one hundred days of rejectionJia Jiang is putting himself out there big time. He is making at least one “crazy request” each day for 100 days in order to desensitize himself from the “pain of rejection,” thus hoping to conquer his fears.

Sample requests:

– Ask a Southwest Airlines flight attendant to let him give the safety announcement
– Ask a stranger to race
– Ask a policeman if he may sit in his police cruiser
– Get a job in a day
– Challenge a CEO to a staring contest
– Ask a professor to lecture the professor’s class
– Try to borrow $100 from a stranger
– Be a live mannequin at Abercrombie & Fitch
– Give a weather forecast on live TV

To make it interesting, Jia Jiang is videotaping the requests, posting them on YouTube as well as his blog.

Lessons learned:

1.  “No matter what you do, persistence is the key to your success.”

2.  “Be cognizant of other people’s risks and obstacles. Offer actions to lower and remove them. When looking for a job, offer to work without compensation for a week. When making a sale, offer customers to try it for free for 10 days.” This is the “generating options” principle discussed in Roger Fisher and William L. Ury’s excellent book on negotiation, “Getting to Yes.”

3.  “When others can’t say yes to the entire request, ask them to say yes to the things they have control over, and go from there. When you get one yes, you are much further along than getting no yes.”

4.  “Just when all seems lost, don’t lose hope and fight the battle one more time. You never know if you don’t go back in there.”

5.  “If the person says no, kindly ask why, and then offer a lesser alternative if the initial request isn’t granted.” This is Robert Cialdini’s theory of concession in his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.”