“I was rejected by Harvard, 10 times!” Jack Ma said.

We may get rejected many times in our life. However, China’s billionaire Jack Ma did not give up and got where he is now.

Watch this interview with Jack Ma and learn his long journey to success.

The valuable take-away lessons:


1. Be prepared to fail many times in life

Jack tried to get into 3 colleges but was rejected. He failed 3 times in the university entrance examinations. He fail key primary school test for 2 times, failed 2 – 3 times for middles school.

2. Get used to rejection

For 3 years after graduation from university, jack tried to apply for many jobs. He even went to KFC to apply for a job. There were 24 people who went for the job. 23 people were accepted, he was the only guy got rejected. He went to apply for Harvard for 10 times, and was also rejected.

3. Learn a skill and ask questions

Jack learnt how to speak English from bringing tourists around China as a free guide for 9 years. And through talking with people from the world changed his mind because the things that he learnt from people, was totally different from what he learnt from school and parents.

4. Identify a gap in the market

In 1995, The first thing that Jack discovered when he was in America while searching the word “beer”. He found there was no result on the word “China”. So he and his friend launched a page on about China, and there was an overwhelming response! And this went on to build his idea of starting Alibaba.

5. Trust is important

Jack stated that the most important in e-commerce is about trust. Without trust, it’s impossible to do a business. Everything you do, is about building trust.

6. The goal is to solve problems

Sometimes it’s not about the money, but helping to solve problems. If you are able to help people solve their problems. You will get rewarded.

7. Overnight success comes from many years of hard work

Jack and his team worked very hard since the beginning of their startup. For the first 3 years, they had zero revenue! But they were so passionate in their work that they continued on. But people start to recognize their hard work because they have helped others to make lots of money and Jack remembered that one day when he went for dinner, his bills were paid by his thankful customers! If you continue to work on what you believe, there is a possibility of achieving success.

8. Don’t complain

We do get depressed when we get rejected in life. The world has a lot of opportunities. It’s how you see the world and how you catch the opportunity.


“If you want to win in this 21st century, you have to make sure that making other people powerful, empower them, making people better than you are, then you will be successful.”