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.

Noa Mazar | Actress & Singer/Songwriter

It’s no secret that a risk can be thought of as a negative thing. We classify adventurous people as risk takers and ones that dot take risks as “safe”.
Honestly, not one day goes by without a risk taken. Getting in a car and driving is a risk. Turning on the oven is a risk. Why apply for the job if there’s a chance I won’t get it? And why fall in love I there is a risk I might get hurt? sometimes those are risks we take into consideration, but generally they become part of our daily lives. We don’t even realize they’re there. When I started changing my point of view and making “Taking Risks” my priority I actually started moving forward. Read more>>

Caslin Rose | Actress & Host/Creator of “Always Acting Up” podcast & blog

Risk taking of any kind can be scary at first. You’re moving out of your comfort zone from the known to the unknown. There are a few things I take into consideration to determine if the risk is worth taking. 1) Regret. Let’s say your lifelong dream is to invent a new product. You have this idea and it’s brilliant, but you’re too scared to put yourself and your product out into the world for fear of rejection or failure. Five years later someone else comes up with “your idea” and it is a huge success and everyone loves it. How would you feel about this? Woulda, should, coulda. Read more>>

Dana Penenberg | Holistic Birth Coach, Craniosacral Practitioner

Risk has quite literally saved my life— and allowed me to be a catalyst for healing in others. When I had a condition in my teens that conventional medicine had no real answers for, I felt I had no choice but to risk leaving that system. I am alive today because I did. When I fell ill with Chronic Lyme disease 15 years ago, I was misdiagnosed with multiple other conditions and only given the solution to use antidepressants and painkillers. I had a deep conviction about root cause healing and felt I was just offered temporary band-aids. My mother and I did our own research, which led us to find the positive test results for Lyme disease. Read more>>

B.J. Minor | Artist (They, Them, Theirs)

I have some super exciting things coming up and they wouldn’t be happening if I didn’t take risks and bet on myself. I’m a non-binary artist and in the acting world queer and trans artists are often overlooked for roles; we’re judged on who we are as people and how we present ourselves rather than what we’re capable of as storytellers. I’m so excited to share with you that I have a major project coming out on Hulu. There’s a Mike Tyson biopic coming out on Hulu starring awesome actors such as Trevante Rhodes and Harvey Keitel, directed by the great Craig Gillespie, and little ole me is portraying teenage Mike Tyson in it! Read more>>

Valerie Thompkins | Author and Publisher

Risk taking has been monumental to my success. Writing my children’s book was the easy part, but putting myself out into the world in the way that I have, is a huge risk. I tapped into a new skillset and began creating content to offer awareness, and it went viral. In an instant, my passion project was broadcasted to my colleagues, childhood friends, and strangers across the world. Social media exposure can bring an outside audience to your platform, and I learned that not everyone has a positive reaction to diverse and inclusive children’s books. At the same time, I have parents searching high and low for a book specifically like mine. Read more>>

Jay Saffi | R&B Artist

You win some and you lose some. Taking risk builds character and makes you move smarter. How much hustle do you have in you? How bad do you want it? If you want it that bad how far are you willing to go to make it happen.. There’s been times where decisions have to be made & times where you don’t have it, but you make it happen. Read more>>

Shashi Mostafa | Founder & CEO | Mostafa Productions

Taking risks keeps life interesting and progressive, and it’s only brought me closer to my goals despite not feeling that way all the time. I think the more you trust your ability to be resilient, the more willing you’ll be to take higher risks, and I’ve actively developed that trust in myself over the past 8 years. I grew up with traditional immigrant South Asian parents who wanted me to become a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. Instead, I became a filmmaker and entrepreneur. With a ton of criticism throughout the process up until I got my first job in the industry and started making a decent living from it, I powered through the looming doubt that the time and money dedicated to developing these skills would have a return. Read more>>

Landon LaRue | Writer & Director, Digital Marketing for Theatrical Entertainment

I probably say “you gotta risk it for the biscuit” at least a few times a week. My philosophy is we know the outcome of a situation if we don’t take the risk and if the reward isn’t what we want, weigh the worst against the reward (I probably ask “what’s the worst that could happen?” every day). When I was younger, I wanted to become a Supreme Court Justice – even going as far as becoming proficient in Latin in order to make legalese easier to digest. I knew what the path would be stretching from debate team to law school to internships and pro bono cases all the way to the judge’s chamber. One summer, I interned at the United Nations and The Council on Foreign Relations and being in New York City, I was surrounded by art, fashion, and film. Read more>>

Roxanne Schwartz | Food Enthusiast | Founder of Grubshots

We have to be willing to constantly evolve and that evolution also involves risk. I moved to Los Angeles from New York in 2019, away from all that was familiar and comfortable. It wasn’t easy, and it still isn’t. But taking risks builds resilience and independence, and the move has absolutely done that for me. Relocating has opened my eyes up to new opportunities and new connections. It’s also allowed me to let go of the idea that progress in life is linear. You make the path by walking it. If something is scary or feels risky to you, take that as a sign to try it. Read more>>

Anna Penenberg | Author & Healer

I’m one who has always been an observer. I was the middle child. The mediator, the quiet one. When I think about taking risks, I think of writing and publishing my book.. A palm reader once told me that I would write a book, and all I could think was. . . “What about?” I had no idea what grand challenges would occur later in my life. Risk taking offers us opportunities to grow. The challenges in my life have inspired my learning. I have survived the risk of failure many times in the roles of single mom to two daughters, as a caretaker for a child with chronic illness, and becoming an author. Read more>>

WeAreKass | Musicians

When we think of the idea of risk, it’s not just one thing that we put on the line. The idea of taking a risk can often hold us back, but we have realized that taking risks is part of growing and becoming our truest selves. We push ourselves to find out more about who we are and our art. Sometimes that means being more vulnerable. Vulnerability can be a bit challenging when coming from a family that does not express themselves in general. It can be hard at times to feel proud of the art created. There is also the risk of sounding too similar or too different from music that has already been created. Read more>>

Sunny A Atema | Musician, Magician and Painter

To actualize courage we take risks Courage is demonstrated not imagined
I love courage It is a quality that lights me up when I am in the presence of it
The finest expression of courage is a sacred robe worn by a vulnerable truth To be vulnerable risks persecution And often finds it At live shows I revel in the missed notes or variations from the recorded version It allows me to feel human, to know we are live and alive Read more>>

Denise Weyhrich | Installation artist & curator, retired university professor

I love risks! Life as adventure is so very exciting. My personality is one that does not choose repetition when it is exhilarating to explore the new and different. Following established recipes is not my thing, especially when there are fresh veggies in the garden, for what is available and fresh is so much more desirable! The same is how I see the artworks. What is fresh, what is happening, what is available creates new directions. How can I turn my back on the current crisis and not react to that need through artworks? Yes it is risky, uncomfortable, but holding my breath I do jump in. I must risk. (My husband has been in for a wild ride from the get go.) Read more>>

Edward-Vincent M. Bantasan | Professional Beatboxer

The way I think about risk is that if you don’t take one, you waste one. In a sense where you’d never know when the opportunity will present itself again. Choosing to become a Professional Beatboxer as a career choice was a risk in itself-unheard of back in my high school days and especially in a Filipino Household. With only a handful of beatboxers existing and a couple of active forums, main one being (Humanbeatbox.com)- I knew that the pursuit was going to be an interesting one. The first real risk I took was competing in my High School Talent show as a freshman. I was new to the high school, quiet kid, and shy. Although, I did not place I did receive recognition from around the school. I knew at an early age that I could make this into a career. Read more>>

Matthew Eberle | Filmmaker

I believe risk taking is in a lot of ways intrinsic to success, and something most creatives continuously face. Pursuing an artistic career can feel incredibly risky due to the immense amount of vulnerability that can go along with it. Each time I write a script or shoot a film, I’m putting a piece of myself into that film and asking any number of strangers, “Hey, I think this is good, what do you think?” Am I nervous every time I put a piece of work out into the world to be analyzed, interpreted and reviewed… sure. But it can be both rewarding and exhilarating at the same time. Many people will doubt you and a lot of times you may even doubt yourself, but the risk of a creative career is trusting your instincts. Read more>>

Bettina Moss | Content creator in the fiction and non-fiction world

Risk taking is an endlessly uncomfortable state of being. The reason it is important to take risks is because when you function in a state of uncertainty, you are by default in a sensitized state of mind. This sensitivity leads you to always assess what you are doing and how you are moving forward. It’s the experience of being in a state of risk that is almost more important than whether or not the risk pays off. Note I said ‘almost more important’. Risk equals hope and without these two things we would never accomplish anything! Read more>>

Nadya Lambreva | Artist and Creative

Risking and getting out of my comfort zone have played a huge role in my life and professional path! At an early age, I decided that I wanted to have courage and expose myself to the world and its endless surprises and opportunities. I started traveling at an early age and at twenty-three, my homeland Bulgaria became small for my future vision, so I decided to find wider horizons. Started traveling across the globe by myself to pursue my passions and the life I would be excited to wake up to. I guess being a risk taker has always been in my blood. During my travels I worked in the fashion and event industry and in parallel I’ve been developing my craft. Read more>>

Rehima Jordan | Professional dancer, fitness professional, and social media influencer expanding her horizons!

Let’s rephrase the question from the perspective of always betting on yourself! And be your own badass cheerleader while doing it! As an artist in the entertainment industry, who uprooted herself from her hometown to pursue her dreams, I know how much of the right kind of audacity it takes to believe in yourself from a very emotional and spiritual place! I am a Godly woman and have had to truly understand that what’s meant for you won’t miss you. Being daring has helped me immensely personally and in my career as well! Not to mention! Its helped surround me by amazing, high vibrational people because of their ability to be great risk takers. They constantly help me grow into the woman that I want to be. Read more>>

Adriana Vargas | Owner of Alivio Wellness & Colon Hydrotherapist

I’ve never been afraid to take risks, they are what make life exciting, but sometimes all you need is a big push to take steps outside of your comfort zone and life definitely kept pushing me towards opening Alivio Wellness. I became a Colon Hydrotherapist to better understand my own digestive issues and to help & encourage others on their own wellness journey. When I first got certified, I was working full-time in sales in the tourism industry where I had built a solid career of over 8 years, had great benefits, and the opportunity to enjoy many perks, including travel. Read more>>

Simone Grooms | Actress & Producer

I’ve always considered myself a risk taker. I’ve always found myself never afraid to do anything , or to fail. I truly think failing is a part of life. You know how people say “If you don’t try you’ll never know the outcome.” My mom taught me that and that has always stayed in the back of my mind. Read more>>

khamal . | multi-disciplinary artist

Growing up the idea of making good decisions was instilled in me and often times the more traveled and what appeared to be more stable path was always looked up favorably within my upbringing. Unfortunately by proxy the idea of taking risks and investment in oneself was frowned upon not just within my own family but within my community as well. It took me until having a near death experience related to a congenital heart defect (that I have lived with for years) that the necessity to take risks became much more prominent within my experience. Read more>>

Christopher Yungchriisbeats | Music Producer/Actor/Musician/Business Owner

I think risks are a major factor in how you become successful. Sometimes playing it too safe will never get you where you want to be. For instance, in the past, I would definitely overthink things and have thoughts about “well what if this thing doesn’t work out.” About two years ago, I had a great job that most people would honestly love to have, great benefits, great pay, 401K, the works. But, I knew deep down it was not what I saw myself doing long term. The whole “working a normal 9-5 job” just did not fulfill me. Read more>>

Jon Simon | Creator

I think of Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilych where he asks, “What if I lived my life all wrong?” Therefore, you must take risks in life or suffer the pangs of regret. I never want that feeling. I do believe in calculated risks that involve doing homework to make a reasoned and wise decision. Read more>>

Jillian Fortner | College Student Journalist & Actress

Taking risks and stepping outside of my comfort zone has led me to the best opportunities and experiences in my life/career! It’s not always been easy to step outside of a place of familiarly and comfort. There’s always the possibility of dealing with rejection or failure when you put yourself out there. I’ve always been motivated by the quote, “I rather have a life of ‘oh wells’ than a life of ‘what ifs’.” Even if you take the risk and it doesn’t work out, it will always be beneficial to your growth. It has helped me realize my true desires and has built my resilience as a person. Read more>>

Jessica Reneé | Owner | D’Vine Designs

When I think about risk, I always revert back to the saying: “When I try, I fail. But when I trust, I succeed.” I know that no matter how big the risk, I have faith in knowing that as long as I trust in God, everything will happen as it is meant to happen. And I will always succeed. No matter what the success looks like. It actually took me a long time to realize that success has many faces when taking a risk or a leap of faith. I took my first big risk when I moved by myself from the West Coast to NYC to further my career in Visual Merchandising. Read more>>

Nikki Witkin | Wife, Mom, Owner of Yard Sign of Mine & Founder of Yardsignables

I’m a very adventurous person by nature. I’m always up for a last minute road trip across the country, camping out of our car or sudden change in careers. I honestly believe you have one shot at this life and you really have the seize the opportunity to get it right for YOU. Take the chances that come your way. With Yard Sign of Mine and now Yardsignables I went with my heart and really took advantage of a simple idea I had to celebrate BIG! I say, say YES to change and experiences! Read more>>

Timothy, Mory Amankwah, Diakite | CEOs of High Roller Club

We strongly believe that risks are necessary for achieving our desired goals. We view risk taking as an important aspect for success in our personal lives and business because each time we release new clothing, we are taking risks. There is always the thought of uncertainty but no matter the outcome, the process along the way helps us grow and teaches us to be resilient. Read more>>

Paul Sinacore | Owner of Paul Sinacore Casting, CSA Casting Director, Producer, SAG Actor, Pro Drummer

The hardest thing for us to do as human beings is to change. We are creatures of habit. However we must grow, we must move forward, we must attempt to self-actualize, we must attempt to become the best versions of ourselves. In order to do this it requires us to change. Change requires taking risks as you step from the known into the unknown or as we would say in anthropology, from the familiar to the strange. The goal is to make the strange familiar or the unknown known. What we may not understand is that our biggest risk is the one that we don’t take. The one where you are on your death bed saying to yourself, “I wish I would’ve…” It was Thomas Jefferson who once said, “With great risk comes great reward.” Read more>>

Makenzie Marzluff | Conscious Creative & Entrepreneur

Taking risks has played a huge part in my life & entrepreneurial career. I feel that it’s impossible to be a creative or entrepreneur without taking risks! Starting any venture in the first place is a risk, but without trying how will you ever know if you’d succeed? For me personally, I have a pretty healthy relationship with what I call ‘doing what scares the shit out of me.’ Read more>>

Julia “Editz” Brock | Freelance Filmmaker

I think the first thing that pops into people’s heads when they hear the word risk is: “danger”. It’s almost always seen as a bad thing – ‘this venture has risks’. That’s “risky”, you shouldn’t do that. I tend to think about risk as: there is something huge in front of me to gain. And of course, none of the miraculous things in life are going to come without the risk! There’s a quote I love that I’ve seen circulating around Facebook, that asks, in contrast to “what if it all goes terribly wrong”, — “What if it all goes right?”. Read more>>