Are you a risk taker? Do you think you have a stronger appetite for risk relative to your friends and family? We asked some folks from the community about their approaches to risk and have shared their thoughts below.

Megan Garwood | Fiction and Art Writer

Risk, I think, is an idealized word. We often imagine someone brave, suited with a parachute, taking a deep breath and diving off the back of a plane into the abyss. Drama, tension, the unknown — I most quickly attribute these words to risk, and movies do too. If it does not involve the risk of death, we don’t want to consume it. But I am more interested in the humble, unseen risk, an act that is less easy to delineate and more boring to recount. Read more>>

Celena Rubin | Makeup Artist & Owner of The Art of Makeup School

Risk has taken a big role in my life and career. I grew up in a very free thinking, creative and entrepreneurial family. Both of my parents were professional photographers, and my dad was also a professional drummer. I never witnessed anyone in my family working for someone else or having a “normal job”. Instability and risk was part of life, but so was controlling our own destiny and pursuing the creative things in life that made us happy. The things my parents did for work were also the things they were passionate about and loved doing. I grew up thinking that I could be successful at a creative career. Read more>>

Jake Rush | Stand up comedian

So I think a big part of the reason why a lot of people are afraid to fully pursue their dreams is because the first thought in their mind is, “what if it goes wrong.” And that may be the logical way to think about things, but for whatever reason, when I chose to pursue a career in comedy, the only thought in my head was, “what if it works? What if I actually pull this off somehow and actually make it as a comedian, how awesome would that be?” I feel like possibility of failure in show business is so obvious it’s not even worth thinking about. Focusing on it only increases the odds you’ll fail, I think. A lot of people drop off when it gets tough because they’ve carefully considered their backup plan. I have never had a backup plan. Plan A is to be a successful comedian, and plan B is to be an unsuccessful comedian. Read more>>

Leo Manzari | Performing Artist/ Recording Artist

I evaluate risk on a life or death scale. It’s very rare that the unlikelihood of me achieving a goal stops me from trying it. I’ve based my entire life on this basic principal: the amount of time that I spend doing one thing, is the same amount of time I spend not doing another. Meaning that I have a very realistic understanding that my time on this earth is limited, so I have to fulfill my purpose within the time given to me- there’s no room to stop grinding because it’s “risky” Read more>>

Daisun “D.C.” Cohn-Williams | Actor/Writer & Teen/ Family Life Coach

I love this question. There are so many ways of thinking about risk and contexts that it exists in. And it ‘s a pretty philosophical question. With me, from an early age I was definitely an “own drum beat marcher.” Believe me, part of this original, confident, and stubborn approach to life lead to some bumps and bruises, and even breaks, but also, FAR more amazing opportunities to grow. And look I’m a Black man in America so this is of course, within reason. I don’t take risks when it comes to my larger physical and legal safety or that of those around me. However, when we’re talking about jumping into the figurative unknown, I see “risk” as a manufactured construct, framing how society understands “normal” and “acceptable” behavior. Read more>>

Sabrina Winter | Accountant by Day, Rockstar by Night

Taking risks is everything! Without taking risks, you always know what to expect in life. I think you have to take risks if you want to grow and find things you never thought you were capable of doing. If it weren’t for EVERY risk I’ve ever taken, I’d probably be left with more questions than answers, and probably a lot of regret for not taking the plunge when I had the chance to. Read more>>

William Roper | Sonic and Visual Artist

It hardly bears saying that just being here on the planet is taking a risk. Moment to moment we are risk-taking. It’s really a question of how aware you are of it, how high up in your consciousness you want it to be. We can forget, but every action we take is a risk. Or we can pretend that every action we take is not a risk. But life is going to remind you. It is going to slap you in the face. When you were a kid and you tried to stand up and walk, you probably didn’t know that was a risky business. But you found out right away when you fell down. So that’s kind of my approach to it, every action is a risk. It’s a matter of degree. Read more>>

Gina Daidone | Actor, Writer, Producer

Taking risks means facing your fears. It also means being open to new possibilities. Since I was a kid, I’ve always been a risk-taker…much to the distress of my hassled parents. I was the kind of child that climbed high up in trees or on the monkey bars at the playground. I wanted to explore the woods behind my relative’s house and ride my bike too fast. I perpetually had cuts on my knees and mysterious bruises everywhere else, with eyes constantly scanning for the next adventure. I learned very young that risk makes life more interesting. Read more>>

Lorenzo Antonucci | Actor, writer, producer

I think taking risks and betting on yourself is the only way it works, “no risks no rewards” If you haven’t felt the pain of putting it all on the line and getting in so much debt “you cant breath” because you believe in what you’re doing. You’re either really lucky or just way smarter than me lol Read more>>

OneWayNick | Rap/HipHop artist

Everybody takes risks everyday whether they realize it or not. Driving your car to a 9-5 job is a risk. You could get into an accident, or loose your job for a whatever reason. For me, I look at risks as opportunities. The bigger the risk the bigger the opportunity. So I choose to take risks that can put me in a position of independence, and ownership. If I would’ve never took the risk to invest in myself and my music career, you wouldn’t be reading this. I believe you cannot find your purpose in this life without taking risks. It’s like God designed the universe that way, where your purpose and power is hidden within yourself, and the only way to find it is to take that leap of faith, and just do it. Whatever that IT is for you, personally. Read more>>

Jeremy “6” Austin | Drag Queen / Makeup Artist

For me taking a risk means living without fear and since there is no success without taking risks I choose to live without fear. It really is a choice. Read more>>

Alesan Rose | Portrait Photographer & Content Creator

The word ‘risk’ has always been a scary word, but it always connects to the most eye-opening events. And I think that risk can change your life forever. Risk is almost like that extra push to jump onto the next chapter of your life. When I was little I always used to hide behind my mom as soon as someone approached me or as soon as anything new was happening. I was super clingy and stuck to a routine. As I grew up, I began to notice how my shyness never got me to where I wanted to be and I hated being shy for a while, in fact, I still hate it to this day. Along with being shy, I preferred to stay in my comfort zone. This was constant for me in high school. Read more>>

Javon Bell | Web Designer & Developer

I learned over the past few years that in order to achieve your goals, you have to be willing to take calculated risks. Before I started Bellaire Studio, I was deeply afraid to take the leap and start my business because I knew that everything would be on my shoulders. I dreamt for years about starting my own business as a web designer and developer. In college, I would spend countless nights reading HTML and Javascript books trying to learn as much as I can because I saw a great opportunity in the industry for me to have a career once I graduated. I thank my younger self every day for sacrificing my time, energy, and fun because I am in the best position financially and mentally in my life right now. Read more>>

Martin Hernandez | Woodworking Artist & Furniture Maker

I think about risk as part of the job when having a creative woodworking career. Risk is everywhere everyday but mitigating and managing it well is what separates people with long lasting careers versus those that had to close shop prematurely. Risk has affected my life and career every step of the way because nothing is ever guaranteed. I did not know whether or not I would be successful at woodworking or if I could even make a living doing it. There was never any guarantee I would continue furniture making beyond attending woodworking school. If anything, I had the cards stacked against me for making living as as a furniture maker. Read more>>

Christopher Cano | Police Officer/Paramedic/Content Creator and Actor

When I look at my life and everything I have experienced and learn, I would say that taking risks definitely played a major role. If I had not taken risks, I would not have enjoyed the successes that I have today. The decisions that had the most significance or impact on my life were based on taking a risk. Taking risks lead me to becoming an EMT, paramedic, fire fighter and police officer. Taking risks pushed me to educate myself to the point that I am a few months away from earning a PhD. Taking risks help me to start a successful Youtube channel as well as becoming an actor. While I am afraid of failure, I have learned that you have to take a chance and try and this is what I try and tell other people who are afraid to try new things. One day, you don’t want to look back and say, I wish I would have… Every morning I wake up I say to myself Carpe Diem…seize the day! Read more>>

Sagirah Layne | Accountant & Spoken Word Artist/Poet – pen name Trust

I believe in risk taking for sure! I’m one of those people who can do something very spur of the moment for the betterment of my life. I think taking risks takes you out of your comfort zone and opens you to a new world of opportunities that you may not have necessarily been exposed to otherwise. You learn to believe in and rely on yourself and learn from your mistakes, if there are any, along the way. I believe some risks are necessary for growth. Read more>>

Abraham Gutierrez | Narrator

Risks have often moved my creative endeavors in a different direction wether it be for better or for worse I’d rather move forward or backward than side to side. What I mean is that I don’t want to stay complacent and only work with one medium talk about one subject or recreate the same images or writing. As long as it’s honest it’s worth the risk to me. Read more>>

Chardé McGraw | Director – Fashion Model – Actress

I think the biggest risk of all is deciding to find yourself, and through art you can discover a lot within. Risks are what they are, you just have to decide who you are. Can you stand the high risk mountain you are climbing? Or are you someone who needs to operate on a level plane? It’s okay either way but ultimately the bigger risk takers make the papers. I maneuver through life focused on personal goals, and pursuing them while honoring those who love me and I love back (to the best of my ability and given circumstances).  Read more>>

Sandra Hana | Wedding Photographer

Taking a risk on something really great, when the only thing you have to lose is something that was making you totally unhappy, is a risk worth taking. Taking the risk to quit my job and pursue photography has made me so much happier. To be honest though, I had never even thought about working as a wedding photographer before. It all started with my love for travel and taking photos of beautiful scenery, people and moments. At the time my photos were just taken with a cheap iPhone because it was more of just a hobby, but it was something I loved doing. People always told me that I should pursue a career in photography but I never had the guts to actually do it. Read more>>

Reyna Villa | Stationery Shop Owner & Graphic Designer

I opened up my online stationery shop last year, and sometimes people ask me things along the lines of “Wow! That’s so brave of you to start your own business! How did you decide to take the risk?” Having never really considered it, I always gave generic answers such as “it just felt like the right time.” But once I sat down and really thought about it, none of it felt like a risk to me at all! Most career moves and life-changes I made were always thought-out, calculated, and sometimes even involved pro-con lists or spreadsheets. Read more>>

Ottavio Taddei | Actor & Dancer

Premise: We’re intrinsically unique therefore no situation is equal. Taking a risk has to have something to do with your happiness, (at least, what you think happiness is) some people want a relatively predictable life and some are simply excited by the infinite possibilities of the “unknown”. I attained an economics degree, that seemed to be the “reasonable” and “safe” path as a young adult, problem was, I didn’t know myself well enough back then and my heart ended up directing me toward a different path; I pursued a professional career as a dancer and then expanded into acting. Read more>>

Kat Lively | Creator & Host of ‘Calling Old Hollywood’ Youtube Channel & Podcast

The thing about life is that without taking risks, you risk getting nowhere. So if it’s all the same, you might as well shoot for the moon. Creating ‘Calling Old Hollywood’ I knew it was going to be sink or swim. I was creating this out of passion and dedication to what speaks to me. If it was a success, it was my fault. if it was a failure, it was my fault. That kind of power is both liberating and isolating when you think about it, but so worth it to take the risk and see. Inertia is the worst thing one can do, playing it safe, always coloring in the lines. If you’ve got a dream or an ambition to create and create successfully or to reach people and powerfully impact them, you’ve got to be willing to take the risk. Period. Read more>>

Eureka Star | Entrepreneur, Founder of Eureka Hair & Cosmetics , Healthy Hair enthusiast,

Risk taking is one of the hardest yet most rewarding thing you can do for yourself in A sense. Without taking Risks your boxing yourself in. Your not allowing yourself to grow, to learn, to not feel that bit of Happiness, and excitement when everything pay off at the end. Everyday we are taking risk, risk of walking outside, hanging around others, driving , the risk of hopeful thinking. Without the risk I took in life, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. I wouldn’t be an entrepreneur, an owner of a Hair Care product line, and a future owner of a beauty empire. Taking the risk to be better in all, will always be the best choice. To this day I’m taking risk financially ,personally ,mentally to become a better me, a better owner. To grow! Never be afraid to take a risk! Read more>>

Raleigh Tabora | Artist & Actress

To me, there are going to be risks no matter what you do in life. I think you can either be intimidated or inspired by that. We don’t know how long we have on this earth, so we might as well take a chance and bet on ourselves if we have the opportunity to do so. I think it’s better to aim high and risk falling short than to stay on the safe side and wonder if you could’ve done more if you’d just gone for it. Risk is part of the game, but it doesn’t have to stop you from playing. In my case, pursuing a career in the arts, of course there are risks involved. But, if I’m spending my life doing something that I enjoy and that brings me fulfillment- it’s worth it. Read more>>

Jess Dang | Creative Director, Dedicated Bruncher

This question is interesting to me because I have a split answer about addressing the topic of risk. In my personal life, I need a bit more order. In my work life, I enjoy challenges and understanding the needs of the brands/people I collaborate with on a daily basis. Risk is something that was scary to me when I was younger because I was more focused on the things that would go wrong versus the idea of looking at the topic of risk as an opportunity to grow and adapt into new spaces. As I’ve gotten older, and hopefully wiser, I think that there’s a certain amount of risk to be a full-time creative because there’s no linear path to success or whatever that even means. Read more>>

Annie C. Wright | Comedy Writer / Freelance Word Nerd

I was putting up my first play at the Complex Hollywood (PSA: they’ve got a GoFundMe campaign happening right now #saveourstages)! Anyway, about three weeks out from opening night, I had to tell one of the actors that I was recasting his role. That felt like a huge risk at the time, because it was a two-hander, which meant there were only two characters in the whole play. That’s half the cast! He was a great actor, perfect for the part, but being good at your craft isn’t enough for me to want to work with you. If you’re always negative, or you’re disrespectful to the people around you, that’s a wrap for me. Read more>>

Jarrod Billie Olson | Fashion Designer

Risk brings excitement. The excitement of the unknown. If one choses to not take risks in life then that individual will experience very little growth throughout their lives. They will continue to practice the same habits, continue to accept life for what it is. They will continue to feel unfulfilled and never find true happiness. Taking risks is a key part of personal and human evolution. Thoughts are manifested in the unknown. Thoughts then create desires. Desires create action. Action is where risk becomes relevant. Without action, risks would not exists. This process happens on a daily basis. One whom is detached from outcome of action will find risks are a beautiful part of their personal growth. Read more>>

Monique Flores | Women’s Boxing Fitness & Mindset Coach

I was brought up to play it safe for most of my life. It took me a while to realize that that wasn’t going to get me too far. I found myself stuck and settling at jobs that I didn’t feel myself growing in. I had a steady, decent income and was able to build a comfortable life for myself. I didn’t realize that it had turned to complacency. I was in a constant state of agitation because I didn’t feel challenged. Read more>>

Dennis Boyd | Convenience Store Owner

I believe that risks are a necessary evil when it comes to making it to the next level, in just about any aspect of life. Nothing wrong with playing it safe, there’s a level of comfort and predictability going that route, but that leaves space for a lot of ‘what ifs’. Not knowing what could have been because I was afraid to find out and possibly fail is not something that I’m comfortable with. Read more>>

Christopher Cendana | Actor & Content Creator

I believe the ability to take risks is something everyone should learn and practice. This isn’t just because of the whole “no risk, no reward”, mentality either. It’s all about failure. The main reason no one takes a risk is because of the fear of failure. As soon as I accepted that failure is an equal part of the equation, I gained more confidence in my risk taking. I understood that there can be no success without failure. Everything I’ve accomplished up to this point is directly related to a risk I took along the way. Read more>>

Izzy T Recording Artist | Alt Pop/Rock artist

Firstly, as an independent artist, you have to invest so much of your own money into your career. That itself is a huge risk, because your parents, friends and everyone around youis growing up, having holidays, saving for their first homes etc, meanwhile you’re saving for studio time and music videos! To be honest, in my mind its never been a risk, its just been an investment. If you want to be taken seriously, you’ve got to have a decent looking product. This is everything from the production of my music, how the songs are mixed/mastered, how i’m represented in professional promo pictures, graphic design for single art work, EVERYTHING has got to look somewhat professional. The real part thats a risk is how much time apart from loved ones you spend when you’re in a different city/country on the road, out calving your career. You miss so many weddings, birthdays, gatherings, and just hope that they understand if you have to miss them! Read more>>

Martin Martinez | GM & Co-Founder

We started Orox because we wanted to revive our family’s trade in a new country, a new culture. Risk is part of every new business venture, but I’d say we took some especially large risks in the beginning. Starting from nothing in an unfamiliar land, operating in a foreign language, with no connections or community, you have only your skill, perseverance, and hope to keep you going and thriving during the toughest times. Fear can be a big obstacle to taking risks, but my father taught us, as his father taught him, not to let fear determine your decisions or keep you from pursuing your path. Read more>>

Jason Johnson | Multi Media Professional

For the majority of my life I wouldn’t consider myself a risk taker. I like to have things plan out. That hasn’t always led me to the best outcomes and often times left me wondering “what if?”. When starting Shoptalkpodcast Studio I left that thinking behind and started taking risk and betting on myself and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. There was a shift in my life where I came to the realization that I would rather have an “Aye, remember that one time we did that thing and it didn’t work out” vs “I wonder what would have happened if I had enough courage”. Through business my outlook on life has changed. Read more>>

Kri Edholm | Creative Videographer, Website Developer, and Marketer

Some entrepreneurs have an aversion to risk, but I see risk as positive potential. I embrace risk-taking because in my job roles over the years, assessing risk was inherently part of all decision-making processes I was involved with. This constant exposure to risk and their various outcomes broadened my perspective, so over time risk-taking didn’t always correlate with failure or consequence. I eventually accepted the practice of trial and error, continuous learning and improvement, and adapted a willingness to always go back to the drawing board. When I take a risk and don’t succeed or reach an expected result, my natural response has become to treat it as an opportunity and try again. Read more>>

Ashna Sharan | Award Winning Actress & Filmmaker

When you’re acting, people will ask you to take a risk. In that case, they typically mean either make a bold choice or be vulnerable, go to a place you typically wouldn’t in real life. I think for me…that was never an issue. True acting comes from honest feelings within and it’s very cathartic. So I guess I have been taking risks, but I don’t necessarily see it that way. I just go with what I am feeling in the present. Sometimes a line in a script can make me really angry, other times, the same line could make me very sad. Read more>>

Ray Easter | Stand-up Comedian

Risk plays a big part in a career of stand-up comedy. There is so much uncertainty in comedy, that you have to learn how to be comfortable with it. When you’re just starting in stand-up, you’re told you’ll have to move to Los Angeles or New York City in order to have a successful career. Comedy also does not come with health insurance or a union, so there is no feeling of stability unless you have Kevin Hart’s status. It’s pretty scary because there is no certainty whether you’ll make any money. Read more>>

Miguel Tafich | Cinematographer

Everyone has a different perception of success. For me it is easier saying what success is not. Success is not a goal, a destination or an award. Failure most certainly isn’t its opposite. For me, success is managing failure. Can’t deny that failure can make you feel sad, but most of the time it lets me know I can improve or simply that I just need to change something. Can say that in every film I’ve been involved in, there has always been a specific scene or shot where I don’t feel comfortable with the end result. If I find that I can do something better and if I do it better next time, that I would consider a success. Read more>>

Diana Abouchacra | Printmaker & Installation Artist

Fundamentally, the word ‘risk’ means the “possibility of loss or injury” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Risk is something that we all undergo as human beings, in fact, just by being alive. The possibility that something ‘bad’ might happen to us as a result of an action we do is probable with every decision we make. Consequently, risk can yield positive or negative results which all fall on a spectrum. Furthermore, the intentionality behind a choice made is important and should be considered when reflecting on the effects of the decision. Read more>>

Paul-Mikél Williams | Actor

Well, the saying “No risk, no reward” is definitely true. As a performer, risks are all I take. Risks are what get you the rewards in this business. My mom driving hours to auditions and having to pay for gas is a huge risk, and there are more that I can tell you about. But, I learned that if you put as much work as your parents, coaches, managers and agents do into this intense risk, you will, without question, reap the rewards. Read more>>

Scott Grey | Actor

My life often feels synonymous with risk, starting very young. By the time I was 13, I was involved in gangs and at 17, I was forced to take one of the most potentially dangerous risks of my life: leaving that gang and going to college. See, leaving a gang isn’t as positive and heart-warming as it may seem. In reality, it means dodging assassination attempts, never being able to stepping foot in the place where you grew up ever again, and being filled with PTSD for the rest of your life. Read more>>