What Bianca Andreescu Can Teach Us About Business

Runner-up Serena Willams and Champion Bianca Andresescu at the US Tennis Open

Did you catch Bianca Andreescu’s win the U.S. Tennis Open this weekend? Watching this epic game, with Canada’s newest tennis star beating her legendary American opponent, I walked away with a few “ah-ha moments” that can teach us a lot about business:

Block Out the Noise

The crowd at Flushing Meadows is notorious in the tennis world for being very vocal. No surprise therefore that Bianca had to put her fingers in her ears between sets to block out the noise. “I could hardly hear myself THINK,” she said in a post-game interview. Sound familiar?

Isn’t it like the incessant noise we often hear in business? Maybe it’s the FOMO you encounter on social media. Or the new ad you see a competitor put out. Or the comments from (well-meaning) family members or friends about how hard you’re working. Add these up and this NOISE can paralyze us and push us to want to just give up.

Sometimes you just need to put your fingers in your ears like Bianca did at that game. Switch off social media. Exercise some self-care so you can have time for yourself to THINK. And tell those well-meaning advice people, “Thank you for your concern. What I need right now is some space.”

It’s not just your business that needs it. It’s your sanity too.

(Incidentally, creating ME Time and figuring out resilience strategies will be just one of the many topics offer at The Business Sisters Conference on Oct. 26!).

Ditch Ageism:

Much was made by the media about the fact Bianca wasn’t even BORN when Serena first played at the Open. In business, age is such a weird thing. Being an older entrepreneur — with the life experience — can be an advantage. “Retirepreneurs” indeed are one of the fastest-growing segment of the entrepreneurial wave, apparently.

On the flipside, younger entrepreneurs can teach a lesson to established business owners. Sometimes it’s by disrupting the marketplace and setting up shop in an industry or area where traditional businesses have become complacent. But sometimes it’s by creating joint ventures, something that we rarely saw 15-20 years ago. I myself have learned so much from entrepreneurs much younger than me, and I continue to marvel at our collective capacity to collaborate!

Age is just a number — don’t let it hold you back from learning and competing!

Own Your Success:

We see professional athletes get asked by media about what they did well and what they screwed up all the time. Often I’m struck with how easily such questions are answered by some (often male) sports stars. It’s probably because we are judged more harshly, as Serena herself has been in the past.

Bianca, in her 19-year-old wisdom, seemed masterful at acknowledging her success. She didn’t attribute her success to “luck” like I hear so many women entrepreneurs do.

Instead, she credited her own hard work first, with the support of her coaching team and her parents. Somehow she owned her success humbly. We could all take a page from her script! Our girls and young women need more role models, not just in sports, but in business and every day life too!

What Bianca Andreescu can teach us in business could come in many forms, as lessons often do; sometimes from experience, sometimes from peers, sometimes from more formal opportunities. We will be bringing all three to The Business Sisters Conference later this fall.

Hope you can join us!

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