If anyone knows the definition of hustle, it would be the Williams sisters.
Despite continuing to train six hours a day and traveling six months out of the year, Venus Williams has still found the time to be about her business and become a fashion mogul in the process.
The tennis superstar is running the activewear brand EleVen By Venus, and has been doing so since 2007. The athleisure brand is for the fashion forward woman that wants to be athletic, without sacrificing her fashion sense in the process. The brand's eight-year run under Venus' design and direction has seen success in collabs with fashion industry greats like Ralph Lauren and Diane von Furstenburg.
In a recent interview with Entrepreneur Magazine, Venus touched on why she sought to take control of EleVen:
"I wanted the brand to be what I wanted it to be. I had a specific vision for things and how I wanted them to go. I wanted to control what the brand looked like and the messaging, and what it said. I wanted to control the distribution points. I wanted to control the future of EleVen and not just [have] one distributor or pay for a licensing deal."
Venus took her business moves a step further with the launch of an interior design company, V-Starr Interiors, as well as several other organizations for the community.
In addition to Venus' thriving startup companies Serena and Venus Williams became part owners of the Miami Dolphins eight years ago, which made them the first African-American women to own a stake in an NFL team – yet another power move for the dynamic duo. Although you may not hear about one as often as the other or what they do behind the scenes, both women are both putting in major work in the boardroom and on the tennis court. Venus drove a point home about how the hustle means the grind doesn't stop.
"Real women should look like they're doing real work, and real work is nonstop."
She also talked about how important it is to utilize the gut instinct in business that she learned to hone throughout all her years earning titles on the tennis court.
"I know when it's right. It's all about making a decision and executing it. I never want to be part of a big corporate wheel. I definitely don't want to spend too much time on something, because then it gets convoluted. Sometimes the right instinct is the first instinct, and then you just have to move on that."
In the same interview, she candidly spoke about the importance of remaining balanced and achieving that work-life balance that all of us up and coming boss women aspire to attain.
"This year, my goal was to be more balanced, to be more bigger-picture and not be up all night grinding. Writing a treatment for marketing – now I let other people do that. I find the inspiration and write a page or two, but I don't write the whole thing. Letting go of pieces and focusing more on the big picture. That's how I can be more effective."
As the old adage goes, if your dreams don't include other people, your dream is too small. It's a saying that rings true to Venus' purpose. On a panel hosted by sports talk show host Jemele Hill, Venus explained that her approach to what she's doing and has done in business is much bigger than her and anything she could have dreamed up on her own.
"Growing up, my dream was to win big tournaments and to be a champion, but I had no idea that I would be involved with things that were so much bigger than me and beyond my dreams. […] For me to be able to give my time is a great honor and then I think the best part of it is when people see you doing something, they want to be a part of it. And so just by doing something positive with your life, you motivate others and then those others actually motivate you to become better, so it becomes this circle of positivity and that's what I love about it."
To be a winner in any industry, it's vital to be a winner in your mind first. Venus has been able to apply what she's learned over the years in tennis to being able to rise above competition in business, eliminate the doubt, and go for things that challenge her.
Boss women only see themselves as competition and, with that mindset, there's nothing you can't do.
To read Venus' full interview with Entrepreneur, find her feature here.
Featured image via Venus Williams/Instagram