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Ten crucial insights from the richest man in China

preview-650x341-98-1457959341Meet Jack Ma, the founder of the Chinese e-commerce platform Alibaba that nowadays has bigger sales than Amazon and eBay put together.

He grew up in a family of traditional musician-storytellers, constantly persecuted during the Cultural Revolution in China for being part of the intelligentsia. However, despite his turbulent childhood, Jack managed to set up a business that now costs hundreds of millions of dollars We here at. Bright Side are amazed by this man’s accomplishments and ideas, and decided to publish some of his best advice that everyone will find useful.

  • What is the difference between a company leader and an employee?
  1. A company leader should never compare his or her technical skills with those of the employees. Remember, their technical skills should always be better. If they are not, then you hired the wrong people.
  2. A company leader should have a clear vision of business development for many years ahead.
  3. A leader should possess a determined character and perseverance to endure things that no ordinary employee would stand.
  4. The leader should be able to deal with strokes of misfortune and unavoidable failures.
  5. To sum it up, a good leader is distinguished by clear vision, perseverance and a strong will.
  • Never engage in politics.

A political post and a big fortune rarely belong to the same person. If you start a political career, forget about business. If you are a politician, you will never be successful in making money. When a person possesses both money and political power, it is like a match combined with dynamite.

  • 4 questions to ask of modern young people:
  1. What is a true failure? A true failure is when you stop moving forward.
  2. What is resourcefulness? You will understand the meaning of it, when you suffer fiascoes, face unpleasant situations and combat disappointment.
  3. What are you supposed to do? You are supposed to be more diligent, hard-working and ambitious that others.
  4. Only fools talk with their mouths. Intelligent people talk with their brains, and wise ones — with their hearts.
  • We are here to live a full life.

I always say that we weren’t born to spend all our time at work. On the contrary, we are here to enjoy our lives and to make other people’s better. If work is your only passion, one day you are going to regret that.

  • On competitors and competition:
  1. Only fools display aggression towards their competitors.
  2. If you treat everybody as your enemy, everybody will become your enemy.
  3. When competing with others, try to avoid hating them. Hatred may destroy you.
  4. Competing is like playing chess. If you lose, you can always have another round. There is no point in fighting.
  5. A true entrepreneur has no enemies. As soon as you realize it, no one will be able to stop you.
  • On whimpering and moaning:
  1. If you let yourself moan from time to time, there is nothing wrong with it.
  2. However, if depression is a frequent guest and you are used to complaining, it looks like alcoholism — the more you drink, the harder it is to stop.
  3. The world doesn’t care for what you say. It cares for what you do.
  • Advice for entrepreneurs:
  1. Great opportunities are usually invisible to the majority of people. If at a meeting 90% of my employees vote for an idea, I never develop it. The reason is simple: if all of them clearly see the benefits, it means that many companies can work on this idea and we won’t be path-breakers.
  2. Try to help your employees enjoy working for you.
  3. In 2001, I made a mistake. I told my employees who witnessed the dawn of the company that they would never occupy higher positions than those of managers. I thought I would need professionals from outside to be top managers and vice presidents. Years have passed, and nowadays none of those hired professionals are working in my company anymore while those whose abilities I doubted turned out to be great vice presidents and top managers.
  4. Clients are your number one priority. Employees are priority number two. And only then come stockholders, your priority number three.
  5. Start adapting to new circumstances before everyone else does.
  6. Forget about money and ways to make it.
  7. I have a major principle: your attitude to work and the decisions you make mean more than your abilities. You can’t make everyone think the same way, but you can make them pursue the same aim. Don’t even try to teach your employees the same manner of thinking, that is impossible. Each third member of your staff does not believe in you. Do not ask them to follow a ’personality.’ Instead, bring them together with the same goal. It is much easier to unify people with an idea than with a leader, no matter how superb he or she is.
  8. Instead of implementing small features, focus on steady growth and long-term plans.
  9. Your attitude determines your future success.
  • On entrepreneurship:
  1. Sometimes you feel that is is difficult to explain a good business opportunity. Remember that the opportunities easy to explain are no good at all.
  2. Your ideal partner is a person who has the skills you lack, no matter whether he or she is successful or not.
  3. Look for the right people, not for the best ones.
  4. The most fragile things in the world are human relationships.
  5. ’For free’ can never be that cheap.
  6. Today it is hard, tomorrow will be even worse, but the day after tomorrow everything will be perfect.
  • What you should never do:
  1. The worst features for an entrepreneur: being haughty or unable to adequately assess the situation, failing to maintain high rates, lacking visionary skills.
  2. If there is something you don’t know about your competitors, if you underestimate them or don’t think they are a real threat, then you are sure to lose.
  3. In the case that the competitor’s business is smaller or weaker than yours, you still have to treat it as an equal. At the same time, if it is much bigger than yours, don’t be frightened by its superiority.
  • On having your own business:
  1. When you set up a business, it means that you deprive yourself of stable incomes, medical leaves and yearly bonuses.
  2. On the other hand, it also means that from now on, your income is unlimited, you may use your time more efficiently and you don’t need to ask anybody’s permission.
  3. If your decisions are different from those your peers make, your life will be different as well.

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