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.

Shannon Murray | Actress & Producer

Taking a leap of faith to pursue my dream of acting to me at the time didn’t seem like a risk, it was a sure thing. I knew in my soul and deep in my bones this was the journey I was supposed to be on. Leaving my hometown of Millsboro, Delaware to go to New York City didn’t seem too big of a leap because I was only four and a half hours away from home. When I decided to move to Los Angeles, that felt more like jumping off the high dive to do a cannon ball into the deepest waters, but I wasn’t afraid. I knew that I’d be able to handle whatever obstacles came my way and in due time I’d be able to prove myself. As an actor, you’re dependent upon your management team and agent to find auditions for you and help progress your career on a higher level. Read more>>

Kamy Bruder | Actor

I’m still trying to balance risk taking and the notion of security in my life. I’ve taken massive leaps in the past, including coming to the United States at 17 years old to pursue a career as a professional motocross rider (best decision I’ve ever made). That was 15 years ago and to this day looking back still the most lucrative risk/ reward pursuit of my life. Evidently, being an actor is a massive risk in itself – where’s the guarantee in that? Ah! But the possibilities are so grand, and the journey itself is such a reward as well that it’s a risk I’m willing to take with me to the grave. Being a little older now, I also think it’s important to have your bases covered in that pursuit of something greater. Being able to live, support and sustain myself has been a huge part of my success. Read more>>

Saloni Dwivedi | Brand Owner & Artist

Without risk, there is lingering stagnancy. Even the smallest dose of change can yield risks, but thats what makes life an organic process. Being present requires you to be tolerant of discomfort, to the point that you can see for yourself the benefits of whats happening. Most people naturally attach risk to fear, especially of change. The way I benefit from when I feel like this is to simply change my perspective. A new approach can be risky but mastered, or at the guaranteed minimum, a reminder of who you are. When it comes to my creative projects and business, the most joyful and all around fulfilling moments have been through a direct result of decisions and risks I made. There is an incomparable feeling when you live with being accountable for your decisions and actions. Read more>>

Amie Barsky | Trauma & Anxiety Coach

Taking risks has played a huge role in my life. Looking back, I would definitely describe myself as a “risk taker” and I am extremely glad because I can’t imagine where I would be if I hadn’t! I also think an important question for me is “why?” When I look at my younger years I see now that I chose to take risks from a very “rebellious” often confused and frustrated head space, verses now, a place of excitement, risks that are in alignment with my goals. Generally, just like gambling, the bigger the risk the bigger the payoff. Obviously, each risk has different results. My risks have varied from adventure sports like skydiving, bungee jumping and scuba diving, to leaving my “land life” and traveling around the world dancing for a prestigious cruise line. I’ve also taken risks by falling in love, trusting others, falling out of love, moving from the East coast to the West Coast, choosing divorce, choosing myself & changing careers …MANY times. Read more>>

Kristin Parker | Fashion Designer, Creator & Business Owner

My life has been all about risks. I would not be who I am, where I am, or doing what I do without the risks I have taken. When I was younger I used to take some pretty bold risks for the sake of fun. But when I grew up I used this practice in risk taking to take smarter, more productive chances that have brought me much of my current success and happiness. The first big risk I took in my adult life was moving to L.A. I left hometown life in Raleigh, NC with hardly any savings and landed in L.A. with basically just a suitcase and a dream–I was going to be a fashion designer. I knew only one person in L.A. and stayed on her couch for one week. I got a brief job in retail within that first week of being here and by the second week got my first job in the fashion design industry as an assistant designer for a kids clothing company. Read more>>

Carlos Felipe Silva | Composer & Music Producer

Risk taking is a must in the entertainment industry. My name is Carlos Felipe Silva, and I’m a composer and music producer based in Los Angeles. As a business owner and music creator I’ve had to take chances on a regular basis such as working on new projects with limited budgets in order to further my career and expand my network. You see in this industry you never know what your next project could be, so dealing with the unknown becomes the default mode for every composer and other artists. This uncertainty is a lifestyle that’s definitely not for everyone, and the reason why there is so much anxiety in our field. In this industry you are as good as your last project which means that every time you commit to a project you have to treated as your final master piece, but at the same time you need to constantly work and find new ways of communicating your art. Read more>>

Julie Wions | Voice-over Artist & Entrepreneur

I am a big fan of taking healthy calculated risks. We don’t know until we try and with risk comes growth, should we choose to welcome it. Every risk I have taken has guided me toward new opportunity and has unlocked deeper levels of self-discovery. Even when risks have created undesirable or unexpected outcomes, the results have challenged me to build problem solving skills and have pushed me to rediscover, reinvent, and empower myself. These experiences have forced me to become better equipped at handling life’s messy moments. A risk can blossom into a beautiful outcome that enhances one’s quality of life by achieving a goal or opening a path to self-development. Read more>>

John F. Thomas | Award-Winning Producer, Actor & Content Creator

Taking a risk is scary business, especially when it comes to going after your career. I had many people in my ear telling me that it’s going to be hard, trying to sway me not to go down that path so that I can take a safer route…but I had to go after what I felt I should have in my heart. I’m not sure about others, but whenever I do have to assess the risk, I make sure to look at it from all sides. It’s one thing to either just do it, or to not do it. If I can research on it, learn who else tried this, learn about those who failed at it and why, then maybe I can have a better chance at succeeding because there is that information there for me to analyze so that I can obtain better results. Life is hard, and it’s filled with risks. Whether they be big or small, we take risks everyday. Read more>>

Favor Valentine | American Singer-Songwriter

When I arrived to Los Angeles I knew that $400 would not go very far so I started singing at the airport for meals. I wasn’t sure if this would work, but people in Los Angeles responded to me with excellent vibes. Not only would people give me cash, but the compliments came rolling in. It made me feel great! I started looking on Craigslist every day before Craigslist went sour. I responded to an ad for a Hispanic Label based in LA. Not only did they fall in love with my music… they took me in as if I was one of their own. I now had a place to live, sleep, eat, and work… the best part. They got me into the studio immediately and some of my best work to date was with this label. To put the icing on the cake, they placed me on a college tour and I haven’t looked back since.. Read more>>

Glen Farrelly | Artist

Let’s face it much of what we do on a daily basis has risks involved, it’s the severity of the outcome that makes the risk a pause for thought moment! Growing up in the UK I tended to walk to the beat of my own drum – as a teenager I moved form a small country town to Art University to the Hustle and Bustle of London. That Risk set me on my path to make bigger decisions. After 20 years of teaching in a top London school I moved with my family to follow my wife’s career to LA. I had given up 20 years of doing what I loved to take the risk on a new country, a new city and a new way of life. The dangerous excitement was worth it. It was an educated risk that led me back to doing what I love and back to my work as an artist. Getting my work out into that huge critical world and putting all vulnerabilities on show with the mask of confidence.. Read more>>

Alejandra Hou | Film Director, Writer & Editor

Life is about taking risks. Every day is about making decisions whether big or small plus it’s a great way to learn new things. I have taken many risks throughout my life since I was a child. I grew up in a Chinese family where they understand no other career than to follow the family business. I exchanged my free time to learn about music and filmmaking by myself instead of going out with friends since it was the only way to pursue my dreams. My parents never supported me. From my perspective, now that I look back, I risked not having a “normal childhood.” I lived locked in my room just learning. But, the biggest risk I took was when I moved to Los Angeles alone in 2017 after years and years trying to convince my parents and I finally did. I left my family and all my past behind and came to an unknown country to study filmmaking. It was like a new beginning. Read more>>

Dolly Ramirez | Entrepreneur, Creator & Artist

Taking a risk can go one of two ways: you will either fail or you will succeed. I had no intention of failing when starting my business, but I knew that if I did, it was not the worst thing that could happen to me. There are plenty of people 6 ft under who probably spent their last moments wishing they had taken a risk or followed a dream. There is one particular quote that cracked me wide open about the fear that used to lead me, “Our Deepest Fear” from A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. These are just a few lines: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…Your playing small does not serve the world…As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. Read more>>

Grace Cho | Owner

I wouldn’t be an entrepreneur if I didn’t take risks. Being an entrepreneur is all about taking risks. Taking risks has helped build my confidence, have a voice and take action whether personally or professionally. Taking risks comes with lots of challenges; it pushes you out of your comfort zone and gets you through the tough times. Read more>>

Sybille Herwig | Interior Desinger & Former Film Producer

I believe that smart risk-taking invites opportunity. Meaning, do not be reckless with your choices, but branch out of your comfort zone, explore the benefits of doing so, look at the possible down falls versus pay-offs, and then jump. Without risk taking, I would not have been able to travel the world, come to the US, reach my far-fetched dream of working in Hollywood and now be an award-winning designer in an international market creating tangible architecture for people to work and play in. Read more>>

Ali Levine | Bravo TV Personality, Influencer, Celebrity Stylist & Fashion Expert

I think that if you never take a risk, you’ll never know what could be. If I had never taken a risk to go to California ten years ago, I wouldn’t have gotten the many opportunities I had in costume design and styling, or have the opportunities I have now as a tv personality & influencer. Sometimes taking that one step can lead you to the rest of that staircase. It’s unknown and it can be scary for sure but it’s also very exciting. I continue to remind myself to take risks and be bold. You’ll never know the outcome, unless you go for it, that goes for anything in life. Read more>>

Martin Gonzalez | CEO

Risk has been one of my worst nightmares, finding passionate and respectful barbers. starting a business is not to bad the hardest part is having a consistency in our employees. Read more>>

Jim Stevens | Artist & Author

I see risk as accepting the possibility of loss, danger or injury but being courageous enough or foolish enough to go for a goal anyway. When I was in the Army, risk meant something different than it does today. Then it was life and death. Now it requires a different, more subtle, type of courage that in some ways takes even more commitment and strength. Since losing my eyesight the definition of a risk has changed so much for me. Many things I used to take for granted have either become a risk in themselves or increased the danger surrounding a risk. But what I’ve come to realize is that when you want it badly enough, any risk is worth the effort to overcome it. Read more>>

Mallery Robinson | Engagement Specialist & Service Navigator for Transgender Health

I feel that risk taking is a necessary part of my life. In 2006 when I was 16 I began my gender journey from George to Mallery, and I never looked back. Throughout the past 14 years of my gender journey, I completed high school as Most Friendly in 2008 and graduated with an Advanced Diploma part of the Top 10% of my graduating class. I changed my name legally in 2009, I started Hormone Replacement Therapy in 2011 after being diagnose with HIV the same month. I had breast augmentation in 2012 and Vaginoplasty in 2016. I graduated with a Double Bachelors in Biology and History in 2014. I was married in 2017 and divorced in 2020 to a cisgender man. I moved to California in 2019 from my Hometown of Montgomery AL, and started working at the center in 2019. I am sharing all of this to show each and everyone of you that taking risks is what have led me living a fulfilled life. Read more>>

Cliff “Notes” Taylor | Content Creator & Entrepreneur

Pablo Picasso said “I’m always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” The Albert Einstein’s, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerburgs of the world did not achieve success “playing it safe”. Life is consistently changing whether we choose to or not. Risks present their greatest rewards when we understand that finding comfort in our current situation is actually more damaging to our future success than any chance or decision we could actively make. When you take risks there are only two outcomes. Learning or succeeding. Both are positive. I’ve applied this concept to my life and moved across the country to now see that it was the greatest decision in my personal development! Take the risk!!! Read more>>

Cima Rahmankhah | Visual Artist

Well, choosing the life of an artist is a risk in itself. There’s as much excitement as uncertainty. But the good thing is that the more risks one takes, the bolder one gets. Read more>>