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Inspiration From a Champion

Did you know that Elton John’s song Philadelphia Freedom was written to honor Billie Jean King? I didn’t! Not until the other day when she told me herself. Me and 3,000 other women, that is.

BJK was the keynote speaker at The Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s annual luncheon. The sports icon and equal rights activist told stories of her fight for social change and equality. She also hit a few tennis balls into the crowd.

Leslie and I were fully engrossed in every word she shared, both of us taking notes on our programs. I thought we were both thinking about what to share with you, Dear Reader, but it turns out Leslie was capturing ideas for improving her tennis game.

Needless to say, we were both inspired! Here are just a few of her quotes that I felt really capture the essence of what it takes to make change in the world:

“Take it one ball at a time.”

“Don’t ask why you lost. Ask why you won.”

“Practice your strengths.”

“If you’re a CEO and your company doesn’t have equal pay, change it. Don’t ask for reports and assessments. Just change it. Now”

“Winning takes head, heart, and guts.”

And, she repeated perhaps her most famous quote:

“Pressure is a privilege – it only comes to those who earn it.”

All of these quotes and more gave me food for thought, but you know what made me love her the most?

She committed to a gift to the Women’s Foundation right there and then and asked others to match it. Now that’s a keynote any fundraiser can appreciate!

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