Who are Guidelighters? The Story Behind an Idea
The idea behind Guidelighter emerged literally in my sleep. Well, not quite — I was unable to fall asleep as I was torturing my mind to solve a problem: how to get people to help each other? How do you encourage people to open up and share their own networks with others? People reach out to me to ask for help and advice particularly related to finance careers and university applications so regularly that I got used to it. Oftentimes it would be friends, friends of my friends or every once in a while a random LinkedIn request. My approach to this is what I consider to be “pro-Karma” — I myself ask my friends and their friends for help all the time. Whenever I run into a difficulty of some shape or form I pick their brains and am fairly open and direct about my need for advice. Equally, I encourage everyone to network, talk, ask questions, cold-call, etc. The help you get from people in one-on-one exchanges tends to beat any other type of research or information gathering. Ever tried to apply for a job based on your Quora or career website reading? Good luck with that. The other side of the Karma equation is my own willingness to help. Whenever someone approaches me I would go out of my way to help. I meet people for coffee, give them advice, share my applications, if I am impressed by their background I try to put them in touch with other people and so on. I ask for help a lot and I give help a lot — I consider it to be a very fair game indeed. Yet here I was, lying in bed and thinking about how to systematise this, how to create a system that will help those who don’t have easy access to someone who can advise them or help them out.
There are three core ‘Powers’ I believe in which are relevant to Guidelighter: the Power of Helping Others, the Power of Connecting People and the Power of Openness. People need to be able to find each other and talk to each other (Openness), people need to be willing and able to create networks by putting people in touch (Connecting people) and people need to be wanting to help others (Helping). If you find these factors together at any point in your career or life, chances are that good things will happen to you as synergies come together — I cannot promise you what it will be but it will certainly be better than the alternative: you trying to go alone and lacking the experience and expertise needed to take your life and career to the next level. Platforms like LinkedIn or ordinary job boards don’t get this. They will create barriers between people and fail to encourage the type of interactions that will take you further. Equally, while I can highly encourage you to get a mentor, chances are that such interaction with a “senior” person won’t quite replace the basic question-answer you will be feeling comfortable to ask anyone who is either your peer or only a few years above you — i.e. a Guide. On that day that Guidelighter was born I never fell asleep, the realisation of how to combine these three powers struck me and I immediately took up the pen to start the work on Guidelighter.
As karma and connected networks go, my path crossed that of Suro’s, a friend and colleague of mine. He was working on a very similar business concept where everyone could in essence earn from their experiences and collectively make any life process “hackable”. From joining our two distinct backgrounds and paths we started Guidelighter. Our concept for Guidelighter is that everyone’s time is valuable, yet most people are generally willing to help especially if given a small incentive or nudge and nothing is stronger than the power of open doors to networks and contacts.
Guidelighter gives you the opportunity to connect with peers who can help you for a small fee — but don’t just go out there asking for help, offer it as well. All of you wonderful people know something that someone else might need. Go out there, get help but offer help in return. Whether you can advise on university applications or career paths, put your name out there, help people and maybe even generate some income on the side. Thanks to Guidelighter you will now have this opportunity. For us and this platform this is just the beginning of the journey — do stay with us and continue to explore the power of helping and the power of connecting.
Your Guidelighter Team