He is now officially the richest man in China with an estimated net worth of $39.8 Billion.
The story of the life of a man who has impacted the entire economy and internet industry of China almost single-handedly.
Early life struggles of Jack Ma:
- In his early childhood, Jack Ma Failed in his Primary School examinations, not once, but Twice!
- He Failed Thrice during his Middle School exams.
- When applying to universities after his High school, Jack failed the entrance exams thrice, before finally joining Hangzhou Normal University.
- He even applied and wrote to Harvard University ten times about being admitted – and got rejected each time.
- During and after his Bachelor’s degree Jack tried and failed to get a job at a multitude of places.
- After spending three years to get into a University, Jack failed to land a job after applying to them 30 times!
- He recollects in his interview, “When KFC came to China, 24 people went for the job. Twenty-three people were accepted. I was the only guy who wasn’t.” He also one of the 5 applicants to a job in Police force and was the only one getting rejected after being told, “No, you’re no good.”
Also, on his Entrepreneurial undertakings, Jack Ma went on to fail on two of his initial ventures. But that didn’t stop him in any way of dreaming bigger. Down, but not Out!
Having started his first successful company at the age of 31 and even after never having written a single line of code or selling something to anyone, Jack Ma runs one of the biggest E-commerce networks in the world.
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.
Jack Ma’s top 10 teachings:
- Have a vision:
Many people chase after money, some of whom go on to become rich and successful but real successful people, in Jack’s opinion, are those who have the vision to change the society for the greater good. He believes in creating something that has an impact on people’s lives because the relationship between the company and its customers is more valuable than any material wealth.
- Giving up is the greatest failure:
According to Ma, “giving up is the greatest failure.” If you go out, try your best and fail to achieve your goal but see it through to the end you are a success. Like all great leaders, Ma recognizes that a person is able to learn the most from obstacles and hardships. They key to success is persevering and learning from your mistakes.
- Love Life:
“I always tell myself that we are born here not to work, but to enjoy life. We are here to make things better for one another, and not to work. If you are spending your whole life working, you will certainly regret it.”
- Don’t make enemies:
One the most unique aspects of Jack Ma’s business philosophy is the idea of friendly competition. Ma does not see his competitors as his enemies, rather they are friends whom he can learn from and who challenge him to achieve his full potential.
- Be tenacious:
Knowing what you want to achieve and having the drive to chase it down will not only put you on the path to success, it will inspire those around you to work hard for that common goal. Taking pride in your work and not taking no for an answer are keys to Ma’s business philosophy.
- Value attitude:
When Jack Ma talks about the biggest mistake he ever made he describes how when he founded Alibaba he told his team that the highest level they could achieve would be that of managers, and that executives should be hired from the outside.
- Hire people with superior skills:
When asked what separates a leader from an employee Ma has gone on record saying “Your employee should have superior technical skills than you. If he doesn’t, it means you have hired the wrong person.”
- Unite People under a Single Goal:
Ma understands that no matter how hard you try you will never be able to convince every single employee, business partner, and potential investor to trust you or believe what you say. Rather than uniting his company under the vision of one person, he unites them under a common goal. The vision is more important than the leader.
- Be an authentic leader:
He possesses a strong sense of character. This is crucial for leaders because it fosters loyalty and builds a strong foundation on which our companies can grow. We don’t have to sacrifice our sense of humor just because we’re in charge.
- See through customers’ eyes:
Ma runs an e-commerce business, but he attributes his success to not being “a tech guy.” Rather, he views products from his customers’ perspectives, and that allows him to offer relatable, intuitive products.