Entrepreneur Alison Levine knows all about peaks and valleys. This San Franciscan led the first American Women's Everest Expedition, and she recently became the first North American to traverse 574 miles across Antarctica to the South Pole.
Her background, combined with her experience as an investment manager at Goldman Sachs, provided Levine with the platform to launch her own consulting firm, Daredevil Strategies. Levine, 41, is well-equipped to advise Fortune 500 clients like GE and Johnson & Johnson on the importance of risk taking, leadership and team building.
"Having those skills on a dangerous mountain trek is a matter of life or death," she says. "In a company, those same skills can mean the survival of the business."
Levine's lessons resonate, and her billings have soared from $50,000 in 2004 to more than $1.1 million today. But Levine is most proud of starting the Climb High Foundation, a nonprofit that trains unemployed women in developing countries to become trekking guides and porters.