In our daily lives we notice a number of people working and struggling, some become successful while others failed but only few struggles become such a stories that we have to tell. The stories like how a hero comes to the rescue of his people and his family, we find pleasure in such stories. And I do believe that such inspirational stories have a positive effect on our brains and help us become more courageous, committed and generous and it improve our overall outlook on life.
So, today we’ll talk about a story. The story of the life of a man who not only introduced the concept of internet in the China but also has impacted the entire economy and internet industry of China almost single-handedly. His life is all about efforts and commitment with his work. This is the story of Jack Ma.
Who is Jack Ma?
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!
This might be beginning to seem like the story of an arrogant and rich billionaire who hasn’t seen the dark. But 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 and definitely a one which will inspire you even in your darkest days.
Jack Ma – Early story
Ma Yun a.k.a. Jack Ma is one of those self-made billionaires with humble beginnings. Jack Ma was born in Hangzhou, located in the south-eastern part of China. He was born and raised along with an elder brother and a younger sister during the rise of communist China and its isolation from the Western regions. His parents were traditional Musicians-Storytellers and they didn’t make enough to be even considered as middle class during those days.
Former US president Richard Nixon’s visit to Hangzhou in 1972 improved the situation of tourism in his home-town and Jack wanted to make the most of this opportunity. Jack always wanted to learn English as a kid and he spent his time riding on his bike to a nearby park, giving English tours to foreigners for free. It was then he met a foreign girl who gave him the nickname ‘Jack’ for his name was hard to spell for her.
Jack, after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in English, worked as an English teacher at Hangzhou Dianzi University with a pay of $12 a month! Now here comes the part where it gets more interesting, even before he has received that degree and became an English teacher.
Rejected, But Not a Failure.
Jack Ma as an extremely lucky who just became a billionaire in a snap. But it is safe to know that Rejections are synonymous with Jack Ma. You wouldn’t believe the number of times this man has been rejected and failed.
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. This was only during his education!
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 further said that “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 loss:
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.
After finally coming to terms with all of his rejections and failures, Jack Ma visited US in 1995, for a Government undertaking project related to the building of highways. It was then that Jack Ma was first introduced to the Internet and Computers. Computers were pretty rare in China then, given the high costs associated with them and Internet or E-mails were non-existent. The first word he searched on the Mosaic browser was ‘Beer’, and it popped out results from different countries, but signs of China anywhere. He then searched ‘China’ and not a single result popped out! He decided it was time for China and its people to get on the Internet.
Finally, after persuading 17 of his other friends to invest and join him in his new e-commerce startup – Alibaba, the company began from his apartment. Initially, Alibaba didn’t had a single penny in investment from outside investors, but they later raised $20 Million from SoftBank and another $5 Million from Goldman Sachs in 1999. Building trust among the people of China that an online system of payment and package transfers is safe was the biggest challenge Jack Ma and Alibaba faced, a challenge that Jack will cherish for his lifetime.
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. The company went on to grow rapidly, expanding all across the world, quickly growing out of its China shell. Only second to Walmart now in terms of sales per year, Alibaba has become the E-commerce giant that Jack Ma has envisioned for it.
In 2013, Ma stepped down from his post as CEO of Alibaba, although he retained his position as executive chairman. The company went public on September 19, 2014. The IPO earned $150 billion, the largest offering for a U.S.-listed company in the history of the NYSE. Instantly, Ma became the richest man in China, with a net worth of about $25 billion. now his company has a market share of $468 Billions making it one of the 10 largest companies in the world. It enjoys 550 million active monthly users across its various platforms.
What we should learn from the story of Jack Ma ?
The story of jack ma gives us a lesson of commitment. Despite from hundreds of failure JackMa did not loss his temperament. This proves that life is not a bed of roses, if you actually wants to achieve something you must have to do work very hard. First of all you have to be very clear about your goals then remain committed to that if first attempt is not successful then it does not mean that second, third or fourth attempt will also be failed. So, never get demotivated from your will. Your continuous efforts will surely going to reward you.