Alibaba billionaire and business sage Jack Ma is known for dishing out wisdom on occasion. This time, in front of a younger audience, he revealed a general timetable for gaining business experience as well as what young people who aspire to work for big companies should seek instead.
Here’s an excerpt from his interview:
“Before 20 years old, be a good student. If possible, get some work experience.
“Before 30 years old, follow somebody. Go to a small company. Normally in a big company, it’s good to learn processing. You are part of a big machine. But when you go to a small company, you learn the passion. You learn the dreams. You learn how to do a lot of things at one time.”
“So, before 30 years old, it’s not which company you go, it’s which boss you follow. It’s very important. A good boss will teach you a differently.
“From 30 to 40 years old, you have to think very clearly — you work for yourself if you want to be an entrepreneur.
“When you are 40 to 50 years old, you have to do all the things you are good at. Don’t try to drop into new areas. It’s too late. You may be successful, but the rate of dying is too big. So 40 to 50, think about how you can focus on things that you are good at.
“But when you are 50 to 60 years old, work for young people because young people can do better than you. So rely on them, invest in them and make sure they are good.
“When you are over 60 years old, spend time for yourself. On the beach, sunshine. It’s too late for you to change.”
Ma also revealed that his biggest regrets are being a famous billionaire, because it took his privacy away, and that he wished he could spend more time with his family.