Entrepreneurs Are You Stupid and Stubborn?

Entrepreneurs Are You Stupid and Stubborn?

We were having a conversation in a networking group of entrepreneurs from various industries and the question was asked, “What few traits do we all have in common?” No one spoke up, so I said “we are all stupid and stubborn.”  This was met with total silence and uncomfortable stares. I broke the silence with “I guess I should explain myself” and it was met with unanimous nods. Here is my explanation.

In no stretch to my imagination do I think we entrepreneurs are completely stupid. However, we must have some degree of stupidity to take a chance to build a business from a dream or an idea to profitability or even success. Will Rogers once said “we are all ignorant, just on different subjects.” What I meant was that we have to be “stupid” when it comes to seeing all of the obstacles that lie in our path.  To the person, we all agreed that if we knew certain issues before starting our businesses, we would have never had the intestinal fortitude to ever start our business. It takes a lot of faith to go with our vision in order to get started in our own business. Those obstacles are just dealt with as they come on a day to day basis. We need “stupidity” to not see the obstacles and focus on the end goal.  Some call it having blinders on like a plow horse. Zig Ziglar once said “Obstacles are those scary things we see when stop looking at our goals.” I believe if we stay too “stupid” to be scared it drives us to accomplish great things.

I believe stubborn is equally important. Entrepreneurs must be stubborn enough not to lose focus of our goals. It is not easy when some of those around you tell you it won’t work and to quit. Most of the time it is your family and friends that are the ones trying to tell you your business won’t work. I have a theory on why family and friends would say that instead of being encouraging and helpful. I believe most of them are too “smart” or afraid to have the intestinal fortitude to start a business and live their dream.  This gives them excuses instead of hope. Therefore, they do not want you to succeed, for fear of feeling like a failure themselves. An unknown author once stated “Obsessed is a word that the lazy use to describe the dedicated.” In my mind stubborn just means dedicated and focused to achieve my goals. Never let anyone stop you from achieving a dream. Amelia Earhart once said “never interrupt someone doing what someone else said could not be done.” It is great to be stubborn in your beliefs.

Most of my piers did agree that all of us shared the two traits of being too “stupid” to be afraid to move forward with our dreams and goals. They all agreed stubborn is an invaluable trait we entrepreneurs all must possess in order to achieve success. So the next time someone calls you stupid or stubborn, just know they are paying you a compliment. To your success!

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence“.–Helen Keller

Image by Pakorn at www.freedigitalphotos.net


Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger and team leader with over 26 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.

19 Responses to Entrepreneurs Are You Stupid and Stubborn?

  • Tim I love it! I actually needed that this morning to help me keep pushing forward to achieve my dream. Thank you.

  • Tina, thank you for your kind words. I am glad to be apart of today’s inspiration. Much continued success my friend!

  • yes i beleive it too, we must have this twos qualities (in my oint of view) to succed
    very stupid to beleive in the success’s possibilities of a project, when it seems to be unmakeable
    and very sturbborn to resist and persist in our plan, inspite of the bad we see in front
    as an entrepreneurs, we muss beleive in our project, and when i say beleive someone who beleive is STUPID and STURBBORN, so he never let go, never abandon!!

    so for me those words are qualities
    thank you

  • Tim, you’ve got a way with words. Well said. And we might even make your second characteristic “seriously stubborn”. Several years ago I was in the Rio Grande Valley to do some work with with an agency. The night before our event, the agent took me to dinner and asked me what I saw as a characteristic of most successful people. Without thinking I told him that they’re willing to consider & try alternatives to the status quo. When entrepreneurs encounter the inevitable setbacks that characterize the path to success, they don’t use them as excuses to quit. They simply look for alternatives that would help them move beyond the setbacks and continue on their ways. They are “seriously stubborn”.

  • Since starting our MGA 8 years ago I have had times of feeling stupid and stubborn. Thanks for putting this qualities in a better light.

  • Jim and Kathy thank you so much for sharing your kind words. I wish you both much continued success!

  • Tim, you hit the nail on the head with this post! A slight degree of naivete and a simple refusal to quit are key components of success for sure!

  • Thank you Mike for your kind words. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • I don’t know that forging one’s own path through the world and making the proverbial lemonade out of the occasional metaphorical lemon makes anyone stupid or stubborn. Having the courage to chase your dreams does not make you stupid to any degree, (courage, after all, is not the absence of fear in the face of adversity, but the taking of action in spite of the fear), and being unwilling to allow obstacles to stop you from chasing your dreams is not stubborn (stubborn is having irrational determination not to alter one’s course, even in the face of solid fact or reasons that one should do so; or stupid), rather, it is tenacious.

    I get where you were going with the conversation, Tim, and outright calling everyone in the room “stupid and stubborn” was a surefire way to get their attention and liven the discussion, but I would have had to leave the room when a roomful of entrepreneurs (successful or otherwise) decided to call themselves a convention of stupid people, haha. Most of us who strike it out on our own fully recognize the biggest obstacles to success in our respective field and before striking out, we decide that the obstacle can be overcome.

  • Nicholas, sorry to offend, that was not my intent. There were a lot of very successful people in our group. I assure you not one was offended. They were very complimentary to my analogy. To the person all agreed knowing now, had they known when they started, they more than likely would have went another direction. I believe these two traits are necessary even if I worded it crudely. Thank you for sharing.

  • Tim, it takes a lot more than that to offend me (or I would be in the wrong line of work). I was just pointing out that using inaccurate words paints it in a much more negative light than it should be. Like I said, I am sure it was a great way to ignite discussion… it got me, after all.

  • Tim makes some excellent points. I have worked on both sides of this fence, as an agency owner and as a producer. Entrepreneurs and business owners must be both stubborn and be effective risk takers. It requires tenacity and continued effort to remain successful. This is a good discussion.

  • Dallas and Nicholas, thank you for your kind words and for sharing your thoughts.

  • Tim, very good! And said in a way us “stupid” people can understand! I hope you don’t mind me sharing it with my friends. Thank you!

  • Jeff, I would be honored, Thank you for the kind words, I glad you enjoyed it.

  • Everyone is stupid in their own right, but the problem is when people do not practice patience and understanding because they have a mindset of superiority of being “better than” the other. There is a difference between opinions and valid “truth,” but how many actually know how to discern for the latter is the question that remains. Stubbornness begins when we think we are “the expert” that cannot learn anything new which results in failure.
    Ps. Great topic.

  • M.D. Thank you for sharing. I do however disagree with those traits being that of the “true” entrepreneur. We don’t start from scratch to build successful businesses by thinking we are “better” than others. We are most often very humble people. Also, no “true” entrepreneur I have met believes they are the “expert” and doesn’t need to learn new things. There is always a better way to build a mouse trap. I believe you are describing the “wantapreneur” that makes us look bad. I wish you much continued success my friend.

  • Entrepreneurs are thick-skinned, for sure. It doesn’t matter what you call us, or what you throw in our way, when given a definitive purpose, we push through whatever we’re dealt. Thanks Tim!

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