Who are you?
My name’s Ted Pearlman. I’m married to Allison, an architect. We live in Denver, Colorado, with our ridiculous sixth-grader, Oscar, who likes to make tiny dimetrodons out of hot glue, and Mabel, our couch potato Newfoundland pup.
Resume-wise, I have a BA in Music (Cornell ’90), am a certified Gordon communications trainer, and spent many years in the tech industry with companies like Sony and IBM.
Way back in 2007, I spearheaded something called the Denver Urban Core Cohousing Initiative. I talked about it on Colorado Public Radio and, somehow, the interview is still online. It gives a bit of a sense of me.
If you’re curious how I make a living these days, there’s info here.
I also run a Denver food & conversation project called Honselgen.
How can I tell a story, too?
It all happens over the phone. It rarely takes more than 7 minutes. And usually takes less than 4.
After I record your story, I’ll put it up on its own page and send you the URL so you can share it.
It’s free. And there is no advertising.
What to talk about.
Basically, I’d like you to tell me a story that has this basic format:
“If not for [person], I wouldn’t [positive outcome], [positive outcome], etc.”
The easiest way to explain this is to listen to one of these stories. Like this one below…
“If not for Byron Caine…“
From Robert Ouimet in Vancouver
I typically have the interviewee start by telling me about the person. We record that opening “If not for…” statement afterwards. During the editing process, I relocate the “If not for…” statement to the beginning.
It makes telling your story really easy.
Who can I tell a story about?
You can tell a story about anyone who’s had an indelibly positive effect on your life — your mom, your college advisor, John Cassavetes, your crazy nextdoor neighbor Ethel, a person you overheard on the Subway whose name you never learned — it’s totally up to you.
How much does this cost?
It’s entirely free for both storytellers and listeners.
Will there be any ads on my story?
We don’t and never will have advertising of any kind.
How can this be free AND ad-free?
I’m bankrolling it myself. If it takes off, we’ll pay the bills with donations.
How long should my story be?
Most people’s stories are between 90 seconds and 5 minutes. But if you have a longer story, I’m happy to accomodate!
How many stories can I tell?
You can tell as many stories as you like.
Can I embed a story on my website?
What do you do for a living?
I’m a professional connector.
I help a very specific breed of CEOs connect with subject matter experts, creative contractors, and advisors who can help them and their companies.
I work on retainer for each client. When one of them comes to me with a challenge, my job is to ask a lot of questions, get a handle on the challenge’s fundamentals, and figure out what single person is most likely to set that client on a course to getting the challenge tackled.
The type of CEOs I work with.
The vast majority of my clients are in tech and have the Myers-Briggs type ENFP. I’ve always found the ENFP connective tissue of my clientele fascinating, especially since ENFP CEOs are pretty rare (they make up only about 7% of all CEOs).
I’m not certain why nearly all of my clients are ENFP CEOs, but I have a working theory…
Why I think my clients and I enjoy working together.
ENFP CEOs are disinterested in managing details. They don’t like hierarchical power structures. They’re sincerely empathetic and eager to develop humane relationships with their employees and collaborators. Business, to them, isn’t about making money. It’s about creating and collaborating on something of meaning.
Unless a client of mine happens to be the foremost expert on the type of challenge they are facing, their instinct is to find WHO can tackle the problem most effectively. They’d see working on it themselves as a gross misallocation of resources, as it would take them away from their focus on the mission of the company. (This is the opposite instinct of most CEOs — usually INTJs and ENTJs — who almost always seek to tackle the challenge themselves.)
There’s only one problem with being willing to delegate the tackling of a challenge to a person better qualified than you. It creates a secondary challenge of finding that person.
That’s where I come in.
How I got into this line of work.
In 2012, the CEO of Precision Nutrition, Phil Caravaggio, who I’d never met before, called me up out of the blue and asked me if I could connect him with a new, interim CTO.
A few hours before Phil reached out to me, I’d left a comment on a Signal v Noise blog post that asked their readers to help them find a solution to a thorny office architectural acoustics problem.
I grew up as a musician and knew a little bit about acoustics — just enough that I could tell his audience wasn’t going to provide him with the best solution. They were doing their darnedest to help, but this particular problem clearly needed a bonafide expert in architectural acoustics. In my comment, I offered to connect them with one. (The person I advised them to use was Russ Berger.)
Phil was a fan of Signal v Noise, too, read my comment, and thought I might be able to help.
It wasn’t long after starting to work with Phil — still my favorite client — that I decided to quit my other gig and hang out my shingle as a professional connector. Best career decision I’ve ever made.
Though you don’t have to strictly be an ENFP to work with me, being one is often a really good sign. If you’re wondering if you’re an ENFP, you can find out, with a fair degree of accuracy, here.
Important Note: I’m not a headhunter. I don’t find full-time employees. I find outside subject matter experts, creative contractors, and advisors, who come in for a finite period of time to tackle a particular challenge.
Are you hiring?
Is there an If Not For app?
Not yet. But we’re working on it.