We asked some brilliant folks from the community to talk to us about how they think about risk and the role risk has played in their lives and careers.

Jordan Jackson | Entrepreneur

Honestly, risk taking is engraved in my DNA. One of my earliest examples of risk taking is my mother. I’m pretty sure that most kids that were raised by a single mother can agree that our mothers are the definition of being a risk taker, especially in the black community! They make the impossible happen. Also, I think about my ancestors. I don’t know much beyond my grandparents yet but I try to ask those uncomfortable questions so that I can have a little more understanding about where I come from. I would like to believe that they were huge risk takers. What I do know is that entrepreneurship runs deep throughout my family’s history! I’ll continue to learn more about my family’s history. It inspires me to create my own! It’s important to think about your bloodline and build a platform for them to use their voice, express their self and experience freedom. Read more>>

Panini Pandey | Digital Product Designer & Musician

y be planned, but creativity isn’t planned, because the beauty lies in the creative process. The creative process is like a treasure hunt through the act of learning and unlearning to discover new questions and abstracts. This process of learning and unlearning requires the ability to take risks, because that is the only way of aggressively pushing the boundaries. While I do believe risks is the only way of disrupting the creative ecosystem that can spark inspiration and movements, I have come to realize that risks shouldn’t be glorified. It’s always important to evaluate your position with the level of risks you intends to take. Read more>>

Julio César Flores | Photographer, Film Writer and Director

I think taking risks is an extremely difficult thing for humans. Risks are frightening, it’s like throwing yourself to the abysm. You never know if it’s gonna be worth it or not until you do it. Some may not even consider taking risks, they are comfortable where they are. They think they don’t need more or are afraid to get more. Although for me, taking risks has been the main part of my journey, for good and bad, but it has become part of what I am now. When I was around 13 -14 years old, I remember hearing this quote, that completely flipped my life, and made me start taking risks. The quote says “He who does what he loves is condemned to success”. Wow, the first time I heard it was kind of a call, allurement. Since little I always knew I wanted to be a film director. Read more>>

Adam Newell | Up And Adam! on YouTube

Risk taking can feel dangerous and scary at first. Until, at one time, I realized that if I don’t take risks then I would never know what the outcome would be. With every great success or failure comes immense opportunity. So, I decide to take risks. Especially when change is needed. Read more>>

Sela mo | Singer Songwriter

My entire life I was encouraged to take risks and always believed in my career as an artist. Taking a risk is something that thrills me on a daily basis and I am motivated to take risks to conquer my goals and dreams. I think that risk has a true meaning for an artist, since every decision, thought or goal results from taking a risk. Personally, I took risk by becoming extremely independent when I made the decision to pursue my dream to become an artist and move to Los Angeles. I came to Los Angeles without my family, just with one goal—to write songs, record songs and perform. I have different professional artists and labels , who believe in me and they definitely took risk when they decided to collaborate with me on many different projects. They took risks, but I know that I will do my best to show my inner and outer self as Selamo. Read more>>

Coraline Dufroux | Self Made Millionaire, Serial & Social Entrepreneur, Risk Taker

Risk has been my middle name since I can remember. This potent four letter word has allowed me to explore depths of myself I never knew were there. It has catapulted my knowledge of business and life in ways that enrich how I make decisions today. The way I assess risk is now very differently to the way I did, say, 10 years ago. In order to gain anything from life, risk plays a part. Let’s face it, daily life is a risk in itself too. These days I ask a lot more questions than I did in my younger years and trust my intuition 100% of the time. It’s also handy understanding my risk profile, knowing my boundaries and understanding my appetite for risk in certain aspects of life. Read more>>

Cass Walsh | Fitness Trainer, Nutritionist, and CEO of Cass Class Fitness

At 33 years old, I risked a career change and went from third grade teacher to fitness trainer after 11 years in a comfortable, solid job. Fitness was a massive passion of mine, and I knew I had to take a leap of faith, be willing to take a pay cut, and rebuild myself back up again in a new industry. I was scared, but I just knew in my heart I wasn’t an Elementary School Teacher anymore. I left my teaching job in February of 2020, and one month later- BOOM- PANDEMIC LOCKDOWN. I had a job lined up as a personal trainer in San Francisco, but the in-person fitness industry was completely shut down. I had no job. No way to pay my rent. No fitness background. I’d already quit my teaching job. I had to start something on my own. I started running a virtual fitness class with 2 people, my sister and her friend, Ashley. Read more>>

Andrew Barron | Filmmaker

Taking risk has essentially helped me to understand my career a lot better because if I had played safe then I wouldn’t have developed the skills and know what I do today. Read more>>

RavenSymone Simon | CPA & Tax Strategist

Risk used to be something I dreaded, ran away from even. It wasn’t until I began to embrace risk that my life started to look like what I saw when I closed my eyes. In life rather that’s with your career, business, or in general, there’s a place that you currently are and then there’ a place you desire to be. To me, the space in between is how I view risk. I can stay where I am currently and risk the life that I always wanted or I can go after what I desire and risk it all crumbling down in front of me. Read more>>

Cindy Aguilar | Esthetician / Brow Expert

We never know where that risk will take us. We are never fully ready. Coming from an immigrant household, we are taught that going to college after high school is the “right” thing to do. While attending Santa Monica College, I got a job as a receptionist in the beauty industry, I gained interest right away. I took the initiative to leave school without the knowledge of my parents and worked full time at the salon. I was not sure if the beauty industry would be the fit for me but I decided to give it a try. Everyday I was learning something knew with my coworkers and their clients. Three months passed by, I gathered my savings and took beauty school tours. The second school tour I took, I was able to speak to someone about enrollment and any other questions. Read more>>

Natalie Nishioka | Landscape Photographer & Business Owner

As a landscape photographer from the island of Kauaʻi, risk-taking influences my decisions in my life and career. However, when it comes down to following a photography career, it is one of the most highly competitive industries in Hawaiʻi to choose. Therefore, you must show your creativity and demonstrate your uniqueness from other photographers. Sometimes this involves being adventurous to capture different and surreal perspectives of landscape on Kauaʻi that could put my life at risk. Such as adventuring to challenging trails, hiking mountains up to 3000ft high, and freediving 35ft below the pacific ocean. Read more>>

Alexa Rae Perkins | Music Executive

I’ve never feared taking a risk because I never feared failure. I was in my second year of Veterinary school when I first got the opportunity to work alongside major music executives in 2017. I always had a passion to work in the music but never expected that to be my reality. When the opportunity first came up, I was about to get my associates degree in Veterinary medicine and was offered an opportunity to move to New York City and work at Def Jam Recordings. Needless to say, I moved immediately. If it wasn’t for taking that initial risk to change my career path, I would have never accomplished all I have in the past 5+ years working at three major labels and starting my own creative agency. Read more>>

DJ SCOUT | DJ

I believe risks are important and essential to life because in order to move ahead we need to be able to take that leap into the unknown. Even if taking risks involves mistakes you can still learn from it and move accordingly. The biggest risk I have taken was when I decided to move to Arizona, after graduating from high school. I was living in Southern California where people never took me serious as a DJ; I felt I was not getting enough creditibility for what I was trying to do for myself through music. Therefore, I wanted to start my life over somewhere else and build myself up as a performer/DJ and then expand into other states. Leaving home was the best decision I have ever made. Read more>>

Christian de la Torre | Adventure Enthusiast, Actor, Model, Military Veteran, Student of Life

High Risk, High Reward! I believe and live my life based on the philosophy that a rewarding, rich life depends on taking risks. With that being said, I am thoughtful about the risks I take to ensure that they lead to the goals I have established for myself. Since I was young, I sought out “adventure.” I took age-appropriate risks – that taught me the importance of courage as part of risk taking. I was an active athlete and as a young hockey goalie, I was involved in a serious accident in which my left leg muscles and tendons were cut completely through by an opponent’s skate. Although the doctors were phenomenal, they told me I would probably never play hockey again. I refused to accept this and began therapy to recover as soon as possible. In the end, I returned eight months later to play in an international hockey tournament in which my team won the championship and I won a scholarship. Read more>>

Corin (Corinthea) Harris | Master mindset, success & spiritual business coach/expert

Unpopular opinion from me is this: I consider risk essential. People who think they are out of alignment when taking a scary risk, but actually they are just being met with resistance and the universe (God, Angels, etc. I call it GAUS…whatever you believe in) seeing how badly you actually want your desires and how quickly you’re willing to get there. So I feel it is essential. Without taking risk, we stay in our comfort zone which actually makes us more uncomfortable over time because we never went for it. Read more>>

Duong Hua | Small Business Owner

As the saying goes: No guts, no glory. Having guts to me means doing something what your intuition tells you. Doing it in a measured way that fits your comfort level. Be flexible with it. Be resilient. When glory comes, continue to adjust and fine tuning things that further increases the reward. This process doesn’t end. Read more>>

Nycole Jones | Celebrity hairstylist & Owner Yara Luxe Hair Perfume

Risk taking has played such a big part of life/career. I believe if you don’t jump how do you know you can fly? When starting Yara Luxe Hair Perfume in the pandemic was such a big risk. people was staying home working but I believe they needed this scent in their hair to bring happiness in there busy day. We have sold-out 5 times! bringing so much joy to others simply priceless. If I didn’t risk it all I would be still be wondering what could have happen. Read more>>

Andrew Younan | Business Development Manager in the Real Estate Tech Industry

Earlier in my Real Estate career I was a pretty conservative person and believed that if I just did my job well I would be able to climb the corporate ladder and reach my full potential. At the time, I was naïve to the fact that sometimes when you do your job really well, employers don’t actually want to promote you because that means they would disrupt the flow of business performance and they would have to find someone to replace you in your previous position. So they dangle a carrot of upward mobility that always seems to be just out of reach in order to keep you motivated and keep you at bay. Read more>>

Hoseok Youn | Glass Artist

Risk is inevitable in life. It is often perceived as a negative word people are afraid of because they only remember the major risks they have taken in life. In reality, life is full of decisions and there are risks involved in every choice we make. When we avoid risks because we are scared, we might perceive our paths to be less difficult, but that only results in a state of stagnancy with no change. When you want a successful career and hone your skills within your craft, you must change things, make decisions, and ultimately take risks. It is just part of life. Read more>>

Chante Carmel | Actress/Author

Choosing this career is all about risk. Every time I walk onto a stage, every audition, every ounce of me that I pour into this business that is unforgiving and relentless, I am taking a risk. This business does not love you back and it forces you to be strong everyday, throwing often times the worst humanity has to offer at you. But you do it, you get out everyday and do it because you love it. You risk everything for the love of art. My life and career is all risk, but without risk there is no reward. My work has rewarded me with so many opportunities. To travel to love and to live life to its fullest. Read more>>

Taha Long | Film Producer

By nature, I am a very reserved and risk averse person. Often finding certain probability of failure to be far too hazardous to be fully pursued, or even considered upon. My work in film has shifted this outlook considerably, where it allowed me to observe a number of high-stake real life examples of calculated risk takers and how they navigate each project. I realize my low risk preference was motivated by apathy and negative perception, rather than a conducive and goal-oriented mindset. In addition to external observation, my experience as producer and leading multiple productions has invariably provide me with self-confidence and strategic risk assessment skill to take on a degree of risk effectively. Read more>>

Namrata Poddar | Writer and Educator

Like many, I see the ability to take risks as crucial to success; it’s played a huge role in my life and professional path too. Taking risks has much to do with being attuned to one’s inner voice, to the intelligence of one’s body (loudest, perhaps, in the heart or the gut) as opposed to the rational mind that is often a sum total of other people’s voices, even if, by saying this, I don’t mean to imply an easy binary between the mind and the body. Read more>>