Riding the Storm- Part 1

The word on the street and in every conversation is about how tough things are in Zimbabwe and no one seems to have a clue what is going to happen next. There is uncertainty, fear and despondency. The TRENDING word is IMPOSSIBLE

As I write this article I’m thinking about the Philip Chiyangwa’s speech at a business event where he admonished Zimbabweans for sitting and watching the wind……” you waited for elections then you waited for congress and you are still waiting…..” The question therefore becomes what does one need to survive, grow and excel in this economy? How do you turn the IMPOSSIBLE structures and policies in to POSSIBILITIES?


Don’t be fooled, Entrepreneurship and Business isn’t instant gratification, there is no such thing as overnight success even in stable economies. The type of perseverance entrepreneurs and business people needs is similar to the perseverance that’s demanded from athletes. Marathon runners, for example, must train for months on end, often withstanding injuries and running in less-than-favourable weather conditions. Not only do marathoners have to deal with gruelling training schedules, but they also have to make sacrifices such as abstaining from late nights out with friends the day before long runs and cutting out unhealthy foods. While entrepreneurs and business people aren’t dealing with physical injuries, they certainly need to be prepared to deal with “harsh conditions” for several months to several years.

It’s easy to tell stories of perseverance and even easier to read them. But to actually persevere, when you face bankruptcy or your company fails — that’s hard. So how does one do it?

There is no five-point program, or simple set of principles, that can provide the conviction necessary to truly persevere. That type of resolve requires a mission. A simple, but unwavering belief in what you’re doing. It can be derived from faith in God, or a deeply held belief in the triumph of science and reason. What the belief system is isn’t as important as the depth of the belief. However, the more one believes in a mission, the more resilient an individual or company will be when it’s tested.

Unfortunately, we have a big problem with patience and perseverance because we live in a world where we expect instant results. If we’re hungry, we want fast food! If we’re feeling down we want instant gratification. Again, our desire for instant kicks is exemplified by the fact that pornography is one of the biggest online businesses. And again, there’s an ongoing spiralling rise in drug abuse, soft and hard. In exactly the same way, television is teaching us that anyone can be an overnight success – whether it’s American Idol, Britain’s Got Talent or the X-Factor, we’ve a whole new breed of people who think that you don’t have to work, persevere at and stick with something to become a success.

One of the great examples of perseverance Muhammad Ali, who hated running on the road, said “I run on a Wednesday, so I can dance on a Saturday!” However, if you’re like all the other normal people whose lives will never amount to anything great, if you’re easily bored or quickly disillusioned, then almost anything that you turn your hand to will become IMPOSSIBLE. And once anything becomes IMPOSSIBLE, you give up and go under.

To succeed you have to be single-minded and ruthless. You have to be ruthless with yourself, with working on and maintaining your focus and state of mind. You have to be ruthless in terms of sticking to your objective. Highly successful business people are those who have failed many times but who have tried again and again and again. Only one in ten thousand people will, having failed three or four times, try again.

But, of course, even in the course of our everyday ordinary lives, we fall on our face again and again. We may be trying to commit to a level of personal mental discipline that will give us the kind of clarity of mind that will enable us create the success that we want. However, always lurking in the shadows, is the current reality of the ‘Zimbabwean Situation’ and we somehow believe that our best efforts are going to end up coming to nothing. Then again, our best efforts will always come to nothing if we don’t pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start over – therein lies the secret of success.- PESERVEARANCE

Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States said: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”.

This perseverance must permeate your life – in particular, in your ongoing efforts to rise above every obstacle and crisis and grow in the midst of the IMPOSSIBLE. But, then, what if you fail or feel that you’re failing? Well, failure is just another opportunity to PERSEVERE.




2 thoughts on “Riding the Storm- Part 1

  1. Great piece! The learning curve certainly requires lots of patience.
    Question though: At what point do you decide to “cut your losses”?

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