You can listen to Maverick Mompreneur Podcast Episode 93. “Dunning Kruger Effect On Entrepreneurs” by clicking below!

The Dunning Kruger Effect On Entrepreneurs:

In today’s episode, we are going to delve into a captivating subject that resonates with every entrepreneur, including those venturing into the online space. This phenomenon is known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect, and it plays a pivotal role in our entrepreneurial journeys. What’s intriguing is that our inspiration for this discussion stems from a recent rewatch of the Netflix documentary that famously exposed the disastrous Fyre Festival. If you haven’t seen it, it’s not only entertaining but also an insightful case study. So, let’s dive into how the Dunning-Kruger Effect intertwines with entrepreneurship.

dunning Kruger effect on entrepreneurs

The Fyre Festival, a highly publicized music festival that aimed to epitomize luxury, took place in April 2017. The brains behind this ambitious project were entrepreneur Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule. Yes, you read that right; this unlikely partnership was the genesis of the calamity. The festival was aggressively promoted on social media by numerous influencers and celebrities, and it was marketed as a lavish, exclusive experience on a private island in The Bahamas…

However, the reality starkly contrasted the marketing hype. When festival-goers arrived, they were greeted with a scene that resembled anything but luxury. The promised private island turned out to be something else entirely. The accommodations resembled disaster relief tents, complete with inflatable mattresses. Dining options were limited, with infamous cheese sandwiches making headlines. Portable toilets were the norm, as the organizers hadn’t prepared the necessary infrastructure for such an event. It was a textbook case of mismanagement, false advertising, and a severe lack of understanding about the complexities of organizing a large-scale overseas event, especially on an underdeveloped island.

Now, let’s introduce the Dunning-Kruger Effect, a cognitive bias that sheds light on how our perception of our abilities can be grossly inaccurate, particularly when we lack competence in a specific area. You’ve likely experienced this at some point – feeling overly confident in a situation only to later wonder, “What was I thinking?”

To visualize this effect, picture a bell curve. At the bottom left, you have the “Mount Stupid” phase, where someone is blissfully unaware of their incompetence. They’re confident, but their competence is low. This phase is akin to a child playing soccer, thinking they’re destined for the major leagues. As they grow and gain experience, they realize the need for improvement.

Moving up the curve, we reach the peak, where individuals recognize their limitations but remain overly confident. This is where Billy McFarland thought he could effortlessly orchestrate a luxury music festival without the requisite experience. However, this phase is often accompanied by a rude awakening, the “Valley of Despair,” where confidence dips as individuals grapple with newfound awareness of their inadequacies.

The journey then ascends along the “Slope of Enlightenment.” True competence is developed, and confidence aligns with actual abilities. This is when you become a bona fide CEO, ready to tackle any challenge.

How does this relate to entrepreneurs and online business owners? Well, it applies to both newcomers and seasoned pros. Newcomers may find themselves in the Mount Stupid phase, overflowing with confidence but lacking the necessary skills and knowledge. While confidence is crucial, it’s equally important to seek guidance, learn, and grow from the outset.

Seasoned entrepreneurs, on the other hand, might underestimate new challenges, thinking they’ve got it all figured out. However, they must remain adaptable and open to learning in the ever-changing online landscape. The Dunning-Kruger Effect can also cause experienced entrepreneurs to downplay their expertise when they’re actually on the Slope of Enlightenment.

Here are some key takeaways:

1.Embrace Humility: Stay humble and committed to learning, regardless of where you are on the curve. Continuous learning is essential for growth.

2. Competence is a Journey: Remember that competence is an ongoing process, not a final destination. Seek feedback, surround yourself with mentors, and keep evolving.

3. Don’t Let the Effect Hinder Progress: The Dunning-Kruger Effect should serve as a reminder to stay vigilant and never rest on your laurels. Even the most seasoned entrepreneurs can learn something new every day.

In conclusion, the Dunning-Kruger Effect is a phenomenon that affects entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey. Understanding this bias and using it as a tool for self-improvement can help you navigate the highs and lows of entrepreneurship with grace and wisdom. So, keep climbing that slope of enlightenment, and never stop chasing your potential. Cheers to your entrepreneurial journey!

If you are looking for additional support or mentorship, you can always reach me via email at hello@elevatedwithashley.com.

You can DM me on Instagram @ashleyrlatimer or join us in my free Facebook Group, Elevate Academy For Personal Brand-Building Female Entrepreneurs.

Resources and Programs Mentioned:

Personal Brand Toolkit ($22):


Passive Digital Product Funnel Lab:


Social Seller To CEO Academy™️ 




Self-paced Courses To Help You Develop Your Multiple Stream Of Revenue Personal Brand: