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When Overconfidence Backfires

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This story appears in the August 2013 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Pace Smith learned a hard lesson. A few years ago she and her partner in Pace & Kyeli, a Portland, Ore.-based coaching and education business, developed a teleseminar they called the World-Changing Writing Workshop. It was so successful in terms of enrollment, revenue and buzz generated that they reprised it the following year and topped their performance. Last year they went even bigger, offering up big-name speakers such as Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way.

"It completely bombed," Smith says, adding that she was so confident about the seminar that she hadn't even considered the possibility of failure. "I thought I had it figured out. Now I need to return to humility."

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