Keep Moving Forward

06/15/2015 01:27 pm ET | Updated Jun 14, 2016


It's been a struggle for me to write. There is always an excuse, sometimes valid -- lack of time, too much work at my regular job so when I get home I just want to relax, no one will read it anyway. But, if I am ever going to finish this book, I just have to write. Part of the challenge for me has been beyond the excuses above. The real struggle is that I have personal things to say, centering on a tragedy during my childhood, that I'm not quite ready to share. Or more pointedly, I'm confused about how to share about it because I don't want to "use" a personal tragedy for "personal gain."

It's helpful to read about how Sheryl Sandberg is sharing about the sudden death of her husband. Her June 3 Facebook post has inspired countless numbers of people who have had a tragic event to deal with.

The Sherpa Path started as a way for me to understand a culture of people whom I found to be powerful yet humble, a combination I find extremely rare and aspirational, which I still seek to personify. But, if I am honest with myself, I was also looking to the book as a means of further legitimizing myself as a consultant. The book could be a unique take on leadership. Given the consulting business I started in 2002, I figured a book would add credibility, attract new clients and perhaps lead to new forms of revenue. A literary agent advised me to write "The Sherpa Principles" and share the 10 most powerful traits I learned, which others could follow. It's a good thought but a bit shallow for what my true purpose has become.

When I traveled back to Nepal with Karma Sherpa in 2012, a dozen years after we first met while trekking the Annapurna foothills, I tried to capture the Sherpa leadership qualities in a simple package. Perhaps a small backpack that I could carry down from Everest and deliver to the NY publishing world. I interviewed nearly 50 Sherpas and climbers during the month I spent in Nepal. I was able to capture some of it in a short film, which you can see by clicking here. Instead of getting simple soundbites, what I found was something inside of myself awakened, which I now call "The Sherpa Within." The Sherpa Within is a spirit. A motivational force. An ability to keep moving forward even when excuses and obstacles come in my way. The Sherpa Spirit lives on inside of me and I have been attempting to articulate it. However, it cannot be summed up in a simple top ten list.

Having a full time role with MINI USA for the three-plus years since returning from Nepal in 2012, has freed me from trying to publish a book that will generate business for my consulting practice. I write to understand more about myself and to provide a service to others. Perhaps I can share what I found by helping others tap into their own "Sherpa Within." The book will be completed this year.

Now I have the added motivation of helping the Sherpa people, the very people whom I sought guidance from. The recent, devastating earthquakes in Nepal will require more than the Sherpa Within from the people in Nepal. A tragedy of this magnitude requires outside assistance of all kinds to be overcome. My friend Karma Sherpa has established a fund to help displaced people in the remote village of Cchulemu, where he grew up. Currently, the team is setting up temporary shelters (all they can do before the monsoons come this month) and distributing food and supplies to those in need. Please help if you can (100 percent of the funds raised will go directly to those in need):

It is an ongoing Path which I am on. You're invited to join by following