How Writer Nina Godiwalla Define and Measures Success

In Chapter 4 of 22 in her 2011 Capture Your Flag interview, author Nina Godiwalla answers "How Do You Define and Measure Success in Your Work as a Writer?"  Godiwalla realizes the importance of sharing personal experiences to create conversations, especially knowing so many that have struggled with workplace discrimination who elect not to share their stories.  She builds upon this sharing and then be able to change others lives by speaking to them.  Godiwalla is the author of "Suits: A Woman on Wall Street". She is also a public speaker on workplace diversity and founder and CEO of Mindworks, where she teaches mind-based stress reduction techniques to help organizations improve employee wellbeing.  Godiwalla holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, an MA in Creative Writing from Dartmouth University and her BBA from the University of Texas at Austin. 


Erik Michielsen:  How do you define and measure success in what you do as a writer?

Nina Godiwalla:  When I wrote the book I didn’t have a goal.  I never had that this is what I’m trying to tell people and this is the message I want, it was I really just wrote an experience and I was so focused on -- I saw so many people that had a difficult time and they weren’t willing to talk about the experience and I wanted to get that message out there.  I saw people that really struggled with it, very successful people later in life but they didn’t -- they were too scared to say, “Hey, this experience happened to me and it was difficult at the time,” because it somehow made them feel weak.  So for me I just wanted to get – I wanted to get – I wanted to get it out there but I didn’t know the bigger thing that I was working towards and so in the end, I realized like I said you know it was as much – after – after going and speaking at all these events and my even realizing I have a bigger message about diversity.  So, I feel like I’m just learning – I'm learning about what I’m interested through this process of writing the book and going out there and success for me is impacting other people.  It’s not just about putting something out there, it’s how do – how do I get to change, I feel like I have this, I’ve been handed this power of, how can I go and affect other people’s lives and make their lives better? And success to me is being able to articulate things to people and change their lives in a positive way.