Meet Neel Shah – a media student, entrepreneur, filmmaker, marketer, author, and podcaster.
Through various marketing gigs and internships, numerous projects followed, and a whole new career path, in August, he published Smart Labour, his first-ever book on student entrepreneurship on Amazon. It talks about identifying your strengths, choosing a sustainable career path, monetizing your skills, landing a job, freelancing and enterprising.
Going back a bit, it all started after him doing a bit of theatre while in school when he realized his interest lies in acting and directing. Neel went from making skits and sketches on YouTube to producing advertisements, documentaries, and short films. Moreover, this year, his short film on mental health, State Of Mind, was also released on Amazon Prime Video in September.
Due to his fascination with the cosmos, in September, Neel produced a sci-fi audio podcast Beyond Human which is streaming live on Spotify to talk about future humans, alien life, artificial intelligence, black holes, time travel, and more.
Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET FEATURED?
All interviews are 100% FREE OF CHARGE
Table of Contents
Tell us a little bit about your current projects. What exciting milestone would you like to share with our readers? (Don’t hesitate to delve into your achievements, they will inspire the audience)
Neel Shah: With a background in children’s theatre, I went from making skits and sketches on YouTube to producing advertisements, documentaries, and short films, of which my short film on mental health, State Of Mind, is also streaming on Amazon Prime Video in the US & UK.
While in the first year of college, through various marketing gigs and internships, numerous projects followed and a whole new career path paved its way, and so did the idea of sharing the process from learning to earning. Hence, I wrote and published Smart Labour, my first ever book on student entrepreneurship which is available in paperback and ebook formats on Amazon to talk about identifying strengths, choosing a sustainable career path, monetizing skills, landing jobs, freelancing and entrepreneurship.
However, for my fascination with space, cosmos, evolution, and psychology, I produced two sci-fi audio podcasts, Beyond Human and Descent which are streaming live on Spotify to talk about everything from ancient civilizations to future humans and beyond.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up?
Neel Shah: With the pandemic snowballing in, losing out on some work & former clients, and canceling upcoming film shoots, took a toll on me. But just as stars shine brightest in the darkest night, you blaze brilliantly through life’s problems when you count them as opportunities.
When the world hit a standstill, I worked with one of the most prominent marketing agencies in India serving the biggest brands, released a film on Amazon Prime Video, authored a book, published a podcast on Spotify, and also launched my T-shirt line.
What are the most common mistakes you see entrepreneurs make and what would you suggest they do?
Neel Shah: Don’t compare yourself to industry titans. If you want to start up, produce content, or work in a corporation, know that it is okay to be a beginner at things you’re interested in.
Resilience is critical in critical times like the ones we are going through now. How would you define resilience?
Neel Shah: There’s a Native American parable where an old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he tells the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, greed, arrogance, and ego. The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, compassion, and ambition. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thinks about it for a minute and then asks, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replies, “The one you feed.”
And that is resilience to me. The stories we tell ourselves and the choices we make every day determine how resilient we can be when adversity challenges us. But change is inevitable, and developing the trait of resilience helps us not only survive change, but also learn, grow, and thrive in it.
When you think of your company, 5 years from now, what do you see?
Neel Shah: My goal with Neel Shah Productions is to be one of the leading content production, strategy, and management agencies that also helps young and budding creators to scale up their content game with resources right from writing, filming, and editing to marketing and distribution.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success?
Neel Shah: I strongly believe that the three P’s of Life –Passion, Patience, and Perseverance, lay the foundation of one’s success.
How important do you think it is for a leader to be mindful of his own brand?
Neel Shah: Words are momentary. Intentions are momentous. The vibe while working, sets the tone for everyone working with and for you.
What’s your favorite leadership style and why?
Neel Shah: The practice of mindful leadership gives you tools to measure and manage your life as you’re living it. It teaches you to pay attention to the present moment, recognizing your feelings and emotions, and keeping them under control, especially when faced with highly stressful situations. When you are mindful, you’re aware of your presence and the ways you impact other people. You’re able to both observe and participate in each moment while recognizing the implications of your actions for the longer term. And that prevents you from slipping into a life that pulls you away from your values.
What advice would you give to our younger readers that want to become entrepreneurs?
Neel Shah: The reason behind someone’s outstanding achievements is not necessarily just talent but also shameless persistence because even luck only works when opportunity meets preparation.
What’s your favorite “life lesson” quote and how has it affected your life?
Neel Shah: Take action, for regret hits harder than failure. Every critical success in human history has arisen following crushing failure, which has been recovered from and acted as a catalyst for the unprecedented change that would follow. Regret is letting that crushing failure defeat you and never knowing what might have been. This has pushed me to pursue what I love doing and figure the process using trial and error as every unsuccessful venture leads me onto better things.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Neel Shah for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.