It’s a private directory that these remarkable people I call Sugarmaples can use to find one another. For some of them, It’s also a place online to converse and collaborate, but it’s not meant to be a social network. We have enough of those.

The purpose of Sugarmapl.es is to connect Sugarmaples to one another. Restricting introductions to Sugarmaples is the only way I know to make sure that each introduction will lead to a great relationship. It doesn’t mean Sugarmapl.es can’t have great relationships with other people. I simply don’t know how to ensure that those introductions will work out.

No. SugarMapl.es is supported by a unique business model. (See the next question.)

The business model is similar to what I used successfully in my now-retired consultancy. Sugarmapl.es charges a simple 7% fee on any services or goods happily sold by one member to another.

There are a number of sensible exceptions. See the “When does the fee not apply?” FAQ entry.

If you hire another Sugar Maple to be on your staff, full-time, the referral fee to SugarMapl.es will be 7% of that hire’s first year annual salary.

If you sell services to another Sugar Maple, you’ll pay SugarMapl.es 7% of what you made from the engagement.

If you sell a hose, a horse, or a house to another Sugar Maple, you’ll pay SugarMapl.es 7% of the sale price.

If you sell a product or service to another member, and the experience doesn’t put a smile on your face, there’s no fee.

If you feel the transaction would have occurred even if you’d never met through Sugarmapl.es, there’s no fee.

If you already had a relationship with the person prior to joining Sugarmapl.es, there’s no fee.

If you sell services to another Sugarmaple and are in a field such as the law or fiduciary financial advisory services, there’s no fee.

There are indeed fields – such as the law and fiduciary financial advisory services – that don’t allow paying of commissions. For these folks, there’s no fee.

There are in-person events but, in keeping with my commitment to avoid any participation requirement, they are 100% optional.

First, if you’ve had a chance to read about me, you know that I’m bordering-on-obsessed with the short film The Man Who Planted Trees. So, clearly that’s an influence. Next, I grew up in New Jersey, where Sugar Maples are a big component of the beautiful autumns. Lastly, a Sugar Maple, to the casual observer, is just another tree. But underneath there’s that sweet sap.

If you’re an invitee, I hopefully remembered to send you a link to the list. ;-)