April 9, 2017
Much like tennis, commerce is a competitive sport, especially as it’s become more global. With digital at the heart of everything, it’s easier than ever to start a business, but with greater competition, it’s challenging to differentiate and stand out.
No stranger to adversity and triumph, tennis player, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Serena Williams shared her story with the Magento community during Imagine 2017, this week in Las Vegas.
Williams joined Magento CMO Andrea Ward for a fireside chat. She shared highlights from her upbringing, how she stays inspired and focused on her competitive edge.
Following are three key lessons in success served up pro-style:
Rally Your Community. It takes a village—in business and in our personal lives—to drive success. “Having a community is great,” Williams noted. “My community included my sisters, my mom, and dad. We went on the court every day. Eventually, when it was just myself and Venus playing, my other sisters came out and supported us every single day. They didn’t miss a day. They helped. It became a family outing so it didn’t seem like we were training for five hours a day. It was something fun for us. Having that community was helpful and important.”
Consider Obstacles as a Chance to Learn and Grow. During her long-spanning career as an athlete, Williams has faced adversity and been emotionally tested, she shared with the audience. “I was in the hospital at one point and didn’t know if I’d play tennis again,” she noted. “When you’re that low you don’t think about the other stuff. You’re appreciative of your family, friends, and people that support you. Overcoming that was almost fun in a weird way. At that point, I didn’t have anything to lose. I’d won tons of grand slams. This is a second chance, almost like a second life. That’s how I’ve been playing when I approach my job. It’s not about just being a great player, or great champion, or company. It’s how you overcome obstacles when you’re set back. How do you recover? That creates a character.”
Commit to Authenticity. When considering her target consumer for her past and future clothing lines, Williams sought to identify her “from the inside” rather than using traditional, descriptive shopper attributes. “The ‘Serena’ customer is someone who’s strong, proud, confident. She wants to show the world ‘I’m happy looking the way I look and being who I am.’”
Williams’ journey to success has been an arduous, inspiring road—one that merchants, brands, and consumers alike can relate to and celebrate. She encouraged the audience to change up their game so as to avoid competitive repetition. “People tend to copy the best product,” she noted. “It’s important for us to set new goals and keep trying to innovate.”
Check out more highlights from the fireside chat, and stay in touch with show takeaways by following the hashtag #MagentoImagine.