Book Review: Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang

Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang

This is one book I’ve been waiting for ever since I found out what Jia Jiang was doing with his 100 days of rejection project. I loved what happened with the “Olympic Donuts”! 😀 And in my own blogging journey, I’ve encountered numerous rejections as well, without having to put myself out there like Jia Jiang. One story I like to tell friends is about how Starbucks actually rejected me (via email) when I asked if I could take a picture within one of their Starbucks outlets to use on my book cover. I thought my request was polite and most likely to elicit a “yes” from them. I offered to buy drinks and food, and not cause any disturbance to their customers. I’m sure many people take pictures daily within Starbucks outlets (not just in Singapore but all over the world) and never had to seek “permission” but I thought I’ll just do the nice thing and notify them first. After that ‘no’ was delivered, I went over to another cafe (goodbye, Starbucks!) and took a picture there without asking/notifying anyone. LOL! And that got the job done. Perhaps, in Singapore, we have to follow the “do first, apologize later” rule. 😉

And in the course of requesting for interviews with celebrities, millionaires and entrepreneurs, sure, there were some no-replies (which is a reply in itself), some yeses, and some rejections. I found it pretty interesting how I’d asked to interview three politicians. I got one ‘yes’ (the politician ended up doing very well; and is still in office), one ‘no’ from the politician himself (he got booted out of office), and another ‘no’ from yet another politician’s aide (he had a medical emergency; I don’t know what happened to him thereafter). Towards the people who rejected my request, I bear no ill will. It has to be a coincidence, right? (@_@) But I certainly have learnt a lot from them regarding how to say no to someone without offending the person. Just as Jia Jiang has, in this really awesome book.

Here are some things I’ve learned from reading this real stunner of a book:

  1. Have an idea that people are shooting down? Good. Go do it. Jia Jiang had an idea for shoes with wheels and unfortunately, his uncle told him it’s not a good idea. So those plans and drafts were abandoned. Two years later, another guy started a company making such shoes (Heelys) and the company was valued at $1billion during the IPO. What do I learn from this? Something I’ve always known: If you have an idea, go execute it, or deal with regret when someone else takes “your idea” and becomes super successful.
  2. When you follow your heart, Life has a way of becoming more awesome than you could have dreamed of. Jia Jiang had a cushy 6-figure job (sounds kinda familiar to me) but he was miserable because he had always wanted to be the kind of entrepreneur who would put a dent in the universe. He quit to start his own app company, sought to gamify ‘promises’ and ended up being rejected by a potential investor. To attempt to become rejection proof, he embarked on his 100 Days Of Rejection project, which received early success – viral videos, interviews, speaking engagements, worldwide fame – and he even ended up being offered a job by Zappos’ Tony Hsieh!
  3. Put in first place those people who always put you first. When Jia Jiang wanted to quit his job, while a new baby was on the way, his wife actually supported his dreams, and gave him 6 months to figure it out. When he wanted to quit halfway, she reminded him that he had to give it a full 6 months. Without her encouragement and selfless support, it is unlikely that Jia Jiang would have gotten where he is today. Nearing the end of his 100 Days challenge, when people were telling him that he should send an interview request to President Obama, as a way of ending this challenge on a ‘high’, he decided to help his wife secure a job at Google instead. It’s his wife’s dream to work at Google, and after numerous failed attempts, she finally got the job just by being nice and demonstrating that she really craved the opportunity to work there. Wow. Thankfully, Jia Jiang’s not the kind of guy who lets success get to his head and then forget about the people who helped him get there.

There’s just so much I love about this book. It’s such an easy read; you can complete reading this in 2 days max! But I love the lessons, examples, open sharing and the inspiration and positivity within. Go get a copy now – I’m sure it’s gonna be a bestseller!