Pemba Sherpa’s Journey to Success, Guided by Beliefs
Billion Success: Pemba Sherpa’s Journey to Success, Guided by Beliefs
Author of Bridging Worlds, Pemba Sherpa was born and raised in the picturesque, hillside village of Sengma in the Khumbu (Everest) region of Nepal. He is an accomplished entrepreneur, author, climber, and restaurateur with a passion for the mountains, outdoor adventures, and the Sherpa culture. As a lifelong adventurer, Pemba never stops learning or redefining the impossible. In his book, Bridging Worlds, Pemba seeks to inspire adventurers and entrepreneurs alike, while opening them up to new cultures and perspectives.
Tell us a little bit about your background and how you ended up writing a book?
I grew up in the Khumbu region of Nepal, in poverty, and have grown to become a successful businessman and entrepreneur. I want to share my experiences of growing up in a remote and impoverished place, and the journey I’ve taken to arrive where I am today.
After growing up in the Khumbu and spending nearly 30 years guiding treks in the Himalayas and other peaks around the world, I understand both western and indigenous Himalayan culture. I wanted to share some perspective on the growing controversy surrounding the ethics of trekking in the Himalayas and specifically, Mount Everest.
What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
I want readers to take away a new perspective about Sherpas in Nepal and who we are as people. I want people to better understand Sherpa culture and how we are rooted in the Himalayan mountain culture. As an indigenous person from the Himalayan region, I hope that after reading my story and hearing my perspective, people have a greater desire to learn and practice mountain safety and have a greater mindfulness of the ways in which their expeditions impact the environment.
What were the top three mistakes you made publishing your book and what did you learn from them?
Since this is the first book I’ve published, there were many things I did not know when I began this process. I decided to self publish, which is a decision I’m glad I made since it allowed me to be hands on in every step of publishing my story.
Now that the book is published, I realize the challenges in promoting and selling a published book. If I were able to, I would have started promoting sooner and building relationships with bookstores and distributors while I was still in the process of writing and publishing.
Pemba’s journey begins in one of the poorest regions of Nepal and climbs to a “better life”. He shares the impact his indigenous people have had on the world. He resisted outside influences of society by staying true to his culture and beliefs. This is a story of resilience, passion, and adventure.
What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced throughout my life has been coming from a place where I didn’t have the opportunity to receive a good education. When I was young, I was not able to attend a good school or learn many fundamentals in any kind of formal education setting. I have had to teach myself to speak different languages, as well as the ins and outs of the different businesses I have built. When I first came to America, I also had to overcome the challenge of learning to navigate a culture unlike anything I had ever experienced. I have learned to pick up things as I go, to be observant and disciplined in my practice of new skills, and to work hard above all else.
What is the one thing you wish you knew before publishing your book?
When I decided to write this book, I had no previous experience in book publishing or sales. This entire process has been new to me, but I’ve enjoyed learning a different type of business, and am fortunate for the relationships I’ve built while writing and publishing my story. Now that the book is published, I have realized the challenges that come with selling and marketing a book. I’m continuing to learn the processes and etiquette involved with book selling.
Although I am new to book promotion, I have experience in promotion and have always found high value in hosting events and discussions. I think it’s important to connect directly with your audience and not only provide information and perspective but also to create a dialogue to learn how people connect with what is written.
With everything going on in the world right now, there are undoubtedly restrictions on hosting in-person events. However, there are alternative ways to connect directly to your audience. Web talks and live streams can be a great alternative to in-person events and those also allow for audience members to attend all over the world.
If you had the chance to start your career over again what would you do differently?
My path has been unique. To say that it has been easy would be a lie. I have faced many hurdles throughout my life to end up where I am now. That being said, I am happy with my career and am proud of how I’ve come to where I am today. The mistakes I’ve made have taught me valuable lessons that I am able to carry with me into new situations, and my rugged beginnings taught me not to fear new situations or taking risks to achieve my goals.
A book that I really enjoyed reading was “Out of Captivity” by Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell, and Tom Howes. I enjoy reading stories of true accounts and thought this book was thrilling and genuine. It is a story of survival that I am able to relate back to my rural beginnings.
A podcast that I’d recommend is “How I Built This” on NPR. I think it’s really interesting to hear such diverse accounts of people’s beginnings and what inspired them to become the well-known business owners and entrepreneurs they are today.
If you only had $1000 dollars to promote a new book, knowing everything you know now, how would you spend it?
I highly value the opportunity to meet and interact with my audience. There are many different ways to promote yourself, but if I were limited to only $1,000, I would use the money to invest in an event or space to share dialogue with my audience, whether that be online or in-person.
It can be difficult to gather all of your thoughts and find your voice when starting to write. It is important for new writers to be patient and write thoughtfully, your words will come to you. Keep your voice authentic.