This entrepreneur is doing a “100 days of Rejection” therapy

As an entrepreneur, you better get used to being rejected. And then it will still hurt. Entrepreneur Jia Jiang, founder of Hooplus, was so profoundly hurt when an investor turned him down, that he vowed never again to feel so gutted when he was turned down.

Jian found help on a dating advice site called ‘rejection therapy’ which wants to teach men and women to overcome their fear of asking for a date by actively trying to get rejected – it’s called ‘desensitizing’ yourself from rejection. It’s not clear whether the therapy is based in scientific fact, but Jia Jian thought it should make for interesting television.

He says:

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.

It worked like a charm, or better yet, ‘like magic blended with kungfu’, as Jian calls it. You can see the progress he makes by comparing his first video to his most recent. In the first video, you can see that he’s still looking for his groove (and mostly, not finding it):

But this is him at rejection number 48, daring a Toys ‘R Us employee to a toy bike race in the shop. It’s interesting to see how he doesn’t allow her to say “no” here. When she hesitates, he interjects jokes, ask questions – anything to stop her mind racing towards that final ‘no, I don’t think we can do that.’ Great sales stuff.

It reminds me of Tim Ferriss’ advice that if you want something from people, you have to take charge of a conversation and actively suggest next steps. This also prevents people from thinking too much and arriving at the conclusion that this is possibly a bad idea:

Here he is smooth talking a bank clerk into folding airplanes out of paper bills. Here, he says that he actually felt slightly reckless and weirdly confident doing this with a partner (it’s a feeling that I wrote about recently too). He says that the confidence also helped him get what he wanted:

I was able to observe the encounter from a third person perspective. Interestingly, it felt completely different from doing it myself. I had a strange sense of calm and anticipation, very similar to the time when I took the Businessweek reporter to dance with a Santaexchange training with a trainer, and give a talk to college students. It was like doing an adventure with a friend.

Famous author Malcolm Gladwell talked about this phenomenon in his book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, that two police officers working together can sometimes lead to strange and dangerous behaviors, because they feel emboldened by the presence of their partners. I am not a police officer, just a rejection therapy patient, but I also felt the same way.

You can track his score here.

In any case, Jia Jiang’s stunt is great PR: it got him coverage on Forbes, Huffington Post, TIME and Gawker. Have you done anything crazy to learn how to be a better entrepreneur? Let us know in the comments. And next time: catch it on tape.


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About the author

Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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