Jack Ma: A true rags-to-riches story

Jack Ma: A true rags-to-riches story

There is no better way to start this than with Jack Ma’s words: “I got rejected 30 times. They are all sorry now.” Without any given context, if you know who Jack Ma is, then you know what exactly transpired.

Jack Ma cofounded Alibaba, one of the world’s largest e-commerce businesses. According to Forbes, his current net worth is $61.6B, which landed him the #1 wealthiest person on China Rich List and #17 on Billionaires 2020. Thinking about how one of the world’s richest people today got rejected numerous times and couldn’t even get a job at Kentucky Fried Chicken is just inspiring.

But what we can really learn from Jack Ma’s humble past is to never give up on our dreams. It is okay to start and graduate from college later than your friends; it is okay to not get accepted at the first company you’re applying for after college; it is okay to feel disappointed because you feel like nothing is going your way.
This is not to say that you can settle with mediocre choices nor to normalize being such a failure because there is no such thing as that. This is to say that rejections happen, and they happen so you can win the next time. We all have our fair share of failures and successes.
If you do not get it the first, second, or the tenth time, do not get discouraged nor lose hope. Although continued rejection is painful, in some ways it makes you learn and discover your abilities. Being rejected 30 times? It must have been soul-crushing for Jack Ma too, but it allowed him to become better for his entrepreneurial future.
Jack Ma failed his college entrance exam twice and experienced numerous rejections from different jobs before he found success in life. If you didn’t know, he wanted to study at Harvard Business School but got rejected there too. But look at where he is now; today he is undeniably a world-famous successful entrepreneur. Jack Ma is indeed a true rags-to-riches story.
Those rejections and failures Jack Ma experienced led him to find his true passion. So considering his meager, humble beginnings, his unbelievable achievements serve as a true inspiration to many of us. He is proof that no failures can stop someone with perseverance and determination from reaching their dreams.


If you experienced a series of rejections in life, remember that you still have a chance of achieving your dream, so do not give up. As Jack Ma also said, “The very important thing you should have is patience.” Hold on, be patient, and just continue working hard until you succeed.

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