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Writing fiction, coaching leaders and investing: the mindfulness success secret


Mumbai-based author S.Venkatesh is difficult to typecast. He juggles his time between scripting his next thriller, coaching business leaders, writing newspaper columns, speaking and investing. While this array of activities might seem disparate, he offers an interesting view.

“All these pursuits have mindfulness and personal growth at their core”, he says.

As the author of two Amazon number one bestsellers, Venkatesh has shown that he is adept at writing thrillers that combine geopolitics, history and science. His first book, KaalKoot, received rave reviews from readers and was optioned for screen adaptation. His second book, AgniBaan, is an epic saga spanning fifteen centuries and multiple continents. AgniBaan combines in-depth research with a taut, pacy narrative, as Venkatesh seamlessly blends ancient secrets with modern conspiracies.

But the journey to two bestsellers was not an easy one. Venkatesh was first introduced to mindfulness during his student days at IIT Delhi, but then life took over. After management studies at IIM Calcutta, he was in a demanding career in investment banking and private equity, holding leadership positions with JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and Macquarie. Amidst client meetings, deadlines and targets, he finally found time to act on his love for writing while on international flights. When freed from distractions and interruptions the mind can get into a state of flow that is conducive to creativity. Over time, he realized that there could be a method to the madness.

He says, “Regular practice of mindfulness helps you to get into the flow more easily.”

Over the years, Venkatesh has learned to balance his corporate and creative pursuits. He leverages his insights and business experience to coach leaders of companies, ranging from startups to large corporations, helping them grow and thrive. As a motivational speaker and columnist, he shares learnings from his journey with audiences. He says, “I have first-hand experience of how the benefits of mindfulness and adopting the right mindset can be reaped not just in writing, but also in business, leadership and investing.”

When quizzed further about this, the author shares some cues for readers. He recommends shedding excess baggage and decluttering our lives, freeing ourselves from distractions. This is especially relevant because digital noise and social media are constantly knocking on the doors of our minds.  

“We need to face our fears. Often, we use the needless activity as an excuse to avoid committing to our dreams and passions. Our desire to procrastinate is driven by our fear of failure. But there is hope. Once we face our fears, we can be in tune with our inner rhythm. That is when we are in the zone where creativity and great ideas originate”, he added.

Venkatesh’s next book is a thriller set in the roller-coaster world of the stock markets. After that his next work will be non-fiction that demonstrates how some of these learnings can be applied to ‘bring magic into our lives.’

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