In 1991, Lindsay Davenport played in her first professional tennis match. She was 15 years old.
Over the next 20 years, Davenport would go on to have one of the greatest tennis careers in recent history. She won three different Grand Slam titles. She won the 1996 Olympic Gold Medal. She was ranked the Number 1 female tennis player in the world eight different times. In total, Davenport earned over $22 million in prize money throughout her career.
I had the chance to meet Davenport at the 2012 US Open. Later that night, she fielded some questions from our group and I asked her this…
“Lindsay, sports can teach people a lot of lessons. What lessons did you learn during your time as a professional tennis player that you didn’t learn as an amateur?”
Full disclosure: I had a personal motive with this question. I played baseball in college, but not professionally. So I wanted to know, “What did I miss?”
Davenport’s first response was to talk about how she had to grow up fast. She mentioned the power of the media and learning to live her life in front of a crowd.
But then she shifted gears and talked about improving at her craft and the lessons of competition, hard work, and perseverance. Those things, she said, were learned long before she became a professional.
then you join this community, you join it for life. You’re no longer an outsider. You’re a teammate. And we always have our teammate’s back.
We believe that the people you surround yourself with are your greatest asset. Those who have walked through the fire can help you do the same. And that’s exactly what we do. We help each other walk through the fire.
Out in the real world you might be an army of one, the lone underdog. But in this community and on this website you have thousands of teammates who’ve got your back, and a leader who wants nothing more than to see you succeed.
We are a community of people from all walks of life and from every corner of the globe. Our work is different, our circumstances are different, but our values will always guide what we do and how we do it.
We understand that everyone deals with uncertainty, vulnerability, and fear. And when you face those demons, you’ll go to battle with the support of our entire community behind you. We believe that an incredible thing happens when driven underdogs unite and support each other: they become world changers.
We believe that anything great that we do starts by working towards a cause that is bigger than ourselves. We use our talents to make the world a better place. We are crusaders with a cause.
We are driven underdogs, unconventional thinkers, and rebels who aren’t afraid to poke and prod and question in the name of making things better. We are walking the slow march towards greatness. Not yet where we want to be, perhaps unproven and often unknown, but battling to become better all the same.
We are leaders, regardless of title. We are creators, regardless of craft. We contribute to society and we believe in pouring our souls into each day and serving the people around