Never short of wildly successful ideas, Jack Ma is the founder and CEO of Alibaba Group. It is a group of Internet-based businesses that retail in products and services all over the world. Jack overcame tremendous odds to build his e-commerce empire. He endured a poor upbringing in communist China. He also failed the college entrance exams twice and was considered unemployable by more than a dozen employers. He had earlier on built 2 Internet companies which successively failed. However, the third time was the charm. He set up Alibaba and the company took off. After growing it until it was a significant e-commerce platform rivalling Amazon and eBay, Jack took the company public in the New York Stock Exchange. His IPO was legendary and it set a world record as the biggest offering in the history of business. Today, Jack is worth $30.8 billion and is one of the richest people in the world. His rags to riches story is full of wise counsel. Here are the lessons we learned from Chinese billionaire entrepreneur Jack Ma.
Let your vision be to impact the lives of people positively
From the beginning, Jack had a vision to trust his consumers and change their lives for the better. Many e-commerce entrepreneurs create a business model that focuses purely on revenue creation. For them, the vision is to create as much money as possible. It works for some of them but Jack took a different path. He created Alibaba and many other businesses to improve the lives of his employees and customers too. In his opinion, real wealth is a fruitful and rewarding relationship between his company and its customers. Money is simply a by-product and not his final goal. As such, begin your entrepreneurial endeavors with the objective of transforming the lives of the community for the better. This creates lasting, positive business relationships.
It doesn’t matter where you start, it is where you finish that counts
Do not let your humble beginnings or unfortunate circumstances stop you from pursuing opportunities. Your level of education, method of upbringing or resources at hand do not matter at all. All that is important is how much you want to be successful and the amount of effort that you put in. Your spirit, hardiness, grit and fortitude will determine whether you win or fail. Like Jack Ma, dig in your heels and give every opportunity your best shot. This is how to become successful in life.
The greatest failure is giving up
If there is a man who knows the meaning of failure, it is Jack Ma. His courtship with failure began in his middle school days. He failed his final exams three times before finally passing. When he applied for college, he was rejected twice before the Huangzhou Normal University accepted him. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in English, Jack applied to 30 jobs and was rejected from each one. Not one to give in, he applied in the police academy. Out of 5 applicants, he was the only one cut from the group. With his options quickly fading, he applied to Harvard for a scholarship and was rejected 10 times. Entrepreneurship offered one last option. With money from menial jobs, he founded two successive companies. They both failed. A last attempt created Alibaba and the rest is glorious history. Jack Ma indicates that giving up is the biggest failure. Every time you go out, try your best. If you fail to accomplish your goal but see the process to the end, then you are a success. Hardship is the best teacher and the key to fortune is understanding its lessons.
Sometimes, you have to be the fastest off the blocks to win the race. Jack Ma indicates that you have to be extremely fast in grasping opportunities. You also have to be agile in recovering and learning from mistakes. The moment you get an opportunity that is in your line of focus, grab it and work with it before anyone else sees it. This will make you great while your competition is simply good.
Cast your net wide in search of opportunities
This Chinese billionaire indicates that one of the keys to his tremendous success is searching far and wide for opportunities. He says that one of the causes of failure is myopia when it comes to finding opportunities. Go beyond your professional capability and financial ability. Consider every business and employment opportunity which arises. After identifying some potential ones, analyze them and explore each and every aspect of their requirements. By staying dedicated to this method of exploration, you are bound to find your fortune.
Observe every opportunity as a door to your future
To start Alibaba, Jack Ma had to do a number of menial jobs all at the same time. He was a university graduate but mixed with manual workers to make a living. He took up any job that he could find just to get by. This determination to pick up any job allowed him to develop tenacity. He grasped every opportunity with both hands and gave it all his effort. By doing this, he learned how to dedicate 100% of his focus to anything he does. In this way, he was able to build Alibaba from a small startup to one of the biggest companies in the world. Accept every little opportunity that you get and learn from it.
Love your life
One of the things that Jack loves most is his life. He is known for not taking things too seriously despite his demanding schedule. He always finds time to relax and appreciate life. He indicates that we are not born to work but to enjoy life. The objective of existence is to make life easier and more pleasurable for one another. If you spend your entire life working, you are bound to regret it. His goal from the beginning was a better life for all. Follow the same path and you may have the billionaire status you desire.
The Important Take Away
Jack Ma is one of the most inspiring people alive today. His struggle with hardship and desire for wealth has been documented and inspires us all. He is currently the symbol of the entrepreneurial spirit in China and around the world. His wise guidance has been indicated above. Learn from him and you may walk the halls of fortune in future too.
This article is first published at ENTREPRENEURS