Rethink Rejection with Jia Jiang

jia-jiangA few years ago, Kim and I attended the World Domination Summit in Portland. One of the highlights was getting to hear Jia Jiang share his enlightening take on rejection. Fear of rejection is one of the reasons our Regret-Me-Not lists are longer than they should be. Fortunately, his talk was posted online, and we are thrilled to be able to share it with you. You do not want miss his Krispy Kreme Olympic donut story!

You can learn more about Jia and his work at


What tips do you have for being brave and facing rejection?


  1. Monica Deal Monica Deal says:

    I love this video! Thanks for posting it. I read about Jia after the donut experience because the Krispy Kreme he went to is about a mile from our house, and the whole thing got lots of local coverage. I remember thinking he was so brave to try something like that and that the workers there were so great to rise to the challenge.

    When I need to be brave, I tend to try and think of someone close to me who has encountered a similar situation. If I know someone else has done it, I’m much more likely to be able to convince myself to do it; there’s something comforting in knowing somebody else survived the same experience. It doesn’t always work, but it’s the best I’ve come up with so far. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to do a challenge like Jia did.

  2. Darla Dernovsek Darla Dernovsek says:

    As a college intern at a small weekly newspaper, I had the good fortune to interview Wilson “Woody” Rawls, author of “Where the Red Fern Grows.” He wrote all his life. When he was young and couldn’t afford paper, he wrote with a stick in the sand by the creek. When he was engaged in mid-life, he decided his lifetime’s worth of manuscripts weren’t good enough, so he burned them. After he married his beloved wife Sophie Styczinski Rawls, he told her what he had done and she persuaded him to write his tales again. Once “Where the Red Fern Grows” was finally published, sales sputtered and stalled, despite the positive reactions of reviewers. So Wilson and Sophie traveled the country talking to schoolchildren. Book sales took off. By the way, Wilson Rawls rarely gave interviews at that stage of his career and his telephone number was unlisted. But the Styczinski family was our neighbors and I was friends with Sophie’s nieces. With my Mom’s encouragement, I called to see if they would help me arrange an interview with their “Uncle Woody.” They did, and it was so worth it. I am not the only one that heard these stories from Wilson Rawls (you can check the various online biographies) but hearing the details from him was priceless. I think there’s two lessons here. First, you have to try and if the conventional approaches don’t work — if the number is unlisted, for example — you may need to take another route. Second, like Wilson and Sophie Rawls, it always helps to have someone who loves you on your side.

    • Angela Dunlap Angela Dunlap says:

      Amen on “it always helps to have someone who loves you on your side!”

    • What a neat story! And with our new book coming out, I am banking on the fact that we have enough people who love us on our side to help make it a success…fingers crossed! :)

  3. Avatar Dave Timmerman says:

    I don’t ask for things because I fear rejection. I remember when I was the pastor in McFarland at Christ the King parish. I wanted new lamps for the rectory. So I sheepishly went to the finance person and asked if it would be okay to get the lamps. She looked at me and said, “Father, your the pastor, you can get whatever you want and you don’t have to ask.” Her name was Mary Orvis and we are still friends to this day. I respect my role as pastor and I know now that I am the one in charge but I just choose to bring as many people as I can along for the ride. It is a great feeling.

  4. Wendy Whitney-Scherer Wendy Whitney-Scherer says:

    Awesome video and stories above. Huh, what will I ask for?

  5. Angela Dunlap Angela Dunlap says:

    When I think of courage, I think of my niece, who has been sick for several years and doctors have not been able to figure out what’s wrong with her. She faced skeptical medical staff who initially thought she was making up her symptoms; however, those symptoms were, and continue to be, very real. She has not curled up in a ball and stayed at home (although, sometimes, she is too tired to move). She finished her schooling after having to take a year off because of her illness. She got a job offer before she finished and she has worked ever since graduating with a radiology tech degree in spite of her illness. She is scared of what the future holds for her, but she works, enjoys time with her family and friends, and makes decisions her parents don’t necessarily approve of (smile). My tip is to find someone in your life who is brave and emulate that person. You don’t actually have to feel brave; you only have to act like it. No one will know the difference.

    • Lynn Carter Lynn Carter says:

      Wow. She sounds like an amazing person! It must take serious guts to keep putting one foot in front of the other with all that uncertainty. What a great role model.

    • “You don’t actually have to feel brave; you only have to act like it. No one will know the difference.” <-- Love this.

  6. Lynn Carter Lynn Carter says:

    Becoming a Secular Franciscan (at least in the USA) means that I hang out with a lot of people who are over 70 years old. I was originally going to write something about turning 40 and just deciding I didn’t need to worry about rejection anymore, but I think the real credit goes to my OFS brothers and sisters. They have lived long and fruitful lives, so they have lots of great experience to share, but they also have no filters anymore, since those disappear with age :) They tell me to go and do things (including traveling) while I’m young enough to be independent and flexible, and they have highly tuned BS-meters, so no excuses!

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