Chinese Billionaire Jack Ma Was Rejected from Harvard 10 TIMES. Here Are His Tips for Success.
What you need to know from the get-go: Jack Ma is apparently the wealthiest man in China who founded Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce website that, according to Boss Hunting, “handles more traffic than Ebay and Amazon combined”. Only last year, his company raised the largest Initial Public Offering on the New York Stock Exchange, with the company valued at $200 Billion, and making his net worth $20+ Billion.
Jack Ma was literally rejected from Harvard ten times.
Ma spoke with Charlie Rose this year at the Davos World Economic Forum about his path, and there were some key takeaway points when it comes to perseverance in life and career.
1. Don’t Give Up. Ever.
In addition to being rejected from Harvard ten times, Ma failed his university entrance exams three times, and applied to thirty jobs and was rejected from every single one (did I mention that one of those job apps was for KFC?).
It goes without saying that this man has faced the stinging blows of rejection, but what sets him apart is how he reacted to the negative feedback. Instead of going inward and dwelling in defeat, he went outward and turned the negative energy into positive action. He persevered.
When Ma was asked about his failed attempts in getting into Harvard, he replied, “Someday I should go teach there maybe”.
2. Take initiative and make your dreams happen. Take action.
How did Ma come up with the idea for his business? Well, the first word he searched on the internet in the 90s was ‘beer’. When he saw all the types of beer sprawling across the web, he then proceeded to search for ‘China’ and it produced no results. From there, he got the sweet idea for his first internet business called China Pages. He took his vision and turned it into a reality.
“We can never win the world by talking.”
3. Trust your instinct.
When the idea came to Ma to start Alibaba, he gathered 17 of his friends in his apartment and pitched the idea for hours. Only one friend thought it was a good idea. And the next day? He decided to officially start his company. Knowing that those 16 people couldn’t fully see his vision (yet), he trusted in himself that what he’d thought of was a solid idea, and he just went for it.
4. Don’t have enemies.
Let’s get real. There will always be people out there who we don’t click with and who do not like us. Yet, when it comes to business and dealing with competitors, Ma has a strong philosophy that they shouldn’t be viewed as enemies, but as people to learn from in life.
“A real businessman or entrepreneur has no enemies. Once he understands this, then sky’s the limit”.
5. Say no to fear.
When he launched China Pages, he and his wife borrowed $2,000 to set up the business. When he was asked about his decision to pursue the company full throttle, he stated “I knew nothing about personal computers or e-mails. I had never touched a keyboard before that. That’s why I call myself a blind man riding on the back of a blind tiger“. He knew it was a risk, and I can imagine had an inkling of fear, yet he didn’t let it overcome him. He was able to rise above the obstacle of fear, and push forward.
6. Have ownership over your decisions and take responsibility.
The story goes that Jack Ma needed a license from the Chinese government in order to begin an e-commerce website that had a payment system. Having learned that receiving a license would not be an easy process, he knew he had to pursue it — otherwise proceeding with the business without one would be illegal. Upon discussion with a leadership panel, he told his staff, “Do it, now, immediately. If something’s wrong and the government isn’t happy about that (Alibaba), if one body has to go to prison, Jack Ma goes to prison”.
Sources: Ultraupdates Facebook Page