Venus Williams has been a professional tennis player since she was 14 years old. Twenty-three years later, the record-breaking champion tennis player and Olympic gold medalist is currently ranked the no. 5 singles player in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association.
It goes without saying that Williams knows a thing or two about hard work, skill and determination — all traits required to be a successful entrepreneur, which the accomplished athlete also boasts on her impressive resume.
While she remains at the top of her game, Williams has also pursued her passion for design, which has led her to build two thriving companies. In 2002, she founded a commercial and residential interior design firm called V*Starr Interiors. And in 2007, she launched EleVen, a line of sportswear as fashionable and eye-catching as it is functional.
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“What an entrepreneur does is that they create their own path,” Williams told Entrepreneur during her December cover shoot. “Being an entrepreneur really creates opportunities.”
Williams understands that in order to have a flourishing business career, you must never stop learning. She holds degrees in fashion design, interior design and most recently, earned a B.A. in business administration and management from Indiana University East.
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Williams is also passionate about paving the way for women to succeed on and off the court. She has long been vocal advocate for equal pay and her work led to Wimbledon offering equal prize money for male and female champions in 2007.
When asked how she juggles all of her ventures, she says that she doesn’t let stress get her down. “Those times don’t last forever,” says Williams. “Deal with what you have to deal with, but there is [always] a rainbow around the corner.”
In the video above, hear more about Williams has to say about translating the focus that has won her seven Grand Slam titles into her business ventures.
To read our in-depth December cover story of Venus Williams, check out our article How Venus Williams Is Serving Up Her Entrepreneurial Dreams.