When Jia Jiang was 6 years old his teacher embarrassed him in front of the whole class. Unconsciously the incident changed him for a long time. One day when he was 14 years old Bill Gates came to his city. Jia was so inspired he decided that day that he wanted to become an entrepreneur. One day he moved to the United States thinking that would be the start of his entrepreneurial journey. 13 years later, he never built his company, in fact he was 30 and hadn’t even started. He was working for someone else and felt stuck. Every time he wanted to try something new, to jump out on his own or speak up in front of people he felt a constant battle between the fearful 6 year old and the inspired 14 year old.
In his thirties he finally started his company but got rejected by investors and quit. Then he thought “Would bill gates quit?” What he realized was that he needed to work on himself, to make him a better leader. He needed to overcome his fear of rejection. He read about people like Martin Luther King Jr and Mahatma Gandhi who had to endured extreme rejection. He read articles and books but nothing would help until he faced it.
So he decided that for 100 days he would face rejection. Things like asking a stranger to borrow $100 or asking the waitress for a burger refill at the restaurant. Overtime the rejections became more comfortable. He learned tricks to starting a conversation by stating the obvious like “I know It sounds weird but…” Eventually he started getting yes’s. But more importantly he cured his fear of rejection that would serve him as a new advantage the rest of his life.
Fear of rejection is something that holds a lot of people back especially in the startup phase of a business. The only way to get over it, is to face it.
Also published on Medium.