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From small town dreamer to successful author, coach, and entrepreneur, The Inspiring Journey of Nidhi Bruce

A WRITER’S STORY—Few people are able to become successful entrepreneurs. Fewer still are able to write a single book, let alone three. Nidhi Bruce, Founder of Treasure Words Coaching, shares her journey, with Aspire, as a writer, an author, and a successful coach

This is the tale of a young girl from a small town who had
big dreams.

Nidhi Bruce grew up in Bilaspur, in India, in the 80s, the youngest of seven children. Her father worked for the Indian Railways, her mother was an English professor, and her brothers and sisters were much older than her. In fact, her eldest brother was away at college when she was born and came home one holiday to find a brand-new baby sister waiting for him. Like many young girls in small towns in India, Nidhi did not have much to keep her occupied during her early years and books became her refuge. She grew up on a literary diet that progressed from Enid Blyton to Nancy Drews and then went on to Margaret Mitchell, Tolstoy, and Conan Doyle. One of her favourite characters was Sherlock Holmes, on whom she confesses to having had a huge crush!

All that reading helped Nidhi evolve as a writer. She admits that writing was the easiest medium to navigate her emotions because talking about feelings was not easy. She recalls one particularly sour encounter with her mother, when she poured all the frustration and rage on to a paper and stuffed it under the pillow. Inevitably her mother found this written tirade against herself the following morning, but much to Nidhi’s surprise, she laughed it off and encouraged her daughter to write more. “My parents realised I had a talent for writing,” she reminisces with a playful laugh. “They entered me for an international writing contest, the famed Shankar’s International Children’s Competition, in which I won a prize, and my parents took me to Delhi, where I was awarded by the President of India. It was then that I realised that writing was something that was much more than just a way to entertain myself.”

The first chapter

Progressing into her teens in the 90s when India was witnessing a satellite television boom, Nidhi was greatly influenced by television journalists and their seemingly fearless communication style. So, while she had once hoped to be a doctor or an architect, she found herself wanting to study journalism, a choice that was met with considerable opposition from her parents. A more acceptable option was Psychology, again an interest inspired by Oprah Winfrey’s incisive talk shows that explored the human psyche. Nidhi says that the three years studying psychology were the best learning years of her life – underlined by the fact that she was on the University toppers list for all three years. Again, the thriving economic environment in India at the time led her to do an MBA, after which she worked a few years as a quantitative researcher. “Pretty boring, right?” she says with a laugh.

Nidhi worked as a researcher in Bangalore, Gurgaon, and Mumbai, with some of the biggest brands in the world. Yet the corporate world was a hard school of life that made her very independent but also taught her what was important for her. By then she had also met and married her husband, Arun Bruce, Founder of the strategy consulting firm TransformationX.

My parents took me to Delhi, where I was awarded by the President of India. It was then that I realised that writing was something that was much more than just a way to entertain myself”

Easing out from a corporate life into that of a freelance researcher, Nidhi found time to get back to her first love – writing! It was some commissioned writing work, from a friend’s brother, Nikhil Pahwa, that introduced Nidhi to the newly burgeoning field of blogging. And then there was no looking back. She dabbled in blogging with some success, first for others, and then as motherhood came her way, her blogs took a new direction. By this time the family had moved to Switzerland, which, though beautiful, was depressing through the winters, especially with a new born in tow. Her emotions once again found outlet in writing and her outpouring on new motherhood, loneliness, loss of identity and being far from home found connection with many others who were experiencing similar journeys. Her first motherhood blog, ‘So the House is a Mess’ was a hit and in her own words, it was “cathartic”. 

Another move brought them back to Bombay where she became one of the first contributors to the website ‘Parentous’. Then came Huffington Post where Nidhi became one of their panel writers. It was in Bombay that she had the idea, fuelled by the creative energy of the city, to start a platform where other parents could share their experiences too. And so, ‘Mumbai Mom’ was born to give a voice to parents everywhere. She began working with education specialists, psychologists, adoptive parents, and the platform grew to hosting events that brought out the ‘Person behind the Parent’. They also partnered with a literary festival that is currently in its 7th year of existence.

Gulf borne books

As Mumbai Mom was really taking flight, Nidhi’s husband’s job took them to Dubai. She was pregnant with her third child and was suddenly at another crossroad in her life where she had to take a decision about what to do next. A short time in Dubai taught her that she could not run her platform from far, so she had to take the difficult decision of closing a successful venture and move on. This was when she decided to focus on a lifelong dream of writing a book before her milestone 40th birthday. By 2018 she had written ‘The Age of No Reason’ under the pseudonym of Nadine King as it contained adult themes which she confesses wryly, “I would really not want my daughter to read.”  Writing the book taught her two things: one, it is not possible to make a living from being an author, and secondly, it returned her to her passion for psychology and helping others.

Coaching was something that fit in perfectly with this desire to help others and also have a sustainable business. So even as she wrote two more books, Nidhi got certified as a coach and trainer specialising in NLP and Emotional Intelligence. She created the Story Visioning programme to help people reconnect to their authentic purpose and clarify a vision for the life they want to live. This also led to her second book ‘Story Visioning: Write the story you want to Live’ that delivered the same concept to those who could not attend the programme in person.

One needs to keep widening one’s reach and be open to new ideas. You need to show up for yourself, and for others, and at the end of the day you have to be accountable to yourself

As a successful coach with clientele who were mostly C-suite executives and business owners and also as a writer with two books published on Amazon, Nidhi found herself facing the question: “What am I doing? Am I a coach, am I a writer…?”

The answer came with the realisation that writing and coaching were both fulfilling the same higher purpose: that of human expression. Both writing and coaching navigate the nature of living and aim at resolving conflicts and confusions towards creating a better experience of life. This realisation was followed up by the publication of Nidhi’s latest bestselling book ‘Slim Chance at Love: A story of love, longing and lots of money’ that is available at all major bookstores in India. Having tasted success with the traditional publishing route, Nidhi has a few more fiction and non-fiction books in the pipeline.

The passion to deliver workshops and programmes continues for Nidhi, including a writing programme that encourages and guides people to get published. Two of the participants have had their works published after working with her and she is extremely proud of this accomplishment.

An entrepreneur is born

Nidhi realized that though she has a natural skill at weaving words together, she needed to be more than just a writer. Mumbai Mom was a serendipitous coming together of writing and business. But as a coach, putting together workshops, marketing them, creating vlogs, convincing people to work with her, building credibility and, above all, keeping an eye on the bottom line required a steep learning curve in keeping all the plates spinning. Her advice to other entrepreneurs, “Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket. One needs to keep widening one’s reach and be open to new ideas. You need to show up for yourself, and for others, and at the end of the day you have to be accountable to yourself.” Nidhi feels having a road map and a good business plan is essential to business success. “How can you get somewhere if you don’t know where to go, and even when to stop?” she says with a smile. It certainly helps that she has a senior strategy consultant as her life partner, “Running a business can get lonely, so it is great that I can share all the ups and downs with someone who can understand exactly what I am going through.”

As a writer with two books published on Amazon, Nidhi found herself facing the question: “What am I doing? Am I a coach, am I a writer…?”

The story continues

Nidhi’s inspirational life has inspired more than just her workshop attendees. Her son has already begun writing his own book, while doing illustrations for it, as well. Her three children, Prarthana, Aditya, and Agastya think their mother is a celebrity, and Nidhi is happy that they view their mother as a success.

And while there are other books yet to come, this driven author is keen to take her coaching to the next level. Her business is divided into three parts. One for coaching, one for corporate training and the third is the Self Mastery Lab, an online platform. She uses her background in psychology, training in NLP, and her innate creativity to deliver workshops that upskill and uplift those who participate. Alongside this, Nidhi also has podcasts with interesting subjects such as ‘Mind your own Business’ about the mindset of entrepreneurs and ‘The Storyteller’s Story with Nidhi Bruce’ for creatives.

The end is far from close, and the story of Nidhi Bruce continues. Driven by dreams, fuelled by creativity, and motivated by the urge to help, the chapters continue to write themselves. Mother, writer, author, coach, blogger, creator, wife, world citizen… We can be pretty certain that this young girl from a small town in India has made her mark and will continue to change the world through the power of the written and spoken word. As only she can….

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