National Debt…Gloria Steinem was RIGHT!

During the last Presidential election I was honored to be part of a group that hosted Gloria Steinem in Colorado.  She was traveling to encourage women of all political influence to vote.  It didn’t matter WHO you were voting for or against, just that you voted and participated in your world.  I was fortunate enough to be able to bring my daughter to meet and spend time with this woman that I have respected for a long time.


One of the dangers of working hard to achieve great things is becoming comfortable.  Once women like Gloria Steinem worked hard to help make the path of my generation’s women easier, we got comfortable.  We don’t have the same view and struggles that were fought and won on our behalf.  Our daughters are being raised knowing they are intellectually equal to men and can accomplish great things.  So when given the opportunity to ask her anything I wanted, I asked her this…

With such great work by so many women to give our daughters the world they are now blessed with, how can we keep them from becoming comfortable and sliding back to a world where they feel less than equal? 

It is her answer that applies to our current crisis de jour, the national debt.  Her (paraphrased) answer was great.

She will get pissed off and find something worth fighting for.  An injustice.  A bad boss.  A horrible government policy.  Something will happen, make her angry and compel her into fighting that fight.

With all the discussion on the debt, the compromises in DC, the lack of compromise in DC, the lack of actual work happening in DC, the threats to our Constitution, people are getting involved!  I am giddy!  Even my husband called our Congressman yesterday.

I honestly don’t care which side of this debate that you sit on, just that you are aware and paying attention AND voicing your desires to those elected to represent that exact interest, YOU.

Several legislators are demanding an amendment to our Constitution in exchange for passing some sort of something or other about the national debt.  Seriously?  Shame on you!  How dare you show such little respect for such powerful document.  You have lost my vote.

Others are suggesting the president invoke the 14th Amendment.  I have read it and though not a legal scholar, I don’t think it applies here.  I do not think anyone is questioning the validity of the debt, and that’s what I read in that amendment.  I could be wrong, like I said, I am not a legal scholar, but I do try to be an informed citizen.

Links below for you.  Go read some of the constitution.  Find your Senators and Representatives and let them know how you feel about this current hurdle and any other things that are important to YOU.  They don’t have a chance of representing your needs and wants if they don’t know them.


The US Constitution

The United States House of Representatives

The United States Senate

Look, a shiny new link to the CRM Community Site

New to the Dynamics blog feed….me!  This Microsoft site shares several good blogs all in one place.  You will also find message boards/forums where experts and community members can ask and answer each others CRM questions.

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Click thru look around and watch for some shiny new content from me Smile .

MVPs meet up in Denver at Microsoft Store

I know we didn’t have a huge showing, and that the next one will need some more planning for a bigger turnout, but I’m glad I made the drive to Denver for the first Colorado MVP meet up.

We got a great tour from Jessica showing us all the cool things to be had at the store.  I had never been to an MS retails store, just the one on the Redmond campus, so it was pretty cool.  There are 4 Surface tables where you can play and do things like make a custom ringtone and send it to yourself. 

There’s a meeting space available, see that big ole big screen below.  There place for around 50ish people and it’s all set up for presenting.  They offered us the ability to hold user group or even client meetings there.  All in all we were shown all sorts of cool things and made to feel very welcome.  Thanks a ton!


mvp meet up Denver

From left…  Random person none of us knew that walked over to be in the picture, Joe Mayo, Bill Wegerson, me, Chris Wallace and Ben Hoelting.  The screen behind us behaves like a touchscreen.

I’m doing a CRM webcast for Pluralsight July 28

Click thru below, see some details.  The page is timely, so when you click thru you may or may not have to scroll to find me Smile.

Ok, so here’s the deal.  If you’re reading this blog, you know what I know, Dynamics CRM really is a platform.  Call it whatever you want, CRM, xRM, eXtended CRM, the result is the same, a great re-useable, re-purposeable platform.  Tweak it a lot, tweak it a little, it still rocks (well rocks as well as software can rock).  So share this with your developer friends.  My draft so far…

  • this is CRM- 2 slides
  • this is why it’s a platform- 5 slides
  • this is what you can do with it- 5 slides
  • here’s where you can learn more- 2 slides (or more cause there’s lots of resources)

The rest of the hour is demos, examples, Q/A.  As I make the deck, the slide count will fluctuate for sure, but you get the idea of my goals.

Send me your questions in advance if you want.  Ideas of important things to include.  I welcome any of it to make this a better show.

While you’re clicking around the Pluralsight site pay attention, these folks offer loads of valuable training.


I failed the CRM2011 Applications exam today

First, I think public failure is just as motivating (if not more) as public success.  Second, this is the real world, things like this happen.

When I speak with people about the exams, I do it with mixed feelings.  I think we, as a society, need that checkbox, that TEST to prove we know something to someone.  It is unfortunate, but it exists.  When hiring someone I like some certifications, it means you understand this concept.  But, I prefer experience.  Are you out there DOING it, not just a professional test taker?

Why did I fail THIS exam?  Could I have studied more?  What was missing?

Sure, I could have studied more, we can always study MORE.  Don’t know if that was it.

I am confident in saying I am an expert in Dynamics CRM (2011 and before).  I use it daily.  I help paying customers with it literally everyday.  I know how to use it, I know how to find what I need if it’s unfamiliar territory.  I teach this stuff.  I speak at conferences.  I walk the walk.

I think the real problem is this is by far the hardest of the CRM certification exams.  No one in the wild really uses all those moving parts of CRM in one place, like ever.  It’s not a real world exam.  The questions are certainly of value on their own, and in groups, but not as a whole so much.  Microsoft used to sell CRM as modules, why not test as modules?  Easy split of exam into two (sales/marketing automation and service mgt/scheduling).

When you pass the exam by one question, you get the same certification as the person with a perfect score, no gold stars for anyone.  When you fail by one question, you still fail (that’s what I did, one question, maybe two depending on the exact formula).

Will I take it again?  Probably.  Will I pass it?  Dunno, I hope.

My advice for you when asking for something from me

I am often asked to help promote stuff (products, blogs, people, companies, etc.).  I am happy to do this, when deserved.  I put myself out there, I want to be seen as a reliable source of information.  And I really do love to watch the success of others.

When it is something/someone that I didn’t stumble upon on my own, I will do my due diligence and check out what/who it is before I agree.  I value my reputation and want to make sure my opinion holds weight when I choose to share it.   I received a request yesterday that sparked this blog post.  It is (hopefully) valuable information for whomever is promoting something, not just people asking me to evaluate and promote their stuff.

  1. Know who I am before you ask for my help.  Yesterday’s request looked CRMy and it was.  But, when investigated this person’s website was not favorable to my favorite CRM product, Dynamics CRM.  I really am all for competition, it makes us all better.  BUT, do you really think that’s the way to switch my alliance, tricking me?
  2. Use correct grammar.  Know the differences between your and you’re, its and it’s, too, two and two and also the ever popular there, their and they’re.  It’s pretty simple.  Read what you write and make sure it makes sense before you hit send.
  3. Use a good CRM.  Seriously, sending me some semi-automated something or other with glaring errors won’t impress me or others.  Simple is better than wrong.
  4. Promote what’s important to me too.  You’re a member of a user group (not just mine), I give you more credibility, you are trying to make yourself a better version, I respect that.
  5. Gracefully accept rejection.  I will always start polite in my reply.  I promise.  Just because you don’t like to be told “no” doesn’t make me rude, it makes me picky.  If you want details of why, go ahead and ask, but be prepared for an honest reply.  Again, I won’t be rude, but I won’t try to make a skunk smell like a rose.
  6. Be aware of your search results.  Yup, before I even click on your links, I will Bing you, Yahoo you and maybe Google you.  Know what I will see and that it will impact my opinion of you and your business.

Go ahead and ask.  I can promote many things to many people and am happy to do so.