Serena Williams taught her husband how to switch off from work
The 40-year-old tennis player got Alexis Ohanian - the father of her four-year-old daughter Olympia - to appreciate the value in taking time to rest and recover, instead of celebrating the hours when he was clocked on and getting tasks done but no one else was
7 July 2022
He said: "The lesson that I got from my own wife, which was the biggest thing that I missed, especially early on, was not realising my own diminishing marginal returns on output where it just felt really good to be the only one up at 4 a.m. working and sending emails and doing stuff because I was like, 'Man, I'm getting a f****** edge on everyone else.'
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"[But] in hindsight, I realised there's a certain point ... We are still human. We're not robots at the end of the day.
"And then when you look to the folks who have the only objective work, that is athletes, every single one of them will tell you that to be the best at what you do, you have to be resting and recovering as well as you are working. And it would be preposterous to think that you could just keep going and going and going and going and going and going and not have a recovery period. It's impossible.
"So hearing that from her really helped solidify like, 'Damn, okay, I need to make sure that when I am off, I'm actually off because otherwise I'm not really recovering.' I'm not actually able to perform at my best. And that is really what I want.
"[My wife's] got like a switch in her brain where when she's not on the clock, she is off, she is not thinking about tennis or business or fashion or anything. It's date night or it's Olympia time. It's like it is off. I'm certain that is a muscle she's had exercised her entire career."
While the Reddit co-founder admitted being a parent has "shifted" his attitude, he still wants to set a good example to his daughter with his work ethic.
Speaking on the 'Imposters' podcast, he said: "I spent most of my life, most of my adult life really focusing on just the career part, the first part, and then four years ago [I] became a dad. Things shifted. And that is the lens through which I look at basically every decision.
"Professionally, ... I want to be doing my absolute best work for however long I can so that my daughter can see me doing it, doing it in a way that I'm proud of, that's she's proud of, doing it in a way where it's the best of the best, but aligned with values.
"I really want Olympia to see me working, to see me building. And I also think it's part of my responsibility as a dad and a role model. I want her to see me put in work in something I really care about and being passionate about something and caring about something."