Photo: Simon and Schuster
If you know anyone on Wall Street more badass than Owen West, please let us know.Until then, from what we’ve read, we’re fairly certain that West, a managing director at Goldman Sachs, takes the title in a walk. The former marine has your normal Wall Street pedigree — he’s a graduate of Harvard and Stanford Business School — but he’s also a charitable donor, husband/father, and two (about to be three) time novelist.
His third book, “Snake Eaters: An Unlikely Band of Brothers and the Battle for the Soul of Iraq,” is non-fiction, and addresses the role of military advisors for foreign armies and their relationship with those they train — a fitting topic for someone who spent time training Iraqi soldiers.
There’s more. When West met up with Wall Street Journal reporter Mike Vilensky to talk about the book, he’d been up since 2:30 am because he was helping to carry military gear in a 1,700-mile relay for a military charity called “Carry the Load.”
Oh, and the net proceeds of his book will go to the Marine Corp Scholarship Foundation. He’s already donated his $100,000 advance to the organisation and hope to raise 300,000, the Journal Reports.
So what could you possibly put on top of all of that? Incredible humility. (From the Journal):
“I have a very low stress level,” he continued, double-fisting venti lattes. “Because at some point I became comfortable with failure. I’ve failed so many times that I’ve come to believe if I’m not failing regularly, I’m either not trying, or I’m not reaching high enough.”
West’s book comes out this month. You can watch him talk about it (and his experience on the battlefield) in the video below: