More About the Author
I am going to skip the third-person references, if you don't mind, since the bio below wasn't prepared by some clerk at a publishing house.
My name is Max Vishnev. I was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and grew up hearing the Soviet National Anthem every morning and wearing a uniform to school. I came to Brooklyn, NY, at the age of ten, with my family. My first American experience wasn't seeing the Statue of Liberty from New York's harbor like the millions of immigrants a century ago, but the loss of my talking parakeet, Gosha, at JFK International Airport (Gosha didn't have proper documentation and had to be surrendered to authorities).
During my early days in Brooklyn, I enjoyed chewing Wrigley's gum, learning English by watching Married With Children and Saved by the Bell sitcoms, and eating lots of bananas (a rarity back in Kiev). I viewed the weekly family activity of perusing the sidewalks of our neighborhood in search of decent discarded furniture as a sort of adventure.
A decade later, after college, I got a job at Morgan Stanley. I was ecstatic! I was on my way to fulfilling the American Dream. I wanted to work hard and climb the proverbial corporate ladder, and I tried my hand at that for six years. During my last three years at Morgan Stanley, I worked on a bond trading desk. This period proved very eventful and eye-opening, as I witnessed both the inflating and the subsequent bursting of the subprime housing bubble. It was around that time that I realized that I was on the wrong path and in the wrong industry. So I quit, climbed off the corporate ladder, and put on a backpack.
I backpacked around Europe then spent a semester living and studying in Barcelona. This five-month experience changed my life. I came back to New York a new man, with new a new perspective on life and new priorities. I wanted to start my own business, something travel related, because I enjoyed my time abroad so much, but also because I loathed the idea of returning to the corporate grind.
So I started a company called CityRover and began a new phase of my life. My first year as an entrepreneur was rough. I spent a lot of money, energy, and time on travel-related iPhone apps and email newsletters. Towards the end of that first year, I was close to calling it quits, but decided to roll the dice one more time. I pivoted to focus on walking tours.
A year later, CityRover walking tours (cityroverwalks.com) is one of the highest-rated attractions in one of the most competitive tour marketplaces in the world -- New York City. I finally found my true calling and have never been happier.
I completed my book, Walking Away From Wall Street, around the second anniversary of my company's founding, because I wanted to share my experience with countless others who, like me in my past life, may be miserable in their corporate jobs and are looking towards entrepreneurship as a way out. I also wrote this for first-time entrepreneurs, who may be struggling like I was a year ago.
I live in the city I love, in the borough where I first tasted capitalism with a Daily News delivery route. I look forward to starting my day each morning and being in control of my own destiny.
Thanks for reading and here is to chance encounters on the streets of New York City.