Jack Ma is a Chinese billionaire worth about $23 Billion as of July 2016 (Forbes) and is the founder of Alibaba. He is a classic story of rags to riches, and has stumbled into many failures and rejections before becoming one of the world’s richest men.
In one forum with young people as his audience, he shared how he thinks that life should be spent at certain ages. Here’s an extract of his video interview: According to Jack Ma:
Any mistake is a wonderful revenue for you.
Before 20 years old – be a good student.
At 25 years old – make enough mistakes. Dont worry, you fall, you stand up. Enjoy it.
Before 30 years old – follow somebody. Go to a small company. Normally in a big company, you learn processing, you are a part of a big machine. But when you go to a small company, you learn the passion, you learn the dreams. You learn how to do lots of things at one time. Before 30 years old, it’s not which company you go, it’s which boss you follow. A good boss teach you differently.
Between 30 and 40 years old – you think very carefully, you’re working for yourself. If you want to be an entrepreneur.
Between 40 to 50 years old – you have to do the things that you are good at. Do not try to jump into the new era, it might be too late. You may be successful but the rate of dying is too big. So 40 to 50, think about how you can focus at things that you are good at.
When you are 50 to 60 years old – work for the young people because young people can do better than you. So rely on them, invest on them, making sure they’re good.
When you’re over 60 years old – spend time for yourself, on the beach, sunshine. It’s too late for you to change.
One of the people in the audience asked a question in Chinese, to which Jack Ma answered:
Normally I make other people cry. (jokingly said and audience laughs)
Well I regret a lot of things.
I regret that I should never meet the media. I regret I should have speak to the public because I could have my own privacy. I regret that I had been working so hard spending little time for my family. And I regret that if I have another life, I would never do things like this. And my wife just said – you do not belong to me, you belong to Alibaba. But you know life is so short, it is all about experience. People see different view. Some people think you are rich, you are successful, but may not. Some people say this guy does not have money, he is a terrible guy – maybe not. So everybody chooses his own life. I cried. We had lots of problems that people never thought coz running a company for 34,000 young people, operate a company for 500 million people, if 1% is bad guy, you have 5 million bad guy, it is headache. But it is too late to regret, forget about regret. Think about I have 10 to 20 years to go, so enjoy the show, enjoy the ride.