Welcome back to another S-Docs Salesforce MVP Spotlight, where we highlight some of the most inspiring and influential individuals in the Salesforce community. As a native Salesforce app, we’ve had the advantage of working with hundreds of incredible admins, developers, architects, and other extraordinary people who make the community great. We’ll provide you with an exclusive look into their Salesforce journeys, featuring best practices, career advice, and favorite ways they give back to the community.

Last time, we spoke with Brendan Conroy about his experience helping companies leverage Salesforce to its full potential and being a mentor to others in the community. Featured this week is Salesforce MVP Joy Shutters-Helbing.

Salesforce MVP Spotlight: Joy Shutters-Helbing

Joy Shutters-Helbing is a 5x certified, 2x Salesforce MVP and golden hoodie recipient who specializes in helping companies improve their Salesforce setups and get the most out of the platform. Since her start with Salesforce in 2004, Joy has developed a passion for the platform and been continuously recognized as a leader in the community.

Beyond being an innovator of great Salesforce solutions, Joy lends her time to assist others in their work and foster community involvement. She’s a co-leader of the Chicago Admin Trailblazer Community Group and a co-host of MVP Office Hours. She also sets aside time for mentorship to other aspiring trailblazers and never hesitates to share her advice.

Currently, Joy is an independent consultant specializing in Salesforce optimization for small businesses. We sat down with her to hear about her 15+ years of experience in the Salesforce ecosystem, her journey to becoming an MVP, and favorite ways of giving back to the community.

"I think the overarching theme is those who do not seek MVP status are the ones who end up with it."

Tell us about your journey to MVP status.
In 2014 I started getting very involved in the Salesforce community. There were tons of user group meetings in the Chicago area, and I was going to all of the ones I could get my hands on.

As time went on, I found I was always asking the group leaders, “Hey, do you need any help?” Eventually I asked the leaders of Chicago Admin Trailblazer Community Group, Denise Carbone and Gina Skocilich, if they'd be willing to take me on as a co-leader. Their response was "We would absolutely love a hand!” 

In between everything, I was nominated for the Awesome Admin award and received the golden hoodie at the Chicago World Tour in 2017. One of the things that they cited for that was my work in the community. My response was "I didn't realize I was doing anything special!” 

Then, in April of 2019, I got an email from the Salesforce Community that said I had been made an MVP! 

I think the overarching theme is those who do not seek MVP status are the ones who end up with it. We didn't feel like we were doing anything special. We were doing what we thought we may have needed two years ago, or something we thought that someone else needed.

Tell us about your current role.
I’m an independent Salesforce consultant focusing on Salesforce admin work. My main goal is to help folks improve their set up. I can help businesses gear up and see what Salesforce can be for them.

Many small companies can't afford to hire full-time Salesforce administrators, and that's where I come in -- closing that gap for small businesses. I can help get a new implementation going or untangle an old one. And if the company wants to learn how to maintain it themselves, I can help skill them up and be the person they lean on if they get stuck.

"So much of what Salesforce has to offer is self-propelled and self-directed. You really just need someone in your corner giving you a boost or cheering you on."

Giving back is a core focus for a lot of Salesforce MVPs. What’s your favorite way to give back?
I really love to mentor people. Salesforce kicked off their Trailblazer Mentorship Program a few years ago. Although I didn’t throw my hat in the ring initially, I know a lot of folks that have, and I’ve been a guest speaker on a number of mentor calls. 

I've also had a lot of former co-workers come to me who are interested in working in sales operations and being Salesforce administrators, but they haven’t ever worked with Salesforce. My response to that is always "Let's go build out a path for you on Trailhead and see what we can do.” 

I check in on them every other Friday to see how their Trailhead journey is going. I care about these people and I love helping them get started on their journey -- after that, where they take that path is really up to them. So much of what Salesforce has to offer is self-propelled and self-directed. You really just need someone in your corner giving you a boost or cheering you on.

Another way I like to give back is sharing job openings. If I find a job that isn’t for me, I’ll share it with the community. Even if it’s not a good fit for me, someone else might love it. There are a lot of people out there skilling up for a new career, so this can really make a difference.

What I get out of helping people in the community is seeing everyone else's journey take off in new and exciting ways. I'm not the only person who ended up working in an industry that I hadn't planned on. I went to school to teach, not to work in tech. Perhaps giving back is where tech and teaching come together.

"I never saw myself working in tech, but the Salesforce community has totally enabled that."

Who in the community inspires you most?
There's so many folks that have been really inspiring to me and I hate to put names on the list because there are too many to count!

If I had to name one person, it would be Leah McGowen-Hare, the Vice President of Trailhead Evangelism at Salesforce. She's an amazing in-person trainer. She’s one of the people who’s given me the most hope and inspiration as far as being able to level up my career. She’s by far one of the most inspiring people in the Salesforce ecosystem.

Lizz Hellinga, also a Salesforce MVP, is another really inspiring person. She’s running her own company called Montage Learning, and she’s one of the co-leaders of the Chicago Women in Tech group. She’s an amazing public speaker.

Another person is Chris Halvachs, one of the leaders of the Downers Grove Salesforce Admin Group. He is a Lightning Champion who really wants to give back to the community and has been wildly welcoming to all sorts of different people.

I never saw myself working in tech, but the Salesforce community has totally enabled that. I really love what I'm able to do with tech to help small businesses move forward.

In addition to the people who inspire you, what else do you do to keep up to date on all things Salesforce? What resources are most helpful to you?
I find myself in help and documentation more often than not. Trailhead is also really great for wrapping your head around a concept that you haven’t been exposed to before.

Salesforce Saturday is another good one: you come to the meeting and share what you’re working on and if you’re stumped, the people there can help you work through it.

I’m a co-host of MVP Office Hours, which is also great. It happens twice a month on a Friday afternoon. You can bring your problems to the table and we’re gonna see if we can get through it as a group.

There’s also Ohana Slack, an informal Slack group that’s a really great place for quick feedback.  Additionally, the Salesforce Answers Community is another great resource because you can get answers from experts.

 "Look at your own journey and where you could have used a helping hand, and be that helping hand for someone else."

Are there any must-have apps or Salesforce best practices that you recommend?
It all depends on the business. For an organization that’s a little bit into the weeds and looking to clean up, Field Trip is a really great app to help. It does an inventory of the data on your objects. You can really get an understanding of where your data is when you use it.

Salesforce Labs has an Adoption Dashboard that is free and can help stakeholders see what’s going on in their org, whether it be the number of logins, or the number of new accounts created, or new contacts created, on a daily basis, monthly basis, etc.

What are you most excited about for the future of Salesforce and the community?
I think there's going to be a lot of innovation around voice response, and the mobile app is going to get some more love. Transferring into the mobile space is going to become more of a forefront. As it becomes easier and easier for people to work from anywhere, I also think we're going to see more collaboration tools getting the attention that they weren't getting previously.

I also think that Field Service Lightning is going to bloom into its next iteration too as folks in the field start taking advantage of all of the great things that Salesforce can do.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you have for your fellow Trailblazers?
Always try to be the person that you needed someone to be for you. Look at your own journey and where you could have used a helping hand, and be that helping hand for someone else. Think about how you can really help empower those around you or those that are struggling.

In-person events matter as far as meeting people and getting to know people and making that personal connection. In the current climate it’s not really in person, but it’s important to find ways to make that one-on-one connection with people.

The Salesforce Community Advantage

As Joy Shutters-Helbing’s inspiring story shows, the Trailblazer community shines because of the many people within that are willing to dedicate their time to help others. After starting from scratch in 2004, Joy quickly began making a difference in the community leading group events, mentoring others, and always being willing to lend a helping hand. We hope that her unique insights have inspired you to learn something new, share your knowledge, and get more connected with the Salesforce community.

To stay in the know on all things Salesforce and the community, follow Joy on Twitter and subscribe to the S-Docs blog, where we’ll be posting more Salesforce MVP spotlights throughout the year, along with the latest and greatest in the Salesforce world.

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