trailhead
< Trailblazers
Toya Gatewood
Salesforce Consultant, Slalom Consulting
Washington, DC, United States
See my Trailhead Profile


One day my boss came to me and said, "We're going to try Salesforce, and you're going to be the administrator." I had never heard of Salesforce before.
How did you get your start with Salesforce?
I was what's known as an "accidental admin," about seven years ago I was working for a venture-capital firm in Ohio using a different tool to manage our investor deal flow. One day my boss came to me and said, "We're going to try Salesforce, and you're going to be the administrator." I had never heard of Salesforce before and figured it would become just another part of my job. However, once I got introduced to Salesforce and started using it, it quickly became the most important part of my role. I realized how much I could contribute to the company and how much I could automate if I really mastered this platform.
How did Salesforce open doors for you?
I went from having never heard about Salesforce to being able to relocate to an area I’ve been wanting to move to for years, all because I had in-demand Salesforce skills! I found out about my new job on the Salesforce Success Community and was able to reach out and get my name on the top of the candidate list!
What is your biggest #TrailheadWin?
My biggest win from Trailhead was being able to efficiently and easily train my replacement. I recently relocated to the Washington, D.C. area from Cincinnati, OH. At my previous company I was the only Salesforce admin and unfortunately, they weren’t able to fill my role until after I had moved. Thankfully, I was able to use Trailhead to train my replacement remotely. I assigned her trails and held weekly meetings. Trailhead allowed us to focus more efficiently on the business processes and the specifics of her org because we didn’t have to go over the basics of terminology and the platform.
Where do you find inspiration?
I really enjoy reading blog posts about people who discovered Salesforce by accident like I did and it completely changed their life. It turned their professional life around, gave them a career where before they just had a job. Those stories are super inspiring because they show the power of the platform not just for business but for individuals.
Being a Trailblazer means being willing to get out in front, try new challenges, break new ground, make mistakes and fail but still persevere to get something accomplished.
What does being a Trailblazer mean to you?
Being a Trailblazer means being willing to get out in front, try new challenges, break new ground, make mistakes and fail but still persevere to get something accomplished. To me, that’s a Trailblazer.
What advice do you have for new Trailblazers?
Dive right in and start earning some badges! Even if you have experience, I guarantee you’ll find something you forgot about or you can brush up on your skills.
How do you celebrate when you earn a Trailhead badge?
I will toast to myself after I complete a badge or finish a trail. My husband will tell you, he thinks it’s so odd. But when you complete a badge, especially if it’s an area you're unfamiliar with because you don’t deal with it on the day-to-day in your org, you feel such a sense of accomplishment. It’s good to celebrate those small victories. And then on to the next!
If you had a motto, what would it be?
My motto is something I got from my dad growing up, “The biggest room in the world is room for improvement.”

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