We asked some of the most interesting folks in the community to open up about how they think about taking chances and the role risk has played in their lives and careers. Risk is by far the topic folks talk to us most about and we hope the responses below will help shed light on many different perspectives.

Jacquelyn Racine: VFX Coordinator

Many people in my life would describe me as ambitious. I am dedicated to my objectives and work hard to achieve them. I have learned that my determination and perseverance were key components in making my dreams a reality. I have a goal, and my ambition is the driving force that projects me forward. However, being ambitious does not necessarily mean you are comfortable with risk-taking. From a young age, I was always a very tentative person. I approached any new situation with caution and skepticism. I was curious, but also fearful of the potential negative outcome. Read more>>

Vvlcan Haus: Holistic Mystics

We were born risk takers. We both came from intense upbringings in difficult environments, the only way out was to take HUGE risks. This has translated into our business almost seamlessly. If we have an idea and we believe in it, we will chase it until it is manifested. We didn’t hide away during the pandemic, we kept moving forward (cautiously) pushing ourselves to be more creative and as a result many opportunities opened up for us. Read more>>

Dretty: Tattooer & Visual Artist

My whole career was based on a risk. After graduating with a graphic design degree in 2009, I was only able to work an office job for about 2 months before recession layoffs began to impact the workforce across the entire country. I didnt know what I was going to do for about a month and then a close friend of mine suggested tattooing. I mulled it over for about a week, and decided I was going to go all in. Read more>>

Ana Valdez: Marketing, media and political expert

Uncertainty, unknown, trailblazzing, innovating, following your own gut, non-traditional, unique, courageous, knowing one could fail, fear to stand out, getting out of your confiort zone, accepting one self how ever onself is, learning from mistakes, Read more>>

Poohnana: Fashion Model/Social Media Influencer

Risk are those moments you know if you don’t do it now you will regret later in life. Resentment of why didn’t I took a chance and just go it! I take risk everyday just being a plus size model pressing the envelope of apply to castings working with brands hoping that they pick me. I love taking risk because sometimes the opportunity or outcome weighs in your favor as positive. I take risk by wearing lingerie/bikinis and being self confident while posting it on the internet. Read more>>

Riley Sewell: Public Speaker and Writer

Risk is a prerequisite of courage. When we leave our comfort zone and step into the courage zone, there are risks involved but there also lies the potential of miracles. I once met an 80-year-old ex-marine and spy who replied to the questions, “what’s the key to a thriving life?”, as “your life exponentially grows when you take risks”. I think the quality of your life is directly linked with how many risks you are willing to take. Courage is the fuel to take the vehicle of risks. Read more>>

Grace Davis: Dancer

Risk taking is an everyday occurrence in my career as a dancer. When I am at a class or an audition, I have to make myself stand out in order to be noticed. With dancing being a form of art, it is extremely vulnerable. Dance is all about networking, so every time I am reaching out to someone, I am taking a huge risk. In terms of the movement itself, pushing myself out of my comfort zone is the only way to better my craft. Read more>>

Ayten Salahi, MS: Nutritionist & Dietetic Intern at MGH

Deciding to uproot my career in 2016 to pivot in the direction of my true passion for nutrition was simple, but getting to where I am today has not always been an easy road. As a first-generation daughter of Turkish-Cypriot immigrants and forced displacees of war, my family has worked diligently for each and every hard-fought opportunity we have earned in the United States. In order to pursue my dream of becoming an effective anti-hunger advocate and an adept nutrition practitioner, I worked for five years in industry-led medical research to save funds and build clinical acumen. Read more>>

Robert Treves: Film Composer/Producer/Songwriter

For me, taking risks is integral to any career in the creative industries. Those who are at the top of their craft and who have worked hard for their success, tend to be risk takers and daring individuals. Personally, I take risks all the time. Choosing to move across the globe to live and work in a new country was a huge risk. But the road less travelled often brings about the greatest rewards. Read more>>

Mike Officer: Winemaker & Grapegrower

It’s funny. Having given up a well-paying software development career in the investment management industry for self-employment (in agriculture no less!), most would consider me to be a risk taker. The reality, however, is that this couldn’t be any further from the truth. When my wife Kendall and I started Carlisle Winery in 1998, it was on the side of full-time day jobs. Read more>>

Ida Bo Frazier: Lawyer & PR Director

I have taken a lot of risks in my life and luckily most have paid off. I have always said that everything but pets and kids can be undone so risks are worth taking! Originally I was born and raised in Denmark where I also went to law school and started my career. I worked in Copenhagen for both a law firm and the Danish government. But I was then offered the chance to become an expat in Brussels, Belgium, so I took the chance and left Denmark. Read more>>

Veera Khare Asher, DMA, CSCS: Founder, Inventor, Performance Specialist

RISK: With every major milestone I’ve achieved, there was a risk I took, just before the reward was realized. Several times in my life, the impetus or inspiration came from something that I cannot explain beyond a deep knowing or a gut feeling. However, each major shift or change I then strategically acted on, led me to achieving milestones and outcomes I would never have predicted. Over the last four decades, I had what I thought were several ‘callings.’ Now in my fifties, I realize they were all part of one big life purpose: all pointing to the discipline of Human Performance Optimization, injury prevention and early disease intervention (HPOIPeDI) Read more>>

Carlos Battey: Singer/Songwriter & Record label owner

Taking risks has allowed me to be the person I am. I started out taking a risk as a street performer singing on the streets for strangers then advancing to taking a risk at songwriting now being a performing artist and owning my own record label. Risks are essential to growth and wisdom. Read more>>

Kalvin Trevonte: Dancer / artist

Risk taking is honestly something that i will always do especially when it comes to my career! I’ve always (for the most part) been a “dreamer” type of person and felt like if i can’t live my dreams than i don’t want to live at all. So if i come across a decision that will have even the slightest percentage of something being so beneficial to making my dreams happens, than i am going at with FULL force. Read more>>

Michael Weber and Mary Kantner: Michael & Mary in the Morning (Podcast)

If you were looking for a sign to move to LA with your best friend, here it is. We grew up in Montana and when we met at summer camp, we immediately clicked over our shared excitement for life, adventure, and music. As we grew older, we stayed in contact while Michael moved to LA and Mary lived in Montana. We would talk on the phone for hours about our dreams and what we wanted to make out of our lives until it reached a point that we knew we had to make moves. Read more>>

Genesis Sol: Standup comedian, makeup artist, singer, and actress

I think to have a career in the arts, you have to be willing to take risks. This is not, nor will it ever be, a stable or guaranteed path. I’ve been performing music or acting since I was 5. Growing up this career never seemed risky, it was just what I did. But as I got older, the challenge became deciding to stay in this industry while my friends went the more typical route in their lives and career. Read more>>

Mazie: Artist

Having a healthy relationship with risk is a fundamental part of being an independent artist. Because creative autonomy and ownership of my music were so important to me and my team, we knew we were committing ourselves to more work while risking none of it paying off. To be independent means betting on yourself and being willing to take on the unknown. Read more>>

Ahseem Rish: Writer & Creative

I am definitely risk aversive, but high risk, high rewards. I believe if you take calculated risk is the best choice. I believe our society and school system doesn’t teach people how to think in order to take proper risk and we teach them to be scared of failure rather than use failure as a criteria for risk/success. Read more>>

Alexander Pardo: Director & Producer

Risk taking has played an essential role in my life. It’s only through taking risks and making hard decisions that we are able to grow. The sense of urgency that you experience when you are taking a risk is a great motivator. Each time I’ve had the opportunity to take a chance, regardless of the outcome, I’ve always learned something about myself or the process. Read more>>

Esra Özkan: Digital Art Curator

Taking risks is at the heart of my career. I don’t think anything can happen without taking risks, but I also have to say that I’m taking risks just for the sake of what I believe in. If I really believe in the projects I’m going to do, I imagine, take risks, and make them real. Read more>>

Britney Bautista: Filmmaker

Taking risks is one of the greatest favors a filmmaker can do for themselves. Going outside of my comfort zone and being more personal with my art is something that I struggled with. I didn’t want to open too much of myself to my audience in fear of judgement and backlash. In the beginning of my artistic career, I wrote screenplays that were nonsensical, comedic, and not in touch with the real world. While this was perfectly okay, I wrote screenplays with absurd narratives because they did not have any connection to my real life, or me as an artist. Read more>>

Josh Pais: Actor, and founder of the Committed Impulse approach to acting and presence training.

I think of taking risks as making “danger-moves.” A danger-move is not something that would actually cause any kind of harm – or actually be dangerous. However a danger move FEELS like it is really dangerous. But in reality it may be a matter of making a phone call, or setting up a meeting, or creating a character with reckless abandon. Read more>>

David Le: Director, Director of Photography & Photographer

I’m a heavy believer of high risk, high reward. You have to give a lot and in return, one day, you’ll get more back. No matter what it is, whether its time doing free work, money investing in yourself or just giving to the community and others around you, it all circles back to you. Read more>>

Jenna Sherman / Crux my heart: Artist, Painting Instructor, DJ, Music Producer

In my Kindergarten yearbook I wrote, “I want to be an artist when I grow up”, I always knew my purpose and I followed it. The pure fantasy and obsession with painting, drawing, and music I had as a little girl was unstoppable, and as an adult, blossomed into this fierce drive I have to succeed in what I do, because I refuse to do anything else. Risk is in everything that I do. Read more>>

Sandra Mack: Founder & Creator of Women of the Galaxy (apparel, retreats & more), Life Coach, Creative

Taking risks has played a major role in everything that I do. I see how in our society “risk” has a more negative connotation and most people expect undesirable consequences instead of the potential of an even bigger reward. At some point in my life I noticed that whenever I have those moments of courage and leap, life and the universe reward me in big ways. I started to act more boldly and followed that path. Read more>>

Almost Owen: Artist, Songwriter and Producer

I don’t know if this trait is universal or specific to me, but I’ve found that my natural inclination is to overvalue the risks involved in taking an action and undervalue the risks of NOT taking that action. I’ve found this to be especially true when I don’t have a well defined understanding of what those consequences and rewards could be. Read more>>

Alicia Dakteris: Handbags and Accessories Designer

From a very early age, I was very risk tolerant – I often saw these risks more as new adventures, or as opportunities to better my situation and my well-being. As problems or challenges would arise, I would look for creative solutions, or more practical ways to handle that challenge. It was much easier to take risks earlier in life, when I was single with no children. There were many opportunities to learn something new, to dive in headfirst and to make mistakes along the way. I could fall, dust myself off, and get up stronger and smarter than before. If you don’t take risks, you will often stay in the same place spinning your wheels. No pain, no gain. Read more>>

Sandra Feaster: Nurse, Fitness Trainer, Health and Wellness Blogger for Active Seniors

I have always been willing to stretch myself when it comes to life and career. One could also say that I am always taking risks. My motto is, always do what you are afraid to do. My working career has encompassed many changes and taking risks. From a newly minted registered nurse, I chose adult critical care because of the challenge. Read more>>

Ryan Corry: Actor

I always associate risk with reward. I mean we’ve all heard that cliche saying at some point in our lives, right?. To be honest, for the sake of being positive, I never really think about risk. Instead, I focus on the reward part and how powerful that can be. Read more>>

Aimee Saturne: Recording Artist

I am a huge advocate for risk taking. My whole life is based around it and I believe it’s exactly what’s gotten me to where I am now as a singer/songwriter. I’ve known plenty of people who’ve had big goals and dreams but didn’t want to take the risks to get to them for fear of failing. I was born the opposite way. No matter how nerve-racking it’s been for me, I’ve always taken risks. Of course it’s human nature to be afraid of the unknown, to want to play it safe and stick to what you know, but there is no room for expansion or growth in that. I’ve risked everything I’ve known and had to pursue my dreams because I believed in myself and my dream enough. Read more>>

Sharon Hardy: Artist

Making art and growing as an artist is a risk taking act. To me, risk is where you find the next technique or series. It’s where the excitement lies. I have done a few different careers in my life up to now. I ran an art gallery back in the 80’s. I worked in healthcare for many years as Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Diabetes Educator. It was a huge risk for me to go back to school in my 30’s while raising a family. To this day, I can’t believe I made it through organic chemistry! In terms of creativity, I like to take risk because I want to continue to grow and learn as an artist. Read more>>

Lily Lin: Illustrator & Motion Designer

For many people, including me, it’s scary to take a risk because we’re afraid of showing our vulnerability – through failure, making mistakes, doing the wrong thing – so we always tend to stay in the “safe zone”, where we’re doing things that bring us comfort; however, I think risk-taking has always been a prominent factor in propelling my journey and personal growth. Being a designer who’s inspired by social impact and innovation, learning to embrace risk-taking helps to move things forward because being in this headspace prevents us from conforming to solutions/ideas that already exist. Read more>>

Gabriela Babila: Founder of Matana Organics

Life is all about risks and we encounter them everyday. Tomorrow is never promised and the life you live depends on the choices you make. Some risks are bigger than others and when it comes to entrepreneurship it’s the risk of failing that you have to weigh when choosing your path. But success requires taking risks. For myself I knew that the thought of regretting not going for it or trying to fulfill my dream would be far more impactful than the outcome of failure. Read more>>

Dartagnon “Doc” Raines: Filmmaker / Visual Artist

My whole career as a filmmaker started based on risks I took. In my early 20’s I was pursuing modeling and acting and I wasn’t really getting booked for any gigs that I was passionate about, I wasn’t making money, I was really struggling to figure out what to do with my life. Things got so rough that I decided I’d just join the military so I worked up the courage to go enlist. Read more>>

Vincent Smith Jr.: Wardrobe stylist & Creative Director

In my opinion “taking risks” is just a more adventurous way of saying “moving by faith” . I’ve been known to take risks when it comes to my career and my life and each risk has pushed me forward for the better. I’m from Birmingham Alabama where a career in fashion wasn’t even an option. So facing little exposure and access I was dead set on finding where I belonged and where I could make strides in the career that I wanted and not just sit and take what was available to me. Read more>>

Hugo Johnson: Music Manager & Founder of Kee Records

I don’t think about risks, its a real natural part of my DNA. If you as a business owner are not willing to risk anything, none of the people following you will be either, and that’s bad for business. Make people feel like work is NOT FUN, NOT A DUTY but a RESPONSIBILITY, help them see and make them make it THER OWN and try that everything they are doing it’s for a greater purpose or cause. Read more>>

Sophia Pascual: Singer, Producer, Dancer, Personal Trainer

I see taking risks a little differently than before. Jim Rohn once said, “Casualness leads to casualties”. Not taking a risk is more detrimental. After all, we’re never getting out of this life alive. I never want to reach the end of my life thinking I could’ve done this, or should’ve done that…” I’ve been in LA for 3 years now. I moved here from the East Coast. There, I had my immediate family and work was picking up to the point where I was starting to save more money working as a singer and as a personal trainer. Read more>>

Nancy Crowd: Entrepreneur, Designer, & Producer

I’m a risk taker but I feel like everyone has a different attitude toward taking risks. For me, how I interpret things greatly influences the way I approach any risky decision. Now my interpretation may not always be considered normal but I definitely make sure my decisions aren’t rooted in impulse. It’s hard to always weigh the odds of a risk in a rational and mathematical way. At times, you just have to go off your gut feeling or intuition. It’s not possible to predict the outcome of things but you can try and calculate the risk. My whole career has consisted of risk taking and I’m where I am at because I believed in risk. Read more>>

Eleni Nicolaou: Jewellery Designer/Maker

I usually refer to risk taking as fear facing. In any change we make fear is always present to prevent us from taking that next step towards a more fulfilled and joyful life. I learned that the more i lovingly faced my fears and took that risk the more open I became to receive the blessings or the teachings of that openness. We live in a world where everything exists because someone took that ‘risk’, and thank God they did. Read more>>

Marc Timón: Composer, Orchestra Conductor & Pianist

Water your talent, be resilient and take the biggest risks with the biggest responsibility. That’s my formula since I’m a child and what’s making me happy alongside making me reach every new goal. I would say that taking risks is the leitmotiv of my career. Always when I reach a goal that I was pursuing from a longtime, I enjoy that success in the path, I take the time to feel grateful and I immediately use the energy and the adrenaline of that momentum to jump to another one. Read more>>