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.

Sophia Gripari | Artist & Songwriter

Deciding to work in the music industry full-time is probably the biggest risk any musician will face at one point or another. It’s a pretty daunting industry with a lot of moving parts, and it feels like it changes daily, so taking that leap and choosing to try and navigate a career in music can be a scary decision. In my day to day, I come across all sorts of risks with every project I take on. Some feel like small risks and some feel like they could potentially change the trajectory of your career. Read more>>

Herman Phillips | Co-founder and COO at Cinapse

The old proverb “nothing ventured, nothing gained” sums up how I think about risk. I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today without taking calculated risks. While I used to be very fearful of something potentially going wrong, letting go of the aspects of situations I can’t control has helped me gain confidence in taking risks. Read more>>

Grace Wethor | Actress, Author, & Brain Cancer Advocate

Personally, I believe that taking “risks” has been a vital part of my life & career. However, I also found myself in a unique position that allowed me & encouraged me to take these unexpected risks. At 13 years old, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. My type of tumor typically has an 8% chance of survival for six months. Once in that mindset, things that many people would label as “crazy” or “risky” seemed perfectly sane to me. Read more>>

Tayler Hanxi Bunge | Writer

For most of my life I lived pretty risk-averse with that immigrant chip on my shoulder about salaries and safety nets. Whether this looked like a full-time job, a car payment, or a 401k, or just never sitting in wet grass, there was always a voice I listened to that told me I’d lose everything if I didn’t follow the rules. During the pandemic, like most of us, I felt hopeless and lost. I had absolutely no idea how to find meaning in my life outside of the framework of rule-following. Read more>>

Raul Tutiven | Creative Director & Visual artist/Photographer

The way I think about risk is in order to see progress you must take action with faith in order for a positive outcome to happen. Everyday we have a choice. You just have to take that leap in order to see what’s on the other side. Taking calcuated risk is essential for any business/career to grow and learn. All the risk I taken thus far has lead me to new discoveries about myself, my art and how I see the world. Read more>>

Tarlon Khoubyari | Chief Marketing Officer of ∞edu

As a founder, I feel like we have a very intimate relationship with risk-taking. It’s part of the unofficial job description. Risk-taking is very uncomfortable but as founders, we actively choose to pursue it because the journey and the outcome is worth it in the end. Whether or not you expected things to unfold the way they did, you always gain something from it. It’s a tough decision to make and I will say a privileged one. Not everyone can afford to make the same types of risks but its part of the process of taking a chance on your life and what you’re trying to build. Read more>>

Amir Abdallah | Independent Artist/Recording Artist/Dancer/Choreographer

I believe risks are necessary to take because it allows for growth. In the music industry, it is very hard to find artists who are openly gay, as they are not always taken the most seriously for their craft. As an independent artist, I made it a goal to express myself in my music. I identify as a Gay, Cis-gendered male. I am comfortable with the fact that I have a masculine and feminine side, and have learned to embrace that in my art. I am also Christian, which opens up an entire can of worms, as many people look down upon the idea of being a Christian and part of the LGBTQIA community. Read more>>

Rose Briccetti | Artist & Professor

My relationship with risk is endlessly fraught; I know how vital risk taking is to success and art making, but managing the fear that comes with it is incredibly hard. Being an artist is inherently risky and I constantly try to remind myself that pursuing this crazy path in the first place was the biggest risk of all and there’s really no reason to start playing it safe at this point! Read more>>

Elliot Bamberger | Artist

At an earlier stage in my life, I would have definitely characterized myself as “risk averse” but I also began to feel like my life wasn’t all that it could be and began to reflect on what I could do differently to make the most of it. I started to study the habits of successful people and quickly noticed the common theme of risk taking. Then when I thought about recent significant risks I had taken in my life, they had always seemed to work out for the better. Read more>> 

Sky Britnei | Holistic + Spiritual Wellness Practitioner, Apothecary + Botánica Owner & Artist

I think risk goes hand in hand with trust. Trust in Spirit/God/the Universal Power. Trust in self and your abilities. Trust that things are always working out for your highest good. Trust that no matter what, you are always in the right space at the right time. Risk has played (and continues to play) a huge part in my life and career because everything that I’ve ever decided to go after and everything I’ve ever wanted has required me to take a leap of faith — to take a risk. Read more>>

Nadya Okamoto | CEO of August

I think entrepreneurship is all about taking big risks. The whole idea of being a “disruptor” means doing something that hasn’t been done before, or trying to do something in a new way that hasn’t been seen before. This means that the work is risky! Working in startups has a larger chance of failing than succeeding, especially as a woman of color. But that’s why taking such risks is so important! Progress happens when we push boundaries and take risks. Read more>>

DJ FLACO | DJ | Producer | Coffee Enthusiast

It’s all about taking risks honestly, “without risk there is no reward” right? I live by that, I feel like we have to make it a habit of taking risks in order to grow as an artist. For us to have more opportunities and more open doors risk has to be in play. Most of the time taking risk is really just breaking out of our comfort zone, once we master that the sky is the limit. Read more>>

Garry Clare | Barber & Fashion Designer

Right before Covid hit, I was laid off from a job I worked in for 11 years. I thought I would have my fashion brand to lean on, but when everything shut down, so did my income. Around the same time I also decided to follow one of my other passions and become a barber, but right after I enrolled in school, that shut down too. It was a really rough place to be in, but like many people, I’m standing strong and building everything back little by little. Read more>>

Bin Luo | Cinematographer

I think risk is another way of saying opportunity. And high risks tend to pay off better. I believe risks have acted as a reminder and indicator in my life and career. It tests my skill level of problem-solving in either life or work as an indicator. It is also a reminder of how much I need to grow to hesitate less when decision-making. Read more>>

Samantha Ellis | Founder & Writer

To choose to be an entrepreneur is to choose a life inseparable from risk. Though, if you carefully consider it, there is no such thing as a life worth living that is divorced from risk. What a boring life that would be! When I co-founded my business, I knew that my success required grit, that there was no safety net to leap into, and that there would be some degree of an eternal sleepless night. All of that has turned out to be true. Read more>>

Holly Davidson | Founder of ICT PR & Strategic Communications Firm

Risk taking is the allowing to unfold. Not everything in life is calculated. Sometimes the best things in life are when your plans are altered. It’s amazing to me just how often people want to control situations. We must remember when we came into this world we didn’t give orders as we were being create we were just being. So in life we must have faith that we are always on the right track. We must know that the right people, opportunities and situations will come into play when you let go and be. Read more>>

Natalia Christabelle | I am a working actor and producer

When it comes to an artistic profession or a creative craft, you have to know the rules so that you can break them. Take risks and hopefully find something new and exciting. I had to take risks, no matter how calculated it may be, a risk it’s still a 50/50 that’ll work. I risked homelessness if I didn’t generate enough money to afford an apartment when I moved to LA, lots of uncertainty, but risk should only be take if you’re comfortable with the idea of possibly failing and having to think of plan b or c, d e, etc. Read more>>

Erika Anderson | Cybersecurity Manager & CEO of JEWEL GANG

I like to take calculated risks. I measure the risks I take by if it will make me a better person and if it would be beneficial to my family. Risks have played a huge role in my life and career. I learned a little later in life that I was an impulsive risk taker and my impulsiveness usually would cause me more harm than good. When my family began to grow, the risks became more calculated and have landed me a great career and helped me to muster up the courage to do things that I wouldn’t normally do. As a result, I live by the saying “Be comfortable, being uncomfortable.” Because if you aren’t taking risks, you aren’t growing! Read more>>