Taking Risk is essential, but how much, when and why? Taking risks effectively is as much of an art as it is a science and we’ve asked some of the brightest folks in the community to tell us about how they think about risk taking.

Ahbra Kaye: Producer and Associate Editor

There are at least 2 kinds of risk taking. Taking a chance without knowing the results yet intuiting that the pain of staying still is greater than fear of moving forward. “Leap…and the net will appear.” The other kind involves setting aside consequences, fall out or risk to emotional and physical life in order to fill an internal emptiness. At 5+years of sobriety and recovery I have taken both kinds of risks. I have put my life (and others) in danger drinking and driving, ingesting poisonous substances and engaging in unhealthy relationships. Read more>>

Noah Reyes: Musician, SAG AFTRA actor, entrepreneur

RISK: I don’t think anything can get done if you don’t take Risks. In my Life mostly everything I do is a Risk I take risks like “Skate, Surf, DirtBikes, procrastination, etc” These are things I do to get by in Life. I don’t know why?, but outside of Work these are the things I like to do. Read more>>

Lost Lyrics: Satire Comedian, Artist, & Writer

I believe that risk is essential to growing out of your comfort zone. Risk does come with sacrifices but without pain, theirs no gain. I risked driving my 2001 Toyota Camry, that had over 200,000 miles, from Houston Texas to Los Angeles California. I did not know if I was going to make it but I knew if I arrived in Los Angeles, great things would happen. Read more>>

Melissa Strong: Actor, Casting Director, Writer, Micro Social Media Influencer

Ive always taken a risk on myself. There is no plan B….Plan B is a a plan for failure and creates thoughts of resistance. However I don’t believe being an Actor is a risk, the way many others view it. Its a blood sport of strength, training and persistence. I don’t think there is anything one does in life that isn’t a risk….because we can all play the “what if it doesn’t work out game” on everything we do. So I play the “when it does work out game” in everything I do. Its a shift of thinking. Read more>>

Amy Lin: Opulent Coach, CEO & Founder of The Opulent Academy, #1 International Best Selling Author, Motivational Speaker

My view of the word “risks” has definitely shifted since I started my personal development journey back in 2017. Ever since I was young risk taking seemed to have a bad connotation in my family. My parents were raised in a very traditional Asian family, so they were taught to be conservative, and they had the belief that it was essential to have safety in all areas of their lives. Read more>>

Rob D Turner: Musician/Songwriter/Producer/Actor

Risk taking is something that I’m constantly grappling with as I write and play music. That pendulum of “am I saying too much” vs. “I’m not saying enough” has been with me for a while, and I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon. Without though, I wouldn’t have the internal conversations that lead me to put a lyric down or a melody or an instrumental part that is worthwhile. Read more>>

Nikhil Korula: Singer Songwriter, Producer & NK Band Leader

Everything with my career in music has been about risk. I risked choosing a path that was completely unknown when writing songs and starting my band versus a career in classical music (opera) which more or less has steps you have to reach within certain programs at various opera houses. I risked everything by investing in my own albums and starting my own record label and management company versus signing with a major label, manager and/or agent. Read more>>

Frank Ruiz: Audio-Post Engineer & Editor

When it comes to risk, it is one of the biggest & most constant things that I worry about in my career. It is never easy & no matter how I weigh the pros & cons of it all I never know what the final outcome will be. Along my path I have taken multiple risks to be able to get to where I am today and the biggest one was moving out to Los Angeles with no job or clear plan laid out. Read more>>

Emily Van Belleghem: VR/AR Experience Design Engineer

As a computer scientist, it’s in my nature to be risk-averse. I evaluate the options and generate the most efficient path to my goals. Yet as a designer, I know it is important not to create systems that solely focus on forms of optimization when the definition of success is unclear. Read more>>

I. Destiny: Creative DIrector & Music Artist

Most of my life risk played a very small role; risk was either very calculated or nowhere to be found. I enjoyed playing it safe, I enjoyed knowing the outcome of my actions and the effects of other’s actions on me. I liked it that way! However, over the last 6-8 years calculated and “over-researched” risks weren’t getting me the results I was looking for. I saw my peers failing forward and eventually getting where they wanted to go and I wanted that for myself. Read more>>

Hannah Park: Photographer & Videographer

I think taking risks no matter how small or big can be scary, however, necessary to be successful. I had a very secure job and was making good money, but I was miserable. Having that sense of financial security also made it really hard for me to pursue my dreams because I would always be told it would never be enough to support myself and what I was doing at the time was more than enough. Read more>>

Tajah newton: Body Sculpting Specialist

Most risks are based on how much pleasure you will gain, such as purchasing a new car, making a investment, or moving across the country but the scariest risk is starting a new career. Its easy to predict how most things will turn out but leaving the corporate world and jumping into entrepreneurship seems to be the most frightening thing of them all. Read more>>

Kayla G.: Photographer

I believe risk-taking is part of trusting your intuition and being confident that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. It also takes discipline and perseverance. Throughout my life and career, taking risks have definitely taught me valuable lessons and have put me in great positions to help me grow as an artist, there were periods where I felt really uncertain about going forward with pursuing a creative career but I always remind myself to stay consistent and trust the process. Read more>>

Meliisa Schwimmer: Private Chef, Food Stylist, and Recipe Developer

In my early twenties I was comfortable. I had a 9 to 5 job, a partner, a great apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. On top of that I was a subway ride away from all my friends and family and my life was, on paper, pretty great…but something was missing. I never did anything new, had the same routine day in and day out and I had an itch that I couldn’t scratch. Read more>>

Gabe Shaddow: Photographer, Creative Director & Music Producer

Taking risks is everything. PLEASE understand you only have life what’s there to lose? Are you scared you’ll be judged? Remember people won’t remember you or anything tomorrow if things flop, but they’ll remember you when you’re on. I really stand by the quote “You miss all the shots you don’t take.” Read more>>

Dilly Brigs: Radio Show Host / Published Author / PR Guest Speaker

This is a tough question because there’s so many factors that come into play when it comes into taking a risk, at least for myself. Because in a way I feel I have no choice but to take these risks and keep trying to move forward, even when I’m exhausted. I am open about being a special-needs family, I have two young adult children and one has slight severe autism and has severe epilepsy connected to it. Read more>>

Claudia Washington: CEO & Designer of FunKnCrystals Eyewear

For me, risk is a necessity. The biggest risks that I do take are risks on myself. If you are going to extend yourself or you business , you should be confident in your brand and your abilities and just go for it.. this has worked tremendously for me in my eyewear business. Read more>>

Shi Min Yong: Production Designer

I think risk-taking plays a significant role in my life. I worked as a full-time commercial interior designer before taking the leap to pivot my career into the Art Department in film/television. I decided to move from Singapore to Los Angeles and study for my MFA in Production Design at the American Film Institute Conservatory. Read more>>

Trevor Capachione: Artist & Creative

Pursuing music to become a full time carrer gave me experience not only in becoming a business, also configuring the lane for myself I want to approach artistically. At the end of the day my work lead me to move across the country with other musicians and the risk is at an all time now, especially being independent artists we strive for producing, mixing and mastering, owning our masters thus leading by example to never sell our sound without the right price and fair share for all creatives. Read more>>

Margarita Monet: Singer/Founder of Edge Of Paradise

There is no way forward without taking risks! Especially in my field. Creating a new album, putting all the energy and funds behind it and putting it out for the world is a huge risk, as there is no guarantee anyone would like it or buy it. But if you believe in something, you work hard for it, taking risks yield the biggest rewards! I remember what really helped us move forward faster, is setting goals that seemed out of reach. But once you have a destination, you figure out how to get there! Read more>>

Brendan Dillon: Creative Director

I would not be where I am in life without risk taking. Previous to going out on my own and starting my life in the creative industry I was working for a Structural Engineering firm for 6 years where I was receiving a great steady income. When I told my mother who is an accountant she was reluctant for me to give up a steady full time job for the unknown. My itch for creativity and freedom to explore and express my own personality through digital media was too great of a calling to ignore and I made the leap back in 2017. Read more>>

Caitlin Oden: Actor, Singer, & Dancer

I think taking risks is a super scary but super necessary part of life! You can’t really grow if you never step out of your comfort zone. For me, risk taking is all about deciding if the good things that could come from a risk outweigh the bad things. For example, I’m probably not going to walk a tightrope between two skyscrapers. Sure, the benefits of doing so could be fame and glory; but the negative could be, you know, death. Plus, my balance is pretty bad and I’ve fallen off every single time I’ve ever tried to slackline. So I’ll probably decide not to take that risk. Read more>>

Alexa Kornas: Dancer & Choreographer

“No Risk, No Reward”. Risk, keeps life exciting, challenging, and our your feet. The amount of personal growth that can come with risk in my opinion, is the best reward. Of course, as dancer, your risk taking, hard work, and numerous years of training, hopefully leads to countless job opportunities, Music Videos, Award Shows, Tours etc… but on top of being systematically successful, the question of “Is there something more I could’ve done?” comes to mind.  Read more>>

Juan P Soto: Director

My vision of Risk is: analyzing what you’ll lose with what you’ll get. The fear one can have when making a decision that is going to risk or challenge your future may be the fact why so many people get stuck at some point in their lives, they don’t want to do that “Leap”. Is crucial to understand how necessary it is sometimes to decide without having the full knowledge of how the result is going to be. Read more>>

Adeja Allen: Talent Agent, Music Executive & Dot Connector

I think risk tolerance is extremely important, especially being an entrepreneur. You can’t experience any real success without taking calculated risks. Most people are cemented in their comfort zones and find themselves crippled by fear. But fear and faith are the same thing – the belief that what you don’t see will happen. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no daredevil, (lol) but I am definitely excited by the uncertainty that is – life. Read more>>

James Tate Wilson: Singer-songwriter

Some people might say I’ve taken too many risks, but all those risks have gotten me to where I am today, which I’m incredibly grateful for. After I graduated high school, I moved to LA to play in bands and work odd jobs in the entertainment industry. Not to go the traditional route of college or to learn a trade was a huge risk, one I’m sure my parents still aren’t sure about. However, I’m happy that I took those risks because I have incredible stories, and have learned so much about the wild world of Hollywood. Read more>>

Josiah Bradley: Creator

Historically for me, “What do I have to lose?” is the question I think about most when considering risk. Next to that would be fears and concerns about the unknown. I wish I could say I jumped at risk or laughed in the face of danger, the heart of a lion beating in my chest. More often than not I feel pretty terrified. My move from the east coast to the west coast was the first time in a long time that I approached risk from a point of view of what I could gain. Read more>>

CHAPO: Artist & Producer

I think risks are all about how much you believe in yourself. I always feel I can turn any situation into a good situation even if it’s already a good situation I can make it a better one. Risk taking has always been a huge role in my life and my career. I’m taking a risk now by showing the world that I believe in myself so much that my career is what comes first. Read more>>

Taj Boyd-Blain: Actor

it depends on some of the risks because a lot of risks aren’t worth going for . But for the risks i do take , I feel like it’s a chance to take to put me in a better situation . Some risks put me in good situations , and other risks phr me in bad . Read more>>

Yulie Archontaki: Actor, Flamenco Dancer, Architect, Author & Illustrator of Stories

I am a firm believer that nothing great comes without risk! My coming to the United States was a huge risk. About 8 years ago, I received a scholarship to come over here and pursue my M.F.A. in theatre, without any guarantee for future employment or financial stability. Read more>>

Jose Luis Castillo: Music Producer

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” – Neale Donald Walsch My story is all about risk taking. I grew up in a little town in Venezuela in the 80’s far away from capital cities. From a very young age, I’ve found my passion in life through music. At the beginning, I fell in love with romantic tunes from the Venezuelan Bolero music, then my focus shifted to Rock and Roll which ended up having a huge impact on me. Read more>>

Jeanelle Keaton: Sexpert & Adult Specialty Store Owner

You know the saying, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” or “no risk, no reward”. This sums up how I feel about risk. When you have big dreams and even bigger goals, there’s no way to get there without taking some type of risk. I know because I’ve tried it both ways with and without risks. Read more>>

Hugo Maldonado: Producer & Graphic Artist

I’ve always felt if a risk doesn’t scare you, it’s not worth taking. It’s always best to be prepared before you take the giant leap. Surround yourself with people and friends who are knowledgeable about what you are trying to achieve. No one succeeds alone. Read more>>

Jean Denegar: Cinematographer

People face risks at every level in their life. It starts off simple, such as being a child who climbs trees and play sets, only to jump off from the highest point. Risk is especially crucial if one does not fully understand the risk you are taking as filmmaker. I’ve been acutely aware of the risk of being a filmmaker in an industry that thrives on wealth and nepotism. Read more>>

Scot Rubin: Entrepreneur

Everything I have accomplished came as the result of a calculated risk, for an idea I really believed in. I left college and a job to become a “creator” of content about video games. The year was 1996. The modem was 56k. There were no influencer agents or platforms to go viral. Read more>>

Cindy Whitehead: ’70s pro skateboarder, Skateboard Hall of Fame Inductee & Founder of Girl is NOT a 4 Letter Word

I firmly believe that risk-taking is important in both my life and in my career. If I were always to play it safe, going where I knew the outcome would be positive or the answer an easy “yes,” then I’m simply treading water. By forcing myself to take risks, I learn from my mistakes, or on the flip side; I gain something valuable that I would not have experienced or had if I not tried or asked. Read more>>

Andrea Somer: Personal Trainer & Meditation Coach

I have always embraced change in my life. From back-packing solo in Australia for 3 months as a 19-year old, to moving across the world from Sweden to. LA 7 years ago. My mom taught me early on to always ask myself: “what is the worst thing that can happen?”. Majority of the time the answer is less dramatic than we think. Read more>>

Gretchen McNeil: Author

I have never followed a safe path. Perhaps that’s the conceit of being a middle class white girl with a good education, but whether it was pursuing a career in opera (both my Bachelor’s and my Master’s degrees are in music), accepting a gig singing with a circus troupe, leaping head first into television production, or writing my first novel when I was in my thirties, my careers have never been conventional. Read more>>

Sarah Koplowitz: Coach, Creator and Mindfulness Mentor

I love this question! I can see it almost being a trigger for me…. because, in the past I would have allowed my imposter syndrome take over here. When I first had the idea of starting my own business and becoming a health coach I was no where near where I am today. For years, I was paralyzed by the harmful inner chatter and truly didn’t get the wheels in motion toward my desire for a this career for years! Read more>>