Thursday, 25 May 2017

Book Review – Rejection Proof

Book Review – Rejection Proof

Review by Casey Douglass


Rejection Proof


Blurb:

Rejection? It's nothing to be afraid of …

Maybe you avoid situations where you might be rejected. You don't apply for that dream job. You don't ask for that pay rise. You don’t ask that person on a date. But it doesn't have to be that way – the only thing standing between you and your goals … is you.

Jia Jiang had allowed his fear of rejection to rule his life. But he decided to take radical action: he quit his job and spent 100 days deliberately seeking out scenarios where he would likely be rejected, from ordering doughnuts interlinked and iced like the Olympic rings to asking to pilot a light aircraft. And something remarkable happened; Jia not only learned how to cope with rejection but also discovered that even the most outrageous request may be granted – if you ask in the right way.

In this infectiously positive book Jia shares what he learned in his 100 Days of Rejection, explaining how to turn a 'no' into a 'yes', and revealing how you too can become Rejection Proof and achieve your dreams.

I first came across Jia Jiang while I was browsing a variety of TED talks on YouTube. In his, he told the story of how he embarked on a 100 Days of Rejection experiment to see if he could tame this thing that has such a hold on so many of us. I recently saw his book: Rejection Proof, on a shelf in my local Waterstones and realised it was “the rejection guy”. I bought it, read it, liked it, and now, here I am writing about it.

In the first chapter, Jia fills the reader in on the various elements of his early life and how they seemed to be shaped or affected by rejection, from his dreams of inventing a roller-shoe, to his desire to create a company so large that he could eventually buy Microsoft. Even though he ended up in a pretty comfortable job, he wasn’t happy, and ended up giving his entrepreneurial dream a try. The rejection that he received when trying to get his new app developed is what drove him to his notion of experiencing “100 Days of Rejection”, writing about it and filming it online.

As a reader, I enjoyed vicariously experiencing the variety of challenges Jia set for himself. He starts with the notion of asking a stranger if he could borrow $100, his internal physical responses and coping strategies to how this went helping to inform his knowledge of how rejection seemed to work for him, and how he might approach future experiments with this new knowledge in play. In this instance, he learned that if he’d been more open to the idea of what the stranger said (“No. Why?”) he might have been able to keep the conversation going and learn more than he did. As it was, he later finds out that giving someone a “why” turns out to be very helpful in getting a “Yes” from them.

That is the lovely thing about this book, seeing Jia experiment, assess and experiment some more, refining his approach to the topic, and people, that he engages in his rejection experiment. The other enjoyable aspect is the seemingly nutty ideas he tries, from asking a stranger if he could play soccer in his back-garden, to the experiment that went viral in which he enters a doughnut shop and asks for Olympic ring-shaped doughnuts... and gets them! This is pretty much the pattern of the book, Jia’s inventive experiments detailed and recounted, and the lessons he learns along the way. This makes it a very easy read, and I’m sure most readers will relate to Jia’s rejection experiences in a number of ways, even if they’ve never personally asked if they can give the safety message on a plane.

Rejection Proof is a fantastic book and a great, in-depth accompaniment to Jia’s TED talk. I’ve embedded his TED talk below, but you can also find videos of his various rejection challenges on YouTube. You can also visit his website here to learn more about the other things he is doing. If you struggle in any way with rejection, whether from others, or by way of self-rejecting yourself so that others never get the chance to reject (or accept) you, reading Rejection Proof will give you a new way to look at the issue, and handy tips in how to deal with it when it rears its head in your life. I give Rejection Proof a hearty 5/5.



Book Title: Rejection Proof
Author: Jia Jiang
ISBN: 978-1847941442
RRP: £8.99

Rejection Proof Cover Image © Copyright Random House Business.




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