Keep Persevering

Date: 4th April 2018

No one ever said running or owning a business would be easy. Change goes on all the time. You need to adapt, adjust, learn and be able to read the tea leaves to predict the future.

When I was CEO of Plastics New Zealand we spent over four years trying to establish a Centre Of Excellence. It was a long journey but we did not give up, we did not quit, we persevered. There were meetings, many meetings! We had to get all our members to agree a course of action; we had to work with the University of Auckland, government agencies, with a raft of MPs; and finally we had nine meetings with the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

If your business is your passion, you’re not going to give up on it easily but you will have to have a plan for the changes you will encounter. You will need to be able to analyse and act on the financials, you will need to understand and adapt to the changing consumer and business environments. Maybe most importantly you will need the support of others with different skills to you as you cannot possibly know, or do, everything.

Setting yourself up to succeed by analysing, adapting and acting means that quitting isn’t going to be an option for you. Not giving up when faced with all these challenges, and others that you hadn’t even thought of, is hard. It’s also empowering and you learn a lot about yourself, your strengths and your limitations.

I think this poem sums up the issue very well. I hope you think so too.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow-
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the straggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victors cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out-
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit-
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

– Anonymous

So what happened with the Plastics New Zealand Centre of Excellence? We received $5 million from the NZ Government which was matched by the plastics industry. With $10 million in funding we were able to support a raft of technical and research projects for the industry, a major R&D project for the development of a polymer from corn starch (PLA), and create and deliver first class training for the industry. A great outcome after our years of hard work!

Persevere. Don’t quit. Never give up.

Have fun. Have happy customers. Make money.

Regards,

Robin Martin

P.S. This article is part of my Secrets of Success series, aimed at helping business owners and entrepreneurs with some of the key components of business success. The insights I wish I’d had at the start of my business career. I hope that by passing on these little gems of knowledge I can give you some support and help you along the pathway to growth and prosperity.


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