This is a subscriber-only article. Join Entrepreneur+ today for access

Learn More

Already have an account?

Sign in
Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
For Subscribers

When Overconfidence Backfires A certain brashness has correlations to success. But how much is too much?

By Jill U. Adams

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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."

Overconfidence contributes
to grim rates of entrepreneurial failure, according to Don Moore, associate professor of management at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business.