Every day, hundreds of people set up their online business sure in the knowledge that making money online is straightforward. They read tales of people making millions within a week. They get CD packages explaining how to “make money while you sleep”. And they download dozens of PDF ebooks at $27 a throw explaining how to get rich with Internet marketing.

Yet, the vast majority of people who try to market their products and services online fail at doing so. There is a massive failure rate for Internet marketing. So it’s worthwhile considering for a moment why this may be the case.

After all, it is true that there are people making money online. It is certain that businesses are succeeding with Internet marketing. So why so many individuals should fail is interesting. After all, there is plenty of advice available – much of it sensible and practical. So success should be higher than it is amongst Internet Entrepreneurs.

The reason is found within new research published in the Journal of Economic Psychology. This shows us that entrepreneurial success is inversely related to confidence. In other words, the more confident you are that you can make money online, the less likely it is to happen.

It is all rather reminiscent of the hit TV series, The X-Factor. In last week’s episode judge Simon Cowell remonstrated with a parent of an unsuccessful candidate. The audition had been dreadful; the girl could not sing in tune or hold a note for very long. None of the judges voted for her. Yet she believed she was brilliant. On being told she had failed the audition she rushed out to her waiting father who was furious that his wonderful daughter had been rejected. He stormed into the studio to argue and plead with Simon Cowell, asking for his daughter to be given a second chance. But Cowell refused saying that the father had been his daughter’s enemy for boosting her confidence and telling her she was good, when she was not.

This kind of scenario is commonplace in the entertainment industry. I used to work for Polydor Records and every day we would have hopeful bands and singers turning up who were, frankly, useless. But they were confident they were the next Rolling Stones.

Overconfidence does not help you perform as an entertainer. Neither, according to this new research, does it make it likely that you will succeed in Internet marketing. If you are too confident in your abilities to succeed, you don’t put in the work and effort required. And guess what, the Rolling Stones work hard at being the Rolling Stones. Simon Cowell works hard at his business. And successful Internet marketers work hard at Internet marketing. The over confident people just assume it will all work easily and so they don’t put in the effort required.

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