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.

Karla Solórzano | Wedding & Event Planner

In the past, I was always afraid of taking risks if I wasn’t sure what the outcome was going to be, but in 2008 I took the biggest risk of my life and moved to a new country (The U.S.A) by myself and started a new life and a new career in marketing and events. Eventually, I started planning weddings and decided t own my own wedding planning business. If it wasn’t for that, I would probably still been in Venezuela working for Corporate. So now I see risk-taking very differently. Thanks to what I did in 2008, I discovered my passion and my creative self. Read more>>

Gidi | Singer Songwriter, Producer & Creative Director

In my head there’s no such this as a risk. To me it’s all about self belief; I deeply believe I can accomplish whatever I’m trying to do even if it seems like a huge risk to some. Before I ever made a song, I moved to LA from Baltimore to become artist. That seemed crazy to a lot of people but to me it was completely normal. So I guess, just thinking out loud, taking risks is a standard for me. I can’t ever become who I want to be if I don’t put it all on the line. Read more>>

Mariah Woods | Content Creator

As an artist, the risk is built into every facet of our work: people could love it, or they could hate it, or somewhere in between. You could be very successful, or very underrated, or somewhere in between. But with great risks comes gratitude for the journey we’re all on as artists, and every lesson learned along the way. The one constant in the life of an artist is risk, so I’ve adapted my entire life to taking big risks in hopes for big payoffs, sometimes settling for the lessons learned instead. My life’s philosophy is “Progression, not perfection,” which takes the fear out of making risky decisions for me because, at the very least, I’ll have the reward of having bet on myself, and possibly (hopefully) much much more. Read more>>

Christopher Giron | Macabre Artist

The life of an artist is all about taking risks. When I decided to become an artist, I took the risk of knowing that my career, might not be successful, and that I was going into a world of chances. I always wanted to draw and create stories as a writer, and as an artist. I knew I have to keep working hard to continue my career, and taking risks will always teach me to become a better artist, and to keep enjoying the art of learning. Read more>>

Grecia Salamon | Producer, Actress & TV Host

I absolutely love taking risks. When a big challenge comes in my life, I know that is the moment to step up, learn and get to the next chapter. I see risks as an opportunity to evolve in different areas and as a way to experience my life with trust and connectivity. When I believe that everything is working out for me, there’s no risk that isn’t worthy. After doing that thing I was most doubtful about, or after taking that trip alone, or after accepting that job offer that seemed really crazy at the beginning, is when I have found the most joy. I’ve connected with so many amazing people, explored incredible places, worked on unbelievable projects just because I decided to take the risk. Moving out of my country to start a whole new life by myself has been one of the most scary, yet rewarding risks I’ve ever taken, for example. I don’t allow myself to be stopped by fear. Maybe it’s my Sagittarius spirit that makes me so adventurous, but I love all the magic that happens when you are willing to overcome fear and dare greatly to experience the best in life. Read more>>

Sayed Sabrina | Artist, Musician, Mother

When I think about risks I’ve taken in my career and in life, I have taken many risks and in some cases none where I wish I had. I took a risk by becoming a teen single mom with no help, no money, or having any understanding on how to be a parent, let alone a good parent. It was a choice I made with no regrets. Being a mother opened my awareness to many things. Being selfless and responsible for a little human life. It was difficult and I was pretty ignorant. I knew that love and determination would (and did) keep me going. Other risks I took were moments when I chose to peruse music when it looked like a dead end at every turn. I had interest from different professionals in the music industry (when I was very young and green) that tried talking me into changing the trajectory of my career path. Like changing my musicality style and be more commercial sounding and looking. Learn how to be a pop star and not waste my time with writing and being a creator. Read more>>

Luvuyo Mpofu | Actor, Model & Writer

Belief, hope and effort are the wheels that get the decision, to take a risk to set in motion. But, why even take that first step? Why even take the leap of faith and leave your comfort zone? These are questions I have battled with multiple times, however, the answer remains the same: because i’m hungry for it. The desire to grow as an artist has motivated me to take some of the biggest risks in my life. It’s about making the initial decision to charge after what you want, regardless of what if’s. I had to ask myself, what is my career worth? How far will I actually go for my craft? to answer that i had to remove the safety net. I couldn’t effectively take advantage of all the opportunities that were presented to me, with the psychological safety net of “oh if this doesn’t work out i’ll find something else”, My focus and motivation to push myself as a story teller was heightened after i removed the safety net. There is no plan B when it comes to my career, this is it. Read more>>

Charissa Kroeger | Dancer/Choreographer/Director

In my experience, “freelance artist” and “risk” are synonymous. Jumping off creative cliffs is a daily practice— a balancing act of fear and faith. I make the decision everyday to continue to lead this life that has no guarantees, yet offers potentially high rewards. As a muse, Ive had to overcome introvert tendencies to truly be available to whatever tasks are thrown at me. Here I find that the risk element is more of a shared experience between myself, the performer, and the other party, which is the maker. Both of our choices as artists are on the table or chopping block— up for praise or critique. As I’ve started to wear the choreographer and director hats, I find the risk factor has become more personal and vulnerable as my vision and instincts are at stake. Read more>>

Aljournal Franklin II | Musician and visual artist

Risk-taking is an integral part of the creative process. No matter what creative field you work in, there is a certain level of experimentation and trial and error that goes into finding your voice. In the mix of this trial and error are a lot of “happy accidents”. Accidents that hold lessons and lead to creative breakthroughs. Playing it safe may work in an academic setting where you are learning, honing, and defining the fundamental skills you’ll need to progress in your career. However, once you begin trying to make a name for yourself, you must be willing to take risks. You must be willing to work in a way that pushes your predefined creative boundaries. It’s only in working in this exploratory way that we can reach beyond our boundaries and make discoveries. As the saying goes “no risk no reward”. Working in a box is holding yourself back, Following too many rigid guidelines is like wading in the safe, shallow end of a vast swimming pool in fear of climbing the ladder to jump off of the diving board. Read more>>

Nicole Fiorentino | Musician and Pet Care Business Owner

Honestly I think taking risks has been the number one factor in why I’ve been able to be successful doing what I love to do. ALOT of work and ALOT of failures before getting to where I wanted to be, but I really own my success to my ability to take risks. The entertainment industry is one of the biggest gambles as far as whether or not any person will become “successful “but I also think it depends on the individual’s idea of success. Now I work with animals after a long career in music and sometimes I can’t believe I was able to develop a second career doing something else I love. My mantra has always been “do what you love and the money will come”. and I have believed that and stuck to that through SO many failures. But I kept taking risks and kept believing in that mantra above all else. Read more>>

Jaseena Ali | Television Host & Actress

Risk taking is one of the most beautiful/scariest things you will ever do in your life. As I grow older I have learned that every time I have decided to take a risk things have always worked out in my favor. Pursing the entertainment industry in any capacity is a huge risk in itself! The uncertainty of not booking a gig or possibly booking your dream job just for it to fall through last minute has been the story of my life. Until one day I decided that it is time to take matters into my own hands and create a lane for myself and that was the best decision I have ever made. Taking that leap of faith has truly changed my life in so many ways and this is just the beginning. As a person of the arts I have created a media outlet with my sister where we can have full creative control of our vision as television hosts, but have also had the opportunity to join forces with other outlets in the process. If there is any advice I can give to someone reading this when it comes to taking a risk like Nike says “just do it” and I guarantee you’ll be happy with the outcome in the long run. Read more>>

Eanaj Janae | The Artist

Risk goes hand and hand with being an artisT. It’s helps push creativity Innovation forward. Art without risk is beautiful but for the most part Art that does take that risk connects to spirit and you can feel something when you see it. It’s greedy and emotional, it ties to your soul, it’s imprinted in your memory Some subjects deserve to be represented and I choose to continue to celebrate ours because of black women. There has always been a shadow lurking over art careers. Most people would say to pick a safe or more reliable stable career. Many artists are not able to take that leap to be full-time artists. Thank God I am blessed with a support system that allows me to focus on my career as an artist. I am taking a risk and stepping out on faith to become a household name in the art community. Read more>>

Scott Monahan | Feature Film Directorial Debut Anchorage

The higher the risk the higher the reward. While this is a very common saying it’s not always true. I’ve been taking risks my entire life and have become very comfortable with dancing on the blade of a knife and something I have learned is that taking a risk doesn’t always mean diving in blindly, although, let’s be honest, it’s a hell of a lot more fun. As I get older my risks have become much more calculated just by the simple fact that I have more information and experience than I did 10 years ago. I have a checkered past from taking risks, one very dumb one that nearly landed me in prison for Grand Larceny, but that’s a story for another time. The risk I want to tell you about is how I decided to direct my first feature film, fund it myself, and shoot the whole damn thing chronologically over five days. The movie is called Anchorage. Read more>>

Amanda Boutaud | Actor & Writer

I generally try to take calculated risks. Weighing my instinct and the material facts, I make my decisions knowing what the possible outcomes will be. However, there are times when those gut feelings overpower the facts at hand, and an adventure begins. Big or small, the adventure will always result in growth. Even in the times that the outcome was not exactly what I had hoped, there is not a single risk that I’ve taken so far in my life that I regret. I embrace the adventure that is life and all the risks that come with living it fully. Isn’t that the whole point?. Read more>>

Ashleigh Coffelt | Writer, Director & Cinematographer

Risk has always been a part of my life. As the eldest daughter of an immigrant, I felt the pressure to go into a healthcare profession which led me to psychology. When I decided to pursue filmmaking, it was also while still pursuing psychology and business. There was one-day mid-semester my business professor pulled me aside to have a heart-to-heart moment knowing I wasn’t happy in my career path. When I went on and on about the responsibility to my parents, he simply told me that I also had a responsibility to myself, to listen to the voice in my heart and overcome that fear. That day would change my life. I have since adapted the brilliant George Addair quote,” Everything you’ve ever wanted is sitting on the other side of fear.” Read more>>

Lauren Cornell | Founder & Creative Director of Think Unique

Risk has always been a companion of mine, I feel it’s vital to success and to the exploration of one’s own potential. Without risk, theres no reward! Risk has manifested itself in many ways throughout my life. As a young child, I was always dancing to the beat of my own drum, avoiding the standard things that made people “popular” and finding my own way in the arts. By pursuing the arts so passionately, this eventually led me to take more creative classes throughout my education. Gradually, this led up to me taking the risk to be a Fine Arts Major in college. I was pushed to pursue a standard Liberal arts education rather than follow my passion for solely art, but University found me in the Art School anyways. Without following my passion and taking a risk in my education, I would have been funneled into a business path. There is nothing wrong with the business path, but it would not have allowed me the opportunities, mentors, and education I received from my art instructors that later went on to shape my future business. Read more>>

Claudia Brade | Calligrapher

I think taking a risk usually has a negative connotation, and I’m very much convinced that it shouldn’t. To me, it’s the opposite. Without taking risks, there is no growth or achievement. Entrepreneurial success, for example, goes hand in hand with taking risks. Without taking a leap of faith, there sometimes won’t be the chance to succeed. Personally, the best outcomes in my life happened to me when I took a risk and was willing to pursue something, no matter what the outcome was. I will always pursue what brings me joy and happiness, even if it means risking what’s comfortable and easy. Read more>>

Kenyon Long | Actor/Content Creator/Producer

Risk is necessary for life. I moved out to LA from North Carolina with 800$ in my pocket and only knowing one person. A lot of people thought I was crazy to move out to LA but I felt I had hit a limit with all the acting jobs in North Carolina. I came here and hit the ground running. 10 years later I feel like I still made the best decision. Read more>>

Haroula Rose | Filmmaker & Singer-Songwriter

I tend to think that doing something you fear – within reason of course – is generally a sign of growth. So often I will take risks and say yes to something, then figure out how to accomplish it. Even to myself, with things I haven’t tried yet creatively but I want to feel like I am always learning. Taking risks is the way to do that in both minor and major ways. Read more>>

Jacey Vermeersch | Photographer and Visual Artist

I found that when you introduce yourself to risk and the endless possibilities that come with it, you understand that there is no stopping your life from changing. My dad told me at a young age that the only thing he could promise me was a life full of change and that everything comes to an end, which starts new beginnings; this stuck with me throughout my life and was the most valuable piece of advice I have ever heard. Due to societal expectations, I struggled with what profession I wanted to pursue when I was seventeen years old. However, by continuing my studies in photography and eventually graduating with distinction from Pratt Institute in May 2020, I learned that the experience was financially risky but an important milestone that I look back on. It meant that I chose to move forward with a passion of mine no matter what challenges I could experience in the future. I learned that my education was beneficial and had introduced me to a variety of knowledge and skills, along with connections with talented artists. Read more>>

Vanessa Ramos | Artist & Drummer & Manager of a Graphic Design & Vehicle Wrapping Company

I feel that taking risks is a daily task. Some may be small while some could cause you to lose money, hours of sleep, and forget to eat. Regardless on how big the risk may be, in my opinion the outcome makes it all worth it. I have learned what risks may not be worth the time but I have boiled it down to one point of reason. So long as I can grow and maybe help someone else along the way, I’ll take that risk. I believe that I can say I have taken risks for as long as I have been pursuing the need to “master” my craft. It’s made me into the person I am today…as cliche as that sounds. If it wasn’t for risk taking I would never had experienced the hardships that brought me to the life I live now, with the people I love the most. Read more>>

Santho | Filmmaker

I work in the film industry and am a filmmaker so the entire profession is quite risky. You never know when something will work or not and after a project is complete it’s basically out of your control. I find that pursuing filmmaking as a career is incredibly risky and if you don’t have the heart for uncertainty, criticism and a little bit of chaos then this path is most likely not for you. For me, it’s been very rewarding to push myself and see what I’m able to accomplish in an industry that I never thought I would have the opportunity to work in. At the end of my life (whenever that is), I will most certainly be much happier knowing that I tried rather than regretting not taking the chance. Read more>>

Alton Glass | CEO & Immersive Storyteller

It may sound cliche but I truly believe with no risk there is no reward. However as you mature in life and business you begin to take more calculated risks and at some point in time this for me is just a measure of faith. Risk has been a seed in my life and career that has propelled me forward in learning and growing. Now I seek out challenges and look at risk as a reward and tool for constant growth. Read more>>

Nico ‘Blitz’ Triunfante | DJ & Media Personality

Risk taking is a double edge sword. I’ve always questioned whether or not to take risks and I’ve found that my spontaneous personality will always lead me to an experience that will enhance my growth. When I was younger I always used to gauge whether or not something was ‘entertaining’ enough for me, as opposed to thinking about the opportunity that comes with it. Moving to Los Angeles, which was a risk in itself, got me lost in opportunities. But by losing myself in opportunities, I’ve found that risk taking is the ONLY way to grow. Being comfortable is easy and predictable; being risky is uncomfortable but can lead to gold. The key is to enjoy being uncomfortable so that you know how to adapt. Read more>>

Joey Serricchio | Artist 🙂

I think there’s a lot of possibility with risk. The opportunity it could create has to be weighed with the possible negative consequences if it fails. But even in failure there is still growth and possibility. I think decisive decision making is very valuable in weighing risk and it’s something that I work toward. I don’t know what to do sometimes, or what to make, or where I’m going but I work to try and experiment and make some mistakes that might be less risky to better understand bigger risks involved. Risks are encouraged in art making but that Definetly doesn’t make them any less scary. But in the works that I’ve done where I’ve had to really push through a risk I’ve learned where I can and can’t trust myself. I’m really thankful for the opportunity to continue exploring risk and risk taking and learning more about myself through the process. Read more>>

Magybet Mendez | Community Advocate, Immigration Rights Activist, Founder and CEO

Risk is about pushing personal boundaries and challenging the status quo. I’ve become that, a daily risk-taker in business and in life, not just because of the choices I’ve made but because of where I stand in the country I love. I’m an undocumented businesswoman and as a result, I’ve become a person who has become unafraid of what’s next. The life I’ve lived has prepared me to be ready for challenges that come my way. Before beginning my journey as a founder and CEO, I wasn’t sure who I was because of how lost and blurred the road ahead seemed. I was in limbo because of my status in the U.S. for several years. Resources for undocumented people especially undocumented entrepreneurs were non-existent. I couldn’t just find the answer online even through endless research. When things took a turn in 2012, I did everything possible to learn and grow from every professional experience. I left stable employment to pursue a journey of my own because I felt like I was never meant to be in one role. Read more>>

TrayDay SADD | Hip-Hop Artist , Songwriter/Producer , Entrepreneur.

Risk taking to me is everything, some of the greatest businesses even America itself wouldn’t be what it is or as successful as it is without the foundation of risk taking. When I think of taking risk I think of people such as Martin Luther King Jr. , Malcolm X , Harriet Tubman, Muhammad Ali, Fredrick Douglas, Kanye West , Jay -Z , Elon Musk , Steve Jobs , Kobe Bryant & Tupac Shakur to name a few. All these individuals I named took risks that contributed to shift their generation and future generations to come that’ll live on forever. For me personally I see it to be as another way of having faith and believing in oneself, I’ve encountered many times and situations since a child where life presented either opportunities or obstacles where I’ve had to take risks and the more I take them I believe leads me to make more calculated risks as opposed to not being intentional and risking the wrong things for nothing. Read more>>

Carl Reid | Writer, Director, Producer

As a person who chose to go into the more unorthodox career of filmmaking, I was met with a lot resistance when I was younger. I was often explicitly told that there was no hope for me being successful or realistic future in pursuing a creative vocation. Statistically, it may be true that a very small percentage of people who attempt to work in film are able to achieve long-term stability in that field, but I would rather be able able to take that risk, fail, and feel grateful that I tried than to be too afraid to believe in myself at all. I know too many people from back home who let their dreams wither on the vine of pragmatism, and now they find themselves stuck in lives other people told them to live. There will always be a reward in taking a risk on something you love or are passionate about, because at the very least, you’ll learn you were brave enough to try.. And trying, that initial leap of faith, is the first (and perhaps most crucial step) on any path to success. Read more>>

Jean Denegar | Cinematographer

People face risks at every level in their life. It starts off simple, such as being a child who climbs trees and play sets, only to jump off from the highest point. Risk is also as simple as our basic needs of safety and shelter. Having already experienced housing displacement in my life, I’ve been acutely aware of the risk of being a filmmaker in an industry that thrives on wealth and nepotism. Having none of these qualities puts me at an immediate disadvantage. There’s now a camera in every person’s pocket, and so the film industry has changed— but perhaps not enough. In my experience, I’ve had to work many crew positions that were not director of photography just so that I could at least pay the bills. One feature film that I’m proud to have worked on was the documentary “This Changes Everything.” The documentary investigates why woman and people of color in the film industry make up less than 30% of its predominantly white male workforce. This is despite the fact that most film college’s have an even graduation rate of men and woman. Read more>>

Rosie Smith | Licensed Cosmetologist

I have always thought about risks as a necessary element for anyone pursuing entrepreneurship. Taking risks has played a huge role in the development of my business and I attribute my willingness to take them to my Godfidence (confidence in God). I take necessary steps related to advancing in my career even when I’m not sure of the “how”. As humans, we often question ourselves when it comes to taking leaps of faith but I have discovered that as I step out on faith it allows an opportunity for abundance and blessings to flow into my business, and nothing is lacking. I encourage anyone reading this to plan for the life that you want out to live because living on purpose is truly the best way to live out your days. Read more>>

Siphesihle Vilakazi | Actress, Dancer , Model and Voice Over Actress

Risk taking always plays a huge role in my life because I took the risk to apply to one College which was overseas (New York Film Academy in the Los Angeles Campus) that was my dream college since the tenth grade and I ended up being accepted to the college and also becoming one of the top students in the institution. Read more>>

Amber Lesse | Hairstylist & Salon Owner

I love taking risks! Calculated, well-thought out and planned risks. I’m a capricorn and by that, I mean…I love to take risks and growth. I’ve always felt that when you get too comfortable and complacent, it makes it difficult to make that next move that could better many different aspects of our lives. I’ve most certainly always been very career driven, so when I fell in love with my husband and decided to move to LA 6 years ago, I decided the career risk was one worth taking. The opportunities in Los Angeles seemed endless for hairstylists and the joy and excitement that surrounded my decision to take a leap of faith was honestly, so overwhelming! I look back on that time in my life and how scared and excited I was and i’m so happy that I had that fearless fire beneath me. I have so much to be grateful for now!. Read more>>

Krysta Gonzales | Actor & Writer

To live a life in the arts demands a certain level of comfort with risk because there’s so much uncertainty and so little control. You could go 2 weeks without an audition or 2+ years without work or you could book 2 things in 2 days. So my approach (or intention, rather) has been to prepare to the very best of my ability and then challenge myself to let it all go. The thing I’ve noticed in my life overall, is that when I took a risk that was fully rooted in “betting on myself,” it usually turned out better than I could’ve imagined. I know this is easier said than done and let me be clear: it’s a process, not a final, polished product. Read more>>

Andrew Nowak | Actor & Producer

I think the first step when considering taking risks is knowing that you’ll ALWAYS be assessing what is and isn’t worth the risk. Once I get comfortable with that idea, it allows me open up to actually TAKING that risk. This isn’t to say you should always risk it, you do have to discern between the two. However, not making the decision at all is pretty much never works out the way you want it. You have to be willing to fail and learn in order to succeed and excel. I don’t always follow this, but I sure aspire to. Read more>>

OG SERG | Professional DJ / Cannabis Activists / Influencer

Taking a risk, to better yourself, is an excellent way to ensure personal growth. You should always strive to move forward and make gradual progress; efficiently achieve your goals, no matter what. Most times, this will require risk taking. When you look back on what you’ve done during your career, and when you reflect on every milestone in your life, you don’t wanna be like “I should have been braver” or “I should have trusted myself a little bit more” or “I should have been less hesitant when God told me to take a leap of faith”. Sadly, I was this pitiful person five years ago. But, thankfully, I realized that this kind of mentality would get me nowhere in life so I started taking action and I started focusing on what I could do right now instead of wasting time dwelling on past decisions. Taking action meant I had to get out of my comfort zone. With God’s help, I became more accustomed to taking a risk and I stopped worrying about my previous mistakes. Read more>>

Jabbar Lewis | Actor

I moved to LA, by myself, when I was 17 years old to pursue what a lot of people call a pipe dream. All of the sacrifices that I had to make out here was a risk. All of the money I had and still dish out to update my headshots, take classes, pay for all of the subscriptions, the list is endless. No one knows how often I was broke by doing all of this. I had negative 1k in my chase bank account at a point because I truly believed it will pay off, that my talent, my faith in God will win and it will make a good story one day. I never once took a risk without mediating and praying on it though. All of my major decisions have played a huge role in my faith. I also never regretted a risk that I took. Starting my lifestyle, sunglass brand “The Bar” was a calculated risk as well. Leaving my 9-5 jobs in the past to make more room for my creative partnerships was a risk. I say to anyone pursuing a dream or really wanting to do something major in your life. Sit on it, Pray about it, and dive head first. It’s the only way you’ll land safely. Read more>>

Tiffany Heard | Author & Content Creator

You have to take risk’s both in your life and career. You don’t advance by being comfortable, uncomfortable situations can cause growth. If you don’t take the leap and try something new, you may never know what the outcome will be. Although I listen to people’s advice about certain things, I believe in creating my own experiences. Taking risks about things people say I shouldn’t do would have caused me to miss out on opportunities that have propelled me further in life. Read more>>

Courtney Michael | Tattooer/Artist

I believe no risk, no reward. It’s super hard and can be scary to take a risk, to jump into the unknown, but if you have passion and drive towards the risk you’re taking, then you’re that much closer to your dreams. I think intention is everything, if you have a positive intention behind moving forward in your life, then risks can be a huge learning experience. Risk taking has played a huge role in my life and career! I feel like one of the biggest risks I took (so far) is learning to tattoo, I put 100% of my being into my apprenticeship, knowing that tattooing is what I’ve always dreamed of. Whatever obstacles I had to encounter, I knew I just had to put my head down and get to work in order to get to where I wanted to be. It was very challenging, but in the end the reward was worth the risk!. Read more>>

Fredy Ramos | President and CEO of Starlite Screen and Glass Inc.

Risk has been a driver in my own personal and professional career. As an entrepreneur, I think and embrace risk, as an important contributing factor, to taking your dreams and goals to the next level. Without risk you miss out on the possibilities of creating your own future, and you give way to fear. I am daily risk taker making decisions and gambling on the success of my business. I enjoy searching for the next big project that will take my business and myself to new heights. This is not to say, that I always book the jobs, but I have had many more wins than loses by taking risks. Risk can be scary for many in the business world, but I consider it a motivation to continue being in the game and anticipating for the big wins!. Read more>>