In this episode, we spoke with a school friend of mine who set out to live a Miami Vice lifestyle and through his own hard work achieved it. These days he introduces me and other school friends to people like Anthony Joshua and Shane Warne who count him amongst their friends. Private jets and glamorous locations around the world are now the norm.

Professionally he’s known as Hong Kong Tom. He’s an Asian online gambling pioneer known best for brands like Dafabet, sponsors of Fulham and Celtic. When we were teenagers Tom frustrated the hell out of the teachers because he was bright but not particularly motivated by school.

He left school in the UK with one A-Level. A spell in London and then Hong Kong provided him with an opportunity to experiment with entrepreneurship. A lifestyle of risk followed.

Tom’s ability to withstand the losses that come with taking risk is why his story stands out. Three weeks after getting married, and well before any significant wealth, he was sued and had to borrow $3.5m from a friend to avoid going bankrupt. So motivated was he to repay the debt, he risked his marriage by working 24/7 for two years. It showed him what he could do when he put his mind to it.

What I like most about Tom is his ability to focus but never lose sight of the bigger picture including a super-skill in bringing his wide circle of friends and colleagues together.

Show Notes

We met Tom at his very nice house in London. It's really nice! He shared his experiences in business and in life. He shared how he's changed and how his motivations have changed. What I like most about Tom is his ability to focus but never lose sight of the bigger picture including a super-skill in bringing his wide circle of friends and colleagues together. We talked about :
  • How Miami Vice provided him with a focus on money 
  • Taking two companies public 
  • Having a rocket scientist for a Dad
  • Tom, the 10 year old entrepreneur
  • Why he chose a job over university
  • Being the worst salesman of the month and the shame of fishing in Oxford Street
  • How mistakes helped him grow a thicker skin
  • Moving to Hong Kong in May 1989 and how a salary allowed him to focus on rugby
  • Playing international rugby for Hong Kong  
  • His belief in luck and why he sees a fortune teller once a year
  • Having nothing when he was sued personally for £3.5 million dollars, 3 weeks after getting married 
  • Borrowing £3.5 million USD from a friend with no obvious way of repaying the loan
  • On the 18 hour days that led Tom to repay the loan within 2.5 years
  • Floating Playtech in 2005 and what it was like to lose 40% of the value overnight
  • How he took his company private having only just taken it public
  • The importance of goal-setting 
  • What happened when Daddy was asked to sign his daughters contract to spend time with her and not his computer 
  • Pretending to his wife he wasn't suffering a heart-attack whilst at the ballet
  • Waking up to the value of time   
  • The benefits of learning to say "no".
  • Working with friends
  • The joys of a shared experience
  • Why experiences are a better motivation than money

Creators & Guests

Neil Witten
Entrepreneur, Business Advisor, Podcaster @lifedonediff, Co-Founded @StoryStreamAI now building & You only get 1 go, live consciously 🏂
Ray Richards
Converting small steps into the unknown, into the known
Home of the podcast. Inspiring interviews with people who go against the grain & live their lives differently. @nwitten & @rayrich

What is

Do you wonder whether there’s another way?
Another, more creative, more meaningful approach to living your life. Well there is and there’s a growing movement of people from all kinds of walks of life who are proving that the way we end up doing what we do in life is often a side effect of external forces. Rather than a deliberate, conscious and authentic set of choices that have come from you and your unique needs. What are you chasing? Success? Safety? Fame? Fortune? Recognition?
Have you stopped to think recently why you’re doing what your doing with your life? Are the stories that you're creating today the ones that you hope your grandchildren will be telling to their children? Are you creating your legacy?