Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

Brand Yourself Like a Champion: Pasha Cook on Purpose

Who are you? What is your vision? What are your values?

These are the questions that Pasha Cook, author and branding consultant to pro-athletes and entrepreneurs, explored with the audience in Brand Yourself Like a Champion, a special workshop presented by the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership in honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Pasha kicked off the session with a memorable one liner: “I don’t like the bench. I want to be in the game.” From Division 1 college basketball to a torn ACL, from an unpaid internship just five years ago to becoming the first female speaking ambassador for the National Football League, Pasha’s own story is one of determination, entrepreneurialism, and, above all, a strong sense of identity.

Who are you? What is your vision?

Leading us through the foundational steps of defining identity, Pasha asked us, “What’s your target? What’s your goal? What’s your vision?” An entrepreneur could apply these questions in pursuit of defining their problem and their customer, but these questions are relevant for anyone passionate about personal branding. Pasha offered Serena Williams’ dedication to mental preparation before ever setting foot on the court as an example: “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.”

Want to work on visualization? Try journaling or meditating.

What are your values?

Why are values important? Pasha posed values as your true north that will guide and empower you : “If you don’t know your core values, you are going to be more frustrated and then you are going to make decisions based off of things that don’t allow you to be who you truly are.” Digging in, Pasha led us through an exercise to identify what core values resonate with us the most, to explore why they resonate, and to evaluate whether we are living them every day – and how to live them more. As a jumping off point, Pasha provided a wide ranging list of values to consider – to name just a few, advancement, creativity, higher purpose, and relationships – but you can just as easily pick your own.

And your core values can change – you can aspire to them, especially if you feel like you are not currently living them, and you can evolve them. As Pasha explained, values “are dynamic, just like your life… you grow, your values grow, your purpose grows.”

Vision + Values = Purpose

Pasha closed with an equation, bringing together vision and values. Through self-evaluation and self-mastery, it’s possible to discover the key elements that feed into your purpose.  Ultimately grounding brand development in personal development, Pasha encouraged the group to engage with the process of realizing and communicating your purpose.

Pasha Cook (center) with CWEL Scholars and other audience members. Photo courtesy of Valerie Paquette.

Interested in exploring self-branding more? Check out Pasha’s book, Brand Yourself Like a Champion, and website. Thanks to Pasha for joining us on campus and to CWEL for holding this special session during Global Entrepreneurship Week!