Venus Wil­liams on how to smash your ca­reer

Cosmopolitan (UK) - - Contents -

➤ Learn fast, move faster Start­ing a busi­ness from the ground up [Venus owns fit­ness-wear brand EleVen and de­sign firm V Starr In­te­ri­ors], there’s noth­ing that you don’t do. So you have to learn quickly. And ed­u­cat­ing your­self doesn’t have to mean univer­sity. It’s about get­ting out there and meet­ing peo­ple, read­ing all you can and un­der­stand­ing how other CEOs run their busi­nesses. With a ten­nis game, if I lose, it’s on me – but in busi­ness, it’s my em­ploy­ees’ liveli­hoods. Now I al­ways have a back-up op­tion, and move for­ward as soon as I no­tice some­thing isn’t work­ing. ➤ You can al­ways find a way When I was grow­ing up, there was no fool­ing around. There was no be­ing lazy – and that’s down to my par­ents. I know the power of hard work. My fa­ther’s phi­los­o­phy was ‘al­ways find a way.’ [When you be­gin some­thing] you might not know how you’ll fin­ish it, but just start and be­lieve that you will. I was taught con­fi­dence as a child. My par­ents told me I could do any­thing, so I be­lieved them. You have to be your big­gest cheerleader, and even if you aren’t, you have to fake it. To do that, you have to change the way you talk to your­self. Out loud. Say over and over that you can do it. Every­one should talk them­selves up in bath­room cu­bi­cles! ➤ Fail­ure is your per­sonal fuel Fail­ure isn’t a bad thing; it’s a chance to look at your­self, and what went wrong. And there’s no one else you can blame. You can fail at some­thing over and over again, in a dif­fer­ent way, and that’s ac­cept­able. But only if you’re learn­ing from it. Af­ter a game, I eval­u­ate ev­ery­thing: what my mind­set was, whether it was [due to] tech­ni­cal mis­takes, and from there I work even harder. I use it as fuel, be­cause [if I lose] I’m re­ally up­set. ➤ Don’t just show up, com­pete In re­al­ity, you have to wake up and get out of bed, so why not make the best of it? My sis­ter, Ser­ena, al­ways says you can’t just show up, you have to com­pete. I hate meet­ings and I hate emails. I don’t even like car­dio that much – it hurts in the butt! But we all have to do stuff we don’t like, and once it’s done, you feel amaz­ing. And at least if I put the work in, I can look in the mir­ror and say,“Hey, I didn’t suc­ceed but I gave it my all.” It’s not about al­ways be­ing com­fort­able. If you’re com­fort­able, you’re a couch potato. Un­com­fort­able is Olympic-gold level.

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