Rejection Proof

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.


I am so into these self-improvement / business books, it’s not even funny. I could eat these up by the truckload.

Maybe if I actually ran across a bad one once in awhile that would dampen my enthusiasm, but these have all been awesome.

Rejection Proof ¬†is another great entry in this category. For everyone who’s struggled with their fear of being rejected (e.g. everyone) this is a must-read.

The first part of the book starts off with Jia’s story and how the 100 Days of Rejection Experiment was born. As the experiment goes on, Jia starts to make some observations about the nature of rejection, how to overcome it, how to deal with it, and how to increase your chances of getting a “Yes!” Each of the later chapters has plenty of real, actionable tips for you to try out in everyday life.

I think my biggest takeaway from this book is that every time you get rejected, it normally says more about the person doing the rejecting than the person being rejected.

As someone who is working my way through¬†rejection letter after rejection letter for my books, it’s interesting to think how getting rejected for my books really doesn’t bother me all that much. Not to say I’m not afraid of rejection. I’m totally shaking at the knees when I have to face someone in person. But those rejection emails hardly register anymore.That’s partly because those letters are pretty impersonal and partly because the publishing industry is one of the toughest out there. Rejection is just an opinion. And rejection also has a number. The odds are that if you work hard enough and try long enough, someone will say yes.

My other big takeaway from this book is a reinforcement of something I got from The Success Principles: never be afraid to ask because you have nothing to lose. Whatever you’re asking for, you didn’t have it anyway so if they so no, you’re still in the same spot.

My final takeaway is that someone is less likely to reject you a second time. Go in with your aim high and if they say no, already have your compromise in mind. If you get the “yes” the first time, awesome! But if you get it on the second ask, you’ve still earned something more than you started with.

This is my second favorite book I’ve read this year, but I’m currently reading A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink which I’m loving. It might edge out this book, but Top 3 isn’t so bad!

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