Perseverance and resilience why we need both

Perseverance and Resilience are both essential values for marketers, entrepreneurs, and self employed professionals.

Frequently, people see them as the same or similar character traits. I disagree, based on a long, exhilirating and sometimes dangerous life in Africa, I believe that both are vitally important for a successful life, but each is needed at different times and for different levels of adversity or challenge.

In a nut shell, Perseverance keeps us going when we are convinced that we are on the right track, but we are just not getting enough traction to get to our destination.

Resilience enables us to build a new track, fix the locomotive and start all over again when the wheels come off.

Here is an example from my own life:

In 1990, after a successful career as a marketing manager with a large corporation, I started a small food packing and export trading business. I suffered from all the usual problems, lack of capital, large bank loans, staff problems, difficult customers, unreliable joint venture partners. Perseverance kept me going until 3 years later, I had a very nice income, a good home on a piece of land where I could keep my horses, 4 cars including the obligatory fancy BMW and cash in the bank.

A short year later, it was all gone, outbreaks of civil war in the two countries that accounted for 90% of my business wiped out my income. To compound the problem, large shipments in transit to these countries were diverted to safe harbours. I had paid for some of the goods up front, there were large amounts due for the balance within 30days. My customers had disappeared, and now I was faced with escalating storage costs for the cargo. I had signed personal guarantees for several business purchases, my marriage was in the last stage of failure, one of my sons had 2 bad accidents and because of political changes happening in South Africa, I could not sell my house. The same changes made the prospect of getting a job remote.

The end result was that I walked away from that with my clothes, 2 horses (but no where to keep them) and a few personal possessions, not even a vehicle.

My track had gone, no amount of Perseverance would get me going again. This is where Resilience came in, with assistance from my family, I moved to a different country, worked for my brother until I could get enough consulting work to keep me going, then started another business. Finally developing a successful farming enterprise – then losing it all again through politics, but that is another story.

The bottom line is that Resilience lets us bounce back, to make the choice to be a survivor not a victim. Perseverance helps us keep focused on our vision and keep on keeping on. We need both.

Do you have the perseverance and resilience to keep moving forward?

Wishing you success in all your endeavours.

Perseverance and resilience why we need both
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