Jack Ma has said your 20s are for learning, your 30s and 40s are for risk-taking and your 50s are for doing what you're good at and training others. It appears he's following his own advice.
A former educator, Ma announced on Monday that upon officially retiring from Alibaba, he'll devote most of his time to the Jack Ma Foundation and focus on topics related to education. He founded his organization in 2014 as a way to make improvements in rural China's educational system.
Today, the man known as "Teacher Ma" within Alibaba turned 54. Monday also marks a national Chinese holiday known as Teacher's Day.
Just last week, Ma had said that "some day, very soon," he would return to teaching and education. "This is something I think I can do much better than being CEO of Alibaba."
"I miss teaching very much. I came to the business field by accident," continued Ma, a man who was rejected from more than 30 jobs after college, in the years before starting Alibaba, including a job at KFC.
While the e-commerce company Ma founded is valued at more than $400 billion, Ma didn't start achieving career success until his 30s.
"In life, it's not how much we achieved, it's how much we've gone through the tough days and mistakes," Ma told a group of young leaders invited to January's 2018 World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. "If you want to be successful, learn from the other people's mistakes, don't learn from the successful stories."
As an alum of the Young Global Leaders network, Ma shed light on what the room of young adults should focus on within the next 30 years.