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.

Rachael Holoway | Actress

I think taking calculated risks is incredibly exciting and imperative to success. Sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone, try something that you have no guarantee will work, but it will always lead you to where you’re supposed to be at that time. Read more>>

Angelica Montaño | Singer-songwriter

Life is filled with risks since the second we were conceived; and that is what makes life so interesting and beautiful. Weather it is a simple, small, big or important risk, there is not a day or an hour we do not have to take a risk. When we hear the word “risk”, myself included, we still freeze. Read more>>

Savannah Doss | Model/ Actor/ Singer

Supposedly you’re supposed to do one thing everyday that scares you and that is how you leave your comfort zone and grow. I don’t know if I do something everyday per day that scares me, but I do know that choosing the LA actor life was/ is scary as sh*t ! Read more>>

London Kasmir | Multi-Media Personality & Host

To be great at anything in life whether it be personal or career you have to believe in your unique gifts, talents, abilities & wisdom to just leap! You always hear “you miss every shot you don’t take” and it sounds cliche’ but it’s SO true. Just start, and once you start, have the courage to stick with it and something great will come out of it. Read more>>

KIm Lyon | Artist, Designer, Entrepreneur

Author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. who is also an Indiana native, once said, “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” And somehow I keep jumping off cliffs without always exactly knowing what awaits below. But whatever it is, at least it has to be different than my current experience, right? And that’s what drives me – always wanting to know what’s down below, no matter the outcome. Read more>>

Blair Flemings | Esthetician (Holistic Skincare)

To me, taking a risk is taking a leap of faith, and that is exactly what I did when I relaunched my skin care business. Restarting my business and rebranding myself in the middle of a pandemic was one of the biggest risk I have taken so far. As an Entrepreneur you’re putting in your own money, sacrificing your time putting your all into your business. Being a single mother I had to learn how to balance my social life, business and sons life all in one body . Looking back , now three years later, it was worth the risk.Read more>>

Donna B | Chef/caterer and event planner

When I quit a job with great benefits and giving up the position of having the opportunity to be in the corporate field. and packing up and moving to another state without a plan and without having a clue of what to do next…Read more>>

Manuela Montenegro | Photographer & Artist

Taking risks is very important in life because it takes you out of your comfort zone, making you discover new things and grow. Taking a risk is scary, but when you overcome that fear, you will see that the risk you took will leave a lesson even though it didn’t work out as you wanted. Taking risks has played an essential role in my life/ career, for example, being here.Read more>>

Box of Beats | Electronic Music Artist

I’m currently in the biggest risk I’ve ever taken. Since day one everyone knows me as the Beat Boxer who makes sick beats of all genres and in a way that’s helped me build my brand but it’s also ended up holding me back from moving in any one direction. It made me a novelty act rather than an artist. Last year I decided I’m going to leave that all behind and move into the Electronic Music Space. I’ve never rebranded before, and although the novelty act is what paid the bills and gave me a full time music career, it never felt complete. So I’m risking it all and making original music that feels more at home for me.. Read more>>

Arian Khoroushi | Entrepreneur, Content Creator & Film Producer & Director

My life is all about taking a risk, from moving to California, changing my major, staying straight behind the wheel of my passionate career with all its ups and downs, moving to the state of Illinois with my partner, and finally getting engaged to her. Human’s thoughts are limitless but not flawless. These risks easily built a huge brick wall in the mind due to “Dos and Don’ts” of the society, and scares the hell of me in their own time sake. It was the voice inside me reminding that I can do it. Read more>>

Pavel Gazdyuk | Cinematographer & Photographer

To me, there is no life without risk because it’s one of the ways to challenge yourself, to grow personally and professionally. Life means change. If you don’t want to be stuck in one place you have to make decisions that involve risk. It’s like going to a gym. You just keep practicing until at some point, after making some hard decisions, you realize that you stop treating some tough things that come your way as a risk. It becomes more of a challenge than a risk. It doesn’t seem to involve fear anymore; the personal stakes are not that high; you stress less. With less stress in your life, there is more room for creativity and freedom for action. Read more>>

Rohan Vora | Marketing Director & Entrepreneur

Risk is subjective. I think there’s a common misconception that entrepreneurs are generally “risk-junkies.” I don’t think that’s true. I think that when you set a goal – any goal – there’s an inherent amount of risk built in. But does that mean you shouldn’t take the steps to achieve your goal? Read more>>

Kai Chan | illustrator

My kind of “evolution.” My clients constantly challenge me a lot; I always feel I can’t meet their requirements. And it seemed like mission impossible, and I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it. After the briefing from my clients, I always have an idea to say no to this project and escape.Read more>>

Chris Faiss | Furniture maker

In terms of building and maintaining a business, most decisions can be said to have a certain amount of risk in that all these decisions have unknown outcomes. Might help, might hurt, might not make a difference. A key is to have a realistic idea of the range of outcomes and what effect they will have on you and your ability to keep building. It’s fine to have the dream of big success, but, for the most part, that success comes from a multitude of little daily successes. Read more>>

Lillian Agosto-Maldonado | Entrepreneurial Journalist

I have been learning about the “what if” philosophy and how the possibilities help you understand the way you can act and take decisions. My way to think about risk is exploring it as a possibility, contemplating the opportunities, and starting the process of understanding the different scenarios. Read more>>

Jenni J.V. Wilson | Writer, Psychotherapist, and Collaborative Conversationalist

I believe Risk is relative. What feels risky for one person might seem like the obvious or conventional move for someone else. Making a choice to do one thing almost always means choosing not to do others. Having too may choices can sometimes immobilize us, leaving us at the whim of outside forces feeling like victims of circumstance rather than the powerful mapmakers of our own journeys. If we are waiting for clear answers, for some signpost-from-above on which direction we “should” take, we might never move at all. Read more>> 

Rachel Yang | Culture and comedy writer

I used to think about risk like, “What if I take a leap of faith and I fail?” It was always in the negative. Dealing with imposter syndrome and self-doubt, I found it hard to believe the other way around could be true: “What if I take a leap, and I succeed?” And looking back on moments in my life or career, I can’t say definitively that there was a moment that I “made it,” and that leap paid off in perpetuity. Read more>>

Maryam Aziz | Visual Designer at Neiman Marcus

I have had many risks, but the most challenging or the riskiest was how I got into the USA and started my life after leaving my home country. It was over 100 degrees, and the sweat was rolling down my face. There was no electricity. My one-year-old child was crying desperately for cool air. Suddenly, a group of masked men broke into my home, looked for my spouse, and threatened us to embrace their religion or be killed. Read more>>

Morgan Bonn | Small Business Owner

Someone told me a long time ago, “you have to spend money to make money,” and I think that is 100% true. Starting a business is financially risky – especially when you know that almost 50% of small businesses fail within the first 5 years. I knew the risks associated with starting Cloud 9, and yet I knew it was worth it. I began the process of starting my business at 20 years old + I had investors, so the risk was not just that of my own – there was much more at stake. Read more>>

Kiran Jesudasan | Transportation Systems Specialist

Risk-taking to me is the inevitable consequence of living in this ultra-faced-paced world that seems to highlight or celebrate nonconformity. The idea of risk seems to stem from the apprehension of doing things where the consequences of doing that thing aren’t fully understood. There are uncontrollable or unknown aspects of an activity that lets fear get the best of us. And these fears can cripple or act as self-generated barriers that ultimately prevent us from living in the moment or doing what can/may/or will be necessary. Read more>>

Sasha Dylan Bell | Film Stills Photographer & Fairy School Founder

A great leader once said, “The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty that you can comfortably live with.” After 17 years building a life around around creative industries, I have learned to embrace being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Read more>>

Cory Gluck | Writer, Actor, and Activist

I think risk is an essential part of art and life. As an actor and writer risk is always present in everything I do. Every audition is a potential rejection and the same goes for every script I write. There’s risk in every great performance and script. People will give you a formula on what’s selling but then buy and laude the risky thing that goes against the formula. I’ve found myself taking more risks in my career and my life as I’ve gotten older. Read more>>

Danny Dalah | Comedy Writer, Director & Performer

As a society, we don’t have a space for mid-level creatives. We praise Oscar-winning actors such as DiCaprio, and we turn newbie actors who wait tables into the butts of jokes, but there is no mention of anything between these two options. You’re either a super-genius who has already succeeded or a fool for trying to succeed. Read more>>

Sydney Tyra | Dancer & Student at UC Irvine

Risk taking is crucial for any form of growth. However, it’s arguably one of the most scary parts of the overall precariousness that is growth. Personally, I’m wired in a way that enjoys predictability and schedule. Risk often turns these comfortable routines upside down. However, I have learned that embracing discomfort is key for really any pursuit in life. Read more>>

Johanna Brinckman | Photographer

When I started my career, every job felt like a gamble. I was not sure if I would be capable of meeting and exceeding expectations. But I knew that if I wanted to move forward, I had to jump into cold water and prove my skills in uncertain territory. Read more>>

Mallory Shotwell | Interdisciplinary Artist // Director of an Arts Organization

Risk taking: how do you think about risk, what role has taking risks played in your life/career? Risk is inherently balance. A careful dance between safety and danger. Sometimes we elect to have this risk, this dance, and sometimes we find ourselves in it. I relate to risk as it is built into my very identity. Something I want, something I don’t. An aspect of myself that I hate and love. It has informed every decision I have made, and everything that I do. Read more>>

Steph Corrigan | Brand + Web Designer

Taking risks is necessary for growth. Leaving my secure job to start a creative business was an enormous risk. There was no Plan B. But if I hadn’t made that leap, my business wouldn’t exist. I would probably still be working an unfulfilling job, earning less than I am now, and yearning for freedom. Read more>> 

Taylor Alahn | Director & Photographer

I look at risks the same way I look at opportunities. I feel as though out of every risk you decide to take whether its for your career, love or moving to a new location there is an opportunity on the other side of that risk and it is up to you to decide if the opportunity is worth the risks you may have to take. Read more>>

Nati Chang | Makeup Artist & Tattoo Artist

Taking risks is the only reason I am where I am. And a lot of that risk came from just having faith that my intuition will never prove me wrong (some may say to a fault). My biggest fear is regret. I’d rather know I answered all my curiosities, failure or not, than to wonder forever. Plus, every failure redirected me to where I was supposed to be. Read more>>

Stacy Citron | Singer, Songwriter & Actor

I think risk taking is simultaneously crucial and can be harder than you think. Risks can be investing money in an artistic project, quitting your day gig, or saying no when you always say yes (that’s been a tricky one for me to master). Trusting yourself is what counts. You will get it wrong…a lot. It’s getting back up and taking care of your needs. In today’s world it seems risky to take care of yourself- you are supposed to grind and hustle every moment, but rest isn’t a reward; it’s imperative . For everyone- artists and audiences alike. Read more>>

Ashaki Ward | Singer/Songwriter & Artist

Taking risks has been a game changer in my career, in my personal life and in all of my decisions.
If it was not for risk-taking I would’ve missed many opportunities and blessings. The saying “jump and the net will appear” is very real. I think God looks to you for your faith and then he supplies all that you need on the other side. One of the biggest risks I have taken was being on tour as a dancer with a huge recording artist and I didn’t feel that we we’re being taken care of properly or paid sufficiently. Read more>>

Timothy Maticic | Reality Television Producer

I honestly don’t think I would be where I am today in my career if I hadn’t taken a risk. I’ve been working Free Lance since I graduated college and early on in my career there would be months where I didn’t know how I would pay rent but sometimes that’s the risk you have to take to get to where you want. I hustled, made connections and started to find myself more consistent work but I found myself at a cross roads. Read more>>

Star Rolle | Software Engineer & E-commerce Store Owner

Taking risks is a major part in my career. My last article with VoyageLa, I was in a position where I had to make a choice whether I wanted to quit working in sales permanently to pursue a career in software engineering. This is one of the biggest risks I have ever taken. I knew I need to make a shift in focus if I was ever going to get out of the cycle that I was in. It ended up being worth the gamble. Read more>>

Tamar Razavi | Founder and Owner

To be quite honest, I never thought of myself as a risk-taker in the traditional sense; however, if it wasn’t for taking certain risks, I wouldn’t be where I am today. As I began my journey into the career world, my professional trajectory was pretty cut out for me. While I attended college, I worked as a Teacher’s Assistant; I then further pursued my Master’s Degree in Education and became an English and History teacher upon graduation. It’s really all I’d ever thought I would do…teach. Read more>>

Eileen Campos | Office and Public Relations Manager

Risk is a word that many people hear and have a negative connection with. I used to be one of those people, until the day I realized that every decision we make, on a daily basis, is a risk. We wake up, hop in a car, and drive to work. We do not think of the tremendous risk we put ourselves in several times a day when we decide to drive somewhere. I choose to define risk as the commencement of something new. Read more>>

Cristian Avila | Singer-Songwriter & Producer

In my opinion, risks are opportunities and my life has been full of them. I am one of those people who think that in order to grow you have to get out of your comfort zone and take risks. It is the only way to grow. For example, when I decided to change majors and pursue my dream. I transferred from architecture to music and that decision scared me because my scholarship was at stake. Read more>>

Marissa Edwards | Creative Powerhouse

That’s something that’s been on my mind a lot, actually. I feel like I’ve been kind of a coward lately when it comes to taking risks. But I’m not 21 and invincible anymore. I know what falling feels like. It makes getting back on the bike much scarier, let alone attempting a wheelie. As I’ve gotten older my definition of risk has changed. Read more>>

King Holder | Founder of PROCUSSION

Risk has always been part of my life. I’ve always been one to take risks, in all sorts of ways. Some of these risks have landed me in bad positions, but many of them have become the reason that I’ve been able to grow in my personal development and career. If my life wasn’t full of risk, I can say with strong certainty that I would not be here doing this interview. Read more>>

Zoe Rappaport | Creative Movement Director/Producer

Following the path of a Dance-Artist is one of the most risky adventures one can take in this life. One enters this field knowing there are zero guarantees and with the odds stacked against you. On top of that, I haven’t chosen any kind of traditional trajectory — even within dance or the arts. Creating my own path seemed to have always been in the cards for me…Read more>>

Osbaldo ‘Ozzy’ Alvarez | Multidisciplinary Artist and Industrial Designer

When I think about risk, I look at my parent’s story and the risk they took as immigrant parents to give me and my siblings a chance at a better future. My parents left their best friends, family and risked their lives at the border between Mexico and the United States to achieve the American dream. From them, I learned that risk is about taking a chance on myself. Read more>>

Tatsumi Romano | Actress and Advocate

I think one of the biggest risks we can take professionally is fully putting ourselves out there. When you put yourself out there for something you are passionate about, there is naturally a risk of disappointment and rejection. Risk-taking has always felt intimidating to me, but there is little room for growth without taking that chance. Read more>>

Brittney Hildebrand | Sports Bridge Co-Founder and Soccer Coach

When I think of the meaning and definition of a risk, I believe it to be a catalyst with consequences. Taking risks is an important part for many areas of life, but more specifically for me within the sports realm. As a female soccer coach, player, and co-founder, I believe risks to be one of the most important aspects to achieve greatness. Read more>>

Falme D | Rapper/Songwriter

I think of risk as the final piece of the puzzle. You prepare. You struggle. You sacrifice. You do everything in your power to get what you want out of life, but you have to take a leap at some point. You have to believe in yourself because that leap will complete your process. Luck and hard work are important, yes. Read more>>

Shannara Rasmussen | Paramedical Esthetician & Permanent Makeup Artist

Risk is something that will always be something you will have to deal with, in both personal life, and in business or pursuing a career. Weighing options in a lot of instances isn’t easy, especially when the risk SEEMS larger than the reward. Whether its buying a home, starting a business, or something as Read more>>

Eric Brown | Designer

It has been a huge factor in my career! Im from Baltimore, MD and I relocated to Los Angeles early March, 2020. As we all know it was one of the most unprecidented times in history…here I was, alone in a new city chasing a dream. That risk single handedly changed my life, because I could’ve easily went back home to what I knew to be comfortable and safe. Instead I stuck it out & kept pursuing my dream of being a designer. Read more>>

Isamar Denise Tovar | Actress

The word Risk sounds scary but it has been a blessing in my life. I took a risk moving to L.A. not knowing the city nor having any friends and relatives. It’s was a big change in my life and I honestly didn’t know what was going to happen. Risk was a blessing because I found the courage, my will and myself. Risk is just a feeling that makes you realize how bad you want something without thinking much about the consequences, I just hoped the consequences ended up being good, and they were. Read more>>

Anthony Stewart Jr | aka DJ Klepto

The first thing that comes to mind is gambling which is something I do quite often. My friends know I will go to Vegas spur of the moment every other week and I have comp rooms and free play waiting. I was raised in church though and in my Christian upbringing I always remember the scriptures James Chapter 2 verses 14-22 where GOD describes faith without works is dead. To me that means just wishing or praying for something isn’t enough you have to put your best foot forward and do the work to get the job done. Read more>>

A.J. Wedding | Co-Founder of Orbital Studios

Everything is a risk. Identifying what is at stake in any situation is the important thing so that you can manage the risk. I was in a cushy job that allowed me some freedom and seemingly low risk-but the true risk was never getting to achieve my dreams. That outweighed the fear of building a business that I love to go to every day. If you discount the risks in the chances you don’t take, you’re not evaluating the situation properly. Read more>>

Lotus La Loba | Mystic Practitioner, Embodiment & Energy Coach

There is nothing riskier than a Black womxn leaning into liberation and ease. To center my work around Black womxn loving themselves first unapologetically, shifting from exalting hard work to embodying the ease in expressing who they are, without the restraints of society’s misconception of them – is probably the riskiest thing I’ve ever done. Read more>>

Ivoree Xavier | Singer, Songwriter, & NFT Project Founder

I am an extreme risk taker and I have accepted it long ago. If you give me two options and one is fatal but the other could change my life in an extremely positive way I would take that risk any day. To me, risks are important and necessary to my journey. Read more>>

Michael Girgis | Musician

I think, in order to put yourself out there, you have to take risks. I know for my career I wouldn’t be where I’m at now without the risks that I’ve taken. For example, when I started making music, I was afraid of rejection and the what ifs that came with releasing music. What if people don’t like me, what if this is just a waste of time, etc. But I chose to take a risk and dive into the unknown and I’m so grateful that I did. Read more>>

Christian de Mesones | Bassist, Composer & Bandleader

As a father and husband, I obviously try to avoid putting my family at risk, and luckily, my thrill seeking is of the artistic kind. As a bassist, composer, bandleader, music educator, and podcaster with a lengthy list of goals I am still trying to achieve, I think of risk as an absolute necessity for my career. When I was younger, I blindly took risks – some of which paid off, others that didn’t. Read more>>

Nariah Francois | Recording Artist

I think of risks as an opportunity to step out on faith and not let fear be the deciding factor with the choices that I make in my life and in my career. Risks are necessary when you’re doing something that’s never been done before. My career is being made possible by the risks I’m deciding to take. My career as an artist and a touring vocalist really began to take shape after I took a risk and moved to LA after graduating from college. Read more>>

Leni Rico | Actress, producer, writer

I think that it’s important to take risks especially if we want to have changes in our lives. I feel that changes are always positive and we can see that sooner or later even when we might not be able to understand in the moment. For me the biggest risk was to move to another country, USA. Moving to LA from Spain without knowing anyone here and even renting a room to someone that I met through craigslist lol who later became one of my best friends still. Read more>>

Alexandra Morancy | Music Industry Professional; Co-founder of Rabotat Records

When starting your own business, and especially a record label in our case, you almost have to go into it with the mentality of expecting – and welcoming – risk into your world. Risk comes in the forms of not having enough financially, or not having enough time to put towards your passion or business on any given day. Sometimes the risk comes from a lack of support from the people closest to you who don’t see the vision, even when it’s clear as day in your own head. Especially with art, you also run the risk of rejection or negativity too – and that can dampen creativity and ambition. Read more>>

Bethany Yeap | Director & Multi-media Artist

I think my biggest fear has always been regret, so within that context, I always saw risk as something necessary to accept in order for me to have the fullest experience possible in life. Risk, I would probably define as uncertainty- a decision with no verifiable outcome. While both risk and regret conjure fear, I much rather would take a risk and just bite the fear of failure rather than regret never doing anything. You can always bounce back from failure but you can’t live your life twice; sounds corny, but it’s true. Read more>>