This post is originally written for Student Association for Social Entrepreneurship, SASE. Please visit for more inspiring blog posts.

Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba Group

Everyone has dreams; so does Jack Ma. But Ma paid efforts, moved forward and finally realized his dreams.

In 1999, Ma and his team establish Alibaba Group, a B2B (Business-to-Business) platform that promotes communication among companies, enterprise, manufacturers and consumers. Alibaba Group includes,eTaoAlipay and partners with Yahoo! Inc., creating China Yahoo!

Today I want to share with you two quotes from Jack Ma. It’s awesome wisdom that Ma shared with young entrepreneurs. But really, they are inspiring for everyone who has dreams.

“Entrepreneurs must know the answers to the two question. First question is, What do you want to do? It’s not what your parents want you to do, or what your colleagues tell you to do. It’s not what others are doing but what you want to do indeed. Second question is, What do you need to do? You must understand that this is not about what you can do. Instead, it’s what you should do.”

These words of wisdom not only apply to entrepreneurs nowadays but also to billions of youth who have dreams but don’t know where to start. Many of us have goals but not so many score it at the end. Some don’t even come close, and these are the ones who complain. Oh, I am too busy… The school/class/major is difficult to get in… I don’t have the money for it… I can do this (But never actually do it)…

In conclusion, dreams aren’t about what you can do but what you do to make it come true.

Chasing the dreams isn’t the easiest thing to do in life. But it should make you happy. You should enjoy doing it because it’s your dream. It’s something that you enjoy doing and worth your time. Don’t be ashamed of it. It’s your baby. It’s your pride.

“There’s no way back on entrepreneurship. The biggest failure is to give it up.”

China is known for its difficult college entrance exam. Jack Ma failed twice before he enrolled in Hangzhou Normal University. In 1998, he graduated with a bachelor degree in English and later taught English and International Trade at the Hangzhou Dianzi University.

At age 65, Colonel Sanders’ restaurant failed due to a sharp decrease in costumers by the new Interstate 75. Since then, he began visiting every possible franchisees and shared his thought of opening restaurants featuring his secrete recipe of fried chicken. The first Kentucky Fried Chicken, KFC, opened in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1952. By 1964, KFC was sold in over 600 Franchised outlets in U.S. and Canada. In 1964, Sanders sold the entire KFC franchising operation for $2 million.

If a 65-year-old come to you one day, how likely will you trust him? Then how likely will you invest in him and his business? It takes risk for the investors. But for Sanders, it’s an enormous amount of passion and dedication of making it successful.

A 65-year- old can do this. Why can’t you? Hardships? Difficulties? SUCK IT UP. You aren’t a baby no more.

More about Jack Ma and Alibaba: The Inside Story Behind Jack Ma and the Creation of the World’s Biggest Online Marketplace

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