How a billionaire stays focused

The ability to stay the course can make or break a business — and that’s something that self-made billionaire Jack Ma knows well.

The iconic entrepreneur has led Alibaba since its inception in 1999. Under his watch, the company grew into a major tech juggernaut to make Ma one of the richest men in China.

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.