Quite often, you will come across motivational and awe-inspiring posts about how Jack Ma dealt with his struggles. Jack Ma’s net worth is $44.3 billion. He is China’s richest man and one of the richest individuals in the world.
He started out as an English teacher and went on to co-found one of the biggest e-commerce websites. He is one of many entrepreneurs whose rise from poverty to wealth is truly amazing.
Rejections and disappointments plagued his journey to stardom. However, the man wasn’t one to cave in so easily. While Jack wasn’t a hardcore techie himself, he did an amazing job taking Alibaba to where it stands today.
Jack Ma’s Education:
Jack Ma wasn’t born into old money; he is a self-made billionaire. He had a modest childhood and grew up while communist China was transitioning into a superpower. Jack’s parents weren’t earning enough to consider themselves middle-class.
Richard Nixon’s visit to China in 1972 changed Jack’s childhood. Because of Richard Nixon’s trip to Jack’s hometown, the tourism sector saw an uptick. Jack wanted to learn English as a child, and he used to offer free tour guide services to foreigners. He used this as a means to improve his English. Subsequently, Jack became an English teacher.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English, he worked as a teacher at Hangzhou Dianzi University on a salary of 12 USD per month.
Jack Ma Story:
Rejections and Jack Ma went hand in hand. After failing his primary school exams multiple times and failing his middle school exams three times, those around him labeled him a failure. He was rejected every time he applied to Harvard University. He had ten rejections from Harvard University!
The disastrous results continued even after graduation. Multiple job rejections graced his journey; during the recruitment by KFC, he was the only one among 24 applicants not to be selected.
His initial ventures saw similar results; they plummeted. But the stumbling didn’t deter him; he was an entrepreneur looking to make a mark in the e-commerce segment.
Jack Ma visited the United States for a project on the building of highways. His stay in the United States exposed him to the world of computers.
People in China didn’t know much about technology, so they didn’t use computers very much. Services like e-mail and the internet weren’t common.
When Jack used the search engine Mosaic, the first word he searched for was beer. The search results quickly flashed on the screen. But when he searched for China, there were no search results. This infuriated Jack Ma, and he took on the task of bringing China onto the internet radar.
Jack Ma’s Alibaba Was Conceived
After approaching his friends, 17 agreed to enroll him in an e-commerce startup and named it “Alibaba”. The business enterprise was created in his apartment. Alibaba was struggling to survive initially because it did not receive a single penny in investment.
The 1999 investments of 20 million USD from SoftBank and five million USD from Goldman Sachs kept Alibaba from falling apart.
The largest assignment for Alibaba was to gain the trust of the Chinese, which it succeeded in doing by the end. Jack Ma encouraged his group. In times of trouble by telling them they had been a young group still learning. A leader was about to change the face of e-commerce.
Once Alibaba entered the picture, it faced stiff competition from eBay in China. To defeat eBay, Yahoo came to our assistance. The business enterprise invested 1 billion USD in Alibaba. In exchange for the investment, Yahoo received a 40% stake in the company.
Alibaba is now a household name in China, and Yahoo made $10 billion from Alibaba’s initial public offering (IPO).
Jack Ma stepped down as the CEO of Alibaba in 2013. However, he continued as the executive chairman. The company created history as its $150 billion IPO was the largest offering of a US-listed company in the New York Stock Exchange’s history. By virtue of this IPO, Jack became the richest man in China.
Apart from serving people and bringing revolution through Alibaba, Jack supports environmentalism. He is a member of the global board of The Nature Conservancy. Jack has also funded a 27,000-acre nature reserve in China.
The Alibaba Group puts on a number of talent shows every year to get closer to their customers. Jack is known to be a natural entertainer. During one such event, he performed wearing a punk costume in front of the audience.
A lesson to learn from Jack Ma:
Coming across challenges, stumbling forward, and then rising up sums up Jack Ma’s journey. To many, he is the ideal entrepreneur. Alibaba has given a face to many small and medium-sized businesses across the globe. The world shall remember Jack Ma as a visionary who gave it the behemoth Alibaba.