Series on Resilience – Psychological Resilience

Psychological resilience is defined as an individual’s ability to successfully adapt to life tasks in the face of social disadvantage or highly adverse conditions.

Jack Ma, who founded Alibaba and is its Executive Chairman was rejected from as many as 30 jobs, including a job at KFC before he became the richest man in China. His e-commerce company, Alibaba attracts 100 million shoppers a day and his real time net-worth is a whopping $21.9 billion. But, being the richest person in China didn’t come easy to Ma. He went through a lot of rejection before seeing all the unprecedented success.

For starters, Ma revealed in a recent interview that he failed a college entrance exam three times. Unfortunately, it didn’t just end there. Ma faced more obstacles when he founded Alibaba in 1998. The brand didn’t turn profitable for the first three years, and Ma had to get creative.

One of the company’s main challenges was that it had no way to do payments and no banks would work with him. This is when he decided to start his own payment program called Alipay. The program transfers payments of different currencies between international buyers and sellers.

People called the idea of Alipay stupid at that time. Today, 800 million people use Alipay.