Steve Snyder

  • Steve Snyder

Steve Snyder at TED

About Steve Snyder

Steve Snyder is one of the world's foremost experts on Accelerated Learning and Personal Development. A pioneer in the Human Potential movement, Steve co-founded Live and Learn, a non-profit (501C3) Educational Foundation in Sherman Oaks, California in 1978.

By 1987 Steve began providing seminars for corporations and business leaders, and soon focused on working with the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) and TEC, now Vistage International.

Steve has made several thousand presentations in more than 90-countries worldwide, and is the recipient of the coveted TEC Speaker of the Year award.


Steve Snyder was a most unusual kid and grew up to be a most unusual man who has literally changed the lives of tens of thousands of people.

For starters:
By the time Steve Snyder was three, he was reading a book a day. In first grade his teacher asked the class if anyone already knew how to read. He was the only one who raised his hand.

"How many books have you read, Steve?" she quizzed. "About 1,400," Steve answered quite innocently. Did she believe him? Only after he named about a dozen titles of which he knew the plots. Did the woman faint? Her knees probably went a bit weak.

What would she do with him while she taught her class to read? Guess what. She literally put him in the corner to — read! He got set apart, and apart is how the kids kept him, which fact was the initial catalyst that would determine his life's direction.

This happened in Los Angeles where he was born and lived with his mother and father and his grandmother and uncle. "Four parents instead of two," he smiles. When he was almost three, the four-parent team moved to the San Fernando Valley. At that same time his only sibling, a brother, was born. This added up to major changes: a new house, a new school, and a new rival for time and attention.

What was his refuge? Books.
When Steve was eight, he learned about self-hypnosis and was introduced to the concept of altered states of consciousness. He was instantly fascinated and it quickly became his hobby. He began to read everything that he could find on any related topic.

Then one night, when he was just 12 years old, Steve woke up from a dream that suggested he take his two hobbies, reading and self-hypnosis, and do them at the same time. Over the following three years, he created and developed a unique teaching program, HypnoReading, which transformed his life. No longer the odd man out, he began teaching his friends and has been teaching it professionally since.

But also, when Steve was 12, his father left — suddenly, never saying good bye. Steve never heard from him again. It had an amazing impact of the darkest kind.

"Dealing with my fears of abandonment I spent many years both in and out of therapy searching my soul for the lessons that this experience offered," he admits. "And, as painful as it has been, it has also been a valuable agent for growth and change."

A successful student in high school — good grades with little effort — he didn't really get turned on scholastically until college. His undergraduate work was in psychology and several years of graduate work that lead to certification as a Hypnotherapist. Throughout, these years, he supported himself teaching HypnoReading and other self-hypnosis techniques to assist people with such things as changing eating habits and quitting smoking.

In 1978, Steve co-founded Live and Learn, a non-profit (501C3) Educational Foundation in Sherman Oaks, California. Staffed by 15 to 20 employees, the Foundation's focus was to teach enhanced living and accelerated learning skills through counseling, workshops, and seminars to people (especially school teachers) interested in maximizing their potential. Successful fund raising allowed them to provide scholarships. "Live and Learn's corporate mission," Steve explains, "was to help facilitate the gentle overthrow of our Industrial Age public school system and to assist society's transition into a system of 21st Century Information Age Education."

In 1987 Steve began doing corporate seminars and by 1991 was in such great demand that he closed Live and Learn to focus on his corporate work. In 1988 he began working with the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) and in 1990 he began his association with Vistage, previously known as TEC: The Executive Committee. Steve has made close to a thousand presentations for those two organizations and their member companies alone, and has presented in countries worldwide.

In 2000, Steve became a founding partner in BestQuest Teaching Systems, creating comprehensive animated digital video programs (DVDs) to help educators of middle school and high school students teach Algebra and Geometry classes along with critical thinking and problem solving skills.

During his tenure at Live and Learn, Steve appeared many times as a guest on Michael Benner's radio talk shows and was so impressed with his understanding of the process and his philosophic approach to life, that he asked Benner to become a presenter at Live and Learn. Much to the students' enthusiastic delight, he agreed.

Now, some 30 years later, the two friends have created a way to enhance their own lives and the lives of countless others by forming Breakthrough Enterprises, and the website.

Steve is married (in 1999 for the first and only time) to Teresa Allred. A beautiful and accomplished woman, Teresa was the CEO of Ontic Engineering and Manufacturing Inc., the nation's largest licensed manufacturer of aircraft parts for both military and commercial aircraft. She successfully sold her business, and now Steve and Teresa live with their two Golden Retrievers in Maui Hawaii.