Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve likely seen and heard all of the controversy surrounding Serena Williams’ catsuit. If you were indeed in hiding, here’s a quick synopsis: In the latest French Open held back in May, Williams wore an all-black Wakanda-like Nike catsuit said to be a medical necessity to assist with blood clots suffered post-partum, which made her feel like a “warrior princess”. Recently, Bernard Giudicelli (the French Tennis Federation president), said that the tournament is introducing a dress code to regulate the uniforms of players because, in his own words, “I think that sometimes we’ve gone too far,” touching on Williams in his comments.
While the world is still in an uproar, there are many takeaways from this whole fiasco. Although we may never get a one-on-one tennis lesson from Williams, she is dishing us some noteworthy entrepreneurial lessons we should pay close attention to.
The 5 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Serena Williams’ Catsuit Controversy
1. There’s Always Someone to Answer To
No matter what you perceive your place in society to be you will always have someone who can influence your brand and/or bottom line. Even as an entrepreneur you’ll have clients, fans, committees, and possibly even shareholders’ opinions that need to be taken into consideration during your daily activities.
Even Williams, who is arguably one of the greatest athletes of our time with a record holding 23 Grand Slams under her belt, has to adhere to the regulations set by those who control the game. She has since responded to Giudicelli’s comments with grace, showing respect for the decision made and reinforcing her relationship with the French Tennis Federation president.
2. Life Isn’t Always Fair
Whether you’re a new entrepreneur or a seasoned veteran, you can likely attest to having dealt with situations along your business journey that reminded you that life isn’t always fair. Maybe a coaching client of yours told Oprah that they got to where they are today all on their own, dismissing all of the work you put in. Or perhaps you were overlooked for sponsorship and a competitor with a weaker product and bottom line got the deal instead. Or maybe someone sabotaged your stock price with a nasty tweet. There are endless ways unfair situations can be dished, but one thing is consistent, and that’s the feeling of being slapped in the face.
You have two options when faced with such situations. You can fight the issue head-on, or you could save your energy for another, more worthy battle. In this particular instance, Williams reminds us that you needn’t take every unfair ordeal to the battlefield.
3. Allow Unfair Situations to Motivate You
It’s easy to take offense when faced with an unfair situation in business, especially if it comes as a result of society’s biases, which is usually the case with Serena Williams. She repeatedly reminds us, however, that we can use the roadblocks before us as our ammunition. On Monday, she breezed through the first round of the US Open, her first showcase following the catsuit ban spectacle, showing us once again how to handle our business like a true champion.
4. You Make Your Business Great
Nike took to Twitter to share a beautifully powerful message with a photo of Williams that read, “You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers.”
What a wonderful reminder that our greatness does not lie in our business software or latest gadgets, but rather in our ability to serve customers in a way that only we can. We are the superpower behind our business’ success.
5. Move On Quickly And Focus On The Task At Hand
While the Twitterverse was losing its mind over the black catsuit, Williams did not give the matter her attention. Instead, she continued to post motivational posts on her Instagram feed and remind her followers what it is she’s currently working on—new items for her retail line, Serena, which debuted in May, along with prepping for the US Open.