Bhakti Mathur is an influencer. Mathur is a banker turned children's books author, feature writer, a transition and career coach and a bibliotherapist.
Mathur worked as a banker for 22 years before leaving the industry to focus on writing full time. She is the author of the best-selling ‘Amma Tell Me’ and ‘Amma Take Me’ series of books on Indian mythology and history, with 18 titles published to date. Her motivation for writing the ‘Amma Tell Me’ series was to share with her sons the fascinating stories from Indian mythology that she grew up hearing.
She could not find resources that were simple to understand and that captured the rich imagery of mythological India. So, she went ahead and started writing the stories in a style that she thought kids would find fun and engaging and collaborated on the illustrations to bring out the imagery that she wanted her stories to convey.
Mathur set up her own publishing company ‘Anjana Publishing’ (Anjana being the mother of her favorite God, Hanuman). The series has grown to thirteen books and the books are for children in the 3 to 9 year age group.
The Amma Take Me Series is aimed at older children (9+) and is an attempt to introduce them to places of historical interest and different faiths in India. The series has five books on the Golden Temple, Tirupati, the Dargah of Salim Chishti, Sai Baba of Shirdi, and the Taj Mahal.
After Mathur transitioned from banking to writing, she found many people asking her to share her experience of leaving a lucrative banking career, the challenges she faced and how she overcame them. At the same time, she started writing features for the South China Morning Post, the premier newspaper in Hong Kong, on life, health and fitness, focusing on the extraordinary resilience of ordinary people in the face of insurmountable adversities. Over eighty published articles later, Mathur still marvels at the strength of the human spirit. But for every one person who overcame life’s difficulties, she came across many more who simply didn’t know how to. That’s when she realized that she wanted to do more than just write people’s stories. She wanted to go a step further to help them shape their own narratives. So she trained to become a transition and career coach and is an ICF credentialled coach (Associate Certified Coach) and engages in partnerships with clients globally.
Mathur has faced several challenges. As a self-published author, her challenge was learning to run a business. She says it was one thing to write a book, but it was a completely different ball game to learn how to run a small business – from finding an illustrator, getting the book printed, finding distributors and retailers, and doing the marketing and the PR.
Mathur says it has been hard work, but at the same time a great learning experience. The biggest reward of the journey has been the warm reception that the books have received around the world and the response that she has received from parents and children telling her how much they liked the books and who their favourite characters were.
As a transition and career coach, the challenge was to take a leap into a completely new field. It took a while, but Mathur says she has been fortunate to get clients mostly through referrals. She feels that COVID has had made people re-evaluate the kind of work they see themselves doing and that has prompted many of them to explore alternative career options.
Mathur offers career coaching sessions, in which she goes into depth in helping you clarify what you’re looking to do next, exploring self-limiting beliefs that don’t serve you, understanding financial constraints and their impact if any and creating action plans that focus on explorations customized to your risk-appetite.
Mathur says she would not have been able to do all this without the support of her husband, who is her biggest supporter and her biggest critic. And he edits her work (for free, of course!). When Mathur is not running after her two boys, she can be found curled up with a book in one hand a hot cup of chai in another.
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