Because of my new leadership role at work, I started to read up more about the aspiring world leaders and entrepreneurs I could look up to and learn from. One of the most admirable leaders I know of is Jack Ma.
The world may be experiencing a major crisis right now and maybe disheartened about the uncertainties, loss of jobs and lowering of incomes. But crises toughens people up. Jack Ma has probably experienced even more crises and turbulences in life than most of us. Instead of getting crushed under pressure, he overcame it all and made it to the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires list.
Jack Ma is a man of wisdom.
He embodies the qualities of what a wise, humble and hardworking leader should look like. In his interviews and speeches, he speaks with humility and grace about his past experiences and his visions for the future world and economy.
This current crisis made most of his advice, visions and words of wisdom truly relevant. As a working millennial, I could not help but to agree with his valuable insights about life as well as the lessons he learnt as an entrepreneur. I’ve spent hours watching videos where he shares his life stories and how he build his ex-company, Alibaba Group from a team of 18 people to the mega-sized company with over 100,000 employees.
There are indeed some valuable life lessons we learnt from this ex-school teacher who got rejected by KFC and even Harvard Business School. Here are the 5 lessons from Jack Ma which you will help you emerge stronger from this crisis. Make them your life mantras and wake up each day with a brighter vision of your future.
What is it like to get rejected 30 times when looking for a job? How is it like to know that you are the only one who got rejected when all the other applicants were accepted for the job?
Anyone who has gone through so many rejections in life would have long given up and lived day-to-day with low self-esteem. But that’s not the case for Jack Ma who embraces rejections and believes in himself. He has failed twice in his Key Primary School test and thrice in his Middle School examinations. Rejections seem to be a norm in his later years too. He tried applying to Harvard Business School and got rejected ten times. But his struggles in life did not stop him from pursuing his dreams.
These rejections only strengthen his grit and tenacity to pull through all the difficulties he will experience in his later life. He is who he is today because of those rejections he faced.
2. Persevere and work hard
Jack Ma believes in working hard for your dreams. Essentially, hard work is a by-product of sheer determination. If you persevere, you are motivated to work hard instead of giving up. What gave Jack Ma that push to not give up is the movie, ‘Forrest Gump’. He was inspired by the lead character in the movie who persevered despite all the challenges he faced in life.
Persevering is about mind over matter. It may seems obvious but it is often the toughest. How do we even learn to persevere? It all starts from young.
3. Make enough mistakes in life
“Make enough mistakes. Don’t worry. You fall, you stand up”. – Jack Ma
According to him, any mistake is a wonderful revenue. Why? Because when you learn from your mistakes, you know how to avoid it the next time around and make better decisions in your life. A mistake can transform into an income. Now, that’s really powerful.
Don’t be afraid of setbacks because they only propel you further.
4. Develop your love quotient
The world values IQ and EQ but to Jack Ma, LQ is equally important. LQ, according to him, is love quotient. Love quotient is about having compassion for others and caring for one another. It is something which differentiates us, humans, from machines.
The quotient of love will lead you to accomplish meaningful things in life which will ultimately bring you true joy and the motivation to live your life with purpose. I couldn’t agree more. As a believer of Christ, the bible taught us that love triumphs all.
5. Be optimistic and see the world full with opportunities
“Opportunities lie in your complains.” – Jack Ma
Instead of just complaining on and on, try to solve those complaints instead. When I teach innovation to young kids, I taught them that innovation lies in our complaints. Every innovation you see today is a result of a complaint or an inconvenience in our daily lives.
We often mindlessly complain about so many things in life but we don’t often look into ways to solve them. The more complaints there are in this world, the more opportunities there will be in the future.
Most important of all…
Lastly, I want to end this article with this – respect yourself and others. As Jack Ma has put it, “If you graduate from famous universities, please, respect the people who graduate from the poor schools.” And if you graduate from poor universities, don’t look down on yourselves. Whether you come from a poor background or not, respect yourself because the world is still full of opportunities for all to grow and succeed – even in this post-COVID-19 world.