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.

SPLYCE | DJ and Music Producer. Owner of a Los Angeles Recording Studio

Taking into consideration the risks involved with any new venture is both responsible, and essential for your future with the business. While the thought of the risks can be overwhelming, the risk factors need to also be equally weighed with the potential rewards, both seen and unforeseen (which there will be many unforeseen rewards, both financial and other!) From a financial perspective, allowing the risks to hinder your progress would be unfortunate because ultimately, you want to find yourself doing something you love. Read more>>

Justin Williams | Actor and Creative Director

Taking risk is the willingness to go heads up against fear and failure. I’ve always felt the best things in life are on the other side of fear. A fear that most people are afraid to conquer. You risk so much chasing your dreams and purpose. To be a successful creative/entrepreneur you must be willing to risk your time, comfortability, mental health, friends, family, leisure and financial stability. You must prioritize investing in yourself because if you don’t no one will. Life is a gamble so you might as well bet on yourself, doing something you love. Read more>>

Joelene Crnogorac: Writer, Director, Producer – ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP | KELLY FRYE: Actor, Producer | MIKA GONDA: Producer 

JOELENE: I see risk as essential for growth. Even though risk taking doesn’t come naturally or easily to me and actually makes me poop my pants a little, I force myself to take calculated leaps. I have done it in my personal life and in my career. My husband and I made the decision to move across to the other side of the world from Australia to Los Angeles (when our son was only 2 years old) to pursue our careers and dream of living in a different country. We had no network, no community, but forged our way and created a very rewarding and fulfilling life for ourselves. Read more>>

Ximena Amaya | Graphic designer

The thing for me with risk-taking is the implication of failure and how we think about failure, we understand it as this dangerous thing to avoid. I heard in an interview once we don’t really learn from the things we already know how to do or the things we already do well. It’s when we fail at something that we really get to learn. So I like to think that in a way, we should be trying to fail all the time, and then trying some more. For me shifting the concept and learning to be comfortable with failure ( or trying to ) has made the idea of risk more exciting and it has created a lot of space for experimentation and play, or like that quote says “I’ve learned so much from my mistakes, I’m thinking to make a few more”. With this, I don’t mean be careless but being less worried about the outcome being good or bad, right or wrong, gives the process a lot more space to do its thing, so fail purposely and then try again. Read more>>

Tajianna Okechukwu | Actor & Director

Hey again! Tajianna here. I believe that you get to the next stepping stone in your career by taking risks. I’m very tenacious in that way. I was raised to not take ‘no’ for an answer. I sought after opportunities whether I thought I was qualified for them or not, because even if the answer was no…I took it as a not yet & kept going until the next yes. It was instilled in me from a very young age to bet on myself. Because if I don’t take a chance on myself, how can I expect others to? I’ve gotten into rooms that I wasn’t 100% qualified for simply off of the confidence to put myself out there alone. Read more>>

Adriana Suyama | Children’s Author

Risk has always been a scary word for me. In fact, fear is something I have always struggled with. I have always been a big dreamer, but I have held myself back many times because the opportunity was too scary or too risky. Several years ago my aunt passed away right as I had taken a step to put myself out there in a way she always wanted me to. She never got to see me take hold of that particular dream and I vowed ever since to make sure I never let fear hold me back. It’s been an uphill climb, but it led me to where I am now. So when I was presented with the opportunity to write a book, and turn it into a business I just didn’t think about the what ifs. I put my faith in God and my family and my team and just said I want to go big! Let’s do it! Read more>>

Micky Clarke | Professional surfer and fire protection, Art/music enthusiast

Risk taking has been really important in my professional surfing career. Theres a lot of money to be spent on traveling, filmers, equipment and putting yourself in the right places with the right people. A surf trip in general is filled with risk. Weather, waves and conditions may not add up to how its predicted and you spent a lot of money to get somewhere. As far as sponsors and my career goes, recently I took a huge risk leaving a current sponsor with no promise outside of that and it was an incredibly uncomfortable and insecure feeling, where I learned a lot about myself. It ended up being the best decision I’ve ever made. Read more>>

Jocelyn Hazen | Jewelry & Fashion Designer

Typically, when we hear the word risk, we associate it with something negative. the possibility of something bad happening. When I think back to all the risks I’ve taken in life, the end result might not have been what I had hoped or planned, but something good always came from it. Whether it be lessons learned, knowledge gained, new connections, new friendships, or cool experiences, the risks were worth it. Read more>>

Marisa Renfro | Casamia Co-Founder

Risk taking is essential in any new business venture! From the beginning of my career, playing it safe was not in the cards for me. I’ve turned down great jobs in hopes of landing that dream job, I’ve left dream jobs to start my own companies. Without these risks, I would not be where I am today. Casamia was born during a global pandemic, when everything was shutting down. My partner and I took a risk on a new idea and put everything we had towards it. While terrifying at the moment, a year later we are able to watch our business flourish. Read more>>

Cami Petyn | Musician

I don’t think there’s ANY way to succeed/grow without taking risk. Period. Not to mention- everything is technically a risk. Even staying in your comfort zone is a risk, considering how much you can potentially miss out on. When I started thinking this way it gave me a lot more confidence to do more things that scared me. Dropping my life plans to pursue music was definitely scary, but, if I never took that risk, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Was one of the best decisions I ever made. Definitely recommend taking more risks. Read more>>

Shaun Roberts | Photographer

I think life is all about risk-taking. No risk no gain right? Every move I’ve made in my career has been about taking risks and hoping for the best and so far it has been working well for my life. I recommend that people take risks in life, whether it be trying out a new career or passion, take that risk and watch your life blossom. Read more>>

April Jones | Filmmaker & Artist

There is something seductive about the idea of influencing your own destiny by the forward actions you risk taking. Just by taking action means you are learning and growing towards succeeding, whatever success means to you. The thing about success is when we set our own standards of what that means, it makes risk-taking much easier. There can be a lot of fear and unease around taking risks, but the heavy feeling of regret is far worse than any sort of failing, rejection, or embarrassment of trying. Read more>>

Josie Clemens | Vegan Chef & Activist

I like to think of risk as a free fall into the unknown…a portal to create something new. It’s a time to caress and soothe your own nervous system as you choose a path that is more inspiring and impactful and build that inner strength and trust within yourself. Risks will always be scary to me, but I’ve trained myself to know that if I’m feeling like well-being is danger, then it means that I’m on the right track. This feeling is a crucial check-in point for me to recalculate and reflect; whether I label my journey post-risk-taking as good or bad, my feelings show me what I desire and what hasn’t shown up yet, therefore guiding me what to focus my time and attention on next as I move the needle. Risk and it’s feeling counterpart is a divine opportunity to catapult me to my dreams and it has always paid off. Read more>>

Christopher Belloso | Brand Strategist & Host of “The Beautiful Struggle” Podcast

“The biggest risk in life, is not taking risks at all”. I believe taking risk has been played a huge role in my life thus far and has molded me into the entrepreneur today. Now we all know taking risk can be very uncomfortable at times, but I quickly learned it’s the “uncomfortable moments” that creates the growth in our life. One month after I turned 19 years old, I made the decision to move out of my mother’s house in Northern California, take a huge risk and move to Southern California alone. With no room for error and odds against my favor, making that move was a huge risk on my end. But through all the uncomfortable feelings, I was able to make to the other side and experienced massive growth in my life journey. Read more>>

Heather Pasternak | Comedian & Speaker

You won’t find me sky diving or bungee jumping but the adrenaline rush I get from taking an emotional risk is addicting. Every time I get on stage and tell a joke about something true in my life that I’m struggling with or working through, it feels risky and often the reward for that risk is laughter and the reminder that we’re not alone. Read more>>

Jessica Sterling | Photographer

I’m fairly impulsive and trust my gut. There’s something to be said about not overthinking things. Sometimes, great opportunities only happen when you’re out there, living and working, and not worrying about if you’re taking the right step. Sometimes it is just that little quick thought, something cool, a great idea, that’s just the spark you need to pay attention to. I guess I’m a bit of a gambler by nature, because I’m a freelance artist! But by keeping up with your clients and prospective clients, letting people know about the cool things you’re doing, always doing an amazing job and staying up-beat, I think you make your own luck. Read more>>

Alexander Headley | Actor. Creative Director. Photographer.

Well, risk is defined as some thing or situation involving exposure to danger. The chance of injury, danger, harm, or loss. Failure can be defined as the loss of success. So risk is really the chance at failure. Did that get too convoluted? The main thing to understand is that by not taking any risk, you’ve already failed. You haven’t given yourself a chance. You’ve taken yourself out of the game. So, and I know it sounds cliche, the biggest risk of all is not taking any risk. Risk taking is everything. EVERYTHING! Not just for artists but for everybody. I think anything worthwhile is inherently risky – in life, in love, in art, in business. It’s at the core of every great accomplishment. Read more>>

Ryan Toby | Singer Songwriter, Music Producer

I think being a risk taker is the only way to make it in business. You have to believe in yourself, do your homework on your venture of choice then jump! Read more>>

Vivian Campbell | Author, Speaker, Trainer and Entrepreneur

The definition of risk is ‘expose (someone or something valued) to danger, harm, or loss.’ I choose to see risk as a challenge. I consider myself a risk taker and I take calculated risks. I live by the quote “You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” Progress and growth involve some level of risk. Deciding to leave a high paying job and starting my own consulting company was definitely a risk. I am so glad I did it for many reasons. I learned my true self worth. I am able to pick and choose the clients I work with. I have been able to create my own brand and core values for what I believe in. Read more>>

Nicole Camacho | Owner & Buyer – Burnt Boutique

I started this business after leaving a comfy salary job in retail. A college grad with a fashion design degree, working in a developing “start-up” community in downtown Las Vegas, I was a bit “burnt out” on the overpriced, unattainable items I was selling out of a boutique that didn’t fit the demographic of downtown. I decided that I wanted to stay in retail, but do it in my own way – or do it in a manageable way that downtowners and friends in the neighborhood could still afford. As unnerving as it was, I started my own business and began creating my own small line of clothing and purchasing accessories wholesale to develop a website. The website was successful enough, my inventory started to grow, and all of a sudden, I needed more space. A friend suggested I do a mobile-themed shop; that I should convert a travel trailer into a boutique, and that’s what I did. Read more>>

Gary (Daniel Gary) Busby | Conductor, Pianist, Singer, Teacher, Authenticity Coach, Philanthropreneur, Human

Great question. There are macro risks (move across country, the world, etc) and there are micro risks… tell your truth, every chance you get. I think if we get really clear with ourselves, being honest and speaking/acting from our most authentic selves is the most risky thing we can do, especially when we shift to that behavior. Let’s face it… being true to yourself (it sounds easy, it’s not–because the world doesn’t really reward it, especially if it cuts against the zeitgeist of the time) is one of the absolute scariest and riskiest things a person can do. You risk losing friends, family, colleagues. In the end, however, when you possess your own being, all the risk is worth it. (cue the song MY WAY), lol Read more>>

Spags | Electric Violinist & Owner of Spags Music Entertainment

Throughout my experience in creating a business (and also just in life), risk taking has played an essential role. I simply look at it as another expression of “following your gut”. More often than not, risk taking is perceived as something negative or potentially hazardous. Sometimes, the immediate result of risk taking is success, often times it is not. However, the outcome of taking a risk, even when it feels like failure, embarrassment, or discomfort, always results in a valuable, learned experience, from which we are able to flourish. It’s a critical action in maintaining perpetual growth. Read more>>

Bria Lee | Yoga Instructor

I have always considered myself risk-averse. So taking risks has always been foreign to me. With being a first generation and having a family background stemming from the West Indies, I was always taught to play it safe. With that being said, one can begin to understand the fear which originates from making moves that differs from ‘playing safe’. The day I decided to leave my corporate job was one of the hardest and scariest days of my life. My main concern was how would I pay my bills, how will I pay for my yoga training, pay for anything? You can see that ALL my fears were surrounded by money, which is a red flag. What I mean by this is, we can not let the fear of lack of money, stop us from stepping into, or becoming the person which we are truly meant to be. By doing this, you will only be doing yourself a disservice. Read more>>

Jared Trevino | Actor, Photographer, Creative Videographer

From what I’ve observed, everybody has a different threshold for risk. I feel a lot of this has to do with each individual’s life circumstance and how they’ve approached overcoming fear throughout their life. Risk seems to play an essential part in any great success and I want to share with you the role it’s played in my ongoing success. Success, to me, is being able to make a living doing something I am enthralled by. Along with that, being able to support myself, those I love, and those who come after me. My hope is to give others the opportunity to live their life doing something they feel will better themselves, and those around them. Read more>>

Lindsey Bean | Actress/Singer/Model

I’ve always been a person who follows their gut over logic and reason. When I was 18 I took the chance and decided to start acting. There was nothing stopping me. I lived about two hours outside of Los Angeles at the time and now that I was 18, I could do anything I wanted without anyone telling me no. I googled how to find castings and got started creating an acting profile online. If I didn’t take that big risk that summer, I would never have been in so many wonderful projects with so many interesting people. Read more>>

Chevy Wilkins | Photographer / Videographer / Director / Creative Director

Taking a risk is the one thing I feel people need to do to reach the next goal or level that they are trying to accomplish. If that risk isn’t taken then it could stunt growth and prevent yourself from getting to that next level. If you aren’t taking risks to better yourself or your business then it could also mean that someone could be scared and afraid to fail but that’s what it’s all about! We are supposed to fail and try again and fail 10 more times after that because when it comes down to it, life is what you make of it. Read more>>

DeJené Jones | Plus Size Model & Body Pos. Content Creator

Most of my success has been because I took a risk or decided to wing it. I got my first brand deal because I woke up one day and decided I wanted to take some photos for my Instagram, 2 days later forever 21 reached out to me to work with them. I strongly believe that if you don’t take risks in your life you’ll never reach your full potential. A lot of people will ask you “what if it doesn’t work out?” To which I respond “what if it does?” I feel like if you only look at the “what if”from a negative or fearful perspective you’ll never know the endless boundaries or goals you can reach. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from taking a risk that could make you successful at your dream, whatever that may be. Read more>>

Ericalandia | DJ, Music Curator + Journalist

Ha! I just realized in being asked this question how much risk has played a huge part of my career, in every echelon. Where shall we begin? For me, from a human perspective it feels like taking risk is involved where groundbreaking, new things happen. Seeking out and reaching for unchartered territory and ushering things into existence is often accompanied by the sensation of flying blind, of being unsure & uncomfortable. You have to manage fear, doubt, stress internally as well as from people around you. Read more>>

Naz Feroz | Photographer

Risk, to me, is all about putting yourself in uncomfortable situations knowing that there may be consequences. Risk is essential in everything you do, and especially in my field of work. For example, I’ve traveled to third world countries such as Pakistan to capture the real life of those who live there, specifically those living in extreme poverty. The risk of doing something like that is your safety. But I take these risks and put myself in these positions to share with the world what is beyond their every day lives and to bring awareness to those in extreme situations. Read more>>

Robb | Artist

When it comes to risks, I think about in this sense, “if you never try, how will you know?” There are risks associated in literally everything we do, they just differ in degree and in the degree of consequence or reward resulting from the risk we took. Every accomplishment that I have so far has been on the back of some risk that I have had to take. I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason, and more importantly to me, that God guides me to and through the different trials and triumphs that I have had. Read more>>

Jessica First | CEO, Chief Strategist, Kilter

Everyone has their own tolerance for risk. Mine was largely formed by my early career experiences running established brands and creating new ones for large corporate clients. I learned by watching my more experienced colleagues, and by making mistakes. I was able to see how taking risks has both upside and downside, but no matter what – life marched on. That gave me a higher tolerance for risk in my work. Starting an agency is a big risk. Talented people fail at new ventures all the time. When I started my own company, I knew I was giving up a full-time corporate salary—and a long run of successes—for so much uncertainty. To manage the anxiety of that change, I promised myself that I would decide at the one-year mark if I had enough traction to continue. Read more>>

Leslie Celis | Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Risk means pushing against the boundaries of comfort so that you can become better acquainted with your full potential. Without taking the risks I have taken in my life, I wouldn’t be where I am today nor would I be who I am today. Growth of all kind requires us to lean into uncomfortable experiences. The collection of those experiences, the memories, the lessons and even the failures are what create an intentional life. Read more>>

Quinn Graham | Filmmaker

I look at risk as opportunity to take a path less traveled. Often times risk is associated with failure but I’ve always thought of it as a chance to explore the unknown. Often times it is an uncomfortable process but I believe risk is the only vessel that leads to movement and progress. I won’t go as far to say taking risk leads directly to success, but through my experience I wouldn’t even know what I believe success is without taking risks and exploring the unknown. Exercising the ability to overcome fear always benefits the person I am becoming, whether the outcome of taking a risk is in my favor it is overcoming the fear of failure that benefits my character and molded the person I am today. Read more>>

Hana Canhasi | Artist, Singer & Songwriter

I like risk because it brings fear. When I start getting nervous or feeling on edge I know i’m about to be put in a situation where I get the ability to grow. A risk is just that- forcing us outside this mental bubble we have ourselves trapped in. A bubble of what we think we can and cannot do, what we think is and isn’t possible. To me, it’s a bigger risk staying stagnant. Personally, I can tell when it’s time to step outside this comfortable bubble that I periodically pull myself into. You stay locked into this bubble for too long and you start to get more afraid to take risks each time. I’ve learned that I will never be ready for something, I just have to set down the action to move and go for it. Read more>>

Keishawn Blackstone | Film Director/Producer & Global Marketing Strategist

Risk’s, the one word many fear around me is simply opportunity within ones self you are creating. The reality of life is when i became a serial entreprenuer/motion picture director and multi facited creative the thoughts behind it wasn’t how much am i risking or when should i start, it was how bad do you want it. not the fame or fortune but your freedom to express, create , build, open doors, inspire , lead, challenge, build up , thrive. This is why i don;t care about the risks. If you love what you do you will never work a day in your life. In my career i never been the average person to accept just what life has to offer. i always been a innovator of creativity and idea businessman to paving a road not just for me but for the generations to come. Fear isn’t an option when success is right in front of you. You learn to cope, conquor, Manifest, Grow and Connect through the process. Taking risk has played a role of making me the leader/businessman, creative artist that i am today. Read more>>

Lyric Everly | Creative Agency Founder + Real Estate Investor + Volunteer

I think that risk-taking is one of the common key ingredients of an entrepreneur, along with vision, passion, and resilience. For me, as a creative entrepreneur, I am constantly in a state of creating something that hasn’t been created or done before. You’ve got to be willing to go for it, fail, get up, and try again until you get it right. I’ve gotten comfortable taking risks by realizing that no matter what happens, you either win or you learn from the experience. Both are extremely valuable. Read more>>

Nicholas Haystings | Social Entrepreneur

Ultimately in my experience, life and entrepreneurship both have a degree of risk associated directly correlated to the caliber of reward. We all participate in this belief to some degree but I believe we just exist on different parts of the spectrum. Leaving engineering to join the world of non profits came with a huge risk of financially sinking but I understood that to be inconsequential in consideration of the larger issues at hand and the role that community based organizations can play as a part of the solution. In this realm of socially facing entrepreneurship, and really entrepreneurship in general, we take risks on a regular basis. Understanding the consequences of inaction is the constant reminder, that keeps the team moving forward.. There are things that simply just need to be done to positively impact our community, and those things are worth the risk every time. Read more>>

Nailah Johnson | Stunt Performer

When it comes to risks, I believe they are involved in our lives a lot. When deciding what college to go to, what job to take and if you should move during a pandemic. They are all risks. How big they are, are dependent on your life. When I think about risks, I think about change. These risks don’t always have to be negative but they do cause a shift in my life. I have taken many risks and without them I don’t think I would be the person I am today. From quitting my job right out of college to work in the industry to dropping everything and joining a stunt show to diving full force and pursuing a career in stunts, all of these risks were scary and caused a lot of changes and weren’t easy but they made me who I am today. I am not someone who is okay with comfortability, I love to challenge myself whether it’s with work, life or my hobbies. It allows my life to continue to be exciting and enjoyable. Read more>>

Jeannie Giannone | Pro Makeup Artist

I think taking risks is the only way we truly achieve what we want in life. All of us have that voice in our head that warns us when something is “too big” or “too risky”. I pivoted 10 years ago in my career and never looked back. I wholeheartedly pursued a career in acting, even though I always had that voice in the back of my head. I think deep down, I always knew it wasn’t truly for me. 10 years ago, I decided to become a makeup artist and from that moment, I knew it was meant to be. I have found a type of success in makeup that I never did in acting and I’m so happy I took the leap. Read more>>