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.

Hannah Shaka | Physical Theatre-Maker, Teaching Artist, and Cabaret Performer

Deciding to fully commit to a career in the arts at 30 years old felt like a risk at the time. I was living in Vancouver, and performing consistently on the side but up until then I had never been “all-in” with my artistic career. When I finally gave myself permission to pursue a career in the arts, it required me to leave Vancouver behind, a city that had been home for over ten years. I left my community, including the artistic community that I had worked so hard to nurture for years. But it was time to go and to step up my training as a theatre-maker. Read more>>

Aamuro Kanda | Filmmaker

I believe the most important factor behind my success is perseverance. When people ask me how I got to where I am today, I remind them that I have been invested in filmmaking for almost half of my life- and I’m only 20 years old. My career is still young, however I feel that I have gained some insight on how to navigate these early stages. Perseverance is critical. A few years back, I set out to create a short film every month in order to build my filmmaking toolset. I came to realize every project has aspects that succeed and fail, and each project creates data that I can use for the next. Read more>>

Tyler Pina | Movie Director

I would be nowhere if I didn’t take risks. Every major milestone in my life and in my career came from taking a risk, whether it was moving across the country, starting a production company, making my first film, or taking a spontaneous trip abroad that would present me with new life experiences. You can’t change if you never jump. Put yourself in new situations, challenge yourself, trust your gut, and take a chance on yourself. That’s the only way to grow and the only way to truly live. Be fearless. Read more>>

Karl Richter | Director, Writer, Cinematographer

Risk is essential to success. Filmmaking is risk every single day. Every time I do a project there’s an element of risk involved because unlike a product that you can hold in your hands, I have to communicate an idea or feeling visually. Prior to me creating it, it hasn’t existed. Whether I’m working with a Client for a commercial, or creating a film, there’s a risk because I’m creating something from nothing and every piece of it is constructed by my choices. Read more>>

Daniel Holeman | Visionary Artist and Spiritual Guide

I think taking risks towards a worthwhile endeavor is vital. It sends out an energetic message that you are seriously investing in the endeavor which the universe (others) picks up and responds to. In other words, opportunities begin to show up to support it. Remaining in a comfort/safe zone does just the opposite where after a while things begin to decline and fall apart. We want to grow and expand and initiating risks is such an important part. This is especially true for endeavors that include the benefit of others, worthy causes, the environment, etc. In my life, I was working as a computer trainer and the company went out of business and rather than get another job I took the risk of becoming an artist. Read more>>

Emmanuel Grunstein | Photographer / Filmmaker / Producer

When you’re an aspirant of artist or an artist, as everything is uncertain, you’re always taking risks. Risks makes you stronger, makes you grow, also makes you fall and sometimes to think that nothing that you’ve worked on is relevant, important and makes you think about if is really worth it to continue, but then you take the risk to start over again, to try new things, get involved in new projects, meet new people and then you realize that every risk, every fall, every tear, is worth it. Read more>>

Samantha Bearman | Comedian, Producer, Comedy Coach

The way I think about risk is this: if I get excited by the prospect of it then I know I have to go for it and if I’m afraid at the challenge of it then I know I have to go for it. I think my mother put it best when she told me risk is the price of admission. no I’m not going to say I run headfirst into all things risky by all accounts I’m actually a very thoughtful person. however starting a business and taking a chance on myself and my dreams and my goals and I industrious nature is by far the biggest risk I have ever taken and I have to take that risk every single day. Read more>>

YO IT’S JOJO! | YouTuber, Dancer, Freelance Model, & Social Media Manager

Taking a risk brings one outside of their comfort zone and brings a certain change into one’s life. When people hear or encounter the word “Risk” people feel uneasy and not safe. But growing up, risk is something that we all have done before. It’s everywhere. Whether we know about it consciously or not. For example, creating relationships. Whether they are platonic or romantic. That happens naturally and it’s part of life but people can either hurt you or empower you. It’s a double-edged sword. Many people choose to take the risk in creating relationships with one another for whatever reason. Read more>>

Katja Cahoon | Katja is a consumer insights professional turned psychotherapist, yoga and meditation teacher, with a mission to help people befriend their emotions.

Risk taking means diving in, being outside your comfort zone, stepping away from the well-worn path, and sometimes putting yourself out there, making yourself vulnerable, being vulnerable – as Brene Brown says, “Vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, emotional exposure.” Risk requires courage and open-mindedness. It does not require the absence of fear. Read more>>

Abraham Lopez | Artist

Risk is growth to me. It’s going out of what you are comfortable with to try something that is new and uncertain. It’s necessary in helping to define you. Whether with food, experiences and even creatively. How else are you supposed to know if you like dipping your french fries in your milkshakes….. Don’t look at me like that! It’s seriously delicious!!! When it comes to my career, risk has been a pivotal factor to my progression in this crazy and wonderful world. One moment that comes to mind immediately was when I had just been laid off from a video game company I had been working at. Read more>>

Josh DeAngelis | Photographer

I feel like I recently I came to a very real conclusion about risk in my life. It goes without being said that without risk there’s no reward, but I now understand that you have truly do have to pay to play. I told myself if I was going to be in debt, it would be from self-funding my projects and not from a car payment or a tuition, etc. Although it may not be the most ideal situation, I realized it’s worth it for me to see my projects come to fruition. Read more>>

Lizzie Leigh Horan | Hairstylist, Salon Owner & Psychonaut.

Risk taking: how do you think about risk, what roles has taking risks played in your life /career? Taking a leap of faith invites the universe to deliver what you really want in life. Risk taking is essential for a life filled with growth and expansion, which in my worldview is the whole point of the journey we are on. We go about our lives gathering the knowledge and experience we hopefully polish into wisdom along the way. Looking back and reflecting on my choices, all the best things came into my life as a result of taking risks. Read more>>

Akso Heart | Scientist, Producer and Musician

Risk was something I was always afraid of as a kid. I was continuously concerned about the negative consequences of my decisions. The fear of the unknown was at the heart of it, as it was for most people. Worrying about the worst-case scenario. And as I grew older, I realised that the worst-case scenario was only a subconscious defence mechanism to alleviate pain. However, I went through a mentally low point in my life a few years ago, I realised that while such things could happen, there may be something better on the other side of one single choice. And unbeknownst to me I was taking risks my entire life . Read more>>

Jessica Miller | Yoga Instructor, Urban Zen Integrative Therapist (UZIT)

I have always been adventurous. My mom used to call me “The Gypsy” because, not only would I trust peoe we just met, but be perfectly fine going on a trip with anyone! As long as I was traveling and experiencing new friends and places, I was always on Cloud 9. As I aged, I realized that if there was a risk involved when making a decision about something, I either got this little, tickle of anticipation or I immediately felt dread. I found that my risk taking instincts were very well honed, and I could trust myself. Read more>>

Danie Henry | I am a photographer and I love people! Newborn, Toddler, Maternity, Family, Engagements, and Senior Portraits are my specialty.

The biggest risk I took, by far, was believing in myself. Stepping out and creating the dream business that I have today was a big risk. Having a passion is one thing. Turning that passion into a career, investing in yourself, is a whole ‘nother thing! It felt so risky to love photography so much – and then create a business where I would do it all day. Would I continue to love it? Could I do it? Would people pay for my art? Do I have what it takes? It is the quiet inner questions that feel the riskiest when you turn a passion into a profession. I’m happy to say, it has been the best decision I have made. Read more>>

Annette Gutierrez | Business Owner & Writer

I think risk taking is essential to living…but I grew up in an immigrant family who had to risk literally everything they had in order to come to this country so maybe that’s why I don’t fear it. When I was much younger my parents wanted to help me buy my first house but I was afraid. “What are you afraid of?” my father asked. “Losing my house,” I replied. And then he laughed and said, “Do you have a house now?” No, I didn’t. “Well then why are you afraid of losing it?” And something about the absurdity of my fear suddenly made sense. I knew I didn’t want “what ifs” running my life. When my business partner, Mary Gray, and I started our business neither of us had the slightest idea of what we were doing. Read more>>

Annie Wolk | Artist

Risks are both exhilarating and horrifying simultaneously. If it weren’t for the risks I’ve taken all my life, I wholeheartedly believe I would not be where I am today. Risks are a vital part of growth, no matter the size or timing of them. I believe they will always get you a step closer to what you want, or open your mind and doors to more than what was in your peripheral view. Had I not made the move from the Midwest to the West Coast, I’m not sure I would have immersed myself in my art journey the way I have. Read more>>

Mehreen Mahida | Portrait Photographer

Risk is definitely a much needed factor in achieving any goal, but especially a creative one. From raising your prices, to investing in yourself, to trying out a new process, everything has the ability to work in ways you never thought possible or end up being a step backward. But, it is always all about perspective. Sometimes you get stuck in the same routine and need to try something new. That “something new” may not work out, but more than likely, you’ve learned a new skill that you can apply to a different aspect of your life. Taking that step back was necessary to take two steps forward. Read more>>

Shante Frazier Arie Warren | Cofounders of WellCapped

Risk taking is so hard, you are betting on yourself. For some of us, betting on yourself is so scary because we’ve worked so hard to get what we do have. If we fail, then what? After spending many years feeling ‘blah’ about work and life, we realized the biggest risk is not betting on ourselves. We started WellCapped working our full-time jobs and are so excited to be transitioning full-time to WellCapped in the near future. In just six months, we’ve accomplished more than we ever imagined, including being cast for a black pitch competition show called ‘Bet on Black’ on Revolt TV. Read more>>

Violet Mileva | Founder and Creator

I believe trusting ourselves, will allow us the belief system to take greater risks and put ourselves in great areas of discomfort. Loving and trusting, has been the greatest gift I can give myself in the present moment. All it takes to get there is to overcome the fear and doubt. Examples in the past that could have broken me, but I did not give them enough power. Read more>>

Nina Marcelo | Actor

Risk-taking plays an insanely important part not only in my career but I think in life also. Naturally, it’s easy to fear risk because with risk can come failure, and nobody likes to fail. However, failure is essential to learning and growing which is what makes it so important. When it comes to acting you hear the term “take risks” a lot. The actor who takes risks is the one who is the most entertaining to watch because the unpredictability of that is what makes it believable and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Read more>>

Alexis Powell | Producer, Actor, and Writer

I believe risk-taking is necessary in every aspect of our lives. It is truly the key to success no matter what you are trying to pursue. Risks can be big or small and specific for each person of course. I am definitely where I am today because I chose to take risks. The first risk I took was for college. College was always an option for me. I knew I didn’t want to go to a college that was too close to home but at the same time I didn’t want to leave home at all because I was scared to be on my own and away from my family. I also was worried about applying to college because I didn’t have the best GPA and while usually I may let that hinder me because of fear of rejection, I still chose to take a risk and put myself out there and ended up getting accepted into The Howard University. This really helped shape my not knowing until you try mentality. Read more>>

Dejuan Davis Criner | Photographer & Model

Risks to me are the key to success in my opinion. Like, what is life without risks? You don’t just play it safe to get to the top, there will be opportunities that you are unsure of but what do you do in that situation? Do you sit back and let it blow by you, or do you go out and take that risk in hopes of bettering yourself? I took every opportunity that came my way no matter what the cost was. Now I have my own photography studio to work from, equipment that I could only dream to have, and a life that is steadily growing into greater purpose. I bet on myself and the people around me and it only furthered my career into photography. I wouldn’t be where I’m at if I didn’t take risks. Read more>>

Kenneth Boyd | Barber / Artist

The world wouldn’t evolve without taking risk. Sometimes the best results are due to stepping out of our comfort zone and put in uncomfortable situations. If you’re not taking risk it shows that you’re limiting yourself. One of my biggest risk is TIME. I am focused on where I want to be. My continuous effort of cutting hair from sun up to sun down for 3 years straight-no off days- is one example. I want to be known as exceptional. Being a new barber means I have to put in the work. Read more>>

Phillip Ly | Entrepreneur, Hospitality & E-Commerce

When I think about risk, I think of how it’ll always be there if you have a goal or dream you’re chasing after. If I didn’t take the risk of starting my own company when I was fresh out of college, then I would’ve been left wondering what could’ve happened. At least with taking the risk, you give yourself the chance to succeed. Read more>>

Penelope Lawson | Director, Producer & Writer at Pink Revolver Pictures

When I decided to move to Los Angeles from New York nearly five years ago, I was definitely frightened. I was leaving my family, friends, and everyone I’ve ever known back home on the east coast. I’d visited LA before, but moving was a bit of a culture shock. It was a huge risk to move out here fresh out of graduate school at NYU Tisch and decide, “hey, I want to pursue being a film writer, director and producer full time,” because the film industry is such a difficult industry to break into. But I knew what I wanted and I went for it. Because I believe in my vision I think that has contributed a lot to my success. Read more>>

Jess Fowler | Digital content creator & artist

Risk taking is the key to getting where I am today. I’ve recently invested in a in-home studio space that cost 4x the amount I was paying for my previous space. Years before that I dropped my relationship, the jobs I had, and bought a car just so I could fit all my stuff and drive solo to California. Many risks I’ve taken weren’t the smartest in many ways but I don’t regret any of them. Even if some came with a negative outcome I was able to learn lessons that gave me the tools to succeed today. Read more>>

Angela Henderson | Model , Dancer & Content Creator

I believe taking risks is so important to achieve goals. If you never go for it or try something you will never know the outcome. I knew moving to Los Angeles would have challenges. Even if I failed at least I can look back and say I tried it out and made lasting memories in the process. I’ve even booked some jobs that were not my description but I went for it anyway any the outcome turned out great. Read more>>

April Audia | Actor & Storyteller

I think I have been taking risks since I was seventeen years old and moved to Los Angeles from NY. I didn’t see it as risks at the time, but I realize now it was all a risk. Leaving family and friends, being alone and broke, working several jobs at all times to survive in Los Angeles. For me I was all in, I didn’t have a time limit or a back up plan. I was risking my youth and my time and energy and money on one dream. I wanted to be in the entertainment business. What that means of course changes as you change and grow, but it is all in the same wheelhouse. It then takes risks to grow and change, to consider yourself a writer or a director or a creator. Read more>>

Marcus gray | Cultural Engineer & Web3 enthusiast

I think about risk as an opportunity to find my edge. It’s a tool I use to discover my boundaries. Taking risks in my life has been one of my greatest teachers. The moment I make a decision to take a risk I can feel in my body and soul uncovering who I truly am. Like any relationship it gives an instant reflection of my mindset. Risks have helped me discover my self expression and where I can move deeper into the knots that keep me from growing as a person. As a creative and entrepreneur I have learned that taking risks, being uncomfortable is an integral part of making something that hasn’t been made before. Risk is my friend. Read more>>

Jaime Cope | Artist/Songwriter

I believe that taking risks is the only way to grow and propel yourself into the next stage of your life. When you decide to take a risk, you’re faced with uncertainty, which can either be daunting or exciting, (depending on how you look at it). It’s a wonderful thing to do because it forces you to challenge your current self. Think of who you could become if you snapped your current beliefs in half and created new ones. You have no choice but to grow when you throw yourself into the unknown! Read more>>

Elyse Haren | Singer/Songwriter, Educator and Business Owner

To me, risk is synonymous with courage. Courage is key. It doesn’t need to be blind courage or endless courage. Courage is taking a deep breath and say 30 seconds of looking past you fears and taking that leap of faith. Taking risks and having courage has had everything to do with my success in music and my new music education endeavor. From hitting send on that first email to a big time rock mixer, Mark Needham, to ask him to mix my first album, to investing in my new music education sticker business, Chord Pals. The bigger risk you take, the more the person you are contacting knows how serious you are about your career. Read more>>

Nate “The Natron” Harrington | Rebellious Entrepreneur & Humble Family Man

Everything is risky. Jim Rohn said it best “I’ll tell you how risky life is. You’re not going to get out alive”. At some point when I was a young kid, I realized how full of shit adults were. Teachers, political and religious leaders, my parents. All of them. They all seemed to have agendas and no idea what they were doing. Like large children with more money and more responsibilities. Read more>>