Superconnectors - a Helpers High

Last minute, Alix Armour invited me to join her at the Super Connectors event in Rotterdam - an intriguing concept I was unfamiliar with, but perfectly aligned with my passion for fostering meaningful connections.

It was like a Dragon's Den, but instead of pitching business ideas, startups had two minutes to outline their critical need - the key introduction that could propel their highest priority goal forward.

The audience, comprised of well-connected 'vetted' individuals, then pitched potential introductions through an app. Each startup founder selected the most promising connection, awarding "points" to the person who unlocked that opportunity. Whoever accumulated the most points was crowned the "Super Connector" of the day.

What an ingenious way to unleash the power of networks! I was thoroughly impressed by this fresh approach to facilitating connections that can genuinely impact lives and ventures. I've always found profound fulfillment in bringing together individuals who can mutually enrich each other's journeys.

It's not about ego or control, but about opening doors for people to discover shared passions, synergies and possibilities they may have otherwise missed. When you witness the sparks of an authentic connection ignite, you get to experience the pure joy of being a catalyst for something positive and potentially life-changing.

The Super Connectors event celebrated this altruistic spirit of connecting in such a dynamic, purposeful way.

I left feeling reinvigorated about my role as a "relationship catalyst" - using my insights to create opportunities for others to forge meaningful bonds and collaborations that can uplift their aspirations.

It is like Dragon's Den, but instead of pitching business ideas, startups had two minutes to outline their critical need.

The most rewarding thing you can do in life is to help others. This principle is at the core of any successful business. Think about it: my business thrives when it helps your business or meets your needs. Altruistic help is the holy grail, but let's not forget that self-care is crucial too—like putting on your oxygen mask before assisting others on a plane.

Just as a lighthouse must ensure its light shines brightly to guide ships safely to shore, we must first be strong and capable to effectively support those around us. The Maslow Pyramid illustrates this perfectly: only by securing our own basic needs can we aspire to higher levels of altruism and self-actualization.

I believe the original Maslov pyramid needs an upgrade from being 'me'-focused to becoming 'we'-focused. Once you reach the top, what do you do? Meditate alone for the rest of your life? Or would you rather start sharing and connecting your newly found vibes? It can get pretty darn cold and lonely up there on the mountaintop.

If we can become the best version of ourselves, isn't that the perfect place to start helping others?

Helping others begins with the simple power of "hello." To understand someone's needs, you have to get to know what makes them tick. It all starts with a genuine "Hello, how are you? What is your day like?" When you ask this sincerely and take a moment to absorb their response, looking them in the eye, you'll see how they feel and if you might assist them in some way. 

Then, you can offer help.

What made the event successful was the courage of the startup founders. It’s already nerve-wracking to get on stage and address a crowd. Imagine sharing your critical ask with a group of 75 peer entrepreneurs, seasoned and successful, about something you haven't been able to solve yourself. This vulnerability makes everyone in the room eager to help the founder on stage and ease some of their heartfelt pain.

The act of helping is so simple. There is always something you can do: make a valuable introduction, share a painful story about a similar situation, offer your services, promote a friend, give crucial feedback or praise, or simply offer a pat on the back or a much-needed hug.

The beautiful thing about helping others is that you also reward yourself with a burst of oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. These hormones boost our mood and counteract the effects of cortisol, the stress hormone.

And that feeling was palpable in the room. After the pitches, everyone seemed more connected; there was mutual ground to continue conversations, and people came together on the same level. They felt good about themselves and started mingling without any hurdles.

So check out my suggestion for the new Maslov Pyramid. I call it 'Mas Love' :P

The superconnectors event inspired me to do two things. #helpershigh

1. Revive my 'Lend a Helping Hand' project. In 2023, I began dedicating my weekends to helping others. Inspired by Timothy Ferriss's 'Four-Hour Workweek,' which focuses on 'ME,' I reserve four hours each week to assist others ('WE') with any urgent critical tasks. This can include driving a parent to an elderly home, hanging up paintings or curtains, taking a walk in nature for a frank, heartfelt chat, heavy lifting in a garden, or moving boxes out of storage. You can check out some of last year's highlights on my Instagram account. And if you need a lending hand, just follow me there to see my stories and the announcements for each weekend. I'm picking one or two critical asks ever week through that channel.

2. With over 25 years of entrepreneurial experience, from bootstrapping my first startup to leading award-winning companies, I've accumulated a wealth of insights. I offer strategic partnership, monthly strategy sessions, and access to my extensive network across various industries. Whether you need guidance on product development, strategy, funding, or finding a co-founder, I provide the perspective, resources, and hands-on support to navigate the complexities of building a successful startup. To find out how that can work for you, please visit my 'Advisory Board'-page.


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