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.

Kate Raastad | Medical Doctor (M.D.) & Nationally qualified NPC Bikini competitor

I wouldn’t be where I am today in life or my career if it weren’t for taking risks. Starting back in 2001, when my mother and I moved from Vladivostok, Russia to USA. It was definitely not an easy move or adjustment, but I am so grateful we took the plunge in pursuit of better lives! Moving onto pursuing medical school education. They say the hardest part of not only medical school, but your whole medical training is just getting into school. And speaking from my own experience, that could not be any more true! Admission to medical school is extremely competitive, and only gets harder and harder every year. Read more>>

Yvette Garcia | Founder & Designer

Risk has played a pivotol role in my life. I used to be terrified of it. Well, I still am. But I’m more willing to undergo risks now than ever before. In my early twenties I steered away from it, thinking if I played it safe, life would go on seamlessly. As I grew up, I learned that regardless of how safe you play it, life never goes on seamlessly. Following the demise of an 8-year relationship, a dear friend suggested I accompany her on a one-way ticket to Asia. It was the catalyst to all the risk-taking endeavours I would embark on. After all, I figured if I could survive a 6 month long unplanned adventure through hostels, jungles, and foreign lands, why couldn’t I apply that same energy into other facets of life.
Its the risky opportunities that have made me feel most alive – success, pushback, failure, fear, accomplishment. Read more>>

Kamari Richardson | Idea Pusher& Wellness Business Owner

A lot of my proudest moments come from me pushing myself to take risks and go for it. Me being in LA again now is one of the biggest risks I have taken. I am originally from New Jersey and grew up there. I am now here in LA fully focused on pushing my business, myself, and creating space for me to thrive. It’s scary but what would I have done if I didn’t take this risk? Stay where I was and think about what could have been. Risk taking for me is about pushing myself to explore all this world has to offer. There are so many places to go, so many people to connect with, and opportunities that are waiting on the other side of fear. I don’t want to miss out! Read more>>

Alex Estrada | Producer & Recording studio owner

Risk is everything. Especially in terms of going out and being your own boss. I can’t think of a career risk greater than forgoing the stability of a retirement plan or consistent paycheck, but that also applies to the creative process. It’s my job to capture lightning in a bottle and without taking creative risks we can easily get stuck in a formula based process. I want to break that formula. I want to discover new sounds in unconventional ways, I want to push creative people to lay it all on the table. Read more>>

Kia Danielle Silliman | Dancer & Model

My entire life is based on taking risks, starting from before I was even born. I come from a family of artists- my mother a jazz singer, and my father a master of drums and percussion.. on top of that, I am the product of an interracial relationship (before they were accepted into mainstream society). Understanding that I come from a family that chooses the path of passion and love rather than just doing the typical 9-5 is something that helped me decide to pursue a career in the arts, and feel fully supported in that decision. Read more>>

Kristine Boel | Portrait Photographer

Risk taking for me is equal to live a full life. Without risks there is no evolution. It’s all about trial and errors and figuring out what makes sense, and more importantly, what doesn’t . Life is a journey where you have to put you self at risk, every day. There is a risk of just getting out of bed… but even more NOT getting out of bed. Taking a risk involves a bit of consideration… such as… What would the worst be? Would I recover if I fail? Most often the answer is yes! Most often the result is you become more clear, wiser and empowered. I love taking risk, so much it’s my way of navigating through life and work. Without taking a risk I can’t see clear. I have to go out, in unknown territory, explore, try, taste, feel, hear, sense…. Then I SEE, Then I LIVE! Taking a risk has definitely leaded me in my place in life and with my work. Without having taken a risk by moving abroad, I would probably still lived in Denmark and pursued a career that was expected off me, but not enjoyed by me. Read more>>

Nancy Paloma Collins | LMFT, EMDR Certified Therapist

Risk is the success behind my brand. I believe in the work I do and the development of my brand with no doubt. Throughout the years, I have experienced sharing ideas with the wrong people, I don’t allow that to set in. I Constantly, remind myself to take in advice, nevertheless always believe in my brand and believe in me. I had a full-time corporate job, for many years and one day, I woke and asked myself “Why am I trying to put my all into a place that can’t see or appreciate my strengths”. From the moment I decided to put my passion, my strength into my brand, it has flourished into a successful practice. Taking that leap, that risk is what has made my business successful. I have two private practice offices in the state of California and in the process of creating a non-profit. I believe that success is fifty percent risk, one hundred percent hard work! Read more>>

Arpe Asaturyan | LSCW & Small business owner

The idea of risk taking has such a negative connotation to it, I like to think its just a choice either stay put or move forward. I guess I have always been a “move forward” type of person, trying to find the next way I can do the most with what I know I can provide. I left steady community clinical work to open my private practice, which was scary because it was a new world I had no idea about. I figured I’ve built successful programs for other companies, overseen projects with several staff, why can’t I do the same for myself. Once I had built my practice, I started to coach other therapists to do the same, now I have 2 office branches with staff and continuing to grow. Read more>>

Quantum Spin Studios | Three Names: Victory Palmisano-Bruckner / Partner, Creative; Mike McHargue / Partner, Strategy; Tanner Hearne / Partner, CEO

Risk is important. It is one of the most undervalued things that people don’t often think about. We are all constantly taking risks, whether personal or professional, but because we’re not mindful, we live under the false assumption that there’s zero risk involved in what we are doing right now. Similarly, when we compare what we have versus what we don’t have, we think the status quo is the best path rather than assessing how taking a new risk might better our chances at achieving our goals. Read more>>

Helena Geraci | Actress originally from Italy, living and working in Los Angeles

I think that risk is a very exciting part of life and that a lot of people underestimate the positive outcomes coming from taking risks. We are often used to stay in our “comfort zone” and we fear failure, criticism, judgement and opening our minds. I believe we should all be encouraged to take more risks since a young age instead. I took a big risk in my life and career by leaving a secure job as Project Manager in Europe and coming to California with just a little bit of money and a lot of ambitions. I started studying and working in the acting field here and the more I was getting into the creative field the more I needed to be surrounded by it and the less I was excited about my “corporate career” and the office type of environment. Read more>>

Tala Abo Dabousa | Voice over artist/ News presenter

I was a successful journalist/ TV and radio news presenter in my country Syria, I had to risk everything by Leaving all of that behind and start my new life all again from scratch by coming to country that has totally different Life style, different language, different cultures “Canada” taking the risk to come to country that i don’t know anyone except my sister. I had to start my new life by first studying again by learning the English language as academic required, having new friends, working here and their “surviving jobs” with minimum dollars to pay my bills, then I started thinking about my future here, because I know Going back to my country would not happen in the near future. I started contacting radio and tv stations. Looking for an opportunity or small hope to make me work again in a career that I worked so hard to be successful in (my passion). Read more>>

Sayaka Yamaguchi | Game Concept Artist

I took a risk when I left physics to pursue an artistic career in the games industry, as I realized I was sacrificing my passion for a path society chose for me. I was unhappy, uninspired, and tired of trying to be someone I wasn’t. All I knew for sure then was that I never wanted to see myself daydreaming about what could’ve been. Risk taking comes with uncertainty, is uncomfortable, and will kick in a fight or flight response. But as long as you keep looking forward and challenging yourself, it will make you stronger and present a fulfilling life with excitement and change. Read more>>

Isidro Cornejo | Artist & Entrepreneur

They say fortune favors the bold and I believe that 100 percent. You need to overcome your fears first before you can tackle risk. See lots of us allow our fears to hold us back so we never even get to the point of taking risks. We stay living in a safe have often taken the safer more cautious routes. However, when you have your mind set on something and you believe in it. You need to rid yourself of all the fearful thoughts and embrace the unknown. Take that leap, take that risk or else you will never know what may have been if you did. Read more>>

Aria Saha | Actress

“The Universe loves and supports more those who take risks” – I heard this from my very special friend and I loved it and I took it. Honestly, I don’t think that I’m a super brave person, and all my life I’m making huge steps forward with a little fear and kind of “closed eyes”, but doing it anyway! And I love to do it, because after all, I feel like a superhero (ha-ha-ha). Since I can remember myself I always dreamt big and always do. And with that willingness – you have to be ready to take risks. I could say that I’m thankful that I have enough strength and a good sense of humor to do it almost every day. Read more>>

Elene Bezarashvili | Actress, Model, Executive producer

It has always been my passion to take risks at any point in my life, I used to be a gymnast a and would challenge and push myself to be better and do crazier tricks in the sports; however in my main career choice of acting taking risks on set was something that came naturally to me; like part of my nature to push and show my full capacity and dedication to the role. To this day it has worked to my advantage and every one I’ve ever heard from about risks at any stage or industry in life all refer to the quote that if you don’t risk in life you don’t drink champagne, and one thing I’ve learned is that every moment is worth celebrating so I risk it all for moments and celebration for more to come and the future where I can be and do better as a human and an artist to celebrate with a treasure that I call my friends. Read more>>

Jack Geckler | Animator & Crowds Artist

I like to think I’ve made calculated risks in my life and career, but in the end, a risk is a chance or a leap of faith. All of those sum up how I managed to get my start in my career. My first risk was leaving a steady job at Disney in entertainment back in the mid-’90s working at what was MGM Studios in Orlando but now called the Hollywood Studios. I left that job to go back to school to take a chance on a new career field called computer animation at a school that was local to me in Orlando, Full Sail University. The school had just started the program and I was part of one of the initial classes taking it. I knew I had a love for movies, computers, and entertainment and wanted a way to bring all those loves together. The idea of getting to work on a huge Hollywood blockbuster seemed so far-fetched for someone living in Florida but I knew I wanted more out of life so took the leap of faith. Read more>>

Tatiana Pandiani | Writer, Director, Choreographer

The work they do is all about risk. You never really know how any project will turn out until it’s happening in real time. We’re also always collaborating with new people, creating new teams and of course, there’s risk in that as well. I think I started to take risks really young when I wasn’t completely aware of the consequences. I decided to pursue performance and directing without a clear idea of what I would do with this for the rest of my life. This was a risky move because I don’t have anyone from my family in the business, I’m an immigrant and was completely disconnected from this when I began. Read more>>

Chelsea Vinas | Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist & owner of Therapize – Therapy with Chelsea

I have a love/hate relationship with risk taking. I think a lot of us can relate to that gut-wrenching feeling of making yourself vulnerable and losing control of a situation due to putting yourself out there, whether in a career or relationship. When I was younger, I wanted to play it safe a lot of the time because to be vulnerable was one of the most risky decisions I could make. Well, what I found out was that by playing it safe I was missing out on a lot of opportunities. I now know that risk has been at the forefront of my favorite memories, relationships, and current business. If it weren’t for taking risks and being vulnerable, which can be synonymous, I would have stayed stuck in multiple aspects of my life. Read more>>

Kama Ruby | Singer/Songwriter, Producer, Massage Therapist and Esthetician

Choosing to take a few risks in my life was vital not only for my personal growth, but also for my growth as an artist. It was a huge financial risk for me to go away to special acting programs and to graduate school. It was a financial risk for me to go out on my own and produce my own theatre and albums. I was a risk for me to get out of my comfort zone and to produce albums outside of the genre I was comfortable and successful in. But, without taking those risks, I would have had a stagnant and predictable existence and missed out on incredible collaborations with phenomenal coworkers and artists. Read more>>

Dale Godboldo | Actor/Producer & Socially Conscious Entrepreneur

I’ve always understood that anything worth pursuing in business and life comes with some level of risk. So I’ve never been afraid of taking risks on opportunities that I’m passionate about pursuing. Typically, the worst that can happen is that it just didn’t work and you move on the the next opportunity. In fact, I look at taking risks as opportunities to learn and grow. It’s in the assessment of risk where I’ve been forced to think harder about my “why,” and dig deeper into discovering if what I’m feeling is in fact related to the potential risk in that pursuit or simply a fear of failing. Entrepreneurs understand that failure is a necessary stepping stone to success, because failure is where we learn. So I look for opportunities that force me to think hard about their risk, because that’s where I’ve often found growth beyond any limiting beliefs I might have. Read more>>

Anne / (HornZ) Hauter | HornZ : a musical solo project (trumpet, keytar, vocals, self-written and produced tracks, blacklight makeup, visuals, headdresses and outfits!)

Risk taking is how society, art, and humanity itself pushes forward in our timeline. Risk takers define whole generations, form pivot points for mankind, and change the game. I often wish people in general would ask weirder questions, and think more abstract way more often. I wish creative and unique approaches to social interaction were more of a thing more people prioritized in their personal development. Boldness pushes societal constructs and shapes what might seem immovable. Fearlessness despite the chance of being cast out changes the world. I’ve said before I’d rather be called crazy a thousand times than ever be called boring. Read more>>