T is for Tenacity

As a child, my parents described me as headstrong. “As we now know, of course, we needn’t have worried. What we saw as being a pig-headed little boy who was utterly determined to do his own thing, turned out to be nothing more than the growing pains of a budding entrepreneur. If only we had been able to recognise that at the time we might have had a lot fewer sleepless nights!” wrote my mother Eve.

I’m so thankful that instead of quashing my curiosity and telling me to that I couldn’t and shouldn’t do things, my parents allowed me to take calculated risks, fail and learn. Their encouragement made me tenacious and hungry to achieve.

Tenacity is a pre-requisite for entrepreneurial success.

Perseverance, courage and a no-quit attitude have got me to where I am today. I could have thrown in the towel so many times over my 50 years in business. But tenacity kept me focused during the times of stress, awake during the midnight hours, and in good spirits when it felt like the world was crashing down on me.

It’s also helped me to think differently and use my imagination to solve problems. Like when we tried time and time again to get permission to fly to South Africa with Virgin Atlantic. The country’s Aviation Minster told me in private that he’d welcome us, so I cheekily and tenaciously relayed his comments at a national press conference. We’ve now been flying there for almost 25 years!

So stay hungry, be tenacious, never give up and have fun doing it. 

What does tenacity mean to you?

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