posting this thread for a few days, but here it goes.

I've been an Ideapreneur/Wantpreneur for a while. I'm 27 and have worked in the Salesforce ecosystem for about 5 years on and off (More about that here). After spending time at Non-Profits & PE owned companies running a single Salesforce organization, I took a leap into Consultancy late last year.

Throughout my time in the ecosystem, I've encountered this massive problem: Users are not trained in the basics of the product and how to use it effectively. Yes, many Salesforce orgs are highly customized, but many users still lack basic training of how the product works. Typically this falls on the administration team, which is swamped with other tasks that take a higher priority.

Some large companies have dedicated training staff and programs, but on the SME/Non-profit side, there is a lack of resources (both humans and money) to train individuals. Adding further complication to this, these smaller companies have often have no administrators, leading to untrained power users stepping in and acting as pseudo-admins.

Salesforce admin trainings are prolerfic across the ecosystem (especially the model in my eyes, FocusOnForce), including Salesforce's own program, Trailhead.

User trainings are a bit more sparse, especially on Salesforce's platform. Or, they have the following issues:
  1. Too Long (Who wants to sit in a boring 3+ hour training?)
  2. Boring (Who wants to sit through a PowerPoint Training?)
  3. Too Brief (Trailhead).
  4. Doesn't teach users how to be efficient (all of them in a way).
  5. Outdated (Trainings in Classic for a system that may be on the newest plaform, Lightning)
Entry into this market is harder, because alot of people in the Salesforce ecosystem struggle to break it down in the right way/create a general training that is fun and engaging. Another issue is the fact that many organizations are customized, which provides an avenue for further growth (by customizing programs for organizations). In my experience the majority of the actions users, power users and pseudo-admins take in Salesforce are the same, so this course should be well executed to focus on these points.

Other than the fact that I am making trainings for someone's elses software (a risk I am willing to take given the growth, size and stability of Salesforce and the ecosystem), I plan to have full control over the product, distribution and marketing.

I'm looking at a self-hosted course for both regular users, power users and pseudo-admins (the three areas not well served by existing programs right now), especially in the SME and Non-profit sectors. The courses will contain a mix of multi-media and hands-on training. It has a lot of potential to scale, because once you make the courses, its minimal updates each release, and it also keeps my time to a minimum after my initial investment :cool:

I've named his TameTheForce right now (bought a domain to put a landing page up to test interest), I'm working on getting a prototype/feedback from a variety of potential and current customers and seeing if there really is potential.

I'm interested in seeing where this goes, as many people over the years have asked me for training or loved it. So, in the end, even if it doesn't go somewhere, I'll learn something and maybe provide value for some people :smile2:
 

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Do it! Just know that it is a good job application, if you do a good job, someone in Salesforce will notice you and hire you to join their training team. That is a good best-case scenario.

The reality is that third parties can't create better training than the platform owner. By the time you finish creating a module, they will release an update that changes the screen and workflow rendering your training obsolete

Good luck though and proceed at once if you believe you have the unfair advantage of having first-hand knowledge of the pain points of current trainings.
 

MrTrash757

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8/20/2020 Update:

I just moved into a lovely farmhouse that is a much better environment for recording. I'm taking the rest of August to get setup, deal with some personal issues that have stacked up, and work on thinking and planning the courses (again).

I'm working on re-scoping the courses, the direction with some of them has changed a bit, but they still fall into the following categories:
  • Users
  • Pseudo-admins
  • Admin/Salesforce Professional Soft Skills Training

I feel like a jerk for taking a few weeks to breathe, as it may be perceived as being lazy, but mentally I need it to get my head straight. Hopefully that is ok. I have been burned out for over a year.

I'll be launching this product in tandem with my little PE firm I am building, Trash Panda Capital, as the first product in the portfolio (speaking of that, wonder if I should create a new thread for that project, as its now the main one...)
 

MrTrash757

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Ok. Time to provide and update on this.

I got fired from my Salesforce consultant position today.

Good. Now I have time and freedom. Finally. I can finally do what I want and feel happy.

I’ll be restarting this project as soon as I get settled in at my new house. It will be one of the many assets I hope to own under my PE firm.

Sometimes, the world kicks you in the a$$ to get towards the Fastlane.
 

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Considering you "hit a wall of depression" in your last post it sounds like you're managing to stay very positive here. Good! No more job burn out. Fastlane focus only. It's show time!
 

MrTrash757

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I'm subbed for the show & moral support.
You can do it.
Right now, I feel like shit because of what happened, but I know I can do it. I just need to take a few days to collect myself, move and also game plan. My head is not in the right place to take concrete action right now.

My GF has actually beenon my butt about this idea also, saying its one of the best ones I have had.

I worked for one of the fortune 500 companies, which used Salesforce classic. After a few months of getting used to it , I saw a similar challenge that you've addressed. Our so-called pseudo -administrator at the time was assigned to conduct training and guess what, the training was for a day and then you were left on your own.

When we made the switch to lightning, everyone in the team was reluctant to adjust to the new update. So I did end up training my entire team and suggested feedback for improvements. Quite oddly, some of the team members did find it difficult to pick up the new system.

In short, to address your point there is a gap but I'm not sure if companies would hire a third person for the same. But if you can convince and provide value , this could be something .

All the best

These are the type of feedback/stories I like to hear. It validates that the need is there, and that current offerings do not satisfy the market. I'm also passionate about using Salesforce effectively and training, that these stories re-stoke the fire in me. Sorry you went through that experience, in this industry its rare to train people properly. Especially with a Classic to Lightning shift.

I'm looking at this from the lense of a service/product rather than a third party doing in-person or virtual training. Hopefully that would bridge the gap to get companies to buy, or individuals to buy via professional development funds.

Trying to avoid selling my time, but may do some high value trainings in the future.
 

MrTrash757

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Alright, time to address the elephant in the room. Now that I have time to write a novel... Brace yourselves, its a long one.

I recently changed the name change of this thread to Trash Panda Capital.

Why? Well, I am going headfirst into PE.

First, a bit of a backstory:

I’ve been on the company side of M&A in the past, from another company acquiring a consultancy I worked at, to a port-co owned by a large PE firm in Austin, and another owned by a smaller one in Chicago.

So after working for companies owned by PE firms in the past, I was left with a bad taste in my mouth.

I can go on a whole rant about why I have a bad taste, but I’ll save that for another post.

I’ve sat with this bad taste until I encountered someone that built a PE firm through micro acquisitions, to the point where they are able to raise funds/get loans to buy larger businesses. This is the first fast lane model that made sense to me in a while, as I am more of an operations guy that loves to help streamline/grow things over starting them from scratch (even though I do both).

So I took an existing biz I had, changed the name, and right now I am working on a logo and website in preparation for more of an official launch.

And thus, Trash Panda Capital was born.

The focus of Trash Panda Capital is simple:

Buying & investing in boring businesses & projects others don’t want, that have a high potential for being fully or mostly Automated (especially through AI and other means).

I’m starting with small projects, primarially digital ones. My long term (5 year) goal is to get into $1-10million dollar businesses, especially what I call the “boomer businesses” -> businesses being sold by people that are retiring. I love businesses with large operational problems over sales and marketing issues.

That‘s what inspired the name, as Raccoons (Trash Panda’s) usually pick trash, sit in the dark, and make everything as easy as possible.

Now, an update about where I am right now.

In-case you are reading this and missed previous posts -> I got fired from my Salesforce Consultant position, in an extremely cowardly way by the founder. I ended up getting a small Golden Parachute out of it, but that’s about it. I took a gamble taking the role as a 1099 worker, and got let go right before a transition to W-2 (this company was not really operating in the scope of the law with employment), so unemployment is not an option, which is ok. Honestly, I am relieved to be out of there, it was a stressful time with some questionable characters.

That leaves me relying on myself to survive and make a living. Scary as heck, but now the cards are falling into place. I am not tied to someone else’s company, I have mental and physically stability, and the means to support myself during this time, and potentially replace some failing computer equipment (yay!)

I have about a year to make this work, based on the amount of runway I saved up over the past two years, and excluding the money I have set aside for acquisitions.

My initial goal is to get $1k MRR across multiple products/revenue streams. This will cover my personal monthly expenses , allowing me make myself cash flow positive, instead of burning $800-900 a month from savings.

So now, here are the following products I have under Trash Panda Capital right now. Future updates will also be broken down by each product, with a brief summary of the main company also:

  • Roviki Solutions - Salesforce & Revenue Operations consulting. This was the previous legal name of the company, and I have one customer at $175 a month or so that has been paying for a while (And will be staying). I’m aiming to use this as a funnel for other freelancing/contracting roles that may pop up. To be honest, this “product” is not a priority, I am burnt out from consulting in general, and the market has been flooded with cheap labor due to the downturn. On top of that, I have put a hard stop on applying to full time roles, as I don’t want to go through that cycle of sucking up to someone again. I still keep an eye out for things, but this is more of a “if something pops up” kind of product.
  • TameTheForce - The product that kicked this thread off. Bascially specific Salesforce/ Revenue Operations training in a bite sized set of courses. Right now, I am focusing on condensing the material down, and recording/editing to launch in two week sprints via Skillshare/my own site. This is my #1 product right now.

There are two other products/revenue streams that I am exploring right now:
  • Waterproof/compartmentalizations Marijuana storage container - My girlfriend’s idea. With this one, its basically testing the market via pre-orders, we already have found a supplier, but want to gauge interest before ordering. Trying to avoid drop shipping as much as I can. She has no time to pursue this due to her budding real estate career, so I am willing to give it a shot and see where it goes.
  • Marketing Support for my Father In Law’s business - Basically, this is getting revenue sharing from sales. Something worth trying as all that needs to be done is to scrape a database, create an email, send it, and measure the results. <2 hrs worth of work.
  • AI Tool for my PE deal flow -> In the idea stages right now.

On top of all of these streams, I’ve also been looking to acquire a internet based product/biz. Right now, its been falling apart during Due Dilligence as I have uncovered some major red flags, but I am confident that an honest person‘s product will appear.

Now, the best for last.

About a week ago, I reached out to a connection about if he had knowledge about PE.

Well, it seems I hit the jackpot. He has sold startups to PE firms in the past, and has been extremely involved in VC.

We have known each other for a bit, we are both a bit squirrely and very similar, and we have hit it off.

So now, we are looking at opening a VC fund and then expanding into a larger PE fund In the future. He is also based out of NYC and has a wide range of contacts.

We are working through some of the legality behind this (as I am not accredited, but he is), and it looks like a recent SEC rule change would make it easier to make it work. Staying on the right side of the law is always a priority in my eyes.

This is most likely going to be something outside of my own business, but since it’s still related, I’ll include updates on it.

Phew. What a novel!

Tl;dr -> I’ve decide to open a PE firm called Trash Panda Capital, to hold my own projects, and also acquire some more. Also working with a partner on a separate finance related project.
 
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MrTrash757

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September 21st to October 1st, 2020.

Note: I'm moving to Thursday updates, as that allows me to share my newsletter here also.


Me
Word of the week? Pivot.

I'm up int he beautiful UP of Michigan, relaxing and on vacation. I was going to do some interviews for full time and contract roles, but I have been canceling them one by one.

Why? I decided to go head first into Trash Panda Capital.


Trash Panda Capital
Branding came back. I need to make a few edits, but here is a preview:
35115

Echoing last week -Still looking for my first acquisition. Its been a doozy. Most deals fail Due Diligence. I am also stuck at a certain price range that is extremely restrictive.

As mentioned in the newsletter for this week, I'm diving head first into this project. Mainly focusing on these areas:
  • Acquisitions and building our portfolio. Admittedly, this is a longer term goal that will come to fruition once larger amounts of capital come in the door.
  • Starting and growing a scouting program, with the aim of connecting all sorts of buyers and sellers, and collecting a fee for our efforts. I expect this to be up and running this month, and our primary focus going forward. The aim is to not be a brokerage though, but rather a finder.
  • Offering business management services for Millenials and Gen X/Z , who are poised to inherit businesses through The Great Wealth Transfer. This is a longer term goal that may or may not happen, depending on how the market reacts.
  • Investing my time in learning Machine Learning and AI, with the focus of automating as much of the scouting, acquisition and management practices as I can. This is an extremely long term undertaking, but something I am extremely excited about. AI and ML is the future, but it is rarely used in the PE sector.

TameTheForce (Salesforce Training Product)
Product is being closed and removed, for now. No more updates going further, unless I decide to revisit it.

Roviki Solutions (Salesforce Consulting)
Product is being closed and removed. I'll continue working for my current clients, but No more updates going further.

Other Products
Waiting for my father-in-law to get me information so we can kickstart his marketing campaigns.
 
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MrTrash757

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6/9 to 6/11/2020

I’ll try to keep these simple. But the past three days have been extremely productivr after my day job for once. This is the key to success, the time I have that is free.

Key items
  1. Surveys continued to roll in, helping provide valuable insight into additional course needs in specialized administrative and management areas.
  2. Ordered some equipment on Amazon to help with lighting and background -two key areas where my video quality stinks.
  3. Laid out 10 courses. Yes, 10. Across a variety of highly specialized subjects in user,admin and management subjects .
  4. Research across the forum , internet into platforms, best practices, etc
  5. And the best for last: Testing my formatting, speaking, training skills and tactics on my target market via work. Not teaching the same subjects I will be teaching but great to keep me motivated.
For next week, the following will happen:
  1. First courses will have a formal writeup/guide. May even start making quizzes, assignments, etc.
  2. Video recording will have to wait until I get my equipment on Tuesday.
  3. Research into video, recording practices.
Overall. This is the most progress I have made on something in the shortest amount of time. Must be the ADHD in me :)
 

MrTrash757

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6/27 to 6/28/2020.

Well, I tried to record this weekend, but ended up bagging it.

I ultimately decided to pause recording until August 15th atleast.

The reason why? I'm moving to a house in the country that will reduce the amount of background noise and is better lit. I currently live in a apartment complex, and have some rude and loud neighbors that are banging around all day. Outside of my control, the complex doesn't care, and they don't either.

I've also hit a wall of depression and some other personal issues that I need to work through in the next few months.

But not all is lost. I'm going to use the time I dedicate on the weekends to work on laying out the next courses I have planned, so I can record them once I get through this one. Slowing down on the momentum, not giving up.

I'm also working on re-organizing my existing business and pursuing some acquisitions that fell into my lap recently (not opening a thread on this... yet).
 

MrTrash757

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Considering you "hit a wall of depression" in your last post it sounds like you're managing to stay very positive here. Good! No more job burn out. Fastlane focus only. It's show time!

Yes! Thats the hope. I am sure it will be rocky at times but I haven’t been happy in this role for months. So trading my health for stability is never good.
 

Theunscripted

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Hi all,

I have been debating posting this thread for a few days, but here it goes.

I've been an Ideapreneur/Wantpreneur for a while. I'm 27 and have worked in the Salesforce ecosystem for about 5 years on and off (More about that here). After spending time at Non-Profits & PE owned companies running a single Salesforce organization, I took a leap into Consultancy late last year.

Throughout my time in the ecosystem, I've encountered this massive problem: Users are not trained in the basics of the product and how to use it effectively. Yes, many Salesforce orgs are highly customized, but many users still lack basic training of how the product works. Typically this falls on the administration team, which is swamped with other tasks that take a higher priority.

Some large companies have dedicated training staff and programs, but on the SME/Non-profit side, there is a lack of resources (both humans and money) to train individuals. Adding further complication to this, these smaller companies have often have no administrators, leading to untrained power users stepping in and acting as pseudo-admins.

Salesforce admin trainings are prolerfic across the ecosystem (especially the model in my eyes, FocusOnForce), including Salesforce's own program, Trailhead.

User trainings are a bit more sparse, especially on Salesforce's platform. Or, they have the following issues:
  1. Too Long (Who wants to sit in a boring 3+ hour training?)
  2. Boring (Who wants to sit through a PowerPoint Training?)
  3. Too Brief (Trailhead).
  4. Doesn't teach users how to be efficient (all of them in a way).
  5. Outdated (Trainings in Classic for a system that may be on the newest plaform, Lightning)
Entry into this market is harder, because alot of people in the Salesforce ecosystem struggle to break it down in the right way/create a general training that is fun and engaging. Another issue is the fact that many organizations are customized, which provides an avenue for further growth (by customizing programs for organizations). In my experience the majority of the actions users, power users and pseudo-admins take in Salesforce are the same, so this course should be well executed to focus on these points.

Other than the fact that I am making trainings for someone's elses software (a risk I am willing to take given the growth, size and stability of Salesforce and the ecosystem), I plan to have full control over the product, distribution and marketing.

I'm looking at a self-hosted course for both regular users, power users and pseudo-admins (the three areas not well served by existing programs right now), especially in the SME and Non-profit sectors. The courses will contain a mix of multi-media and hands-on training. It has a lot of potential to scale, because once you make the courses, its minimal updates each release, and it also keeps my time to a minimum after my initial investment :cool:

I've named his TameTheForce right now (bought a domain to put a landing page up to test interest), I'm working on getting a prototype/feedback from a variety of potential and current customers and seeing if there really is potential.

I'm interested in seeing where this goes, as many people over the years have asked me for training or loved it. So, in the end, even if it doesn't go somewhere, I'll learn something and maybe provide value for some people :smile2:
I worked for one of the fortune 500 companies, which used Salesforce classic. After a few months of getting used to it , I saw a similar challenge that you've addressed. Our so-called pseudo -administrator at the time was assigned to conduct training and guess what, the training was for a day and then you were left on your own.

When we made the switch to lightning, everyone in the team was reluctant to adjust to the new update. So I did end up training my entire team and suggested feedback for improvements. Quite oddly, some of the team members did find it difficult to pick up the new system.

In short, to address your point there is a gap but I'm not sure if companies would hire a third person for the same. But if you can convince and provide value , this could be something .

All the best
 

MrTrash757

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8/30/2020 to 9/5/2020 update.

Figured I would post weekly updates. It helps me to recap what has happened over the week, and I like keeping a diary.

Me
Spent most of the week in a pissed off and depressed state. Got through it finally over the Labor Day weekend, and I have put some processes in place to help avoid/deal with depression.

Trash Panda Capital
Majority of my time has been spent with administrative work, to keep myself as organized as possible. I hate doing this work as I feel like its slow and boring, but it will set me up for success. Waiting on my designer to send branding back so I can do a more formal launch of the website and brand. Spent some time pursuing deals that have lead to dead ends due to reflags in the due diligence stages.

TameTheForce (Salesforce Training Product)
Spent the week laying out the user & pseudo admin courses, starting with the course project first, then putting details in. Tabling admin courses for now. Had to order equipment also, so launch date will be pushed to the end of the month.

Roviki Solutions (Consulting)
Most of the week was spent applying to freelancing posts/contract roles. Finally heard back from a prospect, scheduled a meeting for next week.

Other Products
Nothing to report.

Potential Fund Partner
This is still in progress, but on the back burner. Potential partner and I have not had contact since last week. Since there isn't anything in writing/set in stone, I'm just letting it sit for now.

For the next week (9/6 to 9/12):
  • Me -> Avoid the burn out, take care of my health, and be as productive as possible.
  • Trash Panda Capital -> Finish up work on internal processes/software optimization, begin to ramp up scouting and deal sourcing operations. Speaking with a potential lead on Thursday. Fingers crossed branding comes to me this week.
  • Roviki Solutions -> Speaking with a potential client this week. Responding to freelancing posts daily.
  • TameTheForce -> Aiming to have the full User Reports & Dashboards course laid out and ready for recording the next week. Fingers crossed branding & equipment comes to me this week.
  • Other Projects -> Working with my GF (owner of the projects) to get the ball rolling
  • Potential Fund Partner -> On the back burner. No idea what is going on with the partner, hope he is ok.
 

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MrTrash757

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9/6 to 9/13/2020 Update.

Going to keep these as short as possible from now on, so I spend more time executing. I’ll just provide updates from now on, instead of laying out a list of things to do this week, as it usually ends up getting trashed by Tuesday anyway.

Me
The word of the week? Distraction.

One of the hardest parts of getting thrust into the Fastlane from the Slowlane is the realization that you don’t need to fill 8 hours a day with meaningless crap, just to keep your job and make the boss happy.

Now the tables have turned, and I am my own boss. A large amount of control I have frankly never had.

Distraction has been the name of the game, mainly due to a ton of administrative and job/contract search related tasks that have sucked up my time and distracted me from working on the two projects that are the path to the Fastlane.

This, combined with the fact I crave quick dopamine hits via multitasking with Youtube or the TV in the background, or deciding to spend a few hours playing a video game, really made it so my productivity has taken a hit.

Nobody can truly multitask. It’s easier to break things into chunks and take it step by step. I know this isn’t ground breaking knowledge, but for someone that has been spinning their wheels trying to do multiple things at the same time, with many dopamine distractions in each, its a big step to break that finally.

Louis Rossmann (MacBook repairshop owner), has two videos that go into great detail about this, linked below:

Negotiating with yourself to get things done

Motivation to rebuild from rock bottom depression.

Trash Panda Capital
Still waiting on my designer to send branding back, he wants to send it with the TameTheForce branding, so I just need to wait a little longer.

I started work on laying out a Web Scraper to speed up the prospecting for deals, this plays into a larger idea around using AI/Machine Learning to help with deals. First I need to relearn Python and some math before I get that far!

I spoke with a long-term prospect this week, he is extremely interested in selling, I just need to find some capital to bridge the gap between what I have and what he wants.

I also started working on building some connections for the scouting side I am working on, with other PE firms, so I can start sending them potential deals I come across and potentially get a nice kickback If they close them.

TameTheForce (Salesforce Training Product)
Spent the week laying out the user courses in detail. Still working on this, and waiting for my branding. Recording should start this upcoming week now that equipment has arrived.

I’ve been a bit burnt out about this project to be honest, but the past week has really put some wind back in my sails as I take a more positive outlook and have realized how easy it is to get these recorded.

It’s a good source of revenue, the market is there, I’m just over thinking it.

Roviki Solutions (Consulting)
I had a few calls with potential clients, one went terrible (and I’m glad it did, I don’t want to do Salesforce consulting anymore), and other one went great and will most likely morph into a part time (atleast) engagement. Nothing is official until the contact is signed though.

I’ve also had to put my foot down about the amount of time this side of the business takes up, between vetting postings, reaching out, etc.

Its not something I want to make as a priority, because I am still trading my time for money. I’m ok with that to a certain point as I need to pay bills as I get things ramped up, but it can also turn into a full time job search easily, which I am trying to avoid.

Mainly trying to avoid getting sucked into the job search trap as that takes time away from finally launching, marketing and growing TameTheForce, along with TrashPandaCapital. Its time to finally stop getting sucked into the Slowlane and start building up for the fast lane.

Other Products
Nothing to report.

Potential Fund Partner
This is DOA. No idea where he went. Honestly, I am glad it’s quiet as this was a distraction that sucked some time away from me.
 

MrTrash757

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9/14 to 9/20 Update

Me

Word of the week? Time Management & Distractibility.

It seems that the Slowlane keeps wanting to suck me back into its trap. I spent the week going from phone interview to phone interview. I suck at interviewing so its a mental and emotional drain to move on from these to more productive things.

I've had to really limit myself from going down this rabbit hole.

However, it's lead to me breaking some habits around video games and general distraction. Finally getting to the point where I love my work and get a "high" off it, so I crave more of that productivity. Haven't been this way in five years.

Trash Panda Capital
Branding is coming back on Monday, 9/21. Finally. I can officially launch the website and start getting the word out once that happens.

Still looking for my first acquisition. Its been a doozy. Most deals fail Due Diligence. I am also stuck at a certain price range that is extremely restrictive.

I also stumbled upon this thread last week: Jay Abraham - Try This Incredible Mindset Shift! , and I found a copy of Mediorcity to Millions. I'll be honest, I skimmed the book but got an Aha moment out of it.

I've been kicking around the idea of creating a "scouting" program, basically sending other PE firms potential deals and then taking a cut out of it. Now that I connected the dots together, I'm going to get the ball rolling on this, especially as the "boomer businesses" are going to be sold or transferred to family in the next 3-5 years. Right now, I'm working with one PE firm to become part of their network. Feeling like this is the best path forward for me right now, to get some dollars in the door. Jay's book helped with some mindset around this idea, which was the missing piece.

I also started diving into learning AI/Machine Learning. Its going to be a long process, but I have a massive idea around how to automate a lot of the scouting/due diligence process to free up time and also help with a lot of the analytics.

TameTheForce (Salesforce Training Product)
Branding is coming back to me on Monday. Major roadblock with some things.

Still working on materials. I have set a hard deadline of Wednesday to have them completed. Recording will begin Thursday/Friday, and stretch into Saturday. My aim is get everything recorded so I can edit when I venture up to the UP of MI between 9/28 and 10/2. I also aim to spend that week laying out the next course, as I have planned out two week sprints from here all the way to May.

Frankly, the amount of phone interviews & discussions around contracts for the Roviki Solutions side of the business has been draining time and mental capacity away from this. More about that below.

Roviki Solutions (Salesforce Consulting)
Got a verbal on a deal for some project based Salesforce consulting (3-6+ months). I'm happy about it, because it won't suck all my time away, but will pay the bills.

I have had to dial down the amount of time I spend in this area considerably, the amount of time spent viewing contracts, talking with people, and getting sucked back into the Slowlane mentality of "I lost my job, time to apply for work and be a wage slave for someone else" is a major distraction.

You can literally make applying for jobs/contracts a full time job.

I honestly cannot wait to get the Trash Panda Capital scouting & acquisition programs up so I can use that as a major revenue driver, and hopefully wind this side down. But baby steps first, right?

Other Products
Working with my Father-In-Law to get some marketing going for him. I get 50% off of any deals closed through this method. Basically using this as a test for acquiring his biz in 3-5 years when he wants to retire.
 

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Do it! Just know that it is a good job application, if you do a good job, someone in Salesforce will notice you and hire you to join their training team. That is a good best-case scenario.

The reality is that third parties can't create better training than the platform owner. By the time you finish creating a module, they will release an update that changes the screen and workflow rendering your training obsolete

Good luck though and proceed at once if you believe you have the unfair advantage of having first-hand knowledge of the pain points of current trainings.

Thats how I feel about this one, 100%!

To your second point, I agree to a certain extent. There are some major gaps in Trailhead/SFDC documentation, along with random issues that happen in modules right now. I've seen that the work to fix this is often 2-3 updates behind too. Ironic for the platform owner.

However, the admin training programs take this in stride, FocusOnForce is an example of the approach I want to take -> Get the full training up for each Certification, then make minor tweaks every release. They make alot of money doing this (and I am a vocal advocate of them). Salesforce rarely makes a major groundbreaking change (but the potential is there).

Who knows, I could be wrong. Just a perspective I have gotten from my own experience and others.

Biggest thing of importance to me is that I am taking the steps to actually do something, even if it fails.
 

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Update for 6/5/2020:

I ended up surveying a few users/power users today. The insight was a bit eye opening to be honest, especially around the marketing. There is 100% a need for the product, and they were very interested in trying out the prototype once I finish that.

I'm working on surveying some of the pseudo/regular admins to get a different perspective on user training, to see where the gaps are.
 

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So you're like Redhat of Salesforce (but on smaller scale). Cool! Keep us posted.
 

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Updates for 6/7/2020:

I've spent the weekend recharging my batteries to be honest, but I did begin to lay out the courses, and research where I want to host them.

I have also been surveying my network of family, friends, current and ex-coworkers, and the Salesforce community as a whole to get some feedback.

If any of you have used Salesforce in the past also, Would love to hear from you. Link here: The State of Salesforce User Training

This week, I want to get a landing page up to start drumming up interest, and begin to lay out the courses and sections a bit more formally.

One more thought->does the community here like to see public progress of work? Was thinking about live streaming work on this once I get into building
 
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6/8/2020 Update:

Just letting the survey (The State of Salesforce User Training ) results roll in, as I sketch out the courses. I've been doing some inward thinking and internet research into course formats and also how I want to present this.

More updates to come...
 

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6/12/2020

Typically I would not post an update this early, but I have spent the past three hours recording content for a client.

I've noticed a few things I need to improve upon with the videos. Glad I am learning them now:
  • Background noise. Living in a 1 bed in a apartment complex makes cutting the noise difficult. Especially with two dogs.
  • I tend to ramble. I need a good script to guide me with recording.
  • I insert useless info into the video. Need to focus on the key elements. 80/20 rule.
  • Will need to edit videos post recording to include graphics/text. Monologe alone is boring and confusing.

After some more thinking and working on training materials today, I've decided to focus on the following areas as they keep coming up in my research/survey/talking with prospects/customers:
  1. Reports/Dashboards course for Users (Its amazing how many users don't know how to pull data, even though they are typically allowed to do so and it would help them greatly)
  2. Navigation/Efficiency/Shortcuts course for Users (people suck at this you would be surprise)
  3. How to make your dashboards/reports suck less-> Course for Admins/management. (Stop building shitty reports and dashboards, over measuring data).
This makes it MUCH easier to niche in and create a course that is 2-4 hours max. A major problem with existing materials/courses is that they pack too much into a short amount of time, or throw everything/the kitchen sink into a course. Hot garbage in my eyes.

Future Ideas I am notating but shelving for now include the following:
  1. Flagship User Course (Wider range of topics)
  2. Fixing your Org for Admins
  3. Building a System Users love (for admins)
  4. Documentation for Admins
  5. How to train users/communicate with users /get improvement for admins
  6. Management course on SFDC org design/revamp to avoid pitfalls.
  7. Deep Data course for admins
For next week, the following will happen:
  1. First three courses will have a formal writeup/guide. May even start making quizzes, assignments, etc.
  2. Video recording will have to wait until I get my equipment on Tuesday.
  3. Research into video, recording practices.
 

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6/13/2020 Update

Brief update for today. I laid out three courses in detail:
  1. Salesforce Reports/Dashboards/List Views for Users (name will change)
  2. Salesforce Reports/Dashboards/List Views for Admins (name will change)
  3. Taming Salesforce - Becoming an Efficient User
All that is left is to fill in the further dots, create some tests/lectures/assignments, and record the videos. I need to do this to keep my ADHD brain in sync.

Also, taking some R&R to go camping and detach for a bit. This is something I believe every enterepreneur needs to do -> Take care of themselves.
 

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6/13/2020 Update

Brief update for today. I laid out three courses in detail:
  1. Salesforce Reports/Dashboards/List Views for Users (name will change)
  2. Salesforce Reports/Dashboards/List Views for Admins (name will change)
  3. Taming Salesforce - Becoming an Efficient User
All that is left is to fill in the further dots, create some tests/lectures/assignments, and record the videos. I need to do this to keep my ADHD brain in sync.

Also, taking some R&R to go camping and detach for a bit. This is something I believe every enterepreneur needs to do -> Take care of themselves.

Adding on to this post for today. Decided after going in the woods and being with nature, to only go after the first two courses for now, to avoid going too thin and getting burned out.

Also sharing the name for this/updating the thread name: TameTheForce. Joe Exotic inspired me ;)
 

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6/22/2020

Since I didn't hear from Udemy in regards to my test video, I started recording today. Its been tedious but since this my first couse, I am giving myself some time to learn. I've finished the intro section, and then record the additional sections throughout the week.

I also had a call with Pluralsight, and after it, I decided to not pursue them as an avenue as a funnel. Here is why:
  • No control over the content, editing or style of teaching. Direct violation of the C of CENTS.
  • Payment terms are not favorable, and at the whim of them.
  • Long approval and course build process. 10-12 weeks is ridic.
  • Requires an audition with a ton of caveats, which is understandable, but kinda bogus and a direct violation of the C of CENTS.
  • Honestly, the SFDC team there is a bit full of themselves.

I had to slap myself back to reality and remember that I am using Udemy/Skillshare as a way to easily test/funnel people to MY website/products.

I also had to remind myself that the main goal is to teach courses for users, admins and management that are NOT the typical out there. More around a combination of how to use the product efficiently (80/20 rule!), and soft skills that are lacking, such as documentation, process design and other things.

Anyway, rest of this week will be spent recording, section by section. :clench:
 

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I wouldn't. I'd keep it all in one place.
But it's your party, your decision.

The mods can change the title for you if you like.

good call! I'll reach out to a mod and get that going.
 

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I'll be launching this product in tandem with my little PE firm I am building, Trash Panda Capital, as the first product in the portfolio (speaking of that, wonder if I should create a new thread for that project, as its now the main one...)

Yay! You mentioned your PE endeavour in some other thread - been wanting that story! Looking forward to seeing it unfold.
 

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Just started reading this thread today. I believe you have something here. It seems like you've been wanting to really do this, but for some reason or another, you've been delayed. I know how it gets sometimes, as I often find myself taking weeks and weeks to do something, which ultimately ends up taking a fraction of the anticipated time.

A suggestion and challenge for you: pick 1 topic, perhaps the shortest one or most impactful one that would be 10-20 mins long. It could even be a subtopic, as long as it can stand on its own as a complete video. Sit down, and just do the recording and nothing else. Use it as a sample/example to presell and get feedback. Send it out to your contacts. You may even get sales before you have a whole product if the need is strong enough.

The last thing you'd want to do is create a 3-5 hour course spending months on it, only to get feedback which you can't act on because you've already finished the course.

This will give you a simple, achievable, and high impact goal to strive for as well as input to make it even better.

I 1000% agree with this. It also fits in better with Skillshare, and honestly my teaching style. I like to be short and to the point vs dragging things out. Plus, it can be expanded later into a larger course that can be placed on Udemy to funnel to my site :smile2:

I already got some people in my network that are extremely interested in seeing what I come up with.
 

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Great, when are you committing to finish the first one?

Putting me on the spot, I love it.

I want to release the micro courses bi-weekly. So first one, comes out September 15th. Then another on 10/1, etc.

Then we will see where they go!
 

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