Saturday, September 13, 2014

What It Means To Find Success

The San Francisco Bay Area has its share of famous people, and for the most part, San Franciscans could not care less.  So when I saw a familiar looking face near China Town, well, it could have been a famous person, but if it was, he was dressed like a panhandler.  He was entertaining a group of tourists on the corner.  That's not odd either, San Francisco has some entertaining buskers.

At home, I told my kids that I saw someone who was likely this famous person they would recognize.  One of them had time to go downtown with me to see.  'No,' my kid said, 'it's not him.'

But it didn't matter.  The guy had been entertaining tourists and we stopped to be entertained as well.  He told riddles and made us laugh.  He invited my kid to hang out with him any time when I took their picture together.  It was an enjoyable moment with someone we normally wouldn't be talking to, whether it was the famous person or the panhandler didn't matter.

Even though my kid said no, I still believed that it could have been the famous person in a bit of disguise, just hanging out.  Why would a famous person do that?  Why not?  It would be an opportunity to connect with people without particular regard for social status and money.

I went back a few days later for an autograph.  That's right.  I decided I didn't care one way or the other whether this was the famous person or the panhandler.  There are a lot of people who aren't famous at all who deserve to be treated like a star, and everyone feeling a little down-and-out can benefit from a bit of appreciation.  I wrote a note of thanks for entertaining us and spreading joy.  The message applied to either the star or the panhandler.  But I put some money in the card just for the panhandler.

I'm keeping the autographed picture for my kid.  I don't know what kind of success my kids might ultimately find, but I hope the photo reminds them that nothing of much importance separates the star from the panhandler.  And opportunities to connect with other people offer the best success any of us can find.

Now what does any of this have to do with Salesforce?  If you check out the community at and the power of us hub, you will see two online communities where people connect on business and technical topics, including offering each other professional and career tips.  It's a very friendly and supportive environment.  Salesforce clearly has invested resources into keeping the community strong and relevant and the opportunities to connect with other people truly offer all of us more chance of finding success.