Jack Ma lead Alibaba all the way to a market cap of nearly $227 billion, putting it among the 15 highest valued companies trading on US markets, above both Facebook, Verizon, JPMorgan and just under Wal-Mart.
Here is how he got the motivation to build an e-commerce empire from very humble roots:
Before I founded Alibaba, I invited 24 friends to my house to discuss the business opportunity. After discussing for a full two hours, they were still confused — I have to say that I may not have put myself across in a clear manner manner then. The verdict: 23 out of the 24 people in the room told me to drop the idea, for a multitude of reasons, such as: ‘you do not know anything about the internet, and more prominently, you do not have the start-up capital for this’ etc etc.
There was only one friend (who was working in a bank then) who told me, “If you want to do it, just try it. If things don’t work out the way you expected it to, you can always revert back to what you were doing before.” I pondered upon this for one night, and by the next morning, I decided I would do it anyway, even if all of the 24 people opposed the idea.
When I first started Alibaba, I was immediately met with strong opposition from family and friends. Looking back, I realised that the biggest driving force for me then was not my confidence in the Internet and the potential it held, but more of this: “No matter what one does, regardless of failure or success, the experience is a form of success in itself.” You have got to keep trying, and if it doesn’t work, you always can revert back to what you were doing before.
As with this quote by T.E. Lawrence – “All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream in the dark recesses of the night awake in the day to find all was vanity. But the dreamers of day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, and make it possible.”
For Jack Ma…
Ambition is living a life of great ideals; a magnificent goal in life that must be realised.
In this world, there are things that are deemed unfathomable, but there is nothing in this world that cannot be done. The depth of one’s ambition determines the potential of one’ future.
People lose out in life because of these 4 reasons:
– Being myopic to opportunity
– Looking down on opportunities
– Lacking understanding
– Failing to act quickly enough
Ma has some blunt words to say about poverty and financial success…
- You are poor, because you have no ambition.
- You are poor because you do not have the desire to become successful.
- You are poor because you lack foresight.
- You are poor because you cannot overcome your cowardice.
- You are poor because you lack the courage and determination.
And the way out of poverty according to Ma…
- With ambition you can overcome all inferiority and maximise your potential!
- With ambition you can persevere, continuously learn new things and strive for perfection.
- With ambition you can defy all odds, and create miracles when others daren’t.
- No matter how poor your family is, do not doubt your own abilities and lose sight of your ambition.
And finally Ma drops some hardcore red pill truth…
- When your family deems you worthless, no one will pity you.
- When your parents do not have money to pay the medical bills, no one will pity you.
- When you are beaten by your competitors, no one will pity you.
- When your loved ones abandon you, no one will pity you.
- When you have not accomplished anything by the time you are 35, no one will pity you.
- Go big, or go home. Otherwise, you’re wasting your youth.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.