What's Your Hobby? Appy on a Racecar - - AppExchange
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What's Your Hobby? Appy on a Racecar

We all have dreams when we're young. When I was a little girl, I'd lace up my tap shoes to time-step my feet across the dance floor. Before each rehearsal, I'd imagine myself on the big stage of Broadway, performing in front of thousands. While I'm not a professional Broadway dancer today, I still lace up my tap shoes on a weekly basis. It's a reminder that your passions don't have to fade away just because we outgrow the shoes.

When I heard about a former Salesforce employee racing with the Pirelli GT3 Cup, and how his Porsche racecar is wrapped with Appy and AppExchange, it inspired me to write about how Appy is trailblazing at 200 miles per hour, and how we can live our passions, too.

How Appy got on a racecar
The Pirelli GT3 Cup USA West is an all Porsche factory family of racecars, separated into a set of classes (Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond) by year and model. That is, Porsche builds them as specialized racecars; they are not a converted street vehicle. Earlier this year, one Salesforce employee started driving a 2018 model — a 2018 911 GT3 Cup 991.2 series (in Porsche lingo). The AppExchange team uses the car as a canvas to showcase Salesforce to fans and other racers, as well as provide an opportunity to start conversations. Since the car has been racing, there's been an amazing number of comments.

Inspired yet? Here's a look at how to take your passion to the next level and start incorporating it into your life.

Uncover your hobby

Consider your hobby as a way to take yourself away from the day to day. It can be something you've done for a long time. In my case, I've been dancing for over 20 years. Or, it can be something you find
interesting and new, and want to explore. You may not have started at five years old, but if you're a relentless learner, you can become successful.

Here's another idea when selecting a hobby: consider your fears. If you're afraid of public speaking, take an improv class. Practice to overcome your own challenges with a hobby. This builds a thick skin that you can apply to work, as well as your hobbies.

Keep it going

Either way, the key is to start gradually. For instance, from a timing perspective, start in the evenings or the weekends. Allotting separate time to our hobbies ensures we can maintain our day jobs. No matter what, the secret is to start.

Managing it all

It's understandably difficult to do more than we already do, given that we have work, families, and the many daily requirements of life. However, your employer should not only embrace but support your extracurricular dreams. I'm super proud to work for Salesforce, as the company that is as passionate about my personal interests. I tend to balance the long-term goals and strategy with the desire to do as much as possible in the short term. Too much focus on the short term, without the balance of a long term perspective, may not be sustainable to myself or my team for a healthy work-life balance.  

Don't give up

Things happen, and you often have to take the cards in front of you in the moment. Whether you're in the drivers seat of a racecar or running a marathon, take those cards as well as you can. Keep your eye on the outcome, and maximize what you can achieve in the moment. Many passions require focus and being 100% in the zone. You'll often find that a huge part of the success is having the mental focus and discipline to keep yourself fully on track with the task at hand.

Support is a necessary part of life, including pursuing your passions. According to Jessica Semaan, founder of thepassion.co, "Surround yourself with people that inspire you and want to help you. I have seen those who have chosen a 'board of supporters' to be the most successful. Pick three or four people: an expert in the space you are interested in, two people pursuing similar passions and a close friend who knows you well and you can reach out to them throughout the process. Most importantly be sure you are on this board too, supporting yourself throughout the journey."

Bringing your hobby and work together

In the case of the racecar driver and AppExchange, the blend is as obvious as the bright blue wrap on the Porsche. For other hobbies, it may be slightly less clear of a connection. I like to think that dance applies to work in many ways. I've become stronger in the way I present myself and prepare for projects. Consider how you can bring the learnings from your hobbies into work, and vice verse.

Do you have a passion or project that makes you a Trailblazer outside of work? Share your story with #AppyAdventures on Twitter.

Amanda Nelson is Director of Community Marketing at the Salesforce AppExchange.
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