By Andrew Neitlich

Two proven ways to get over the fear of rejection

By Andrew Neitlich

Here are two proven ways to get over the fear of rejection:

1. The “no” exercise. This is a great game, and I use it in my training classes. The objective is to go up to people and ask them for things, with the intent of getting a “no.” First we do it with the training participants. People go around the room making crazy requests:

– Can I borrow $100?


– Will you buy me dinner?

– Could you give me a couple of Superbowl tickets?

– I’d like to be President of your company for a day, okay?

Their goal is to get a “no.” That way, they see that a “no” is meaningless, and can even be fun. In fact, many participants note that when the pressure is off, they are actually even MORE influential. Even though they want a “no,” their partner often reports that he or she was tempted to give in.

We then repeat the exercise in the real world. During lunch and that night, participants have to go up to 10 people, make a crazy request, and get a “no” (without getting a punch in the nose or a harrassment lawsuit, of course).

It’s a great exercise. Give it a try today: Ask ten people for something, anything, and try to persuade them to agree, even though you know you’ll get turned down.

By the way, if you like this advice, could I request that you wire $25,000 to my bank account?:)

2. Another approach is simple: Pursue a goal way bigger and more important than selling web services. For instance, try to raise $100,000 to bring clean water technologies to one or more impoverished communities where potable water is in short supply.

When we take on big things like that, suddenly things like promoting your business seem small and easy.

So, will you try #1, #2, or both?

  • You know, every time I read your posts I am stunned again and again. You say what I already knew in the back of my mind, yet was unable to consciously aknowledge. These sound like great excercises! I’ll have to give ’em a try :)

    Oh, and on your #2, I completely agree. Lately I’ve found myself inundated between work and school – so what did I do? I started a large side project. It’s actually helped me keep up on school and work, because I have the motivation to get things done. I’m no longer wasting time worrying about time management – instead, I get things done :)

  • Wow, great idea! Simple, yet brilliant. :)

  • I love it! Great ideas.

    I’ll start with #1. I could use this advice.

    Thanks for such a great blog.

  • Yeah, #1 sounds fun :) And I know #2 as “the Stefka Kostadinova method”. She’s an athlete who holds the record in High Jump – 2.09 meters. When asked “How do you jump as high as 2.09?” she says (something along the lines of) “I do not jump 2.09! I jump 2.30 – that’s where I’m aiming at.” So all of sudden 2.09 is just a no-biggie :D

  • Mike Empuria

    Great advice as always

    This is my first post as I’ve just started my own business but I’ve read all of yours. I’m just about to go out to (hopefully)finalise my first engagement. I’ve used so many of your tips to get this far so hopefully I won’t have to take today’s on board.

    By the way, that $25,000? No!

  • Its a great mind game. Are you a Pschycatrist ? It is so simple and works great.

  • By the way, if you like this advice, could I request that you wire $25,000 to my bank account?:)


  • uh, NO!
    (Great Tip!)

  • Thirteenva

    Your blog never ceases to impress me. You are truly an expert in your field. Great advice that I hope to put to good use.

  • Being stubborn in business is often the only way to get things done. Stick to your guns and dont take no for an answer, just an indication you need to change your tactics

  • Incidentally, #1 is a good way to get more comfortable picking up women, too. =)

  • transio: You always seem to have some kind of off-beat comment! lol

  • Great tips, thanks!! I will try the first one.

  • M35, I’m an off-beat kinda guy (AKA a troublemaker) :)

  • slabslab99

    I’m building an electronics company now, and will soon introduce a line of original blow- your-socks off products. I’ve been at this a long time, wishing I didn’t have to do everything myself. That’s why I’m here…I have to do the web presence, too.
    Actually, I did try to raise $100,000 to bring clean water to an impoverished part of the World, in Haiti, where I had been active for some time. I received some help, but mostly people couldn’t care less. So, I spent my own money and my own time to do a small project. This company is how I’m going to raise millions. Don’t tell me to go ask people for money. It is a horrible experience. I would rather clean toilets to earn the money. I will do this, thank you.

  • Nice work!

  • Transio: I REALLY hope that you meant to put “M35” It’s really “M36”!

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