Becoming an MVP

MVP Certificate

In the beginning ...

If I’m totally honest, becoming an MVP hadn’t ever really entered my consciousness.  So far as I was concerned, the MVP community was full of genius technical gurus, of whom I was totally in awe.  And that is still the case!  I have many friends who are MVP and their technical ability still astounds me to this day.

So … how did it happen, how did I join the ranks of my heroes?!

The journey really began as soon as I started learning about Dynamics and the Power Platform.  Being a single mum, and quite strapped for cash, I couldn’t afford formal training.  I set myself a whole bunch of goals and used resources provided by the Power Platform community to achieve them.  From that day forward, I had made a promise that I would endeavour to help other people the way I’d been helped.  Read on to discover how I made that promise a reality …


Turning dreams into goals ...

One of the first things I did to keep that promise to myself, was to get involved in the Power Platform Community.  I joined a study group, and went to a conference.  Sounds so easy when I say it like that, but remember, I was new to the Power Platform and didn’t really know anyone.  Luckily the study group I joined was run by none other than Julian Sharp, a force in the community.  On that group I met Iain Connelly, and he persuaded me to go to the very first Scottish Summit in Glasgow.  From there everything became so much easier … I met so many lovely people in Glasgow.  

Among those people was Mark Smith (aka NZ365guy).  At the time I didn’t realise the awesomeness of Mark.  That dawned on me during the next few months as I saw his incredible sessions at various events.  So when Mark invited applications for his 90 Day Mentoring Challenge, I decided to get involved in that as well.

Making goals a reality ...

The 90 Day Mentoring Challenge was a huge turning point for me.  Mark is an amazing mentor.  Thoroughly unselfish in his approach to sharing everything he has learned during his career to give others a helping hand.  He encourages everyone to participate to their fullest.  Setting challenges each week, he helps to build confidence and expertise and instils great habits around learning and growth.  I would recommend participation in the Challenge to anyone, regardless of where you might be in your career.

The key for me was learning to be intentional about what I do.  With Marks encouragement, I created a 3 year plan and stuck to it.  Mark makes sure he sets a date to check in with you on progress, to prevent any slippage, and this worked really well for me.  It helped me to prioritise making my goals a reality, no matter what life threw at me!

I actually completed years 1 and 2 of my plan within the first year, and it was this that fast tracked my community contributions.

What happened next

The 90 Day Mentoring Challenge wasn’t just a great experience in terms of learning.  I also met some wonderful people.  There were several MVPs on the challenge, and a lot of people who went on to become MVPs.  I think because Mark encouraged us to show up as our authentic selves, we made really good friends.

One of my particularly good friends was Michelle Wong.  Michelle and I met up at the Scottish Summit.  And we participated in other community groups outside of the 90 Day Mentoring Challenge.  I was blown sideways when Michelle called me one day and said that she’d like to nominate me for the MVP award.  Of course I was massively flattered, and I really appreciated Michelle’s faith in me, but MVP? Me?

Lost for words ...

Encouraged by Michelle, I accepted the nomination and added my contributions into the Award application.  I had a meeting with the Award Program lead in the UK, who was lovely.  But she did explain to me that not everyone was successful, and I might not necessarily hear back.  Several months went by, and I assumed I had not been successful.  That was ok, I was still happily doing my thing, paying back to the community where I could.

Imagine my surprise, when I received the following email … 

MVP Email

That was just the start!

To be honest, I sat and looked at the email for ages before it sank in.  I literally could not believe it!  It definitely felt quite surreal.

Once it had sunk in, I realised that this was just the beginning.  Now my efforts to encourage and support other people could really take off.  Since receiving the award, I have been working with Microsoft to reach many more people.

I’m not sure where this path is going to lead me, but I can truthfully say that I am loving the journey.  If you are interested in the MVP program, or have any questions about community involvement, please get in touch.  I really am here to help.