Steven Myers is a two-time Air Force Veteran and a self-described “serial entrepreneur”. He has founded no fewer than four companies and was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
He became the first American to fly an aircraft into the Kamchatka Peninsula since Charles Lindbergh. That adventure and the joint venture set up through that mission is subject of his best-selling book “Crosswinds: Adventure and Entrepreneurship in the Russian Far East”.
Steve experienced a very rough inner-city childhood and he credits the Air Force for giving him the core values necessary for future success in life. His first enlistment in the Air Force was as a computer maintenance technician. He then enrolled at Stanford University where he secured an internship at the Jet Propulsion Labs and fell in love with the space program. He knew the only way that dream could happen was to re-enlist in the Air Force and become a test pilot. Unfortunately, just as he entered pilot training, a lot of very seasoned pilots were coming back from Vietnam and the competition was fierce.
A mountain climbing accident would inspire a mindset he would keep for the rest of his life. Steve fell into a deep crevasse, fracturing his pelvis and arm. His climbing companions could not see him and suspected he had been killed. Because his survival was on the line, Steve eventually extricated himself from the canyon just in time to meet the Rangers coming to collect his body. “The cornerstone of courage is optimism. You can’t be an entrepreneur if you can’t be afraid and still push the button.”
One of his employees had been spending a lot of time in Russia following the end of the Cold War. When he pitched the idea of flying into Kamchatka Steve initially thought the idea was absurd. Both the adventure of the that flight and the challenges of setting up the California-Kamchatka Companies joint venture in Russia are beautifully detailed in Crosswinds – including a very surprising ending.
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