When we think about why we don’t try something new, the answer usually comes down to one word: Fear. Taking a deeper look, it isn’t so much fear itself but the ideas behind fear and the reality is that we hesitate initially because we are afraid of rejection-of what others will think, of how it will make us feel and how it might change our own image if we fail.
One courageous man had a dream from a young age to become an entrepreneur. He left his country at only 16 to come to the United States. Jia Jiang’s story is incredibly inspiring even before he graduated high school, but it is what happened in his late 20’s that made him an internet sensation and he has written a new book Rejection Proof. Imagine making the decision to each day do one thing that will get you rejected. Jiang talks about his journey on a TEDTalk and how a box of donuts changed his life.
At a recent workshop in Chicago, Jiang shared his views on rejection. He explained that rejection is simply a numbers game. People in sales can relate to this as it truly is about making a specific number of calls, presentations or meetings before statistically the sale will be closed. What about in life? He used the example of J.K. Rowling being rejected by many publishers before Harry Potter became the best-selling book series in history. What if Rowling had stopped after the first few publishers rejected her?
Inspired by this thought, Jiang shared some powerful ideas that if we apply them to our own lives the possibilities are limitless:
“No matter what you do, don’t be ignored by the world.”
“Create a world where we are not afraid.”
“Learn how to give rejection and say No.”
3 ideas that will help us all be more rejection proof:
- Don’t worry about the yes or no. If you only go for yes, that is where you lose. Focus on the small step to get to the yes. If we apply this to our lives, you can use these words “Most people probably don’t ask this…” when asking for something out of the norm.
- Give people a way out: “I have a big request or favor”. Offer a good reason like “You may get a lot of requests and you don’t know me. You may want to get off the phone quickly but before you do, let me share with you how this might make a difference in your business”.
- If you don’t attach yourself to the results your chances go up. Start by just focusing on trying something you thought you might never do. Be prepared to ask why when someone says no, it might lead to a yes in another way. Jiang talks about asking a random person if he could plant a flower in their backyard. The answer at first was no-but not for the reason one might think. It turned out the homeowner had a dog who liked to dig up flowers. Jiang was referred to a neighbor across the street where he planted the flower.