Ma Yun applied to study at Harvard 10 times and was rejected each time.
Yun had to deal with rejection many times in his life: born during Mao’s Cultural Revolution when schools and businesses were being destroyed, such that formal education and trade was at a low in China during Yun‘s youth.
He failed the entry exams for colleges in China several times and was also rejected for many jobs in China, including one at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Despite this, at an early age, Yun had developed a desire to learn English, so he rode his bike for 45 minutes each morning in order to go to a nearby hotel and converse with foreigners. He would guide them around the city for free in order to practice and improve his English. Later in his youth, although he failed the entrance exam twice, he attended Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute and graduated in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in English.
Yun — his English name, Jack — Jack Ma started an e-commerce company in his apartment in 1999….
For the first three years his company did not make any revenue.
“This Jack is crazy” Time magazine called him “Crazy Jack”
Simple. Never Give Up.
Jack Ma’s hero is Forrest Gump.
‘Forest Gump “never gives up” and believes in what he is doing.’ said Ma.
Jack Ma, Promoter Artisan, or Ma Yun (Chinese: 马云; born September 10, 1964) is a Chinese entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, a family of highly successful Internet-based businesses. He is the first mainland Chinese entrepreneur to appear on the cover of Forbes. As of November 2014, he is the richest man in China and 18th richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of $29.7 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. [Wikipedia, revised]
Limited resources meant it was difficult to learn English when Ma was younger. However, he found that he could learn the language by giving tourists free tours around his hometown of Hangzhou- something that he did during his teenage years every morning for nine years. Ma said that the tourists “opened my mind” because everything they said and did was so different to what he had been taught at school and by his parents.
In 1995, when he was in America, he was shown the Internet, which he didn’t know about. He noticed that there was no information from China.
Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA) is a Chinese e-commerce company that provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services via web portals. It also provides electronic payment services, a shopping search engine and data-centric cloud computing services. The group began in 1999 when Jack Ma, founded the website Alibaba.com, a business-to-business portal to connect Chinese manufacturers with overseas buyers. In 2012, two of Alibaba’s portals handled 1.1 trillion yuan ($170 billion) in sales. The company primarily operates in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and at closing time, on the date of its historic initial public offering (IPO), 19 September 2014, Alibaba’s market value was measured as US$231 billion. [Wikipedia, revised]
The heavyweight American Internet companies have catered to big business whereas Ma’s companies have successfully served the small business and consumer, with very low transaction fees.
“One of secret sauces of Alibaba is we have a lot of women,” — Jack Ma.
47 percent of his overall staff and 33 percent of people in senior roles are women. “Women think about others more than themselves, which is key for Alibaba and its ability to serve users.”
Over 100 Million Buyers Shop Alibaba Every Day
… they [Promoters] are men and women of action. When a Promoter is present, things begin to happen: the lights come on, the music plays, the games begin. Clever and full of fun, Promoters live with a theatrical flourish which makes even the most routine events seem exciting. Not that they waste much time on routine events. In work and in play, Promoters demand new activities and new challenges. Bold and daring at heart, and ever-optimistic that things will go their way, Promoters will take tremendous risks to get what they want, and seem exhilarated by walking close to the edge of disaster. Because of this, they make the very best trouble-spot administrators and negotiators, and they can be outstanding entrepreneurs, able to swing deals and kick-start enterprises in a way no other type can. [Please Understand Me II]
Ma said he hopes to keep expanding Alibaba outside of China (the company is already big in Russia and Brazil) and is aiming for 2 billion consumers and 10 million small businesses to use the company outside of China.
That’s Crazy — Jack.
Jack replies, “Yes it might be crazy, but we are not stupid”
I agree. Remember.
Other examples of Promoter Artisans include: Presidents Lyndon Johnson, Franklin D Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt, Joan Rivers, John Hammond Jr., Helen Gurley Brown, Marie Colvin, Lech Walesa, Pan Shiyi, Hugo Chavez, Charlie Sheen, Boris Yeltsin, John Corzine, Lady Gaga, Sonny Bono.