Jack Ma failed his college entrance exams on three separate occasions. After the third rejection, he gave up and looked for work. But continued to struggle. He applied for over thirty positions, but got nowhere. Without any professional qualifications, he wouldn’t even secure interviews. He tried the local police force, but was told that he was ‘no good’ and was dismissed, again, without even being seen.
One day, Kentucky Fried Chicken came to town. Reluctantly, Ma applied. He assumed that, being a menial job, he would walk straight into the place. But then so did 23 other people from his town. He did not get a job there. The 23 others did. Things looked bleak.
But Ma somehow knew things would work out and kept on trucking. And it was a good job he did…
With no job prospects, Ma started up his own company, an internet payments company like PayPal. It didn’t turn a profit for three years. He was, again, something of a local laughing stock.
“So many people I talked to at that time about Alipay, they said, ‘This is the stupidest idea you’ve ever had,’” he said. “I didn’t care if it was stupid as long as people could use it.”
But he kept at it until things turned around. And now? Ma and Alipay have a user base of over 800 million people. And his account? 800 million is nothing… Ma’s wealth is estimated at a staggering $25bn!
Jack Ma. What a hero. And what an inspiration!