Venus Williams was at the National Press Club in Washington DC Wednesday promoting her new book Come To Win which was released last month. As we can see from the following excerpt, Venus is talking how important it is to invest in a career beside tennis and develop your entrepreneurial skills.
The arc of an athlete’s life is funny. Just when other young professionals are peaking, hitting their stride, and consolidating their skills, we’re starting, if we’re smart, to think of our future, one that doesn’t depend on our athleticism and our injury prone bodies to pay the rent. Let’s be clear: I’m not retiring anytime soon. At thirty, I still have game and can think of nothing more gratifying than traveling the world to play tennis. But I am putting into practice something my mother, Oracene, and father, Richard, who once owned a security-guard company, told me and my sisters, Lyndrea, Yetunde, Isha, and Serena: Think entrepreneurially. When we were growing up in Compton, California, the whole family would have these sit-down meetings led by my dad, who is a philosopher type. He’d ask questions such as, “Why is it that the poor person stays in the ghetto and the rich person gets richer?” or “Why is it that when you do something for someone it doesn’t work as well as when you help them help themselves?” We wouldn’t always have an answer, but that was, in a way, beside the point. He was training us early on to be independent thinkers. Of course, he was also training us to be financially independent. I remember him talking to us about the mechanics of buying properties out of foreclosure. While I was too young to absorb the details, the basic ideas seeped through. And if he was teaching us about real estate when we were young, you can only imagine how much my parents stressed the importance of education.
I coveted getting a degree as much as I did having my own business. After enrolling in an interior design program through the London-based Rhodec International correspondence school, I launched V Starr Interiors, a commercial and residential interior design company, in April 2002. I received my associate’s degree in Fashion Design in 2007, the same year I debuted my clothing line, EleVen. And last year Serena and I bought a minority stake in the Miami Dolphins NFL team, a wonderful way to become even more entrenched in the business world. Let’s say my parents’ advice made a lasting impression.
Just to let you know that Venus may still be giving away signed copies of Come to Win on her Twitter profile. She has awarded three followers, as I can count, and I suppose there will be more questions of the day to give you a chance to win a free copy. She hasn’t said the giveaway is over.
Additional info: the seven-time Grand Slam champion played World Team Tennis in Washington for the Washington Kastles. Firtly, she played doubles with Rennae Stubbs against New York Buzz’s Martina Hingis and Sarah Borwell and then she had a singles clash with Martina Hingis. Williams’ Kastles prevailed 25-15.