Serena Williams is back on Forbe’s annual ranking of the world highest-paid athletes in 2019. She appears among 100 other names on the position number 63 and is the only female on the list.
She is one of the greatest athletes of all times and she changed everything on the tennis business side for women. With her great playing style, Serena won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, more than anyone else.
Serena learned to play tennis with her father when she was still a child. Her talent combined with hard work and dedication resulted in an outstanding career. Here are some reasons why she is successful.
10 It is not (only) about money
Serena Williams is the one female name on Forbes 2019 list of highest-paid athletes, with an annual earning of $29.2 million.
But it is not money that motivates Serena to win her matches. After losing, she goes back home and trains harder than ever.
“I love what I do, I’ve always loved what I do,” Williams says on a new video released by Chase. “I think it goes back to my first year on a tour where I just never picked up my checks. I did it because I wanted to be the best, I loved what I did and I never, never wanted to do anything else.”
9 She hates to lose
There is something that will happen for sure on sports: You are going to lose at some point. It is impossible to win every single time.
However, Serena doesn't take it well and it motivates her to train harder than ever. Actually, this is something she has in common with other great athletes like Tom Brady.
“I don’t like to lose. I hate losing more than I love winning," said the athlete during a press conference. "It could be a game of cards — I don’t like it. I really don’t like it.”
8 She mentalizes success
Visualization is a technique widespread in sports. The main idea is to mentally simulate the performance in a competition aiming to improve the real results.
If we take Serena Williams as an example, it does work. Her father and coach, Richard Williams, used the technique with his daughter since she was a child.
A Nike commercial shows a real video of a 9-year-old Serena and her father. "This is you at the U.S. Open. This is you. Be tough, just like you want to win this. Just like you at the U.S. Open," he says on the video.
7 For Serena, age is just a number
Being an athlete is not a regular job and it demands a lot of someone's body. They usually make a career plan to retire before they turn 40.
But being away from the tennis court is not on Serena Williams plans. And why it should be? She is still among the best 10 best female players in the world and doesn't talk about retiring.
“I think in life you should work on yourself until the day you die" she claimed once. It seems that we will have her around for a long time.
6 She is focused
Serena and her sister Venus, who is also a great player, grew up in a rough neighborhood in Michigan. They both learned how to play on precarious tennis courts and had to deal with crime on the streets, gangs, and drugs.
“If you can keep playing tennis when somebody is shooting a gun down the street, that’s concentration," said Serena once during an interview.
She is indeed known for her ability to remain 100 percent focused on the game, no matter what happens around her. It is almost impossible to beat an adversary like her.
5 She loves herself
It doesn't matter how many titles you have or how much you have achieved on life. Sadly, If you are a woman, people will try to define you by your looks. Serena was criticized many times for not being "female enough."
And she seems to don't pay attention to those comments.
"I love who I am, and I encourage other people to love and embrace who they are. But it definitely wasn’t easy. It took me a while," says the highest-paid female athlete in the world.
4 She doesn't know what giving up means
Serena Williams is aware that sometimes the results we aim don't come fast. You need patience and be resilient.
"Just never give up. I fight to the end," said Serena in an interview. "You can’t go out and say, ‘I want a bag of never-say-die spirit.’ It’s not for sale. It has to be innate.”
The public is the witness of her determination when she is in a tennis court. Serena also had some comebacks in her career that proves her right. Never giving up on a goal and improve yourself along the way is the key to achieve success.
3 She smashes old rules
For decades, women who played tennis only had two outfit options: a dress or a top combined with a skirt.
Serena Williams was the first professional female to break the rule wearing a jumpsuit and later using whatever she wanted. Williams, who already made history with her career, also gained the spotlight for bringing a new fashion concept to the tennis court.
“I love when fashion becomes a vehicle for sharing a powerful message," said Serena.
2 She makes sacrifices
Serena Williams doesn't hide that she had to let go of many things because of her career. As an athlete, you need discipline in many aspects: training, dieting and missing some parties.
"There's always something you have to give up for success," told Williams in Rolling Stone in 2013. "Everything comes at a cost. Just what are you willing to pay for it?"
Probably her hardest time was to leave her baby daughter at home and go back to the tennis court. Williams revealed that she did not imagine it would be so hard and she had some meltdowns in the process.
1 She doesn't believe in luck
When someone achieves something, there will always be a person who will comment on how lucky he/she is. Well, Serena doesn't believe in luck and neither should you.
"Luck has nothing to do with it because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come," she said during an interview to ESPN in 2003.
Serena is aware that her success depends on her, her determination and her commitment to achieving results. And she's doing great!