There is a wealth of academic research that suggests that differences in risk appetite are at the heart of differences in career and business trajectories.  We wanted to go beyond the theory and ask real people from the community about their perspectives and experiences with risk and risk taking.

Tatiana Turan | Actor, Entertainment Producer, Pilates Instructor & Studio Owner

I think too many people shy away from, even just the word, RISK. But I have found it to be an imperative part of success. You have to think big and do big, in order to get big. That means taking risks, which I have done multiple times in my work life. I do understand the need to feel supported and grounded in your decision to take a risk, but I also understand that without big actions, you play small and stay in a “small pond”. Much of my risk taking has been about the start of something, in my case, businesses. Read more>>

Orel De La Mota | TV/Film Actor

“If you don’t jump your parachute will never open”. Risk taking is the only gateway to the other side. In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take and for me, well… you miss 100% percent of the shots you never take. So my whole life has evolved over me taking chances on myself and I fueling my risk taking by defining my why behind all I do. If you don’t know your ‘why” you’ll never take risks. Coming to Hollywood all the way from Dominican Republic with nothing but a few dollars in my account and a big dream has by far been one of the biggest risks I’ve ever taken. Read more>>

Maggie Stoll | Creative Director & Burke Mercantile Owner

I think about risk, for me, in terms of passion and instinct. I am a tried and true Capricorn to my core, so most of my life decisions are thoughtfully calculated and planned out. However, when I find things I am truly, deeply passionate about, that is when I find myself willing to take risks. Perhaps because my passions give me the most confidence. But the few big risks I have taken in my life have truly blessed me with the life I have. The first, when I took a risk of moving to California from Ohio with just what would fit in my car with a couple hundred bucks and no real plan. Read more>>

Rita Shukla | Singer & Actress

Risks are important in order to get your life moving so you don’t get stuck on the same patterns and lifestyle that you had before. All changes are difficult to adapt in the beginning, but as long as you’re following your dreams and what you believe, and it’s a change that is going to improve you to be the best version of yourself, then it’s necessary. In my life, taking the risk of leaving everything behind in Brazil: family, friends, and good financial stability, in order to come to LA to study Musical Theatre, was the best choice I could’ve made. Read more>>

John Waiblinger | Queer Artist

Risk taking has been a huge part of my life and career(s), sometimes for the good, and other times with very dangerous results. I would say, for me, the most important aspect to consider in taking risks is the motivation involved, and a measured perspective on what one is trying to accomplish. As a gay man coming of age in the late 60s and early 70s the biggest risk I’ve had to consider is the consequences of being openly myself, and figuring out what that actually meant to me. Read more>>

Serra Isik | Designer & Creator

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” — Anais Nin This quote probably the best thing to describe how we approach risk taking. We took a big risk when we leave our life behind in Turkey and came to Los Angeles with just enough money, thrill and lots of dreams. We try to concentrate on what we do best and in our case that is creating, designing and rethinking stuff. This new choice brought a lot of risks and rewards in our lives. Read more>>

Christa Shelton | Certified Personal Trainer & Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach

The greatest risk is not taking a risk. From a young age, I always believed that there was greater risk in NOT taking a risk. My greatest motivator in life has been to not live one of regret based on fear of the unknown. So with that philosophy always guiding me, I’ve taken my fair share of risks in my life and career. The first huge risk came after college when I decided to move to Los Angeles from the east coast. Another came some years later, when I decided to move to NYC, since it was always on my bucket list to live there. Read more>>

Lamson Nguyen | Entrepreneur

I believe taking risks and failing is all part of the process that leads to success. Loses are lessons that give you the experience and knowledge to propel you forward. I learned early on that one of the biggest risks is not spend your life doing the things you want based the bet you can buy the freedom to do it later. My will to succeed was far greater than my fear of failing because I did not want to live with the regret of what things could have been without even attempting to try. A goal of mine be in a financially stable position that allows me to pay things forward to my loved ones and my community. Read more>>

Patti Negri | Psychic Medium & Speaker/Author TV Personality.

Risk! Just the word brings up all sorts of thoughts AND emotions! I LOVE risk. I HATE risk. I EMBRACE risk. I AVOID risk… But, it all depends on what kind of risk we are talking about. I do not personally advocate the form of risk that can end in death, illness or loss of the material necessities of life. You wont see me Climbing Mount Everest or Playing Russian Roulette. But I do relish and even seek out the kind of risk that puts me to the test of being my best… of forcing me to give my all — at the risk of falling down, embarrassing myself, momentary failure or ridicule. Read more>>

David Hutton | Hotelier

You have to take risks, if you never take risks you will never accomplish your dreams. We all have been faced with decisions in life where one option is more riskier than the other. I am a thinker, and if time allows I like to sleep on my options so I am more comfortable when making them. Sometimes there is no time to sleep on a decision as one needs to be made in the moment. I consider myself a risk taker, and would say for the most part I am where I am because I have taken risks. Read more>>

K’era Morgan | Artist & Textile Designer

Like most individuals, I was brought up to believe that a risk will either generate a big win or a major loss. When thinking about a risk we are programmed to think about the outcome, the result however, as I’ve moved through my life and career I’ve had to look at risk on a deeper level and what I’ve learned is that regardless of the intended outcome, there is always something to gain, to learn, to understand. Some might say, going to art school or switching careers and leaving behind a well-paid. Read more>>