A Week After 100 Days — 80%, No But Why, and My Lessons (Yours)

It’s been a little over a week since I wrapped up my 100 Days. It’s been odd many days not “having” to meet a Stranger. I’ve caught myself a few days walking into a room, and wondering who in the room I should meet for today. Then, “Oh, wait, I don’t have to today.” My days have definitely been a little simpler without an additional priority in my day-to-day.

Beyond that, everyone has been asking me for an update on what am I doing next — I don’t know, yet. Also, what are my lessons learned? That, too, is coming. Before those happen, here are my post-journey reflections…

(I have so many more, but here’s a simple list.)

Almost 80% of the time, they say yes

Here’s an update on the acceptances:

  • No time/ in a hurry: 8 times
  • Did not want picture taken/ shared: 8
  • Disinterested: 10

So all in, I had to ask 126 people to find 100 Strangers to share their stories putting the rate at 79.37%. That’s not bad. Starting out, I didn’t have a strong feeling if this would be more difficult. However, I was a heck of a lot more nervous walking up to people.

I remember most every rejection. I just watched Jia Jiang’s TED Talk on his “100 Days of Rejection”. In fact, I was told about Jia’s journey sometime in the middle of my own. Watching Jia recount his lessons learned, I was thinking about my own journey. Specifically, I was thinking about when I was rejected, and how often did I ask, “why?” (Answer: not often.)

If no, then why?

In many cases, the Stranger who rejected me told me why (i.e. no time, no picture). However, for many of the plain “disinterested”, I didn’t get a reason, and I never asked why. I usually chalked this up to they just didn’t want to do it, or they thought I was weird. I put them into the big “disinterested” bucket because I gave them the reason. I gave them the reason that “they were private”, “they didn’t care for my journey”, or I read their facial expressions and saw, “you’re strange, get away from me”.

After hearing Jia’s talk and how he responded with rejections by asking, “why?”, it made me wish I could go back in time and do the same.

In a sales role in my professional life, I want to get better at dealing with rejections, and getting to the root of people’s rejections. There are nuggets of insights that I’m missing out on by not asking deeper questions. In several instances, I still spoke with the Strangers. However, I didn’t share their stories (those who wanted to remain private). However, I might have missed the opportunities with those in the “disinterested” bucket to learn more about people.

The “Lessons List” – Start Your Own

Everyone’s asking me for the lessons learned. I’m getting to them.

Then, I’m also wondering how many people will try to learn their own lessons, or are they looking to me for the Cliff’s Notes. Meeting the 100 Strangers required no patented process. Required no money. Demanded little time. Anyone can do this. The lessons will be my own, and though, I might paint them in a light that is best seen and understood by others, they will be mine.

Meeting a handful of Strangers today, tomorrow, over the next two weeks, and learning from the experience (and maybe making some great connections), just requires an initiative. Then, those lessons will be your own. Don’t need to blog about them. Don’t need to bust out a voice recorder. Don’t need to start with “Who are you?” Instead, your lessons and journey starts today, and can take whatever path you wish.

(This is true beyond meeting Strangers, too.)

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