Hardships force us to take a step back and make us question our life choices. It is in those times that we need to keep the hope going and look for opportunities. In this inspiring video, Alibaba founder Jack Ma recounts his journey. “I didn’t have a rich father. I tried three times for university – all failed. I applied for Harvard 10 times – all failed. They didn’t want to even see me. For the last time, I went to the Teachers’ College which was considered the third or fourth class of my city. So, I applied for jobs…30 times. I got rejected. It was so difficult at that time, I was so frustrated because I taught in the university. My pay was 10 US dollars a month because I could not find a good job,” he said.
In 1994, when he discussed the idea of the internet with others, he recollected how people called him crazy, which is why he failed to even procure funds for a long time.
“I tried to borrow $3000 from the banks. It took me three months but I still could not get it. A lot of people said Alibaba is a terrible model. As I said, I believe it. I think this thing could be big, if we keep on working. I never thought it would be that big like today. But I believed that something is waiting for me there and I have to work hard to prove myself. That was a tough experience. So, we gathered $50,000 from 18 founders. For the first three years, we did not even have $1 revenue,” added Ma, whose net worth is now $4,360.
Noting the difference between successful people and others lies in optimism for the future, he said, “They never complain. They always try to solve the problems of others. When you are optimistic, there is always opportunity.”