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.

Dajuana Jones | LA Fashion Photographer

Many of my life’s greatest achievements have required me to be courageous and face the fear of uncertainty, step outside of my comfort zone and take risks. In fact the more risks I take, the more comfortable I am in high-risk, high-reward situations. Taking risks in my career has helped me learn valuable lessons, move ahead more quickly—and reap financial rewards. But without a lot of experience taking calculated career gambles, it can be tough to know when to go for it—and when to play it safe. Read more>>

Roy Toft | Wildlife Photographer and Tour Leader

Risk taking has played a huge role in my life and career. When one chooses a career in photography, especially wildlife photography, the hill to success is quite steep. There is no real established path that is easy to follow. I quit my day job working at a zoo in 1991 and started getting in the field full time to be a wildlife photographer. Traveling involves airfare, lodging, transportation, food…….and photography requires equipment and film (until 2004), all of which costs a considerable amount of money. An unknown photographer in those days needed to produce a sizable amount of images to get noticed and established at a stock agency to start making sales. This took me about five years to start making a return on investment and work! That’s a huge risk! But like so many things in life, that effort and risk has allowed me to live a dream of spending 6-8 months each year in the wild places of this glorious planet. Read more>>

Kamil Rehman | Owner, CurrentBuild Computer, New Fast Linux Computers

On the other side of risk is the reward. Opportunities don’t present themselves with a foghorn, crying out loud to be seized. Opportunities present themselves as a flicker of a flame, the feeling is hey that looks interesting that has potential. One has to be open to these quiet signals at all times for they’re always presenting themselves to us, and not just in business opportunities but in all areas. The tendency is, since the signal is not very strong to simply let it pass. Now here’s what happens if you do give it a second look, the risks present themselves, and the mind being a very fertile instrument will conjure up greater risks than there really are. Rationalizing really is what happens, the mind assures us with ‘valid’ reasons why we shouldn’t attempt the venture. The truth is often the risks aren’t very great, it’s never all or none. To beat back that ‘comforting’ rationalizing what’s required is faith or belief. Remember a flicker of an idea is not a finished successful project, it’s just the beginning, a flicker, there is no completed successful project one can actually see and point to, that gives one the conviction to take on the project and the risks. Read more>>

Luke Pechmann | Lifestyle Coach and Meditation Teacher

Risk taking has always come pretty natural to me. To the point where most of my behavior and actions would be viewed as reckless. To me I consider it calculated recklessness.I think the biggest risk I took was choosing to move to California to train for the Olympics. Swimming is a sport that is not very financially rewarding and extremely time/energy consuming. But I went with my gut and couldn’t imagine my life without these experiences, challenges and connections made out here. Read more>>

Rico Mandel | Industrial Marketing Specialist/Photographer/Entrepreneur

I found that as an entrepreneur risk taking is just part of life. It takes a certain personality type to have enough faith and confidence in yourself and your ideas to be able to go out and start your own business. For me it’s been part of my life from the beginning. I wanted to go into business for myself. I never really saw myself working for someone else. Of course I have worked for other people but that was pretty short lived. Most of my life I’ve had my own business and somehow I’ve made it through. Part of risk-taking is to stay ahead of things. To always be educating myself in my business and industry and the industries of my clients. Personal growth has also been a part of being able to take risks, to truly know myself, what my strengths and weaknesses are. My particular strengths are management and connecting with people. I’m a relationship kinda guy, I like people and enjoy hearing their stories and talking to them about their business and also personal lives. I’m also creative and an idea guy so I use those strengths to communicate with the people I work with as well as my clients to help them. Read more>>

Taisuke Kimura | Film and TV Composer

“Regretting not doing something or regretting doing something. Which one would you choose?” I always ask this question to myself when I have to make big decisions. Taking risks and getting out of our comfort zone are scary but it gives us new ideas, a courage and a confidence after we take an action. When I was at the early 20’s, I had a huge car accident and had to be hospitalized for 1 month. Through this experience, I realized that I should focus on what I want to do in my life because we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. We live only once. I didn’t want to regret not doing what I’m interested in. So I made a big decision 10 years ago. My first job was completely non-music related and I was just a sales guy at a company back in Japan. I was pretty happy with the salary that I was getting and was enjoying what I was doing there too. But working in the music industry was always my dream and I didn’t want to regret not trying it. So I quit my job and moved to the US to study music at Berklee College of Music at the age of 27. There were many hardships such as language barriers, cultural differences, and lack of music skills compared to musical genius students around me at school. Read more>>

Eric Zapien | Entrepreneur

Risk has always played an important part in my life; especially now as a business owner. I always start by asking myself one question whenever I think about a risk I’m going to take: what’s the very worst thing that can happen if I fail? More often than not, I find that the consequences of failing are really not that bad. With especially risky decisions, I make sure to go through a risk mitigation process in case things don’t go as planned. A sort of “plan A, plan B, plan C” process that allows me to take risks more confidently. This was the same process I underwent when I decided to leave my corporate job and start my business, CarWise, I realized that the very worst thing that could happen if my business failed, was that I would be out of work and would lose the initial investment I had spent months saving up for. In my mind, this was really not that bad. The benefits of success greatly outweighed the consequences of failing. I was young, motivated, and qualified, and knew I could quickly find another job if I needed to. I also mitigated the consequences of failure by taking a few steps. Read more>>

Jerod Williams | Cardio Dance Fitness Instructor / Writer / Legal Assistant

Risks are what makes an individual grow. It’s so easy to be stagnant when it comes to being comfortable at doing the things that you love, but while being comfortable, there is also not a chance to grow your mindset and expand your knowledge when you don’t take a risk. I would like to think that every single risk that I take in my career is a reinvention. Before COVID-19 hit, I had become the most comfortable and stable in my fitness journey as an instructor when I taught my in-person classes. I could feel out a room and explore than in-person connection. Now that COVID-19 hit, it took that aspect of my life away and now I have to re-train myself to gain that same feeling again, except I had to do it virtually. It’s a challenge every time I press start on Zoom, IG LIVE or FB LIVE, but I’m learning and growing as I go. Success or failure, each time you put something out there in the universe, you grow and it is a risk. Read more>>

Rod Jones | Artist, Writer & Podcaster

Many years ago I left a very secure job as a fireman to become a commercial photographer. I had no formal training. I saved up my money and purchased a Hasselblad camera. From there I literally took thousands of pictures and within a year I had a studio and a couple of accounts. Within two years I had a very well equipped larger studio (8,000 sq feet) and was photographing everything from food to fashion. It was a huge risk, but it paid off. Eventually after many years of living as a commercial photographer my wife and I had a child. We were living in my studio in Beverly Hills at the time. The photography business was starting to really change…and not for the better. So we left Los Angeles and moved to the mountains to raise our daughter. And of course, I needed to make a living. I became a marketing consultant, and that was a successful business for many years. During that time I started to paint. I missed the creativity of being a photographer, but I didn’t want to be a photographer any more. Fast forward to today…I’ve been painting for about 20 years, and have a large following. Read more>>

Valerie Huber | Actress

As an actress risk is something that comes with my job. Nothing is ever safe. Ever. No job, no relationship, nothing in life. So why settle for something else than your dream in the first place? I think being in a creative career you have to have the type of personality that is acquainted to risks. You have to learn to live with it, or even learn to love it. In my job I will never know when my next project will be. A great film project or show or success is never a guarantee for the next job. It might help you to be seen by more people, but it doesn’t mean that you are going to get job offers for the rest of your life. But I must agree with the cliche; no risk – no fun. Read more>>

Alexander Mendoza | Actor & Vocalist

My grandpa told me, “You’re not a failure for doing the work and showing up.” I had a teacher who told me what I could and could not do, what I would and would not achieve. For a while, it kept me from believing in myself. Still, I began taking the steps to show up to auditions for parts I wanted, not the parts that teacher told me I would play. I saw results. I put in the time during workshops and voice lessons and acting classes, taking the risk on being who I knew I was. I saw more results. I listened to constructive criticism rather than criticism meant to hold me back. In all of that, I felt like I was taking a risk in stepping away from what I’d been told by that teacher. However, I’ve now come to see it’s far riskier to listen to the negativity than to show up and believe in yourself. Taking the “leap of faith” into what you feel you’re meant to do isn’t actually the risk. The risk is believing the people who criticize you for doing so. The risk is believing they’re right. The risk isn’t in showing up. We’ve been tricked into believing it’s the other way around. Read more>>

Juri Koll | Artist/Filmmaker/Curator

Risk taking is a part of everyday life for an artist or creative person. It provides motivation, opportunity, allows for intuition and creation, and makes life interesting. Read more>>

Dillon Eaves | Tattoo Artist, Illustrator, & Dog Dad

Risk taking for me has been essential to my success. I like being a pioneer and forging a path for myself. I try to have the mindset that even if I fail at something that the universe has my back and that there are valuable lessons to be learned in my failures. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have safety nets in life, but sometimes you have to just jump into the great unknown. I knew little to nothing about owning my own business, but after watching how my mentors operated their’s I knew that there were certain things I wasn’t going to do. Some of it is trial by fire but thats a risk all successful people take. Read more>>

Leona Darnell | Los Angeles Birth and Maternity Photographer

The most significant risk I took in my life is deciding to become a single mother 7 years ago. The partners I have been with were simply not the right fit and I was 44 and not getting any younger, so I turned to a donor registry and IVF. After several trials and tribulations, I had my miracle son in 2013. In the 8th month, I was rushed in for an emergency C-section. I briefly heard my child cry as he was rushed out of the room and into the NICU. The entire event was a chaotic blur from the moments leading up to delivery, the delivery itself and immediately after. It was a full 24 hours before I could even set eyes on him or touch him. Later, at home, I reveled in motherhood, but mourned for all that I missed. I wanted those moments back and wished someone had been there to document them for me. I come from a photographic background and studied at the Academy of Art in San Francisco when image development came from the darkroom and the smell of chemicals filled my senses. That day in 2013, two worlds collided and after doing my first birth photography session, that was it. Finally, I was grounded. Birth photography made my life complete. Read more>>

Ryan Sullivan | Sound Editor and Sound Designer

As a relatively young sound editor and sound designer working in Los Angeles, I have thought a lot about what I wish I would have known about my career in college or even high school. What could I possibly convey to my younger self? To take advantage of the sweet academic discounts? No, probably not. I thought about it for some time until I came to realize that there was one giant theme across my decisions and choices. The through-line through everything was risk-taking. For a creative individual, risk is woven into the DNA of almost all creative decisions and problem-solving. A fashion designer working for a brand has to take risks to create clothing that feels new but holds a brands identity. A painter must take risks with how they approach the canvas even if they don’t have a plan from the start. In my experience as a sound designer, I have to take risks by using specific sounds to create a sonic experience to deliver information and emotion to a story. If no risks are taken in the creative process, the product becomes bland. Therefore, it is crucial that at least one major risk is taken. Read more>>

Tim Kothlow | Photographer & Photo Editor

Calculated (non reckless) risks are probably the most important steps you can take as a photographer. Without taking risks, you’ll never be able to gauge how far you have come or how far you need to go in terms of building your career. Risks that I have taken have opened doors of opportunity that I don’t think could have been opened in any other way. Read more>>

Jill Gasparac | Dog Trainer and Owner of See Spot Stay Dog Training & Walking

Don’t be afraid to try because you might fail. When starting your business, try a number of things, even if you are told it won’t work. Everything is figure-out-able, if you want it to be. When I come up against a bump in the road that seems like a mountain, I remember that everything is a learning experience and that failure is a teacher. No one succeeds at everything always, sometimes you have to fail over and over again to finally find the right path to success. When you do fail, learn from your failures, keep putting yourself out there and keep trying until you get it right. Read more>>

Mac Kotas | Cinematographer & Photographer

I dont think you can be a creative/artists without taking risks. There is no real career path, no stable income, no set hours, and no real guarantees. For me the first risk, as I think it is with most artists, is showing the world what you create. You work really hard on something and then you show it to someone and they are like “meh”. At first it stings. Why doesnt everyone love this thing I worked so hard and long on? After awhile though you realize you can’t please everyone and to just keep going forward. The next biggest risk is choosing a creative industry as a full time career. After college I was a bit naïve on how the whole industry worked. I guess I had never really thought about how to get work. You can’t just apply online to shoot films. I started freelancing by answering ads off Craigslist. I was lucky though, I didnt have to take loans out for college and I lived at home for the first year out of school. I couldn’t imagine doing what I did with college loans hanging over my head, because it takes time to start earning decent money in a creative industry. I did a lot of crap jobs at first just to build up a resume. Thats the tough part about going at it on your own, it takes time. Read more>>

Brooke Dabalos | Musician, Artist, Author, Poet

Creativity requires risk taking, and constantly practicing bravery. I don’t think that it ever gets easier to put myself out there. Every time I start a new project, make a post on social media, or share anything with the general public, I am taking a risk. There is always a level of nervousness because I know I’m doing something important. I am being vulnerable, and to me that is a strength. This year especially, without the ability to perform in front of an audience in person, I realized that I needed to get over my fear of being on camera. Social media became the stage. So in that way, on top of the many creative risks and leaps I’ve taken since starting my artistic journey, learning how to perform and speak on camera, while a challenge, did not seem insurmountable. Since the passion and love for creating art is there, taking risks is less daunting. Because I feel a calling to share, to express, and hopefully heal people with what I do, I’m willing to be out there, despite the many fears and reasons to hide in the background. Read more>>

Amanda P.H. Bennett | Sound Designer & Music Composer

Because life is a never ending journey of growth, it is one of the few things in life that is guaranteed. There is risk in decision making. The decision to pursue sound design and music composition in my college years was a risk. Being a brand new field to me, there was no guarantee of me succeeding or failing in my studies. There was only the unavoidable Calling towards that field. I knew if I did not pursue it, I would regret it. There is risk in rising to the occasion. You could make excuses for not taking on the role as lead sound designer for short films, animated shorts, or other works that are sent your way, or you can seize the opportunity and put creative problem solving into action with your limited amount of resources at hand to bring the story of the project to life through sonic means. There is risk in believing in your own merit. Everyone fails. I know I have. To look back sensibly, glean the lessons within your failures, and move forward without demoting your own talents and work takes an insane amount of dedication. Through that, you have to have confidence in yourself or you won’t have the confidence of your coworkers, clients, and friends. Read more>>

Leslie Adkins | Artist & Business Owner

I believe risk-taking is on a sliding scale, and I’m riskier than average (life is too short not to be!), but I’m also calculated with the risks I take. I have over-calculated in the past, experiencing “analysis paralysis” either because of fear of the unknown or because of limiting belief patterns that I had yet to rewire. For example, I could have pursued my art career more seriously over 10 years ago, venturing out to create my own business back then, but I still had limiting beliefs that were holding me back from being where I am now, in the previously unknown territory of being a professional artist and business owner. The calculated part of my risk-taking at this time in my life is about critical thinking, rather than the sophisticated forms of resistance and fearful thinking it often was in years past. Those were also times when I ended up blindly jumping off of proverbial cliffs because “I couldn’t take it anymore!” Inevitably, I did run into complications as a result of the lack of foresight, but I also had some of the most exciting, invigorating, and ultimately, enlightening experiences of my life. Read more>>

Cosimo Cavallaro | Artist

Risk puts me in the present moment. Living is a risk that is ignore till we come to the edge and realize that life and death are inseparable. What I know doesn’t interest me. exploring is what keeps me interested. Read more>>

Cathy Baron | Actress & Pole Instructor

To some, risk is a scary word. Being “risky” often holds fear of loss or change. To me, risk comes with opportunity. Change has never held me hostage and because of this, I have had the audacity to be risky in my career choices. I would have never booked any of the acting roles I have if I did not believe that risk was worth it. I wouldn’t have even moved to Los Angeles or started teaching pole dance. Sure, we can think “but what if I lose?” I think “but what if I win?”. Read more>>

Aimee Hopkins | Owner, Founder, Artistic Director and Teaching Artist with Aimee Art Productions: Building Self-Esteem and Literacy Through the Arts,

I have always been a risk-taker. Back when I was 17, a parent in my town asked me to start a Drama program at the local elementary school. She knew I was in the plays at my high school. I had never taught a Drama class to kids before, but it sounded like fun and felt like something I could do. I had so much success with it, that another school asked me to do the same thing. And it has been like that ever since. Read more>>

Maria Videla-Juniel | Interior Designer and Business Entrepreneur

I wouldn’t be an interior designer if I hadn’t taken some pretty big risks in my life. I’ve always been a risk taker, mostly using my gut feelings as a guide and not overthinking decisions… I would say I’ve been pretty impulsive at the moment of big changes but once I commit to something, I have never looked back so there’s only a path to move forward. I had an established career in Corporate Marketing when I decided not to pursue an MBA but instead enroll in the UCLA Extension Interior Design School. At the time, it felt I was abandoning a 12 year very successful career but now I realize that it was exactly what I needed as a foundation for my new interior design career and being in business for myself. The project management and financial background that marketing gave me, I still use every single day now for our design projects. Read more>>

Giselle Estrada | Makeup Artist & Creator

Taking risks is probably one of the hardest things to do these days, because of the fear of failure. Growing up I’ve learned to make that jump and not be scared. Taking that change, that opportunity, that idea will only benefit you in the end. The risk of being accepted in the beauty industry, while being an average artist was scary in the beginning. Now, I look back and see the progress of how far I’ve come. Although there is still a lot of work left to do, Mama I made it. Read more>>

Nayri Kalayjian | Wedding Fashion Expert

When it comes to taking risks, I consider what would be the best potential outcome and what would be the worst-case scenario. If I’m willing to accept the worst-case scenario, I’m all in! There are no rewards in life without risk and experiencing failure. Being mentally prepared to accept the failure has always comforted me because I go into whatever the risk is, knowing whatever outcome happens is what it is meant to be. I will learn from the good, bad, or indifferent. My entire career has been built on risk-taking! I would not be where I am today without it. Read more>>

Brandon Yoshizawa | Aerospace Contracts and Landscape Photographer

Risk is a necessary part of advancement in all aspects of life. Bigger risks can lead to bigger rewards, however risks should always be calculated and carefully considered. Risk has played a huge role in my professional career development and advancement from deciding when to change jobs, return to school for my MBA, or accept new opportunities and stretch assignments to grow within a company. Risk has also played a part in my personal life, mainly with the birth of my 2 children. Many questions had to be asked; mainly if my wife and I were financially and emotionally ready to be able to shift priority from our life to theirs. Risk is also a factor in my photography business. While it provides a second stream of income, the risk of transitioning to it full time is too great with my family dependent on my steady stream of income from my main career. I am also in a place where I can comfortably enjoy both; while still allowing for family time. Therefore, laying out the pros and cons of taking a risk provides greater clarity into if it makes sense to pursue given any given circumstance. While it may not be completely black and white, the decision is much more calculated than jumping in head first without a thought. Read more>>

Jeremy Pangilinan @akafotoboy | Photographer/Director Also Available For | French Fry Cheffing and Getaway Driving

It is something I look at, as something that we all have to do as artists. It could be as simple as us leaving our hometowns and risking the comforts of being around loved ones. Or chasing our dreams and putting our hearts and souls in what we create and letting it out into the universe to be judged. It is very scary and risky. But we need to do it. We can call it whatever. But really, we need it for growth. As artists, as business people, as humans. I’ve always been the person that is very willing to risk everything for the dreams and ideals that live within me. My brain just works that way. I’ve done it with everything in my world. I obviously do it for my art but I also do it for my belief system as well. Personally, I don’t think much about it. I just know, that when it comes to making a hard decision between what aches in my soul vs the space of doubt and uncertainty, my soul will always have its aches quelled. My life has been blessed with opportunities to take risks that would allow me to grow and propel myself forward. Read more>>

D Mills | Music Artist/Producer

Every successful person had a risk that needed to be taken to become successful. Usually where there is a risk there’s a great reward. Someone would say my whole career is one big risk. When I decided to do music fulltime without a plan b most people thought I was foolish. They thought it would be to risky to attempt to make music a career. If I would of settled in all the fear that was projected on me I would of never found my true calling. I would of never traveled the world, played on national television, or record my own original music. Sometimes you have to step out on faith and take great risk to reap great rewards. Read more>>

Suyoung Jang | Feminist & Character Animator

I am not a risk taker. I always try to have a plan B, C… maybe E. But I can’t deny how dangerously temping risk taking is, because the fruit of risk taking is too sweet to ignore. I came to the US when I was 25. It was not an ordinary age to be an international student as a Korean woman, especially as an undergraduate, not a graduate student. If I fail, I would be a 29-year-old woman without a career, or financial resources. -Don’t misunderstand! I now know that 29 is not too old at all to challenge yourself or pursue something new! 24 years old me was just young, immature and scared to confront an uncertain future-. My school was notorious for having a low percentage graduate. Even after a successful graduation, I had limited time -90 days- to get a job due to my social status as a foreigner. Once I did land a job, since the working visa is based on a lottery system in the US, I can’t guarantee my qualification as a worker no matter how excellent an artist or employee I am. And I knew almost all of these practical obstacles before I came to this country. Read more>>

Elizabeth Soto Lara | Writer, Director, Filmmaker.

Growing up risk was something I was afraid of. I really enjoyed living in my comfort zone and risk sounded unnecessary. I always knew I wanted to be a writer since I was 8 years old. The idea was always in my mind but as a distant, almost impossible dream to achieve. I have always been a daydreamer but not much of a planer or doer. When I finished my Bachelor’s Degree and faced real life, I focused on being productive and pay the bills, and I was reaching balance, financially-wise but I had no purpose anymore. I was more of a robot following a daily, empty routine. A couple of years later, I decided to apply for a scholarship to do a Master’s Degree in Filmmaking; to be honest, I never thought I’d get it but once I did, I learn the true meaning of risk. Even with the scholarship, living in one of the most expensive cities in the world, moving into another country, sharing a room for the first time in my life. That was the moment I learn the meaning of leaving your comfort zone and jumping into the void, hoping to survive. Read more>>

Jeff Bodart | Comedian, Artist and Wand Maker

Taking risks is an interesting concept for me. This is going to sound like wispy posters on an office wall. But whatever you do shouldn’t feel like a risk if you feel called to do it. I’ve reframed risk as a challenge. And a challenge is motivation. I think the point is, you have to lie yourself. I’ve been a comedian for almost 20 years. From my family’s perspective in the beginning, I took a huge risk but for me it was a natural choice. I started making wands a couple years ago because I wanted a wand for myself and I couldn’t stop. It was a new addictive creative outlet. Read more>>

Miguel Monteagudo | Creator

Risk is a factor that has been like a muse to me. I grew up in a very difficult country in almost every aspect of life so, risk is a copilot. Is like a friend that you don’t want to loose sight so it doesn’t surprise you but, at the same time gets you to the best situations. Taking risks has been rewarding most of the time because it makes you be flexible and sharp to learn how to plan, or sense whats your next move. At 24 I was in my first serious post production job and after making some friends among the co-workers I was invited to be part of a new company called Ultrapancho. I was not mature enough to be making decisions about budgets or network campaign strategies or many other aspects of owning a company but I took the risk of trying. Why not? So I learned, and absorbed as much as I could and made that moment count to me and my career. Read more>>

Sam Weber | Singer-Songwriter

My experiences and thoughts on risk pertain to the music business. When I started playing music, the mere process of doing so felt risky. Many of my friends had parents who worried about them foregoing a secure profession in pursuit of what might amount to a frivolous pass-time. I think parents hate to see their children suffer, but I don’t think kids want to suffer either. In the case of trying to make music for a living, it can be hard to reconcile spending thousands of dollars on equipment and allotting endless time to learning a craft only to struggle to achieve sustainability or thrive in a ruthless business. Three or so years ago I had the opportunity to sell all my shit and spend a ton of money to do the record of my dreams here in Los Angeles. As a kid from a small town in Canada most Canadians have never even heard of (North Saanich, BC), the opportunity felt terrifying, unprecedented and also everything I ever wanted. When I tell people about making that choice, most agree that biting the bullet and doing it was a no-brainer. Read more>>

Daryl Allen | Photographer, Songwriter, & Content Creator

Risk is a necessary evil lined with blessings. Taking risks has been one of the most important parts of my life and career. I’ve always been known to dance to the beat of my own drum, sing my own whimsical harmonies, and swim mysterious seas. I can honestly say I would not have accomplished what I have, gone where I’ve been, and seen what I’ve witnessed without the courage to do something different. As a firm believer in the statement, “if you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done,” I understand the importance of taking chances. When you have a thought long enough, it becomes a dream. Dreams become goals, but goals will never come to fruition without work and dedication. You have to be tenacious in creating and building what you are passionate about. With this, you also have to be gentle with yourself, understanding that some risks won’t work out. But those that do, are astronomically rewarding. I came from a place with little to nothing yet I always knew there was more out there. Read more>>

Amy Kessler | Career/Life Coach & MindBody Therapy Practitioner

I’ve been averse to taking risks since I was a young teenager.  I remember being scared to go outside, to school or even walk down a street in my neighborhood that was unfamiliar. I’m amazed I ever took gymnastics. For me, risk is a visceral feeling that if I take an action and put myself ‘out there’, something really bad is going to happen. If I fail this test, I’ll never get into college; if I finish this creative project, it will be total garbage and I’ll be utterly humiliated.  I used to imagine big, iron bars above me that might, at any moment, come crashing down. Read more>>

Monét | Pop Singer-Songwriter & Entrepreneur

I view risk as a necessity. If it doesn’t scare you a little, you’re not dreaming big enough. By not taking action you’re only cheating yourself. Opportunities are golden nuggets! You never know what an opportunity can lead to. As an independent artist, I say yes to almost everything within reason. Any situation could lead me to meet an A&R, someone who needs a singer on a track, a gig, a hot business lead, etc. You just never know! Dare to take a chance. Dare to live. Hopefully at the end of each day you’re fulfilled instead of filled with regret. Read more>>

Brayden Bugazzi | Mixed Media Collage Artist

Risk has definitely played a role in my life, and career. You have to be a risk taker to take on a career in art, and everyone knows it is a risky pursuit, and will tell you. The bad part is the Collage system won’t properly let you know what a gamble you are taking when you pursue a degree in art, and will gladly take your money and let you enroll. The problem is there is a conflict, because what they don’t tell you is pursuing a life in arts is similar to starting a business and being an entrepreneur whose product is the art that you do. If you have a large financial support system in place, and don’t have to take on any debt, and are passionate about art, then it is pursuit worth taking. Even if your not successful, at least you have all your financial needs taken care of at the end of the day. You can be free to work on any idea that comes to mind, and sometimes you can really do something that w0uld be super hard to come up with when the infrastructure isn’t in place to produce, and your spending all your time trying to stay afloat. Almost like being an inventor, who can go down paths of exploration that only can be explored with out the difficulties of living in the expensive world we now live in. Read more>>

Alex Silver | Artist & Doctor of Chiropractic

Risks are life’s greatest examination of character- they highlight the best qualities in ourselves, but also expose areas where we can improve upon. Risks are intimidating, that’s why when faced with one, we have to compare the pro’s vs. con’s. They invite you to shift your perspective. Positive or negative, there is information gained and that new knowledge can help create a better version of yourself. My earliest memory of taking risks was when I was fourteen years old, surfing waves with consequence. If I wanted a wave, I had to go for it- but just had to forget about the potential slam into 2 feet of water right in front of sharp rocks. Later in life, I took a risk that changed my life forever when I became I Firefighter. I realized that helping others was fundamental to who I was, and I was willing to risk my life in that pursuit. Without taking the risk to become a firefighter, I would’ve never known I wanted to help others as a career and therefore would’ve never become both a Chiropractor and an Artist. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Taking risks have played an important role in my life- they teach me more about myself every time. Read more>>


From a entreprenuerial perspective, taking risks is something I’ve forced myself to become comfortable for all of my creative product concepts. The thought of losing hard earned money gives everyone a stomach ache, and I really learned its all about trusting your instincts and belief the product you’re creating will find relevance and resonate with consumers. I also learned a great lesson working for adidas America: product is King and Queen. These are words I Iive by today by because IT’S COMPLETELY TRUE. Brand is essential, but product is King. Read more>>

Lenyx Rose | Artist, Filmmaker, Composer

I’m a major advocate for the expansion of self/art and in order to see the possibilities of where your life can go, you mustn’t be afraid to take leaps. The foundation of my career is based on several risks. My trajectory is rooted in trying new things and seeing were it takes me. I follow a simple quote I read in the book ‘The Artist Way’ by Julia Cameron, “Leap and the net will appear!” That quote is written on my apartment walls. Read more>>

Bel Deliá | Actress, Producer, Filmmaker

Risk is inevitable in any career and honestly life would be a little boring without it. Though I wouldn’t class myself as a risk taker naturally, virtually every career and life decision has been all about taking a calculated risk. I think one way to take the pressure off yourself when it comes to your career is to know that every choice has multiple outcomes so essentially you are only steering things in the direction of your choosing but the results will always be varied, so if you have good intentions you should end up at very least heading in the right direction. I always knew I wanted to be in film and television from the get go, right out of school, however I didn’t really know in what capacity, only that I would be in that field. I had a very broad and general idea, ‘I’ll be in the Film and Television Industry’, that was it. As a massive introvert right out of school, I worked away in various areas of film and television production until ultimately being drawn to Producing, Creating my own content and ultimately Acting. All very risky being front and centre positions. Read more>>

Zach Gracia | Artist & Designer

The only great successes I’ve ever had are on the other side of risk. Being a creative professional is a life/career full of risk and risk taking. Every time I put out a new piece of art, make comments/revisions on a design, or simply publish something on social media; I’m taking a risk. I try and remind myself of this every time I step outside of my comfort zone with a new task or project. As a professional artist/designer I’m constantly competing against thousands of the worlds best artists that only get better over time. If I don’t take risks, I lose opportunities to grow, I miss an ability to expand my horizons and I fail at living my life to its fullest potential. I believe failure is what most people fear the most when analyzing risk. However, if I let fear of failure dictate my life and dictate the way I work I would have never progressed and I would never be in the position I’m in today. While I have failed at times, I’m only successful because I’ve convinced myself to get back up and try again, and take lessons instead of losses. Risk is essential for growth. Read more>>

Penny Ross | Homeschool Consultant

I don’t consider myself to be a risk-taker. I don’t engage in dangerous hobbies or regularly enjoy activities that involve speed or chance of injury. Personally I would much rather curl up with a good book. However, if one defines risk as a willingness to go against the flow, then I can look back and reflect upon several key points in my life where I chose a risky path. Those led to a career I never anticipated. When I was pregnant with my first child, I chose to leave my job for full-time motherhood, even though a major promotion had recently propelled me into a new career trajectory. Though I only planned on being home for a year, it stretched into six –- before I returned to work part-time. Motherhood was satisfying in completely different ways than my previous career, but even more fulfilling. As my eldest approached kindergarten age, my husband and I made the decision to homeschool for a number of different reasons — even though we knew few people using this alternative method of education. I only expected to homeschool for two or three years. It stretched into nineteen years, as all three of our children remained home through high school graduation. Read more>>

Elizabeth S. Hoefer, D.C. | Chiropractor

Risk taking is exciting in many ways. In my life, I am not adverse to taking risks, but I do so knowing that I am taking a chance on me! I have never been satisfied with status quo and when opportunities present themselves I focus on what could go right rather than what could go wrong. I took a risk leaving Iowa in 2008 as a college intern with nothing more than student loan debt and zero promised income. I had a huge passion for the work I do and an unwavering belief that I had something people needed. 12 years later I own an incredible practice that has helped thousands of people stay well connected and live their lives in alignment. Read more>>

Mia Brabham | Writer & Content Creator

You risk something every time you put out a new piece of art. An essay, a short film, a short story, a book, a web series, a song, a painting. You risk your time, your energy, sometimes even your money. You risk your heart, your mind, your talent. I would even go as far in saying (on a really hard project) we risk our sanity. What a lot of people don’t realize about artists in any medium is that we are truly wearing our hearts on our sleeves. Some argue that we are our work, some argue that our work is an extension of ourselves — but either way — we’re offering up our vision, our stories, and sometimes our deepest darkest secrets for people to give their unabashed opinion, thoughts, and judgements on. We are putting it out there with our highest hopes, with the possibility (and probability) that people may not like or resonate with it at all. To me, creative work *is* risk. It is only now as I type this that I realize I don’t think about “risk” in the traditional sense of the word because risk truly is the creative work itself. And it only ever becomes crystal clear to me that it’s all risk when I’m about to release it out of my palms and into the world. Read more>>

Jane Gerwin | Wedding Planner

As cliche as it sounds I have found the saying “No risk, No reward” to be extremely true. It’s funny because in my personal life I am definitely not a risk taker. I am so careful and calculated and am always thinking of worst case scenarios. But when it comes to business I am definitely a “dive right in” type person. When I first started Jane Alexandra Events I just figured that I didn’t have anything to lose. I knew I could always go back to a 9-5 corporate job and the financial risk was surprisingly low to initially start my business. The reality of the true risk of this career became clear when I worked my first wedding. The thought of being responsible for one of the most important days in a couples life was a heavy weight to bare. I didn’t sleep at all the night before and I was so nervous that I was going to ruin their wedding. The toughest part about being a wedding planner is that anything that goes wrong ends up being your fault. Read more>>