Forrest Gump: My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
—Forrest Gump, 1994.
Jack Ma, is a Chinese business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is the co-founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate.
As of February 2018, he is one of China’s richest men with a net worth of US$41.3 billion, as well as one of the wealthiest people in the world.
Here are his top 10 rules for success in business:
1. Get used to rejection
“For three years I tried fill in the Universities, so I applied jobs for 30 times, got rejected. I went for a police, they said, ‘No, you’re not good.’ When KFC came to China, 24 people went for the job, 23 people were accepted, I was the only guy. 5 people went for a police, 4 were accepted, I was the only one not accepted. I applied for Harvard, 10 times rejected.”
2. Keep your dream alive
“Open sesame is a secret code for Alibaba, the secret code for everybody is keep your dream alive because it might come true someday.”
3. The core of any good company is culture.
“Technology is a tool. We focus a lot on the value, in the mission and making sure the culture everybody work for helping others instead of , you know, just to make money.”
4. Never stop seeking out inspiration.
“I learned a lot of things from movies. I learned how to make a speech from The Bodyguard. I learned from the Godfather. My famous movie is Forrest Gump. ”
5. Stay focus, learn to say no.
“I’m saying no to a lot of ideas because as a CEO I have to say no to opportunities. Because if I say yes, I probably get 5.000 opportunities every day. Everything is on the mission of doing business easier, if it’s on that, I’ll consider it.”
6. Pick a really good name for your company.
“Internet is global. We should have a global name. I was thinking for many days Alibaba was a good name. I was in San Francisco that day and I was having lunch and the waitress came and I asked her: Do you know about Alibaba? She said yes. What is Alibaba? She replied, Open sesame. Good! So I asked 10-20 people, they all know Alibaba. 40 thieves and Open Sesame. And I thought this is a good name.”
7. Prioritize people: 1. Customers 2. Employees 3. Shareholders
“Customers, number one; employees, number two; shareholders, number three. This is my religion. It’s the customer who pays us the money. It’s the employees that drive innovation.”
8. Don’t complain
“Most people complain where the opportunity is. Where is the trouble, there is the opportunity. I always believe that.”
9. Do what’s hard
“Don’t be jealous of the sucessful because the world is changing fast-and the first may become last, and the last may become first. Do what’s hard.”
10. Have passion
“First we should position Alibaba as a global website, not just a domestic website. Second, we need to learn the hard working spirit of Silicon Valley. If we have that kind of 8am-5pm spirit, then we should go and do something else.