Serena Williams has accomplished her goal of finishing as an all-time great and now she is focused on achieving big things in the business world. Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, is the founder of multiple businesses and her plan is leave her biggest mark through her investment firm, Serena Ventures.
Williams got into the venture business nine years ago, after learning that less than 1 percent of people of color received the funding needed to start their businesses. “The only way that people can get funding is if people like me, women and people of color, are actually writing the checks,” Williams exclusively told Insider.
“Otherwise it’s going to be the same boys’ club, except not for a lot of Black people”.
Williams: I will always enjoy proving doubters wrong
When feeling doubted, that’s when Williams is at her best. “Whether it’s venture people saying that I shouldn’t be doing it, or it’s tennis when people said I’ll never be good at it, I do think there’s a part of me that always will enjoy proving people wrong,” Williams said.
And sometimes you just need something to feed the fire, right? “I’m like, ‘Oh that’s what I needed to hear. You’re going to regret what you just said.’ But that’s me, and growing up behind Venus, I had to have that personality”.
Williams admitted there was time when she was affected by negative comment but over time she has developed a thick skin. “Growing up in the public eye, you really are affected by what people say,” Williams said.
“But there was a point where I said, ‘I don’t care what people think.’ God made us able to make our own decisions, and if people don’t want to like me or what I do, that’s okay. Get in line — there’s going to be a long waiting list”.