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Top Inspirational Quotes by Jack Ma

Updated: Jul 22, 2022


Jack Ma Yun is a Chinese business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He is the co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate. In addition, he co-founded Yunfeng Capital, a Chinese private equity firm. Ma is a strong proponent of an open and market-driven economy.


In August 2014, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Jack Ma had a net worth of US$21.8 billion, making him the richest man in China. In 2017, Ma was ranked second in the annual "World's 50 Greatest Leaders" list by Fortune. He has widely been considered as an informal global ambassador for Chinese business, and is an influential figure for the community of startup businesses. In September 2018, he announced that he would retire from Alibaba and pursue educational work, philanthropy, and environmental causes;the following year, Daniel Zhang succeeded him as executive chairman.


As of March 2022, with a net worth of $37.1 billion, Ma is the fifth-wealthiest person in China (after Zhong Shanshan, Ma Huateng, Zeng Yuqun and Zhang Yiming), as well as the 35th wealthiest person in the world, ranked by Bloomberg Billionaires Index. In 2019, Forbes named Ma in its list of "Asia's 2019 Heroes of Philanthropy" for his work supporting underprivileged communities in China, Africa, Australia, and the Middle East.In April 2021, Jack Ma ranked 26th in the "2021 Forbes Global Rich List" with a fortune of US$48.4 billion.


Jack Ma on leadership:

1. "A good boss is better than a good company."


"I always find people smarter than I am. Then my job is to make sure smart people can work together. Stupid people can work together easily, smart people can't."


"Intelligent people need a fool to lead them. When the team's all a bunch of scientists, it is best to have a peasant lead the way. His way of thinking is different. It's easier to win if you have people seeing things from different perspectives."


“When we see something is coming, we have to prepare now.” “My belief is [that] you have to repair the roof while it is still [sunny].”


“Opportunity lies in the place where the complaints are.”


“Women balance the logic and the instinct. I would say this is the ‘secret sauce’ of the company.” “Men think about themselves more; women think about others more.”


“If you want your business to succeed, it is critical to appoint enough female leaders.”


“In the 21st century, no matter whoever you are or whatever your organization is, you should not pursue size and power. You should be good. Kindness is the strongest power,”


"If you want your life to be simple, you shouldn't be a leader."


Jack Ma on business:

"My favorite movie is 'Forrest Gump.' He said nobody makes money catching whales, people make money catching shrimps. So we serve small business."


"As entrepreneurs, if you're not optimistic, you're in trouble. So the people I choose, they have to be optimistic."


“You should learn from your competitor, but never copy. Copy and you die.”


"If you want to grow, find a good opportunity. Today, if you want to be a great company, think about what social problem you could solve."


Jack Ma on taking risks:

“If you’ve never tried, how will you ever know if there’s any chance?”


“Once in your life, try something, work hard at something. Try to change. Nothing bad can happen.”


“If you don’t give up, you still have a chance.”


“It doesn’t matter if I failed. At least I passed the concept on to others. Even if I don’t succeed, someone will succeed.”


Jack Ma on success:

“The very important thing you should have is patience.”


"No matter what your current condition, how or where you grew up, or what education or training you feel you lack, you can be successful in your chosen endeavor. It is spirit, fortitude, and hardiness that matter more than where you start."


"Luck is very important. Of course, you can't wait for luck, because it won't come. While you start a journey, luck may eventually come to you."


“Help young people. Help small guys. Because small guys will be big. Young people will have the seeds you bury in their minds, and when they grow up, they will change the world.”


“Reading can give you a good head start; this is often what your peers cannot obtain. Compared to others, readers are more likely to know other industries' strategies and tactics.”


“I think everybody can be successful if you really try hard.”


“When everybody else believe it you have no chance. When only few people believe it, you believe it, you prove it, that’s your chance.”


Jack Ma on failure:

“I call Alibaba ‘1,001 mistakes.’”


“The lessons I learned from the dark days at Alibaba are that you've got to make your team have value, innovation, and vision.”


“If you don’t give up, you still have a chance. Giving up is the greatest failure.”


“If you want to be successful, learn from the other people’s mistakes, don’t learn from the successful stories.”


“As a young boy — even today — I never thought I would be here.” “When I look back, every problem I met when I was a kid benefited me.”


“I failed so many times, people probably know that I applied for so many jobs, over 30 jobs, all rejected, not even got a chance: 24 of us interviewed for a KFC job, 23 got accepted, I was the only guy rejected,”

“No matter how smart you are, you will encounter mistakes.”


“I remember year 2001, we went to raise some $5 million from venture capitalists in the USA and got rejected.” “I said we [will] come back raising a little bit more.”


“You have to get used to failure.”


“If you cannot get used to failure — just like a boxer — if you can’t get used to [being] hit, how can you win?”


"It doesn't matter if I failed. At least I passed the concept on to others. Even if I don't succeed, someone will succeed."


Jack Ma on people:

“I hate to hire people who come as experts because there’s no experts of future, they’re always experts of yesterday.” “There are no best people. The best people are always in your company, you train them to become best.”


“As entrepreneurs, if you’re not optimistic, you’re in trouble.” “So, the people I choose, they have to be optimistic.”


“I found that the more you care about your team, the team will care about you and the team will care about their customers.”


“I talk to all of my people, early days: ‘Don’t make me happy, don’t love me. Make your customer happy, make your customer love you, and I will love you any minute.’”


“Teachers always want their students to exceed them, so the responsible thing … for me and the company to do is to let younger, more talented people take over in leadership roles.”

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