He’s known as the “Fearbuster.”
He’s one of the people I feature in the introduction to my book.
His mission is to inspire the world to become more fearless.
In his words:
“I just want to see what people can do, if we can all be less afraid. How many ideas we can realize together, how many dreams can be fulfilled, how many new products can be made, how many dream jobs can be had, and love stories can be told. I want to see that. I want to help make that world happen. That’s my goal.”
His name is Jia Jiang.
A few years ago Jia pursued his dream of being an entrepreneur. He felt the thrilling high of being his own boss, setting his own hours, and working on a project he loved.
Then… it came crashing down.
He sought investment for his dream and it was unceremoniously rejected.
The experience was debilitating for him, and he sunk into a dark hole mentally and emotionally. But from that place, he discovered something incredible.
He realized that the real problem that held him back was the possibility of rejection. It was so fearsome that it blocked him from making any progress as an entrepreneur.
So he took action – and initiated a large-scale social experiment called “100 Days of Rejection Therapy.”
The first time he asked a stranger if he could borrow $100 was terrifying, and he quickly ran away. But as each day went on…
Jia calls his 100 days of rejection therapy his “personal MBA” – and from the experience he’s been able to build a successful career as a “rejection therapist.” He’s just completed his first book for Crown Publishing called “Rejection Proof,” now available on Amazon, which documents everything he’s learned.
He’s spoken at Google, TEDx, the World Domination Summit, and at an event hosted by Tony Hsieh.
This was an awesome interview – one of the best we’ve had on our podcast so far – with a ton of paradigm-changing takeaways and soundbites.
A few of the things we discuss…
- Jia’s upbringing in Beijing, where he was molded from an early age to be “a building block in the country”
- How taking action – by asking for things – changes your reality to become more empowering
- How to make your requests more compelling and engaging
- If you ask enough, you can turn “no” into a “yes”
- An incident where Jia told someone “no” 41 different times – then changed his mind later – and why he did it
- How a compelling “why” – that people can easily relate to – multiplies the likelihood of a request being accepted
- Why I rejected someone – and what that person should have done differently
- A simple way to start a conversation that increases your credibility, neutralizes someone’s “BS meter,” and lowers their defenses
- The importance of recording your progress – especially the feelings you had in a particular moment
- The “silent thief” that prevents us from getting the result we want (Hint: it starts with an “E”) – 32:25
- The key differences between the “new Jia” and the “old Jia” predating the “100 days of rejection therapy” experiment – and how the new Jia responds to setbacks
- The “rejection toolbox” – a set of techniques to pull out and try after rejection
- What it means to “lean just beyond your edge” – and how it’s the key to getting everything you really want in life but are afraid to go after.
- How you can start taking action today.
Three ways to improve your requests:
- Demonstrate empathy for the other person’s thoughts and feelings
- Reveal a chink in the armor – demonstrate vulnerability
- Create “future projections” – where you zoom to the end of your life – to motivate yourself to take action in spite of fear
If you are rejected by someone, ask why they rejected you.
“What I’ve found is – if you don’t run away, if you’re not afraid of rejection – just by asking the question “Why?” sometimes after you’ve been rejected, you can learn so much.”
“I’ll give you an example – I knocked on a stranger’s door and said, ‘Can I plant this flower in your backyard?’ This old man said no. Before he turned away, I asked him, ‘Why?’ He said: ‘It’s not that I don’t like flowers, but I have a dog that will dig up everything that I plant in the backyard. My neighbor actually loves flowers – if you ask her, she’ll probably say yes.’”
Other memorable quotes from the interview:
(30:10)“When we are not going out there getting rejected, we are just rejecting ourselves more comfortably, and being ignored by the world.”
(43:57)“The comfort zone is almost like a death zone. Because nothing amazing happens. There’s so many amazing things you can, so many amazing things you can discover, and secrets that you can unveil if you get out of that comfort zone.”
(46:38) “Your courage is like a muscle. It’s not like your height – which is pre-determined. With a muscle, you can change it, you can strengthen it. You can improve it dramatically if you try – if you put in the effort. So, exercise. Go out and start small. And then build on top of that. Build out your confidence gradually. Rome wasn’t built overnight. It wasn’t. Don’t think your courage can be built overnight either.”
- Brian Tracy: “The Art of Closing the Sale”
- Leil Lowndes: “How to Connect with Anyone”
- Brene Brown: “The Power of Vulnerability”
- David Dieda: “The Way of the Superior Man”
Hope you enjoyed this awesome episode! You can connect with Jia here: [email protected]. Also be sure to check out his new book “Rejection Proof” and be inspired to take your fears head on!
Please leave us your comments with any feedback.