Jack Ma is a true rags-to-riches story. He grew up poor in communist China, failed his college entrance exam twice, and was rejected from dozens of jobs, including one at KFC, before finding success with his third internet company, Alibaba.
Jack Ma is the founder of the E-commerce giant Alibaba and is a stakeholder at Alipay, its sister company which is an e-payment portal. He is now officially the richest man in China with an estimated net worth of $25 Billion, on the back of the recent world record $150 Billion IPO filing of his company. Given all of this, Jack Ma only holds a 7.8% stake in Alibaba and a 50% stake in Alipay. Alibaba and Jack Ma, although are not household names out of China, you must know that Alibaba is worth more than Facebook, and processes goods more than eBay and Amazon combined!
Don’t be mistaken by the numbers that you see above, they can fool anyone. Although as simple as it may sound, Jack Ma has had it hard in his life to get to where he is today. A true rags-to-riches story, Jack Ma’s never-say-die spirit is definitely one which will inspire you even in your darkest days.
Ma had no experience with computers or coding, but he was captivated by the internet when he used it for the first time during a trip to the US in 1995. He had recently started a translation business and made the trip to help a Chinese firm recover a payment. Ma’s first online search was “beer,” but he was surprised to find that no Chinese beers turned up in the results. It was then that he decided to found an internet company for China. The rest is history.
Since reams have been written eulogizing Jack Ma, I thought of departing from the beaten path and pick some of his quotes which quintessentially speak volumes for the man and his character. And it is truly inspirational.
In one of his interviews, when asked about his rejections, this is what he had to say, “Well, I think we have to get used to it. We’re not that good.” Overcoming the pain of rejections and treating rejections as opportunities to learn and grow was what Jack Ma made of it.
As Jack Ma often puts it, “The very important thing you should have is patience.” Without it, you can never reach even a fraction of your true potential- which someday, could even change the world.
“It doesn’t matter if I failed. At least I passed the concept on to others. Even if I don’t succeed, someone will succeed.”
“If you want to grow, find a good opportunity. Today, if you want to be a great company, think about what social problem you could solve.”
“A leader should never compare his technical skills with his employee’s.”
“Giving up is the greatest failure.”
“You should learn from your competitor, but never copy. Copy and you die.
“Today is cruel. Tomorrow is crueler. And the day after tomorrow is beautiful.”
The Jack Ma legend keeps growing. Jack Ma made headlines recently after visiting President Trump and announcing that he would help create a million jobs in the US.
But the Chinese billionaire has not held back voicing skepticism of Trump’s protectionist policies, warning “if trade stops, war starts.”