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.

Mariana Suarez De Stefano | Yoga Instructor / Dancer

RISKS are a must in our lives. We need to take risks to be able to figure out if things will work out or not. I used to work at an office as a Project leader / web programmer and for me the biggest risk I have taken has been changing this career/job to be an entrepreneur. Leaving a secure job with a monthly stable salary to become a dancer/yoga instructor and follow my heart in doing what makes me happy was a huge risk and it was so worth it. I believe we sometimes need to walk in the direction of fear and take the risk to be able to discover unimaginable realities in which we can become the best version of ourselves. The more risks we take the easier it gets to walk confident into the direction of our dreams. Taking risks for me has become the norm, following my heart is how I live my life and it has helped me to become the change I wish to see in the world. The more I do it the more I see people around me feeling inspired by me and following their hearts and dreams as well. That has been the best reward I could have ever received. Read more>>

Pongkarnda “Kik” Udomprasert | Director & Writer

Risk is a crucial part of life in all regards. From the moment you start interacting with your parents as a child, you’re testing things. Do I drop the spoon or do I not drop the spoon? If I do it, will they get upset or will they listen to what I want? The key is if you don’t test it, you’ll never find out. You’ll never learn. My career choice itself calls for intense risk-taking. There is no set path to becoming a director, so the wheels are constantly turning in my head. What do I do, what steps should I take, who do I reach out to today, should I make that big ask or should I wait another month? It’s like going into a pitch black room and blindly grabbing at air until you find a way out the other side. If you’re scared, you have 2 safe choices, sit still and safe or back out the way you came, but neither of those choices will move you forward. So despite my sweating profusely and feeling numb in the face of these risks, I welcome them. They will pass, and they always teach me something. Read more>>

Diana Adams | Artist & Designer

I see risk as being a direct connection to growth and to fear. Too many times we let fear stop us taking risk, but I’ve learned that moving towards the fear is what allowed me to grow as a person. Of course, I always compare the positive to the negative outcomes before taking any risk, but usually, taking risk always wins, even if you lose. You’ll learn, grow and repeat. Read more>>

Margie Schnibbe | Multidisciplinary Artist

I believe that risk taking is essential in all creative endeavors. Every moment of a project involves taking emotional, intellectual and artistic risks, and I have been taking these kinds of risks every day for many years. When I approach a blank canvas, hold a lump of unfired clay in my hands, shoot a video, or open a computer program and create a new file, I am taking a risk. I work intuitively and every artwork involves a leap of faith that I will make something meaningful, exciting and new. Sometimes at the start of a piece or project I feel anxious and ask myself questions: What am I doing? Will this new work be successful? How will it be perceived? How will I be judged? As I continue working I focus and quiet my mind. When a project is finished and I am happy with the results, I feel joy and forget about the questions. Then I start a new project and the process begins again. When I was young, I separated from the comfort of my family, friends and intimate relationships to pursue my dream of becoming an artist. Read more>>

Lelanea Fulton | Photographer & Wine Sommeliére

I have learned to welcome risks and to lean on them. Risks that end in success tend to catapult me in ways that allow for immense growth and the risks that do not end in what is seen as a success tend to be even more beneficial than the former. My many attempts that seemed to have “failed” were the risk-taking that forced growth. I am thankful for all the times I fell on my ass; They kept my ego in check and my creative juices flowing. After years of risk-taking, I now find myself distrusting of decisions that don’t include some sort of risk…after all, where is the fun in that?. Read more>>

Corey Spiegel | Founder of Light House – a Network of Whip-Smart Women Learning and Transforming Together With the Guidance of Trusted Experts.

Taking a risk requires a great deal of thought and courage to face the fear of the unknown. I was looking to grow professionally and debated all of the avenues that were available to me to help me achieve both resiliency and my future goals. Ultimately, I decided on one seemingly simple yet scary choice to start my own business. I was tired of working for other people and bringing to light their visions for their companies. I wanted that for myself. I wanted to bank on my own efforts and talent making decisions I knew would be best for me. I thought about what it would be like if I didn’t take the risk and that notion was far worse to me. I knew I would regret the missed opportunity. Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of fear involved – fear of failure, fear of change and the uncertainty of it all without a safety net beneath me. But actually, fear isn’t so bad and neither is taking a risk. In fact, risk is the very thing that can make you feel alive, stand taller, be prouder and speak up for consciously going outside your comfort zone. Read more>>

Dr. Rahi | Integrative Aesthetics – Medical Doctor

Risk taking is the foundation of who I am and where I come from – my parents took a risk by leaving Iran with 3 kids and barely any money to move to Canada – a country of opportunities and freedom but a country where they knew no one and barely spoke the language (English) – in turn I took a risk by moving to the United States to pursue my passion of medicine and entrepreneurship. I also took a risk by leaving my comfortable and lucrative life in the hospital to start my own medical practice in both Beverly Hills and now New York City – I believe the key to any success is to take calculated and mindful risks I do not regret my choices and am finally in a place where I can practice Integrative Aesthetics and provide the best services to all my patients. Read more>>

Jessabelle Thunder | Burlesque Performer & Pinup Model

Risk taking as always played a role in my career as a burlesque performer. If I didn’t take a risk, I wouldn’t be where I am now. When I was first introduced to the world of burlesque, I was in awe of what I saw but never thought I could be someone on stage doing a striptease for a room full of people. I was always a shy, introverted person, who feared being the center of attention and had low self esteem (off stage I can still be that person though; I’m forever a work in progress). After seeing my first few burlesque shows, my boyfriend at the time saw how much I loved it and basically threw me into a class. I was terrified! Terrified because I didn’t know anyone, terrified because I had to try and be sexy, terrified because I didn’t know anything but regardless I pushed through. When the time came, where I was offered an opportunity to perform on a solo on stage, my brain said “hell no” but something in the back of my mind told me to take that risk and push myself out of my normal comfort zone. Read more>>

Justen Phelps | Software Engineer & Father

Risk has been an incredibly common theme in my career, and all through conscious decisions of my own. The first 10 years of my career were spent at jobs where I felt unfulfilled, unimportant, and replaceable. I spent years of my early adult life cleaning toilets, bouncing at bars, and living in my grandparents Volkswagen van. Approaching 25 I had reached a point in my career where I was legitimately stuck and unable to improve my situation. I was working as a researcher in Palo Alto, working with people extremely more qualified than I. I had worked my way into this position after years of pharmaceutical grunt work, and was proud to have made it into a position where my coworkers had doctorate and masters degrees in their field. I was working alongside some of the brightest people I have ever met. After about a year, it had become very clear that this job was the end of the road for my improvement. I had been told by management that in order to be promoted or improve my compensation, a degree was needed. Read more>>

Estéban Betancourt | Designer & Dreamer at Large

Fear is the one emotion you don’t want to give into when you’re starting a new business. To take risks is to act without fear. Just like anyone out there, I have found myself fearing rejection or failure, but I have never allowed those irrational fears to stop me from pursuing my dreams. I’ve always used those fears as a signal that I am onto something grand, and that I must push on even further. Taking risks has been the most rewarding aspect of not just my career but of my life journey. The universe rewards the bold and courageous, when you follow your passions and you speak your truth the entire cosmos conspires with you to make your dreams a reality. All you have to do is make the leap. Read more>>

Amie Williams | Filmmaker, Journalist and Chronic Cliff Jumper

A RIFF ON RISK When I was studying theater many years ago as an undergraduate, I remember a story my professor told me, a simple story he called “the moth and the flame.” He said there were three types: the moth that circles around and around the flame, the moth that gathers up its courage and passes through it a few times, and the third type, the moth he was encouraging his students to be, the one that embraces the flame completely and so is consumed by it. “Obeying the flame is both the easiest and the hardest thing to do,” Camus once said, and this has been a recurrent theme throughout my career as a filmmaker, journalist and NGO leader. I was naturally drawn to risk-taking as child, an avid tree climber and playground disruptor. In my early twenties I moved to Kenya, East Africa to teach in a remote village when my fellow college graduates headed off to law school, Wall Street or sensible well-paying jobs. I didn’t know it then, but living far from the familiar, learning a new language and culture (perhaps one of the world’s oldest and most resilient) would lay the groundwork for a nomadic lifestyle that I would continue to crave, never being able to stay in any one place for very long. Read more>>

Paul Vu | Creative Agency Owner & Design Consultant

Risk is inevitable and provides you with unique opportunities if properly managed. For me, evolution has been crucial both in my personal and work life. Deciding how and when to evolve can be tricky because you don’t want to diminish the things that make you magical, yet you don’t need certain patterns holding you back. Keeping clear goals, staying humble and assessing progress really helps. When you mess up, apologize, clean up quickly, and offer better solutions. Doing so has allowed me to work with astronauts and navy seals to global fashion brands. My latest risk happened during the pandemic – I dissolved a successful photography business of nearly ten years to form a creative agency called HANA. Read more>>

Tidawhitney Lek | Artists/Painter

Risk, to me, is like testing one’s comfortability and tolerance in order to find revelation. It challenges the ego, the psyche, and the subconsciousness. It takes quite a bit of spirit to stay optimistic even when you’re not in control of the outcome but sometimes it helps reveal considerations one may not have thought about, I usually find myself taking a risk when I can’t seem to find satisfaction in my results. And so I try for the sake of trying in hopes that the experience will offer some perspective. Read more>>

Marni Epstein-Mervis | Interior, Architecture, & Lifestyle Photographer

I am always learning, first, to trust my gut and that sometimes it’s important to leap before I look rather than play it safe. We don’t need to wait for the right time or the right pieces to come into place to be a leader, or an entrepreneur, or to make a change. This is a process, because I was raised very much to make practical, traditionally safe decisions. But what I’ve learned is that there’s no way to get big rewards if you don’t take big risks. So why not take the chance when the worst that can happen is that you’ll end up where you were in the first place? For me, the first leap was from a stable corporate job where I had put in several years, and leaving to attend a graduate program and cobble together an income as a freelance design writer (for about six publications at a time) because I knew it was time for a change. It was a risk and – although I didn’t really know it at the time – it started me on my trajectory to where I am today as an architecture and interiors photographer. You can spend your whole life waiting for the right time to start a business, go back to school, make a career change, etc. – but the sooner you start doing it, the sooner you’ll start living it. Read more>>

Janette Aracely | Travel Blogger | Social Media Project Manager & Travel Blogger

There have been plenty of decisions in my life that friends and family have labeled as “risky.” While I agree that they were, I would say there’s a bit of methodology behind the madness that eliminates the fear of risk-taking for me. I love hearing of risk-taking stories, but I am even more interested in the logistics behind them. So that is what I’m sharing today, my so-called “formula for risk-taking”: I’m a calculated risk-taker. I like to plan for all of the probable outcomes I can think of before executing. It’s a bit like playing chess. You want to look at all of the pieces on the board, picture hypothetical moves in your head, and prepare for any outcomes you see before you play your next piece. If there are any Queen’s Gambit fans here, there’s one specific scene that may come to mind. I specifically look at the worst scenario and ask, “Does the benefit outweigh the cost?” Sometimes the answer is no, but sometimes even though the thought of the cost makes me cringe, the answer will be, “without a doubt.” The most significant risk I’ve personally taken (besides kissing a hippo in South Africa) is moving out of LA for the first time to a new continent within weeks of making the decision. Read more>>

Alexia Rubod | Transmedia Artist & Storyteller

For an artist, taking risks is always part of the development process. It can mean trying a new technique, negotiating a rate, transitioning career or moving across the globe. It comes down to facing our fears and it’s going to look different for everyone. It’s often about putting ourselves “out there”, out in the world, out of our comfort zone. It can be about being seen and heard a whole new way, because what is an artist without an audience ? It is sometimes about taking a leap of faith with no guarantee on the other side. Every time we do something new, something unknown, our mind will perceive a risk. Creativity is also found in being scared, and doing it anyways. It is said that we are most rewarded when we allow ourselves to be most vulnerable. This has certainly been true for me. Read more>>

Luckie | Art Director / Instructor

As an artist it’s important for me to take risks. I always moved with the intention of creating timeless, powerful aesthetics but it takes a lot of moving pieces. You have to be sure of your vision but also make room for fresh new inspirations at any time. From musical theatre training as a kid to then growing into a creatively headstrong teenager, I maintained a need for the thrill of taking risks that helped me thrive throughout my journey. I had to be ok with not having it all figured out and remaining open enough to learn an unbiased lesson through each experience; whether successful or not. Navigating the ins/outs of the entertainment industry revealed opportunities I didn’t know I was ready for until I was already in the thick of it. Being able to create with such dynamically talented people throughout my career keeps me ready to take bigger risks while also altering my approach and learning as much as I can. Read more>>

Karen Sikie | Artist and Spiritual Seeker

I used to think that risk was doing something like a project that was hard or out of reach, or perhaps doing something physically dangerous like skydiving. However I have shifted my idea of risk. I am an artist and I spent most of my career creating art to please others. Now I know I must RISK being my authentic self. Doing my artwork authentically in my voice in my language and let the chips fall. This is USED to feel risky because I was afraid if someone didn’t like my work. Now I understand that by not being my authentic self I risk not fully understanding who I am as an artist. I am no longer willing to take that risk. For me being an artist in not separate from my life. It is all blended together. So this idea of being authentic in all areas is now moving into areas like relationships and how I conduct my life. Read more>>

Tess Lanni | Actor, Model, & Movement Coach

Growing up, I was most definitely not a risk taker. I always did what was expected of me without thinking of myself and what I wanted from life. It finally took me until my early 30’s to realize that in order to live the fulfilling life that I wanted so badly, a big change had to be made. So, I uprooted my life in Chicago and moved out here to LA just a little over a year ago and haven’t looked back! I came out here alone without knowing a single soul and with no plan of where my creative career was going to go. Lo and behold, (even with COVID), since being laid off from my “normal” job in September 2020 and deciding to pursue acting full time, I’ve met so many wonderful and amazing artists who have helped me move forward with this crazy decision of mine. Without taking this HUGE risk and accepting who I truly am as an artist, I’d still be stuck in my “safe” pattern of taking wrong turn after wrong turn in careers that were unfulfilling to me. I’ve learned that while risks are absolutely terrifying, they are necessary to live the life you want to live! No day but today, y’all! Read more>>

Steve Mazan | Stand-Up Comedian/Corporate Comic & Speaker

I grew up in the the suburbs of Chicago. Risk was almost a bad word. Stability was valued above all. Even down to the clothes people wore. Things were more conservative in style. No-one at my high school dressed like the stylish, trendy teens that we saw on TV and in the movies. California and it’s influence seemed very far away. In fact if anyone tried to dress that way they were often ridiculed. So playing it safe and bland was the way of my world. Clothes were the most glaring example but it really permeated ever aspect of my childhood. Creativity and off the wall activities were not encouraged. Practical choices were rewarded and taught. Even if a talent emerged that was out of the box it was greeted with a “you better have a stable back-up” comment from parents, counselors, elders. I joined the Navy when I was 18 to get money for college (because having any student loans hanging over my head seemed too risky and unstable). I served aboard a submarine. I had a regiment. Discipline. Room, board, meals were never a worry. It was as stable as possible. Read more>>

Sami Davis Nguyen | Designer + Creative Coach

I am a HUGE fan of taking risks! After 2020 (may that year RIP), I’ve learned nothing more than to take risks and truly go after your dreams. I wouldn’t be where I’m at today if I didn’t take risks – it has shaped my entire life and career. I love to encourage others to stop asking “What if?” and try replacing that with “When?” or “How?” An entire shift in mindset can help propel you forward. Remember, your dreams and goals should scare you! Take the risk and go after them because we only have one life to live. Read more>>

Montell Bryant | Writer/Director

Risks have played a huge role in my career. I feel that the risks that I have taken have made me grow and have often Worked in my favor or helped me in some kind of way. Moving all the way across the country to attend film school was a huge risk, but I took that leap of faith and now I have turned my dream of pursuing a career in film production into reality. Risks separate the people who succeed from the people who do not. Risks are a necessity, especially when a Pursuing a career in a creative field. A person has to be willing to bet on themselves and their abilities. If not, how can you expect someone else to. Read more>>

Lauren Parrish Walker | Chief Product Officer

funny, I don’t think in terms of risk, I think in terms of whether I can achieve this strategy. once I think I MAY be able to achieve it. I jump in. that has proven successful for me in my career and my life for the most part. when it hasn’t…its ok! its part of learning how to do it better next time. Read more>>

Katy Johnson | Creator of “One Model Mission”, Travel Writer, Model

Being a risk-taker is a label that has always just resonated with me. For most of my life, I was always going off the beaten path and doing things that perhaps weren’t the most traditional. I’ve always been pretty progressive in my thinking and always yearned for an exciting and different life. I think risk is vital to happiness and success. It is also essential in learning and evolving. I have always looked at risk-taking sort-of like, “Well what’s the worst that can happen?” Failure? Loss? Heartache? If you’re a resilient person like myself, then you would overcome all of those things that happen in life anyway. So why not? My risk-taking started when I decided to graduate high school in 3 years. I worked my butt off to get the course load and credits I needed to do so, opting out of any lunch hour, study hall, and even did an “early bird” class each day, meaning I started school at 7:10 instead of 8:10. I got incredibly stressed and skinny, but I did it! I graduated and got the credits in 3 years as opposed to the typical 4. Read more>>

Crystal Willis | Personal Development & Branding Coach, Author & Speaker; Founder, The Crysalis, The Omni Firm, Ala Exotic Cannabis, and LipLadyFab.com

Bet on yourself and you’ll never lose. I live by the philosophy that courage is not the absence of fear, but the decision to act in spite of being afraid. Risk taking has been at the center of my life from the age of 14 when I got pregnant from sexual assault and decided to carry my child to term. I placed my daughter in an open adoption and had no idea how I’d be able to do that and move on with life. It ended up working out so beautifully, and she is such a blessing to my life. Taking risks still remains very challenging for me, because by nature I’m an overthinker. The motivation to actually step into action and take my chances throughout life came from pure passion and grit – even if it was because I was so unfulfilled and miserable. The decision to start my own business and create a location-independent lifestyle came from unbearable discomfort with the status quo of working a 9 to 5 until I was able to retire at 65. I knew in my heart that I was meant to impact lives on a greater scale and that I had unlimited earning potential on my own. Read more>>

Andrew Laurich | Writer / Director

I think risk is one of those things that crop up first as a feeling of fear. Once that fear is acknowledged and we start to process it, the resulting calculations define “risk{“. I say this because every time I’ve endeavored on something with significant risk, it’s been accompanied by some significant level of anxiety. The truth is — at least in filmmaking — anything worth doing has to make you feel this discomfort. That’s what I’ve found. See, I was always under the presumption that when you’re embarking on the right project, there’s a level of certainty. You know it’s the right thing because everything in the universe is pointing you in that direction. To the contrary, my best work has almost always come with the most amount of uncertainty. If it doesn’t feel like I’m jumping off a cliff, it must not be that great. Read more>>

Amy Posey | CEO of SUPER*MEGA*BOSS, Facilitator and Speaker

I started thinking differently about risk a while ago–that it’s not about risk, it’s about what you’re willing to learn from a situation and how can you mitigate the downsides. Part of my work involves undertaking some extreme adventures. One adventure I was part of was an 11-person expedition to the Arctic to cross Baffin Island on foot in winter to film a series on leadership. It was an unbelievably harsh environment. There were serious risks involved that we had to mitigate or accept as part of the expedition. From frostbite to polar bears, we established plans on how to deal with those risks. There were additional risks around how we worked as a team that may have been less obvious, but clearly things we would encounter that we’d have to learn quickly from to be successful. Ultimately, we stayed safe and achieved our goals from putting those mitigation plans in place and following them (but we didn’t encounter any polar bears, thankfully). Putting myself in really tough situations in the adventure world has helped me put risk in perspective and take more risks in my business career. Read more>>

Amanda LaMarco | Motion Graphics Artists

It’s pretty much what got me to every major turning point in my career and life. If it feels like a cliff is at the edge of your toes then you should go for it. Trust your gut it never lets you down. Read more>>

Miya Ando | Artist

The making of art is inherently a risk-filled pursuit on many levels. There is an intrinsic vulnerability in expressing openly and publicly all of ones thoughts and feelings and soul and technical abilities. Personally, every work I put forth is my very best effort and a culmination of everything I know and think. I always feel that showing work is like that scene in Indiana Jones’ The Last Crusade called The Leap of Faith. You feel that you’re walking out to potentially fall into a chasm or abyss, but you actually walk onto a transparent crystal bridge. Read more>>

Chris Battle | Animation Character Design Artist

The road to being a professional artist is ALL about risk: Putting your artwork out there to be evaluated by prospective employers is the first big risk you absolutely have to take when you’re trying to break into the industry.  Once you’re in, from there on out it’s more risks every couple of years if you want to push yourself out of your artistic & professional comfort zones to advance not only your skills, but also your career.  Sometimes that means leaving a stable job in order to reach that next level (and maybe also be part of a higher profile project that might further your career and ensure your longevity in the business)  Sometimes it means trying out new techniques/mediums that you might not have mastered yet or jumping in w/both feet on a project you’re doubtful you can pull off. I’ve done all of these at various points in my career, and the rewards that come with taking risks are often worth the stress & late nights in the end. Read more>>

Janice Chang | Illustrator

Risk is something that is necessary for growth. And taking risks has shown me how to grow from my mistakes and that being uncomfortable or unsure is ok. In my own life I’ve taken risks choosing to go down a creative path, knowing that regular pay and work is not always guaranteed. But having made that decision and knowing that it was the right one for me, it has allowed me to accept and face any difficulties along the way. Risk taking has always been something that I felt you needed a lot of confidence and courage to face, especially when I was starting out I didn’t think I had it in me. Looking back now, all decisions I made were basically me taking small risks without knowing the outcome. I’ve recently left a full-time position to go freelance and that was a huge personal feat for me because I knew I was leaving something comfortable and stable in pursuit of my own work. Read more>>

Dan McKay | Father | Tour Manager | Audio Engineer | Founder of Finless Skateboard Co.

Risk is uncomfortable. It takes us out of a safe zone. It forces change in otherwise idling contentment. And I truly believe that swimming in a relentless state of comfort and safety is probably one of the most dangerous things. Humanity would have never evolved if it wouldn’t of been for danger, and the ability to change and take risks. I guess I’ve always seen a certain level of risk as “healthy” in my life and career. Dare to try, learn new things and risk failing. There has to be some thought put into it in advance though. Risk healthy, not blindly. Read more>>

Sydney Croskery | Artist

The funny thing about risk is it doesn’t always look the way you think it will; what is risky for one person might be laughably easy for another. That was the case in my instance when moving from conceptual realism into abstraction. For the last few decades, I’ve looked at abstraction at best as cute or design-y, and at worst a huge penis waving expensive capitalist symbol; I was not intrigued. Of course, this was my bias, letting the mediocre taint my view of the whole genre. Whatever the medium, my work has always involved social commentary, and most of my previous projects had some sort of content or parameters established before I even began to make the physical work. I would say 65% of the project was developed in my brain, leaving room for about 35% in surprises and spontaneity in process. It felt comforting to create a world first, then let the objects grow inside that world. In a process that culminated during lockdown, my brain simply short circuited and I ceased to have anything to say – I began to recognize the sanity in not attempting to extract logic from an illogical time. Read more>>

Amy Van Vlear | Wedding & Elopement Photographer

The truth is that building your own business is risky, and sometimes I wish I could have a 9-5 for the stability it brings! “But Amy, why put yourself in risky situations? It just causes you anxiety” is what I ask myself all. the. time. but it turns out as an artist I actually NEED unpredictability and space for creative freedom to feel like I am thriving as a person. I remind myself that, while taking on projects where failure is an option can be dang scary, it is is also the single most important part of making something that is different. If I want to create something that’s interesting, that stands out and catches people’s eye in a sea of instagram photos, it’s a given that risk is involved. Positioning myself differently during a wedding ceremony to capture a unique angle, when I know I’ll miss that “safe shot.” Creating a concept for a styled shoot and convincing a ton of vendors to invest their resources when I’m unsure if the concept will be worthy of publishing, let alone even look cohesive (it was, and it did). Lately taking risks has started to become more of a thrilling aspect of my job that I look forward to. I quit my stable job in marketing to become a wedding photographer and have found out over the years that risk-taking alone doesn’t often yield lasting success- turns out you need a decent amount of grit too. Read more>>

Susan Deming | Actor, Writer & Casting Director

I still have members of my family who wonder when I’ll “get a real job.” I’m 53 years old. Everything I have ever done to earn money and sustain myself (and my daughter) has carried a measure of risk that most people would not be able to tolerate/sustain in our capitalist society. I have tried to have regular “day jobs” that required I be in a certain place for a certain set of hours without full autonomy/agency, and THAT was a risk for my health and sanity I was unwilling to take. I have been “hustling” since I took my first Equity gig at the age of 19, playing Anybody’s in “West Side Story” at a Chicago dinner theatre. I live with the constant anxiety of not having health insurance, not having the benefit of a pension, not knowing if I’ll ever get hired again, etc., but I accepted those risks when I made the conscious decision to be the captain of my own ship, no matter what. It has led me down some very interesting paths, including owning an animation studio, living in Hamburg performing “Cats” in German for two years, producing CD-Roms for an animatronic Barney doll and putting Monty Python’s Flying Circus on the Internet for the first time. Read more>>

Benson Simmonds | Energy Healer, Spiritual Life Coach and Artist

I LOVE this question because it applies so well to personal life, to business life, to every aspect of life. We hold back from taking risks for one reason – fear. Every moment boils down to making the same choice. Do I choose fear or love? One of the spiritual axioms seems to be – the more light you can bring to the world, the more you can contribute to the world through a particular action or course of action, the more fear you will have around it. The key to joy in al aspects of life is to more through fear and take the risk – whether it’s asking someone out, asking someone to marry you, starting the business you’ve always dreamed of, or taking a simple step out of your comfort zone. The key to taking risks is to focus on your desire to contribute until it becomes greater than your fear of what people will think of you, etc. In my book Soular Power, I explain that we all have two operating systems, our default system is our ego system, which is a drive or desire baed on fear, lack and limitation. Ego system is always afraid and trying to keep us “Safe”. fortunately we have another system which I call our Soular system, i.e. “Soul” ar system,, which is a drive or desire based on joy, love expansion and CONTRIBUTION. Read more>>

Ally Case | Flight Attendant, Publicist, and Social Strategist

I believe that risks are essential for any business. The greater the risk, the greater the chance of the highest return. Risk taking often sprouts from trying something new and different. If you’re not trying something new or different, are you just following in someone else’s path? Risk takers are thought leaders. Read more>>

Griff Clawson | Artist

I think without taking risk you limit your potential. I always believed that the best movies, artists, businesses, love stories etc. all had a little bit of risk in their story. Sounds soo cheesy but life lives outside the lines and if you don’t take risks you miss the bits of life that become your favorite. My happiest memories and connections all undoubtedly came from taking some sort of risk – gotta risk it to get the biscuit!. Read more>>

Allierockk | DJ

Taking a risk is leaving your comfort zone and stepping into the unknown but the way I see is I rather risk than wonder what if. I quit my comfortable job to pursue DJing- I wanted to put all my energy into focusing on DJing instead of my 9 to 5. I was working 7 days a week – no days off and I WAS TIERED. Like SUPER TIERED. Before I decided to quit, I just thought what if I don’t fail .I left my 9 to 5 job and Ive been pursuing DJing since then. Read more>>

David Schatanoff, Jr. | Film & Television Producer

Risk is how we grow, and how little or much risk we take on can determine how much we grow and learn. Personally, risk got me to move from the small town of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania to Los Angeles and pursue my dream of working in the film and television industry. The risk of failure was high, but I have been able to sustain a career working with the film studios, and now as an independent producer, for over 23 years. On a professional level, and as a producer, risk is everything. It is calculated and quantified as best possible to achieve the best outcome. On the business side, we reduce risk of commercial failure and try to make films and television series that are widely accepted to a large market to maximize revenue. Take a risk there and you might not get another shot with a studio. If you look at crews and actors, how safe are they? How much risk can you as a production take on? Stunts, special effects, pandemics; they all boil down to risk, how comfortable you are with the risk and how best you prepare yourself and others if you take that risk on. During the pandemic, I had colleagues filming and taking precautions. Read more>>

Caroline Citelli | Pilates Instructor & CEO of Corebycaroline

I’m largely uncomfortable with most change/ most risk but in business there is no room for that. Running this business has shown me that risk taking is more than essential to find progression. I took a huge risk deciding to run with online classes on my own. I could have easily gone back to a studio and picked up a few shifts, mid pandemic, but I had to trust my gut. I now take small risks all the time, and more than often those risks are rewarded. Maybe one choice didn’t bring optimal results but at least gave me a landmine of information to use on my next one. I think we ultimately get better at predicting our clients /markets choices, which makes the smaller moves less anxiety provoking. Our voices are the most important things to them and as long as you maintain the lines of communication I think risk is key to building a bigger movement. Read more>>