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  • When I was six years old,

  • I received my gifts.

  • My first grade teacher had this brilliant idea.

  • She wanted us to experience receiving gifts

  • but also learning the virtue of complimenting each other.

  • So she had all of us come to the front of the classroom,

  • and she bought all of us gifts and stacked them in the corner.

  • And she said,

  • "Why don't we just stand here and compliment each other?

  • If you hear your name called,

  • go and pick up your gift and sit down."

  • What a wonderful idea, right?

  • What could go wrong?

  • (Laughter)

  • Well, there were 40 of us to start with,

  • and every time I heard someone's name called,

  • I would give out the heartiest cheer.

  • And then there were 20 people left,

  • and 10 people left,

  • and five left ...

  • and three left.

  • And I was one of them.

  • And the compliments stopped.

  • Well, at that moment, I was crying.

  • And the teacher was freaking out.

  • She was like, "Hey, would anyone say anything nice about these people?"

  • (Laughter)

  • "No one? OK, why don't you go get your gift and sit down.

  • So behave next year --

  • someone might say something nice about you."

  • (Laughter)

  • Well, as I'm describing this you,

  • you probably know I remember this really well.

  • (Laughter)

  • But I don't know who felt worse that day.

  • Was it me or the teacher?

  • She must have realized that she turned a team-building event

  • into a public roast for three six-year-olds.

  • And without the humor.

  • You know, when you see people get roasted on TV,

  • it was funny.

  • There was nothing funny about that day.

  • So that was one version of me,

  • and I would die to avoid being in that situation again --

  • to get rejected in public again.

  • That's one version.

  • Then fast-forward eight years.

  • Bill Gates came to my hometown --

  • Beijing, China --

  • to speak,

  • and I saw his message.

  • I fell in love with that guy.

  • I thought, wow, I know what I want to do now.

  • That night I wrote a letter to my family

  • telling them: "By age 25,

  • I will build the biggest company in the world,

  • and that company will buy Microsoft."

  • (Laughter)

  • I totally embraced this idea of conquering the world --

  • domination, right?

  • And I didn't make this up, I did write that letter.

  • And here it is --

  • (Laughter)

  • You don't have to read this through --

  • (Laughter)

  • This is also bad handwriting, but I did highlight some key words.

  • You get the idea.

  • (Laughter)

  • So ...

  • that was another version of me:

  • one who will conquer the world.

  • Well, then two years later,

  • I was presented with the opportunity to come to the United States.

  • I jumped on it,

  • because that was where Bill Gates lived, right?

  • (Laughter)

  • I thought that was the start of my entrepreneur journey.

  • Then, fast-forward another 14 years.

  • I was 30.

  • Nope, I didn't build that company.

  • I didn't even start.

  • I was actually a marketing manager for a Fortune 500 company.

  • And I felt I was stuck;

  • I was stagnant.

  • Why is that?

  • Where is that 14-year-old who wrote that letter?

  • It's not because he didn't try.

  • It's because every time I had a new idea,

  • every time I wanted to try something new,

  • even at work --

  • I wanted to make a proposal,

  • I wanted to speak up in front of people in a group --

  • I felt there was this constant battle

  • between the 14-year-old and the six-year-old.

  • One wanted to conquer the world --

  • make a difference --

  • another was afraid of rejection.

  • And every time that six-year-old won.

  • And this fear even persisted after I started my own company.

  • I mean, I started my own company when I was 30 --

  • if you want to be Bill Gates,

  • you've got to start sooner or later, right?

  • When I was an entrepreneur,

  • I was presented with an investment opportunity,

  • and then I was turned down.

  • And that rejection hurt me.

  • It hurt me so bad that I wanted to quit right there.

  • But then I thought,

  • hey, would Bill Gates quit after a simple investment rejection?

  • Would any successful entrepreneur quit like that?

  • No way.

  • And this is where it clicked for me.

  • OK, I can build a better company.

  • I can build a better team or better product,

  • but one thing for sure:

  • I've got to be a better leader.

  • I've got to be a better person.

  • I cannot let that six-year-old keep dictating my life anymore.

  • I have to put him back in his place.

  • So this is where I went online and looked for help.

  • Google was my friend.

  • (Laughter)

  • I searched, "How do I overcome the fear of rejection?"

  • I came up with a bunch of psychology articles

  • about where the fear and pain are coming from.

  • Then I came up with a bunch of "rah-rah" inspirational articles

  • about "Don't take it personally, just overcome it."

  • Who doesn't know that?

  • (Laughter)

  • But why was I still so scared?

  • Then I found this website by luck.

  • It's called rejectiontherapy.com.

  • (Laughter)

  • "Rejection Therapy" was this game invented by this Canadian entrepreneur.

  • His name is Jason Comely.

  • And basically the idea is for 30 days you go out and look for rejection,

  • and every day get rejected at something,

  • and then by the end, you desensitize yourself from the pain.

  • And I loved that idea.

  • (Laughter)

  • I said, "You know what? I'm going to do this.

  • And I'll feel myself getting rejected 100 days."

  • And I came up with my own rejection ideas,

  • and I made a video blog out of it.

  • And so here's what I did.

  • This is what the blog looked like.

  • Day One ...

  • (Laughter)

  • Borrow 100 dollars from a stranger.

  • So this is where I went to where I was working.

  • I came downstairs

  • and I saw this big guy sitting behind a desk.

  • He looked like a security guard.

  • So I just approached him.

  • And I was just walking

  • and that was the longest walk of my life --

  • hair on the back of my neck standing up,

  • I was sweating and my heart was pounding.

  • And I got there and said,

  • "Hey, sir, can I borrow 100 dollars from you?"

  • (Laughter)

  • And he looked up, he's like, "No."

  • "Why?"

  • And I just said, "No? I'm sorry."

  • Then I turned around, and I just ran.

  • (Laughter)

  • I felt so embarrassed.

  • But because I filmed myself --

  • so that night I was watching myself getting rejected,

  • I just saw how scared I was.

  • I looked like this kid in "The Sixth Sense."

  • I saw dead people.

  • (Laughter)

  • But then I saw this guy.

  • You know, he wasn't that menacing.

  • He was a chubby, loveable guy,

  • and he even asked me, "Why?"

  • In fact, he invited me to explain myself.

  • And I could've said many things.

  • I could've explained, I could've negotiated.

  • I didn't do any of that.

  • All I did was run.

  • I felt, wow, this is like a microcosm of my life.

  • Every time I felt the slightest rejection,

  • I would just run as fast as I could.

  • And you know what?

  • The next day, no matter what happens,

  • I'm not going to run.

  • I'll stay engaged.

  • Day Two: Request a "burger refill."

  • (Laughter)

  • It's when I went to a burger joint,

  • I finished lunch, and I went to the cashier and said,

  • "Hi, can I get a burger refill?"

  • (Laughter)

  • He was all confused, like, "What's a burger refill?"

  • (Laughter)

  • I said, "Well, it's just like a drink refill but with a burger."

  • And he said, "Sorry, we don't do burger refill, man."

  • (Laughter)

  • So this is where rejection happened and I could have run, but I stayed.

  • I said, "Well, I love your burgers,

  • I love your joint,

  • and if you guys do a burger refill,

  • I will love you guys more."

  • (Laughter)

  • And he said, "Well, OK, I'll tell my manager about it,

  • and maybe we'll do it, but sorry, we can't do this today."

  • Then I left.

  • And by the way,

  • I don't think they've ever done burger refill.

  • (Laughter)

  • I think they're still there.

  • But the life and death feeling I was feeling the first time

  • was no longer there,

  • just because I stayed engaged --

  • because I didn't run.

  • I said, "Wow, great, I'm already learning things.

  • Great."

  • And then Day Three: Getting Olympic Doughnuts.

  • This is where my life was turned upside down.

  • I went to a Krispy Kreme.

  • It's a doughnut shop

  • in mainly the Southeastern part of the United States.

  • I'm sure they have some here, too.

  • And I went in,

  • I said, "Can you make me doughnuts that look like Olympic symbols?

  • Basically, you interlink five doughnuts together ... "

  • I mean there's no way they could say yes, right?

  • The doughnut maker took me so seriously.

  • (Laughter)

  • So she put out paper,

  • started jotting down the colors and the rings,

  • and is like, "How can I make this?"

  • And then 15 minutes later,

  • she came out with a box that looked like Olympic rings.

  • And I was so touched.

  • I just couldn't believe it.

  • And that video got over five million views on Youtube.

  • The world couldn't believe that either.

  • (Laughter)

  • You know, because of that I was in newspapers,

  • in talk shows, in everything.

  • And I became famous.

  • A lot of people started writing emails to me

  • and saying, "What you're doing is awesome."

  • But you know, fame and notoriety did not do anything to me.

  • What I really wanted to do was learn,

  • and to change myself.

  • So I turned the rest of my 100 days of rejection

  • into this playground --

  • into this research project.

  • I wanted to see what I could learn.

  • And then I learned a lot of things.

  • I discovered so many secrets.

  • For example, I