Despite my success as a keynote speaker, all I want is to build a mobile app - here is why

There was once upon a time in my life that all I wanted was to leave the corporate world and be on my own. I failed, and then in spite of, and because of my failure, I succeeded. I built a blog on rejection with 8.5 million Youtube views, wrote a book that was the #1 best-selling on Audible, gave a TED talk with one of the highest views (3.5M) this year, and traveled around the world speaking about rejection and getting paid. This sounds like a great life right? So why am I also spending money, time and energy on building a mobile app? Here is why:

This is great, but there is so much more to do

This is great, but there is so much more to do


This past week, I met a financial planner named Mark. He’s a superfan of my videos and book, and wanted to meet me for coffee. When we sat down, he told me his story. A year ago, Mark heard one of my talks and decided to use Rejection Therapy to turn his life around. He sat down and listed 100 rejection challenges to get himself out of his comfort zone and work toward his goals. In one year, he got out of a rut and near-depression, doubled his business, qualified for and ran in the Boston Marathon, and found the love of his life, all because of rejection therapy. He even invited me to his wedding.

I was super pumped and proud of Mark. After all, I did help him achieve his dreams. Yet, part of me felt dissatisfied. Knowing the power of Rejection Therapy, I want more, a lot more people like Mark to have and tell me stories like this. But how do I do that?

There are inherent limitations in what I have now. I have a book, a blog, a TED talk, speaking engagements and Rejection Therapy the card game, which I acquired from the original owner. But none of them can step-by-step guide people to carry out rejection challenges toward their goals, improve their user experiences based on real data, and scale up the operations to many more people. There is only one thing that can achieve these goals: technology. More precisely, mobile technology, or a Rejection Therapy app, if you will.

A rejection app that would change lives

A rejection app that would change lives


Think about it: 3.5M people watched my rejection TED Talk so far. That’s cool. But what if 3.5 million people could use a Rejection Therapy app that challenges and guides them to get out of their comfort zone and achieve their goals on their own? Think about a cross between P90X and Headspace. Wouldn’t that be a great and useful app?

Building a successful app is hard, very hard. There are over 2.2 million apps in the App Store and the vast majority of them are junk that no one has heard of or used. Moreover, it takes a completely different type of discipline and intellect to build software than to write a book or give a speech. Knowing my limitations, I need help. Your help!

1. If you love trying new things and believe in the power of Rejection Therapy, and want to be one of the first people to test out and provide me with honest feedback for this app, put in your information here. I will enroll you in my testing group.

2. If you are, or know any amazing mobile app (iOS or Android) developers, reach out to me. I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas and see if we can work together to make this dream a reality.

Ask Jia 1: On Handling rejection, finding passion and filming yourself

I receive many questions from my readers. I will attempt to answer all of them... most of them... some of them here. Feel free to ask me more.

Question#1: How has your success affected your reaction  to rejection? Have you experienced less rejection? - Anita

  • Just like anything in life, if you train for it, you get better. I forced myself to seek and handle rejections for over 100 days, and documented my progress and learning. Now I feel like a rejection ninja. My training provided me with a set of tools to use after hearing the word NO, and gave me a better chance to turn that NO into a YES. For example: here I was able to turn a rejection for a free night at a hotel into a nap in one of their rooms. To learn more about these tools, buy my book here. Both you and my publisher will be happy.
  • As I've become more successful, I haven't experienced less rejection at all. If anything, I've experienced a lot more because I make more impactful requests on a daily basis, and people reject me all the time. Some people think the more successful you've become, the more YESes you will get. It is true, but you will also get more NOs. The impact of your request grows with your success and ambition. Think about it, Donald Trump was rejected by a few folks here and there before he ran for President. Now that he has won, a lot more folks are rejecting and hating him. (No, this is not a political statement. It is a fact for all presidents and people with impact).

Question#2: How can I cure my oversleep and feel excited every day to chase my dreams!! - Tanu

  •  Find your passion: I can relate to this question, because I overslept all the time and was even depressed when I wasn't passionate about my life and my job. Since then, I found my purpose through entrepreneurship and especially Rejection Therapy, life is now full of zest.
  • Make your goals public: when you make your private goals public by telling your family, friends and anyone who would listen, you create pressure for yourself and eliminate excuses for not going after your dreams.
  • Give yourself deadlines: Napoleon Hill once said "A goal is a dream with a deadline". By having public goals with hard, make-or-break deadlines, you become desperate, in a good way. This type of desperation brings out the most productive and creative part of you.
  • Do these and you will become much more excited about life. Oh, also go to bed early!

Question#3: How did you film yourself? - Spencer

Filming my experience was tough at the beginning. If I did it overtly, it would change people's reaction when they noticed they were being filmed. If I used a secret camera to hide the filming, I wouldn't feel good about it myself since I would have felt like a spy.

So I concocted a way to film my rejection sessions without either overtly showing or hiding. I hung my phone on a lanyard and wore it on my neck, and plugged in my earbuds. Then I pressed record. So most people simply thought I was just a strange guy with no fashion sense by carrying an iPhone in a dorky way. A few people got curious and asked me if I were filming, I always said YES and it was for my blog. No one cared.

I am not saying I am a genius, but... 


How Trump Used the Power of Rejection to Win the White House

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 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.

Let me know what you think of my article!

Sharing My Proudest Moment with You

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 a TED 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 just decided to feature my TEDxMtHood talk on 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.

And the snowballing didn't stop there. In subsequent years, I published my first book and achieved #1 bestselling audiobook, took many people through the rejection course and workshops, founded a corporate training company, and even acquired the original Rejection Therapy.

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.

2. Join me by becoming a Rejection Ambassador (here are the rules). You can lead other people in your organizations or communities to get out of their comfort zones and to start writing their own stories.

Because amazing things only happen outside of your comfort zone. Someday, you will share your own TED moment with me and the world.

Happy Rejection!

Jia Jiang

Taking over Rejection Therapy

I have just taken a big step in life and business - taking over Rejection Therapy and moving my website from to Four years ago, I stumbled upon the Canadian entrepreneur - Jason Comely's Rejection Therapy concept while searching for a way to overcome my fear of rejection. It inspired me to start my own social experiment: 100 Days of Rejection Therapy. Little did I know that this experiment would one day turn into a book, TEDx talks, a growing business,  and a self-development movement.

Both Rejection Therapy and my own blog - 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 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. 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.

I invite you to join me in this journey!

Talk That Makes You Rejection-Proof

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.


Today is the last day to register for Rejection Gym!

Hi friend! The time is here, registration for Rejection Gym closes tonight at midnight Pacific Time.

If you haven't registered but want to, the time is now. Do it before it’s closed. I honestly don't know when we will open Rejection Gym again.

Sign up today for Rejection Gym

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!

Happy Rejection!


Rejection Proof is Available Now!

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.
  • It is getting great reviews from people everywhere.
  • 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).

Happy Rejection!

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.


The Magic Word to Use After a Rejection


Speaking of rejection, no one likes it. Most people would naturally do one of two things wrong after hearing the word NO:

  1. Run away as fast as possible and hide somewhere where the rejection can't find you
  2. 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.

What People Are Saying About Rejection Proof


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:

Jia jiang book review

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 1.07.54 PM

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.

Happy Rejection!

P.S To pre-order Rejection Proof visit 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!


I'm Giving Away 3 Copies of Rejection Proof

My brand new book Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection will be hitting the shelves on next Tuesday, April 14th. I’m so excited to release my book that I’m giving away three advance copies… for free! 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 of Rejection Proof:

  1. 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.
  2. Take a photo or film the rejection attempt (if possible).
  3. Post it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #rejectionproof. Also, make sure and clarify what happened during the rejection attempt.
  4. 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:

  1. Don’t lie.
  2. Make it legal.
  3. When someone asks you “why,” have a genuine response ready as to why you’re making this request.

I’ve found that by just asking for things it’s made all the difference in the world. Who knows, maybe this rejection attempt could leave you flying a plane or eating a delicious box of Olympic Ring donuts. You won’t know unless you ask.

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 and I'll send you a signed book plate, rejection wallet card, and a free digital copy of the book.

P.S If you’re interested in making additional rejection attempts, my brand new online course Rejection Gym is currently accepting applications. I’ll be re-opening the course as of May 1st. See more about Rejection Gym here.

Rejection 102 - Singing in Public and the Spotlight Effect

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.

Help Me with My Book Launch and Become a Rejection Ambassador

By now you've heard about my book and all of the awesome gifts I'm giving to those who pre-order (if not, check them out). What you may not know is that I am assembling a team of Rejection Ambassadors to help with the book launch together. And I want YOU to be an ambassador. This book couldn't have become a reality if it were not for your support, ideas and inspiration. Now for the book launch, I want to use the same collective spirit and invite you to be part of it.

A Rejection Ambassador is someone who is not only interested in just receiving inspiration and tips to conquer his/her own fear, but in also helping to spread the message so others can get the same benefit.

It will start by helping me to launch the Rejection Proof book on April 14th. That includes either reviewing the book online when it comes out on 4/14/2015, or setting up meetups/talks for me during my 50 States of Rejection book tour to your city.

After the book launch, we will continue to work together and find ways to further the cause and change the world.


Apply here. Please allow me up to a week to reply.

Happy Rejection!

Pre-Order My Book For Free Bonus Gifts

Rejection Proof is about how I gained the courage to ask for anything from anyone at anywhere, whether they are silly or mean the world to me. I learned how to kick rejection fear in the teeth… In fact, check this out for yourself:

No, I couldn't do what I did in the video just a short time ago. But now, I do this everyday to build my business and inspire others. I want to teach you the secret of being fearless, and turn every NO into opportunities.

Pre-order now by choosing your favorite retailer below:

Barnes and Noble
Google Play

And I will send you:

1. Access to a free digital copy of the book now so you don't have to wait 2. Autographed Rejection Proof book plate 3. Rejection Proof manifesto wallet card 4. 25% discount ($100 value) on the Rejection Gym online course

Strengthen Your Courage Muscle

Video Link

This is my first attempt at my new vlog. It discusses the topic of beating fear in everything we do. It also answers your frequently asked questions. Let me know if you have questions, feedbacks or ideas.

Below is the transcript if you prefer reading: [showhide type="transcript"]

Hi guys, it’s been a while since you saw my last video at the conclusion of my 100 Days of Rejection. A lot have happened since. I’ve since moved from Austin to Northern California, finished writing my book, and I am about to have a new baby. There are a lot of exciting things on the horizon for 2015, and I will tell you about them later.

But I want to discuss with you one thing today, which is the concept of the courage muscle. People have asked me: Jia, do you think you are a changed person forever now after you did 100 Days of Rejection? The answer is Yes and No. Yes I am much more confident, outgoing and fearless in term of being able to talking to anyone, asking for anything anywhere. I have used these skills to accomplish some major goals in life and business. But no, I am not changed forever. It’s not like I am this completely different person now with super powers. In fact, I am just much stronger mentally. But if I don’t exercise, I will go back.

That is what courage muscle is. Basically, none of us is either born a courageous bad ass or a timid coward. Sure, there are personality traits that make us different. But as we grew up and gain experience in the world, we started forming the habit and characters that make us either more brave or timid. By the time we became adult, these characters started to play a huge role in our success in the world. For example, it took me 30 years to really have the guts to really pursue my dream, because I wanted to the approval from other people. I didn’t want any potential rejections. Had I learned to be fearless earlier, I might have started a business as a teenager, or in my early 20s.

But it’s not too late. Right after I turned 30, I did these 100 Days of rejection. By keep asking for impossible things, I was actually exercising my courage muscle. And within a short period of time, I quickly learned that rejection is not something I should fear, but something I can learn from and turn into opportunities. So now I ask and try new things everyday, and my life and business have changed since. It’s as if I did P90x for 90 days, and I became a strong, lean and cut dude, but only mentally. But just like physical exercise, I found that if I don’t keep doing this, my courage muscle will weaken and atrophy. Eventually, I would lose all the edge I’ve gained.

So I want to encourage you to do the same thing. Go out and ask for crazy things. Start small, like asking for a burger refill, and gradually increase the difficulties, like speaking in front of strangers. By doing so, you are exercising your own courage muscle. And you will soon find out a change within yourself. You might not become a badass overnight, but you will if you keep doing this, you will become much more brave. Some day, you will ask for the promotion you’ve always wanted. You will start your own business. You will ask the cute girl out. And maybe you will give your own TED talk.

Happy Rejection! [/showhide]

Stuart Scott Revealed The #1 Quality To Win In Life Before Passing Away

When I joined my first fantasy football league, my team was named OtherSideofPillow. It’s a strange name, and it was coined by my favorite ESPN host, Stuart Scott. During Sports Center highlights, when a player calmly sinks a jumper in the clutch moments of a basketball game, Stu would often say so and so was “as cool as the other side of the pillow”. He was always funny, passionate, and cool. But other than showing people how to be cool, he also demonstrated the #1 quality to win in life. No, it is not about being cool or making the winning shot in game. It is about handling adversities through actions.

On January 4, 2015, Stuart Scott passed away after losing his battle to cancer at age 49.

Well, the above statement would have been appropriate for anyone, but not for Stu. Stu would say he didn’t lose to cancer, but he won it by how much he battled cancer. In his acceptance speech of the Jimmy V Award, Stu said the immortal words “When you die, it does not mean you lose to cancer. You beat cancer, by how you live, why you live and the manner in which you live.”

In another words, Stu didn't define himself by the existence or the results of cancer, which he had no control over. He cared about his own bravery and action in his battle with cancer, which he had full control. And that, in my opinion, is the #1 quality of a successful life.

We all have dealt with blows in life. They could be business failures, money problems, tough upbringings, divorce, physical shortcomings, mental deficiencies, and repeated rejections by others, which is the subject I write about. There are diseases that could be as debilitating and lethal as cancer. When they happen, people usually judge their successes in three ways: circumstances, results and actions.

Circumstances – some people base success on circumstances. They equate good circumstances with winning, and unlucky breaks with losing. When economy turns sour, when business gets tough, when jobs get cut, they internalize these circumstances and blame either themselves or others. They tie their self-esteem on the ups and downs of life events. Because we all suffer setbacks, it’s really easy to feel like unlucky losers at the end of the day.

Results – the vast majority of people, if not the whole world, base success on results. They understand that circumstances are not the end of the world. They also understand that their actions could affect the outcome. So they fight, they struggle, and they try to get good results. In fact, “results-oriented” is one of the most overly used terms on LinkedIn profiles. Just do a search. However, what they don’t understand is how pointless and even dangerous it could be to base everything on results.

For one, we don’t fully control results. No matter how hard we work or compete at something, there are always many more talented people who are just as driven to beat us at the game of getting results. Moreover, when we focus on results, we started risking to game the system by unethical or illegal means. Just ask Lance Armstrong and the wall-streeters who caused the 2008 financial crisis. Lastly, no matter how hard you fight, there are circumstances in life such as cancer that can simply overpowers you.

Actions – the real brave winners judge their successes on their actions, or reactions to circumstances, in spite of what the circumstances might be and the results they might cause. In the classic book, Man’s Search For Meaning, Viktor Frankl described that when he was dealt with the worst circumstances imaginable in life – the Nazi concentration camp, which one might argue it’s even worst than cancer. Yet it was in there, he discovered meaning and his true calling in life and greatest contribution to humanity. Dr. Frankl knew he had no control of his circumstances (concentration camp and guards’ brutality), and no control of results (his own survival), but he had full control of his reactions to circumstances.

Stuart Scott and Viktor Frankl were far from the only people demonstrating how to win in life through our actions. There are many, many more stories of people finding their true calling through their reaction to adversities.

Elizabeth Smart was the victim of a high-profile child abduction case at age 14. After spending nine-month with his evil tormentor and suffering through endless pain and humiliation, she was rescued. She became a champion activist against human trafficking and crimes against children, and was a recipient of the Diller-von Furstenberg Awards.

While serving in Iraq, first lieutenant Scottie Smiley was permanently blinded by a suicide bomber. After returning home, he lived life to the fullest, by climbing Mount Rainier, skiing in Colorado, surfing in Hawaii, and competing in triathlon. He received his MBA from Duke University, and taught leadership at West Point. Today, he is a Major in the US Army and recipient of the MacArthur Leadership Award.

So next time when you encounter a setback in life, no matter how severe and debilitating, and no matter how dark and hopeless it seems, remember Stu’s words. “You beat (your adversity), by how you live, why you live and the manner in which you live.”

It is indeed the #1 quality to win in life.

New Year's Resolutions, The Rejection Proof Way

New Year’s resolutions. It’s that time of the year again – one of the few times in the year we feel determined to make a real change in our lives. We plan, we commit and we swear that we will lose weight, learn a new language, and get out of debt. We are going to get that promotion, and we will elevate our business by 20%. Maybe we will start our own business, and even find love. We feel great and ready to roll. But here is the problem – New Year’s resolutions don’t work. On January 1st, we put on running shoes, hit the gym and buy that $200 Rosetta Stone program. By February, most of us are already slipping or have given up. A few months later, these resolutions become nothing but painful and rejectable reminders of how lazy and disappointing we are.


There are a lot of psychological reasons why New Year’s resolutions aren’t the best way to motivate us for real life change. But instead of going into psychology, I want to propose a solution based on the Rejection Proof way.

1. Instead of setting goals, set actions – one of the biggest takeaways from 100 Days of Rejection is the need to focus actions instead of results. Results such as getting a YES or achieving certain goals are tricky and sometimes downright frustrating, because they don’t depend on factors that we can fully control. For example, no matter how charming and convincing we are, some people will reject us for their own reasons. Similarly, no matter how hard we try, we might not be able to get the promotion or lose the weight, because competition and genetics will also play a role in those outcomes.

Actions, on the other hand, are entirely controllable. And if we focus on doing actions, it will most likely lead to the results we desire. For example, if I let myself just focus on making the request, I would give myself a chance to get a YES. If I make five of these requests, my odds of getting a YES increase five fold, and maybe I can even get more than one YES. Similarly, if my resolution is set to take an average of 10,000 steps a day, or to memorize five Spanish phrases a day, the odds will be in my favor that I will lose the weight and became much better at Spanish.

2. Set resolutions for shorter periods – when I quit my job to start a new business two years ago, one of the smartest things I did was to give myself a six months runway, instead of proclaiming myself as an entrepreneur with no term limit. When I started my rejection journey, I did it for 100 days instead of forever. Because forever, or even one year, is a very long time and could be psychologically taxing on people. It’s hard to run for 5 miles three times a week for a whole year. It feels like there is no end in sight.

Shorter periods, on the other hand, are much more doable and rewarding. For example, running 5 miles three times a week for three months is much more doable. And once you are done, you can celebrate and move on. But more than likely you will have developed the habit and keep going, because on average, it takes about 66 days to develop a new habit.

3. Focus on fewer actions, preferably just one – two of my favorite books, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, and The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results both advocate the powerful idea that less is more. In fact, being able to focus on very few actions for a set amount of time can deliver amazing results.

So, instead of going all out with listing multiple end-goals in health, business, relationship and intellectual self-improvement, we should focus on one or two controllable actions within finite periods.

As for my own goals in 2015, I want to successfully launch my beta product – Rejection Gym, publish my book and make it as impactful as possible, and get into the best shape of my life. However, I know it would be meaningless to set these goals as my New Year’s resolutions, because of the three issues I’ve mentioned above.

So I’ve devised my 2015 New Year’s resolutions the Rejection Proof way, and I want to share them with you:

January – March Business: Launch The Rejection Gym Personal: Go through an entire round of P90X

April – June Business: Travel across the US and make 50 stops on the Rejection Tour in conjunction with the publication of my book

July – September Personal: Go through an entire round of P90X3 Business: Launch Rejection Gym for Business

Being A Rejection Therapist

In this funny video, I performed as the "rejection therapist" for a documentary crew from LA. Look at what rejection did to these folks.

Humor aside, you have no idea what you can find just by asking. You will learn so much more about yourself and the world as a whole. You will learn so much about business and negotiation. Getting rejected repeatedly is the best business school the world can offer. Give it a try!