Turning Failure Into Success, Jack Ma

When talking about e-commerce or online business, we are definitely reminded of Amazon and eBay. These names are places where most people spend time shopping or just looking for products to buy. However, there are still internet giants who have larger users than the total of Amazon and eBay users, and he is Alibaba.


Alibaba is a Chinese version of Amazon that combines the functions of eBay and Paypal with 500 million users every month. Alibaba is the largest e-commerce website in the world. The founder of this giant internet company is Jack Ma! Jack Ma’s success story is truly very interesting and inspiring. Jack Ma’s life journey is so twisted, and he has gone through so many failures in his life, maybe more than the number of failures of people in general. Facing the fact that we failed is definitely a sad thing.

Jack Ma

When talking about the internet tycoon, the picture that usually comes to people’s minds is that he is a genius and has been familiar with computer and internet technology since he was young and had a unique idea that ultimately resulted in luck. Maybe in some cases, true, but these things do not apply to Jack Ma. When he started building Alibaba, he had no experience using computers or the internet.

But what distinguishes him from most people is that he can learn from his failures and rise. No matter how bad the failures we’ve all been through, I think what Jack Ma went through is far worse. First, he could not graduate from elementary school because he did not pass the exam, and he could only graduate after trying for the third time. That was still the beginning because soon after he graduated from school, he struggled to get into university.

More than three years of trying, Jack Ma failed the entrance exam and could not continue his education to the university level. In fact, Jack Ma applied to enter Harvard Business School, yes he did apply to Harvard, not just once or twice but ten times! Guess what happened? He was rejected every time he applied, yes ten applications were rejected! Maybe someone else would have given up if he was in his position, but Jack Ma didn’t. Think about it, you wasted three years just to get into university, and every time you tried to enter, you were rejected! Surely we all will be sad right.


While there, Jack Ma is also looking for a job. He applied to be the station’s local police, and I think you must know how the story ends. He was rejected! According to Jack Ma, he had applied to 30 different types of jobs, and all applications were rejected. However, the worst rejection experienced by Jack Ma was when he applied to KFC. There were 24 applicants interviewed at KFC. 23 of the 24 applicants were accepted except for one person, namely Jack Ma.

Jack Ma

Imagine what struggles he had gone through, count how many rejections he had experienced, and in fact, those rejections were enough for him to give up on life. Fortunately, he was able to enter an ordinary university and graduate. At that time, he could get a job and become a teacher even though his salary was not satisfying at all, around $ 10 dollars a month. The value of $ 10 dollars per month is not the amount of salary you expect at all right.

Yes, the salary is only $ 10 per month, not $ 10 per hour. Of course, that amount of money was simply not enough to pay for his life. Therefore Jack Ma obtains additional income from trying various types of businesses. Unfortunately, none of the businesses have succeeded. He went from one failure to another failure.

In 1995, Jack Ma visited the United States, where he was introduced for the first time on the internet. Jack Ma’s visit to the United States made his life change. Jack Ma felt like he saw something magical because he had never seen anything like that before in his life. Previously, he had just learned how to operate a computer and immediately realized the huge potential of the internet when it was introduced.

He tried to find out everything about China on the internet but did not find any general information that he wanted. That’s when he decided to release the China Yellow Pages to enlighten people about China in the new world of the internet. Comparing with his previous projects where he failed miserably, this time, the project was quite successful, and he began to earn money from the project.

However, Jack Ma’s ambitions do not stop there. He realized that the future of the business would be on the internet, so in 1999 he launched another website called Alibaba.com. He chose this name because he felt Alibaba was easy to remember and was also the first Chinese e-commerce website. Things that happen aren’t as cool as they sound. People at that time really did not understand what the internet was, so they did not believe it.

Therefore, in order to make people believe that Alibaba is a reliable place to sell goods online, Jack Ma tries to shop for his own needs whatever they sell on his website. It happens when everything goes slowly. It came to a point where people realized that they could actually sell anything on Alibaba, everyone entered, and Alibaba.com did not take long to gain popularity.

Jack Ma

Despite rapid growth, Alibaba did not print revenue for the first three years! Especially when the internet business bubble was trending in 2001, people began to lose trust in internet companies, and thousands of them went bankrupt. Fortunately, Alibaba has survived these difficult times. As conditions became more conducive, Alibaba continued to show increasingly significant growth.

Unmitigated, the value of Alibaba’s business valuation is almost $ 500 billion dollars and is expected to grow to $ 1 trillion dollars by 2020. The greater Alibaba, Jack Ma’s wealth, also swelled Jack Ma’s net worth of $ 41 billion as of June 2018.

The moral of the story is that you will never fail if you don’t stop struggling. Jack Ma has tried continuously, and he does not give up when he is not accepted into the university of his dreams. He doesn’t give up every time he is turned down by the companies he is applying for. In fact, he started building Alibaba when he was 35 years old. For him, success does not look at age. You can reap success even at a young age.

So, if you are 25 years old and stuck in a job that you hate, then do not ever think that it is too late for you to start.

Remember, failure is a choice. As long as you keep going and fighting, there is no such thing as failure, and you will definitely succeed in the end.

Now it’s your turn, what is your worst failure? Please share your experience in the comments column below!