Underdogs Rise Up: How Viola Davis and Frances Tiafoe Turned Their Backstory to Breakout Glory

The wall-to-wall coverage across broadcast and cable is over! The world was watching the pomp and circumstance around Queen Elizabeth’s homegoing events. With every angle covered in location and legacy, some folks aren’t sure if the whole Monarchy thing will survive without having to scale back.

While her son Charles has assumed the throne as King, there’s still a coronation ceremony in the works in the coming months. Imagine how some Brits feel about him taking over? Even a few Commonwealth countries are thinking about their next steps. That story is still unfolding and extends for 1000 or so years.

How ‘bout the other unofficial ‘Kings’ that fans these days are giving props to? There’s Viola Davis in her new movie role as ‘The Woman King.’ And there’s Frances Tiafoe who some think could be the next king of tennis (so to speak). Think of them not simply as ’rags to riches’ but more like ‘underdogs rise up’.

Next ‘King of Tennis’

Davis spreads her wings from TV screen to big screen as both star and producer. She plays a warrior in an all-female African army from the 1800’s. Tiafoe is the first Black American to advance to the U.S. Open semis since 1972 and Arthur Ashe. He’s stepped-up his game from junior tennis to being ranked top-25.

Their journeys played out differently but with a similar thrust. For Davis, it was looking around and being on the socio economic low-end. She still found a way out and way up to her breakthrough. For Tiafoe, he grew-up seeing wealth, it just wasn’t his own. They’ve turned their backstory to breakout glory with a:

  • Dream:- At 12, he got bit by the tennis bug from hanging around the Sports Center where his dad worked as a custodian. Dreams can happen by association, aha moment or even trial & error.    
  • Goal:- To build-on his desire and skills, a coach took him under his wings. Then one tournament after another he started to achieve his goal of eventually winning big on the youth circuit.   
  • Lane:- Davis decided to pursue this movie project as she considered new acting roles. Sometimes in careers it means re-inventing yourself in a new lane or a new line of success.    
  • Brand:- She’s expanded her cred not just as actress but as producer and can begin to carve her niche as a brand. Your brand is how you want others to see you, based on how you do you.      
Viola Davis

Davis shares how persistence and perseverance was needed to make the movie. Sometimes when a thing has never been done before, it can be a tough sell. But along the way it took moments of faith to the guide the hands of fate. That also came from personal experience in how she met her husband.

Tiafoe might not say he’s on the fast-track to #1. But he’s certainly seen as the latest American male tennis player who’s got next, once the big names like Federer, Nadal and others move on. They’re inspiring young and older to live out their dreams, even when times are hard or a job isn’t as it seems.

Talkback: Kobe gave us the mamba mentality. What’s the motivation mindset that works for you?

Tip: Underdogs rise up by turning dreams into brands and backstory into breakout glory.

Tracks: Alicia Keys – Underdogs – https://youtu.be/izyZLKIWGiA

Jennifer Hudson – Hallelujah – https://youtu.be/LgMCm5NWtII

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