Jack Ma is currently worth $35.6 billion. Yet Ma once made $12 per month as an English teacher (though he was still happy).
His achievements are practically unbelievable considering his meager, humble beginnings. Along the way, he failed more times than most of us could stomach in a lifetime.
Here are seven ways Ma experienced soul-crushing failure, but managed to keep his optimism, just like his hero, Forrest Gump.
1.Didn’t give up after failing many exams at school.
Ma was not a good student. In fact, he almost didn’t get into middle school.
"I failed a key primary school test two times, I failed the middle school test three times, I failed the college entrance exam two times…” Ma said. These are things most of us are lucky enough to have never said to our parents.
But surprisingly, Ma’s not alone. There’s a tradition of other great minds, including Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and Abraham Lincoln struggled early in life with academics but going on to do great things.
2.Scored 1 out of 120 points on the math portion of his college entrance exam.
Failing is one thing. Getting a score of less than 1 percent on your college entrance exam is something else completely. And it wasn’t because he didn’t have time to prepare. To this day, Ma struggles with mathematics, despite the fact that Alibaba is a tech company.
To quote Ma: “I am not good at math, have never studied management, and still cannot read accounting reports."
But as it turns out, he never needed to be good at math to become a billionaire. Perhaps even more impressive is that he never heard the word “computer” in his childhood.