meals, conferences, talks, concerts, day trips, classes, parties, mastermind groups, book clubs, en masse vacations
friendships, business alliances, romances, mentorships, volunteer collaborations, creative partnerships
uniquely warm, unflappable, funny, bright, sincere, giving, empathetic, open, genuine people I call Sugarmaples
Sugarmaples are such rare beasts, they don’t often encounter each other in the wild. It takes an introduction.
What folks say.
“The best lunch date of my life. We were there for two and a half hours, but could easily have stayed for five.”
“I continue to love what you’re doing. Great ideas.”
“The moment Tina walked in I knew we were going to have fun. Our conversation was rich and the time flew by.”
“If an eagle and a tiger had a human baby that was then raised by ninjas, it would be Ted.”
“Ted is extraordinary at what he does, and he’s a man of his word.”
“It was a wonderful time and a really great meal.”
“I had a very enjoyable lunch with Seth [Godin] yesterday — a smart and likable guy. There are degrees of kindredness (as well as of heresy). But we do seem to share a fair amount. Thanks for matching us.”
“It was such a great experience that I’m wracking my brain for other problems in my business that Ted could solve with a thoughtful connection.”
“I wanted to thank you again for the past weekend’s amazing fun and incredible opportunity to have an exchange of notions with Anil [Dash]. I feel even richer for the ideas & starting-places that have come out of the whole thing!”
“You know how it seems like everyone has a personal trainer, now? I believe Ted is the progenitor of a new kind of empathy-based collective problem solving that everyone will take for granted some day.”
“Sugarmaples is a collection of passionate, ambitious, big-hearted visionaries, and Ted is the Master Cultivator.”
“I have to say, you are very good at what you do. The timing was perfect and with one introduction you’ve enabled a ton of fruitful connections (which in the long run, might actually help save lives) in the span of a few days.”
They are very personal people. Hugs over handshakes, always. Kids adore them.
They’re hard to upset. All Jekyll, no Hyde.
They love commenting on the ironies and absurdities of life. Laughter is fuel for living.
They’re quick. Quick, quick.
They’re artifice- and pretension-free. They feel compelled to tell the truth. WYSIWYG.
They give without worrying whether it will be reciprocated. Life has a way of working out.
Their natural reaction to another’s distress is empathy. They are wonderful listeners. They resist offering advice unless pressed for it.
They are entirely comfortable answering “I don’t know.” Not knowing isn’t seen as a weakness.
They spend their time (or they’re fighting to be) doing the thing they were born to do. A pursuit doesn’t need to hurt to be worthwhile.
What happens when Sugarmaples meet.
I earn my living connecting CEOs with outside experts who can help their businesses. And the more introductions I make, the more I become convinced that it’s the Sugarmaple + Sugarmaple formula that underlies my success. No matter how their interests, histories, or cultural backgrounds may otherwise differ – Sugarmaples almost always hit it off. And a suprising percentage will go on to develop close, lifelong relationships.
The short film below will give you a good feel for what it’s like when a group of Sugarmaples gathers. The film focuses on my Sugarmaples problem-solving conference (called a ‘Meddle’) which I held last year at a 15th-Century manor house in the English Cotswolds.
I’m Ted Pearlman. Several years back, I realized I was more passionate about my hobby of bringing people together than I was about my ‘official’ work. So I decided to invent a new career for myself: professional connector. It’s developed into a thriving, terrifically fun business called Authority Authority. But I’ve been connecting folks my whole life.
When I was about eight years old, I found Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s first duet album, Ella and Louis (with Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, and Herb Ellis), tucked between Dinah Washington and Mel Tormé on my father’s jazz record shelves. That was the moment I think I first realized what happens when the right people get connected.
I live and work in Denver. I’m married to Allison, an architect. We have a second-grader, Oscar, and an enormous Newfoundland dog called Tatou who’s famous on the Internet. I received my bachelors degree from Cornell in 1990 and am a veteran of Sony, IBM, Roguewave Software, and CQG.
My other passion project is Fall: In Love with Music, a music venue I’m developing for Denver.