He defended his plan to keep the pound unofficial for years if Scotland became a separate country before finally launching a new currency.
Experts have said that Mr Wilson's growth committee proposals will lead to at least a decade of austerity.
The plans have caused a split in the nationalist ranks, with some saying that they are too cautious and that they can lead to fierce discussions later this month at the SNP spring conference.
On the BBC's Good Morning Scotland program yesterday, Wilson Wilson defeated his critics and said he was "not looking for personal popularity – I'm trying to win".
The economist and former MSP added: "We must win by convincing people who are not currently convinced by the case, and all evidence of interrogation suggests that they are convinced by a report that the case is collapsing for Britain and the arguments for Scotland are evolving.
"We have an argument that independence will be an effort. Money does not drop a tree, Rome is not built one day, nothing falls into your lap. That is not real life. You do not win the lottery. What happens is that you get a toolbox and the ability to work, and that work will be worth it.
"It will be quite a challenge, it will be a challenge, but all the evidence of history in the best performing countries in the world is that the challenge is worth it.
"The level of integration with the rest of the UK for more than 300 years in financial services, in wages and pensions and mortgages is quite unique, so we need to manage and manage the transition to the country that we want to become."
James Kelly from Scottish Labor warned that independence would lead to "a decade of unprecedented austerity for Scotland".
He added: "It would be devastating for jobs, public services and social security in Scotland."
The leader of the Scottish Lib Dem, Willie Rennie, said: "Andrew Wilson is an intelligent person and rightly recognizes that the economies of Scotland and the UK are closely linked.
"With the chaos of Brexit, the last thing we need is more constitutional and economic turmoil with independence."