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.

Courtney Housner | Hair Stylist/ Makeup Artist

I view risk as something new that you’re willing to try, knowing that there’s a potential for failure. And that’s exactly how I started my career. I left a career, a clientele, and a life that I had already built in another state just to move to CA and start at the bottom again. Read more>>

Sacha Storto | Dancer / Choreographer / Pilates Instructor

I always thought of risk as an existential part of my life. It has been the fuel of many of my decisions personally and in my career. Anytime my guts tell me that I am not longer fulfilled in a place or environment I always take the risk of reinventing myself somewhere else or changing the scenery around me. Read more>> 

Ashton Burns | DJ Entertainer/Influencer

As far as taking risks. I look at everything first as commit first and worry about the rest later because if you don’t sometimes you can get lost into your thought and you will end up not taking a risk. Therefore , I’ll rather commit first and worry about everything else when the time comes. Read more>>

Delilah Kujala | Voiceover Actor

Risk taking has set my career on a whole new level. Back in September of 2021, I came to the decision to quit my day job of 7 years to pursue Voiceover full time. It was earlier that year that I had created a professional home studio and had made more income than I’ve ever had in my adult life, all from Voiceover jobs. Read more>>

Leon Zai | Singer / Songwriter

Risk-taking has honestly been vital in everything I’ve accomplished so far, and I think it is in most people’s careers. to this day I think the biggest risk I took was leaving home at 18 to pursue music. Read more>>

Sydney Juno” Flanagan | Wardrobe Stylist”

When I think about risk the thought of danger never crosses my mind. I believe taking a risk is anything that may be a challenge in one’s life that one fears to accomplish. The biggest risk I’ve taken was buying a one-way flight to Los Angeles, in the middle of a pandemic, to follow my dreams. Read more>>

Beth Stephano | Fine Artist

I have always seen and taken the risk. I felt that with taking a chance you will have a great gain on the other side. It is important to succeeding to another place or another level. Then comes all the opportunities that you could not have even imagined at the beginning of taking that first step. Read more>>

James Welsh | Actor / Business Owner

I started taking risks at a young age. I started a yard work business when I was 14, a painting company when I was 21. I knew that I would pursue a career in the entertainment industry from the time I was bit by the acting bug when I was in the play The Wizard of Oz in high school. Read more>>

Michael Nnebe | Cosmic Counselor & CEO

As an entrepreneur the most important thing I can do is take risks. Nothing is free and everything in life incurs an opportunity cost and so taking risks is the reason that I have reached the success I have and continue to experience. Read more>>

Kira Morrison | Vocalist

Every decision in life has a risk – some bigger than others. Every move we make is assessing risk and the worth of that risk. I do believe there are risks in the life that aren’t worth it, but I think some of the most beautiful and meaningful things we experience in life are the result of taking risks. Read more>>

Naquela Pack | Mindful Tea Shop owner

Naturally I am cautious with risks however, throughout my career and starting a business I have learned there is value in taking calculated risks. I truly would not be where I am if I had played it safe and sat on the sidelines. Read more>>

Jonathan Romppel | Musician

I think risk taking is unavoidable and essential when it comes to realizing what you want to do in life. Of course, how great the risk depends on everyone’s individual goals and plans for themselves, but especially in achieving a career as a creative, taking risks is gonna have to become a regular thing. Read more>>

Lisa Cazes | Producer

I spent many years of my life afraid of taking risks. Let’s be real, taking risks isn’t easy. It takes courage. It takes guts. As much as you wish for something to happen, making the big move requires a lot of strength and determination. When came the time to decide what I wanted to study, I chose a safe road: law school. Read more>>

Morgan O’Sullivan | Actor, Writer, Director and Artist, (they/he)

Nothing risked, nothing gained; I really do believe that. I also believe in balance wherever possible, and taking time to make healthy decisions. However, if life has taught me anything thus far, it’s been that at some point you just have to jump. Read more>>

Mollie Engelhart | Restauranteur, Regenerative Farmer, Mother & Chef

I believe that risk is an inevitable part of life and without being willing to take the risk of failing you will never accomplish anything. Read more>>

Akeisha & Daijelle Howard | Founders of HerTruSelf

When I hear about the word risk I always smile to myself, because I am only here as the result of the many risks I took to start this business. I have learned that to be successful in life we have to take the necessary measures to make that happen. Read more>>

Jazz Bandicoot | Expressionist

Taking risks has only let me know I’m strong enough to carry what’s on the other side of the risk, and if I don’t cross that threshold, I’ll be standing in fear forever. Read more>>

Jada Roy | Accountant, financial planner and hairstylist

I one should understand what a risk is first which it to know is a chance you are willing to take resulting in a high or low outcome. I believe taking risk and stepping out on faith is important and it’s a major role that I have taken in my life and career allowing me to see the different journeys a step out on faith and taking a risk is taking me. Read more>>

Monie Gwaltney | Artist, Author, Mental Health Activist & Social Worker

This is my philosophy. If you don’t take the risk you’ll always regret it. I don’t want to wake the next day and think to myself, “Aw damn, I should’ve did taken that risk. I should’ve did that or I should’ve this.” Regret is a disease. Read more>>

Tenaya Martinez | Independent Filmmaker

I believe in risk taking, because its a win win situation there’s no losing in risk taking. At the end of the day you learned something new. Its okay to fail, it just means you are one step closer to succeeding. Read more>>

Evina & Wil Del Pizzo | Owners of Built Strong Strength Club

Everything in life has some sort of risk. It really comes down to how severe the consequences could be from that risk. Los Angeles is certainly a competitive market for all types of businesses. Read more>>

Caleb Jay Colours | Multidisciplinary Artist/Muralist/Consultant

The first major risk that got me to where I am was quitting my job taking my last paycheck with me and moving to Portland. It paid off tenfold and was the leap I needed to jumpstart my career. It put me in the place I needed to be at the time I needed to be there. The basis of risk in my life is the creation of art. Read more>>

Raven | Content Creator & Activist

Well, risks are a part of life. Everything we do has some level of risk involved. Without getting too deep, I used to really play it as safe as possible up until nearly 3 years ago when I had my second child. I had a very traumatic delivery and I am very lucky to still be standing here today. Read more>>

M V | Mixer/Engineer/Produce

Risks in my opinion, are made everyday, depending on how you look at it. Wether it is feeling unsure about a certain situation, wether it is feeling very confident or feeling like it is not the best idea. Read more>>

Allie Messineo | Balloon Stylist

Within reasonable measure, risk taking is actually essential to move forward with anything in life. Wether the risk is big or small, it’s how you approach it and tackle it head first that really matters. Read more>>

Alessandro Gentile | Director/Director of Photography

Being a risk taker as a filmmaker can easily change the trajectory of your career in an instance. After film school I was in a limbo and didn’t know how to stay involved with filmmaking. At the time I was anti-LA and decided to give Northern California a shot. Read more>>

Richard Turke | Filmmaker

Risk is everything. It is what gets you ahead. That is the difference from you and everyone else. Sometimes a risk can back fire on you. I would think about the risk carefully. Read more>>

Jaywall | Recording Artist

I’ve been a risk taker my whole life. When I started my music career it was one of the biggest risk I ever took. At 19, I was so determined to excel with my music, I was blinded by the amount of risk I had to take. Read more>>

Gabriel Yuri | Designer

I’ve always been attracted to the liminal zone teetering near the edge. Its reflected in the way I travel, the way I make human connections and also in my design process. Read more>>

GypjaQ & Mx. Sykes Kai | Artists & Podcasters

As artists risk is a necessary component. It’s the most fun part. Even if a risk takes a while to become certain, even the practice is fun. Like a trapeze artist. They’re gonna work that new, innovative, DANGEROUS trick for as long as it takes, when attempting it even a second time is a risk. Read more>>

Xander Currin | Musical Martial Artist

Risk, or getting out of my own way is everything in not only my life, but life. Being who i am, A POC Queer ALT artist, I already bend and blend the rules of society. Its nothing that i every consciously done, but its awareness of who I am at my Core. Read more>>

Melissa Robinson-Brown, Ph.D. | Clinical Psychologist|Speaker|Educator|Health & Wellness Enthusiast

I think risk is necessary to living a life that feels fulfilling. However, I’m all about healthy risks. There’s a difference between being impulsive and taking a calculated gamble on something. Read more>>

Juli Crockett | Playwright, Director, Songwriter, Band Leader, Mom, Cannabis Compliance Consultant

I’ve made a lot of creative/career/life decisions based on an embrace of a certain kind of risk-taking which manifests as the thought, “If my life was a book or movie, what would the reader/viewer not see coming right now? What would surprise or delight them.” Read more>>

Khadejhia Kassenbrock | Guitarist & Bassist

Choosing to pursue a career in music has been a huge risk. A lot of people told me not to do it, and I understand why. There’s no guarantee that you’re ever gonna make any money, it can be really unpredictable, and you have to be willing to hustle hard. Read more>>

Fabiana Medici | Acting coach and writer

I think taking risks is important for improvement and development in any career, especially for actors. Personally, I’m an adventurer and took risks my entire life. They helped me to grow and get out of my comfort zone. Read more>>