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:

  1. 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.”

  2. 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.”

  3. 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.