Jia Jiang is a tech entrepreneur.  He is also a very brave and daring soul.  Finding himself in the midst of asking investors for funding for his startup, he began to ponder the emotional, physiological, and psychological dynamics of experiencing rejection.

His pondering led him to a new revelation:  Precisely because we tend to avoid pain, Jiang must purposefully expose himself to rejection situations to build up resistance so he will be better equipped to continue asking investors for funding.

I think I like his logic.  It still just feels a little bit masochistic, but I think I like his logic.  If you expose yourself to the pain often enough, you become better at handling it.

Claire Suddath writes about Jiang’s experiences in Bloomberg Businessweek (“The No Man” 1/14/13–1/20/13, pp. 67–69).  Jiang’s guaranteed-rejection situations so far have included such things as asking a hotel security guard if he could borrow $100, asking a college professor if he could lecture his class, asking a flight attendant if he could deliver the preflight safety demonstration, and (you guessed it!) asking Suddath if he could write an article for Bloomberg Businessweek.  Suddath summarizes Jiang’s results:

“Jiang has discovered through 100 Days of Rejection that he can consistently come up with entertaining ideas—and that there may be more than one path forward. . . . After a month and a half of daily nos, no ways, and nevers, Jiang no longer feels the sting of that original investor’s rejection.  As he puts it: ‘I feel like I have swagger now.’” (p. 69)

Well, at least I know what I need to do to get my swagger!

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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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