Lessons from Billie Jean King for Small Business Owners

Tennis legend and equal rights advocate Billie Jean King was in RVA Thursday night as the featured speaker of a program sponsored by the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences commemorating he 40th anniversary of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision forcing VCU to officially recognize the Gay Alliance of Students as a student organization.  King, named by Life magazine as one of the “100 most important Americans of the 20th century,” shared many fond memories and great challenges she faced throughout her life as well as her ongoing efforts to promote equality.

Always inspiring, encouraging, and thought-provoking, BJK concluded her speech with several calls to action that translate well to small business owners and entrepreneurs. First, you should always strive to be your authentic self.  As an entrepreneur, that means follow your passion, focus most of your energies on things you are good at (i.e., your strengths), and inject your personality and core values into your company culture.

Second, BJK shared her three keys to inner success:

  1. Relationships are everything
  2. Always keep learning
  3. Be a problem solver

Easy to see how adhering to these principles can translate into success both in business and life.  Thumbs up to VCU for bringing BJK to town….now let’s get to work on that new indoor-outdoor public tennis center that promises to be the crown jewel of the Richmond sports community!


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