Day 14: Give $5 to Five Random People

I have been asking people to do things for me for my rejection therapy. Now I want to turn the table and give something to others. Following my graduate school professor Dan Ariely‘s suggestion, I went on the street and offered $5 to five random people. Will they take the easy money or just walk away?

Learning: when you ask people for something, even to offer them money, they might not take it if you don’t offer them a good reason. Next time when you make a request, make sure you use the word ‘because’, no matter how generous your offers are.

By the way, here are Dan’s bestselling books:

Rejection Pain is Real

There are people like Jackie in the world, which makes it an amazing place to live and experience. Every day, you might run into your own Jackie, Scott, Robert… However, we can’t expect life to be like a giant sunshine doughnut with rainbow sauce. The fear and pain of rejection is very, very real, especially if it’s on a personal level. That’s why we need rejection therapy.

Just to share a personal experience during my 100 days journey. I once wanted to ask a barber to see if I can cut her hair. I figured she has worked on thousands of heads, it would be very fun if some one can turn the table and give her a good experience. She will most likely say no, but that’s the whole point of rejection therapy.

During the execution, it started out well, the barber was amused and contemplating what to say, but a customer jumped in because he didn’t like the fact that he could also be filmed. His concern was legitimate, but as I explained, he started calling me names and attacking my character. The rejection turned very nasty. (To protect his identity, I won’t show this footage)

Now, this type of rejection is different than a simple no. It’s personal. I believe all of you have had similar experiences in life. When you do something well-intentioned, but is interpreted as the opposite, the rejection hurts much deeper. When the rejection is on a personal level instead of action level, the pain could be excruciating.

Many of you have shared your experiences. Some of you were hurt deeply by rejections, whether it’s in romance or business. Please know that I understand your pain. I myself started this journey because I was rejected. That’s why we need rejection therapy. All lives have highs and lows, and all rejections are temporary. If you are rejected today, move on. The next day, a box of Olympic symbol doughnuts or a soccer session in a stranger’s backyard might really put a smile on your face.

Day 12 Rejection Therapy: The Reunion. Jackie Delivers Again

Confucius say, great doughnuts come in twos… no he didn’t say that. But it would be such a waste if I only get to meet an amazing person like Jackie once in my life. On Day 12, I ventured to Krispy Kreme to see Jackie again. This time, I wasn’t looking for rejection, but to express my gratitude.

Learning: when something incredible is accomplished, many people would fight for credit. Jackie, on the other hand, gives credit to others when she didn’t have to. Would this work in the corporate world? I surely hope so. The world would be such a better place if everyone is like Jackie.

Day 13 Rejection Therapy: Take an Unregistered Exam

When I saw how hard my wife prepared for her Project Management exam, I got seriously jealous. After driving her for 4 hours to Dallas to take the exam, I decided to do it too myself, cold.

Respectful, though incredulous, she was a very nice lady.

Learning: 1. OK, this is it. Not only I couldn’t hide the camera successfully, she was constantly peeking at it. I am buying some new equipment. Thank you for your suggestions.

2. Looking back, I could have offered some alternatives, such as taking some other exams there that didn’t have this much restriction. Or get a printed version and try it out.

100 Days Rejection Therapy Q&A

Hello fans of my blog. I have received hundreds of heart-warming messages from you through my blog, and thousands through Youtube. I am inspired and overwhelmed by your encouragement. I tried to reply to each message, then I started to feel I might need eye surgery or hand transplant. I will continue trying to respond to you, but I’m writing this Q&A to answer some of the most commonly asked questions.

Q. Who am I?

A. My name is Jia Jiang (@jiajiang). I’m a proud husband and father in Austin, TX. I also own a technology startup called Hooplus. We are building a commitment management tool to help consumers and business to keep their promises, increase productivity and collaboration.

Q. Why am I doing this?
A. In 11/2012, I was turned down by a prominent investor. I wanted the investment so bad that I had dreamt about it on five different occasions. The final rejection hurt as if Santa Claus showed up in person and told me he’s not real, and then ran away with my gifts.

I then turned inward, and wanted to focus on building myself with the necessary entrepreneurial skillsets. My experience revealed that my fear of rejection was real, so I wanted to tackle it first. I searched, and found Jason Comely’s Rejection Therapy concept through FounderDating Forum. I liked it so much and decided to do it right away, and vlog it to keep myself accountable to going through the whole 100 days.

Q. Is it working?
A. Like magic blended with kungfu. If you see my first video, I was timid, apologetic and wanted to get out of there ASAP. Now, I can negotiate and even joke with each person.

Q. Should you try Rejection Therapy yourself?
A. Absolutely! Many of you expressed that the more videos you watch, the less cringe-worthy they become. That suggests even watching the videos might have some therapeutic effect. However, I encourage all of you to try it on some level personally, because it really works. Maybe you will run into another Jackie in the meantime.

Q. How should you do it?
A. You should develop your own rules. Here are the criteria I use:
1. They are fun/crazy. This is fun only if you have the mindset of having fun.
2. They are challenging but not totally unrealistic. In another word, what’s stopping the other party from doing it is the craziness, not physics.
3. They are something you want to do. When you get a ‘yes’ if it ever happens, you should follow through. Therefore, pick something you would enjoy doing/receiving.

Q. What’s next?
A. The journey just got started and I have 90 more days to go. Just because the honeymoon was like a dream, it doesn’t mean the rest of marriage doesn’t need to be experienced. We are going to experience this together, good and bad. Hopefully there will be more Jackies, Scotts and Roberts. But either way, there is no loss. That’s the beauty of Rejection Therapy.

Q. What about your suggestions?
A. Your suggestions for crazy requests are amazing. I wish you could see them all. When they first start to come in, I kept a list. But now, we are looking at three years if I do them all. I want to overcome rejection, not marry it. However, I will try to blend in your suggestions as I go on, because your ideas are truly ingenious. Keep them coming!

Q. So will you do any crazy requests involve romance?
A. No. I am blissfully married with a chubby 4 months old. No blog material, no matter how interesting, can undermine that.

Day 11 Rejection Therapy: Learn Sales From the #2 Car Salesman in the Country

It’s hard to meet #2 in the country in anything, whether it’s Joe Biden or The Patriots. However, I met the self-claimed #2 ranked salesman in the country on my 11th day of Rejection Therapy. An entrepreneur needs to know how to sell. If I can’t learn sales from the best, I certainly want to learn from the second best.

This is one is a little tricky because I don’t know how his words will be perceived. If it’s negative, I don’t want to affect him personally, so I blocked out his face.

Learning: I feel the reason for his rejection is completely valid, although it was told a little bit harshly. If I face the same situation, when I’m too busy for someone’s request, I might try to offer an alternative like Jeremy did at Fedex. I might try to say “sorry I can’t do that because of _____. However, I know a couple of sales books that are really good…”

Krispy Kreme, Give Jackie a Raise!

I started this Rejection Therapy project to toughen my mind, but Jackie at Krispy Kreme softened my soul. If everyone in the service industry is like Jackie, the world would be a much, much better place.

Now, we need to make sure Krispy Kreme rewards her for her extraordinary act of kindness as well as the publicity generated. Please like this page.

Day 10 Rejection Therapy: Listen to Happy Birthday Song When It’s Not My Birthday

When celebrating birthday, having a bunch of people singing Happy Birthday to you is still the coolest part. Now, who says you can only get that treatment on your birthday? I am trying to test this theory at Cheesecake Factory by asking them to sing the song to me when it’s not my birthday.

Learning: 1. I need to hide my camera better; 2. The request, though off-the-wall, is not that tough. Looking back, I’m not sure if it’s tougher to say ‘yes’ or say ‘no’, when all they need to do is to do what they do everyday, just under different circumstances. I will ask them to do something they don’t normally do next time.

Day 9 Rejection Therapy: Send Stuff to Santa Claus Through Fedex

I’m sure a lot of kids send letters to Santa Claus asking for gifts. Have you ever shipped stuff to Santa, so someone who might need can get it? I am going to give it a try at Fedex. If anyone can do it, it’s Fedex!

I enjoyed the conversation, and Jeremy also had fun… Frankly, I think the idea cracked him up. I really liked Jeremy. Fedex has very high quality employees who know how not to take things too seriously.

Learning: if I can get someone laughing, then the negotiation likely won’t turn heated, regardless of the final outcome. I also have huge respect for people who can offer alternative solutions, instead of just saying ‘no’.

Day 8 Rejection Therapy: Get Number One Spot in Best Buy’s Thanksgiving Line

It’s Thanksgiving! Yes, you get in line for five hours hoping to grab the 80% discount on a laptop. However, I bet you have never been number one in line before, have you? Do you know how it feels to be number one? Do you know what it takes? No, I don’t have what it takes, but I tried to acquire the spot instead. This is the beauty of rejection therapy. If I get a ‘yes’, then I get an 80” TV for $100. If I get a ‘no’, then it’s the musical sound of success.

I was confident that I could at least carry a conversation with the #1 guy, but when the #2 guy jumped in pointing at the rules on the wall, the battle was lost. You don’t want to negotiate with two or more people who sacrificed their entire Thanksgiving to be at the front of the line when Best Buy opens its door.

Learning: One versus many negotiating is much harder to carry out than one versus one. When making a crazy request one is better off being in a private one on one setting.