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Alibaba billionaire Jack Ma: Almost ‘everybody can be successful if you really try hard’

By | Catherine Clifford |

Jack Ma grew up in Hangzhou, China where, after college, he applied for and was rejected from 30 jobs, before becoming an English teacher. Then, after he was introduced to the internet on a trip to the United States in 1995, he went on to found Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba with no technical or business skills, he says. Today, Ma is worth $35 billion and the company he founded has a market capitalization of over $396 billion.

“I think everybody can be successful if you really try hard,” Ma said at the Viva Tech conference in Paris in May.

He thinks that because he lived it. Ma started Alibaba in his apartment in 1999 with no money and a small team that used their underdog status as motivation.

″[O]ne of the things we wanted to prove: If Jack Ma and his team can be successful, 80% of the people in the world, they can be successful….”

I started Alibaba Group in 1999 in my apartment. The founders said that if Jack Ma and his team can be successful, so can 80% of the people in the world.

Here are three of Ma’s keys to success in business that don’t require any special knowledge, money or connections.

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