What’s a Sugarmaple?
I’m Ted Pearlman and “Sugarmaples” is what I call people who are altogether kind, genuine, and good at what they do. Sugarmaples are inherently compatible, naturally trust one another, and make extraordinary friends, collaborators and business partners. Other than spending time with family, introducing them is what I love doing most. I’ve been at it for twenty-five years.
Recent case studies.
Who: Quintuple CEO, Tina Roth Eisenberg.
Need: Life balance strategies.
Intro: Meg Hirshberg.
Tina Roth Eisenberg told me about the challenge of running five companies while raising a family.
So I treated her to lunch with Meg Hirshberg, an expert on the subject and the author of For Better or for Work. Tina: “It was the best lunch date of my life. We were there for two and a half hours, but we could easily have stayed for five.”
Who: Eugene Mirman, Anil Dash, & 20 others.
Need: More time for passion projects.
Intro: Each other.
I work with a lot of creative professionals. Almost every one of them shares the same problem: making time for their passion projects.
So I invited twenty of them, including Eugene Mirman, Anil Dash, Jessica Hische, and Sarah Parmenter, to join me in the English Cotswolds for a few days to try and solve it. We called it a “Meddle”. Watch the film we made about it above.
Who: CEO, Phil Caravaggio.
Need: An interim CTO.
Intro: Pete Forde.
The CEO of Precision Nutrition, Phil Caravaggio, needed to find someone to take over as CTO reinvent the way his company designed software.
So I introduced him to Pete Forde, who’s been a major difference maker for Precision Nutrition and says “Phil is the best client I’ve ever had.”
Who: British copywriter, Mike Reed.
Need: Clients in the United States.
Intro: 25 connections in 3 U.S. cities.
British copywriter Mike Reed wanted to develop a client base in the United States.
So I sent him on a two-week, three-city tour to meet folks like Michael Bierut, Jim Coudal, and Craig Ward. He landed several very large clients, including one of the most important of his career. He blogged the whole trip.
Who: iPad app maker, Raul Gutierrez.
Need: Long-term investing advice.
Intro: Larry Swedroe.
So I treated them to a home-cooked dinner with Larry Swedroe, one of the world’s most respected evidence-based investment thinkers.
Who: Blogger, Anil Dash.
Need: Closer connections with followers.
Intro: Sean Michaels.
I thought it would be fun and impactful to start treating Sugarmaple aspirants to meet their Sugarmaple role models.
Who: Wordpress developer, Josh Cunningham.
Need: A great boss to work for.
Intro: Jake Goldman.
Josh Cunningham, a talented WordPress developer from Seattle, contacted me. We had a long conversation and I detected he didn’t really like running his own consultancy.
Who: Online dating coach, Virginia Roberts.
Need: A top-drawer filmmaker.
Intro: Aidan Hornsby.
Virginia Roberts, a Seattle-based online dating coach, wanted someone to help her understand how to improve the production quality of the videos she was filming for her website.
So I introduced her to Aidan Hornsby, a wonderfully talented filmmaker based in London, England, and Victoria, British Columbia.
Who: The Semaan-Vernon family.
Need: Closer friends in Brooklyn.
Intro: The Shapiro-Peraza family.
Celine Vernon, founder of Slow Factory, contacted me last year. During our first conversation, I learned that she, her husband, Colin, and their young daughter, Sila, had been in the United States for less than a year and would love to meet other parents with kids.
So I treated them to a picnic with a fellow Brooklynites, Jenna Shapiro, Deroy Peraza, and their young son, Luco. The familes have become close. That’s a picture of Luco and Sila kissing goodbye on Luco’s doorstep, after the picnic.
Who: Sugarmaples around the world.
Need: Deeper, closer friendships.
Intro: Each other, in-residence.
Sugarmaples are extraordinarily compatible. They develop friendships almost automatically. But the chances of that happening are exponentially higher if they live close enough to run into one another spontaneously.
How Sugarmapl.es works.
It’s very simple. When I encounter a Sugarmaple, I introduce myself and let them know whenever they have a specific need, they can come to me and I’ll introduce them to the Sugarmaple who can provide it. My help is free.
How I make a living.
I believe in absolute ethics; it’s imperative that every one of my clients knows I am 100% in their corner. This belief completely governs how I run my business:
I help every Sugarmaple who approaches me, for free. If I think the best way for them to get what they need is by working with a service provider – a brand designer, video production company, or commercial realtor, for example – I’ll choose the right one and treat them to meet. If the client and service provider end up working together and both tell me – explicitly – that they’re thrilled with the relationship, the service provider pays pay me a 20% commission. Under no circumstances will I accept a commission if either party is less than thrilled.
If you run a business and the concept of absolute ethics resonates , you may enjoy reading my Pudding Manifesto.