Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com Interviews S. Lakshmi Narasimhan author of Discover The Genius In The Mirror: Your are An Einstein Waiting To Be Discovered
Author: S. Lakshmi Narasimhan
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest S. Lakshmi Narasimhan author of Discover The Genius In The Mirror: Your are An Einstein Waiting To Be Discovered.
Please tell our readers a little bit about your personal and professional background
Good day to you Norm.
Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog. I am a
qualified Chartered Accountant from India who lived in Hong Kong for
fourteen years with my wife and daughter. In January 2012, we
relocated to the United States and are currently living in Jersey
City, New Jersey.
After twenty-one years of continuous service with Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts (an award-winning Asia based hotel management company), I gave up my Vice President-Finance position in October 2010 to pursue my dream of writing, teaching, training and coaching.
My first of many dreams
was the writing of a book as a method of sharing my thoughts and
stories with the universe so that it may benefit others. After
more than ten years of research and practical experiments, I
completed my first book ( actually a childhood dream) Discover the
Genius in the Mirror - You are an Einstein waiting to be
In my professional life, I have dedicated myself to teaching financial analysis to non-financial managers with particular emphasis on the hospitality industry where I spent more than 25 years of my working life. Amongst other things I run a flagship 2 Day Finance Course where I break down difficult concepts in finance and analysis into easily understandable and more importantly usable chunks of learning. I use unique visual elements (mind maps, images, video, audio, shapes and color) to deliver the message in a multi-sensory way. Learning is enhanced when more than one sense is involved and I harness this power in my courses.
What motivated you to write Discover The Genius In The Mirror: Your are An Einstein Waiting To Be Discovered? As a follow up, what do you hope to accomplish with your book?
Right from my childhood, I
was fascinated by the indomitable spirit of humans and their
relentless pursuit of and conquering of new frontiers. Rags to riches
stories (real ones) fascinated me and I always felt that if one was
brave enough to not only dream but persist with it by definitive
action and a major goal in life, he or she was bound to realize that
dream. I am also convinced that if only human beings believed in
their own potential and genius, they could achieve anything they
wanted. I discovered this seemingly magical process of finding
talents in my own self which had appeared an impossibility when I was
Consequently, more and more I was convinced that it had to be an introspective journey - a voyage of discovery of the self if you like (and the way I describe in my book) before you realized your genius. There was no need to look externally for success and fulfillment, you had it within you. All you needed was reveal it to yourself. As James Allen said: circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him. You have to dig deep within yourself to do that.
When I unearthed talents
within me (and co-workers on who I experimented with my exercises),
it shocked me. I had never imagined that I could do those
things and be that person. It was a revelation. I was
seeing a different individual in the mirror each morning. So, I
decided to bring this together in the form of a book which will be a
Voyage of Discovery in itself and the beauty of the whole idea is
that it did not need any external power to create it, just your
belief system and a "can do", "can be" attitude
to be internalized.
The book is the first part of the Voyage of Discovery which I am working on to convert into a Full day Personal Development Workshop entitled: Genius in the Mirror. It will take the participants and audience through all the exercises talked about in the book but also embellished with videos, interviews, self-assessments and so forth. I am planning to make the book as a giveaway for those attending the Genius in the Mirror workshop.
What is it that makes your writing different from all the others in your genre?
My differentiation from others in the genre is that I am emphasizing introspection (looking into your own self) as the paramount method of mining the mother lode of potential and talent in all of us. I am not putting forth any externally created techniques to be followed as the road to discovering your genius. I am saying that you are unique already and all it requires is for you to believe in that and then unearth it in yourself. As Lao Tsu, the chinese philosopher said: "He who knows others is clever, he who knows himself is enlightened.: I believe an enlightened mind is the most powerful force in this universe. I want to kindle that force in people. A very minuscule part of the population in general believes that god created each one of us with unique talents and gifts. I want to increase awareness of this awesome force.
What was the most difficult part of writing your book? As a follow up, what was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your book?
The most difficult part of
writing the book was not to fall into the trap of stacking a set of
artificial techniques that would not resonate with oneself. At
every step and in every voyage of discovery exercise, I had to ask
myself the question: would this be something that would help unearth
my talents and gifts. Would this at least give me a feeling that I am
not without talents and all I require is to believe in myself and go
to work on myself. This is not a easy thing to do. If the whole
philosophy of having uniqueness and greatness in you is scoffed at
(the majority of us do), then the book's message and my paramount
goal would be lost.
On the other hand, on hindsight, the voyages of discovery exercises which were the most difficult parts to create and build also turned out to be the most fulfilling ones in my writing process. I discovered (and I can say this because I tried it on myself) that the belief system in me fueled the actions that led me to reveal those talents in myself that I never imagined were there. It is a commitment you need to make and stick to it but once you do that, the results are magical. I want to bring this to my audience.
Can you tell us how you found representation for your book? Did you pitch it to an agent, or query publishers who would most likely publish this type of book? Any rejections? Did you self-publish?
Actually, I used the
belief system which I talk about in the book for pitching to agents
and publishers and yes I did have lot of rejections. However, I
was committed to one thing and that was: it did not matter how but I
was going to bring my work to the public at large. And that brought
me to self-publishing. Yes, I have self published the book and I have
no regrets. To have almost complete control over your work, including
designing a cover, writing copy for the back cover etc was an awesome
thing to experience and finally to be able to market the book
yourself (you have no choice actually) was a challenge for the gods
The basic motive for the writing of the book was to express myself and share my story that could benefit others. It is not from the perspective of money making. I self published with Outskirts Press and I am happy with my experience with them. Almost entirely I was able to direct how the book should come out other than professional editing which I got an expert to do.
Where do you do your writing and what is your process like? As a follow up, what was your editing process like?
I do my entire writing
early in the morning. I am a morning person and after I have
spent about fifteen minutes each day in solitude, quiet and listening
to some subliminal music, I begin writing. First, I decide what
the book will be about with some suggested synopsis and a draft
title. It is odd but when I zeroed in on my title very early
on, that inspired me to spontaneously come up with chapters
supporting it. In my mind it is very important to decide up front
what the objective of the book is and a title serves to provide that
goal. I mind map the topics which will be part of the book and
then begin writing on each of the mind mapped topics. I
normally do not try to be rigid about the chapters but more
importantly use them as outlines from which to build my content. I
try to bring in a variety of elements like exercises, questions,
multiple choice, images, anecdotes, stories, quotes and so forth.
I did my entire writing of the manuscript on Scrivener for Mac OS X - a wonderfully liberating application which is a writing studio in itself. The beauty of Scrivener is that it gets out of the way of the writer and that is what I like about it.
Do you feel that most business owners don’t use their imagination when it comes to running their business? If so, how do you believe your book would help them?
I would not say outright
that most business owners do not user their imagination. But it is
true that they do not "connect" what they experience with
their business and running it. As the late Steve Jobs said (I
am a self appointed protege of Steve Jobs in terms of philosophy,
innovation are concerned), connecting the dots is very important. He
said it was important to connect the dots after you experience things
but up front you must have the faith that the dots will indeed
connect. I entirely agree with this and have found this
tremendously helpful in running my own business of training,
coaching, consulting and even writing. For instance, my
training course on finance for non-financial managers harnesses the
principle from the book that each of us is an einstein waiting to be
discovered. I bring in examples from the book to provide
motivation to those who attend my courses that they can master
finance analysis and do anything else they wished to.
It is important to understand oneself very thoroughly before embarking on setting up a business (actually doing anything worthwhile). If we do not have faith in ourselves and do not play to our strengths, we will not be able to run a successful business. Through the book I hope to kindle the inner genius in each one of us before embarking on anything including a business.
Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us? (We would love to hear all about them!)
Yes, my second book is a
dedication to all the non-financial managers struggling to understand
financial concepts. It is entitled: Financial Analysis sans
Tears. I am bringing in all the ingredients from my 2 Day Finance
course (mind maps, color, shapes, images, video, audio) to simplify
financial concepts for the non-financial managers. I believe my
knowledge (spread over more than 25 years) and experience needs to be
utilized to benefit others and that is the purpose of the book.
In fact, towards this, I already run my own BLOG of the same title where I post useful articles simplifying financial and related concepts. This is the legacy I would like to leave behind. In fact, my goal is to write ten books in the next five years. One of my dreams (among so many of them - boy that is a major traffic jam out there!) is to set up my own academy where I will teach Finance and financial analysis as it has never been taught before and using simplicity as its core concept. Albert Einstein once said: if you cannot explain it in a simple manner, you do not know it well yourself. I subscribe to that and do not mind challenging my own self on that.
Where can our readers find out more about you and Discover The Genius In The Mirror: Your are An Einstein Waiting To Be Discovered?
visit IGNITE INSIGHT to
download a free chapter of my book to read before you buy. I have
also put up some free resources to download from there.
I write a BLOG for my book Discover the Genius in the Mirror. If you would like to purchase the book, it is available on Amazon (Follow Here) and Barnes & Noble websites both in print form as well as Kindle and Nook electronic formats.
publish a monthly newsletter entitled Voyages of Discovery (click
the newsletter archives). Anybody wishing to subscribe to my
newsletter (free) can join my mailing list, either on my website or
on my blogs.
Before we close, is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to share?
Not really, however, I
just want to share something close to my heart with the readers. I
dreamt about writing a book in childhood. It was only about ten to
fifteen years back (when I was in my late thirties) that I really
began to think about the book. The burning desire was there
only then. Things manifest in our lives to the extent of the
attention we give them. So, do not hold back, never mind if you
have never done something before (I had never written anything close
to a book either), just have faith in yourself, dream about it
believe you can and will do it and you will end up doing it. Faith
moves mountains, it should be a simpler job to move humans to
miracles and there cannot be anything more miraculous for you than
discovering the genius in your mirror.
And yes, Norm, thank you for giving me an opportunity to share my innermost thoughts with the readers. Even if the book benefits one person who reads it, I will consider that it was worthwhile.