Rejection Attempts

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 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.

Let me know what you think of my article!

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.

Enjoy!

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!

Jia

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.

Jia

The Magic Word to Use After a Rejection

magic_book_wallpaper.jpg

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

Screen-Shot-2015-04-09-at-1.26.16-PM.png

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 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!

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4aCdFIxnyY[/embed]

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 Fearbuster.com/book 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.

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:

amazon-button-graphic
Barnes and Noble
Indiebound
Google Play
iBooks

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

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!

A Newly Married Couple Is Doing What?

From Jia: when you think about people traveling across America in RVs, you envision people with gray hair and fat 401(k)s, not this couple... It's a strange story: one day a young guy wrote me an email asking for a meetup over coffee. Fast forward six months, he's driving an RV on the East Coast with his wife while contributing as an integral part of my business. It's also a great story though - one with courage and adventure.   

DCIM106GOPRO

 

From Heath: The ALS Ice Bucket challenge sweeping across the country is a really unique way to raise money for charity. I think it’s great so many people have gotten involved and the charity has gained so much awareness. I did not participate in the challenge, probably because I’m lame and didn’t get nominated. However, I did accept another kind of challenge this year that radically changed my life.

Hi, I’m Heath Padgett and this year I accepted the challenge of working a different job in every state across America.

Who challenged me? I guess you could say I was led to going on this adventure because of discontent in my “normal person” job. However, specifically, Jia Jiang challenged me.

He said it right to my face.

I had heard of this “rejection guy” from a mentor of mine. My mentor told me there was a guy who got rejected a bunch of times, had a viral video, and then something about donuts? I wasn’t sure of the details, but I wanted to find out more. I sent Jia an email, mentioned our mutual friend, and a week later we were sitting down together at lunch in Austin, Texas.

Jia told me his story and I listened in amazement as he mentioned being rejected from nearly a hundred people. When he finished talking, he asked me to share about myself. Why did I want to meet him? What was I trying to do? How could he help?

I told him I was about to quit my job, get married, and take a long honeymoon across the United States. I said, “I’m not content to just travel. I want to have a cool mission during my journey. I wanted it to be meaningful, and not just a long vacation.”

My current job wasn’t fulfilling to me. I had accepted a sales role in a company after college and didn’t see myself working there for forty years and then retiring. I wanted to do entrepreneurial things, I wanted to write, and pursue meaningful work.

He listened, and five seconds later said, “You’re young, and still figuring out what you want to do for your career. You should do something like work a different job in every state across America.”

It was the first idea that popped into his head. He clearly was just giving an example of something I could do while traveling, not that I should necessarily do that specific challenge.

I thought about it for a moment and said, “Yep. I’m going to do it.”

At this time, Jia was receiving a lot of inquiries from young people such as myself, so when I told him I was going to accept his challenge, I don’t think he really believed me.

A few months after meeting, Jia looked me up online and saw not only had I listened to his advice, I was actually working different jobs across the country and I was in California, where he was living! He immediately reached out to me. He told me so many people had come to him for advice, but few had actually done something with it.

 

IMG_6315

 

It has since been seven months since my initial meeting with “the rejection guy.” However, he first empowered me to take one of the biggest risks of my life. Indirectly, he also caused me to get rejected by a lot of people when I asked for jobs on the road (I think this was his intention all along). So far, I’ve worked 23 jobs over the last four months and I’m nearly halfway through my challenge of working a different job in every state.

What have I learned? I’ve learned that sometimes challenges can be a great catalyst for life changing journeys. Jia experienced a self induced challenge to get rejected for one hundred days, similar to how I’ve accepted a challenge to work different jobs all across America. At the end of this type of journey, you can’t help but be changed for the better.

Since leaving Austin and embarking on this adventure, I’ve learned how not overthink things and instead take action on what I want most. I wasn’t confident about my writing skills or job skills before my journey began, however, through action I’ve grown confident in these areas of my life (similar to how Jia learned gained confidence through rejection).

 

Heath Cutting

 

A willingness to take action is all you need to get started in a journey or challenge of your own. Jia’s challenge to me launched me into the journey of a lifetime. I’m grateful for his council, and extremely honored to announce that I will be joining him and a group of other brave entrepreneurs, creatives, and risk-takers in what is being called the Rejection Gym. An online course that will empower you to overcome the fears in your life by seeking rejection, joining a community of like-minded people, and exclusive lessons and hang outs with Jia!

If you’re interested in joining us in an effort to overcome our fears through facing rejection head on, place your name on the wait list and we’ll be in touch!

How to Get Over the Fear of Asking Someone Out

ask-girl-out I know you’re scared of being rejected by girls (or guys). It’s intimidating. And what happens if she says no? What are you going to do in that extremely awkward five second walk away from her? You will most likely trip and fall into a giant water puddle nearby and all of her friends will laugh and throw their hair back like a scene out of Mean Girls. As this plays out in your mind, you slowly convince yourself of all of the reasons why you should play it safe and not talk to her.

I’m going to give you three solid reasons why you should get up, be a man (or a woman), go say the words that need to be said, and be a hero by winning her heart.

 

Reason One: A simple rejection isn’t a well informed decision about your character.

You’re scared of her saying no to you, or how hard the rejection will be on your self-esteem. If you’re a normal human being, you might even feel a tinge of self doubt. Am I even an attractive person? These are all normal thoughts, but they aren’t rational.

Here’s why: She doesn’t know who you are. She doesn’t know that you volunteer on weekends at the humane society. She doesn’t know that you’re a gentleman and a scholar. She doesn’t know that you were really nervous when you introduced yourself and that normally your palms don’t sweat like you just finished running a marathon in the Sahara Desert.

She is giving you an answer based on an infinitely small judgment of who you are as a person. A large majority of her opinion on how attractive she thinks you are depends on your charisma when you present yourself.

Key: Untie rejection and your self worth.

Reason Two: Her opinion doesn’t define your worth.

I had a wise friend once tell me that even if you’re the best looking guy in the world, there are going to be girls who think you’re ugly. It’s a fact of life. I’ve even met women who think Brad Pitt is ugly. I mean, c’mon.

The point is, one person’s opinion is just that- an opinion. I’ve found through my own rejection journey that opinions are the most abundant item on the entire Earth.

Key: Acknowledge that the opinion of one person, cannot and shouldn’t dictate the way you see yourself. For every person who thinks you’re ugly, there will be one who thinks you’re beautiful, smart, and extremely hilarious. Don’t quit looking.

 

Reason Three: The only way to develop confidence is through extensive practice.

So maybe she really is way out of your league and you’re going to try and pull off a homerun. In this kind of situation, don’t worry about the outcome of the answer. Simply tell yourself this, “There is a very likely chance this girl will say no to me.” Then accept that answer, and go for it anyway, embracing the craziness.

“Hi, I know you’re way too beautiful for me. But I knew I couldn’t leave here without saying hello. So hello, and if you don’t think I’m the worst looking guy in the world would it be okay if I bought you dinner sometime?”

(Heyo! You killed it, nice job.)

“No thank you.”

Well, you tried. The best part about this experience was now you are one step closer to developing the confidence you need to calmly talk to women and ask them out on dates. Think of it like constantly going to the gym. If you don’t work out for six months and then try to bust out an hour on the cardio machines, you’re likely going to throw up or fall over from exhaustion.

It’s the same for talking to women, if you never practice talking to them, introducing yourself, and figuring out which talking points work or don’t work, then you’ll never quite build that mental dating muscle.

Key: The more you ask women out, the better you’ll be.

If you’re trying to figure out a practical way to get over your fear of asking someone out, I have a challenge to nudge you in the right direction. Go out and get five women to reject you in a public place. Don’t be a creepy weirdo, just ask them if they would like to have dinner with you. The rules for this challenge are you can’t lie nor break the law. Outside of that, be creative and enjoy learning how to get over your fear. While you’re warming up for your challenge, watch this video of me getting rejected by five women in the Whole Foods parking lot.

Video of Me Getting Rejected By Five Women

This is part 3 of a series I’m doing called Rejection Remedy-- the idea that we can conquer all the fears in our life by using rejection as the remedy.

I AM BACK! (from book writing)

I just pushed the SEND button. Now my manuscript is in the hands of my editor. I am so excited that my neighbor asked me if I was celebrating a World Cup victory.

Ever since I signed my book deal with Random House last year, my life had changed. I toiled away for eight months at writing at coffee shops, dark rooms, hidden office space, coffee shops, libraries, parked cars and flying airplanes. Now I am done, and it feels amazing.

My book was about how to overcome your rejection fear, and making rejection your friend. It is filled with stories, research, learning and tools from my 100 Days of Rejection. I am very proud of my work because I know it is good and will help and entertain a lot of people.

If you want a copy, make sure you subscribe to my blog. I will run specials just for my blog readers and followers leading up to the publication date.

What’s next: I am going to reignite my blog through videos, writings and experiments. The world we’ve discovered together in this past year was an amazing one, and we are just getting started.

…LET SEE WHAT HAPPENS!

To 100 Days and Beyond

It’s been a few months since I concluded my 100 Days of Rejection project. It was an amazing journey, filled with adventure, surprises and inspiration. More importantly, I learned so much about fear, communication and even business, I feel like a completely new person. Here is what I am doing next:

1. Book: I have signed a book deal with Crown Publishing, and have been feverishly working on my book on rejection. It will be a great book, with real stories, learning and applications on how to turn rejection on its head.

2. Blog: I have moved my website to a new domain: FearBuster.com. I will make it a new hub for all future videos and blogs. If you haven’t subscribed, do so. I would love to keep you in the loop.

3. Speaking: I have been giving talks and sharing my stories and learning with many organizations and conferences. Most recently, I stopped by Google and gave a “Google Talk”. It was great to see the smartest people on Earth also want to kick rejection fear’s butt.

It was crazy that a year ago, I was a struggling entrepreneur being turned down by investors. Now because of inspiration from you guys, I am doing something completely different and more meaningful – busting the fear of rejection for people and organizations. I love my new mission and am having the best time of my life.

Now, here is my invitation to you:

1. Share with me something you have always wanted to ask/do, but are afraid to do so due to fear. I will help you strategize and ask, so you won't regret not asking.

2. Let me know your ideas on how to use technology to help people overcome the fear of rejection.

3. Again, subscribe to my blog and connect with me.

Happy Holidays!

Rejection 100 - Why I Want to Meet Obama

"Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the Earth," said Archimedes when explaining the principle of leverage to lift heavy objects. Before my 100 Days of Rejection, I would have never learned to use this principle outside of a physics class, the playground, or when I have to move furniture. But after making outrageous request after outrageous request, I have discovered my own principle - "give me a reason to ask, and I will ask for anything." My rejection therapy taught me that "the worst they can say is no" is actually not true. In fact, the worst they can say is "you didn't even ask." It implies I said "no" to myself before others could reject me. If I have a good reason, it is my duty to step out of my own comfort zone to ask, no matter how difficult and impossible the request is.

Therefore, for my 100th rejection attempt, I want to go for the impossible - interview President Obama on his views and personal experience of rejection.

Now that the request is made, will I actually be able to get a meeting with Obama? The odds are overwhelmingly against me. For one, he is a very busy person, working on military responses to the Syria chemical weapons situation and trying to avoid a government shutdown in a couple of months. Also, as the most powerful person on Earth, he also has politicians, lobbyists, business owners, and all type of interests groups vying for his attention. Getting a "yes" from the President of the United States might affect billions of dollars in business and change political landscapes in some parts of the world.

On the other hand, it is not unheard of for the President to do an interview on a topic that's relevant to people or his policies. For example, the CEO of Zillow conducted an Interview of him answering questions on housing.

History is also not bereft of examples of citizens meeting the ruler of the country. For example, Marco Polo met Kublai Khan when he traveled to China; Diogenes of Sinope had a meeting with Alexander the Great; and Bill Clinton got to shake hands with John F. Kennedy. The results: Marco Polo brought pasta back to Italy and we now have Olive Garden in America; Diogenes said the famous words "stand out of my light"; and JFK inspired Clinton to become the last President of the 20th century.

Now, think about a regular guy being able to interview the President on how to overcome rejection and achieve success. Think about average citizens asking their leader on things that are relevant to them. Wouldn't that be a great example of democracy and openness? Wouldn't that inspire a lot of people like you and me?

Can this be done? I don't know. But I do know what I am doing is for a good cause. And if I don't ask, I would have regret for the rest of my life.

Now you can help me by sharing the video and this blog post. If you have any idea on how I can get an interview with the President without changing my name to Jatie Jouric or Joprah Jinfrey, let me know.

What Rejection Is, Isn't, and Could Be

We have all had the experience of being rejected, and none of us liked it. Applied for a job and got the "thank you for your interest" letter? Saw an attractive girl at bookstore, so you mustered all your courage to ask her for a cup of coffee, only to hear the words "nah that's ok"? Or in my case, prepared an investment pitch for months but only to get a cold and impersonal rejection through email? These experiences can sting us for a long time and make us less likely to try things again. As the result, we reject ourselves and lose opportunities. But does it have to be this way? Is rejection some sort of unavoidable and incurable disease that will bring pain to us every time we face it? If you have followed me a for while, you know my answer will be a resounding no. In fact, I am rejecting the notion that rejection has to be feared. To tell you why, let us exam what rejection is, isn't and could be.

What rejection is:

1. A constant figure in life - Ben Franklin famously said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. Let's welcome the third member - rejection. From the President to the CEO, from the secretaries to the donut makers, everyone gets rejected in their lives.

2. An opinion of others - someone rejected us because in their opinion, it is the best course of action for them. The world is filled with an overabundance of free opinions, and rejections are no excerption. Rejection says more about the rejector than the rejected.

3. A fluid number  - there is no such thing as a permanent rejection. In fact, it is impossible for the entire world to reject us. Every rejection has a number. If we talk to enough people without giving up, a rejection will become an acceptance.

What rejection isn't:

1. A problem can be avoided or outgrown - often the more responsibility and influence a person has, the more likelihood that she will be rejected by more people. A middle manager's marketing plan might get rejected by 5 executives, whereas the President's healthcare plan could get rejected by half of the country. Hoping to avoid rejection is rather a foolish attempt.

2. An objective truth about us - just because people believed the world was flat didn't mean it actually was. For the same reason, a company rejecting our job application says nothing about our ability to perform as an employee. Taking other's opinion about you as truth is very counter-productive.

3. An end of our quest - unless we stop at a rejection, the rejection should never be the end of our quest. It took J K Rowling 12 tries to get Harry Potter published. If she stopped at any of the 11 rejections, the battle between Potter and Voldemort would have happened in a trashcan or shredder somewhere rather than in 500 million books, 1 billion movie showing and 7 billion minds.

What rejection could be:

1. A tool for motivation - Michael Jordan was famous for using boos from the opposing fans to motivate himself. Later in his career, he got so popular that everyone would cheer for him. Yet, he would pick out the one boo from a thousand cheers, and use it to fuel himself. The best in business always uses rejections as motivation.

2. A gauge for impact - there is a big difference between being rejected and being ignored. Being ignored often means our idea has no impact. But being actively rejected could mean our idea has the potential for large impact. History is filled with impactful figures overcoming violent rejections, from Jesus Christ to Nelson Mandala, from Mahatma Gandhi to Martin Luther King Jr.

3. A necessity for worthiness - Just like a story without conflict isn't worth telling, and like a hero without failure isn't a real hero, a quest without rejection isn't worth pursuing. When we keep going despite the nos, when we keep getting up after being stiff-armed, when we shed tears of victory after tears of defeat, we are the real hero, pursuing a worthy quest, and writing a great story.

Now let me hear from you. What is rejection to you?

Rejection 99 - Ask Strangers to Rate My Look

How good do I look to the public eye? What would happen if I ask strangers to rate my looks, from 1-10? As a happily married man, I care much less about looking attractive in front of others now than I did when I was single. However, I would be lying to say that I’ve never considered the first question. And the second question? It would be a very scary proposition, both asking the question and hearing the answers. This is rejection seeking, doing something scary and understanding just how scary it could be.

This experiment turned out to be much easier than I originally imagined. People are nice and more than willing to give me high scores. And yes, it helped that I showered, put on a clean shirt, and took off the old-man socks as requested. Yet, it again showed how much scarier our imagination is than the real world. I couldn’t get a low score when tried. I was in fact secretly hoping for a 2 just to get a taste of rejection, but it didn’t happen.

Learning:

1. Our imagination often takes us to the worst possible outcome, causing us to be much less likely to take that action. We are really our own worst rejectors.

2. People are rarely mean, or brutally honest to others in personal settings. When you ask for feedback, understand that the answer could be skewed.

3 Ways to Come Up With Rejection Ideas

“How do you come up with all these creative rejection ideas?” This is one of the most common questions my readers ask me. It would be fun to say I am a creative genius because I’m a secret child of Steve Jobs and Lucy Liu, but it wouldn’t be true… actually, that would be so wrong, but I digress. Although I love to think outside of the box, but imagination alone wouldn’t be enough for me to come up with hundreds of ideas. If you want to try this on your own, here are three ways you can come up with rejection ideas that fit your own personality, lifestyle and preference. 1. Do Really Cool Things

Fill in the blank: It would be really cool if they can let me _________ (a cool activity) at _________ (a place manned by people).

For example, if you have always wanted to fly a plane, ask a pilot for it. If you would love to feed the big cat at a zoo, ask the zookeeper for ways to do it. Make sure you ask with respect, and if they say yes, you will have a great experience. (But make sure you follow their lead. I don’t want to see your name under CNN’s headline – Californian Man Under Critical Condition After Attempting to Arm Wrestle a Liger.)

2. Go for Your Big Dream

What do you really want to do? Is there anything on your bucket list that involves permission from others? If there is nothing involves permission, you just need to start doing them now. No one is stopping it but you. If something does involve permission, just ask for it. For example, it has been my dream to give a lecture in college. I asked for it and got it.

I have a reader whose dream is to be involved in research on alternative universe and time travel. Though not a scientist, he wants to be a pioneer in the research subject and asked me for advice. Sounds crazy and far-fetched? I told him to google the science research papers on the subject, and email the authors to express interest. He took my advice. After a few referrals, he’s now in touch with a leading scientist at Cal-Tech. A couple decades into the future, he might be sitting on the first-ever time machine. The odds of that happening are still very low, but it was 0% before he asked.

Of course, if your dream is to become the President, calling the White House for permission isn’t the best idea. You can break down your big goal into smaller rejection attempts. For example, calling your governor’s office and asking to be on the campaign staff might be good starting points.

3. Ask for Other’s Ideas

Many of my rejection ideas come from my readers. Some of them made my best episodes. For example, I took someone’s advice and asked to be a Live Mannequin at Abercrombie.

No matter how cool your project sounds, you can’t do it alone. Even if you could, it would be a lonely road to walk. Ask for ideas from your family and friends. Don’t be afraid to be judged and rejected. If you really believe in something, go for it and involve others.

Rejection attempts are not about getting a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but about putting yourself in the awkward situation to ask for something you really want. If others let you do it, you need to be very happy to carry through. If not, congratulate yourself on having the courage to ask. You will improve yourself either way.

Feel free to share your experience publicly using comments or privately through email at jia at fearbuster.com.