Walk in the shoes that you want to walk in. If you self-sabotage you will not achieve what you are destined to do. Train your mind to visualize the path you want to go down.

Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tom Smyth.

From the terror and turmoil of growing up during The Troubles in Northern Ireland to starting a string of internationally thriving endeavors, Tom Smyth has discovered — and is sharing — the secrets to winning in life.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?

Thanks for having me! A little bit about me — I’m a Belfast born entrepreneur who owns several construction and property companies, a successful Aparthotel business Dream Luxury Serviced Apartments and have recently begun a mentorship programme ‘Dream Mentoring’.

I believe in taking massive action, and that’s how I got myself to where I am today. Growing up in war-torn Ireland during The Troubles, battling alcoholism and PTSD from my childhood, resilience and determination has become a facet of who I am.

A year ago during the global pandemic, I decided to write a self-help book, Fear Less: An Antidote to Self-Doubt, about seizing all future opportunities and becoming the person you have always dreamed of being. My main focus in this project has been to help others, and this is when I started Dream Mentoring.

Whether you are a business owner, an individual with an idea and huge drive, or someone who feels they need guidance in some area of their life- I’m here to help. I’m extremely passionate when it comes to mentoring and my main goal in life is to help as many people as I can.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

My Aparthotel business Dream Luxury Serviced Apartments is my success story. After seeing the incredible serviced apartments industry flourishing in Dubai, I wanted to bring this back to my home city of Belfast in Northern Ireland.

I walked the streets of Belfast and the UK for one year, boots on the ground at every agent’s office in the UK before I got my first yes from the New York-based hedge fund,Marathon. From there, my business has expanded to over 550 apartments throughout the UK.

My takeaway from this is the power of resilience, and not giving up when most people would. Those who power through challenges reap the rewards and put themselves on track for success. In business, never take no for an answer.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Dream Mentoring is all about mindset. My D.R.E.A.M. formula focuses on Determination, Regeneration, Energisation, Ambition, and Motivation. We tap into all of these areas, determine areas we need improvement, and create a game plan for you to succeed in every aspect of your life.

Recently, I was able to coach UFC fighter Molly “Meatball” McCann to victory in her recent Las Vegas fight on XXX. We were able to tap into her mindset, creating visuals in her mind that she already won, and had her picture herself doing media interviews post fight. This led her to think that she was already victorious, and gave her the confidence boost that she needed prior to entering the ring. Turns out, that confidence and mindset led her to victory, and the success went hand-in-hand with her mindset.

We must train our mind just as much as we train ourselves in other aspects of life. At Dream Mentoring, that’s exactly what we do — train your mind to visualize your success.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

My wife Dolores believed in me when nobody else did and has helped me be the man I am today. She stuck by me when nobody else did — she is a complete female warrior. It’s so important to surround yourself with supportive and like-minded people. As the saying goes, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

Resilience is about never giving up. It’s all about shifting the mindset to overcome obstacles and tribulations and recognize that your thoughts can directly influence your future.

Resilient people are forward-thinkers, they are determined, and are motivated to be better tomorrow than they were yesterday. No matter what challenges you face, you must never give into the negative thoughts that may come your way. Instead be ‘in it to win it’ 24/7.

Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?

Courage and resilience can be best friends, but also enemies. Sometimes when we think that we can’t do something, the negativity sweeps in and our courage meter and confidence dwindle.

Courage is all about telling yourself that you can do whatever you put your mind to, and allows for actionable steps to achieve those goals. Resilience is the direct long-term effect of having courage. The two go hand in hand, however without the courage to succeed, the resilience to a meaningful life may be altered. When you’re courageous, resilience is abundant.

When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?

It’s not a person, it is my incredible home city of Belfast. It is the ultimate bounce back story: a war-torn society that has rejuvenated and become a booming and bustling city full of incredible culture and steeped in history.

From carnage to culture, it is now an incredible must-visit destination for everyone across the globe. Belfast’s resilience is incredible, as a child growing up in The Troubles 40 years ago, I never imagined the city to be like it is today. It is a true example of regeneration and I am proud to call it my home.

Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?

There is no such thing as impossible, as Adidas says ‘impossible is nothing’. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I was told it was impossible to grow and scale my company. During this period, Dream Apartments grew at an exponential rate and opened a further 250 apartments during a global pandemic and lockdown.

When somebody tells me something is impossible, I make it my mission to prove them wrong and this is a true example that nothing is impossible if you take massive action.

Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?

I always say, turn your setbacks into get backs. When you make a mistake or fail, use it as a learning experience and grow from it. I’ve been open about my struggle with addiction but I would definitely say that sobriety is my superpower. This was once a huge setback for me but now I recognise that it’s a vital part of my success story.

How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?

Throughout my childhood in Ireland, resilience was key. While bearing witness to The Troubles, my mind was always running a million miles per minute — from worrying about my personal safety, to dealing with the loss of my businesses, and always having to worry about losing family members and friends closest to me.

Resilience became a part of my DNA, and taught me how to forge forward. My childhood, although difficult at times, taught me everything I needed to know about becoming a strong, courageous, and determined individual. It has taught me to think outside the box, to remain positive in every situation, and realize that the world is your oyster — you just have to be hungry enough to achieve the dreams that you want.

Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. The universe is the genie from your magic lamp. Put out into the universe what you want to achieve. Your wishes are stronger when you fight to achieve them.
  2. Self-correct yourself until change happens. Change your script and tell yourself you’re a winner to keep winning everyday.
  3. Walk in the shoes that you want to walk in. If you self-sabotage you will not achieve what you are destined to do. Train your mind to visualize the path you want to go down.
  4. Don’t allow negative thoughts to take control of you. Don’t feed that thought, rather feed your soul with the people and thoughts that make you better everyday.
  5. Everyday life is a fight — fight everyday to win. Once you start giving up, you’re going to give up everyday. Don’t give into those internal battles.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Definitely a peace movement. After growing up in a war torn society, I saw the devastating effects firsthand in Northern Ireland on both the country and its people. Conflict gets you nowhere, after 40 years we are now seeing the benefits and reaping the rewards of conflict resolution.

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

Grant Cardone is a huge inspiration to me and I live by his 10X lifestyle as a 10X mentor and coach. Visualisation and manifestation is massive for me, and I’ve already seen myself sitting down having lunch with Grant and his wife Elena Cardone in Miami. It’s just a matter of time now before it becomes a reality!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

They can follow me on Instagram at @tomsmythentrepreneur and on my website at dream mentoring.co.uk.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.