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Thoughts from a Research Journey with Database Sherpa

A guest blog post by Emily Gremel, Researcher and Strategist

I met Ashima last fall when I led a marketing research workshop for some entrepreneurs she was coaching. Sharing the benefits and values of my field has always been important to me, so I leapt at the chance to share my “gospel” with some blossoming business owners. Little did I know where that workshop would lead…

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Looking Back, Looking Forward

Each January, I’ve often found it helpful to revisit the previous year to see where I’ve been personally and professionally. Often times, I’m surprised and grateful for what the last 12 months have brought me. So this January, I thought I’d share my recap with you.

  • Experimented with “Pay What it is Worth” model: With a connection to +Tara  from +Emily, I was able to begin thinking about how this model may work or not work with Database Sherpa. While I’ve done nothing more than think about this, I am seeking a client who might be interested in experimenting with me.
  • Bringing Joy and Compassion to database development: The key aspects of Database Sherpa and the driving force of the work we’re doing!
  • Applying Yogic and Buddhist principles to consulting: Currently in practice with only a few clients, but will be expanding to all client engagements, as it has been very helpful to the clients we’ve worked with thus far. As my good friend stated to me in a letter, “there is merit to this”.
  • Bringing on another Sherpa: +Veronica has begun a Sherpa project of her own this year and it will go into next year. The transfer of the process to another person has begun.
  • Teaching clients to become independent: I’m happy to report that most of my clients are learning to expand and grow their databases on their own with no help from us!
  • Gifts of Gratitude Tour: Our first gift was to Doctor’s without Borders thanks to a consulting company that referred us to our first client outside of Michigan! We have also given to a client, Nonprofit Alliance. Our compassionate work can only spread via our clients, so thank you!
  • Breaking the rules: New clients are informing this practice all the time and I am ever so grateful for the opportunity to work with them all. Our 2012 journeys included:
    • Woman’s Co-op
    • Great Lakes Center for Youth Development
    • Nonprofit Alliance
    • East Lansing Education Foundation
    • Washington Access to Justice
    • Michigan Environmental Council
    • Women’s Resource Center of San Diego
  • Attended Buddhist Geeks: I learned that there are a lot of discussions about how Buddhism will express itself in the West, but didn’t meet many other consultants who are embedding the eightfold path into their work with clients. It was what I was really hoping for and will continue to seek out a place or perhaps create that space.
  • Met kindred spirts: “Virtually” met some amazing Salesforce consultants, two of whom were my study buddies in passing the Salesforce Administration Training (thanks +Marc & +Caroline). The others are +Meghan+Tal+Pierre & +Tim). And the one, who made it all possible is +Brad. I’ve never met any of these folks face to face, but I feel a kindred spirit with them all and have learned so much from each of them.
  • Mindfulness education+April and +Carol have opened my eyes to another tool to use in guiding organizations in a compassionate manner! I’m so grateful that I was able to take this class locally. I’m thinking that perhaps I need to go deeper into this education!
  • Hired an amazing editor: +Pam had helped me to write a better blog post 🙂
  • Finally, and most importantly, I’ve been able to blend my life and work together. Being able to spend time with my daughter and continue to work has been such a wonderful gift. I couldn’t ask for anything more and I am grateful to have this opportunity.
On reflection, we have done quite a lot. I’m very grateful to my Sherpa partner in all of this, +Veronica.  And last, but not least, my life partner, David. His steady and calm support has given me the space to keep going on this path without worry or concern. That is certainly an amazing gift.
May the light of compassion continue to brightly shine in all of us.
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Gifts of Gratitude Tour

I’ve embarked on a Gifts of Gratitude tour which has allowed me to spend time with my wonderful friends and supporters of Database Sherpa. It’s given me a change to talk to them about the future of Database Sherpa and to give gratitude to them for helping me on this path. I’m so grateful to all those that support and encourage the growth of Database Sherpa.

During this tour, I’ve been reflecting on what I have learned:

  • People love to share stories of success and triumph. It’s a joy to listen and learn from them. My favorite story during this tour was the one with a client who has found an amazing intern who has helped immensely with their database. This intern has transformed into a leader of the system, getting cues and ideas from others. This was exciting news and I plan to meet this intern soon!
  • Individuals want you to succeed. Everyone I have met has wished me luck, has hopes for the best for me, and encouraged me to continue this work. No one said that they were not receiving any benefit from the coaching and support I provided. Most were asking how they could help me further my work. How wonderful!
  • Ideas are everywhere. My clients have so many ideas of what Database Sherpa could be and more that it could offer. I was astounded by the marvelous ideas and concepts presented to me. Now, to digest them all!
This experience has been wonderful for me and I hope to give back to this community by providing additional services to them such as webinars and possibly some resources.

I want to thank all of the individuals and organizations that have helped to make Database Sherpa such a successful business. I appreciate your dedication to me and it drives me to continue to do this work!