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.

Adam Schomer | Director/Producer Documentary Films and Series

We must always risk what is known in order to grow, I now know now. So what once I saw as simply an inner desire to adventure or the thrill of breaking boundaries of the self, I now also see as a principle of evolution. To find deeper truths, we must risk our current ideas of ourselves or our lives. And often I mix in the physical adventure or life threatening risk with this thirst for inner liberation. In THE ROAD TO DHARMA docuseries we risked our lives on motorcycles in the Himalayas, monsoon rains, and road killer traffic. But we equally risked our limited beliefs and mind conditioned patterns by placing ourselves in a pilgrimage with a master that would push us to confront our demons. This is key, we must pierce our normal bubble. Read more>>

Luciana Faulhaber | Actor, Activist and Content Creator

When I think about the risks I have taken in my life the old saying “the greater the risk the bigger the pay off” proves to be true. I like to think of myself as fearless but it is unquestionable that looking down at a cliff and deciding to jump is scary. Whether or not you let fear stop you from taking a chance is what makes you who you are. Moving to America was probably one of the biggest leaps of faith I’ve taken in my life. I left my family and everything I knew to go to a new country alone where I had to learn a new culture, a new language and having only what I could carry in two suitcases. I was incredibly brave but at the time I just thought ‘why not?’. It has been an incredibly difficult journey but today I get to be an artist and use my experiences to tell stories of overcoming that many people can relate to. Read more>>

Laura Schein | Actor & Writer

Risk is defined as a situation involving exposure to danger. So risk-takers are people who are drawn to situations in which they will be exposed to danger. I consider myself a neurotic who likes to feel safe. So why would I choose a high-risk career like the arts? Because I’m addicted. I’ve been experiencing career rejection since I started out as a child actor in Chicago at 10 years old. But I also got that first hit of success at that age; that feeling of nailing an audition, collaborating with a group of insanely talented artists, performing a life-changing role, and moving an audience with a powerful story. It doesn’t happen everyday, and the odds are often stacked against the possibility that it will be that kind of transcendent experience. But I can’t stop chasing the possibility, the dream. And to me, that’s worth the risk. Read more>>

Amanda Fults | DJ AmandaXO

In my opinion, risk is essential for any person wanting to move forward in their career. Personally, risk has played a major role in where I am today in my DJ career. In 2017 I took a giant risk regarding my established and secure career and DJing. In early 2017 I decided to quit my 10 year secure job in the healthcare industry to focus on traveling and my DJing career. This was something I struggled with and went back and forth on until I finally decided to take the leap. This was a giant risk that could have gone two ways. Luckily for me, it went the right way and it helped me grow and establish connections for my DJ career. I determined that the reward definitely outweighed the risk in that particular situation. Unfortunately, I see many people struggle with risk today and whether or not they should take a leap. Read more>>

Frank Zummo | Drummer

Taking risks has been the absolute key to my success in all aspects of my life. I drove my car from NY to LA 16 years ago to follow a dream. Me taking that risk has changed my life for the absolute best and has rewarded me with fulfilling my career & family dreams! You absolutely have to challenge yourself and take risks, as much greatness comes from taking risks. Read more>>

Gina Capobianco | Mental Health Care Advocate, Best Selling Author, and Speaker

Taking risks has not come easy to me. I have written poetry for over 30 years, but it wasn’t until about five years ago that I was able to share my poetry with others. Sharing was a risk that for years I was afraid to take. A friend of mine encouraged me to share some of my poems at an open-mic. That was the first step in not only sharing my poetry, but also being open about having a mental health disorder. I have always used my poetry to cope with depression and anxiety. Since that first open mic I have shared my poetry and experiences with a mental health disorder. The result has been three published poetry books that speak to mental health and fourth one soon to be published. It has also led to me becoming a mental health care advocate and speaking to various groups about using the power of writing to cope with mental health disorders and about reducing the stigma surrounding mental health. Read more>>

Hassan Sarwar | CEO of InfiniOne

Risk taking is a defining characteristic of my personality. Being an adrenaline junkie makes it more pronounced. I’m always looking for a thrill and seeking excitement which has led to some very remarkable outcomes. I’ve co-founded six companies in the past few years, on a whim, because there was something I found interesting and intriguing about the space. Not all of our launches were successful, but quickly releasing products has provided me with a steep learning curve, while allowing me to pivot and make decisions more efficiently. I don’t view risk taking as a plunge into darkness; it’s a way to quickly validate a hunch and move to the next step. However, I believe it is important to manage the size of your risk. Investing all of your money blindly into a new idea might not be very smart, but risking a portion of your time and resources, knowingly forgoing your opportunity cost for that period, is a smart way to mitigate risk. Read more>>

James Cotten | Filmmaker, Storyteller, Director/Producer/Writer

In some way, everything is a risk in the movie business. Investment in the films are risky. Putting yourself out there as an artist and hoping for others to validate your work by paying to watch it. Pretty risky. Coming to a town with no money and no contacts for a dream of doing something that everyone tells you is impossible. Yep, that too. Risk is just the fear of failure or loss. Lose the fear and all you have is potential. I’m from the border of Arkansas and Oklahoma. My Dad told me, after I explained my dream, that it was me who would have to live with the consequences if I failed. But what did I have to lose? Along the way, I’ve lost a lot, large investments of hard earned money to slimy con artists, time and energy on things that just don’t get off the ground. But every loss was a lesson. More importantly, what I’ve accomplished far outweighs the losses. Read more>>

Michael Anderson | Personal Trainer

Risk taking is a vital component in my life and career. A wise man once said “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” – Muhammed Ali My approach on risk taking in my life and career is calculated. I weigh the pros and cons, I council with wiser more experienced people, and also do research. Then last, but not least I trust my gut. Read more>>

Bliss | Founder and Artistic Director of The Roots and Wings Project

I’ve always been a risk taker. This stems from who I am as a person combined with growing up with a tumultuous childhood in which I moved a whole lot, attending 9 schools K-12 plus shifting cities a few times. Early on, starting over was familiar to me as well as being without my mother which always pained me, but was something I had to live with. It called on a lot of bravery in constant uncertainty, which turns out to be the makings of art. This way of growing up certainly shaped my approach to it. Also, my father was disapproving of my mother and the way she raised me. Her best friend had a strong hand in my upbringing and he exposed me to LGBTQ culture and drag culture, teaching me to embrace and celebrate my femininity and wild spirit. Read more>>

Ludwig Jonsson | Music Producer, Composer

I don’t know if I see it as taking risks necessarily, but more just being honest with myself and wholeheartedly diving into what I love doing. I did it with hockey early on so it’s always been second nature to me. It’s a lot easier to become good at something that you love, as spending hours on it becomes a very natural habit. I think that’s the biggest key to any form of success. Just figuring out what you really enjoy spending time on and then doing it over and over. Eventually you will probably be able to benefit other people from it too. I think you can define success in a bunch of different ways, but for me personally it’s always been to strive to be as happy as possible. Music helps me do that. Since we’re on the topic of risks, I guess one risk I took (in society’s point of view) was leaving a great job at a post production house here in Los Angeles. Read more>>

Johnny Otto | Writer/Director

Risk is everything. You have zero percent chance of reaching any level of success without risk. I always think about great Quarter Backs who take risks when they throw the football knowing that someone on the defense might intercept it. And it happens even to the best of them. It’s part of the game. Risk is part of success. The risks I take have more to do with my time than anything else. I put a long of time into my creative endeavors and sometimes the pay off is absolutely nothing. Other times the payoff is getting a film accepted into a film festival or selling a script. Most Writers have dozens of unsold scripts, for example. I certainly do. I have sooooooooooo many projects that I’ve devoted sooooooo many years to and some of them will see the light of day and some won’t. That’s the gamble you take when you’re a creative person. Read more>>

Jesse J Collections | Celebrity wardrobe stylist, designer and showroom owner

taking risk in life is everything. It builds you as a person and plays a big role in your successes. You never want to be what if or I should have. You take those risks and no matter it’s a great success or learning experience. Which will build you and lead you towards your successes. I’m literally self made by taking risk. No one gave me money to start my businesses. I started small and Grew from there. Read more>>

Yossi Machluf | private chef & food stylist

Honestly my entire business is based on risk taking I never been to any culinary school I taught myself how to cook and if that wasn’t enough from all the options u got in the culinary world I chose the hardest most complicated and stressing style of cooking – finger food specialty. Read more>>

Nuria Botella | Film Marketing and PR Executive

Risk-taking has been a major ingredient of my career and professional growth. I grew up on the beautiful Mediterranean coast of Spain and decided to move out first to study and then to build a career… and I could not find a closer place than LA, on the other side of the globe. This risk gave great rewards to my career. I moved to LA to work in Film Marketing and PR but I had never worked in that industry before and I did not know anyone in this city. I did in fact left a great job behind but knew that I had to take the risk and take a step back and start from zero if I wanted to move forward faster down the line. I think risks are important but you need to reflect and measure the risk and understand the possible outcomes. Once you are aware of those, if you are still ok with moving ahead, it can be scary but the other option is to always wonder ¨what if¨. Read more>>

Emily McGuiness | Writer, Producer, Post Manager

I feel like I have always managed risk in a responsible way. I still have the urge to “see what happens” but my upbringing has tempered that impulse with practicality. I know how much risk I’m willing to tolerate and I do spool out all of the consequences of my actions, when I want to take a big risk. That doesn’t mean I’m not ready to take huge risks, like moving to Ireland for a year, self publishing a graphic novel, or early in my career – labeling myself a producer and hitting the streets of NYC. The reward can be great, or it can be a failure. You have to be at peace with both outcomes and treat yourself lovingly no matter the result. I see risk as a way to push my career forward. We would all sit still if we didn’t take chances outside our current ability. That extends to our lives and how we love as well. We take a risk every time we’re vulnerable with another human. Read more>>

Amena BelledeSoleil | Wellness Entrepreneur & Ascension Guide

Risk it all. I’m probably one of the least risk averse people you’ll ever meet. I believe if what you have isn’t serving your highest good or potential release it and be open to and active in the creation of something more. Read more>>

Dr. Joanne Royer | Providing Online, Virtual Coaching to Women

No matter how confident one may look or feel, taking a risk is not easy and usually uncomfortable, to say the least. As risk involves change and change, even if we want it, is married to fear – therein lies the core of any risk – fear. I have a quote above my desk that I routinely share with my coaching clients that read “The biggest mistake you could ever make is being too afraid to make one.” I read it multiple times a day as a reminder for my mind. My clients all have one common denominator – they have over time, allowed a thought to have power over them, and work with me to learn how to have power over their thought instead. They are then empowered. It is our thinking that gets in the way of stepping into the change (we often want), allowing the fear that’s connected to the thought to play small. Read more>>

Katrina Gorman | Multi-medium Artist

I believe risk taking is the cornerstone of being an artist and art business. In creating I find a level of going out of my comfort zone often by experimenting in areas I haven’t done before and enjoying the element of surprise when mistakes happen. It’s all so risky to bring new beauty into the world. Read more>>

Carl Baratta | Artist/ Curator/ Co-Director of Tiger Strikes Asteroid LA

Being the the art world, particularly the alt scene via collectives, is risky in itself. You pay to do it. It has to be a love situation and be fun otherwise don’t do it: it’s a full time job and on top of your other paying full time job. It’s risky entering this world because there’s so many things to take care of and it could fall apart at a moment’s notice. You have to surround yourself with people you trust and those who trust you, so that each person can take on a piece of each project to bring the best exhibitions to the community. Read more>>