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.

Tapio Antere | Director & Photographer

I always get excited about a little risk. It’s also nice experience to discover the failure. I mean usually after you fail in something you realize that the initial risk was smaller than you actually thought. Life goes on and nothing too bad followed. Usually what we are afraid in taking a risk in life is actually causing a short term discomfort at the best if things go south. I haven’t been the riskiest guy out there, but I always enjoy the moment when Im ”jumping off the cliff” and figure out how to fly on the go. Read more>>

Samba Schutte | Actor, Comedian & Writer

“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.” ― Lewis Carroll If I didn’t take any risks in my life and never threw myself in front of the lions, I don’t think I would be as wise, courageous and successful– or cause such anxiety to the loved ones who care about my wellbeing. To take a risk is to leap into the unknown, which sounds crazy to everyone around you. How do you explain when something feels so right, when you find a trust and confidence in yourself, in your abilities and in Life that everything will work out, without a single guarantee? I’ve been called crazy when I decided to leave Ethiopia to go study Theater in Holland. When I decided to take part in the biggest national comedy prize in Holland without properly speaking the language. When I decided to leave a booming successful career as a comedian and actor behind to move to LA and basically start from scratch. Read more>>

Jack Karuletwa | Founder & CEO

Any entrepreneurial pursuit includes risk, a risk of failure and most people don’t like to fail. In my case, I wasn’t thinking about failing, I was thinking that taking a risks, yield big rewards. I was more terrified of being fired and having my employment in the hands of someone else then taking a chance on something I believed in. In business taking a risk is really telling yourself, ‘do not expect any breaks’, no one is there to push you + motivate you and that’s why I felt as long as it was a calculated risk, it would be ok because I’m self motivated, hard working and know what I want. The good thing about taking risks, it forces you to prepare and preparation is good for anything you do in life. I wouldn’t advise others to do what I did, only because its a feeling not a strategy. The individual knows if they want to take a risk or not. Risks are also exciting, it’s unknown but leaves space for creativity! Read more>>

Vanessa Rosenblum | CEO & Founder

Every good thing that I’ve accomplished or experienced started with taking a chance on the unknown. I’ve started three companies and moved to four different countries. It wasn’t always easy and sometimes things didn’t go as planned, but I don’t regret any of those decisions. I believe that the biggest risk you can take is doing nothing, staying safe, and missing out on the life you could have had. Taking a risk is less scary when you get honest about what it might actually look like if you fail. I think our natural instinct is to go to the worst possible scenario, but there is a lot of space between utter failure and success. When I’m about to make a big decision in my business or life I ask myself, if you do this thing and it doesn’t work out, what might happen? How likely is it that you will fail? How can I mitigate those consequences? I find that journaling and reflecting on my answers makes it easier to see a risk for what it really is. Read more>>

David Judson | President

Taking a risk is very different from being risky. I have learned over my career that risks always pay off if it furthers you along the path of your vision, it has to be rooted in a strong foundational belief. If it fails, you learn and get better and if it works you are that much closer to your own defined vision of success. Read more>>

Kris Rosales | Professional Basketball Player & Entrepreneur

I am currently a professional basketball player in the Philippines and risk is everything. From a young age I knew I wanted to be a basketball player. I basically put all my eggs in one basket and chased a dream. Here I am today, a 5 year pro, still risking it all. One contract ends and I have to fight for another one year in and year out. Being a pro in a country away from family involves risks everyday. On the basketball side, “risks” aren’t so risky when you are confident in your work. Knowing you have put in the time the risks lessen. All the risks I’ve taken my entire life within basketball have allowed me to earn a living and start the Creative Hoop Project. I always think about what would happen if I make this shot? or what would happen if I sell out on these shirts? You don’t want to think the other way. What if I miss? What if I don’t sell? No room for that negative energy. Go all in and think about the great things that can happen. Put all your positive energy into what you are doing and the term “risk” will not play a factor more often than not. Read more>>

Amy Kan | Executive & Leadership Coach

The way I think about risk has changed significantly over time. It used to be something that evoked fear. When you say risk, like many people, I would think about everything that could go wrong. That’s a great way to stop you from taking action! Now, I think less in terms of risk, and more about the challenge of stepping out of my comfort zone, of being fearless. It is only when you push through discomfort that you grow. Of course, sometimes you have to weigh up your options and I’m not suggesting that I ignore risks. Instead, I ask myself, “what is the worst case scenario?” But then, I also ask, “what is the best case?” and “what is it worth to me to take action?” Risk is actually a common theme through my life and career. In 2002, I moved to Los Angeles from London with my husband and 11-month old daughter. Read more>>

Jake Reardon | Filmmaker

Like most people, I try to calculate risks, assess, and make the best decision available. I do that for the small stuff, and the big stuff I face. Sometimes I take the big leap, and it’s worked out for the most part. Risk plays a huge part in my career. Risk has played a huge part in my life too. I’m where I am now because of the risks I’ve taken. The biggest risk I’ve taken was in college. I went to a community college in a 2+2 program, where I do 2 years at a community college and 2 years at the 4 year school. I went into my first meeting with my counselor to talk about classes for the spring semester. My counselor asked me about my 5 year plan, where I see myself, why I chose my major, and the transfer school I was going to. I answered all her questions, and we talked for a while. She pulled out a packet on a different transfer school, that had a recognized program for video production and a nice campus. Read more>>

Cynthia Flynn | Managing Partner

As a business and employment lawyer, I work with entrepreneurs on a daily basis. Every entrepreneur has their own scale of risk tolerance, especially when facing an employment lawsuit in the state of California. Some business owners want to be as buttoned up as possible when it comes to employment matters, whereas others want to live a little more loosely, and not have rigid policies in place, for their business. Every owner needs to make the decision that’s right for them. When I think about risk internally, in my own business, I think about worst-case scenario. If “X” happens, what is my plan and my back up plan. When I was considering leaving my cushy law firm job, to go out on my own, I tried to minimize the risk as much as possible. Obviously, it’s risky to quit a job – when I told my parents, they were like, “wait, what? What about your health insurance?” I assured them, I had a plan but needed to take the chance of going out on my own and hanging out my own shingle in order to see if I can make it on my own. Read more>>

Karl Shallowhorn | Mental Health Advocate and Educator & Leadership Development Coach

My entire professional career has been built around taking risks. When I was in early recovery I decided to pursue alcoholism counseling as my first professional job. Interestingly enough, I was hired however in retrospect I was not fully equipped to handle the position. This continued to be the case as I changed jobs over the years. Every time I applied and was hired for a new job I was taking a risk since I didn’t have a strong background in the area that I was to be working in. The biggest risk I’ve taken was most recently, in September 2019 when I started my consulting business. I had never run a business before but I was determined to make my mark. The first risk involved was working full-time while laying the foundation for the business. From September to December I “flew under the radar” and did not share my new pursuit with the CEO from my workplace. Read more>>

Julien Hassid | Director & Filmmaker

‘Risk’ can sound scary or dangerous. But as soon as you start taking some you realise that it’s not so much of a big deal. If you don’t take any risks in your life nothing won’t happen. My biggest risk was to move from Brussels (Belgium) to Los Angeles almost 3 years ago. I decided to come here with my wife knowing nobody, having no job or family here, and speaking a basic English. But as a filmmaker I thought it was the best move to do. I’m not gonna lie, it was tough far from everything you know and it still is today especially this year (everyone knows why). But I can assure you that It IS worth it. Not only for your career but as a human being. I’ve met a lot of people since then and I’m not the same guy anymore in a positive way. Some people gave me wise and pretty good advice to build my own path here some others just couldn’t do anything for me or didn’t want to because they simply didn’t care. Read more>>

Matthew Scott | Puppeteer

As a puppeteer, taking physical risks is practically part of the job description. Most people never regard the strain that is put on ones body when holding a puppet overhead, or the exertion on ones back when performing marionettes over a bridge. Sometimes we have to hold our bodies in awkward positions, in dangerous situations, on rickety structures, for extended periods of time! But what really comes to mind when asked about risks, is social media, and how we can be regarded erroneously. Puppets are built as performers and are meant to be as actors. However, due to the environment, technologically and politically speaking, art is constantly being put under a microscope. As an example, 4 years ago I went on tour with a burlesque female POC performer and activist. After a month on the road, and enamoured with her stage presence, I asked if I might build a puppet that embodies the same exuberance and confidence. Read more>>

Suzanne Lanza | Model, Actress & Social Media Consultant

I think it’s really important to take risks. If you don’t take risks you will never grow. I’ve taken many risks in both my life and my career. One of the biggest was headed to Europe to model for the summer a week to the day after I graduated from High School. I had never been out of the country before and certainly never travelled anywhere alone. Ultimately, it was a risk that paid off but at the time it was terrifying. Read more>>

Alex Kotsyk | Actor, Comic & Writer

As actors and storytellers we risk every day exposing our hearts and souls to strangers in audition rooms and stages. You know audition it’s like going to an interview everyday. Also as a stand up comic once I am on stage telling my life stories it feels like standing naked in front of people, being judged, but in the end its all worth it, whether its a laugh or film that I was a part, it makes me feel good. I think only now, in the middle of pandemic we understand how important artists are and how much they bring in our lives. I cant wait to hit the stage and expose my heart in front of strangers. Read more>>

Louheed Daniel | Actor & performer

I think taking risk is one of the most wildest approach one can take to step upon the next stage, next level. There is different level of risk, however to challenge yourself to make it work, staying consistent may help reach success. Sometimes even sending an email can be a risk but to what goal the risk being taken makes all the difference. Read more>>