Let’s set a little goal to start with
Chinese businessman and philanthropist Wang Jianlin, described as “a man of Napoleonic ambition” by The Economist, eclipsed his “web red” son Wang Sicong with his bombastic comment about the importance of setting “small” goals recently. For many amused, slack-jawed observers, the man’s “how-to” comment also sounded like a brilliant example of the theory of relativity.
On August 26 Wang Jianlin made a startling statement about how to kick-start one’s entrepreneurial dreams on Talk to Lu Yu – Spend a Day With the Big Shots - a newly launched talk show hosted by Lu Yu, dubbed by many as “China’s Oprah” - launching the “100 million” social media craze in the process.
During the talk show, the 62-year-old billionaire shared with Lu Yu his daily Wanda empire routines by showing her around the company canteen and taking her on his private plane on a business trip.
“They say the size of your stage is decided by how big your heart is. What do you think?” Lu Yu asked, inviting Wang Jianlin to give advice to today’s young entrepreneurial dreamers.
“I hear a lot of young people saying that they dream of becoming the world’s richest man or woman and creating the world’s largest business, but the problem is they never set goals. Nothing is wrong with such an ambition, but I’d suggest they set a small ‘first pot of gold’ goal to get started with, say, one-hundred million (yuan), to see how much time they may need to realise such a goal. Whether it takes three years or five years, work on it until you reach the finish line before setting the second goal, such as one billion or ten billion (yuan).” “Did you make such a goal to start with at the beginning of your entrepreneurial adventure?” Lu Yu questioned.
“Well, my first goal was to earn one hundred million (yuan) within three years, and such a goal made the eyes of many pop out and was deemed ‘mission impossible’ by most of my colleagues. That day felt like it was just yesterday. I still remember quite clearly that one of them stood up and refuted, dismissing what I had just said ‘nonsense’, but I told him it was just a goal, not a life-or-death issue.” Wang Jianlin explained.
“I made my first pot of gold in 1989, and that was 10 million yuan, equivalent to one billion yuan today I figure.” Wang Jianlin added.
With these words, China’s richest man gave all the nation’s ambitious sons and daughters an important lesson regarding how one becomes rich.
Wang is the chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, China's largest real estate developer and the world's largest movie theatre operator, and also owns 20% of Spanish football giants Atlético Madrid. According to Forbes, in 2016 Wang Jianlin was the richest person in Asia with a personal fortune estimated at $28.7 billion.
The day after the show was aired, China’s online real estate was filled by screen shots of Wang declaring his “small goal” theory. Netizens have since enjoyed a Wang-themed meme explosion.
“The world of the nouveau riche is beyond the comprehension of us ordinary people.” one netizen commented, ruefully.
Wang’s startling theory not only entertained the whole nation but also triggered a business registration mania across the country. The country’s Industry and Commerce administration system shows that a company named “赚他一个亿” (translated literally to “earn one hundred million”) was registered on September 5, with a registered capital of 2.5 million yuan and the corporate representative stated as Tang Guodian.
So, the next time you talk about setting goals, keep Wang’s advice in mind and aim big!