Becoming the founder of a successful company, a best-selling author of 12 books, and an expert in wellness and women’s empowerment is no easy task - but you’d never know that looking at Sweta Vikram.
Inspired by Her Community in India
Vikram is a creative entrepreneur who defines success in business, and life, on her own terms. She doesn’t tell people that they need to follow certain steps or rigid programs to achieve success. Instead, she focuses on helping people realize that their potential lies within their ability to connect with their true selves and those around them.
Vikram has made a career out of helping people live healthier and more satisfying lives through wellness practices, products, and teachings. Her company, NimmiLife, helps people prosper through wellness programs and mentorship. Named after her mother Nimmi, the company espouses the idea that we are nothing without our wellness. “My writing, workshops, and speaking engagements all empower people (often women) to thrive on their own terms,” she says. “I believe that wellness empowers us and nourishes our voice.”
Her relationship with wellness began at a very young age in India. “Even as a kid, people would come tell me their problems and secrets. It was a running joke in the family that I was a keeper of numerous people’s secrets and problems. I guess, coaching and healing became a natural progression as I grew older. I went through my own journey of discovering what fulfilled me, but also sustained me, and could help me make the world a better place.”
Voted “One of the Most Influential Asians of Our Times” by Asian Fusion (2016) among other accolades, Vikram is no stranger to success. She uses the strength of her convictions about healthy living to drive all of her work and to accept praise in strides. What makes her so driven?
“Life. People. Experiences. Women’s empowerment. Women’s rights. Women’s wellness. Stories. Travels. Books. Food. Every experience and interaction inspire me in some way, shape or form.”
Vikram is particularly passionate about women’s empowerment and women’s rights, two topics that course through both her fiction and nonfiction works. “Wellness and women’s issues are key to everything I do,” she says.
A Long Journey around the World to Discovery
Born in Rourkela, India, Vikram began exploring the world and connecting with others as a young child. Her family moved to Libya while she was in elementary school and she later attended secondary boarding school in the Himalayas. After completing her undergraduate and first graduate degree at Pune University in India, she got a job in marketing at Kelloggs that eventually gave her the opportunity to move to the U.S. with her husband more than 20 years ago.
During her journey, Vikram has earned three master’s degrees, one each in Sports Nutrition, e-Business Management, and Strategic Communications from Columbia University. She is also a certified Ayurveda health coach and Ayurveda Chef along with having three standalone yoga teacher certifications. She helps clients dealing with trauma brought on by loss, violence, grief, fear, and a number of other common but potentially devastating emotional triggers.
She has already published ten poetry, fiction, and non-fiction books and been featured in nine anthologies. Her most recent book, Louisiana Catch, led her to win the “Voices of the Year (VOTY)” award from BlogHer (2018). So which came first for Vikram, a passion for writing or wellness?
“I have been writing from the time I was a little girl. Writing is how I make sense of the world. Embracing wellness as a part of my day-to-day came to me as an adult. Life experiences influence our choices and who we become. And then came helping others with the knowledge at-hand and choosing to remain a perpetual learner/student so my process of growth never ceased.”
For Vikram, combining her dual passions was a conscious choice that seemed natural. “Wellness and writing are core to what I do,” she says. “They intersect more often than people would think. Your creativity is impacted by your lifestyle and what you eat and your overall well-being. My background in the sciences, my passion for words, my formal training in both, along with my dedication to a healthier world (emotionally and physically) influence where I am today.”
Since becoming an acclaimed author and entrepreneur, Sweat has gained some new perspectives on what’s important to her but has not changed her core beliefs. She says, “Over the years, I have had more clarity on what matters. I would say my inspiration has become more focused and grounded—daily meditation practice helps. I know how to channel my inspiration and turn into something more productive.”
The Key to Vikram’s Success: Mentorship
Vikram didn’t become the success story she is today on her own. Mentors helped her on her journey, which is the reason she so highly prioritizes mentorship in her business and the organizations she works with.
“I have a good community of people that I tap into when I need advice. I am on the board of Fly Female Founders, which is a community of female entrepreneurs who believe in the power of women. We create a constructive and supportive environment for female founders and leaders to learn and grow as we advance our businesses together. We provide a platform in NYC to share resources, gain inspiration, collaborate, and establish meaningful connections with other inspiring women.”
Vikram has taken on a growing coaching and mentorship role as her career has progressed. One important lesson for entrepreneurs, she says, is that “If business and life goals aren’t in sync, you and your business won’t last long. Entrepreneurial burnout is a real thing. Stay true to who you are, and it reflects positively in your business.”
“I have also learned that persistence, hard work, and intentional effort triumph everything,” Vikram adds. She currently lives in New York City with her husband and daughter. She works with A-list clients and publishes best sellers but is careful not to lose touch with where she came from or who she is. “It’s important to stay grounded, not be bothered by what others are doing, and consistently show up,” she notes.
Even if Vikram makes success look easy, she wants you to remember that it's not. “It requires a mindshift,” she says. She went through difficult periods while building the confidence in herself needed to take her career to the next level. Now she uses that experience to fuel her mentorship of others.
What Vikram Wants Women Entrepreneurs to Remember
Vikram is a successful entrepreneur and an acclaimed author of several books and smaller works. Born in India but educated around the world, she emphasizes the importance of human connection and wellness underlying all of our professional and personal successes. Her passion lies at the intersection of writing and wellness. Through her company NimmiLife, she helps clients realize their potential through a combination of wellness training and mentorship.
What advice does Vikram want other women navigating the business world to know? “A lot of people like the idea of owning a business but don’t realize what it takes to keep a business running,” she says, “Don’t personalize every interaction, engagement, conversation, especially the negative ones. Learn to separate yourself from your business… Make time for yourself and always find ways to replenish.”
Now Vikram is focused on sharing her knowledge and having a positive impact: “I am teaching several Ayurveda, mindset, and creativity+productivity workshops in 2020,… writing articles, teaching creative writing workshops (with a touch of wellness), empowering women through yoga and Ayurveda, collaborating with other creative professionals as well as wellness entrepreneurs, speaking at wellness conferences, and more.”
She does this because she recognizes that the right team can do much more together than any of its parts can apart. “I believe that we can grow and go only so far if we work alone,” she says. But if we pool in our strengths, collaborate instead of compete, and work together….we can achieve a lot more.”
And that’s not all Vikram thinks you should keep in mind. “Remember,” she adds. “Failure is a good thing. It allows you to innovate. A little bit of fear motivates us.”
Wise words to remember from an inspirational woman.