Legend holds that Cornelius Vanderbilt had built a massive fortune in the steamboat shipping industry, but then realized the railroads were the way of the future and invested almost his entire net worth into railroads.  The gamble paid off and made Vanderbilt one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs ever.  But risks are inherently…risky.  How do you think about risk and how has it affected your life and career?  Some of our community favorites share their perspective below.

Denise Borraz Trepat | Actress

The bigger the risk the bigger you might fail. Or the bigger you might win. Which one sounds better? Truth is that whatever happens, it will be worth it. If you fail you will learn something that will teach you about yourself and will make you stronger. If you win, you got what you wanted in the first place. But realistically, the way you’ll win big is by failing many times. As an actor I experience that on a daily basis. Read more>>

Kevin Tan-Perkins | Tennis Pro & Actor

When I hear the word “risk” I instantly think 50/50 outcome. Risk should make you feel uncomfortable. Risk should keep you on your toes. Risk isn’t made to keep you comfortable. I’ve always believed the biggest growth comes from when we are put in uncomfortable or challenging circumstances. I made the decision to move out to LA full time from ATL in October of 2019. I had a good life and career with tennis and film in ATL but I was getting comfortable. I’ve never liked that. The pieces finally aligned for me to move out to LA in both tennis and film. Read more>>

Mason Greer | Film Director & Actor

To a certain perspective my whole career choice would be considered a risk. Looking at the statistics there is no logical reason for the pursuit of my career path. However from my perspective my career choice is perfectly logical. Since I can remember I haven’t wanted to do anything else. Just like any job this career takes patients and dedication. You get out of it what you put into it. With that being said if I put everything into it…how can I fail? This is how I choose to look at risks involving my career. Read more>>

Rodrigo Trabbold | Art Director

I believe that if there is a time to take risks in my life, the time is now – while I’m young and my life is still somewhat flexible. By default, we already have the “No” as an answer, so if there is a chance to accomplish something we might as well just try it. The biggest risk I took in my life and career was moving from Brazil to the US and having to start almost from scratch. I was already on a good path as an art director in advertising agencies in Brazil and came here with no contacts or network. Read more>>

Shiv Shakti | Author & The ‘Dance Meditation Transformation’ movement meditation Creator

There are no risks in life as such, everything in life is an experience and opportunity to learn and grow should you choose to embrace the ever present change. In the early summer of 2015, I was standing on the bridge of a cargo ship in the Gulf of Oman. I was uneasy the whole week, as something did not feel right in my life. Here, I am being an Officer on Ship, a dream once I worked hard to make a reality seemed to lose its meaning. As the warm salty air blew through my hair on the bridge wing as I was sipping my morning coffee, I saw a massive glow of light on the Horizon. The Sun was coming up. Read more>>

Efrain Sahagun | Photographer

Risk is one of my biggest reasons why I’ve been successful in my creative career. To elaborate, 4 years ago I used to be a server at a movie theater. The pay was great and I was very comfortable at what I was doing but that wasn’t my passion and I just didn’t see myself working there in 5 years. What I truly wanted to do was photography. So the next day I handed in my 2 weeks without any other job lined up and planned on doing freelance for the unforeseen future. I was pretty scared but I knew I made the right decision. Read more>>

Manuela Mazzocco | Author, Blogger, Photographer & Influencer

By nature, I’m not a risk taker. I like stability and I’m pretty adverse to anything that would be cause stress and anxiety (like crazy investments or wild bungee jumping). But (there’s always a but!) I’m always up for a challenge. And if I see an opportunity that sounds interesting and fun, I generally don’t pass it up… Or I most likely wouldn’t find myself right here, right now. I left my hometown in Italy, my family and friends and the only life I ever knew, in my early twenties to follow my (at-the-time) boyfriend’s dream in the United States. Read more>>

Katie J. Stone | TV Writer & Actress

I think of risk in terms of vulnerability and resilience. Taking a risk, be it personal or professional, means being vulnerable to potential rejection. But here’s the important part, the other half of this thing, having the resilience to get back up and try again. Over and over again. I’m a big fan of the musical Hadestown, and this lyric always guts me: “Cause, here’s the thing: To know how it ends And still begin to sing it again As if it might turn out this time I learned that from a friend of mine…” To know how it ends and to still begin to sing it again. Read more>>

Michael Kortez | Multidisciplinary Artist

I feel that risk taking is an integral part of what I do, It’s a part of my Drawings, Paintings and even my Career. If you risk nothing, then you risk everything. In order to succeed one must be willing to put oneself in the fire constantly. I feel it’s really the only way to grow and learn, Comfort will get you nowhere. When I’m creating I’m always pushing as far as I can push. Sometimes the experiment fails, But when it works its really something special. Taking risks isn’t easy and it takes hard work to come out the other end unscathed. Read more>>

Antonia Crane | Activist, Writer

I think risk is a fundamental aspect of everything I do that is worth doing. I have had many moments where I’ve asked myself what is the scariest thing to do right now? And that is the thing I know I must do. I am not implying that when I take risks, I win something or that everything turns out perfectly. But I am saying that if I am afraid to do a thing, then I must really want to do it so bad that I’ve been afraid to risk failure and have refused to try. Read more>>

Fern Solomon | Brick and Mortar Stores and Maker

It seems like risk is part of being an entrepreneur. I have been through many sea changes in my industry and though I get knocked down by things out of my control, I always seems to face the danger/risk and stand back up. There have been many many of these instances in my 40 year career. However, taking risks and getting back up has created a knowing that taking leaps, educated leaps, always seems to work out for me. Read more>>