My guest for Episode #226 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Dr. Eli Joseph. He is an author, educator, and 3-time TEDx speaker who currently serves as a faculty member at Columbia University, New York University, and UCLA.
Using rejection to fuel his professional achievements, Dr. Joseph earned his bachelor’s degree at the age of 20, a master’s degree at the age of 21, and earned a doctorate degree at Felician University while teaching at Columbia University at the age of 24, and became a Quest Diagnostics business partner at the age of 25.
He’s the author of the book The Perfect Rejection Resume: A Reader’s Guide to Building a Career Through Failure (February 2022).
In this episode, Eli shares his favorite mistake story about being rejected for an internship with JP Morgan Chase in 2015. How did this inspire him to write a book on rejection resumes? Why share rejections publicly? We discuss all of that and more.
Questions and Topics:
- So that “favorite mistake” rejection is on your rejection resume??
- What inspired you to write the book on rejection resumes?
- Why share failures or rejections publicly?
- What does it mean to get vaccinated by failure?
- Failures, rejections, mistakes — get back on direction or a new direction??
- Gianis Antetokounmpo — failure question — link to the video
- Book: “addressing the lessons learned from our failures”?
- How to make sure we really learn?
- Why do we love to blame others?
- Time management — future book, mistakes around that?
Scroll down to find:
- Video version of the episode
- How to subscribe
- Full transcript
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Dr. Eli Joseph on Using Rejection as Fuel for Achievement
Dr. Eli Joseph is a renowned author, educator, and threetime TEDx speaker who currently serves as a faculty member at Columbia University, New York University, and UCLA. Passionate about education and imparting knowledge, his journey to success is marked with perseverance, tenacity, and an unconventional, yet effective, fuel to his ambitions – rejection.
Beginning his educational journey at a young age, Dr. Joseph earned his bachelor's degree at 20, his master's at 21, and obtained a doctorate from Felician University while teaching at Columbia at the ripe age of 24. His rapid acquisition of academic qualifications, positions him as a prodigy in his field, prompting observers to question where failure or rejection fits into his seemingly impeccable track record.
The Perfect Rejection Resume: A Reader's Guide to Building a Career Through Failure is a testament to Dr. Joseph's resilient journey. His work stands as an unfiltered view into his career path, showing that success isn't always a straightforward sprint. Using the metaphor of a resume, Dr. Joseph encourages readers not just to outline their accomplishments but also to highlight their setbacks and failures – which he refers to as ‘lowlights’. This concept, termed ‘rejection resume’, serves as a philosophical vaccination against the fear of rejection – the idea that hearing ‘no' is just part of the process, not an end point.
Venturing into Unfamiliar Terrain with High Aspirations
Dr. Joseph opens up about one of his significant rejections early in his career. In January 2015, during an internship interview for the E-trading desk at JPMorgan Chase, he expressed his aspirations of becoming a corporate investment banker. Despite giving what he thought was a brilliant and truthful answer, he was met with a stark reality – that his academic background from a smaller, less well-known school may not be in alignment with the corporate investment banking world at Morgan.
Despite the initial disappointment, Dr. Joseph's view on this rejection is reflective and forward-thinking. He considers this rejection as a significant juncture in shaping his career trajectory, driving him towards a greater purpose with high aspirations – teaching. Today, he is a distinguished faculty member at prominent universities, teaching students who are aspiring to extract value from their education and apply it in the real world.
Embracing Rejection to Fuel Success
‘It's radical, but it works' says Dr. Joseph, emphasizing the importance of sharing failures and rejection. Doing so makes you human, encourages others to share their experiences, and can often lead to engaging discourse around coping mechanisms and resilience-building techniques. To further illustrate this, Dr. Joseph uses the metaphor of ‘rent' to represent the daily efforts one puts in towards their goals. This effort and tenacity in the face of rejection eventually guarantees a ‘win' crystallizing the idea that ‘direction is more important than speed.'
Overall, Dr. Joseph's journey is a powerful testament to the unconventional paths that can lead to success, affirming the importance of embracing failure and rejections as steppingstones rather than setbacks. Ultimately, overcoming failure and rejection isn't about eliminating them from our journey, but about learning, adapting, and turning them into steppingstones for success.
The Power of Recalibration and Deep Learning
The term ‘recalibration' in the context of career success is an important concept that Dr. Eli Joseph often emphasizes. It means reassessing your strategies, decision-making processes, goals, and directions in life. It's about understanding that one hundred attempts in the same direction may yield no result and therefore it might be wise to reassess and change direction. As a strategy, recalibrating serves to evaluate and redefine one's personal interests, comfort levels, and the overall direction they wish to head in their careers.
Interestingly, Dr. Joseph aligns this process of recalibration with the concepts of machine learning and deep learning. This is a comparison that strikes a chord with our increasingly digitized society, which is constantly being molded and influenced by artificial intelligence (AI). Deep learning in AI is similar to humans learning and adapting from their mistakes and failures. With each rejection, we fine-tune our strategies, just as deep learning algorithms fine-tune their processes to improve accuracy.
To further underline the process of dealing with rejections, Dr. Joseph uses the metaphor of a ‘rejection vaccination card'. Much like vaccination boosters needed to strengthen immunity against diseases, individuals need frequent experiential ‘boosters' of rejection to build their resilience and ability to navigate and bounce back from failures.
Just as importantly, failures must be treated with humility, acknowledging the lessons each failure brings rather than harping on the setback itself. William Shatner, the legendary Star Trek actor, served as an example for the best way to reject or be rejected, where both parties maintain compassion and respect.
Turning Rejection into Motivation
Getting rejected isn't a one-time event. Unlike winning a championship, facing rejection is a recurring process that requires consistency, patience, and resilience. Even champions have to go through defeat to realize greatness. One such example is NBA player Giannis Antetokounmpo who emphasized that “there is no failure in sports.”
When you look at the domino effect, every small rejection puts you in place for a much bigger picture. Dr. Joseph encourages individuals to be aware of their day-to-day activities, which involves acknowledging not just the wins but the losses too. Recognizing these failures normalizes the process and sets the stage for improvement.
Taking note of small failures before they escalate into massive detriments is essential. As Dr. Joseph explains, while it's never your fault when things go haywire externally, you still have to blame yourself, not as a criticism, but to hold yourself accountable for your actions.
This might sound absurd at first, but it makes perfect sense when viewed from a motivational perspective. It emphasizes the importance of ownership and responsibility when it comes to our actions, decisions, and, undoubtedly, our failures. We may not control what happens to us, but how we respond to these experiences is completely within our control.
Ultimately, Dr. Joseph's philosophy teaches us that every rejection is a stepping stone, a lesson to make us stronger, and prepare us for bigger challenges that lie ahead. In doing so, it challenges us to turn rejections into a positive force that drives us toward achieving our goals.
Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)
Mark Graban (0s):
Episode 226, Dr Eli Joseph, the Perfect Rejection Resume.
Dr. Eli Joseph (5s):
I thought that was a brilliant answer, and it was a truthful answer as well. Yeah, the response to it. That's basically, that's, that's where I'm getting at as far as the mistake that I made.
Mark Graban (19s):
I'm Mark Graban. This is My Favorite Mistake In. this podcast, you'll hear business leaders and other really interesting people talking about their favorite mistakes, because we all make mistakes. But what matters is learning from our mistakes instead of repeating them over and over again. So this is the place for honest reflection and conversation, personal growth and professional success. Visit our website at MyFavoriteMistakePodcast.com. To learn more about Eli, his book, and more Look for links in the show notes or go to MarkGraban.Com/mistake226. As always, thanks for listening. Well Hi, Everybody. Welcome To My Favorite Mistake.
Mark Graban (60s):
I'm Mark Graban. Our guest today is Dr Eli Joseph. He's an author, educator, and three-time TEDx Speaker who currently serves as a faculty member at Columbia University, New York University and UCLA using rejection to fuel his professional achievements. And I'm excited to talk about that today. Dr. Joseph earned his bachelor's degree at age 20, his master's at 21, and a doctorate from Felicia University while teaching at Columbia at the age of 24. So, wow, that's a lot of achievement in 24 years. So you, you would wonder where the rejection manners into it. But Eli's author of a book, The Perfect Rejection Resume: A Reader's Guide to Building a Career Through Failure.
Mark Graban (1m 40s):
So, Eli, welcome to the podcast. How. are you
Dr. Eli Joseph (1m 44s):
Thank you so much for having me, Mark. I I'm doing great. How. are you?
Mark Graban (1m 47s):
I'm doing well. I'm excited to talk to you. There's a lot to talk about, and again, listeners might be thinking, man, all I hear about is success coming from Eli, right?
Dr. Eli Joseph (1m 57s):
Yeah. I mean, most people, and this, that, that was basically the motivation of writing this book because I remember someone saying, You know I must have a silver spoon in my mouth. Everything has been handed to me, and everything came easy for me. And that was that the perfect rejection resume. It came about because I wanted to show the readers and the audience that my path to where I'm at right now is nothing short of just a perfect glide You know to, to success. So I wanted to show improve, but not only that, just encourage people to share their re rejection resume, share their Failures as well, because it, it provides this form of vaccination, if you will, You know it's this vaccination where you do feel as though, okay, if I'm getting rejected, the worst that can happen is I just, I just hear a no, I get rejected and that's that I can just move on and You know.
Dr. Eli Joseph (2m 48s):
That was basically the genesis of the book, the Perfect Rejection Resume. And then I, I also motivated You know and challenged people, just write down your resume. Write, write down your res as if you were writing your resume. But instead of highlighting your highlights, I want you to highlight your lowlights as well. So that was it. And I, I have a ton of, of rejections and Failures that I can even talk about. We can even have a whole entire conversation about my Failures and rejection. But that was basically the genesis of just not only highlighting my highlights, but just sharing my lowlights as well.
Mark Graban (3m 20s):
Well, that's, that's you, you're in the right place. I'm glad, I'm glad you're here. And we're gonna come back and talk about the book. Now, not all failure or rejection maybe is the result of a mistake, but I'm not gonna let you off the hook, at least in terms of the question we ask everybody here. You know the different things that you've done, different stages of your work and career. Can, can you, can you choose, what would you say is, if not your, not the Favorite Mistake? What's a Favorite Mistake?
Dr. Eli Joseph (3m 48s):
A Favorite Mistake, believe it or not, I have to go back and I'm, I'm going back about Be Me since 2015, actually, January, 2015. I, I'll never forget this day. It was an interview, it was an internship interview for the E-Trade desk at JP Morgan Chase, and I was stoked, excited, my first interview, You know I'm Green. I'm, I'm excited and stoked about this opportunity. And I remember vividly, we, I was asked this question, it is a typical common question that I was asked by the, the hiring managers, what do you want to do? Or where do you see yourself in five years? And I was asked that question and You know that question, that the answer to that question is subjective, right?
Dr. Eli Joseph (4m 29s):
So I didn't think anything of it. I wanted to become a corporate investment banker that was basically within an e trading desk as well. That was a major Division at JP Morgan. So I did express my interest in becoming an investment banker one day, five years. I wanna grow within the company. And I thought that was a brilliant answer and there was a truthful answer as well. Yeah. The response to it. That's basically, that's, that's where I'm getting at as far as the mistake that I made. The hiring manager told me, that is great that you aspire to You know to become an investment banker, but investment bankers at JP Morgan, this is what he said, the, the investment bankers at JP Morgan, we typically hire interns from the Penn Whartons, your Harvard Business School, the You know Your Columbia University, N Y U Stearns.
Dr. Eli Joseph (5m 16s):
We, we tend to hire from a pool of guys that are coming from that, the business school there. And unfortunately for me, I didn't go to those schools. I, I didn't go to school. I went to the CUNY school, I at Queens College, and I was facing academic probation. So I didn't, I didn't even wanna express that. But My Favorite Mistake came from that point because now, fast forward to the day I'm teaching at Columbia, I'm teaching at n y I'm teaching at, at U C L A, I'm holding courses and workshops at various in institutions that are prominent, that are quote unquote prestige or I I'll say prestige and parent.
Mark Graban (5m 51s):
Yeah, that's fair to say. Yeah.
Dr. Eli Joseph (5m 52s):
Yeah. And that was My Favorite, Mistake My, Favorite Mistake was, and that was basically the beginning of my Failures. And I didn't get the job, by the way. So that was my, one of my favorite mistakes that I made.
Mark Graban (6m 3s):
Ah, so the, the, and it sounds like the mistake was wanting that job or thinking that was the, the path you wanted. Is that correct?
Dr. Eli Joseph (6m 12s):
Yes. Yes. I, I say the mistake that the clear mistake that came from that experience was not being prepared or not being You know, I, I guess not being prepared in a sense of not, not getting those experiences at those said universities or not attending those set of universities, or that's the, that was my favorite. That was my mistake, because not only would it, it, it, it's a two folded answer or point or view that I like to point out. Not only was it didn't shape my You know my trajectory to become an investment banker that I would like to be, but at the same time, it, it provides this sense of selectivity for these universities.
Dr. Eli Joseph (6m 54s):
Right. And You know, and it's a dilemma here at Queens College, you can consider yourself a big fish at a small pond, but at these schools, You know, like in m i t or Harvard, you're, you're, you're amongst the giants as well. So that, that, that, that mistake came from not only You know, not being, not being amongst those, those, those giants here as a student, as a student. But fast forward to today, the tables have turned. Now I'm teaching, I'm teaching those, those same students that, that are applying for those universities that, that, that are applying for these internship programs as well. So it, it basically, it turns a complete 180 here from the rejection that time me growing up, or me You know me attending and having high aspirations to me continuing to have this high aspirations, but a different focus here.
Dr. Eli Joseph (7m 42s):
Mark Graban (7m 43s):
So, gosh, so it sounds like you're happier than you might have been as an investment banker.
Dr. Eli Joseph (7m 51s):
Yes, yes. I, I'm, I'm happier. And, and it's funny because I actually did, it's funny, when I, when I graduated with my master's degree, I did try my hand on Wall Street, and I did it last six months. Mm. And You know it partly because I wasn't happy. I didn't really, I didn't really have a, I lost my passion for it. And You know, once I stepped out and I stepped into academia and I stepped into healthcare and, and different a avenues, I'm like, man, I'm much more happy outside. I'm free. I'm, and I'm still, I'm, I'm, I'm not only that, I'm, I'm, I'm basically partnering with investment bank. I'm still in that, in that real realm, but I'm in a different capacity where I don't have to You know, boil down and do those 90 hour work weeks and, and be boil down and do the work here as well.
Dr. Eli Joseph (8m 32s):
I could just become a partner and an advisor and, and work with them in that, in that aspect as
Mark Graban (8m 37s):
Well. Yeah. So, I mean, it makes me wonder, I mean, sounds like they, they, they, why, why did they bring you in for the interview? They could read your resume and not see the names of those schools. And like why, why bring in Eli just to chastise you for not being from quote unquote the right schools? Like, were they really giving you a fair shot?
Dr. Eli Joseph (8m 56s):
I, I don't think so. I, I don't think, and you could tell, you could tell from the interview there, you was not gonna get that, that job or that, that opportunity. Me being, I, I didn't know You know I'm naive. I didn't know at the time. I was excited regardless whether or not they was going to hire me. I was, I'm just happy to be here. I'm happy to be here. And I didn't realize it until after I, I did the interview and I reflect on the interview and I'm like, man, I don't think I'll get the job. Because they were, they were hard on me. They were, they were hard about You know, the, my experience at Queens College and my aspirations and what am I doing as far as majoring in mathematics? And they, they were drilling me as far as You know, the, my resume.
Dr. Eli Joseph (9m 36s):
But I didn't, I didn't mind, I just wanted to experience that, that feel of being inside of, of a bank and You know, my first time hearing, I just wanted to be excited to be here. And I was excited. I was excited. And at the same time, I was just soaking it all in. But I didn't realize that I was making Mistakes along the way.
Mark Graban (9m 53s):
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, look to You know, teach their own, to de to decide a career path or a, a profession, or at least a job where people maybe You know work for a bank for a few years. They can, they can put up with the long hours and the stress and then go move on to something else. A lot of people do that. I mean, You know you grew up in, in New York, right? Yes. I mean, I, I grew up in suburban Detroit. I didn't know what investment banking was, right? I mean, I was surrounded by the automotive industry and some other industries. Like I had no idea what that was. You know, I went to, to grad school, and then I met a lot of people who, I don't know if they grew up wanting to be investment bankers, or at some point in early adulthood they learned like, Hey, that's a place you can make a lot of money.
Mark Graban (10m 38s):
That's pres, that's a prestigious job in a lot of circles. And I'm like, wait, huh? What? I mean I could spell investment banker, but I couldn't tell you anything about, about what they did. So I don't know. I never felt regret, like not wanting to do that. And, and You know, I, I found a path that seems like you're, you found or you're You know, I guess never, always finding the path forward, right? Yes.
Dr. Eli Joseph (11m 4s):
It's, it's funny that you point that out. I, I actually spoke to, it was around 2017, actually a few years afterwards, and I was speaking to an investment bank. He, he's a corporate, he was a corporate lawyer at Goldman Sachs, and I was, at the time, I was still excited to work there or working on Wall Street. And he was, he was honest. He had this con, he had this kind of a candid conversation. He was like, dude, I don't know why you want to get in here. I wanna get out, I wanna get out, I wanna get outta here. And a few months later he left. He left and went into consulting, and he got out, he got on that industry as well. And he ended up doing his own thing. So I think right now, what we are doing is basically trying to refocus and reshape the way that we view things or we, we, we view success.
Dr. Eli Joseph (11m 51s):
It's not all about just getting this prestigious job at, its at a prestigious firm now. It's also about You know, being happy for yourself and being happy and being happy, being able to help others as well, and in your way and doing it and at your, at your viewpoint, at your, your own pace. Yeah.
Mark Graban (12m 7s):
So that rejection for that internship, that's, that's one of the rejections on your personal rejection resume.
Dr. Eli Joseph (12m 14s):
Yes. One of many, one of thousands. One of thousands of, of rejection, I think at JP Morgan alone. I think that was my favorite firm that I would like to work at. I applied there about, if I'm not mistaken, about 600 times. And I've, I've only, I've applied there 600 times. I've gotten called for an interview about five times, and I had no offers and that, so I, that was one of many of the rejections that I've, that I've faced. And I, I'm basically immune to it at this point. Yeah.
Mark Graban (12m 49s):
Dr. Eli Joseph (12m 49s):
I look, I, it's funny because when I, when I sent out pictures or when I sent out You know applications or nominations, I kind of know, okay, You know what I'm gonna shoot my shot here, but if, if I get rejected, so what You know, it's just, I was just adding on to add another tag on my resume as well. Yeah.
Mark Graban (13m 6s):
Well, I mean, you, you've gotta try. I mean, there, there's the old Wayne Gretzky quote I think of you, or was he, I don't know. There was a, a scene in the office, right? Michael Scott's quoting Wayne Gretzky, I don't know if Gretzky really said this. Something like, you miss all the shots you never take. Yeah,
Dr. Eli Joseph (13m 22s):
Mark Graban (13m 24s):
And you've at some point, You know, you, you, you've, you've gotta try. I mean, it seemed like I'm, I'm almost 50, I'm turning 50 this year. So like, when I was applying to colleges, coming outta high school in 1991, these were all paper documents, paper applications. Like they, they were all unique. and there was a lot of efforts. You had to kind of pick and choose, like, all these are the schools this limited number that I'm gonna apply to. Well, now it seems like it's, it's online, it's electronic standardized application. And you, you can blast out your application to so many more colleges, which then it seems like, well then like what's, what's the, what's the pain? And trying, I mean, like back in the day, you would pay, there was a, a, a fee.
Mark Graban (14m 7s):
Like is that still happening or is it, is it a really low fee or it just gets blasted out with within, it's a,
Dr. Eli Joseph (14m 12s):
It's low fee. It's a low fee. Now if, if, if colleges are actually You know, providing that fee or, or providing that requirement here, I think now to your point, the common application is one of the ma major application that we're using. And to your, to, to your point, you're basically sending out a mass amount of in one click. You're just sending out a mass amount of applications here. And it leads to my point here that we were, we were discussing here, I, I was, I was discussing with a colleague of mine about the illusion of prestige and, and selectivity, more and more come, it's, it's an illusion now because more and more colleges are having lower amount of the, the ance rates are even lower.
Dr. Eli Joseph (14m 55s):
Right. And people may think it's, it's harder to get into those universities, but it's not. It's just that these universities are receiving more applications than they were likely to. Yeah. And the capacity to, to the capacity of admission is, is the same. It's it's the same or even at a slower rate. So it's, it's easier now to apply. Yeah. And that's a good, it's a good and a bad thing. It's easier to apply. It's just that are you, are you able to get punched in the face and get rejected more so than not. That's the, that's the question that you have to face yourself.
Mark Graban (15m 26s):
There's more opportunities to get that rejection and Yeah. I was fooled by that for a while. My alma mater. You see the acceptance rates are really low, the rejection rates are really high. And then you're like, oh, okay. Well, it's not an apples to apples comparison. Things have changed. Maybe I still could have gotten in more. Thankfully, I, I wanted to get in. But I'll tell you though, when I was graduating from college, 1995, applying for jobs was also a very paper-based process. Like either people came on campus, companies came on campus, or you mailed out letters with a resume. And I would, they would, companies would actually physically mail back Wow.
Mark Graban (16m 7s):
A rejection letter more often than not. And for some reason, I don't know where the term came from, like people I knew and they, they called them bullet letters, I guess, probably. 'cause you've been shot down. But I, I, I, I, I was, and thinking about your book and, and, and rejection resumes, and I couldn't help. Remember I was hanging those rejection letters with a, a kind of a sense of pride. I was hanging them on the door where, at the building I lived in. And they, they, they filled up the door and then went down into the hallway. I was my way, I guess, of dealing with rejection or You know, just at least trying to, I You know.
Mark Graban (16m 48s):
I don't, I don't know. It's kind of like, eh, well, fine. Okay. They didn't want me. We'll, fine. I'll find something. I guess was part of the mindset there.
Dr. Eli Joseph (16m 55s):
Yeah. And, and it's funny because people have different mindsets. I think I had a similar mindset where you can hang 'em up where you have the, it's not considered the wall of shame per se, but I had a different mindset where it's like, I have a hit list. Mm. Hit list. It's more, I have a hit list here where I have companies that rejected me. And I can, I can either, I either go back for another opportunity. This is where I ended up at Columbia. I don't hold grudges a against organizations that have rejected me in the past. Right. However, I just keep a note, right? I don't forget about them. I just keep a note and it's a hit list because I al I al I always believe that in the, in the feeling of serendipity, those companies will hear from me again in some way, shape, or form.
Dr. Eli Joseph (17m 44s):
So that's when I, I reapplied for a teaching role at, at Colombian, and I eventually got in at JP Morgan. I'm basically connecting the dots and doing workshops with them as well in various spaces in education and quantitative finance. So I'm, I'm reaching, I'm basically getting, I'm getting my hit my hit back from You know those rejections, but I'm not, I don't hold grudges to the program. I'm bashing each and every company. I'm like, You know, forget you screw all of you guys. I reject. 'cause if I do that, then You know at this point, my rejection resume is pretty lengthy here. If I bash every company, then You know who's going to provide me an opportunity at some form, at some way, shape, or form here.
Dr. Eli Joseph (18m 27s):
So I, we have a different way of coping with rejection. It's just a matter of what makes you feel comfortable. Yeah.
Mark Graban (18m 34s):
And I'm not surprising Eli with this. 'cause I, I did mention when we had talked previously before recording here today, I gonna tell the story of how I learned of, of Eli. So one of my pre one of my guests here, I forget what episode number Genesis Amaris Kemp then invited me to be on her podcast. And as I was checking that out and seeing what her podcasts were, Eli had been a guest there. And I thought, oh, rejection resume dealing with rejection and trying to be You know positive and building on it moving forward. I would love to have him on the podcast. And as I told Eli, I, I put in a message through the website, You know a contact form. I never heard back. And I thought, well, he is busy.
Mark Graban (19m 15s):
He's doing stuff he You know. I thought, I didn't feel, I wasn't upset, rejected, but I'm like, oh, I got rejected by Eli.
Dr. Eli Joseph (19m 22s):
Mark Graban (19m 23s):
But now your side of the story though,
Dr. Eli Joseph (19m 26s):
I I never got it. I I I never, I never got the email. But here's one thing I'll say. Here's one thing I'll say that you put me on the spot here. Here's one thing I'll say. No response is a response. No response is a response. So unfortunately, even if I never got it, it's a form of it. It, it's a form of rejection. But I, and I said this before tomorrow, I said, I'm so happy that it, it worked out here. Now we better late than never. So I'm happy it all worked out. But I, I'll say this to the, to the viewers, You know, sometimes you send something out and it may You know the, the message may go to spam or may go to jump. I You know the, the, the re the receiver or the, the intended person for that message may not have gotten it, but it's, it's, it's okay.
Dr. Eli Joseph (20m 8s):
It's, it's all right. You just move on. And you, once again, you would hear from that person again. Yeah, right.
Mark Graban (20m 13s):
I didn't hold the garage. Yeah.
Dr. Eli Joseph (20m 16s):
Mark Graban (20m 17s):
Then, then a PR firm had reached out and I, I recognized Oh, right. Yeah. Eli. Yeah, that would be awesome. So here, I'm glad it worked out. That's all I
Dr. Eli Joseph (20m 26s):
Exactly You know. It, it's, once again, it's, you don't have to hold a grudge. It's more so of knowing that you'll hear from that person again. And it's all about destiny and, and, and chance as well.
Mark Graban (20m 35s):
Yeah. So there's, I mean, I think one level of trying to process rejection or, or think through it personally, but then there's, there's this notion of this practice of sharing rejections publicly, whether it was on my wall in the fraternity house or you doing it online, or other people doing it online. Why, why share rejections publicly.
Dr. Eli Joseph (20m 58s):
I, it's, it's era it's radical in my, in my opinion, but I'll say this, what more to share your Failures than you who, who will, who will share your Failures at some point in your life, you will have to share your failure. You have to be vulnerable and, and You know, be able to, to confide in your community and share your, the way that your process, it wasn't an easy process, right? But it's comfortable. It's comfortable for you to say, You know what? I'm just gonna get that nudge of my back. I'm gonna get that monkey off my back and, and just share, share my thoughts and share my rejection. And then You know it, it provides this unique conversation amongst the community. And, and it will motivate people to say, You know, I, I failed here too.
Dr. Eli Joseph (21m 39s):
Right? I remember when I failed. And I, and I learned from that process. And it's a learning process as well. It's unique and most people don't feel comfortable sharing their, their, the way that they failed and, and their rejections here. But it's more so of saying, You know what I failed, and I, I wanna be brave enough to share my Failures here. And perhaps someone may, may feel that, that same way, they don't have that same conviction to share their their story as well. So it's, it's radical, but it works. It works. And, and it's funny because everyone love a comeback story. And most, the majority of the, the, the stories that go viral or the statuses that go viral on LinkedIn or Instagram or Facebook, the failure stories, the the stories that you have to bounce back or rebound, those are the stories that really get the audience attention here.
Dr. Eli Joseph (22m 25s):
And I, I, I always, I always encourage people to share your rejection resumes. You know, share your Failures here. Yeah. It's easier.
Mark Graban (22m 32s):
Yeah. And it, it re it emphasizes the idea. We, we all fail, we all make Mistakes. That's the spirit of this podcast is successful people like you and other guests coming on and reminding others, Hey, we all make Mistakes. We're all human. Learn from 'em. Right? You know if you can focus on learning instead of beating yourself up, that's a better path forward, I think.
Dr. Eli Joseph (22m 53s):
Yeah, exactly. And also, also I think it is another one of, of a mistake that I make. We are so focused on what we are trying to do, whether it's You know, going to an, a specific industry that we're excited about. And sometimes that it doesn't work out. It doesn't work out. I was so focused on finance and, and Wall Street and it, it didn't work out. And being rejected so many times will, will prove to me that You know what? I think it's something, it's time to focus on something else. And other things, you may come back around, you may come back to, to banking or finance, but just focus on other things. Share your ideas, share your story. And then you never know.
Mark Graban (23m 33s):
And you use the word vaccinated earlier, and you've, you've used that in other articles and interviews. That'd be done. I mean, traditionally vaccination, correct me if I'm wrong, like you're, you're being exposed to a small amount of like a dead version of a You know flu virus or what have you. And, and that, that small exposure then allows your body to react to a bigger exposure. I like, I like the analogy, right? Like, but how do you make sure that that that vaccination You know that that little bit of exposure prevents a large exposure that, that might make you sick. To extend that analogy, right?
Dr. Eli Joseph (24m 13s):
At, at some point, you're going to succeed at some point as, as more as you get vaccinated with a, an extra dose of, of You know failure or rejection, at some point you're going to get a win, right? You're going to get a win at some point. And this is where you'll, you'll say to yourself, okay, You know what? I'm not gonna be completely exposed here to failure. I'm gonna continue to take that dose just so I can, I can move forward. But as I continue to push through, I'm going, I'm going to have a win. I'm going to get a win at some point. So You know as I'm shooting my shots and I'm missing, something's going to drop soon. And this is one principle that I, I shared in the book here.
Dr. Eli Joseph (24m 54s):
There's two principles that I like to share. The first one is rent to do it every day. Rent do it every single day. And the effort that you put in is your currency, right? You're paying your landlord, you're paying your landlord every single day. And as You know, renters do it every day. Whether you succeed or whether you fail, at least you put that effort in, at least you put, put in that, that rent. Right? And then the, the next principle that I would like to point out is that direction is much more important to speed. We heard that before. Yeah. And as, as we know, when you, when you are heading in the right direction, You know that it's much more, it's much more greater to go there at a slower rate than go the wrong way at a faster rate.
Dr. Eli Joseph (25m 34s):
So as you are continuously getting rejected, and as you continuously accumulating failure, you realize that you are learning from your Mistakes and some way, shape or form, you're going to get a win. Yeah.
Mark Graban (25m 46s):
And You know, I guess the question sometimes then is do, do, do Failures rejections or Mistakes help us course correct. To make better progress in that direction? Or does it prompt us to change direction? It sounds like your rejection for the iBanking job led to a new direction, not figuring out how to get accepted for the next banking job. I mean, it's, it's hard to know how that's gonna end up playing out or what, what the best, is it a a change in direction or getting back on track with that direction? How do we know it?
Dr. Eli Joseph (26m 19s):
It, Justin? That's great. That's a good question. And here's one thing. Here's one thing I would like to put out. You'll hear from this podcast first, right? We talked about the rejection vaccination, right? We'll, we'll look, we'll focus on rejection ai or rejection generator. It's more so a chat, a rejection G P T where you are course correcting. You're recalibrating yourselves, right? You're recalibrating yourself whether you're going the same direction, you can, you can try a hundred times within the same direction, or you can figure something out in another direction and then come back to it, right? This is where you're recalibrating yourself and you're recalibrating your interests as well and figuring out whether or not you, you would like to move forward, right?
Dr. Eli Joseph (27m 1s):
And or going a direction. So it all depends on You know how comfortable you are proceeding, right? And, and I think with that point, with that machine learning tactic of, or the deep learning process here, you can recalibrate your, your losses or your Failures onto the, the same direction within the industry or another direction here.
Mark Graban (27m 21s):
Yeah. So our guest again today, Dr Eli Joseph, the book is The Perfect Rejection Resume, A reader's guide to building a Career through Failure Building on your vaccination analogy. Like we could almost nowadays show like, here's my rejection vaccination card, how many sisters, how many, how many rejection boosters I get.
Dr. Eli Joseph (27m 44s):
That is true. Yeah. It's, it's a, it's not only boost, in my case, there's gonna be a lot of boosters, your case as well. There's gonna be a lot of booster shots of rejection of, of You know, being able to, not, not being humble in the sense, but it's also being humble as well. But being able to say, You know what, I've, I succeeded, but I've came a long way. I came a long way. Yeah.
Mark Graban (28m 4s):
And, and I think there's an art to when you have to give a rejection, when you have to reject somebody of doing it in a, a kind way, right? So back to the idea of You know you miss all the shots you never take. There's times I'll reach out to fairly high profile people because I saw something about Mistakes in a quote or something. And hey, it doesn't take that long. I try to craft a very short, personalized message through their website or an email. and maybe the website messages just don't get through for technical or organizational reasons. Some intern hits delete or something. You never know, but okay, fine, I can live with that. William Shatner, who had a amazing quote about You know he is 90 something now.
Mark Graban (28m 50s):
He'd been in space, he's reflecting, there was some great quote, a recent quote about learning from Mistakes. And so I reached out through his website and I sent a message about two days later. I, it wasn't directly from him, I got the kindest, nicest rejection email, like to the point where I wanna print it out and You know, frame it and put it on the wall. Like it was so gracious about, oh, Mr. Shatner really appreciates the invitation. And he just, he doesn't go on anybody's podcasts unless it's a close friend or there's a, a business relationship or like You know he is promoting something, I guess and You know. But anyway, but like, I felt better about him by getting the rejection than I would've thought of William Shatner beforehand.
Dr. Eli Joseph (29m 37s):
Yeah. Some people is, and the thing is, some people are much more personable with, with rejecting because it's some form of compassion as well. It's like, we appreciate you You know, and we appreciate you for reaching out and thinking of us. Right? You know for you to even think You know, think about someone that you may not even know about and have that cold call and say, You know what? I'm just gonna shoot my shot here. And then You know, we'll, hope for the best. The best is you get the acceptance, you get the interview, you get some good content, right. But also it's like, oh, at least you got, at least she, he got back to you You know some people. Yeah. It's like, you don't, you don't get, you don't get response. Yeah. And I've gotten a few, I've gotten a few rejection You know emails or regret emails or, or letters where it's like, we appreciate you for even thinking about us and You know, and we, we'll think about you later on down the line, but it's, it's always good to get that back because at least you got back to me.
Mark Graban (30m 31s):
Yeah. And I didn't expect that. Right. Like, to me, there's no obligation. But, but I thought that was very well done by William Shatner's team. So you keep, so we we're talking about shots. So instead of hockey, I wanna ask you a basketball related question because I, I know you played some basketball Yes. At in college, right? Yes. So we think about those shots. I think I can say his name without making a mistake. Giannis Kupo. Okay. Aki B, they were, they had the best record in the N B A number one seed in the east were upset in the first round of the playoffs. Right. People were expecting they could maybe go win the championship they lost in the first round.
Mark Graban (31m 11s):
Did you see the video where post game news conference, Giannis was asked, well, do you consider the season a failure? Did you see that?
Dr. Eli Joseph (31m 20s):
Yes. Yes. I I saw that. Yep. It went viral.
Mark Graban (31m 22s):
What was your reaction to to, to what he said, or the way I remember it, he basically said, and I encourage people, go find the video. It's not hard to find my recollection. Correct me if I'm wrong, Eli. He basically said, well, there, there, there really, there is no failure. Michael Jordan didn't win a championship every single year. Would you call those years a failure? We're building something here, we're we're gonna, we're gonna win that. No. What? There is no failure in sports, I think was the, the pretty direct quote. What what was your reaction to that?
Dr. Eli Joseph (31m 50s):
My rea I agree with him. He won before he You know, he won, he won a championship before. And you can consider this season a failure as well, because of the way that they, they went out to Jimmy Butler who's having a phenomenal season in, in the, the Miami Heat. But I agree with him when he said, You know what? You don't get promoted every single time. You don't get, you don't get, you don't have that promotion every single time. You have to go through that, the aches and pains you have to go through that growing pains to get, to ultimately get what you want. And he, he'd been through it before, before winning You know the championship the first time. You have to go through that, that those processes again. And I agree a hundred percent You know, you don't, you don't win every, every, every season.
Dr. Eli Joseph (32m 33s):
I think no, no player have ever won every single season. The only person that came close is Bill Russell, I think outta the 13th. And he won 11, he won 11 championships outta 13 seats. And he still lost. So Michael Jordan as well, he, he didn't win everything. He, he, he, he, he won, he won six championships, right when he got to that level, he didn't lose at that championship level, but every season he didn't went to the championship round. He had to go through Celtics, he had to go through the pistons. He had to go through You know various avenues, retirement to get to that point. So I agree with Giannis when he said, not you don't get you, you don't, you don't basically get promoted every, every day or every week.
Dr. Eli Joseph (33m 20s):
You have to go through that aches and pains and growing pains. And I, and I agree a hundred percent.
Mark Graban (33m 24s):
Yeah. So, so in the book, one thing you talk about is addressing and focusing on lessons learned from our Failures. Do you have any tips to make sure that we're really focused on learning and, and that we can put aside disappointment or, or, or, or frustration or anger and, and make sure it doesn't turn into bitterness? How do we make sure rejection turns into something more positive?
Dr. Eli Joseph (33m 49s):
I would say, besides the i, besides the writing the resume part, I would say keep a cool tally. Keep a cool tally of your losses or your rejections throughout the day. I always argue that if you, if you are getting jab or you're getting punched in the face with a jab of, of failure, you're going to have, you're going to receive a power shot. So keep a tally every loss. Damn, I I, I showed up late to work, or I showed up late to this podcast, consider that a loss. I woke up late today. I I don't feel too good that You know you can consider those losses here. You realize that throughout the day you have accumulated much more losses than your wins.
Dr. Eli Joseph (34m 33s):
You just, you're just so focused on winning. And that's one thing here, just keep a cool tally of the losses here, and it, it'll bring a light to, it'll bring a light to failing. It'll bring light to failing here. You don't have to. And you realize you, once you realize that You know failing is not so, it's not so difficult. You realize that you, you'll be all right, you'll be fine. But you have major losses as well. Right. Recently I've lost, I I've lost a family member and I lost, my, my older brother passed away. My older brother passed away last year. It's all right. My older brother passed away last year and last year I basically, I cope with it where I'm taking one day at a time and I'm, and I take losses all the time here.
Dr. Eli Joseph (35m 16s):
And I just keep a cool tally and I'll say, You know what? It's, it's okay. You know. You just laugh it off. You laugh it off. And You know, you'll just push through and you'll get your power shots in one day you're playing defense, but you, you're gonna play offense one day. And that's where it is gonna be fun. You're gonna be fun. It's gonna be fun where you're playing offense and you're, you're swinging back. And once you swing back, you'll get your hits as well. But just keep a cool tally. I always encourage readers to keep a cool tally of your losses throughout the day. And then you'll, you, you'll basically reciprocate that and, and not only reciprocate that, but flip that over to success as well. Yeah.
Mark Graban (35m 53s):
And I, I, I think you can do a similar thing with Mistakes of, of just being mindful of, I made a mistake. Like one thing I've found to be helpful is to call it out either to myself, to others around, or something You know. Oh, my mistake. Okay, sorry. Okay, let's correct that. Let's move on. Like, not to be dismissive or not to beat myself up, but just to acknowledge for what it is, I think is more helpful than being defensive or being in denial about it. And, and, and I, and I think that can take some of the, it can kind of normalize, I think it's similar to what you're saying. If, if we're aware of what's happening and we realize, okay, these things aren't killing us, we're living through it.
Mark Graban (36m 39s):
Let's, let's acknowledge it, let's build upon it. Let's try to You know, maybe use small Mistakes or small Failures to prevent the big ones. I, I think is an important thing to work toward.
Dr. Eli Joseph (36m 50s):
I agree. I agree a hundred percent when it comes to like You know, filling in the blanks here. And I, and this is another thing that we have to look at. We have to focus on the big picture here, right? I always, I like to call it the domino effect when we're looking at the domino effect. We have to place each and every domino in one success, one successful order after the next, right? Once you knock 'em over, it basically boils down to the next domino here. And then if you're looking on the outside, you zoom out, you'll see a huge big picture here. But you're, so, once again, you're so focused on your day-to-day activities. Right? Right. Just do it every day. Direction is much more important than speed that you're, you're, you're being blindsided of the fact that you're going to fail to succeed eventually.
Dr. Eli Joseph (37m 36s):
No one has ever won completely every single day. And people may argue Floyd Mayweather, You know, he, he remained undefeated or rocky marciano, but they lost as well because they don't tell you about the sparring sessions. They don't tell you about the fact that for Mayweather, he lost in the Olympics. Right. And now You know he lost during the amateurs. People lose all the time. And it's, it's important to, obviously we, we always want to remain undefeated, right? We always wanna keep our o but you're going to lose. You're going to lose. It's okay. But the greatest that you can think of loss as well. Yeah.
Mark Graban (38m 16s):
Yeah. And, and there there's a, a Japanese expression that I love fall down seven times, get up eight.
Dr. Eli Joseph (38m 23s):
Mark Graban (38m 23s):
So how do we bounce back from being knocked down, I guess physically in a boxing ring or You know, knocked down by a mistake or rejection, learning how to bounce back, get back up before
Dr. Eli Joseph (38m 36s):
And it's also being gracious. Yeah. Yep. Being gracious about it too. You know, I I got knocked. I You know, it's like I lost. Okay. And here's two things that can happen, right? As far as the reaction, you may not care about the reaction of others. Right. And it's, and you can, you can use it as motivation as well. But those who may have an adverse reaction to your Failures, I bet you they won't be as, as brave enough to try what you just tried just now. They won't be brave to try you your way or or to attempt it your way. So if they wanna have the adverse reaction or to laugh at your pain or laugh at your Failures here and point the finger You know, you can always respond by saying, have you tried what I'm trying?
Dr. Eli Joseph (39m 16s):
And if the answer is no, then we don't have, there's nothing else for even us to even talk about here, because I'm pretty sure if you failed, you wouldn't even be comfortable to even share that failure. Right? So that's, that's the, that's how I, I look at it. I look at my Failures that way where I can just share it. And it's a form of motivation as well. Yeah.
Mark Graban (39m 34s):
And You know the, the best way to never fail is to never really try anything new or anything at all. Right. If, you don't, if you don't do anything, you can't fail. So if the goal is to never fail, I don't, that's not a path to success.
Dr. Eli Joseph (39m 48s):
If I, if I never tried anything, we will not be having this conversation. We'll not be having this conversation. I would not be having a book. I would not have a brand based off of Failures. We will not have Mistakes here. If I never tried anything You know, if I was so focused on being undefeated or being so, so good at what I've been doing, I would never have a story. Yeah. I'll never have a story. Yeah.
Mark Graban (40m 11s):
Well, I'm, I'm glad you have the story. I'm glad you're sharing it. Eli. One last question here. Going back to something that, that you, that you had said, it's my mistake. I'm trying to find the quote. There it is. You talk about, here's the quote. It might not be your fault, but you have to blame yourself. Ah, tell us more about that idea.
Dr. Eli Joseph (40m 34s):
So it's not, it is never your fault. It's never your fault that You know it's raining today, or it's never your fault that you showed you, you woke up late, or you feel you don't feel too good, right? Because You know it's never, it's never your fault. Some things you can't control. You can't control the inevitable, right? It's never your fault. Some things may not happen. You may have have gotten pulled over and You know it's okay. It's, it's totally fine. Or You know. Some things happen. Things happen all the time. However, you have to blame yourself because you must hold yourself accountable, right? So it may not be my fault to that things may not happen my way, or I failed, I failed two classes, You know back during my undergraduate career.
Dr. Eli Joseph (41m 17s):
But I have to blame myself. 'cause that's a starting point. That's a starting point for me to continue to move forward. And You know, the only way that you can move forward is accepting the You. know your fault. Not, not your fault, but accepting the blame or taking the blame for You know, not succeeding, but that's the beginning. That's the beginning of you building and cultivating your career or your pathway back to redemption. So that's, that's how I, that's basically how I felt when I, when I said You know with, with that quote. It's not, it's, it may not be your fault, but you have to take blame for yourself because you need to hold yourself accountable to move forward. Yeah.
Mark Graban (41m 53s):
And that, and that's one thing I appreciate of You know so many of the guests here on My, Favorite, Mistake, we're in a situation where everything involved in this situation might not have been their fault. There may have been other factors, but taking ownership for what you did, taking ownership for your decision, You know, I, I admire that. When, when, when people are willing to do that, it wasn't completely their fault. But they can only control their own actions. They can learn and they, and they can do things differently in the future to avoid repeating Mistakes. I, I think that's powerful.
Dr. Eli Joseph (42m 30s):
I agree. I agree a hundred percent.
Mark Graban (42m 33s):
Well, Eli, I'm, I'm so glad that we could do the episode here today. Eli Dr, Eli Joseph, the book title again, I encourage you to go check it out. Maybe can reading the book count as vaccination? Or do people have to make their own Mistakes and and or have their own Failures? I mean, you have
Dr. Eli Joseph (42m 51s):
To make your own mistake. Now, what count is, if you create your own rejection resume, that's, that's what counts. If the readers create their own rejection resume or the, the listeners can create their own rejection resume, that's, that counts. That counts. That's a good step.
Mark Graban (43m 5s):
I'm gonna put one together. I'll share it along with this episode. I think. So Eli's book, again, is The Perfect Rejection Resume, A Reader's Guide to Building a Career Through Failure. I will put a link to the book, Eli's website, videos, all kinds of great stuff. Articles, he's written articles about him and the rejection resume. There's a lot more that you can learn from Eli and, and we'll both encourage you, keep learning from your own Mistakes. Keep learning from your own rejections. Right?
Dr. Eli Joseph (43m 33s):
Yes, I agree. Thank you so much, Mark, for having me. I, I really appreciate you and I'm glad we were able to do it now for those.
Mark Graban (43m 40s):
Yeah, exactly. Thanks again. Thanks. I feel very accepted now. Not reject
Dr. Eli Joseph (43m 47s):
Thank you so much.
Mark Graban (43m 48s):
Well, thanks again to Dr Eli Joseph for being our guest today. To learn more about his book and more, you can look for links in the show notes or go online, markgraban.com/mistake226. As always, I want to Thank you for listening. I hope this podcast inspires you to reflect on your own Mistakes, how you can learn from them or turn them into a positive. I've had listeners tell me they started being more open and honest about Mistakes in their work, and they're trying to create a workplace culture where it's safe to speak up about problems because that leads to more improvement and better business results. If you have feedback or a story to share, you can email me MyFavoriteMistakepodcast@gmail.com.
Mark Graban (44m 28s):
And again, our website is MyFavoriteMistakepodcast.com.