Featured on Femina

Nistha on Femina

I cannot help but wonder how unpredictable life is. When I graduated from University of Illinois, I envisioned myself working in hi-tech fields. But things changed and I found myself needing a business education which led me to NYU to pursue full-time MBA. Within one year, I had hustled my way into New York’s buzzing entrepreneurial scene and I dropped out of the MBA that thousands of students dream of. With more twists in life, I was back in India ready to build tech products and run a tech startup. Along with building 2-3 great products, I found myself publishing a spiritual fiction novel! I mean I was not spiritual or religious 4 years ago. To write it, publish it and then finding people loving it is something I could never ever have imagined. If this is not a testament to our higher consciousness that we don’t bother to harness and karmic cycle, then I don’t know what is.

This is an on-going process of self discovery for me. Interestingly, I am featured on Femina’s May edition to talk about this very journey. What I love about this article is its organic origin. It is not a PR piece. It is written by Kavita who loved Seven Conversations and that is why this holds a special place in my heart. Hope you will like it.

Nistha's interview on Femina

And, if you still haven’t read Seven Conversations, please get it right now and also pass on to your book lover friends! Here are some of it’s noteworthy reviews.

  

My awesome interaction with Professor Damodaran

What makes some men so unforgettable and awesome? I believe humility is the defining quality of a great man. I have always been a fan of Professor Aswath Damodaran, the famous Corporate Finance teacher at NYU Stern – my Alma Mater. He is one of the two Profs I referred to in my post Teacher.

He is a master at his subject, great with students. I remember his prompt replies whenever I emailed him from school or my job for a concept related to Corporate Finance. But what has truly blown me over is this little email exchange I had with him.

This is what I emailed-

Dear Prof Damodaran,

I hope you are doing awesome.
I was a fulltime MBA student in Class of 2012. However, I dropped out after the first year (after having taken your Corp Fin) class when I got a great job at a startup. I eventually wanted to come back to India and start something of my own. I did come back in 2012, tried out few things, have finally found financial independence which gives me time to write – which is my bigger passion. I ended up publishing a spiritual fiction novel that has received good feedback. And while that is far far away from Corp Fin, I did want to send you a copy as I have always looked up to you as a great teacher and source of inspiration.
So, it would be great if you could send me your mailing address or if you prefer a kindle version, please let me know which email address should I send it on.

Thanks for everything,
Nistha

And I got this reply in less than 10 minutes-

Thank you. This will be a first time I will be reading a spiritual fiction novel but it sounds like something worth trying. I just bought it on Amazon. I am glad that you have found your passion and hope that you keep writing.

I have very high respect for good teachers and he is as good as you can expect a mortal to be.

Update: I exchange couple more emails with him and this one goes one step forward-

Nistha,
You write well and from your heart. In my book, that makes you a success. Of course, it is a bonus when other people read you and like what you write. (You should be proud about the nine five-star reviews for your book.. though I know that you would have been happy even if they had not given you the reviews).

  

Tretar 21, Revealing your Truth

[This post is the twenty-first in an ongoing series for Project Tretar. You can read previous posts here]

At one point, I was struggling to get on with my book. Nothing I wrote seemed good enough. And I remembered a quote by some great writer, he said – ‘write the truest sentence you know’. Somehow, that was when a very dear character in my book was born. This excerpt is from the Conversation of Purpose and the character is Satyapoorna the fulfiller of truth. Truth, like the rising sun, can erase all darkness. Have you ever wondered, what’s your truth? what’s your purpose?

sunrise_hawaii_small

‘Hi Meera, how are you?’
‘I am very well, thanks.’
‘My name is Satyapoorna, the fulfiller of truth,’ the woman added with the trace of a smile.
‘Nice to meet you. Your home is very simple and empty.’ ‘Truth needs no adornments, does it?’
‘No. And you can help me understand the truth?’
‘Well, I am your own truth. I am the truth that lies within you but is still to be revealed. So what I tell to anyone depends on what lies within her and how much is she capable of understanding.’
‘I’m sorry but I don’t understand. What is my truth? Isn’t truth absolute? How can it vary from person to person?’
‘That is what you think but truth comes from knowledge and knowledge is inherent in everyone. When we say we know, we simply mean we have discovered that piece of knowledge that already lay covered within our soul. We have the infinite library of the universe in our own minds. Newton did not discover gravitation from some external flash of knowledge, it was all there in his mind. Some are able to tap it better and others not so much.’
Meera was taken in by the novel concept propounded by the wise lady in front of her. ‘What is my truth? What can I know?’
For the first time, Satyapoorna laughed. ‘You cannot expect me to unleash the infinite knowledge in a flash but the gist is simple. You know the truth once you understand the illusion. What remains after you remove the illusion is the only truth.’

Nistha Tripathi, Seven Conversations

I thoroughly enjoyed writing this full conversation in the book, it was like an act of mental cleansing. Hope you will enjoy it. To read the rest, please check my book (which is now available on Amazon (paper and kindle, India and US), Flipkart and Crossword).

P.S. This picture is of the most magnificent sunrise I have seen in Hawaii.

  

How Quora sent me 40x traffic and crashed my blog

I have been on Quora for a couple of years now. I answered to questions once in a while, mostly academic. But as I started using it more frequently, I found it to be the most insightful social network – if I had to find out how a person is, I would prefer to look at what he has voted for, asked and answered on Quora than his Facebook updates. I have been using Quora a lot lately and it has already paid off! I happened to reply with some personal story one time and things got a little out of hand.

girl blogging

Someone had posted a question – “I am in my late 20s, and feel I have wasted a lot of time. Is it too late?” And I couldn’t help replying because it disturbed me to think that someone can imagine its too late if they haven’t achieved wonders in 20s. I began – ‘I am 31’ and then wrote a little more. In ten minutes and 265 words, I had briefly sketched my journey through 20s and the better time afterwards when it was not really supposed to be better (after all, how can someone be happy after 30). Something I wrote must have touched a cord with people because the up votes and comments started pouring out. I guess it was this bit – ‘One can say that 20s is for making mistakes and learning and then unleash the real YOU when you are ready, sober and wiser in 30s.

This reply has generated 129,500 views, 102+ comments and 1800 upvotes till date. That is not trivial to put it modestly.

blogtraffic

This is the traffic monitor on my blog and the 40x spike mountain was a result of this post. The post contained a link to my book website and the blog update on Tretar and over 5 days, I received nearly 10K hits. The hits had gone so crazy that my webhost thought it was some phishing act going on and he blocked my blog for full 7 hrs on one of these days. So, if that hadn’t happened, there would have been crazier traffic. Also, it led to tripling of my Quora followers, many new subscriptions for my yet-to-be-released book, many new followers on the blog, twitter and Facebook.

At the end of the day, I feel people love authentic and inspirational stories. My post was genuine and relevant to the question. People could relate to it. Not only did the Quora readers read the post, many of them promoted it to new people without me even asking for it. I won’t discount the countless hours I had put in on the book website in the first place so that the content resonated with the audience when they reached it. And those who liked what they saw signed up for book updates. I had put in the work and with this post, it serendipitously came together. I would call it a touch of divine intervention in line with the theme of my book 🙂

Quora is known for discovering great content. But, I feel it can be a great channel to promote your thoughts and content as well (be a supplier). I had never thought that I’ll find people who would connect to Seven Conversations on Quora. But my post helped finding those people and it was a perfect match.

Unintentionally, I was able to use Quora for getting more visibility for my blog and book but you can do it intentionally as well. Here’s how you can get started-

  1. Sign up on www.quora.com
  2. Follow the topics relevant to your product and interests.
  3. Contribute meaningful content – ask intelligent questions and provide insightful answers. If your product is too niche, see which other topics can you provide good answers on. The more number of followers a question has, more exposure you will get.
  4. Focus on quality over quantity. In my case, I have written only 30 answers or so and have only 3 top answers (350+ upvotes). Only this epic post had links to my site and I could see the excellent traffic it generated. It wouldn’t be easy to write right answers that you can connect your product with and which can reach to a huge audience. So, do some research but when you find such an opportunity, make the best out of it.
  5. Build a following by answers as well as posting blog posts. It can be a nice extra traffic generation tool in the long run. This is the reason I think people like James Altucher repost all their blog posts separately on Quora.

I can’t claim that I had planned this and had the foresight to know how this will turn up but I am going to leverage Quora wisely in the future. Follow me there if you want to read some interesting stuff.

  

Seven Conversation’s website is ready for you

If you read my post on Tretar, you might remember reading this-

With that, I am going to announce one more thing – I am going to publish my book this year – no matter what. Its called Seven Conversations. I don’t care if a publisher picks it up (which is still in process), I don’t care if I have to self-publish it or even give it out for free. This book is the essence of everything I have learned so far in life and I am going to make sure it gets to people. I don’t care if they like it or not but it will be out there. If you subscribe to this blog, I will post out the information on the book soon.

Here’s the good news. I have found the publisher for Seven Conversations and we are hoping to get the book out in stores in coming 6 months.

And I’m sure you wanted to know more about the book at some point. For that, I have put up this website.

7con

Check it out, send me any feedback (negative is even better!) and share with friends if you like it. Here it is – http://nisthaonweb.com/blog/seven-conversations/

Why that picture, you might ask.

Well, one, it is from New Zealand and story has a significant episode in NZ.

Two, it is exactly what I think of this whole journey of writing a full frickin’ book. Lets look at it – I think I came swimming out of no where from that aquamarine ocean and stepped on that piece of land (point marked 1 on the picture). I had a big life behind me and I was starting something unknown. Yes, I was lost and found both. That’s how this book started. Then the words and incidences came together just like that point 2. A couple of diary entries stitched together and a book began to be conceived by me and in-spite of me at the same time. I had even taken the story far into one angle when it became clear that the direction was wrong (point 3). I scratched out nearly 20,000 words and began thinking again. It was painful and too tempting to just give up. And, then I had my voila! moment. You know when you are staring into the dark and suddenly you smile and say to yourself – “that’s it!”. I was on the right path this time and wrote the second half of the book in a good flow.. Now, the book was over around point 4 and all I cared for was to get it out. And, this perhaps took longer than even writing the book but had to be done. After 6 months, a lot of rejections but at the same time, positive feedback from some people, I reached the lighthouse (point 5). That was the publishing deal. And when I look back at the view from this lighthouse, I see how beautiful it is. Hard, impossible, tiring, hurting – but beautiful nonetheless.

I might have given up at any point between 1-5 (if I hadn’t already drowned in that ocean) and would never have known what this view would look like. That thought makes me shudder. I just want you to know that if you are struggling or discontent or frustrated, know that it is part of the journey. Don’t give up till you reach your lighthouse.

Thanks for reading. Happy Friday.

P.S. If you want to hear everything about the book, do sign up on the book website (I will use that list exclusively for book updates).