Make sure that you are always ready to make sacrifices if you want to be an entrepreneur or a businessman, said the Alibaba founder, Jack Ma said at the grand final of the Jumpstarter 2017 start-up competition in Hong Kong. Ma had plenty of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs during a fireside chat with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, drawing from experience gained from his 18-year journey turning Alibaba into one of the biggest technology companies in the world. Here are five of his insightful tips:

Alibaba Jack Ma's 5 tips and advice for entrepreneurs

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Make sure that you are always ready to make sacrifices if you want to be an entrepreneur or a businessman, said the Alibaba founder, Jack Ma said at the grand final of the Jumpstarter 2017 start-up competition in Hong Kong. Ma had plenty of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs during a fireside chat with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, drawing from experience gained from his 18-year journey turning Alibaba into one of the biggest technology companies in the world. Here are five of his insightful tips:

1. A great entrepreneur is always optimistic

To reach success, you must get rid of the negative thoughts out of your head. An entrepreneur should be optimistic and positive at all times, no matter how complicated life is, Ma insisted. “You should be optimistic. Always optimistic. A great entrepreneur is optimistic about the future. And you always have to reflect as to what problem you can solve, and how to solve those problems,” he said. Ask yourself why you can do better than everyone else trying the same thing, Ma added.

2. The people you surround yourself with can change everything

No man is an island, so always make sure that you are surrounded by creative and passionate minds because they can help you chase your dreams. Ma elaborated: You have to find a group of people who knows how to work with you. You need people who understand your goals and dreams in life. Those people believe the same vision. You need people who are willing to join you not because of the job position or the salary, but because you share the same passion together. They have the same mission as you.

"You don't have to find the best people in the world; the best people are always working with you in your team," he added. "Train the team, work with the team, and then the team will also train you."

Jack Ma

3. Know that you will have to make sacrifices

The path to success will not come quickly, Ma warns. If your success is as easy as 1 2 3, then you are wrong. You have to surpass a lot of hardships and pain first before making it to the top. Cheer up, just always think about the triumph you will get once you’re done with the pain. Will I win in three years or 10 years? If you have a great idea, prepare for 10 years. There is no such thing as a quick win, Ma stressed out. “Don’t say I want to win next month, I want to succeed next year. That’s clearly impossible. Forget about that thinking. If you think you will reach in three years, prepare for five years. Only when you don’t give up on problems and struggles, you will get something in return.

4. Don't focus on how things

Why did Alibaba succeed? One reason was that the internet was not yet ubiquitous, Ma said. And he took advantage of it. At that time, E commerce was so cold. Nobody believed in it, but we found in it. We didn’t care what other people said. We thought it had a future, we thought it would help people, so we started. Instead of doing what everyone else is doing, be unique. Use your mind, consider what better thing you can do, why do you want to be different, and why you can last for 10 years while the other people can only last for one year alone, Ma said.

5. Don't wait for everything to be ready for you

Move early, and move fast, Ma suggested. Don’t wait for things to be prepared. Don’t wait for the environment to be ready. The world is not going to adjust to you. Don’t wait for the policy to be prepared. When everything is prepared, there will be no opportunities for you, he explained. What should you do then, if authorities have laid the groundwork for your big plans? Look elsewhere, Ma said. If the government says everything’ is ready, you should move to the other area, because there is no chance for you, he added.

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