What We Can Learn from Serena Williams

Business & Career

Oct 08

serena williamsTennis great Serena Williams knows the keys to lasting success in sport—and business! 

You don’t have to be a big sports fan to know that Serena Williams is one of the greatest athletes alive today. With 23 major singles titles, and 39 Grand Slam titles, Serena is often called the tennis GOAT (Greatest of All Time) and is recognised around the world for her superhuman athletic skill.

In the past few years, Serena has gained even more recognition in the public for her bold return to competition after nearly dying giving birth to her daughter, and for her daring fashion choices on and off the court. 

serena williams outfits

She’s also an astute businesswoman with multiple investments, her own fashion line and an HBO series.

So what can we learn from Serena?

Performance coach Tony Robbins, who’s worked with Serena for years, describes the key to her success as her champion’s mindsetand there’s a lot we can learn from her that applies to the business world, and life in general!

1. Build winning routines.

Repetition is the mother of skill. -Tony Robbins

Like any professional athlete knows, doing something over and over again means that you stop thinking about it, making it second nature. In sport, this is called muscle memoryand the same approach can be applied to business, too.

Identify your desired outcomes and build a routine to get you there. Setting goals and planning strategies and execution will help you get on the path to true progress. 

Make constant improvement part of your company culture and you will see your business grow.

2. Change the rules.

When Serena was 36 years old and two months pregnant, she won the Australian Open. Instead of retiring with a bang, Serena sparked a conversation about how the US Open seeded mothers returning to the court after maternity leave.

Now, women are no longer penalised for pregnancy-related absences (unlike Serena, who saw her ranking fall from 1 to 454 just because she wasn’t playing).

She saw that the rules weren’t going to work for her, so she changed them for other women going forwardand that foresight and willingness to take action is a key trait for all business owners.

Change is constant in the world of businesstech changes in sometimes unpredictable ways, social norms change, and your employees’ lives will change (including your own!). 

Having the foresight to deal with the way the world is becoming instead of staying stuck in the way things have always been means you won’t get left behind.

3. Own your own greatnessand everyone else’s.

Serena has a tremendous ability to acknowledge her own talent without disparaging her opponents. For her, recognising the skill of the other players is part of what motivates her to play even better.

“Every single match I play, whether I’m coming back from a baby, or surgery, it doesn’t matter, because these young ladies bring a game that I’ve never seen before.”

“That’s what makes me great. I always play everyone at their greatest, so I have to be greater.”  – Serena Williams

Learn from your competitors, and use their successes to drive you.

4. Diversify.

Like any good investor, Serena understands the importance of diversifying. Not content to focus just on tennis, Serena has started her own fashion line, invested in multiple companies, started philanthropic initiatives and produced an HBO series called Being Serena.

Being Serena serena williams

All these investments means that when Serena does decide to retire from competition, she’ll have plenty of passive income to fall back on.

5. Know that winning isn’t everything.

Tony Robbins often says, “Success is doing what you want, when you want, where you want, with whom you want, as much as you want.” Like Tony, Serena Williams understands that the true meaning of wealth and success is FREEDOM.

She’s used her fame and experience to help others. From starting Serena Ventures, which invests in companies who are trying to change the world, to encouraging people to support UNICEF in helping to make childbirth safer for women around the world, she’s used her winnings to help others win, too.

6. Understand yourself.

Serena understands something many of us don’t: what REALLY drives her.

Tony Robbins calls these the basic human needs. They are the deep, inner needs that motivate all our actions. And Serena’s? 

She calls it wildness, while Tony would call it the need for variety.

“For me, being wild is about showing your curiosity, which I find to be very important in discovering who you are.” -Serena Williams

By keeping this need at the top of her mind, she’s able to use it to motivate her choices and create a life of deeper fulfillment.

She’s even partnered with the nappy company Pampers for their ‘Born to Be Wild’ campaign, proving that embracing your deepest needs can be incredibly valuable, even in business!

serena williams pampers born to be wild

Discover more about what motivates you and how to build a life of true fulfillment at Unleash the Power Within with Tony Robbins.

“Tony Robbins’ coaching has made a remarkable difference in my life both on and off the court. I’ve taken my tennis game—and my life—to a whole new level!” -Serena Williams

Learn more about coaching from Tony Robbins and about UPW here!

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