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.

Shelly and Jason Snellman | Co-Founders of Robo & Bash Productions

As the founders of a company that exists in one of the most competitive and unyielding industries, one would think that we are confident risk-takers with nerves of steel. Truthfully, my husband Jason and I are anything but.v Starting with me, co-founder and producer at Robo & Bash Productions, risk is a bit of a scary word. For those of you who believe in the Zodiac, my sign says it all – I’m a Capricorn, the sure-footed sea goat, risk-adverse and cautious to a fault. I, like the goat who carefully travels up the mountain from sea to summit, will not take a step until I am certain that the next step is sturdy, free off loose rocks and sliding debris, and will almost assuredly not result in death and/or ruin. Jason, the better half of Robo & Bash, does not believe in any of this stuff but that’s okay. Jason is the visionary (ahem… Aquarius) and sees risk as an inconvenience, an inevitable roadblock that just has to be circumvented once in a while. Read more>>

Eva Reyes | Small business owner

It’s human nature to feel afraid of taking risks but i believe that taking risks is part of our everyday lives. Certain decisions we make that we feel uncertain of is in fact taking a risk. I’m one to feel uncertain about making decisions that make me feel uneasy but to be honest, i would not be where i am today if i didn’t take risks. Starting a business was a huge risk that i kept going back and forth about for almost a year. The push that made me make that decision was that i didn’t want to live with that “what if” feeling in the back of my head. If taking that risk were to lead to failure, then i would be content with the fact that i tried rather than not taking the risk. Read more>>

Sabrina Lassegue | SAG Actress and Filmmaker

I think the risks I have taken have paid off, but of course there have been times I fell on my face. I took a chance on myself at 17 years old and went to a performing arts college for acting and moved to NYC. I then moved to LA to finish school at 18 and wound up taking risks applying for auditions and work while I was out there. I found myself taking leaps of faith and always willing to get out of my comfort zone for roles and learning experiences. I had the opportunity to dive into film production and writing while in acting school because of those risks. I remember thinking I was never going to get into different programs or jobs on a set because it was so rare to see women who look like me, let alone young women. I was out in the world at 19, got signed as an actress after I graduated and I’ve since had so many opportunities because I was willing to take risks. I was definitely never fearless, I always had fear and still do and there are times I make the wrong decisions, work with the wrong people, or mess up when directing, but I learn from my mistakes. Read more>>

Natey | Musician

I owe almost the entirety of what I’ve become and inherited to risk taking. In my younger years, the risks that I took may have come from a very naive mindset, but I’m almost envious of how shamelessly brave I was because it set me up with all of the opportunities that I have now. For example, right out of High School I moved from Silver Spring, MD to Los Angeles, CA to pursue entertainment. The idea of that leap came so naturally to me because even if I wasn’t sure exactly how I wanted it to pan out, I knew that LA was the place for me to do it. Looking back at it now, it has become difficult to see the logic in that decision with how competitive and relentless this city can be, but I am just so grateful that the younger me aspired enough to lead without any doubt. Now, anytime I hit a creative plateau or road bump I try to convince myself to take a new risk; to feel uncomfortable again, because I am now certain that those moments are what brew our greatest qualities. Read more>>

Charles J. Jones | Spiritual Metaphysical Author and Latin Country Music Recording Artist

Risk is the necessary component in all of creation. Risk is the first step building block because without some level of risk, nothing can really happen. There are 2 quotes that have been embedded in my psyche which might define my life and the topic of risk. The first quote is: “Sometimes the biggest risk is taking no risk at all”. I truly believe that. How many times do we encounter people who always like to “play it safe”, only to have their lives pass them by and then they are only left with regrets? No thanks! The only thing one can take with them when they pass is their experiences, thus without taking any risks in life, whether it be in business, personal or romantic, your experiences will be very few and far in between. At least the good ones that is. The second quote is “Fortune favors the bold.” The second quote to me, exemplifies the topic of risk. Being “bold” often comes with taking risks. In my opinion, one begets the other. Usually people who often take risks, have a different mindset than most. They are usually the entrepreneurs, the artists, the creative ones, and the mavericks of the world. T Read more>>

Stephanie Korski | Creative Producer, Editor, Graphic Designer & Photographer

My golden rule: if you’re afraid of an amazing opportunity because you don’t think you can do it, just say yes. Many of the best experiences in my career have come from taking a risk, for saying yes to an opportunity that I didn’t think I was creative enough to do: photography, cinematography, editing, graphic design… the list goes on. I learned to trust myself by looking back at my history: how many times have I overcome something that I didn’t think I would? How many times have I surprised myself by what I was able to accomplish? What are some skills that I’ve taught myself before and do well? Was there any failure I experienced that didn’t leave me stronger and better for having gone through it? It was a long process. I think many of us are taught to think that we have to be perfect in order to be able to take the next step. Or that we need to be absolutely prepared for any new task that comes our way. When we trust our ability to learn on the go, to think on our feet, we’re able to begin to push through our fear. Positive experiences will then lead to more positive thinking, which in turn leads to more positive experiences, and so on. It’s something we need to unlearn and relearn, and it’s something that anyone can do. Read more>>

Priya Mulvihill | Founder of You Again

I think whether you’re a risk taker or risk adverse is a combination of how you were raised and how you view your potential. I was raised in a very traditional family of Engineers and Accountants. These are two very risk adverse professions, so naturally I grew up fearful or at least uncomfortable with taking risks. Decisions were calculated and put through analytical scrutiny. I appreciated this as it led me to a traditional career path of Accounting as a Certified Public Accountant. I’m confident that starting my career with stability was beneficial and allowed me to gain footing in the professional world at a young age. However, over the years, my mindset has shifted. In my opinion, higher risk yields higher rewards. Stability has a ceiling, whereas risk can yield infinite results, not only financially but also personally (in the form of personal growth). It took me (1) finding my husband who is a risk taker and entrepreneur and (2) transitioning from public accounting to internal finance at start-up companies, to understand the passion, determination, blood, sweat, and tears that goes into starting your own company, and taking that risk. Read more>>

Lily Smith | Opera Singer, Soprano

I am a 23 year old opera singer: risk is akin to my career. What is so risky about singing opera? Well, it’s one big gamble and instead of playing your money, you’re playing your life. How many years are you willing to give to the pursuit in the hopes of one day making it on a big stage? In many ways, this is similar to what professional athletes experience, except that even fewer spots exist at the top. Risk 1: being the odd one. It’s easier to be popular in school as a great soccer player than as an aspiring soprano. The first risk I took was to latch on to this odd passion and decide that people would need to get behind the idea or get lost. Risk 2: giving up any safety net. I decided to apply to only three universities – all amongst the best music programs in the country. No safety schools. I told myself that if I wasn’t accepted to the best programs, there was very little chance I was cut out to make it further down the road, so why delay the deception. Thankfully, I was accepted to Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. Read more>>

Natou Fall | Multi-Disciplinary Artist & Educator

Risk taking is where growth is. In my own practice, I would not be where I am now if I didn’t take on projects that were way out of my comfort zone. I wouldn’t even be an artist today if it wasn’t for making risky decisions like changing my major halfway through school, or moving across the country. Ultimately it about being able to give yourself grace, every risk comes with the possibility of failure, but a failure is just a lesson that needed to be learned. Read more>>

Christina Brinkerhoff | Race Team Manager, Philanthropist

I view risk as opportunity – the pathway to taking myself past my threshold and experience new growth. I have to constantly push myself to find a new edge personally and professionally and that comes with risk but also great reward. In terms of Valkyrie Racing, risk is endemic to every part of our ethos – we are doing extreme racing on every corner of the globe and naturally, risk is braided into every fiber of that. Read more>>

Matthew Reisman | Designer

I think my viewpoints on risk have constantly changed throughout my life and different experiences. Initially risk was grand, often unwelcome and always associated with a sense of fear. We’re always taught that with risk comes the opportunity to fail. However throughout many risk taking experiences I’ve learned that risk can be simplistic and more about effort than anything else. I would overlook the concept that failure also has elements of success, learning and growth potential. Personally I find that both personal and professional risk seem run parallel; it is rare to have one without the other. I would not be the version of myself today (personally or professionally) without overcoming past experiences routed in risk. Read more>>

Natalie Martin | Microblading-Brow Artist

There is always possible risks when starting your own business. The way I’ve always thought is not what can go wrong it is has been what can go right. When starting I gave myself the mindset that there’s no quitting. I had a plan set for all the accepts of my business. Starting off with all my family and friends. After investing so much there was no going back. If I needed more practice I would continue my education. Also, Reading and working with others in the industry has helped mentor me in the right path. Now positive thinking won’t make you successful but dwelling on what May or May not happen sets you back. Doing what I love takes lots of work but 100% worth it. For myself showing my children to work hard on goals and something they love has made taking the risks easier for me to overcome!. Read more>>

Antonio Chavez Trejo | Filmmaker & Entrepeneur

Risk taking: how do you think about risk, what role has taking risks played in your life/career? When you are really driven, we do what we do not because it’s easy, we do it because it’s impossible. This is what I like to tell people when they are afraid of taking risks, and I get it, it is difficult to step out of your safe place, but you must. Filmmaking and in general the entertainment industry is a hard place to try and get in. It is designed to push people away from it. Media is the 4th power all around the world; it makes sense then that those on top of this powerful spot wish to remain there; it is a business at the end of the day and one of the most profitable in the world. Knowing this, taking risks for me is a must as an artist, as a filmmaker and as a business man in this industry. Read more>>

Dr. Beatriz “Betty” Valencia | Politcal Activist/Organizer

As women, we are often told not to take risks- a role reserved for me. These gender roles are pervasive in our society. Often opportunities are missed for fear of taking a risk. I think of risk-taking as part of life. As we develop, we are faced with decisions at all levels. Some of the decisions we make are easier than others. When difficult decisions need to be made, risk-taking helps propel us to do more than we think we can. When I decided to run for office in a historically conservative city, It took significant risks. I became used to the “look” of city council members, and none looked like me, reflected my identities or experiences. It became apparent that I had to step up. With no political experience, I took the risk of being the candidate. At every turn, decisions were made and dependent on strategy and risk. Without risk, the status quo would rarely be shaken. Read more>>

Beata Harju | Actor & Screenwriter

I used to feel like choosing to write and perform — especially in LA, is a very high risk game to get into. High risk and high rewards. At least compared to some more streamlined careers in smaller cities — get a degree, apply for jobs in a market with high demand for recent grads, make a steady salary. But, if we succeed in the arts, we get to do what we love AND have great experiences with some of the most creative minds alive today AND support ourselves. I still decided to do it over and over again, so I guess I enjoy going all in. Of course, events like global pandemics are reminders for all of us that nothing is ever certain. I also luckily had a dear person tell me; “I think you’ll be more stressed as an accountant in Finland than as a freelancer in film and theatre.” I was a accounting and marketing student at a top university in Helsinki, having left my performing arts world in New York behind. Being surrounded by classmates who put in the same amount of hours and passion into finance homework as I did into my films in NYC was very eye-opening. I realized that I’d become a mediocre accountant at best. Read more>>

Parris Edwards | Investor

I’ve always been a Dream chaser as well as a Go-Getter. I don’t like waiting for people. I like to take the initiative to get things done. The way I looked at risk taking .. it’s like school. It’s like you’re taking a jump & you don’t know what’s on the other side. When you jump it could work out in your favor or it could not. If it doesn’t go in your favor at least you learned what NOT to do & now you can prepare for a next go-round. It’s a win/win. I just packed up & moved to LA at 21 with $800 to my name & a dream. I’m a firm believer in the law of attraction & what you place into the universe will come about. You just have to do the work & apart of the work is taking the risks. One thing about me I love not knowing what’s on the other side. That’s the thrill of life. It’s supposed to be fun. Read more>

Tammy Klembith | Writer/Director/Producer

The very nature of filmmaking is risk taking. I can go back even further… way back to college. When all my friends were pursuing programs that would lead to law degrees, and security, I majored in Film and television at NYU. That in and of itself was a risk. I don’t think one selects a career in entertainment, instead, I believe it chooses you. The love for what you’re doing needs to outweigh the struggle and challenges that come with it. When I flashforward to where I’m at now and reflect on all the steps it took to get me to this point, I realize it was all a risk. Each and every short comedy sketch was done on a wing and a prayer. I self-funded, (risk), and kept at it until I finally realized it was time to create something at a higher level. HOUSE OF REDEMPTION (2019) was my first psychological horror short film. It has received 24 wins and 2 nominations. Read more>>

Yoonha Verse | Recording Artist & Singer-songwriter

I take calculated risks and always try to push myself to be more risk taking than not. I think about what’s the worst thing that can happen and usually, the “worst outcome” is nothing devastating that I can’t handle. I refuse to move based on fear and personally think it’s way more fun to live this way. The biggest risk I’ve taken so far was quitting my 9-5 and moving to LA to pursue music, and I don’t regret it one bit. We’ll see where it takes me!. Read more>>

86 Joon | Corporate Hustler

This is exactly what risk is… Risk is associated with fear, and fear becomes not trying. For those who don’t know me, I’m not a thrill seeker when it comes to jumping out of planes or even flying for that matter even though I do it a lot, it scares me. Breaking fear is breaking a barrier and in order for me to get to the place I needed to I had to take risks(what I feared) in order to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish. Most peoples fears are associated with pleasing people but that’s never been my goal. I fear the next level, and the next level means climbing higher or jumping from a height I have never been to and the other side of that is death or abundance to me and that’s the only odds I play with these days. Read more>>

Wesley Kwok | Managing Partner

I think that there is a fundamental misunderstanding of how to measure and contextualize risk. Generally speaking, the younger we are, the higher our short-term risk tolerance is – yet, the vast majority of people more often take the “safer path” of going to college, getting a safe degree, locking themselves in to a decades-long career that is oftentimes not fulfilling – and while these decisions feel safe and responsible, they carry long-term risk that we tend to ignore. We fail to realize that we have a massive amount of risk-tolerance in the early stages of our life and career – when we are already accustomed to a college budget of ramen noodles and value packs; have the time and the energy to spend in whatever “risky” endeavour we care about; and have very little room to fall and next to nothing to lose. But we still tend to choose the lower-risk route, simply because it is in our nature to take the path of least resistance. We sell our time – which is a non-renewable resource – for money, which compared to time, is relatively easy to make more of. Read more>>

Chris Rorrer | Musician, Performer, and Composer

Without taking countless risks, I would have never decided to pursue music professionally in the first place. Some wildly skilled artists prefer to not rely on their music-making to support themselves financially. For me, to take the music to the level of focus that I feel I am capable of, I needed to make it my day job so that I could be immersed in it. I decided to go for my Master of Music at California State University, Long Beach, so I could be better prepared for a music career and receive networking and collaborative opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise encountered out in the world. When COVID-19 first hit in the states, I moved back up to Oregon from the Long Beach area and finished up my master’s degree from my family’s home up there. In August 2020 I moved back down to continue what I had started in Southern California and found some session work and teaching jobs that allowed me to stay down here and continue my musical ventures as intensely as possible despite the situation. It was still not easy – I felt like I was starting all over again in Southern California. Read more>>

Ana Teresa Rivera | Illustrator & Character Designer

Moving to Los Angeles and leaving everyone that I knew was a great risk for me. Surprisingly, the environment wasn’t too much of a cultural shock as was being on my own. I remember my first day of class at Concept Design Academy; I wasn’t sure how to enter the classroom, how to engage with others or if I was even welcomed in the classroom. It was the same living with roommates I hadn’t met before moving; they didn’t know me and I didn’t know them but we were going to share spaces from now on. I had never lived away from my parents house, but it was rather the silence in the apartment what impacted me, specially during quarantine. The fact that I had no family on this side of the continent was quite risky. It never crossed my mind until a year later, but because I was determined to reach the next level of my education and start a career, it blinded me of everything else. Read more>>

Bradley Banks | Urban CCA Singer/Songwriter

I think risk-taking is a vital part of the process. A lot of things I do while scared. Being scared is a moment in time but once you take the plunge to do something the feeling tends to flee. Especially in the music industry taking risks gets noticed. I took a risk moving to LA, with no job lined up I just knew it was something I needed to do. Now 4 years later and things are exactly where I would like them to be but things are definitely on the upswing. That’s the thing about faith, you have to just move when you feel the spirit prompting you to no matter how big the risk. That was a huge lesson I had to learn, do it, and ask questions later when they need to be addressed. I can plan all day but faith without works is dead. Yes write your vision but work on it no matter how big the risk. Read more>>

Rebecca Flam | founder + ceo at rembucha

Starting a health food brand ahead of a global pandemic- talk about risk! I’ve always been attracted to projects that disrupt industries and create lasting impact in people’s lives, and nothing felt more natural or impactful than for me to launch rembucha and share this functional beverage with the world. Still, pursuing this goal throughout the pandemic wasn’t easy. As a self-funded small business, I’ve had to make hard decisions on where I can spend to grow my brand. But in those moments that felt most risky, I knew that the core values of my business- education, transparency, conscious consumerism- were important enough to push for. Navigating growth in the last year I was lucky enough to reach out to my community for help, whether that was encouraging them to buy, asking questions about business growth, or even looking for feedback on our product. Now, we are once more looking to our community for help, and we know that we have a business worth believing in!. Read more>>

Matt Lomeo | Musical artist

In music, the biggest risks we take generally involve putting oneself “out there.” Namely, locating ourselves in the right rooms and in the right cities to grow creatively and professionally. I come from a small city in upstate New York that few people tend to leave. I’ve moved cross-country twice. Once to Memphis, TN where I became a mainstay on Beale St. playing the Blues for a couple years, and then again to LA. Looking back, there have been so many pivotal moments in my musical history that started with walking into a place as a stranger, finding my way on stage, and making that first impression. In more than a few cases, I’ve eventually become the regular at these spots or the one holding the gig. The first bar I walked into on Beale, later became my house gig. Ireland’s 32 is one of the first venues I visited in LA. The Acoustic Jam on Tuesdays eventually fell to me. Through Ireland’s I have become part of an extended family of Americana and related-genre musicians here in LA that is without equal. Read more>>

Tommy Zuko | Artist, Producer, Audio Engineer, Vibe Curator

Taking risks has been a part of my career from the jump. It’s all about if you’re willing to take a risk, that’s what separates those that make something happen and those that wait around for something to happen. With risk comes fear, but also reward. Once you block that fear out and take the plunge you can’t be stopped. Read more>>

Lisa Foiles | Actor & Author

I am the type of person who will have a near panic attack in the grocery store because I don’t know if the avocados I’m about to purchase are ripe enough. The thought of making an incorrect purchase will drive me into madness! What I’m getting at is that, in normal, everyday circumstances, I am NOT a risk taker. I don’t like rushing into things if I don’t have every ounce of information beforehand. That being said, I’m the opposite when it comes to my career. The same girl who was afraid to make a $2 avocado mistake picked up and moved to California within a week of deciding she wanted to get back into the acting industry! (That girl was me, just, you know, to clarify.) I had no apartment, no job, no real plan, but I believed in my talent and taking the risk was an easy decision. I’m a complicated weirdo, I know! But taking career risks has always paid off. Successful or not, I learned from every experience. Read more>>

Jhoanna Belfer | Bookstore Owner & Entrepreneur

Taking risks, for me, is a necessary part of feeling alive and challenged in my career and in my life. When I don’t feel like I’m taking a risk, when I feel too comfortable and safe, I know that it’s time to push myself to do something different, to expand into a new role, seek new avenues for growth, or take on a new project. That’s not to say that I blindly take risks with my career or my life. I’m a fairly cautious person who is very attuned to the possibilities of failure and things going wrong. I manage the risk by doing lots of research before I undertake a new project or role, by asking for advice from those who have gone before me, and by taking small steps to try out my idea. Read more>>

Taryn Mitsunaga | Entrepreneur, Founder of Taryn + Co, Event Company

Risk. Good ol’ risk! Living your best life has risk written all over it but specifically business is what comes to mind first. There is no way I would have reached any success without taking risks. I believe every single person in the world has a purpose (and the definition of risk will mean something different to each individual). Yet it is still one of the non negotiables that you have to sign up for again + again. There is no same road map to success but in order to have a chance to live out your dreams or the life you want, it requires you to constantly get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The longer I am on this (entrepreneurship/life) “journey” and reflect, I realize that all of the pivotal moments of gain had not been reached without some sort of risk taken. Creating a business + entrepreneurship truly continues to be such an inside + personal job. I believe that what actually matters beyond the “risk” itself, is your intention + the belief of it working out for you that ultimately drives the outcome. Read more>>

Sophia Gouirand | Baker & Owner, Chochi’s Sweets, LLC

Risk taking is what brought me here today. It pushed me to leave a stable, but unfulfilling career in law enforcement and pursue my passion of baking which led me to start my own business, Chochi’s Sweets. Risk taking keeps me on my toes and it helps me to push myself outside my comfort zone, challenging myself to do things I never imagined I would do to better myself. Read more>>

Brianna Polonia | Photographer

I feel people entrap themselves in thought of how risk is dangerous. When in fact, I feel that it can becomes an insecurity. People are afraid to jump into a choice or a decision. When it comes down to anything and everything, it’s “risky”, but the beauty in risk if the benefits and the lessons. If you do things with faith it will work out. If you take the risk to quit your job and travel the country. How much are you risking? If you invest $1,000 in stocks. How much are you risking? Risks have always been a personal favorite. You think of your pros and cons, then go with it. You listen your intuition, then you go with it. You heard advice, then you go with it. The beauty is if you fail, you use those mistakes to only make you better. Trust in your process. I have risked careers, gigs, friends, money, and it always has helped propel me forward. Read more>>

Russ Taylor | Vocals/Guitar

Heard somewhere along the way that the most successful people in the world take about two to three big risks a year. As for everybody else, well, turns out that they also take two to three big risks a year. The point is, if the risk is unavoidable anyway, then anything you’re interested in doing is worth a solid shot! In our case, if we made music strictly just to turn a profit, then starting a Psychedelic Grunge band during a reigning era of Trap and EDM would probably be the most risky endeavor one could think of but here we are carefree because we just think the work needs to be done. If you truly believe in what you are doing, it doesn’t feel much like a risk at all. Read more>>