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The Wonderful: Stefan Thomas

I had the pleasure of speaking with the one and only, Stefan Thomas.

His career path took a surprising turn when his two-decade-long career as an estate agent abruptly ended in 2007. Seeking to reinvent himself, he began attending networking events, a practice he had previously done as an estate agent.

Since then he has built a wonderful public speaking career.

Stefan's early experiences taught him so much, so join us in today’s NEXUS posting, as we delve deeper into his inspiring journey.

Stefan Thomas, Public Speaker


I first asked, Stefan, where did this transition start. He explained that he had spent around two decades, as an estate agent.

“That career came to a crashing end on May the 30th 2007. And I needed to reinvent myself.

I had recently started going to networking events as an estate agent, so when I launched the first iteration of my business I knew that networking would be a good way forward for me.”

Stefan from what I understood, saw this as an adaptable opportunity, and a chance to shift. I’m sure that time there was initial anxiety. But in the way he was talking, I feel he saw this as a next move.

He began attending networking events, to explore new opportunities. He became active in the BNI global networking organisation and other local groups, swiftly establishing a reputation for his networking abilities. Soon, he was counselling others on how to get the most out of these gatherings.

His enthusiasm grew, and he finally became the director of a business that hosted 5,000 breakfast networking events per year. Not bad eh?

Stefan Thomas, Public Speaker

How Life Likes To Work

All these accomplishments and Stefan understood what lay behind it: chance.

He might not have discovered his affinity for networking if he had excelled at the estate agency.

Even in my own work, I feel like I should know every step forward. And of course, it’s never the case. It’s a series of winding and weaving, with the majority of the time, being pulled in various different directions.

Even if we don't understand it at the time, it’s like every experience prepares us for something greater.

“…The publishers of the Dummies series of books asked me if I would write ‘Business Networking for Dummies after they saw me speaker and events…

And then my speaking career took off, so it all happened a bit by accident.

If I'd actually been good at the thing that I was meant to be doing, then I wouldn't be here.

And if my estate agency career hadn't come to a crashing end, then I wouldn't be here.

That sort of thing always intrigues me.”

The Common Truth

There a so many who make it within a certain field, with a specific business degree or prior experience.

Before starting Amazon, Jeff Bezos worked in finance and computer science. Before entering the tech industry, Alibaba founder Jack Ma worked as an English teacher in China. Spanx founder Sara Blakely used to sell fax machines door-to-door before revolutionising the lingerie market. Starbucks' founder, Howard Schultz, used to sell Xerox machines.

Not to mention Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, who launched Zip2, a company that provided city guide software to newspapers, as well as co-founded PayPal.

Yes, these are monopolised companies, that broke through, but what it does demonstrate is that success doesn’t run in a straight line.

Be willing to take chances and let the universe toss you around a little.