To be successful requires a determination to overcome obstacles and a willingness to learn from your mistakes. Failures are inevitable. Every successful person has failed at least once before reaching their goals. The problem is that people are unable to see their failure level because failure doesn’t have an éclat similar to success.

Jack Ma, the founder of, wasn’t born into a rich family, nor was he an exceptional student. He failed his primary school exams twice and middle school examinations three times. After graduation from middle school, he started applying for admission to universities. He applied to Harvard ten times for admission. Each time, he was rejected. He had to retake the Hangzhou Dianzi University entrance exams four times before being accepted. Ma didn’t lose hope during any of this, but rather looked ahead and continued his journey.

After completing his university education, Ma failed on an even bigger scale in his efforts to find a job. He applied to over30 different employers and was rejected by all of them. He was even rejected by KFC and the police.

Ma unsuccessfully tried to secure a loan of $3000 from a local bank to fund Alibaba. After having the door closed on another funding source, he presented his idea to more than 30 venture capitalists. Nobody agreed to fund his idea.

The majority of people opposed his ideas and regarded as a terrible business model that was surely destined to fail. Ma didn’t let the opinions of people shatter his belief in his idea. Although it was a difficult experience, he kept working hard and relentlessly pursued his dream.

Soon Ma found like-minded people who ultimately funded his idea, but his struggles didn’t stop there. After turning the concept of Alibaba into a reality, Ma and his team didn’t earn any revenue for three years. However, they did earn appreciation, receiving numerous emails from users commending the company’s concept and services. Step by step, Jack Ma and his team kept moving forward.

Now, 16 years after its inception, Alibaba is a huge success. The people who rejected Ma now admire him. Ma believed in himself and his failures led him to an exemplary success. So how did he stay so steadfast?

According to Ma, you should adopt different strategies during different stages of life. He suggests that when you are in your twenties, you should experiment with different things. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes during this age but learn from every mistake. Join startup companies during the earlier stages of your career to see first hand how companies are developed from scratch.

Change your mindset and begin to believe that you deserve the best. Don’t settle for anything else. When someone tries to shortchange you or sell you short, know that you deserve better and say no. Charge the rates that you think you deserve as a freelancer or businessperson. Refuse to tolerate things and relationships of poor quality.

Congratulate yourself and reward yourself when you do a good job or complete a goal in your life. Remember, if you tell yourself that you are the best, your brain will begin believe it, giving you the confidence to chase your dreams and live life to the fullest. If you transform your thinking, you can achieve what you desire. All you have to do is ask.



    Data Scientist

    Rajan Thapaliya contributes to Entrepreneur, Forbes, Thrive Global, & Huff Post. He is a data scientist pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy degree at NCU. He is passionate about reading, writing, and trading. His favorite leisure activity is bird-watching in the local canyons. His ultimate goal is to move people and help them live happier, more meaningful lives.