Starting your own business is a massive undertaking that requires a lot of determination and resiliency in the face of challenges. When you own your own business, the whole thing goes under if you quit.

So, being stubborn enough to withstand and overcome setbacks can be the difference between incredible success or a dream that never fully took flight before it launched. At the same time, being stubborn about accepting outside help or input can keep you from learning what you need to know about how to grow the best business possible.


Depending on mindset and motive, being stubborn can be either an asset or a liability.

Understanding the Stubborn Definition

When business leaders are stubborn, it means that they are determined to maintain their current ideas no matter what tries to stand in their way or change their mind. Others might present these leaders with contrary ideas or mindsets, but they remain determined to keep laser focus in the direction they are headed.

For instance, if their mission is to increase funding for a new homeless shelter, they will say no to anything that distracts them from that aim. Alternatively, if they are dead set on the idea that they are incapable of paying their business's bills on time, they are likely to avoid anything that could help them become proficient.

Growth Mindsets and Stubbornness 

Whether or not being stubborn is a good thing in the world of business depends on mindset and motives. People with a growth mindset may find that being stubborn about their positive outlook is often helpful, inspiring and contagious in the workplace. They are typically stubborn in their beliefs that:

  • Traits and abilities are works in progress. 
  • Improvement is possible and desirable. 
  • Persistence and resiliency are key to success.

If you choose to be stubborn about maintaining a growth mindset as well as learning all you can and becoming more resilient, your stubbornness will likely serve you and your business very well. Business leaders who seek education, mentoring and practice doing hard things grow in their business sense, personal development and ability to manage a team. Those who are resilient see challenges as opportunities for growth rather than stop signs, and they keep going even when others quit.

Fixed Mindsets and Stubbornness 

Stubborn business leaders who maintain a fixed mindset often find that their stubbornness gets in their way more than it helps. These individuals tend to be stubborn about the following beliefs:

  • Traits and abilities are fixed.
  • You are either good at something or you're not.
  • Obstacles are signs that you're on the wrong path.

Business leaders with a fixed mindset have trouble seeing opportunities and possibilities. If they are naturally good at something, they might believe they are the best and refuse constructive criticism. If they are naturally challenged in an area, they might criticize themselves and quit altogether. In any case, these business leaders are stubborn in their belief that things are the way they are, and there's not much anyone can do about it.

Learning to Be Stubborn: Examples and Practices

If you want to become stubborn about leading with a growth mindset, there are several positive practices you can incorporate into your business routine:

  • Meditation
  • Positive affirmations
  • Visualizing your ideal future
  • Celebrating effort, not just success
  • Reading
  • Continuing education
  • Working with a mentor
  • Seeking constructive feedback
  • Nurturing a clear purpose and vision

These practices can prepare you to face and overcome any challenges that come your way as a small business owner.