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.

River Amir Collins | Actor and Renaissance Artist

As a growing actor it’s my job to take risk both on/off stage. These opportunities that present themselves for me to learn more or become a better version of myself allow me to build my rolodex of special skills so that I can tell more stories and play through all these different realities with a present and open mind. Risk taking is a needed part of finding authentic growth. There are moments in your life where you face the unknown. Leaving you with the option to either go into that unknown or remain in a habitual stasis. History has shown us, it’s those who step into that unknown, that find a whole new meaning to living their version of their life. You take risks everyday, when you choose to change how you live and make choices. By becoming familiar with taking those risk, you gain experience which helps you too better your decision making and build resilience for when you face challenges or risks in your life. Read more>>

Amanda Fernandez | Music Industry Professional

I think that risk is necessary. As someone that is innately shy and has anxiety, my entire career in itself is a risk. As a queer Latinx woman with an incurable disease, my entire existence is a risk. In the music industry business, you have to be seen and put yourself out there. I’ve had to get out of my comfort zone multiple times, even when I was afraid to. In a lot of instances involving risk, my passion pushes me to ignore my fears and insecurities and go for what I want. I know that if I want to succeed, I have to push through no matter what. Read more>>

Jennifer Murphy | Wedding Planner & Wedding Entrepreneur

I think about risk in a way that I don’t think most people think about it. I take the approach by asking myself, “if I don’t do this , will I regret it one day?” That is how I end up making most of my decisions, some ended bad most ended great – but there is no rhyme or reason to it for me. Taking risks has played a significant role in my life, it has changed my entire way of living (i.e. when I quit my full time job to go full time in business). Risk usually comes with a huge sacrifice on my end but also those who are closest to me, it is an adjustment for everyone when I take a risk, but that does not usually stop me. I do think about how it might negative impact my family and friends and if it is worth it. Usually to me it is worth it, but other people do not always believe that. Although it creates a ripple effect, I have to focus on the “why” vs the “what if.” Read more>>

Alexia Rev | Singer and Songwriter

A successful music career is based on risk. For me, leaping into a career that is not stable with unknown trajectory is quite scary. I decided to cancel my applications to graduate school because I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t live up to the potential as a songwriter and artist. I was so afraid of failure but once I took the step, there was no stopping me. I couldn’t do things half way, and I think that’s a big part of risk. You have to put your all into your goal without any expectations. I also think that with music, you are risking damaging your ego with every song release. I have no idea how people are going to react to my music but I take the risk despite fear. Read more>>

Kimi Rutledge | Actor & Creative

Risk taking is an essential part of my art, my life, and my approach to acting. Pursuing a creative career is inherently risky–there is no promise of income or success and you’re likely to face stigmatization for even attempting to pursue it, and that can be terrifying to us artists. It definitely was to me. But the moment I started using fear as fuel, my anxieties became excitement, my insecurities became brief visitors, and “risk” became a natural symptom of self-expression. Now, I chase fear. Once I stopped being scared of failure and realized it’s a vital part of growth, I naturally started taking more risks. Read more>>

Andriana Garbiso | Filmmaker

There is no gain in playing it safe. My career would never have taken off without an emotional and financial leap of faith that is risk. All career training takes money. It’s a matter of investing wisely in that education and taking calculated risk as you go. Learn the business, network and keep going after it. Read more>>

Grant Dacklin (DXCKLIN) | Music Producer & Artist

Risk is the unknown and I think it is how we learn about ourselves because it’s a challenge. As a college student running my own production studio and doing a lot of work outside of the academic field, it’s a risk to be fully present in both worlds (working on my music with the people I believe in or study for my mid-term) it’s tiring and stressful. But that push everyday to get both done to the best of my ability makes me a stronger artist. Read more>>

Mataya Waldenberg | Performance Artist & Musician

As an artist, I believe that taking risks is indispensable in order to succeed. An artist who only stays in their safe space is probably more of a designer – someone that tailors an item to the profile of a demographic or individual. Being an artist, at least for me, means to non-stop push the edges of your field and to foray into the unknown. So there will always be a risk, as no one has done a certain thing before, which I am about to undertake. Read more>>

Nikki Ostrower | Founder & Nutritionist, NAO Wellness, LLC

I’ve always been a risk-taker as I find it thrilling. I’ll get ideas and won’t fully know how to execute everything, but I trust that as long as I take daily actions towards the goal, outsource what I don’t know, and educate myself, all will fall into place. I also have coaches to help guide me when I start to feel stuck so that I stay connected to all possibilities. In both my personal and professional life, the greatest rewards I’ve received have come with the greatest risks. I successfully opened a Brick-and-mortar in the heart of Manhattan offering Nutrition Coaching, Workshops, Infrared Sauna, Reiki, and Chiropractic Care. During the Pandemic, I pivoted and took a huge leap of faith, closing said Brick-and-mortar to focus on offering Virtual services across the country when I knew people needed it most. Read more>>

Molly Marler | Photographer

I have always lived by the saying “I’d rather regret things I’ve done than things I haven’t”… with a little “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than for permission” on the side. While that may not have always benefitted me personally, I honestly can’t think of one risk that hasn’t been beneficial when it comes to my work. Whether that means guerrilla-style shoots in places I may or may not have been necessarily “authorized” to be, reaching out to complete strangers on the internet to ask about shooting with/assisting/photographing them, or taking a chance working in a particular style or technique I didn’t exactly know but ended up figuring out – risks have been a crucial part of developing my career and discovering my aesthetic. What fun is there in playing it safe, anyway? Life -and art- is for making mistakes and learning and growing from them! Highly recommend. Read more>>

Lamara Smith | Entrepreneur & Social Media influencer

In order to live you have to take a risk. There are risk factors that play apart in our everyday life wether we know it or not. It can be as simple as promoting our business, or applying for a new job. The risk in both situations is being told no. I have learned and is still learning that the worst thing that can happen in taking risk is being told no. The best thing that can happen in risk is that you get what you want out of it. Both are apart of life, and both are essential to growth. The risk I take in my life and career is showing my face to whoever I can while being the face of my business and brand. My career requires me to network, talk and promote my business because it is still a growing small business. With out me putting myself out there, no one will ever hear about my business. Then, my business will fail to grow. Taking the risk of speaking and “shamelessly” promoting myself is what helps my business grows, while filling my life with a new network of people. Don’t get me wrong, I have gotten told no. But, I have gotten told yes more. Read more>>

Kate Melton | Acting Coach & Mentor

I often tell my students that risk taking is one of the building blocks of success. I believe that without taking risks and getting out of your comfort zone there is no room for growth in business or life in general. When I decided to start my business, I didn’t have much money and was taking a huge leap by quitting my job and making the decision to sink or swim. It was one of the most frightening things that I have ever done, but that bravery and determination paid off for me in the long run. Just remember that the scarier something is, the more important it is that you do it. We often think to ourselves “What if I fail?”. What we forget to ask ourselves is “What if I succeed?”. Read more>>

Seanti “Seantini” Thompson | Host & Content Creator

I’m a thrill seeker, so taking risks excites me. My entire journey has been full of risks. Betting on myself has been the best risk I. have ever taken. I believe when taking risks people often get too caught up in the what ifs and it prevents them from being exposed to opportunities beyond their dreams. Leaving the east coast to pursue my dreams was a risk I’ll never regret. Read more>>

TIENSIRIN TIENNGERN | Advanced Certified Akashic Records Reader

I have discovered that when people are discussing their fears surrounding the idea of “taking risks”, ironically–and more often than not–it all has to do with taking risks towards things that their heart desires. We don’t consider doing something we don’t want at all as “taking a risk”. Sadly, sometimes we end up not following our heart’s desires, and classify them as not sensible or illogical. In my opinion, the most logical thing one can do is to follow your heart, so that you will be in alignment with your soul’s purpose. Read more>>

Fernando Anthony Rodriguez | Personal Trainer, Professional Basketball Player, #1 Best-Selling Author, and Speaker

Everything is a risk in life. You might as well start getting used to taking some. In order to get where you truly want to be in life, risk is involved. No one that made it far in their career played it safe at all times. There’s always choices that are given, and the ultimate choice is faith. You have to believe in good or bad times, and stay consistent with a relentless work ethic. I love risk, because it sets me a part. I want to be the best and I will be, because I’m fearless. Read more>>

Bryan Stage | Producer, Composer & Songwriter

I don’t believe that you can be a musician without being pretty comfortable with risk. Being delusional enough to think that people need to hear the silly noises you can make is just the first dip into the treacherous waters the musician calls home. My first time ever singing in front of strangers, I was so nervous I could barely get the words out and I’m quite certain nobody actually heard me. The first time I played guitar to an audience I couldn’t even tell you how many mistakes I made. It’s terribly embarrassing to be a musician and put yourself on the line like that, but the thing about risk is that when you wake up the next day and realize that you didn’t die from off notes or a bad performance it begins to build a confidence and the second time is never as scary as the first. Your skills improve and the risks you continue to encounter have less and less power over you. Read more>>

Holland Teed | Musician & Visual Artist

Risk taking is a vital part of the creative process for me. To do something that others might not understand because it feels more true to the message you want to share. Taking a risk, as a musician, could include genre-bending or experimenting with different sounds, lyrics, or themes of writing. Over the last two years I have pushed myself to take more creative risks wether that’s with my visual art or my music. during the making my EP ‘That Day We Were Walking’ , I knew I needed to do something new. I learned so much more about music production and came to the conclusion that I wanted to dive into the world of dream pop and experimental music. Of course there was the concern that the people who enjoyed my previous music would feel confused or Indifferent about the changes in style and experimentation throughout the album. I would not be able to grow without taking those necessary risks. Read more>>

Eddie White | Songwriter, singer, Model, art in himself.

I believe without risk life isn’t worth living. The best things in life are on the other side of the thing you’re afraid to do. My risks have put me in bad positions and good positions. But what i learnt From the times when i felt Like damn i shouldn’t Have done this is I came Out actually happy i did. Experience is the best teacher and without it you won’t grow. Risk is a Necessity. Read more>>

Mikey Krieger | Product Manager + Developer

Risk. My second favorite four-letter word. It often has a scary connotation with it but there is something beautiful in the unexpected, and relinquishing the idea that I can control the outcome of every situation. As a Product Manager I can confidently say most of the risk-taking I’ve done has proven to be valuable, whether it leads to a successful business shift or even failure. In both scenarios, I take that data and try to make a more informed decision for the next time. Risk is like an unlocked door that eventually leads to good or great things. Read more>>

Rich Plaza | Music Artist & Jewelry Designer

Risk is subjective. Everything has a risk. Every decision or lack thereof, has a consequence. In my life, I’ve realized that there is risk attached to every decision. Whether that is to stay comfortable or dormant in a role you’ve been in for a long time, or to move in a different direction. Risk has been a challenge for me because I have been through so many life changing events, that I savor predictability. However, as I have grown with my brand “The Accent Look,” I’ve realized I am always taking chances. Every time I send an order out, every time I create a new style, it reaches beyond me and is no longer completely under my control and direct influence. I have been met with so much love and support in taking risks with my art and it has motivated me to apply myself more overall. I have been truly lucky to be overwhelmed with loyal clients who give me great feedback, because it gently pushes me to diversify my skill set. Read more>>

Alexis Negranti | Proprietress of Ice Cream

Risk taking – I believe it’s all how you perceive risk. Is it risky to move forward, pursue the idea, jump in? Or more risky to be stagnant? I have always been of the mentality of ‘just go for it’ (for better or worse!), and I’ve told myself from the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey that I can always find ways to make money… the risk isn’t starting a business, the big risk would be wishing I had. When I had the idea to start a sheep dairy and make ice cream from the milk (the first in the USA to make sheep’s milk ice cream!) everyone around me thought I was crazy; they thought it was ‘risky’ because it hadn’t been done here before. I pursued the idea anyway; here I am nearly 11 years later with three scoop shops, a licensing deal, and wholesale accounts. What others perceived as risk, I saw as an opportunity. Read more>>

Kalu Anthony Eziyi | Business Owner

I think about risk in a positive connotation. I’ve always told myself and others around me what are you living life for if you do not bet on yourself and take risks to acheive goals, you can only fail if you do not take the risk. Taking risks in my life has played a valuable role because it allowed me to learn from my mistakes. It has challenged and granted me rewards such as starting my photography business “LuShotYou Photography” and enabled me earn money in the stock market! Read more>>

Sydney Benjamin | Content Creator & Actor

Pretty much ever success I have had in my life came from taking a risk. Since I was a child I knew that I wanted to create and I consistently took risks, and sometimes looked like a fool, but every single risk I have ever taken has led to where I am! A goofball, creating fun videos for the internet, writing and producing short films, and one day soon a feature film. If you aren’t willing to take risks, you aren’t willing to succeed. While the safe choice might feel better in the short term, taking risks helps you grow as a person, an artist, a creator, a business owner, and a human! Read more>>

Alexander Dabagh | Designer and Entrepreneur

I have always been an adrenaline junkie, so risk is a big part of my life. I am an avid snowboarder and mountain biker, and the rush that runs through my mind and body when doing either is indescribable. Granted at times feel like i couldve killed myself jumping off that cliff, but with that risk comes the reward of when you hit that landing you feel unstoppable. I love risk because it makes you feel alive. Whether the result is good or bad risk reminds you to take a step back and to take it all in. And as cliche as it sounds life is short and every day should be lived like its your last. When you take a chance on something and give it your all and it all works out, there is nothing can top that feeling. Read more>>

Mike Soens | Ceramicist

Risk is an interesting concept as it relates to both a career choice and the work/ art itself. Regarding “career choice”, I’ve found that there is an inherent risk to whatever path you choose. I decided to pursue a more artistic/ entrepreneurial path, which most would certainly deem “risky”. But I’ve seen those that have taken a “safer” route (corporate job, salary, 401k etc) have the proverbial rug pulled out from under them, thus negating the precept that risk should even be considered when deciding how one should make a living. Read more>>

Suave Profit | Rapper & Songwriter

I don’t live in fear. I’m not afraid of failure and for that reason, I love risk taking. I’ve learned one cannot achieve anything without taking a leap of faith and taking a risk. My mentality has always been “go hard or go home”. I have taken a lot of losses pursuing music, as I put my own money up. However, I understand this is part of the process, and every penny I touch goes into my music. I pay for studio time, mixing, mastering, music videos, photoshoots, cover art, and marketing. At this point, I know it its an investment. I enjoy going to the drawing board and mapping out a plan; everything is strategic. I encourage everyone to be a risk taker because the worst feeling is living in regret. Read more>>

Yasmin Venable | Performer, Choreographer & Fitness Instructor

I have always been a bit of a risk taker. The perfect risk serendipitously places me in the right place at the right time. The nature of risk is uncertainty and that creates fear. Most people shy away from fear, but fear often motivates me. It forces me to over believe in myself and bring an extra sense of confidence to the task at hand. That jolt of confidence brings out the best in me and gives me an urgency for success. With risk there is also a fair probability of danger or failure and despite my parent’s fears, I have never been one to retreat from danger or failure. I acknowledge the prospect of failure and calculate if the loss would be too much to bear. When I take these calculated risks, I dive into my self trust. Read more>>

Dr. Jules Medina | Artist

“Motorcycles are dangerous, though, living in complacency is lethal.” Most people when parting will advise each other to take care, perhaps a more rigorous approach to things would be to advise each other to take risks. Obviously, risk and physical danger should be approached with absolute caution, although, when taking risks with ideas and choices in one’s medium caution plays another role. In my work taking risks means pushing the envelope past the status quo to achieve a vision. Perhaps, risk taking has less to do with taking a leap of faith and more with trusting one’s creative process and following through with rigorous craftsmanship and visual, material balance. I’m not here to re-invent the wheel with my bikes, my purpose is to find a point-of-contact between ideas, machine and design between the the things I deem beautiful. Yes!, I make beautiful machines that can be dangerous. But, ask yourself, is it worth living, for something you are not willing to die for? Read more>>

Eboné McCloud | Tea Curator + Energy Healer

Risk taking has been vital in how I live my life and run my business. I am a huge believer in stepping out on faith to get closer to what you want. I have been in situations where I have leaped out on faith without a plan and other situations when I have (kind of) had a plan. Either or, I have found that the lessons have been invaluable. I believe that my biggest risk in business has been to start. So often we can sit on an idea, come up with excuses as to why we shouldn’t and we never get started. I challenged myself to birth something to offer the world and in that, I opened myself up to what ever was to come. Read more>>

XNK | composer/entertainer

I think risk taking is crucial for my personal happiness and well being. I remember before ever trying to become a creative, I was working at an office job in sales. The pay was great, but I found myself dreading the days. A friend of mine called me and offered me a job. Manual labor, outside, small business type of thing. I took the opportunity and risked my income that I was making in sales. I took roughly a 50% cut in income. However, I had never been happier or more willing to work harder. The fresh air, self management, and working with a friend more than made up for the income cut I took. As of yet I am not a wealthy person in regards to money. My risk taking more involves my quality of life. As a musician/artist I have risked a steady income, possibly a stable household I exchange to travel the world and entertain people. I have found that the risks I have taken and continue to take challenge me and have taught me how to find fulfillment in many aspects of my life. Read more>>

George Brianka | Award-Winning Film Writer, Director

Being an entrepreneur with many creative outlets, risk taking has always played a big role in my career. Being behind the camera, but only as an advertising creative, coming up with the conceptual ideas for hundreds of commercials throughout my early career, it was a big risk to then take what I learned and go out and direct a movie. Being a huge horror aficionado, when first approached with the idea of Devil’s Five, I jumped at the chance to write a horror story, because as I joke, my childhood “was” a horror story! My short was based on an actual slaying that happened in my hometown. Read more>>