“Champions keep going until they get it right.”Billie Jean King
I grew up on a tennis court.
I came of age when Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in1973. Regarded by many as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, she was a role model to me and so many others.
Looking back, I admired her for much more than her athletic prowess. She could have rested comfortably on her laurels and retired to coaching in Florida. But instead, the number one tennis player in the world became an advocate for gender and social equality long before it was commonplace to do so. Because those things made her who she was. Because they mattered.
I admired her for her courage.
She wasn’t afraid to reinvent herself, time and time again.
It is unlikely that any one of us will be The Greatest of All Time. It is self-defeating from the get-go. But what we can be is one-of-a-kind, creating a personal brand with a whole that is bigger than the sum of its parts.
But where to begin?
For the high-achieving women I coach, we start by gathering skills organically, combining know-how and achievements that are not usually lumped together. We connect the dots, making connections from seemingly disparate aptitudes, accomplishments, and yes, passions. Combined, they add up to one’s overarching value.
Passion is what unites our capabilities, creating the all-important umbrella that tells a compelling story about who we are and what we stand for. It’s not enough to be an average jack-of-all-trades or know a little bit about a lot.
The sum of the parts must add up to an impenetrable whole — one that no one else but you can claim.
I’m not a “one must fail to succeed” evangelist. Sure, we often have to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off when we lose. But I believe that stand-out brands are not defined by failure but on an infinite and unique set of things that matter to us.
Only we can tell that story. Only we can put those extraordinary pieces together.
So, serve ‘em up. Throw every ball you’ve got into the air — and pay very close attention to where they land.