When Adelaide royalty tell you they’re visiting Sydney for work and they’d like to meet, you don’t turn down the invitation.

That was how I found myself hanging out with Santo Arabia, the 37th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers.

You know how sometimes you just hit it off with someone? That happened with Santo.

There were three things I really liked about Santo: he’s smart, he’s down to earth and he’s a straight shooter.

In a happy coincidence, Santo is a business mentor for small businesses, and I’ve got a newish small business, so I was able to coax some free mentoring out of him (clearly, my negotiation skills don’t need any work).

Santo’s motto is: “Helping small business think big!” It’s definitely not false advertising, because Santo got me to think big. He made me realise that I need to expand my thinking and place a proper value on my expertise.

The aim of meeting 500 strangers it to build lifelong relationships. I know I’ve got that with Santo. He travels to Sydney every three months, and we’re going to meet next time he’s in town. I’m looking forward to his next visit … and the one after that … and the one after that.