The banging' chiseled body. The super-awesome record-breaking sports prowess. The IRL mommy and marriage goals. Tennis star Serena Williams was recently named Female Athlete of the Decade by the Associated Press, and there's no question why. She definitely has the receipts. She's won more than 20 Grand Slam singles titles---breaking records along the way---won Olympic gold by herself and with her sister, Venus, and holds the crown as the oldest female Grand Slam singles winner of all time.
Not all of us can slay on a tennis court or red carpet, but we can take a play from her book when it comes to boss moves. Check out 5 that will inspire you to step your game up---in whatever way you need to---in this new year:
1. She Tunes Out Negativity By Staying Booked And Busy
Nothing beats naysayers and hate like success. And Serena "doesn't have time" for negativity. In a recent interview with Elle, she said:
"When you enable negativity in your life, it's bound to take over. I don't have time for that mindset. I have championships to win, a beautiful daughter to raise, an amazing husband to love, a fashion line to design, philanthropic work to do, boards to advise on, and family and friends to spend time with."
We hear you, sis.
2. She Stacks Her Coins And Diversifies Her Investments
She has her own body-positive clothing line---named after herself, of course---and lucrative endorsements. And she recently teamed up with Jay-Z to invest in Indonesian coffee chain Kopi Kenengan through her own company, Serena Ventures, according to reports. The total funding from all investors for the venture tops $20 million. Her company has also invested in black- and female-owned businesses including Mayvenn, a hair extension company, and Billie, a women's shaving brand. She's invested in more than 30 startups since 2014, according to Forbes, and the portfolio is worth more than $10 million.
3. She Pushes Through, Allowing Almost Nothing To Stop Her Grind
Talk about a snapback and comeback queen. After a 2010 foot injury, she returned to the court in 2012 to win her fifth All England Club title, two gold medals in the London Olympics, and the U.S. Open. And not only was she pregnant during the 2017 Australian Open--and won--just months after giving birth to her daughter, Alexis, she was back on the court for a Grand Slam match. This year, she advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open despite injuring her ankle.
4. She Gives Back to Her Community--Locally and Globally
In 2011, Serena served as a UNiCEF International Goodwill Ambassador, advocating for children through the Schools for Africa programme and the Schools for Asia initiatives. In 2016, she and her sister, Venus, returned to their Compton, California hometown to launch the Yetunde Price Resource Center in honor of their sister who was killed in a 2003 shooting. She and Venus are also the founders of the Wiliams Sister Fund where they collaborate on philanthropic projects to help the underserved and victims of violence. Earlier this year, she recently put up her daughter's clothes for sale on Poshmark via her Posh Closet for Charity, with proceeds going toward the fund.
5. She Stands Up Against Sexism and Gender Inequality
She's always been unapologetically confident and vocal about her views on equal treatment for women on and off the court. She faced backlash---and hefty fines totaling $17,000---after referring to an umpire as a "thief" during the U.S. Open final in 2018 after he hit her with a point penalty for smashing her racket. "He's never taken a game from a man because they said 'thief.' For me it blows my mind. But I'm going to continue to fight for women," Williams said during a news conference. Tennis legend Billie Jean King co-signed her sentiments as well as many fans on social media.
She also went on record last March supporting women who filed a gender-discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. "People call me one of the "world's greatest female athletes," she wrote in an open letter on gender equality. "Do they say LeBron is one of the world's best male athletes? Is Tiger? Federer? Why not? They are certainly not female. We should never let this go unchallenged. We should always be judged by our achievements, not by our gender."
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