Have high hopes. It’s easier to stand strong when you expect things to improve. When you know better times are ahead, grit and resilience are easier to demonstrate. Focus on a positive outcome.

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 Jennifer Perri.

Jennifer is a coach, consultant and mentor and has helped hundreds of women manage their toughest seasons victoriously: divorce, loss of a spouse, career transitions, and retirement. She has spent over 20 years equipping and empowering women to live financially fearlessly, embrace their true worth, and be the hero in their stories. Jennifer has been featured in the media as a thought leader, appearing in publications and on ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, Vanity Fair ( February 2022, Atlanta Woman Feature), The Tycoon Magazine, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, Fortune, and Forbes.

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?

Absolutely! My story, like most women, has multiple chapters and some are better than others. My first marriage was one filled with abuse and heartache and it really shaped who I am as a person. It has also fueled my desire to help other women. I have spent my adult life trying to heal from all that I experienced. Just as I started to come to grips with my abusive past, I was diagnosed with

Guillain-Barre syndrome at the end of 2021 that paralyzed me and took away my ability to walk for months. This chapter of my life has been the toughest, but I have also learned the most about myself, my resilience and the relationships in my life. Through much determination and an incredibly strong support system, I am recovering ahead of schedule and I know my health will be completely restored.

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?

I have spent two decades in the financial services industry which has given me tremendous insight on how women are treated in this space. From my own personal experiences and observations, many financial planners and advisors are only interested in your net worth, not who you are as a person. They don’t take the time to really get to know their client, their relationship with money and the struggles they might be experiencing in life. Women are often dismissed when it comes to discussing family finances and feel ill-equipped to ask questions and take control.

After numerous advisor horror stories from women who turned to me for advice, I knew that I needed to do something different. I decided to completely flip the script on traditional financial planning. When I typically meet with a woman for the first time, she is going through a life-changing event that has drastically affected her life: divorce, loss, a career change or a health issue. Women who encounter a tragedy often get hit with a second wave of challenges which is dealing with their money. I help my clients by addressing the emotional and situational pieces of their lives first. Once we can get to a place where healing has begun, we shift focus on picking up the financial pieces, together.

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

I help women understand their relationship with money and identify the mental barriers that are blocking them from achieving the level of success they want for themselves and their families. I was recently working with a woman who was coming out of a bitter and long divorce. When we sat down to start planning for the next chapter of her life, she did not want to discuss anything to do with money-period. No matter how I approached the topic, she would change it. After a couple of appointments, she finally opened up and shared that she just didn’t know how to have a relationship with money. Her ex-husband handled all the financial decisions and kept her at arms length. When she would ask questions, he would make her feel stupid for asking them, so she just withdrew from dealing with money. I was able to help her discover her own money personality, develop a healthy money mindset and now she is financially confident in all of the decisions she makes.

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?

I would honestly have to say that the person who has helped me get to where I am today is my husband, Carmine. My husband is literally the most brilliant person I have ever met. He is an incredible leader, an amazing problem solver, and my biggest fan. He also has had an inside look, through my eyes, at how women are underserved and overlooked when it comes to helping them learn how to become financially independent. He has encouraged me each step of the way and has helped me develop and expand services now that are available globally to help women everywhere feel empowered in the choices they make when it comes to their life and money.

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?

I would define resilience as the ability to mentally overcome whatever life throws at you. Resilient people are unwavering, unbreakable, and unshakeable. They can bounce back, recover and beat the odds no matter what they face.

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

In my opinion, courage is a major component of someone being resilient. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to mentally get through things in life that aren’t easy. To be resilient is to persevere in the face of adversity, to shake off the naysayers and plow forward no matter what lies ahead.

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

When I think of resilience, not one particular person comes to mind, but a group of people do. Survivors of domestic violence. Women who can manage to overcome an abusive relationship and reclaim power and control over their own lives, to me, are true examples of resilience. As a survivor myself, I know how hard it is to pick up the pieces of a life that was destroyed by someone else. Your self-esteem and self-worth are gone, your ability to believe in yourself is long forgotten. But when you are able to break free from that environment, little by little you start to heal and over time you rediscover yourself and all that makes you unique.

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?

Yes, there have been several times, but one that stands out far more than the rest. I was previously married to someone who tried to take credit for who I had become and the success that I had achieved. He would often say I would be “nothing without him” and for a brief period of time, I believed him. As soon as that negativity and jealousy was removed from my life, my success catapulted to a level that I would have never reached if he was still a part of it. It was a lesson that I often share with my clients. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do. Be the hero in your own story, don’t let someone else steal your spotlight, or your joy.

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?

Yes, my recent diagnosis of Guillain-Barre syndrome. Nine months ago, I was preparing for the Christmas holiday and I started experiencing numbness in my legs. After a trip to the emergency room and a bunch of tests including a spinal tap, I was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre (GBS). I was admitted into Intensive Care and within 5 days, I was paralyzed from the shoulders down. As I started to recover, feeling gradually came back to my arms and hands. I had to relearn how to feed myself, write and dress myself. My legs were paralyzed for almost three months and I had to learn how to walk again. It has been a scary and challenging chapter in my life, but one that has taught me so many things.

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?

There have been many experiences in my life that have definitely cultivated my resilience.As a young mom, I was in a relationship with someone who was extremely abusive in every way imaginable. I shared a decade of my life with this person which has had a lifelong effect on me. All that I went through during that time strengthened and prepared me in a way to be able to handle anything I would face in my life. My wounds became wisdom and fueled my mission to help others.

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. Have high hopes. It’s easier to stand strong when you expect things to improve. When you know better times are ahead, grit and resilience are easier to demonstrate. Focus on a positive outcome.
  2. Give yourself mental breaks. No matter how resilient you may be, take regular breaks to recharge your batteries. Watch a movie, read a book, meditate, do whatever works for you.
  3. Remind yourself of all the adversity you’ve already overcome. No one’s life is smooth sailing 100% of the time. You’ve already overcome many obstacles. Remind yourself of your past successes during challenging times. This will give you the motivation to continue.
  4. Take care of yourself. No matter what is going on in your life, you still need food, rest, love, exercise and fun. Take good care of yourself and you’ll be in a better position to weather challenges.
  5. Hang around with resilient people. You become more like the people you spend the most time with. Choose your friends wisely. You’ll become a stronger person if you hang out with strong people.

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. 🙂

If I could inspire a movement it would be for women to feel empowered to live as their authentic selves. No need to hide who they are or what they want from their lives. There are so many women who spend their lives living it to please what other people want for them or expect them to do. I try to empower each and every woman that I meet to embrace their worth and live life on their terms.

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 🙂

I would love to sit down and have a cup of coffee with Sara Blakely, CEO of Spanx. Her story of persistence and passion has been a motivating factor in my own life.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Readers can connect with me through my website, www.JenniferPerri.com or on IG @jperricoaching.

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.