The Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit kicked off day three with tennis superstar Venus Williams being interviewed by BE’s Sonya Alleyne at breakfast. The great chemistry between the two really made the conversation feel more like two friends chatting and joking while discussing life lessons, life challenges and plans for the future.
Williams talked about how demanding her father was in all aspects of life; no saying “uh,” “like,” and “I don’t know.” They were taught that even if it’s the wrong answer, to use their minds to shape an actual response whenever asked a question. She was so fluid while being humorous during the interview, that it was obvious that her father’s lessons yielded great benefits.
Williams told the hundreds of ladies in attendance to always tell their daughters how great they are and to get them involved in athletics because it provides so many positive benefits, including teamwork, goal setting, how to be a graceful loser, but yet be competitive. It helps with their physical well-being, which improves their self-esteem.
Williams enjoys entrepreneurship and told of her first work experience at about 4 years old helping her dad deliver telephone books. She discussed her active-wear clothing line and shared that we should expect lots of floral patterns in the upcoming spring line.
While Williams wasn’t 100 percent sure of what her life after tennis holds, she shared that it wouldn’t be coaching (“people don’t listen”) and too much travel, nor will it be as an announcer, also too much travel. She definitely enjoys mentoring the younger women in tennis (as long as she’s not going to have to play them!) and thinks that in addition to her entrepreneurial ventures, mentoring is where she may spend much of her time.
Williams was funny, humble, brave, confident, charming, and so much more. We look forward to not only her next amazing on court performance, but how she continues to grow in such a positive space in her life moving forward.