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.

Younes Aomari | Spokenword Poet ,Public speaker &Mechanical design student

Risk-taking has always been a part of my life. I have been trying to push myself to escape the comfort zone through all its phases. I do think that risks must be calculated, but not all the time. Many of my most interesting, fun, and learning experiences have been the result of impulsive jumps into the unknown. To give you an example, I would mention the first time I talked to a stranger on the internet to practice my English, and it’s been a friendship for over 7 years now. Making the decision to go study abroad was also part of my attempt to leave my comfort zone and learn more about our world, and that experience was fruitful for many reasons, Read more>>

Denis Boateng | Content Creator & Brand Consultant

I think risk is a beautiful and such a powerful step to take, because its a bold action to pretty much put yourself on notice that you are all in. Risk to me is a synonym (Realizing I’m Still Killing it) the extra I is just a reminder that I’m in it. The role that taking risks has played in my life is simply the audacity to dream, the parts where I’ve come from a majority of people don’t dream out loud, though many are special it takes a dose of encouragement, curiosity, faith, and self belief. In that sense I’m blessed taking risks is a blessing. Read more>>

Tiffany Morello | Licensed Esthetician & Business Owner

I think, I don’t really think about risk at all. That may sound frivolous – but I believe each experience is a lesson learned resulting never in failure but always in knowledge. If I had been too scared to take risks for fear of failure, I wouldn’t be where I am today with my business. Read more>>

dr. monique liston | Founder, Chief Strategist, Joyful Militant

One of the riskiest things to be in America is Black and poor. So often entrepreneurship is seen as the product of affluent risk, people with money, time, and other resources to fall back on if the new business venture doesn’t work out. However, I understood the true risk was passing up the opportunity to bet on myself. I am a first-generation college student with parents that had jobs that we now refer to as essential, work that could not be done from home by sitting at a computer. Read more>>

Sara Niemietz | musician

Music is all about honesty. When I play a song, I’m telling a story. And there’s an aspect of storytelling that forces one to become vulnerable. I’m standing on a stage, under a light, and putting myself out there. This is me! Here you go! Phew – that’s a big risk. Humans are sort of conditioned to be risk-averse, but that never brings about captivating art! I had to learn to push that old instinct aside and go for it. Read more>>

Susan Durazo | Tin Can Metal Artist – Founder of Sue’s Illumination Creations

My entire path at this point has been a risk, but just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s not possible. I took a risk stepping out into a world of unknowns as a single mom. I took a risk trading a 1-karat marquise diamond for a small set of tools to create a unique form of art that I didn’t know if I was going to be good at, or if people would even like it- and here I am today doing what I love, 24 years strong. It all started with not a risk, but a possibility… and that’s all I needed. You never know what’s possible, and you never will until you try… Read more>>

Nneka Enurah | Ads Executive & Entrepreneur

It’s no secret that career opportunities for women of color are often limited. So for me, it was crucial to take risks early on and do the unexpected at times to advance. Most people are afraid to take risks, especially when it comes to their careers. We worry that if we make a mistake, we’ll be fired or passed over for a promotion. The truth is in order to achieve success, we need to take risks. It’s what allows you to progress and achieve new heights. Read more>>

Yuxin Zhu | Animator & Designer

In my experience, taking risks is an essential part of work, especially when working with unfamiliar people. I experienced two risk events during my thesis project: the first was that the colorist I hired failed to complete the work within the agreed time and refused to continue making subsequent productions, which caused me to squeeze out more of my own time to finish the work; Read more>>

Hannah Jelstrom | Watercolor Artist

For most of my life I’ve been pretty risk-averse. I felt afraid to try something if I wasn’t sure I’d be good at it or if I couldn’t control the outcome. And while I knew there was a difference between “risk” and “danger,” I usually made decisions based on what was “safest” rather than making choices that might get me closer to a life I authentically wanted. As you can imagine, that didn’t lead me to a very fulfilling lifestyle. My perspective really changed a lot when it came to selling my art. Read more>>

Hunter Hao Deng | Cinematographer

Being a filmmaker is undoubtedly playing the most risky role in my life, because this job is really unstable, uncomfortable, unsafe and unhealthy. Filmmakers need to sacrifice their sleep, their health and the time being with their families and lovers for certain shooting times. The filmmaking separates filmmakers from their daily lives and organizes them together in order to realize the director’s self-expression and satisfy the audience’s desire to peep at the secrets of the unknown world. During the time of making the movie, the time in the closed space of the film crew is relatively static compared to the outside world, and only when it is really wrap up will you sigh: Read more>>

Sylvine Maliko | Visual Artist

Taking Risks got me where I am today! It’s never easy but it can open the right door for your life/career. It’s a must! Taking risks will teach a lot, and you can never loose by doing so. I was supposed to go to university for a bac in interior design but instead I chose to focus on my art career and risk it all. Read more>>

Sanjini Bhakta | Actress, Producer, Director, Writer, Martial Artist

In my action film series, “EYE OF THE EMPRESS” which can be viewed on my YouTube channel (sanjiniactress) and on Vimeo, my character’s main motto throughout the film is: “The higher the risk, the higher the reward!” This is also the same motto I live by in my life! Read more>>

Tarla Makaeff | Copy Queen, Online Business Coach, and Digital Course Creator

Risk-taking has played a significant role in my life and career. In college, I got accepted Pre-Med but ended up following my heart to the Film department and finally majored in English with a Writing emphasis and a minor in Theater. Even though I was an introvert and had thrown myself into acting to overcome painful shyness, I ended up loving it so I decided to pursue it as a career which was quite the reversal from medicine. I enrolled in a soap opera acting class through UCLA Extension. Because of this one decision, I ended up meeting my future boss who hired me at a marketing agency where I became a copywriter. Read more>>

Dani Monahan | Writer & Manifestation Coach

I used to take the practical route, or the safe route in my life and in my career. I kept ending up unsatisfied, and didn’t feel like I was meeting my full potential. Quitting my full time job to start my own business is one of the biggest career risks I have ever taken. It was scary, but sometimes you have to step through the fear to find your happiness, manifestation or success waiting for you on the other side. I believe when we do the thing that scares us the most we create magnetism and end up honoring our true authenticity. Read more>>

Mitzy Romero | CEO and Founder of Capax by Mitzy & LUX by Mitzy

I believe that if we don’t take any risks, there’s no way to tell if we are able to make a business successful. I took the risk in Dec 2021 to rent out a space in Mission, KS to be able to sell local makers items. I now have over 10 vendors including my items, I started in Feb 2022 and the biggest risk I took was I quit my full-time job and decided to go all in. It’s been 3 almost 4 months now and I think this is the biggest risk I’ve ever taken and it’s been a rollercoaster especially since this is my first time ever doing something like this. I wouldn’t be able to do this without the support from my husband and family. Read more>>

Miranda OHare | Actor, Voice Actor & Content Creator

I think about this a lot. Taking risks has been a huge part of my life and career. You have to be pretty brave and bold to be an actor or creative of any kind. Especially moving to LA from Sydney, it was very scary and I guess quite a risk. But when you have a good family, you have a support system that allows you to take risks. So I am very lucky in that regard. Read more>>

Justin Llamas | Recording Artist & Entertainer

I remember watching a speech Steve Harvey gave, saying “every successful person must jump.” Harvey explained that every successful person needs to take a leap of faith…to take a big risk on yourself…in order to soar…in order to live. He compared going for your dreams to jumping with a parachute, the parachute being your gift. If you don’t jump, your parachute will never open, and your gift will never reach it’s potential. Read more>>

Justin & Jennifer Mars | Woodworker and Artist

We believe that risk taking is an essential part of our journey. We have made several risks that include moving across the country (many times) or starting new business ventures. We both grew up in a Midwest suburb in Minnesota, we decided to move away from our close family and friends to Southern California. This was scary for us but knew that this risk was essential for our growth mentally and physically. The sunshine and warm weather inspired us to create in many ways. Read more>>

Benjamin Naderi | Founder & Entrepreneur

From an early age, I have never been risk adverse. As an immigrant, my father began his journey in this country with little to lose and a lot to gain. While he was calculated with risks, he has never been risk adverse and made some “risky” choices that ended up being very beneficial for him and for our family. Growing up with him as my biggest role model, I often times see risk as opportunity and try to take advantage of it when I can. Read more>>