My name is Jeff Tochterman. I'm 48. The divorced father of two beautiful girls, Juliet, 15 and Isabella, 18. I live in Sacramento, California. Winning this contest would be a dream come true! A little background is necessary before I briefly set out my idea. When I was 15, I was an exchange student in Italy. It was a transformative experience. I like to say it "permanently bent my noodle". Opened my eyes and mind to the bigness and variety of the world. It also started to expose me to the idea that I had a special talent for connecting deeply with all types of people. My Italian Mama cried at the train station when I left. In my adult life, I was a criminal defense attorney for over 20 years. I handled over 60 jury trials. All the way up to murder (twice). It was a tough, stressful way to make a living. I realized I like to be liked. Probably even NEED to be liked. Criminal defense is a tough career for those of us who like to be liked. As an attorney I started to realize that my "special purpose" is that I have a great skill for being liked. AND for liking people. I like people! And they like me! I'm a born "connector". I started to realize I needed to find a job where I could take advantage of my "special purpose". A few years ago, a friend decided he wanted to dramatically expand his residential real estate brokerage. To do this, he needed to hire a bunch of real estate agents. He knew I was burnt on doing criminal defense. And that I was a great "connector". So he hired me as his recruiter. I did it for two years. I recruited over 50 agents to come work for my friend. I loved the "rapport building" part of the process. Creating the connection. Making a new friend. But, I didn't like the salesy part of the job. The "close". At the end of those two years, I had another friend recruit me into taking over his family's bar. That's right. I'm now a bar owner/bartender. This job has sharpened my vision for myself. Bartending is ALL about the connection. There's no "close". I just need to make friends with my potential customers and they will become my actual customers. Learn their names. Listen to them. Respect them. Introduce them to each other. Lead group conversations. Include and involve everyone at the bar. I have rapidly built a great bar business in this way. Just connecting deeply with people. Creating a forum and an environment for them to connect with eachother. Here comes my idea.........I have realized that all humans (or almost all of them) long to connect with other humans. Everything we do in life is so much richer if we do it while connecting with other people. ESPECIALLY travel! But, for whatever reason, most people have a hard time putting themselves into positions where they can connect with others. Even though they deeply long for it. So.........my idea is essentially to be a host on the boat (and on the shore). To have it be my job to try to spur people to connect with each other. And with others. To use my "special purpose" to make people enjoy their lives more through the power of my ability to help them connect with me. With each other. With others. I'll be the guy introducing everyone. Making the conversation interesting for everyone. Talking to strangers. Making new friends everywhere for everyone.............That's it! That's my idea! Essentially I'd be a "life host" for everyone else on the boat! The friend maker! Relationship creator! Fun generator!
Made on Coboat
In summary, what is your “Made on Coboat” project idea (max. 3 sentences)?
I am supremely talented at bringing people together, making them connect with me and with each other. The more connected people in a group are to each other, the more fun they have in their experiences with that group. They are happier and more productive. I will make the people on the boat as connected to me and each other as possible. I will do this guiding people to interact in a friendly, gentle and enjoyable way that is designed to maximize their connection to me and each other.
How much of your project can you realistically achieve in 100 days if you will get the chance to stay on the Coboat?
The beauty of my project is that it never gets "completed". Once they become connected to each other, people will naturally continue to deepen those connections for as long as they live!
Will you complete this project on your own, or will you be working with a together with a team?
On my own
Why should your project be chosen?
Because its awesome
What does this project mean to you?
It's my special purpose. Its what I was put on this earth to do. It means everything. Fulfilling my purpose.
Why do you want to do this project?
To feel fulfilled. To spread happiness and love.
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Please tell us a bit about yourself and your professional background. How do you fit into a team? What have you done before within the field of your idea?
This is included in my idea above.