Jack Ma announces retirement plan: 10 lessons to learn from Alibaba founder



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Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba Group, a Chinese e-commerce giant announced his retirement plans recently. He named Daniel Zhang, the CEO of the company as his successor. He will step down from his position in September 2019 but he will remain the company’s Director.

Ever since the announcement was made, he is one of the hottest topics across China. And it is not surprising as he is a remarkable entrepreneur and is an inspiration for many entrepreneurs across the world. He is known for his motivational speeches that enlighten the young people in the business world.

Today Silicon Canals has jotted down 10 business lessons to learn from Jack Ma.

#1 It is important to embrace rejection

One of the important success factors of Jack Ma is to embrace rejection and get accustomed to it. Rejection is common in the business ecosystem and has the potential for one to become successful. Having started as an ordinary person from a not-so-strong financial background, he faced rejection from the local government while seeking funds for his startup.

Notably, he was one among the 24 applicants who had applied for Kentucky Fried Chicken when it entered China. And, he was the only one to be rejected by KFC. Another instance is that Jack had applied to enter the Harvard University for ten times and he was rejected at every attempt.

#2 Don’t stop dreaming

Another lesson is to never stop dreaming. Jack has once stated that he constantly thinks about Alibaba, talks about it, breathes it and sleeps with it. He is obsessed with work and his dream to keep it growing. Eventually, he turned to be successful. He insists every entrepreneur keep their dreams alive and never stop dreaming to relish success.

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#3 Ignore the Thwarter

It is very important to ignore the thwaters or naysayers. Such people always tell that it is impossible to be successful. In the journey of achieving success, there will a lot of such negative people and the entrepreneurs should know how to handle them. So it is always the best way to ignore them and focus on the business.

#4 Stay inspired

Jack Ma loves has once said that he loves movies and has learned a lot from it. In an interview, he once told that he learned the most from the flick Forrest Gump. He suggests that one has to be themselves and do what they think is right. Of course, there is no denying that there are many things that one can learn from life but it is vital to stay inspired by different things.

#5 Don’t lose focus

Jack believes that to build a successful business, one should be focused on the primary goal. One should concentrate on all the effort to build and continue to grow. When the focus is lost and attention is diverted, failure is likely.

#6 Customers should be the priority

In an interview, Jack had once said that he valued his customers more than shareholders. He always kept customers his priority and the most important component of the company. After customers, it was his employees and then come the shareholders. He believes that shareholders may come and go. And, customers should be the priority for shareholders to make money and for the business to be profitable.

#7 Stop the blame game

He believes that to be successful, one has to stop complaining. Many people play the blame game about their life such as spouses, economy, employees and more. This is something that one has to stop to be successful.

#8 Lookout for opportunities

Another lesson from Jack Ma is to be on the lookout for opportunities. He believes that if one always complains or blames, then the person will miss out on the opportunities around. So, instead of complaining, one has to focus on the opportunities around them.

#9 Passion plays a major role

Back in 1999, when Jack presented the idea of starting Alibaba to his friends, no one knew that it would work out. But those who went with his suggestion believed in his passion. So, keep in mind that passion is one of the vital factors that determine your success. As long as you are passionate, you will continue working and moving towards success even when things are tough. Most entrepreneurs give up due to the lack of passion to persevere.

#10 Build a culture

He says that one of Alibaba’s core competencies is culture. He believes that internet and technology are platforms and tools and anyone can leverage on it to bring something better. But building an amazing culture in the company is vital. There are thousands of employees working with Alibaba Group and they stay together due to its values and visions. So, for any business, culture is a binding factor that is important for success.

For more updates in the tech startup world, do stay tuned to Silicon Canals.


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Editorial team

The editorial team of Silicon Canals brings you technology news from the European startup ecosystem. 

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