Jiang is an entrepreneur, blogger, bestselling author, and acclaimed TED speaker with a professional focus on something you probably haven’t heard much about: rejection therapy.
It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like—a treatment program designed to help people overcome their fear of rejection.
Jiang, a Beijing native, offers rejection therapy to salespeople and recruiters through a company called Wuju Learning. The goal is to teach people how to look past rejection and become fearless, “so they can sell more, think bigger, and achieve higher.” (The word wuju, by the way, is an ancient Chinese term that means fearless.)
Jiang also runs a company called Rejection Therapy, which is an online destination for various products and resources designed to empower people as they face their fears. This is where you can read his blog and purchase his influential bookRejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection.
Jiang has been using SimpleTexting in connection with his rejection therapy services. We recently spoke with him on the phone to get a better understanding of what rejection therapy actually entails, and what exactly SimpleTexting has to do with any of it.
Becoming fearless by rejection
It all began shortly after Jiang quit his Fortune 100 job to pursue his dream of becoming a tech entrepreneur. Four months into building a startup with his team of engineers, his project caught the eye of an angel investor. Jiang was all but certain that he’d locked in the funding that would really give his new venture some fire.
But then that prospective investor decided to take a pass, offering no explanation save a brief “no thanks” email.
The disappointment didn’t take Jiang down, though. In fact, it took him to Google, where he entered this search:
How to overcome the fear of rejection
… and that’s how he discovered a card game called Rejection Therapy, where the whole point is to do things that get you rejected.
The card game idea intrigued him. So much so that he decided to go out and get himself rejected on purpose, for 100 days straight, while filming and blogging about his experiences daily for all to see. You can check out all 100 days for yourself right here. Some of the rejections are pretty hilarious!
Maybe it sounds crazy, but by forcing himself to face rejection every day for a sustained period, Jiang actually changed as a person.
He became a lot braver and more confident.
He became fearless.
Texting and rejection therapy
I wanted to find out if people would actually do this. Would they go out and get rejected on purpose, just like I did?
– Jia Jiang
Jiang got a lot of attention from his 100-day experiment, and he was able to monetize that experience as a blogger, author, and keynote speaker. Which was great, for a while.
Eventually, however, he started feeling the need to do something more impactful—something where instead of just sharing his story with the general public, he could guide individuals through a rejection program step by step, modify his approach based on data, and scale up easily to reach as many people as possible.
But would people really be up for the challenge? As work progressed on the app, Jiang decided to put that question to the test with a text messaging experiment. He signed up for a SimpleTexting plan and started sending a select group of followers daily rejection challenges, like these:
Ask a stranger to borrow $100
Get a selfie with a stranger
Ask for a discount when you’re at a store
Buy someone random a cup of coffee
Apologize to someone you’ve hurt
Give a stranger $5
Text a long-lost friend
Guess what? As it turns out, the answer to the question above is Yes—people will go out and get rejected on purpose, just like Jiang did.
“People are doing amazing things!”
Jiang told us that the results of his texting rejection experiment have been great.
“People are doing amazing things,” he said. “People who never thought it would be possible. People are making sales when they couldn’t do it before—they couldn’t pick up the phone, but they did it after the challenge. There are people who are getting much closer to their family, expressing gratitude toward their family.”
And then there’s this one:
One person actually got her first kiss, you know! She’s been in love with this guy for 5 years, and then through the challenge she asked for her first kiss, and she got it.