This past election, and especially the general election, has been a particularly challenging one for me, because I supported neither Clinton nor Trump. However, ever since Trump started leading and winning in the Republican Primaries, I have been analyzing him through the lens of rejection, like I do with almost everything else. As the results, the outcome wasn’t a surprise to me at all.
I published an Op-ed on Foxnews.com discussing How Trump Used the Power of Rejection to Win the White House. Please note, this article is not a political one, even though the comments reflect a few riled up folks thinking it is. I believe that the smartest entrepreneurs can, and have to learn from people they don’t agree with.
Life is full of ups and downs. But there are moments that when you experience them, you know your life would never be the same. Maybe your girlfriend just answered “YES”; maybe you got the acceptance letter from your favorite school; maybe there is now a newborn crying in your arms, or maybe you just landed your dream job… But those moments almost never just pop up out of nowhere. There was usually a long buildup.
As a professional speaker, I just experienced one of those moments. I will now have aTED talk… and I’m still in shock.
For those who don’t know, a TEDx talk is given at independent TEDx events all over the world, but a real TED talk is only given either at the annual mainstage TED Conference or is a TEDx talk being featured on TED.com. TED just decided to feature my TEDxMtHood talk on TED.com and make it an official TED talk.
But again, this didn’t just pop up out of nowhere. It was a series of moments that led to this. If you know me and my story, you know my life first changed after I walked into that donut store almost exactly four years ago. My personal experiment of 100 Days of Rejection Therapy became a viral sensation, and I started telling this story to inspire other people. My first “speaking engagement” was at a local chiropractic studio to about ten people. A month later, I presented at a company to an audience of 100 people and got a round of applause. Three months later, I gave my first ever TEDx talk at TEDxAustin in front of a group of 1,000. I received a long standing ovation. From 10 people to 100 and then 1000; it was the perfect snowball.
All these great things happened because I took the chances and opened myself up to the world. People related to me not because I was smart or awesome, but because I was real and open.
But now, it just got to a whole new level. Having a TED talk has been a dream-come-true.
You know, I am not here to congratulate myself, but to thank you, because other than God, I owe this all to you! I can’t thank you enough for believing in me, supporting me, and giving me the courage I needed along this journey. After learning my story, many of you have in turn started your own journeys by risking more at work, finding better jobs, building new businesses, starting new blogs/podcasts, becoming artists… I could go on and on. You have inspired me every day.
So what’s next, you ask. Well, to make the world an even more amazing place, I am asking you for one of two things:
1. Simply watch and share my TED talk with your colleagues, friends, and loved ones. We are all held back by rejections on some level, and this talk will make a difference in them.
Both Rejection Therapy and my own blog – Fearbuster.com have thrived separately. Jason and I have remained good friends and been an inspiration for each other. Recently we reached an agreement for me to become the sole owner of Rejection Therapy. (You would think a business conversation between Jason and me would consist solely of us shouting NOOOOO to each other until we both passed out, but thankfully it wasn’t the case). We made this happen for simple reasons: we both loved the Rejection Therapy concept and its potential to change the world and impact people’s lives.
Going forward, everything I build will be under the RejectionTherapy.com. Not only the original Rejection Therapy game will continue to be featured, you will hear a lot more often from me to talk about rejection through blog and youtube, especially given the current political climate. RejectionTherapy.com will be a place people can come and find all kinds of ways to train their courage muscle and become fearless.
I aim to make Rejection Therapy a concept that will stand the test of time, and more importantly, impact millions of people. I dream to build a world free of the fear of rejection, so we can see the new businesses built, new art created, new jobs found and new love stories written.
Hello fellow fearbusters, how have you been? It’s been a while since my last post as I went on this crazy book tour around the US. I hope all of you in the mean time turned many rejections into opportunities.
During my tour, I heard plenty of stories about you wanting to take your careers to the next level, or start something new, but you feel stuck in some way. A lot was based on the fear of rejection, failure, unknown, or just fear in general.
To help you move forward and turn fear into gifts, I delivered a talk at TEDxMtHood that was specifically written for you. It was based on the principles I wrote in my book – Rejection Proof, and designed to help you get unstuck from the puddle of fear that’s underneath your feet, and to know that if you embrace what you are afraid of, you can find your true calling and gifts.
If you haven’t already heard, Rejection Gym is a self-paced, 14 week long course I’ve created to help you conquer your fear of rejection. Inside the course you’ll find 14 HD quality video lessons, an interactive community, 100 daily rejection challenges, and other resources that will help you kick the fear of being rejected.
Once a month, I have coaching calls with my preferred members to give them feedback on their rejection attempts. We dive into details on how they can apply what they’ve learned from rejection attempts to their careers and daily lives.
My members have been able to take my course and apply it to their careers as entrepreneurs, salesmen, students, and artists. While I’m not a technical expert on all of these subjects, I know that if you can be more fearless, you will be more successful in any area of your life.
Here are what some of my students have said after working through the Rejection Gym course:
“The Rejection Gym experience is one of those rare personal development projects that will stay with me for life. As a seasoned executive, I thought maybe I was immune to the fear of rejection. Now that I have the understanding and the tools, I’m able to pursue more options with greater enthusiasm and less fear.” Bill Aho – Founding Partner, SagePoint Group
“I totally loved the thirty-day Rejection Gym. I believe you get out of it what you put into it. There were a few challenges where I thought to myself OMG, you want me to do what? I can’t do that – not me. I have to admit for one challenge, I was tempted not to do it, but I did. I can’t explain the sense of satisfaction I felt when I completed it. I learned a lot from the Rejection Gym, like… if I can do this I can do anything.” Sonia Smith – Operations Manager QBOS
I built the video content and lessons inside Rejection Gym with one thing in mind: a course that would teach people how to conquer the fear of rejection and create more opportunities in their lives.
To join Rejection Gym before registration closes tonight, claim your spot and I will talk to you on the kickoff call tomorrow night!
Well it’s been long time coming, but now it’s finally here. Today is the day that Rejection Proof lands on bookshelves around the country. For a guy who went from a failing entrepreneur to a Rejection Guy, this feels like both a culmination and a new starting point.
Two years I had a goal of being rejected 100 times. Now here is my goal for Rejection Proof– I want to sell 30,000 copies in a year.
To help me to meet this goal, I need YOU to buy this book. NO, I am not giving you something you don’t want or need just to meet my own goal, YOU WILL LOVE REJECTION PROOF. How do I know?
It is the best work I’ve done in my life. If you enjoy 100 Days of Rejection, you will love Rejection Proof.
You will learn not only the backstory of 100 Days of Rejection, but also a great deal about life, business, negotiation and psychology.
You will receive a Rejection Toolbox that will help you begin to conquer your fear of rejection
If you read this book and don’t feel you got anything, I will buy it back from you, no questions asked (other than your address to send the refund check to).
P.S Most of all, thank you for being a part of this incredible journey with me. Thank you for your support in helping me reach this goal of selling 30,000 books. Thank you for all the incredible emails I’ve received over the past two years from people telling me that my story has inspired them. Your words and encouragement mean the world to me.
Speaking of rejection, no one likes it. Most people would naturally do one of two things wrong after hearing the word NO:
Run away as fast as possible and hide somewhere where the rejection can’t find you
Stay and argue, attempting to persuade the other person to change his/her mind.
These are classic fight or flight reactions. However, not only are these both bad options when trying to get something we want, but they could have hidden consequences that we aren’t aware of.
Wrong option #1 – Leaving:
This might look harmless on the surface, but we often walk away feeling a combination of disappointment, anger, frustration and shame. These feelings combined with the negative feedback we just received can lead to us losing confidence in our ideas, our businesses, or even ourselves. In the end, running away can cause us to give up more easily in the future.
Moreover, we don’t learn anything from the rejector on the reason we were rejected. Was it because she was in a bad mood? Was it because she didn’t need what I was offering? Or possibly, was it because there is something seriously wrong with our offering that we need to change? Leaving a situation before we realize the reason why we were rejected doesn’t allow us to learn the reason why. The fear of rejection triggers our body to run, but leaves us without the one thing we need in order to grow- the reason why.
Wrong option #2– Arguing:
Arguing can happen after a rejection for a couple different reasons. We might feel that the rejection is unfair or wrong. With indignation, we argue based on rules and morality. Or, we might feel that the rejection is counter-productive to both parties, so we try to argue based on interests.
However, when we’re arguing we are trying to change the other person’s position and opinion, something not easily done. Position switch involves the other person’s emotion and ego. Most people are naturally repelled by the idea of admitting they were wrong in the first place or showing weakness in doing so. Arguing more than often leads to people feeling defensive and insulted. When you feel like someone is trying to “change you” or your deepest beliefs, it can lead to hurt relationships and more tension. There is no productivity in arguing after facing a rejection.
In my new book Rejection Proof, I revealed a list of techniques you can use to turn a NO into a YES after a rejection, and the first of which is using a word I discovered had magic powers to influence people and create amazing opportunities, that word is WHY.
Here’s what you do:
Immediately after a rejection, before your fight or flight instinct kicks in, ask: “May I know why this wouldn’t work?”
For those of you who have followed me, you might be familiar with this video where I planted a flower in someone’s backyard.
However, what you may not know is that something happened before this video. Before talking to Connie, I actually first asked her neighbor if I could plant a flower in his backyard. He was an older gentleman and said NO. But before he could turn away, I asked him why. As it turned out, he had a dog who would dig up everything he puts in the backyard. He didn’t want me to waste my flower and effort. In fact, he told me to go across the street and talk to Connie instead, because he knew that Connie loved flowers. Then the above video happened. And it happened only because I didn’t run after the initial rejection and ask the magic word WHY.
**Note that had I not asked why and simply left (like I did in my first rejection attempt), I might have thought the reason for the rejection was because he didn’t like my flower, he didn’t trust me or maybe because I sounded like a crazy person. I would have left the rejection attempt imagining all of the reasons why I’m a horrible and ugly person. Isn’t this what we do after being rejected? We feel like it is blow to who we are as a person, some kind of indictment on our soul.
I could have done worse by arguing with him that he should let me plant a flower in his backyard. It could have turned unpleasant and even ugly. In the end, it wouldn’t have done any good.
But because I asked why, I found out that it had nothing to do with me, but everything to do with him. In fact, he trusted me enough to refer me to his neighbor Connie. Asking why gave me another opportunity to seek out the backyard for planting my flower.
Because rejection is painful, we often succumb to our psychological tendency to fight or flight, just like our ancestors when they were fighting beasts in the wild. However, in modern day business negotiation and communication when intricate emotions and interests are involved, relying on our primary instinct is very unproductive. Use the magic word instead. Ask why.
In five days, my book – Rejection Proof will make its debut. But you don’t have to wait until next week to start reading your copy. When you pre-order now, you instantly receive a digital version of the book (plus other gifts) so you can start reading immediately!
When I was writing my book, I made a point of not seeking feedback and opinions from people other than my editor and my wife Tracy. I know opinions, just like rejections, are very subjective and could potentially sway me in all kinds of directions. And when you are doing creative work, the last thing you want is to seek consensus, which always leads to mediocrity.
But now that my writing is finished, it is natural for me to be curious about reviewers’ reactions. For the past two months, Rejection Proof has gathered tons of pre-sale reviews, both from New York Times Bestselling authors and from Amazon’s top reviewers.
Here are what some of them are saying:
“Rejection Proof smashes fear in the face with a one-two punch. You’ll laugh out loud at Jia’s crazy social experiments, but you’ll also go away thinking differently about what you can accomplish.” — Chris Guillebeau, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness of Pursuit and The $100 Startup
“Jia’s compelling and inspiring book is a wonderful example of how shifting our perspective can allow us to really see what makes us tick.” — Dan Ariely, Professor, Duke University, Author of Predictably Irrational
“I hope you buy two copies of this book because as soon as you read it, you’ll want to give it to someone else who needs a boost of bravery too. And your friend is not going to give it back because it’s not just a book, it’s a constant companion for the next adventure. So buy two, better yet, buy 10 because it’s hard to imagine someone who won’t be encouraged and challenged by what Jia Jiang has written in Rejection Proof.” — Jon Acuff, New York Times bestselling author of Do Over
Rejection Proof has also been reviewed by several strangers through Amazon’s Vine program who have never heard of me or my book. Here are a couple of those responses:
It feels kind of surreal because these are some of the people I admire most who are saying nice things about my book (as well as strangers on Amazon). It’s hard to ignore negative comments and rejections and even harder to ignore positive feedback and acceptance. But I know I can’t dwell on them, because praises are like sugar. If I get addicted to them, I become fat, lazy and sick.
In the end, it’s not the praise that matters, but the impact. I hope a year from now, I will hear YOUR stories on how my story and Rejection Proof have propelled you to a new journey or height. Better yet, maybe you will give it to your friends and loved ones and see their lives change as the results.
P.STo pre-order Rejection Proof visit fearbuster.com/book. You can download your free digital copy today and I’ll send you a signed book plate as well other free gifts! Rejection Proof hits stores in five days on Tuesday, April 14th!
These will be advance reader copies that I’ll personally sign and send to you. They are not available for purchase, so the only way you can receive a copy is by participating in this rejection challenge!
Here’s what you have to do to win your free copy ofRejection Proof:
Ask for something you wouldn’t normally ask for from a stranger. Be creative and come up with your own rejection attempt. If you need some inspiration, feel free to use my 100 Days of Rejection as a reference.
Take a photo or film the rejection attempt (if possible).
Post it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #rejectionproof. Also, make sure and clarify what happened during the rejection attempt.
On this Saturday, April 11th I’ll announce the winners. I’ll choose the winners based on the creativity of the rejection attempt and how fearless you were in the face of rejection. Whether or not you receive a no or a yes does not matter. That’s a lesson from me that you’ll read more about in my book ;).
The guidelines when making a rejection attempt:
Make it legal.
When someone asks you “why,” have a genuine response ready as to why you’re making this request.
If you can’t wait or want to go ahead and pre-order your copy of Rejection Proof, you can actually read the entire book right now! After pre-ordering on Amazon, submit your receipt into Fearbuster.com/book and I’ll send you a signed book plate, rejection wallet card, and a free digital copy of the book.
Last month, I enrolled the first batch of attendees (there were 20) for the beta version of my newly designed online course – Rejection Gym. Along with 14 recorded lessons, the attendees received 100 daily rejection exercises, such as asking to take a selfie with a stranger or requesting to plant flower in a stranger’s backyard. Their goal was to use rejection exercises to strengthen their courage muscle in order to become more fearless. After signing up, they quickly started asking for crazy things that they never thought was possible before.
However, there was one rejection exercise that felt so tough that everyone had a hard time doing it. It was singing in public. So as the leader of the gym, I did it myself along with them.
What I learned from this exercise was how the “Spotlight Effect” could really mess with our perceptions of the world and limit our actions. Basically, we think people notice and care about us a lot more than they actually do.
The Spotlight Effect causes us to be afraid of taking unconventional actions or risks because we fear other people will notice our failure and peculiarity, and judge us accordingly. But in reality, no one cares about what we do, let along judging us. And even if they do notice and judge, what’s the point of us caring about their judgment anyway?
The world has billions of people with billions of opinions. If we constantly worry about what other people think of us, we will inevitably conform to their expectations, or worse, to our imagination of their expectations. We will live mediocre lives and have forgettable careers.
Let’s worry about us and focus on what we do, and help others when they are in need. It’s time to say “go to hell” to the Spotlight Effect.