Thomas Williams is from the town of Ballina. When he was 20, he went out one night, got back the next day, and found the family home was empty and his belongings had been boxed up.

His father had left him a note telling him it was time to strike out on his own and make something of his life.

Tom says it was the best thing that could’ve happened to him.

A week later, Tom moved to Sydney. Now, 17 years later, he’s blossomed into a successful mobile banker with Commonwealth Bank.

Tom was the 13th person I’ve met as part of my journey to have lunch with 500 strangers.

One of the reasons Tom is successful is that he’s learned how to nurture a positive mindset. For example, he doesn’t ‘blame’ himself for ‘mistakes’; instead, he recognises that he can ‘learn’ from ‘missed opportunities’.

Tom has also learned how to build and maintain relationships. His advice includes:

  • Don’t be afraid to initiate contact with strangers
  • Focus on getting to know the other person (rather than trying to make a buck)
  • Be an attentive and sympathetic listener
  • Keep in regular contact
  • If and when they’re ready to do business with you, they will