Portfolio by Venus Williams

A dear friend of mine shared a book with me, “Women Who Read Are Dangerous” Author Bollmann “profiles how a woman with a book was once seen as idle or suspect and how women have gained autonomy through reading over the years.” Once upon a time a women reading was considered radical, let alone write them. Imagine! This reminded me how fortunate I am to be reading 52 books this year!

IMG_1387Venus Williams spoke at the recent Professional Business Women’s Conference in San Francisco and I was fortunate enough to be in the audience. She was so down to earth, approachable and real. And she had some great advice on staying current. “Update, don’t be late!” was one of those nuggets.

Afterwards, I picked up her book Come to Win.  Venus and other athletes have to ponder what’s next after this career much earlier than many other professions. It’s reasonable to question what skills are transferable. Venus asked 46 media executives, business executives, doctors and scientists who had been athletes before, whether amateur or professional, how they use their experience in sports to succeed in other fields. In a sense, it’s a textbook on how participation in sports can benefit in ways outside of sports.

I read several of the contributors’ stories but what struck me most was Venus’ preparation for the next phase. She’s not waiting until retiring from tennis to build another career. She’s launched her clothing line EleVen by Venus Williams while still playing and written this book to guide the way.

It strikes me that while a career in high tech can be expected to last into ones 40s and 50s unlike professional tennis, that it is equally wise to develop a portfolio of careers will before they are needed. Thanks to Venus, I’ve been giving those other interests of mine a closer look.

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