Rejection Therapy: A Hundred Days of 'No'

Tech entrepreneur Jia Jiang gets rejected every single day. So why is he smiling?
Policemen let Jiang sit in their car Photograph by Elizabeth Weinberg for Bloomberg Businessweek

Jia Jiang wants to write for Bloomberg Businessweek. He has never written for a magazine and doesn’t have an idea for an article, but he still wants to see if we’ll give him a shot. After I tell him “no,” he drives to the University of Texas, Austin, where he plans to pester a professor into letting him lecture a class. In the past month, Jiang has asked a Southwest Airlines flight attendant if he could give the on-board safety announcement and a Domino’s employee if he could deliver pizzas, and he also urged an ice cream shop to invent a flavor just for him. He makes at least one preposterous demand every day, records a video of himself doing it, and posts it on a blog at his website, entresting.com.

Jiang asked this woman to have a staring contest
His project, 100 Days of Rejection Therapy, is based on the idea that once you’re used to the strange looks, rude comments, and outright dismissal of every thing you’re trying to achieve, you’ll be able to overcome whatever makes you nervous: speaking in public, asking a woman out, or—in Jiang’s case—seeking funding for your tech startup.

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