Jack Ma, the Alibaba founder, said he was a teacher before, and the teachers’ mission is to share what they know and inspire people. That is why he talks so much and gives so many speeches. It might be boring to some people, but Jack Ma still hopes to share more experiences with the young generation.
As Jack Ma said, he had failed many times and made many mistakes. He took each of the failures and mistakes as a training, which shaped him into who he is now.
Here we collected seven speeches by Jack Ma, and in this article, we will share his first speech entitled The Opportunity is for the People Being Optimistic and Persistent Without Complaining.
“First, I am not talent, and I have never had any training. I didn’t listen to what my mum and my teachers told me to do. I always doubted what I was told since my childhood.
Usain Bolt has mentioned in his speech, that he listened and believed everything his coach told him. Whilst when I hear something from the media and other people, I usually spend 2-3 seconds thinking whether it is true and what I can do to make things different. This is a habit I developed myself.
I have no talents, as I have failed many times. I took seven years to complete the middle school education, which takes 5 years for the other people, which was very bad for me. Everyone tries to enter the middle school, and the university, but not all of us realised these goals. I am one of those who failed. I tried hard to get into junior high school, but failed. I was not admitted to university when I graduated from high school. I had taken the university exam three times, all of which I failed. After that, I had failed almost 30 times applying for a job. I remember when I wanted to find a job in KFC. There were 24 people invited for the job interview. Of those, 23 people were given a job, but I wasn’t included. I had tried to take the police exam. There were in total 5 people sitting the exam, 4 people passed it and I was the only one who failed. At the beginning of starting Alibaba, I went to Silicon Valley to get investment. Whilst there, I had visited 30 potential investors. None of them were interested to invest in us.
But I found one thing interesting when I suffered from failure so many times.
Even though I suffered from failure so many times I was not discouraged. Every time I failed, every time I was refused, I saw them as practice opportunities and learn and gain the ability to do better next time and be successful in the future.
I tried sales when I began my business. I telephoned the strangers, and visited the customers every day. Each time when I went out, I told myself I would visit 12 customers and might fail 12 times. It felt normal when I finally failed 12 times in the end. But if I got a real customer from 12 potential ones, that meant I had done better than before. So each time when we fail or make a mistake, it should be an experience to treasure, to help us succeed in the future.
If I am going to write a book one day, the book will be named Alibaba and Alibaba’s 1001 mistakes.
It is the mistakes and failures we did that make us be ourselves. We can learn and look at ourselves when we make a mistake or fail. Because we are the person making mistakes and we are the one who can learn from these mistakes, fix the problems, and do it better next time.
In China, I began to share my experience and thoughts with more and more business people. As you know, I have never taken a business school course, and I am not a trained MBA student.
These years, I have seen many people going to study MBA and got stupid when they finished the MBA course. But they were very smart before, with their creative mind. Now they just think as taught by the professor and economist, and lose their own creative mind.
The Hupan University is built in China to cultivate entrepreneurs, and most of the cases used in the university are the failed cases. Why the failure happens? As in the battlefield, most people will lose, the winner can only be the ones who survived from the battle. When we do business, we should learn from someone else's mistakes and failure in this field. It is not just the foolish people making mistakes, but all, no matter how smart he is, will make mistakes. I've read a lot of cases to learn why some people fail while some people succeed. The more you know, the more active you will become.
There is another thing I want to share with you: we should think with our own mind. Your education, background and experiences make your different from the others. You should not always follow and do what others do, on the opposite, you should be yourself.”
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