Is It Smart to Be Stubborn?

When you choose to go into business for yourself, especially when you’re thinking about making money online, it is absolutely necessary to shift away from more conventional or traditional mindsets. You need to stop thinking in terms of trading hours for dollars, for example, because you should really be thinking about time as an investment. That’s not how a conventional employee approaches his or her job. The transition may not come easily for some people.

It takes a certain kind of personality (and work ethic) to make it as an entrepreneur, but not all entrepreneurs are made alike and there are an infinite number of paths you can take to be successful. More to the point, is it in your best interest to be absolutely obstinate or is it a better idea to be as adaptable and opportunistic as possible?

Making the Case for Stubbornness

Generally speaking, society doesn’t like stubborn people. As a parent, you might be incredibly frustrated when your child refuses to try a new food. As an employee, you might get remarkably frustrated when one of your boss refuses to budge on an outdated policy. As a friend, you might hate it when your buddy refuses to shift his opinion on an absolutely terrible movie or TV show.

All this being said, being stubborn might actually work in your favor when you’re running your own business. When you’re stubborn, you’re far more likely to stick with a project or endeavor when everyone else around you is quitting.

I remember when I first started taking professional blogging more seriously more than ten years ago. I made friends with a lot of other bloggers at the time and, truth be told, very few of them blog on a regular basis (if at all) today. They gave up, but I’m still here. When you’re stubborn, you’re more likely to outlast the competition.

When everyone else is jumping off the bandwagon, you continue hanging on for dear life. And the reward at the finish line is that much more rewarding because you were willing to stick with it… and it’s probably bigger too, because you don’t have to share it with as many other people.

You’re going to encounter many people who will tell you that you’re foolish. That trying to making money online as a blogger, influencer, Internet marketer or anything else is a waste of time and that you should go get yourself a real job. That you should give up on that dream, because it’s just not realistic. When you’re stubborn, you can ignore all of that. If you want something bad enough, you’re willing to do what it takes to get it. Do what you can’t.

Know When to Hold ‘Em…

I’m not going to sing the whole Kenny Rogers song, because most of you probably already know it. You already know about knowing when to hold ’em, when to fold ’em, when to walk away and when to run. I disagree that you shouldn’t count your money at the table, because especially when you’re in affiliate marketing or any other kind of online business, staying on top of the numbers is key. You should know all about your statistics and analytics.

But all that aside, the old gambler has a point. At some point, you need to know when you should give up and move on to the next thing. There’s the concept of sunk cost, but you may have also come across a study that found that people tend to value things that they own more than things that they don’t.

Let’s say that you bought a modest car a few years ago for $30,000. Now let’s say that someone offers you $20,000 for this car. You resist, because you really like this car, even though the fair market value might be closer to $15,000. On the flip side, if you didn’t already own this car, chances are that you wouldn’t want to buy it for $20,000 yourself. You’d get something else. When you do own it, though, you’re more emotionally invested and you place a higher value on it. Business endeavors are no different.

You need to know when to walk away. By being far less stubborn and being willing to give up, you’re much better positioned to move on to the next thing when the opportunity arises. You’re much more capable of jumping on a hot trend before anyone else, because you’re less emotionally attached to whatever else you’ve been working on.

This also gives rise to what we might call rapid prototyping. Rather than stick to your guns and grind out with a strategy or product that just isn’t working, you keep trying new things until something does work. That’s versatility and creativity all wrapped up into one, two qualities that are highly valuable as an entrepreneur.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Whether you’re the kind of tenacious person who will persevere through all obstacles and stubbornly stick to your goals or you’re the kind of adaptable person who will happily leap from opportunity to opportunity, you need to give it your all. If you don’t believe in yourself and what you’re doing, no one will. Just be prepared to work for it.

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11 thoughts on “Is It Smart to Be Stubborn?”

  1. For me Michael it is about clarity. I am clear doing certain things a certain way. Folks say I make a mistake or err by doing things a certain way but my intuition points me in that direction. Example; last week I stopped doing Live videos on Facebook. Had good engagement and views but I lost the fun aspect of it and attached too outcomes. Some feel I erred letting go engagement and views but I clearly feel differently, knowing my current pat of genuine blog commenting is the way to go. For now 😉


  2. Chris says:

    As for me, I feel stubborn gets confused with determined. You have an idea of what you want and you see the outcome right away without all the hurdles you would need to clear in order to reach your goal. And whenever you talk to anyone about it, since they are not in the field you are in, it’s always met with discouragement from people who do not share the passion you have. And it can feel overwhelming to not find anyone with your shared goals or anyone giving a slight bit of encouragement along the way. But success becomes a bit sweeter when you do achieve your goal, you get to look back and see how many obstacles and failures it took before finally accomplishing that goal.

  3. The creative mind of an artist when the process an original idea is not able to explain that to the other people that well. He took knows that only he comprehends the idea the best and is confident that it will work when put to the field on his way. The obsession with that idea makes them stubborn that their version is the best version and they won’t appreciate other involvement in it. This is correct when you choose to go into business for your self when you are thinking about making money online.

  4. nice thoughts.. its all about creativity and attitude..

  5. Being stubborn as gotten me far in life but also has hindered me a bit in some ways. I have to work on being quicker to action and being more like water then like a brick. But I get what your saying. Once again great article.

  6. Hi John,

    Nice post. It really makes me think more deeply about your content. I think that sometimes we need to be more flexible. Instead of stubborn I should say that in any business you need to be commited and do whatever it takes to make things happen. I’m not the kind of person who like to jump from one opportunity to another, because in this way you’ll never succeed in any of them. You need to know that to be successful requires time, work, but most people are not prepared to do so, that’s why almost 90% of them fail. But at the same time you need to be awared enough when you are not moving forward in any business after a certain period of time, when you feel that you have already put all you need to put to succeed, and you start to think that perhaps it’s the proper time to change the direction. It happened to me some years ago, and let me tell you that it was not an easy task. And by then I had already purchased all the core products and invested some money. Therefore I think that sometimes to be stubborn, as you says, is not a smart attitude at all.
    Awesome post!

  7. Cheryl says:

    I am a family care person of mother (97), and the only family driver. I transport school children each school day to and from two schools and drive one to work out of townfrom Yesterday and today have me driving on errands for family member 9-5 so I am up at 5-9 AM studying and working on integrations then this evening 6-11pm getting in 5 more hours. I have saved half my payment for titanium in a year on an annual retirement social security income under 1400, which buys 2 childreb’s School lunches, buys a tank of gas each week for getting mother to and from appointments. Most reading fits in while waiting at orthodontist or at other appointments for family, from a Kindle reader. Where there is a will to succeed, the entrepreneur may be slowed but is in the solution. My kindle is loaded with books and goes through my day in my purse or my hands. I am a new to traffic training for Gold, also carry a dedicated private WiFi to login in securely from coffee shops, waiting rooms, and iPad for checking John Chow blogs 🙂

    1. AR Simon says:

      Wishing you the best Cheryl,

  8. Xian says:

    Hey John,

    Stubborness when it comes to blogging business is all about like ahh…BULLDOG might probably have some this kind of willingness or for being a tenacious characteristic..but maybe all bloggers came out to point that they were running out of ideas to write about that’s why they stop.This kind of business should not be a copy cat writter i think someone has to create their own ideas not to recycle other’s idea..

  9. AR Simon says:

    Loved this article, was spot on.

    Quick story: I moved to Medellin, Colombia from NYC, I left a stable career on wall street for freedom in another country. After good years I had bad years and was constantly reminded to come home, to return to the good life I used to have although the old life I used to have was filled with long hours, alcohol and a high level of anxiety and health problems.

    I love this article because I stayed here I worked hard and I threw enough shit at the wall until something stuck. And today i’m living the life, I take at least 11 weeks of vacation per year with my family, my business is profitable and my home life is happy and healthy. Being stubborn in business pays off.

    One last thing to add, feeling guilty about doing what you want or getting your way is normal but it’s a feeling you need to get used to when in business. Saying no to people and doing things your way makes you feel like a dick at times. But stick to your guns if you believe in what you believe in.

  10. YES! This is my answer and I am sticking to it! I would add that people want to see you do well so they will say things to help you make things easier. But we don’t want it easy right? Most good things are simple but not easy.

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