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Life & success secrets of the humble billionaire Jack Ma

Jack Ma tries the Scan to Pay feature of GCash at the Glorietta cinema ticket booth with Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu, Ayala Land president and CEO Bobby Dy, and Ayala Corporation president and COO Fernando Zobel de Ayala.

What are the life and success secrets of soft-spoken tech entrepreneur, former teacher, tai-chi martial arts master and philanthropist Jack Ma — things that helped made him stand out among tycoons? Ma is the “rags-to-riches” Yao Ming and Bruce Lee of business with a personal net worth of US$46.9 billion or P2.4 trillion, yet he is humble, sincere, idealistic, very philosophical and not materialistic, always sharing his ideas.

Due to his technological innovations and their far-reaching impact on the way we live, Ma was ranked second on Fortune magazine’s 2017 list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.”

On Oct. 25, China’s most world-famous business and civic icon Jack Ma of Alibaba.com, Alipay and Lazada was conferred an honorary doctorate degree in technopreneurship by De La Salle University in Manila. He delivered an inspiring speech and then talked in two roundtables: first with DLSU student leaders, and then with Go Negosyo chairman and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion.

Ma pointed out that the Filipino’s “heart to serve” can help the country overcome the global automation wave that has the potential to displace many jobs in manufacturing. He said: “Artificial intelligence, robots will kill a lot of jobs for manufacturing but the services industry will always be the key… Filipino people have the best heart (for) service. It takes centuries to build up the heart to serve people. The Philippines has great talent, great capabilities. No other country in the world has that.”

The Alibaba boss also held a press conference in which he discussed his group’s strategy and partnerships in the Philippines, and also the key role of the Filipino Chinese community in bringing ancient allies the Philippines and China closer together.

Jack Ma launches GCash & vision of a cashless Philippine society

After the La Salle event, Ma and his Ant Financial Services Group CEO Eric Jing were originally scheduled to join Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and Fernando Zobel de Ayala of Ayala Group, Bobby Dy of Ayala Land, Ernest Cu of Globe Telecom and Mynt CEO Anthony Thomas for a luncheon event with media at Outback in Glorietta 4 to launch the pioneering cashless electronic payment system GCash.

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 Jack Ma and his group were accompanied by his business partners for GCash — the Zobel brothers, Ayala Land CEO Bobby Dy and Globe Telecom CEO Ernest Cu — to demonstrate the cashless, high-tech payment system using just a mobile phone.

Ma went to the GCash concierge at the mall’s ground floor, then proceeded to the fourth floor to try GCash at the cinema ticket-selling counter, then walked towards female taho vendor (from the Hokkien word “tao-hue” for bean curd) and posed for pictures (the 46-year-old vendor, Rebecca Salas, told the STAR Ma was extremely humble and kind) before heading to Cinema 4 for the GCash launch.

Never give up, develop eq, don’t complain, enjoy life, be positive

So what are the life and success secrets of Jack Ma? During his hectic 24-hour trip to the Philippines, he shared some:

• Perseverance. The words “never give up” best sum up the remarkable saga of the humble former teacher Jack Ma. He said: “Rather than having small smart tricks to get by, focus on holding on and persevering.”

It took Ma four years to pass China’s yearly national college entrance exams. Ma applied for 30 different jobs and got rejected by all, including a police post and even a KFC restaurant in his hometown in the ancient city of Hangzhou. At KFC, 24 people applied for work, 23 got accepted and he was the only person rejected! He had also applied 10 times to study at Harvard but got rejected. Whatever the setbacks, though, Jack Ma never gave up.

• Develop EQ and LQ with IQ. At La Salle, Jack Ma said that successful people must possess “IQ, EQ and LQ” — intelligence, emotional and love quotients. He explained: “No matter how smart you are, if you don’t know how to work with people, your dreams will just be dreams.”

• Don’t complain; it’s a bad habit. At La Salle and on different occasions in the past, Ma has said that we shouldn’t complain so much, but rather seek solutions and opportunities. When the country’s slow Internet service was partly blamed on having only two telecommunications firms, Ma advised that we seek opportunities there, instead of blaming.

Ma also said at La Salle: “Only those people who check their own problems, these people survive, these people succeed. If there is no solution, don’t complain.” Another quote from his DLSU visit: “Be simple. Stay foolish. No matter what, just continue. Do not complain about others. Complain only about yourself.”

Ma also said: “If you complain or whine once in a while, it is not a big deal. However, if it becomes habitual, it will be similar to drinking: the more you drink, the stronger the thirst. On the path to success, you will notice that the successful ones are not whiners, nor do they complain often. The world will not remember what you say, but it will certainly not forget what you have done.”

• Enjoy work and life. Ma believes in an old Chinese saying, that we should seek enjoyment in our work, so we don’t even feel like we’re working.

On balancing work and life, Ma said: “I always tell myself that we are born here not to work, but to enjoy life. We are here to make things better for one another, and not to work. If you are spending your whole life working, you will certainly regret it. No matter how successful you are in your career, you must always remember that we are here to live. If you keep yourself busy working, you will surely regret it.”

• Compete, but don’t hate. Ma discourages hatred or negative thoughts in competition, saying: “Those who compete aggressively with one another are the foolish ones. If you view everyone as your enemies, everyone around you will be your enemies. When you are competing with one another, don’t bring hatred along. Hatred will take you down. Competition is similar to playing a board of chess. If you lose, we can always have another round. Both players should never fight. A real businessman or entrepreneur has no enemies. Once he understands this, the sky’s the limit.”

• Seek opportunities. The billionaire also advised people to seek opportunities in problems, once saying: “The opportunities that everyone cannot see are the real opportunities.”

• Be open to change. The only thing constant in the world is nonstop changes, so Jack Ma has this advice: “Adopt and change before any major trends or changes.” At La Salle, he said: “Change quickly. It’s not the competitor that’s killing you. It’s the future killing you.” He also advised: “You have to change all the time. We don’t care if people say we are crazy. We care about ‘Is this something really different?’”

• Be positive in attitude. Whatever our circumstances, Ma has this life-changing piece of advice: “Your attitude determines your altitude.” At La Salle, he advised: “The best way to face a problem is with a great attitude. Then you’ll succeed.”

 

 

 

 

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