The ability to stay the course can make or break a business — and that's something that self-made billionaire Jack Ma knows well.
Ma's track record comes at a time when statistics point to a sobering reality about the survival rate of young businesses: 70 percent of start-ups fail around 20 months after raising their first funding, according to an August report by research firm CB Insights.
One of the top reasons why those companies fail, according to CB Insights, is a loss of focus.
"Whether young people, old people, ask three questions," the billionaire told a packed conference hall in Bali, Indonesia.
"I keep asking myself these three questions," he said:
- "What do you have?"
- "What do you want?"
- "What will you give up?"
Many people usually fail to ask themselves what they are willing to give up because they tend to think they don't have much to start with, Ma said.