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.

Hafsatu K Kamara | Digital Marketing Strategist & Track Olympian

Risk-taking is a necessary attribute any and all creatives should have. I find that the more risks I take with my business, people in my circle and my own growth, the more I continue to uncover levels of strength. From the very beginning of my career both as a track athlete and a digital marketer, I took a chance in every aspect. I left the east coast with only two weeks worth of summer clothes to compete at a school in Los Angeles that I hadn’t even applied to yet. I applied to a job posting for a “Marketing Ninja” with the basic knowledge of only knowing how to run my personal Instagram. I followed my gut in those decisions and trusted myself. Many times I’ve come to a point in my life where I have to make a decision between jumping off the ledge or standing by the shore line…….I jump. Mind you, I’m not jumping blindly; I make sure to assess my options and reflective on all outcomes. My thought frame is that “I already know the life that I am currently living, how much more of a life is there to live if I take this risk?”. Read more>>

Shari Holly | Director of Operations Pipelines/ DEI Champ

I’ve always been a risk taker by nature. I believe risks are not only necessary in this life, but can be incredibly rewarding. If you think about it, our lives are made up of small risks we take everyday; every time we leave the house, when we start a new job or project, new relationships, start a business, those are all risks we take not knowing the outcome. Risks are so uncomfortable, but I believe that discomfort is where you find the growth. I don’t ever want to be stagnant or simply complacent. That’s not enough for me. Tasking risks has shown me new parts of the world, have open doors for me professionally, has shown me things about myself and my capabilities that I otherwise would’ve never learned. I think a lot of people look at fear and taking a risk as two separate things–that in order to take risks, we have to be completely courageous and without fear, and that just isn’t true. You will and should feel the fear, but feel it, and do it anyway. Read more>>

DeeDee Kelly | Makeup Artist

Risk taking is what living is all about. If we don’t take risk… are we really enjoying all that life has to offer? I understand that most times, when we take risk it may not work out 100%, but if we never try we will never see what could be!! For instance, I took a big risk moving to California from Baltimore and I knew very few people there also it was the first time I would be thousands of miles away from my family, but it was a risk i was willing to take for my career. I took other risk for my career like working for no pay just to have my work seen and put myself in positions for something greater…later! Actually we take a risk everyday when we leave out of our houses or getting on trains, planes and automobiles. But if you pray and have faith that everything will work out… it normally does in some kind of form or fashion. It may now be what we hoped for but it could be for our protection. Read more>>

May Seto Wasem | Restaurateur

I’m probably a bad one to ask. I always take the risk first and make it happen afterwards. I’ve bitten off more than I can chew my entire life and (knock on wood) I’ve been fortunate enough to continue doing it this way. You need to have a healthy attitude, supportive network, energy to create, a little intuition, and empathy for those you drag along for the ride. If you have all that, it’s okay to be a little impulsive. And if you’re not at least a little impulsive, you’ll never take the risk. Read more>>

Tay Dunivan | Goldsmith

I think the idea of fully trust-falling into yourself and out of the work force has been the riskiest thing I’ve done. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot in the past year, being out of the traditional work force. We’ve been taught our whole lives that you need the steady job to get the paycheck, to get the car, to get the house etc but to break out of that cycle and truly, deeply trust that what your making fucking matters and that if you follow your intuition the things that you need to do will get done, the art will be made, people will care, and you can keep living. I hope I never have to have a “boss” again, capitalism has don’t nothing but hinder and monetize creativity in a way that is completely antithetical the production of genuine art. It feels super fucking risky not knowing if I’ll make rent next month, or if this weird ass ring I made will sell, but it feels riskier to let the artist in me die, and to let a boss have some of my soul. It’s my fucking soul and it’s not for sale. Jumping out of the warm. Read more>>

Ashley Hayes | Owner & Chief Designer, Asher Market

Whether you own a business or are an artist or lover of any kind, risk is essential to growth. And risk is essential to creativity. For inherent in the word ‘create’ is the fact that your vision and the act of bringing it to life are something new, something not yet seen. When we step into unknown realms, when we pull from the invisible world of inspiration and bring it down to this material world, we create. Society is not always accepting of the “new” because it’s inherently different than what’s done but, if we never tried, then we’d never know. And for those of us with creative spirits, not honoring our visions with action, not taking that risk means we’ve settled for the ordinary and there’s nothing more heart-breaking than that. “If you are not wiling to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” Jim Rohn When I think of my creative growth and the growth of my brands over the years, it has been my heart that has guided me and urged me to take risks. In 2009, I graduated from law school with a heavy heart lacking of creative direction. Read more>>

Michael and Josie Herman | Showrunners & Audio Engineers

Taking risks is where the magic happens. As audio artists for THE CALL OF THE VOID, we always want to bring brave, new ideas to our listeners. And of course this comes with a level of risk. In our second season, we introduce some very exciting and fresh ideas to our world and we aren’t completely sure how the audience is going to react to them. But we believe in these new ideas and are honestly very excited to see them come to life. We believe as long as the risk is calculated and the intentions are pure, it’s worth taking the shot. Read more>>

Aaron Doolittle | Independent Filmmaker

Most people think that risk taking results in one of two things. You either stick the landing and throw your arms up and instantly your life is changed forever. Or the alternative, you land face first, dragged across the gravel with two skinned knees and a shy new perspective. In fact I think risk taking is more common than people realize. We take a risk every time we speak out, or speak up, or speak at all. We want to be heard and we want to make a difference, but it’s not always to our advantage. The alternative is indicative of the expression Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt. Some people think this expression is a quote by Mark Twain, some people think it was Abraham Lincoln. It’s more likely that it is taken from the bible. And if you read this and think the bible is a controversial source to draw advice from… well… there you have it. I should have kept my mouth shut. Read more>>

Alexander Skye | Singer / Songwriter / Visionary

Risk taking has definitely been such a big part of my life since the moment I decided to move to Los Angeles. When I moved here to start my music career I had $200 in my bank account, no job, and no idea what I was doing. I kinda just trusted that the city would lead me down the right path, so to say. As an artist, I later learned that risk taking is also so essential when sharing your art with the world. You send out little pieces of yourself hoping that someone will relate to your message and that’s always such a gamble. It’s definitely worth it in the end when you get to see how people react to your creation. Best feeling. Read more>>

Angie Shyr | Musician, Songwriter/Composer, Artist

I’m drawn to this question because my ideas around risk have evolved with every step I’ve taken. What risk looks like, how it feels before and after the step taken. Likewise, what courage looks like – how it feels before and after step taken. And the relationship between the two. They’re definitely related. Risk gives you permission – or not – to enter the unknown, the uncertain. It’s like the weather forecast. You determine what kind of weather you’re going to enter based on your risk assessment. And you fine-tune the clouds, sun, rain until it hits a chord. The reason I don’t say “until you feel comfortable” is because comfort is not a part of the equation. It’s well-known in the world of behavior that comfort or ‘comfort zone’ do not offer opportunities for change, growth and risk.  Courage is your fuel to activate your engines (heart soul mind) into action. Read more>>

Ahmed Al Abaca | Composer, Conductor, Facilitator, Music Lover.

My whole life has been based around risk. Ive very comfortable with risk because Im comfortable with, either good or bad, the outcome. Thats an important thing about risk taking, are you able to handle or hold yourself accountable with the outcome? If you’re comfortable and have a strong understanding of who YOU are, then taking risks doesnt seem all that difficult. It was a risk when I decided to drop out of college to move to NY. I was 21, I had never visited before, but something felt right about it. I had always wanted to live there, write music, go to shows, start me life. I had a little chunk of change (money) and full luggage, and a dream…I lasted about 3-4 months. Pretty much that summer, and I was back in California. I wasn’t swayed, I was determined to move back. I ultimately did the following year, and ended up living there for 8 years. It was a great move for my growth as a composer. I scored 3 plays and wrote an original musical. Read more>>

Jemimah Fequant | Portrait Photographer

Trusting the process in whatever God has for my life is taking big risk. I moved to LA from South Florida December 31 2019 and landed in LA January 1st 2020 to pursue my photography dreams. That is a big risk if you ask me, not knowing anyone really, no family out here, and didn’t even have a job set in stone. I was scared but It was a scared like you got this no matter how hard It may get for you doors will open. At the time of moving I mean no on knew COVID was going to hit like that. I had just got a transfer/promotion from my job back home in Florida and in less than 3 months into the year I was furloughed and super scared and nervous how I would even make ends meet. I had to get serious about my photography and come up with a plan and truly trust the process and put the work in. Some days are truly unpredictable, but a door always opens when another closes. Read more>>

Sullivan Marsters | Songwriter & Music Teacher

The pandemic is accelerating the rate at which the public sphere moves online, and with it we have created a saturated landscape of content that the consumer must scroll through endlessly, rarely encountering anything memorable. How does one stand out in today’s world? The same way people always have, by taking risks! Among the cornucopia of risk, I tend to favor a more calculated variety, one that requires preparation. For example, on my EP “Fight or Fly” I chose to record it without the aid of pitch or beat correction (ie. Melodyne, beat doctor, etc.), both industry standards and far less conspicuous than the stylistic “auto tune.” Additionally, I recorded both the guitar and voice together, creating a heavier and more expressive “live feel” to the recordings. This also means I run the risk of sounding naked and exposed in an era where the norm is crisp, breathy vocals laid atop snappy, pulsating beats. But I also reap the reward of standing out, which is exactly my intention when everyone with a laptop and a DAW is a producer. Read more>>

Kayli Robinson | Singer/Actress

The word, risk has been like a tumultuous relationship I’ve been in for the majority of my life. It’s just like love. We all have the opportunity to open ourselves up to the possibility of love; and we all know that sometimes it ends well, other times it ends up breaking our hearts. Risk has been similar to love in my life. I’ve been singing on stages across the world my entire life and trying my hand in acting in the middle of singing gigs- so I have a decent amount of confidence and courage, however when life throws us opportunities to partake in risk…that’s a whole other beast. I was in a girl pop group for about four years; signed to a major record label, we did a few albums, and I was engaged to a fellow artist in the industry for a small period of time. Long story short- the band was not making enough money to make a living, our manger was stealing thousands of dollars from us, it took a year for our attorney to try and help us get out of a severely bad situation and we inevitably lost our record deal and got dropped. Read more>>

Gilly | Founder, Gilly’s Organics

I think it’s the number one reason for any of the success I’ve had! Risk taking takes courage. Courage takes practice. It’s like a muscle and we need to flex it often. Sometimes we get what we ask for and sometimes we do not. If you don’t take the risk, you will certainly never know. Read more>>

Daria Mazur | Actress

I can honestly say that my whole life has been full of risks. When I was 21, I gave up my comfortable life in Europe and moved to Hollywood. I always knew I wanted to live in the USA. I got my visa, packed my bags and left.I wanted to study there and I left before I got accepted to my school. I didn’t know anybody there and I had never been there before. I just believed I would be. I didn’t allow myself to think “Oh but what if my life in the US doesn’t work out?” or “What if I don’t get accepted? What if I don’t meet any good friends? What if I never find a job?” ‘What if’ is an expression that has already ruined so many lives. I know incredible people, more gifted than me, who are afraid of taking a step forward because they are afraid of losing. If you don’t take a risk, you will always be in the same place. Nobody will do your work for you. Being afraid of taking a risk comes from the fact that we are so afraid of what other people will think if we fail. Read more>>

Matt Buser, Esq. | #NotYourAverageLawyer

Risk is a factor for me every day. Starting my own firm only a couple years out of law school instead of joining an existing firm was a huge risk, but it’s paid off. I now have the autonomy and authority to practice law my way and on my time (despite I devote time every day to my career and my clients). Additionally, each week I take risks on clients that I will represent on a commission basis — whether it’s because the client is brand new and not yet generating income or because the client is established but perhaps has had some difficulties, relationship-wise or business-wise. I enjoy the building process and it’s an honor to say I’m a part of that client’s new movement or reemergence. I love to take risks because I learn and grow from each engagement. I’m blessed to say I never have a dull day, and that I truly am #NotYourAverageLawyer. Read more>>

Janet Lopez | Actor/Producer

I have been a risk taker all my life! I have had some success and great opportunities that have arisen from risk taking. Sometimes I have to weigh out my options and if risk taking outweighs the cons, then I usually go for it. People tend to play it safe, but if you don’t take a risk, you might not give yourself a chance to succeed. Read more>>

Ania Thomas | Musician, Producer, Songwriter, and Teacher

Risk has been a big part of my everyday life! By taking risks, my life has changed significantly.. I originally moved to Chicago, when I was 14 from Koszalin, Poland. Then eventually followed my dreams and ended in Los Angeles. Going to USC has been the best life choice and opportunity granted to me. Risk helps discover unforeseen opportunities for those who pursue their dreams while risk additionally builds character and determination. Read more>>

Jenny Segura | Artist,Creator & Entrepreneur

I had never taken big risks until I was faced with losing my job and it really forced me to look at things in a different perspective. I have always loved creating art either it be drawing, painting,photography or learning to DJ and create through music. I had always played it safe per say and would work to make a living and thought that my passion for art was more of a hobby and didn’t think I could actually make it a career. When I lost my job everything in my life that I was accustomed to had changed and it became clear to me that God was giving me a sign that this was my chance to pursue my art and design career. I made the decision to take a risk and enroll in school and go forth in getting my degree in Graphic Design. This was going to be a risk and involve some sacrifice where I found myself having to work at night and go to school during the day. There’s been some struggles through it all but without taking the risk and making some sacrifices I would not known how much I am capable of doing and I’m just getting started there’s no much more I want to do creatively. Read more>>

Kelly Maglia | Glam-Metal/Opera Singer, Fashion Designer, & Pole Acrobat

I used to bounce between the rush of risk-taking and the velvet-coffin of playing it too safe. I’m definitely the daughter of my entrepreneurial father and my more reticent mother – so much so that they STILL both sit on either shoulder, like the proverbial angel/devil 🙂 But I’ve learned that BOTH risk and reticence are important for entrepreneurs. You need to be able to step outside of your comfort zone if you are ever to achieve anything. And indeed, if you fancy yourself a cutting-edge artist, thinker, or inventor, you HAVE to be willing to go where no one has gone before. It’s scary, but it’s the ONLY way to go! However, I’ve also learned that having a safety net is not a bad thing. Early in my career, I subscribed to the “leap and the net will appear” philosophy – which got me into some sticky situations. These days, I take more calculated risks. Meaning, I do take deliberate steps outside of my comfort zone, but I make sure that if I fall down, I will be OK no matter what. Read more>>

Jacob Lauing | Musician

I think risk should be inherent in any DIY project. This feels true in any art form, but in music that’s the beauty of being an independent artist — you’ll have less hoops to jump through when it comes to making big brand decisions, especially if they’re a bit edgier. When you’re in control of your own destiny, you can afford to take those risks. I’m generally a risk-averse person, so creativity has been an incredible exercise in taking some of those artistic risks, which almost always pay off. I think a tremendous amount of growth in life comes from risk. Read more>>

Martinique Pates | Contemporary Artist

I believe a lot of the fear that’s associated with risk is not knowing what the outcome may be, which is totally a natural thing to feel. However, personally I do feel like taking risks are necessary for growth whether it be personally or professionally. In my experience, risk has shown up differently in both my career and my life. Post college graduation, I decided to move out of state. I had no plan, no money saved, no job prospects, nothing but a good friend that offered her home to me. I was desperate for a change, so much so that I was willing to leave behind anything I couldn’t take with me in a suit case or a carry on. I made a definitive decision to leave. And as the weeks came closer everything began to fall in place. I attracted a job, my car was shipped, I found a beautiful apartment, It was as if everything that could’ve held me back, the things and people I could’ve feared losing actually aligned with where I was heading. I realized in that very moment to listen to that gut feeling even if it doesn’t seem ideal. Read more>>

Ani Davtyan | Baker & Owner

There are many risks you take as a business owner but the first thing that comes to mind is Covid. I took a big risk renting a commercial kitchen space followed by opening a store 4 months later. That is not a typical timeline you follow when opening a business let alone in the middle of a global pandemic, but I knew the time was right when our space was getting smaller and demand was getting larger. This played a whole role in my life and career because at 24 I am only at the beginning of what I consider to be my dream career. Read more>>

David Lee | Celebrity Portrait Photographer and Biohacker

I started my first online magazine in 2001 and built it up with content. I had innovative fashion editorials, photoshoots with celebrities and insightful reviews of San Francisco’s hottest restaurants. I knew that I was still in the building stage and I wanted more than just San Francisco. I always had the travel bug because I loved experiencing cultures, exploring cities, trying new food, but previously, there was always something controlled about my travel experiences.     My travels through college had either been with my parents, where I didn’t pay for anything, or with my friends for a just a week at a time. I knew there was more to traveling and discovering what a city has to offer, but I also knew that traveling was expensive, especially if you aren’t making any money. In 2006, my friend Shawn Pereira was in Miami and he asked me to come out and visit him. I told him, “sure, but how long should I stay for?”      He told me to buy a one way ticket and at first I was a little hesitant to come. Read more>>

Marval A Rex | Artist, Actor & Director

The idea of “risk” to me is interesting, what qualifies it. Now if you had asked me five years ago what I feel about risk I would have had a certain level of pride and perhaps arrogance in responding to risk-taking as a worthy endeavor. Now that I have 5 years of performance work behind me– a body of work that is essentially and primarily about risk-taking as a gender terrorist+ contrasexual, work that aggressively challenges modern conceptions of white manhood or male-hood– I realize in 2021 that “risk” can be far more subtle and surprising. I think it is currently more of a risk to be an expanding self-aware and spiritualized person in the midst of an attention economy, to use Herbert A. Simon’s term; an attention economy being a social media dominated interface where each player or avatar is seeking the most attention and thus competitively taking it from others and vice versa. I now find it more of a risk to be patient, loving and radically honest, to accept myself in a parallaxical way (from all angles)– to love others as an extension of myself and my journey to self-acceptance. Read more>>

Dawn Tanner | Caterer, Private Chef, Meal Prep Services

Ordinarily I’m not a big risk taker at all. I’m the type of person that usually goes for the “sure thing!” However with certain parts of my life I’ve started taking more risks. You know, just going for it, and since then my life has changed for the better. I’m happy in my personal life and even more happier with my career. My career is thriving in ways that I truly never imagined. My career started nearly 2 years ago by taking a risk and admitting to a room full of women I barely knew, that I liked to cook. From there a lot of those women gave me opportunities that helped me grow in to the woman I am now in my business. I’m forever grateful for them. If I would’ve never spoke those words, there would be this layer inside of me that would’ve never been unveiled. I’m living in my fullest potential now and it’s a great feeling. Taking risks can be scary, but the reward can be huge. Step out on faith and take the risk! It’ll be worth it in the end. Read more>

Kaelyn Rene | Independent Artist

When taking risks you truly lose just about everything you think you need to survive and for a little that may be so. How ever, risks showed me that I can live without the comfort. Risks overstep limitations while letting fear experience just how powerful it could be with or without it. If it wasn’t for the risks that I took to get where I am in my career, who knows what my life would’ve turned out to be but ill tell you one thing forsure is that id most likely be miserable. As time goes you start to realize the time that is put within your work as opposed to the work itself. I remember the day I met one of my first high paying clients – I was working at an art shop when I came across him, we talked a little bit about what he wanted which then led into what I do as an artist. He became extremely interested in my work and asked for a custom made piece. During that time I was feeling really stuck in my art career, i felt as if the world went on without me. Read more>>

Robby Fischer | Music Producer and Videographer

Starting any creative endeavor is signing up to be thrown into a world of risks. I’ve realized that I can’t really change that, so I should just accept it and approach it as something to give excitement to my life, rather than something to be afraid of. Ever since the start of our studio, we’ve had to be conscious that every decision we make has risks- and we’ve often found that trying to “play it safe” can often be more treacherous, stressful, and counterproductive than just jumping in and committing to the “riskier” option. As the owner of Dogtown Studio, I have come up with a few guidelines that have really helped me with assessing the risks I choose to take. -With financial risks, I often force myself to think, “What am I risking by NOT making this investment?” It’s easy to have a mindset that there’s risk involved in making big purchases, but if you don’t make the big purchase then you are not taking a risk. Read more>>

Jonathan Maner | Actor & Influencer

I can honestly say with conviction that I have never been a risk taker. That element of myself has never been forthcoming. I literally had to be thrown in the fire to even take risks but my outcome always worked out. I’ve learned recently that taking risks have played out in my favor most of the time. Taking risks means facing self doubt and fear. Because of my new found courage and support from my companion, taking risks is now seen as an opportunity. It’s why I’ve had the pleasure to be on a viral tv show in the past and been featured on cool photo ads and commercials. Read more>>

Alessandra Cardoso | Entrepreneur

I think life is a risk all together. We don’t have certainty of anything besides death and taxes. Therefore we are here to take risks and experiment different situations. Whenever we decide to go in a different direction either in life or career we should dedicate our all in order to know at the end that we have tried our very best whatever the outcome is. Read more>>

Abbie Britton | Yoga Therapist, Bodyworker, Trainer. Specialty in Pain, Injury, Trauma and Addiction.

At the essence of my active being has always been risk taking. By this I mean I listen to a small voice beckoning me inside, listen closer. Then I go for it. My profession, which is realigning human beings through bodywork has been a drive since I was a small child. I noticed I could tell where people were off by, for example, how their glasses tilted on their face. I was blessed with high education, from a family of intellectuals and attorneys. I was not supposed to be a therapeutic practitioner. We didn’t do that. My mother inspired me: She became an academy award winning actress when family destiny demanded she become an attorney. Her father said to her: “We Parsons do not leave New England. And she left.” She taught me to be a maverick. All aspects of my life have been about the drive to heal. Having practiced bodywork for 40 years while being a journalist I went to graduate school at the age of 60 and received my Master’s Degree in Yoga Studies and Yoga Therapy. Read more>>

Lisa Marie Posso | Serial Entreprenuer

Without taking continuous risks in every aspect of my life, I cannot even begin to imagine where I’d be right now. I’ve never been one to play it safe or wait for the right time. I believe we have to create the right time, or create the opportunity, or create the vision. Don’t wait. Read more>>

Thomas J. Pino | Songwriter/Producer

I believe there is some invisible force always tugging us, telling us what it is we already know about ourselves, and if we just listen to it, the reward is priceless. I was living in NYC, singing in a band 6 years ago, and while the band was doing some great things that I never imagined, I still felt stuck. I was juggling the band with a job that was leaving me numb inside. I felt like I was living a double life. I “felt” a voice telling me I needed to do something different. I say feel and not “hear” because it was more of an instinct, rather than an audible voice. Shortly after that. my band broke up, and so did my relationship at the time. The 4 people I spent 99% of my life with were no longer there and I felt that voice even louder now. It was saying “GO!” I never lived outside NYC, but I always had LA or Nashville on my brain because I wanted to do music full time. I visited LA, and sure enough a friend of mine from NY was living out there, and had a job opening. Read more>>

Bobby Nahill | Actor

From an early age I was taught to “act like you have nothing to lose.” So often in life we let fear of the “what ifs” dictate our decision making. What if they don’t reply to my email? What if I don’t get the job? What if I’m not good enough? What if I end up a failure? No matter what industry you’re in, putting yourself out there is one of the most challenging risks you can take. It requires courage, relentlessness and a carefree attitude (even though we all really do). But it can also be the most rewarding. You never really know just how many eyes are watching your every move: rooting for you, inspired by you, and in those miraculous moments – able and eager to help you. As an actor, I experience this every single day. Whether it be taping an audition, cold emailing or posting on social media, it’s so easy to overthink and criticize every possible scenario. But at the end of the day, you have to remind yourself why you are doing what you’re doing and be proud for giving it your best effort. Read more>>

Niko Sonnberger | Filmmaker – Writer – Photographer

Any long term creative endeavor is a hardcore risk. Intellectually, I would much rather just sit back and watch the clouds pass by… but emotionally, creating art is this little scab I will forever pick. Also, I’m a slight masochist, so I purposefully push myself to do things which frighten me as I mental experiment, seeing how far I can push my own circle of comfort. When you are pushed out of the circle, this is where all the good shit happens. In psychology I learned anxiety and excitement are the same aroused emotion in your brain, the only difference is what you perceive to be the outcome. When you start looking at risks and the nerves behind it lighting up your brain the same way as excitement does, it gives you a sort of buttery ease. Risk taking stems from all artist’s desire to be immortal, for them to live on in via their work. Read more>>

Makayla Did | Entertainer/Content Creator

I think it plays a huge role! I think success is always on the other side of fear and you don’t know if you’re good at something or not if you don’t take the risk of trying. Read more>>

JP Neang | Artist, Creative Educator, Philantropist

I remember as a child I asked myself “how can I live longer?” “The day will come when this will be no more” “I will no longer wake up to this present life.” I had quite the imagination and yes, I was a child. As early as 6 years old, those thoughts sprang through my mind on countless nights. What drove that was my ability to see the world as I felt it. Imaginary fairies helping the sun grow new sprouts, smelling the flowers that have yet to bloom on fall trees, I desired to feel that everyday. Becoming an artist is the way we look at life. And if we are lucky enough, we are faced with a mirror to become what we say. More so, what our deepest sincerely feelings want most. Choosing a life worth living, a path distant from my cultural norms have been the greatest risk decision I have made my entire life. Read more>>

Josh Weiss | Founder & Chief Visionary Technologist

I moved to Guatemala without a plan or a return ticket at 27 years of age. This was a few years after college during a time that I worked in non-commercial radio and had stability but lacked inspiration. Getting on a plane with little idea what would happen next was exhilarating if also a bit scary. My time in Guatemala funny enough solidified the skills I’d need later in life to be a consultant and an entrepreneur: setting my own path, negotiating tricky situations, learning new things every day. In addition, I was able to find work in both creative and technical fields, paving the way for my current work with my current company L.A. Creative Technologies. Read more>>

Mandy Williams | Musician, Bollywood Instructor, Audiobook Narrator

I’ve had the opportunity to experience things I never would have imagined and none of that would have happened had I not just gone for it! I’m an experience junkie and I always imagined coming to the end of my life and being able to remember all the great things I did or places I saw and experiences I got to have in life and not instead say…”what if?’ My take on taking risks is to not be afraid to fail. Have a sense of humor about yourself and don’t take yourself too seriously. I have failed miserably many times but I’ve also won some. Failure is inevitable when you are brave enough to follow your dreams. There is a great quote by Paulo Coelho – “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure” Read more>>