By far, the topic that comes up most in our conversations with entrepreneurs and creatives is risk.  We’ve had conversations about risks that worked out and risks that did not. We’ve seen eyes light eye sharing about career-trajectory changing risks as well as folks sigh about the risks they wish they had taken.  Below, we’ve selected and shared some of those thoughtful conversations.

Paige Annette | Actress, Dancer & Model

Risk Taking!! My advice to you is TAKE THE RISK!!! Life is too short! You were not put on this earth to not be adventurous. And if you dont take the risk you will never know what’s on the other side. I live my life by faith, so I have taken many risks. I moved to Los Angeles 5 years ago with no job, just me and my dog and the things I could fit in my car. In 5 years I’ve accomplished a lot. But I never would have experienced these things if I chose to stay in my comfort zone and only do what I know. As an artists, its almost a requirement to continuously take risks. We have to take the risks to invest in ourselves so that we can be seen and others can invest in us. Saving money for headshots, reels, formatting your resume, sending out your materials for representation and of course the never ending journey of auditions, callbacks, and the booking process. Read more>>

Nicole Koch | TV Host

On the other side of risk is where pure magic, our wildest dreams and all of life’s treasures exist. One of my most favorite quotes is “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there”, author unknown. I love it so much because it’s a reminder that we have two choices every day when we wake up. We can evolve or we can repeat. We can lay with our comfort blankets and feel safe, or we can risk it all and possibly get everything we’ve ever wanted. On a personal note, risk is something my heart is still learning to do. After the death of a parent, other deaths, losses and heartbreaks, it’s a process. My mind gets the importance of it but as you know, our hearts like to feel safe at all times, so taking leaps don’t always come as easily as I want them to. Read more>>

Kayla Swift | Actor

I’m all for taking risks- which sounds strange coming from a girl who is still afraid of bees. I think what it comes down to is your objective in life. I want to empower the world. Before I moved to LA to pursue the industry, I got my Masters Degree in Government and worked in politics for six years. I fully believed that working in politics would allow me to change the world. Long story short, I ended up in the hospital due to stress related heart problems, and I quit my job from my hospital bed. I rested up, and two weeks later I took a the biggest risk of my life and moved to Los Angeles. It dawned on me that I was still meant to change the world, but through a different avenue. Art and movies are a huge motivator for social change- and I wanted to be a part of it. Instead of viewing it as a risk, I now view all risks as opportunities. Read more>>

Gina Colin | Speaker & Mentor

No risk, no reward. My life has been a series of risks taken in order to advance in my personal life and in my career. I think that risks are a necessary part of succeeding in life. Read more>>

Carly Woods | Screenwriter & Artist

Risk is everything. I am either overthinking every step or operating on impulse. It’s in those risky moments, though, where I’ve had the most powerful breakthroughs in my life and career. Everyone has intuition, and I find the more I listen to mine, the more intentional I become, and the more pieces of the ever expanding puzzle come together. Not every chance you take works out, but I’d rather go out on a limb than not find the branch at all. Whether it’s being approached for projects, booking rooms, moving across the country on a whim, or creating my own opportunities, it all requires risk — and the unwavering faith and confidence that you *can* pull it off. I just always want to be better. I want to keep growing, and more than anything I want to shake things up. Read more>>

Marcus Veltri | YouTuber & Pianist

When I hear the word risk, it excites me. It gives me drive and motivation. Since my job is naturally more risky than other professions, risk is what motivates me to work even harder. Now that I’m actually in a position that I have dreamed about being in, I will do anything I can to make sure I never fall out of this position. That’s what I love about risk. It creates fear, which can be used as fuel if you have the right mindset. When you take great risks in life, luck can also be a huge factor in determining whether you’re successful. I’ve noticed that for the most part I have been very lucky to be in the position I currently am. This doesn’t mean that success isn’t deserved, but for me personally it makes me appreciate what I have. The fact that a lot of the reasons I am where I am today is because of luck makes me realize how privileged I am, and again makes me realize how much I want to take advantage of the position I’m in. Read more>>

Camille Preymann | Fashion Designer

Life is a risk. There’s risk in everything you do and everything you don’t do. I grew up in Europe where we’re brought up to be quite modest. If someone gave me a job opportunity that might involve a skill I didn’t fully possess at that point in time, I would have declined immediately, not believing I would be capable of doing it, but then ending up regretting my decision and wondering what could have happened and how it could have impacted my life if I had said yes. I used to dwell in my comfort zone, where I was not at risk of having my ego crushed or potentially having to disappoint the people I made a commitment to. But the comfort zone isn’t the zone in which I learnt. It was in discomfort, when I failed, fell, fought and suffered that I evolved, learnt and grew to be more resilient. Read more>>

Etienne Monsaingeon | Film Composer

In my opinion, risk taking is an essential component to a successful career. It can be defined into two concepts: expansion of your existing comfort zone and overt risk-taking. Firstly, it is important to always go beyond what you think you can do. As a film composer, that can be taking a gig in a music genre you’re not comfortable writing in, or accepting to do a project that has a deadline you would normally think impossible to meet (of course, you need to be realistic and evaluate the do-ability of the situation you put yourself into). By challenging yourself with situations that are out of your comfort zone, you will acquire more skills, diversify your work palette and gain in confidence. This will result into growing and learning faster. Secondly, the concept of brazen risk-taking comes from personal experiences. Read more>>

Vasilina Mikhaylova | Animator & Illustrator

In Russia, we have a common expression: “He who doesn’t risk never gets to drink champagne.” If you don’t take any risks, there’s only so much you can achieve. This Russian proverb has become my motto. Every big decision I have ever made has carried risk, and I truly believe that it’s led me to success. Perhaps the biggest risk I have ever taken was at the age of fifteen when I was given the option to study in Canada. I was very hesitant at first – who wouldn’t be at such a young age? After evaluating all the opportunities that this study-abroad experience would give me, I decided to give it a shot. Was it a risky decision? Yes. Was it worth it? Definitely. During my studies in Canada, I heavily improved my English, met so many wonderful people from all around the world, worked with a charity for the first time, and was even Valedictorian. Read more>>

Rena Andrews | Designer & CEO

Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone. I don’t think there is any way to cultivate change without taking risks – from emotional to financial. My entire life, from the moment I traded medical school for acting school and entered into a world of self-employment and entrepreneurship, has been centered around risk and an unequivocal belief that following my dreams would result in the type of success I wanted. That being said, the path has not been linear and dreams have changed, but I have been able to push forward by staying open, flexible, and connecting to my own desires. I do not recommend blindly taking risks without a clear objective and action plan. At some point I believe you have to fully commit to what you are doing and take the risk or you will remain in limbo without feeling successful in either way. That is the risk of not taking a risk. Read more>>

Gigi Ghobrial | Owner & Designer

We all fear the failure that can come with taking risks. But how do we experience success without stepping out of our comfort zone? For me, faith plays a huge part when accepting unfamiliar tasks. I try to calculate them to the best of my ability without going in blindly. Not every risk will profit success, but there’s no way to know unless you try. Some risks you take will lead to failure, but with failure comes the opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Other risks lead to success, room to grow, and bigger rewards. Rule or be Ruled is the ultimate mantra when taking risks in life. Read more>>

Yasma Alkoraishi | Retoucher & Photographer

“The bigger the risk, the greater the reward.” People should step out of their comfort zones, move to unfamiliar places, reach out to people they want in their lives, and find new job opportunities when they are unhappy with their current situation. I risked a lot when I lived in New York and did freelance retouching and photography work. Sometimes I found myself waiting a bit longer for higher paying (and higher profile) gigs, instead of taking the easier, lower wage jobs that were more frequent. It’s a constant balancing act because you want to be available when that great gig comes in, but you also need enough money to feed yourself! I always avoided admitting to clients how much I actually needed the money, and kept negotiating for higher pay. It really is a dog eat dog world; almost all of the clients are trying to make more money at any cost by hiring younger, less experienced creative professionals who will do the work cheaper and faster – and usually worse quality! Read more>>

Catharine Wood | Producer, Engineer, Composer & Owner

In hindsight, there are many choices that I’ve made that could have been perceived as “risky”…But I generally have a very clear idea of what I want and don’t perceive risk in the same way others might. When I applied to Colorado College (early decision), a top tier liberal arts college, I knew that was the only school I wanted to attend. I didn’t have a Plan B. I got in. When I moved to LA in 2003, I had a friend moving out of his apartment who offered to get me onto his lease…I did not have a job waiting for me in Los Angeles – but knew that I wanted to live in LA – even though I didn’t know how to make a living in music yet. Within a couple months of moving in, I had gotten myself a job at a local commercial electrical contractor in the estimating department. After a year at that office job, I learned about audio engineering school and soon enrolled. Read more>>

Chloe Makhani | Hospitality Director

From all great risks, come great rewards. Usually haha. Otherwise, a big lesson is learned from the process of making a decision and moving forward. I think in general risk taking has a negative connotation, but risk taking is adaptive and can many times lead you to positive outcomes. I’ve found myself stuck in stagnant places many times, unable to make a decision. However, looking back all the times I’ve found success or learned a lesson is when I have taken that risk and made those difficult choices. I have grown the most from all of my failures and I can say the same about those around me. Before I opened Stanley Social; one of my venue’s there was a lot of risk associated with it, it was out of my usual realm of work and I had so much opposition against the idea. Logically I understood the pushback. Read more>>

Nina Seul | Actress

As an actress, risk-taking is part of the job, part of the challenge and … Part of the excitement! it’s a factor that you have to take into account when you decide to try a career in show business. Indeed, even if no career or profession is sure, acting does not offer any guarantee and it is a risky gamble that we make with ourselves, the gamble to go into a profession in which we do not control all the cards and a success that will depend not only on perseverance, courage, luck but also on the desire of others: whether it is the producer, the director or the television channel. If i’am in Los Angeles today, it’s because I bet on myself and chose to take the risk of leaving it all behind in France and move here for acting. Read more>>

Keyonna Tillman | CEO & International Hairstylist

I think taking risk is a necessity in life which can ultimately change your your life. For me and my life / career it’s always been for the better thankfully. Your entire situation can change if you take that risk. Or it may not either way it’s an experience or learning experience. Read more>>

Brandee Steger | Actress, Filmmaker & Vintage Shop Owner

Risk taking is everything! I don’t know if it’s my astrological sign (Aries!), my free-spirited California girl upbringing or the joy of my inner voice that always wants to go for it, but I truly believe in taking risk. I just think it’s really important to believe in yourself, especially when your instincts are nagging you. In my life and in my career I’ve always been the one to jump first. If I want to do something, I do it. When I wanted to start my vintage clothing line, I just started it. I didn’t really one hundred percent know what I was doing, I just believed that I could do it. When my husband and I started our production company, I didn’t blink and eye. I started writing and producing as if I had been doing it my whole life. At first I would try to get my friends to join in on my big dreams and big ideas. Most of the time they were hesitant or fearful.. Luckily, my husband is always ready for anything. Read more>>

Sarah Rhoades | Events & Entertainment

Not to go too hard but sometimes it’s either risk or regret- and regret is powerful. Life doesn’t need to feel like an adventure all the time but what are we even doing if we aren’t the heroes of our own stories? Follow your heart and take that risk, no matter how big or small- you won’t regret it. “They used to say if a man could fly, he’d have wings. But he did fly. He discovered he had to. There is enormous danger potential, but I must point out that the potential for advancement is equally great. Risk. Risk is our business. That’s what the starship is all about.” -Captain James T. Kirk. Read more>>

Seol Young and Mike Lee and Ahn | Comic Book Writer & Illustrator

I have never considered myself to be a particularly risk-taking individual. I grew up in an Asian immigrant family, and my parents always stressed working hard, getting good grades, and securing a job that would provide me long-term financial stability. Maybe Mike my husband is a little more risk-taking than I, but even so, neither of us are exactly business-minded. What we are, however, is passionate. We are led by our passion and our unquenchable desire to follow it. I do have a stable job, but I never forgot my passion. Mike was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in his early 20’s, which turned his life upside down, but he still never forgot his passion. So in my mind, sure, there are people for whom risk-taking comes naturally, but for me and Mike, we had to take risks because pursuing our passion required it. Read more>>

Joi K. Madison | Clarity Coach & Founder

The word “risk” implies that the focus is on what could be lost or how things could go badly. While I understand the importance of assessing those elements, I don’t choose to focus on them. Instead, I choose to see everything I stand to gain and all the ways things could work out in my favor. Of course, I consider potential outcomes when making decisions about projects, partnerships and other aspects of my business, However, when I look back over the years and all the things I’ve accomplished across several businesses, I don’t attribute those milestones to risk, I’d prefer to call it faith. I move with inspired action towards things that may not always make sense on the surface but, when viewed through the lens of my understanding of who God is and how the universe works, it doesn’t make sense not to move forward. Being an entrepreneur requires a mix of confidence, conviction and crazy. Read more>>