Venus Williams: A Star On and Off the Court12.06.10
Tennis superstar Venus Williams started playing tennis at just 4 years old. So it’s no surprise that the athletic legend recently visited Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx, NY to inspire kids to start pressing for their goals early in life. Williams found herself sharing personal testimonies and uplifting words with a group of bright-eyed 10 year olds that day, hoping to plant a seed of diligence in their hearts. But the interesting part of the day was that the encouragement didn’t end with kids. She had a few profound words for the readers of Cotton Candy magazine. Read on as Williams shares how to get past your fears and into your dreams.
Cotton Candy: What personal goals do you want to accomplish that you haven’t conquered yet?
Venus Williams: For me my personal goals are to, obviously, be my best on the court. But off the court, I love design. So, I want to continue to make great designs for on the
court, but also I have an interior design company called VStarr Interiors. So, [I want to] continue to excel at that. Other than that, just to enjoy life, be a good person, be accountable for what I do, and hopefully be a good role model.
CC: What would you describe as true “success”?
VW: I think true success is when you wake in the morning and you feel like you’ve done all you can do. And that you’ve pushed yourself but you’ve also made time for the important things, like family and spiritual well being. So, if you wake up, and you feel like “Gosh, I’m not getting anything done,” or “I’m not where I want to be,” or “I’m not doing something that I love,” then that’s where you kind of need to re-evaluate.
CC: How do you motivate yourself if something doesn’t go right? How do you pick yourself up?
VW: Well, what’s the alternative? To lay down? No way. (Laughs) No thank you. I’d rather get up and keep it moving. So, to me, there’s no alternative.
CC: How do you suggest someone motivate themselves?
VW: I think you can start by saying, “Someone else has it worse.” Think about all of the blessings that you have. Think about what you have going for you and what the future can bring. Things don’t last forever. Try, try to look on the bright side. Take it one step at a time. … Ask for help and pray.
CC: Ok, how do you tackle fear?
VW: Well, no decision should be made out of fear because those [types of decisions] never work to well. If think if you are afraid, you need to figure out why. Is it I don’t believe in myself? Do I need to work harder to build skills? Say, “What’s going on here?” I kind of look it in analytical way from the facts and figure out a way to approach in a way that’s not fearful. That’s how I do it.
CC: How do you use your celebrity status to make a difference?
VW: I do a lot of [events] with kids. (Little kids are running around Venus at the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club) The Boys & Girls Club, they YWCA, various places around the world. Really, it’s part of what I do, and it’s one of the most enjoyable parts. Every time I do something like this, people always encourage me to do better too. It’s a give-and-take kind of thing.
CC: What do you like the most about yourself as a person?
VW: As a person, I’m willing to pay the price [to reach my goals.] I willing to get in there and grind. I won’t ask anyone to do anything that I won’t do. I do like that about myself, that I’m not afraid of hard work.
CC: What traits do you like to see in someone else?
VW: Honesty, the ability to have fun, and being [yourself] – able to do your own thing. Someone confident in themselves makes a good friend, a good person to hang around.
CC: Is there any occasion that it’s okay to lie?
VW: I think there are occasions where you don’t need to say too much. (Laughs) But, other than that, I don’t really live that way. (Big, pretty smile.)
CC: For people who say they want to be in your shoes, and they want to be where you are, what advice would you give?
VW: Realize that you’ll be very busy! (Laughs) I would say challenge yourself to do things that you love. Pace yourself, and do the things that you want to do. That’s my model.
Written by: Natasha Danielle Smith