Livingston Press

Sid Vaidya :: Livingston Daily News

Livingston Daily News

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Brighton man shares tale of success in new book – Livingston Daily

Linda Roose-Church | Press&ARGUS

When Sid Vaidya came to this country at 19, he simply wanted to “get an education so I can get a job.”

He spoke five languages, including his native tongue, Gujarati, from his native country, India. However, he did not speak English, and he had no money to return to his family should he fail in America.

“My plan was to come here and get a degree and then get practical training,” the 66-year-old Brighton man said. “Then my parents were going to arrange my marriage.”

Instead, he created a life in which he married an American woman of his choosing, raised three children who have all become professionals in their own right and found success in a 38-year career in information technology.

Now, semiretired, Vaidya says he is “rewiring” himself. He’s published his first book, “Immigrant Steps to the American Dream,” in October, and it is based on his life’s experiences.

Coming to America

Vaidya came to this country to earn a degree in chemical engineering from Michigan Technological University. He went on to earn a master’s in business administration from Eastern Michigan University.

After college, Vaidya took a position with WANG where he worked for three years before transferring to IBM systems. He moved from IBM to Oakland County Computer Services in Pontiac, MI, where he met a woman who told him he was wasting his talent.

The friend introduced him to her husband, who helped Vaidya find employment with General Motors Co.’s information and computer division. He found himself working for Ross Perot’s Electronic Data Systems after GM purchased the company.

“You should start your day asking what contribution I can make today.”

A rewired life

When Vaidya retired, he decided to “rewire” his life.

He had a love for keynote speaking as well as a desire to “give back” and share what he’d learned along the way. He decided he could best accomplish that by writing a book.

He spent about six months asking himself what he knew well enough to write a book about. It took about six months when a title came to him and he knew that his experience as an immigrant who succeeded in achieving his dream was just the topic.

“What I know is being an immigrant and making a success,” he said. “(America) is where the opportunity is. That’s my message. You’re here and you don’t realize how great it is.”

Vaidya’s book presents his Diamonds of Diversity plan for success, which he says people measure in different ways. For him, success meant his “lasting marriage” to his wife, his children, long career, friends and money in the bank.

In the book, which he refers to as a “playbook,” he uses a baseball metaphor to show people how they can succeed one base at a time, he said.

He presents his story and his playbook at various speaking engagements. Anyone interested in purchasing Vaidya’s book or booking him for a speaking engagement can email him at sidkvaidya@gmail.com.

The book also is available on Amazon.com and on Kindle, he said.

“These are my personal experiences,” Vaidya said. “The Diamonds of Diversity is the idea that you look at yourself first. … You should start your day asking what contribution I can make today.”