In the following book summary, you’ll learn how to reduce your fear of rejection and feel rejection proof.
“If something can´t hurt me, then why should it scare me?” – Jia Jiang
Jia Jiang was a Chinese immigrant who went to America with big entrepreneurial aspirations, but he was held back by his fear of rejection. Jiang overcame his fear by embarking on a quest he called “100 days of rejection.”
Every day for a hundred days, Jiang suppressed his need for approval and made odd requests ‐ like asking a Krispy Kreme worker if she could make him an Olympic doughnut or knocking on a stranger’s door and asking a man if he could play soccer in his backyard. As he progressed through his “100 days of rejection,” he learned a few valuable lessons that made rejection seem progressively harmless. If you and I internalize the lessons in this book, we will freely ask for the job we want, the raise we deserve, the help we need, the discount we’d like, and the financial support we require in times of need.
Rejection is an opinion
If I were to offer you what many people considered the best mint ice cream in the world, but you hated the taste of mint, your rejection wouldn’t be personal, it would just be your preference.
The same is true of most rejections. People say “no” due to prior experience and particular tastes. Jiang says, “A rejection says more about the rejector than the rejectee.”
When the Grammy award‐winning violinist Joshua Bell dressed in jeans and a baseball cap and played the violin in a busy DC metro station, just seven out of 1,097 people stopped to listen to him. Bell’s performances typically got standing ovations in prestigious concert halls like the John F. Kennedy Center, but in the DC metro station, he played to the wrong audience at the wrong time. The people passing by either didn’t value musical talent, didn’t like classical music, or didn’t have the time to stop and enjoy his music.
Ask “Why” before good-bye
Rejection typically isn’t final if you ask, “why not?” in a friendly and inquisitive way.
When Jiang asked a flight attendant on a Southwest flight if he could give the safety speech to the passengers, he got rejected. When Jiang politely said, “Ok, but may I ask why?” the flight attendant explained the airline had a policy that all passengers must be seated during the safety speech. But then the flight attendant thought of another way Jiang could get his wish and asked Jiang if he wanted to give the “welcome speech” after the safety talk. The flight attendant’s counteroffer was much better than Jiang’s original request because it allowed him to say what he wanted and not follow a script.
Retreat, don’t run away
When someone explains why they can’t satisfy your request, they typically leave clues you can use to craft a smaller request. Robert Cialdini, psychologist and author of Influence, has discovered that people are very receptive to small second requests because they don’t want to come across as a jerk.
When Jiang asked a McDonald’s worker if he could have the McGriddle breakfast sandwich at 2:00 PM (two hours after the McDonald’s breakfast ends), he was given a quick “no.” When he asked why not, the worker explained that the machine that cooked the eggs and sausages had already been cleaned. So, Jiang asked the McDonald’s clerk if there was something “like a McGriddle” she could make that didn’t include egg or sausage. The new request piqued the worker’s interest, and she came up with an alternative ‐ a honey‐roasted griddle cake with cheese melted on top.
“Instead of setting my goals on only the specific thing that I’d gone in asking for, I reassessed my original request and asked for something less… The clerk recognized my concession and met me halfway by offering a solution.” – Jia Jiang
All rejection has upside
Oftentimes, you can ask “why not?” and retreat to a smaller request but still end up empty‐handed. But fear not ‐ a flat‐out rejection can be beneficial in more ways than one:
- Every rejection boosts your rejection immunity. When you get rejected but realize your self‐worth is intact and you still have opportunities ahead of you, the rejection loses its power. When you can live with a rejection, you tend to communicate in a more confident, friendly, and open manner. Jiang says, “When I was confident, friendly, and open, people seemed more inclined to go along with my request; even if they said no, they at least stayed engaged longer to ask questions.”
- A rejection can boost motivation because you want to prove the rejector wrong. Michael Jordan famously responded to the rejection by his high school varsity basketball team with hard workouts and more time on the court. That worked out pretty well for him.
- A rejection generates insight. As Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed 10,000 times ‐ I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” When you step back from rejection and strip out the emotion, you will likely discover ways to improve your request and increase your odds of getting what you want.
“But by not even asking, we are rejecting ourselves by default—and probably missing out on opportunity as a result.” ‐ Jia Jiang
About the author
JIA JIANG is founder of the popular blog and video series 100 Days of Rejection. His story has been covered by dozens of news outlets, including Bloomberg Businessweek, Yahoo News, the Huffington Post, Forbes, Inc.com, MTV, Gawker, the Daily Mail, Fox News, and CBS’s The Jeff Probst Show. A native of Beijing, China, Jiang came to the U.S. as a teenager to pursue his dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Jiang holds an MBA from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Brigham Young University.
Success, Motivation, Self-Esteem, Self Help, Psychology, Business, Personal Development, Autobiography, Memoir, Leadership, Inspirational, Entrepreneurship, Emotional Mental Health, Business Motivation and Self-Improvement
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Meeting Rejection 5
Chapter 2 Fighting Rejection 20
Chapter 3 Tasting Fame 40
Chapter 4 Battling Evolution 57
Chapter 5 Rethinking Rejection 78
Chapter 6 Taking a No 93
Chapter 7 Positioning For Yes 109
Chapter 8 Giving a No 130
Chapter 9 Finding Upside 146
Chapter 10 Finding Meaning 167
Chapter 11 Finding Freedom 187
Chapter 12 Finding Power 200
Chapter 13 Living a New Mission 215
Appendix The Rejection Toolbox 219
An entertaining and inspiring account of conquering the fear of rejection, offering a completely new perspective on how to turn a no into a yes.
Jia Jiang came to the United States with the dream of being the next Bill Gates. But despite early success in the corporate world, his first attempt to pursue his entrepreneurial dream ended in rejection. Jia was crushed, and spiraled into a period of deep self doubt. But he realized that his fear of rejection was a bigger obstacle than any single rejection would ever be, and he needed to find a way to cope with being told no without letting it destroy him. Thus was born his “100 days of rejection” experiment, during which he willfully sought rejection on a daily basis—from requesting a lesson in sales from a car salesman (no) to asking a flight attendant if he could make an announcement on the loud speaker (yes) to his famous request to get Krispy Kreme doughnuts in the shape of Olympic rings (yes, with a viral video to prove it).
Jia learned that even the most preposterous wish may be granted if you ask in the right way, and shares the secret of successful asking, how to pick targets, and how to tell when an initial no can be converted into something positive. But more important, he learned techniques for steeling himself against rejection and ways to develop his own confidence—a plan that can’t be derailed by a single setback. Filled with great stories and valuable insight, Rejection Proof is a fun and thoughtful examination of how to overcome fear and dare to live more boldly.
* * * * *
Rejection Proof is Jia Jiang’s entertaining and inspiring account of conquering his fear of rejection, offering a completely new perspective on how to turn a no into a yes.
Jia Jiang came to the United States with the dream of being the next Bill Gates. Despite early success in the corporate world, his first attempt to pursue his entrepreneurial dream ended in rejection. Jia was crushed and spiraled into a period of deep self-doubt. But he realized that his fear of rejection was a bigger obstacle than any single rejection would ever be, and he needed to find a way to cope with being told no without letting it destroy him. Thus was born his “100 days of rejection” experiment, during which he willfully sought rejection on a daily basis – from requesting a lesson in sales from a car salesman (no) to asking a flight attendant if he could make an announcement on the loudspeaker (yes) to his famous request to get Krispy Kreme doughnuts in the shape of Olympic rings (yes, with a viral video to prove it).
Jia learned that even the most preposterous wish may be granted if you ask in the right way, and here he shares the secret of successful asking, how to pick targets, and how to tell when an initial no can be converted into something positive. But more important, he learned techniques for steeling himself against rejection and ways to develop his own confidence – a plan that can’t be derailed by a single setback.
Filled with great stories and valuable insight, Rejection Proof is a fun and thoughtful examination of how to overcome fear and dare to live more boldly.
“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: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work & Never Get Stuck and Start
“A clever and inspiring read that will change the way you approach anything that may seem out of reach. This book made me want to look fear in the eye…and then kick it in the ass.” – Alison Levine, author of New York Times bestseller On the Edge: The Art of High-Impact Leadership
“Rejection Proof is a fun, thoughtful examination of how to overcome our fears and dare to live more boldly. You have no idea what you can achieve until you try!” –Nancy Duarte, bestselling author of Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations
“Jia Jiang helps us see the folly in spending our lives avoiding failure and rejection. His advice helps us build powerful companies, careers, brands, relationships and lives. If you are human, you need this book!” -Pamela Slim, author of Body of Work
“Every page of Rejection Proof had me both laughing and feeling inspired. Jia’s 100 days of ridiculous requests of strangers is a journey that will not only make you more resilient, but will also give you insights into persuasion and how to turn “no’s” into “yes’s”. Highly recommended.” –Kevin Kruse, New York Times Bestselling Author, We
“Jia will help you break free of the one thing that’s probably held you back most: fear of rejection. His collection of incredible experiments in overcoming fear of rejection will inspire you while it makes you laugh.” — Andrew Warner, founder Mixergy