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.

Bishop | CEO & Artist

Risk is the step we take into unknown territories without assurance and clarity. It has played a huge role in my life. Im the kind of guy that cannot live with “what ifs” and never lean into the question to find out what is on the other side of it. I believe risk to be a part of every process. We all have have to take steps into the unknown regardless of what will fail or succeed. I like to look at every step with optimism and hopes that all the grey areas that I am unsure about will be lessons for me to learn and build off of. That has proven for me to bring growth and success in my musical career and building my company. Read more>>

Jordan Pollak | Managing Director & Partner

Risk is the gateway to continued growth and success. It is also the fear keeping you from getting to your next goal or stepping stone in life. When the motivation is needed I suggest putting on your favorite songs with your head down just like one of my favorite hip-hop groups West Side Connection “What don’t hurt you will only make you stronger, in this game, you gotta have heart” If it was not for risk – I wouldn’t be where I am today both personally and professionally. Risk taking is taking a leap of faith without truly understanding the outcome in advance of the journey beginning. Read more>>

Elijah Washington | Singer|Actor|Producer|Writer

My faith has allowed me to take risks. There most certainly have been difficult days, days when uncertainty creeps in, making me question if I am on the right path. However, I have gotten to a place in life where I have begun to be comfortable being uncomfortable. I choose to trust God in everything I do. Faith is what keeps me going everyday! Read more>>

Blas Fernandez | Commercial Real Estate Agent

I think risk taking has always played a huge role in my life and career. Prior to me taking the risk of quitting my job and going full time as a real estate agent, I used to religiously play poker and risk my money all the time. However, I was never willing to take a risk and gamble on myself. I had no problem risking my money but for some reason betting on myself wasn’t an option, I didn’t have the heart nor belief to do it. All that changed January 18th 2020. This is the day I took the biggest risk of my life. I had one child and another one on the way and I finally decided to quit my job and pursue my dreams of becoming a commercial real estate agent. It’s the best decision I ever made in my life. Read more>>

Jimmy Biblarz | Candidate, Los Angeles City Council District 5

Launching this campaign, as a 29-year old outsider, is the biggest risk I have ever taken. I don’t come from wealth, don’t have fancy connections in the city, and was by no means a “sure bet” kind of candidate. But we looked at the field, the discourse, and knew that we needed to do this – that the stakes were too high on homelessness and housing to stay on the sidelines. We’ve been guided by that north star since the beginning of the race – the deep belief that our candidacy presents the best shot at there being fewer unhoused people on LA’s streets. Read more>>

Nadjana Chandra | Professional dancer, model, actress and business owner.

I love and hate risk all at the same time. However, I wouldn’t be a professional dancer and model if it wasn’t for taking several risks in my life. At 21 years of age I faced the decision of either continuing my studies at university or move to VIVA LAS VEGAS and start my professional dance career. After training at NYC top dance schools such as Alvin Ailey, Steps on Broadway and BDC I knew I had what it took to turn my dreams into reality. 2 years after leaving NYC I decided to face my fears, take a risk and pack my bags. I was headed to Las Vegas on a one way ticket ready to turn my dreams into reality. I remember being so scared not knowing how things would turn out but I always knew that I rather “say oh “ well than “what if”! On the other side of risk is always a reward. The reward might not always appear when we want it to appear, but let me tell you: It WILL appear. Read more>>

Hendrix Yancey | Actress, Singer & Professional Dog-Petter 😉

I love risk taking because it’s a way to stand out. In acting, there are usually thousands and thousands of people auditioning for the same role, and a lot of times the reads will be very similar. By taking a risk and doing something others might not do, you set yourself a part. When it comes to acting and auditioning for roles, there are 2 options: be plain (play it safe) and don’t stand out or be irregular and fun and stand out more. It might not always be the right choice (creatively) but if it gets casting’s attention then it’s a win. I always think being different is cool – in life and in acting. Read more>>

Alicia Goodwin | Jeweler, Creative Director of Lingua Nigra

Ooh, it’s funny because I feel like risk is kind of subjective. For my life and career, I like to think that I try to plan out what might happen and what could happen. If I’m in a weird situation, I will really try to plan ahead as much as I can for the next steps. For instance, wherever I interviewed, I would calculate how far away from public transportation it was because I was already thinking of how long I would have during a lunch break to go on an interview. Ha, that’s how I used to be. But career wise, I would pretty much say yes to almost anything, In life I figure any opportunity is an opportunity to learn. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out and I’ll land on my feet somehow. Honestly so many things have happened for me to get to where I am now and I’ve always (almost) landed on my feet. Read more>>

Nicolette Durham | Music Artist

Risk requires strong love; When you decide to take one, and you do not dedicate your full energy towards it, it can feel just as bad as failing. Stepping through closed doors and breaking them down face first has played a major role in any of my success. Taking a “risk” is defined as “exposing something valued to danger.” That’s why there’s a comfort zone, and nothing worthwhile happens there. Read more>>

Boxxxxx

Risk is an important part of my life, I believe strongly in taking risk, if you don’t nothing will happen and what is the worst that can happen? You die right, so if you aren’t god-fearing person like myself then that is just the end, so might as well take as many risks as possible and it will get you far or at least it has gotten me far, you risk dying every time you leave the house so if that is true then you might as well make it worth it Read more>>

Jason Farlow | Musician | Artist/Talent Manager

Risk taking in the music industry is the only way to actually make something work in your music career. Artist make choices and every single choice carries unquestionable risks on how they get to the next step. Risk to me is embracing the possibility to lose something so priceless, that you will stop at nothing to obtain the result of why you are taking that risk in the first place. Read more>>

Lindsey Napela Berg | 3x Olympian, 2x Silver Medalist, Entrepreneur, Investor, Fashion & Interior Design Enthusiast

To grow and achieve risk is always going to be involved. Growing up in Hawaii, anything that had to do with leaving the state seemed like a risk, especially when I was young. I have always been passionate about what I do, no matter what part of my life it is/was. As I continued to excel in volleyball and receive scholarship offers, I had to make the big decision of where to go to college and continue my volleyball and education journey. I could have stayed home in Hawaii and been comfortable and a hometown hero. I could have gone to the West Coast to an established program where I always thought I would end up, UCLA, Stanford, USC, etc, and win a National Championship. Read more>>

Erni Poché | POC Advocate

In my culture they say if you don’t take risks, you don’t succeed. On November 24th 2021, I left my job. I didnt have anything lined up and I had little to no savings. Did I stress? Yes. Did I worry? Yes. This pause in my career during a pandemic and the holidays, has been the best decision I’ve ever made. I have been able to reflect on what matters to me and what I want out of my journey. We all work for a purpose. I get that. I’ve traded in material things for peace. All I want is to be at peace. This can be defined differently for many people. Read more>>

Samson Crouppen | Stand up Comic and Producer

Risk-taking is everything in my life. I continue to throw myself off into the deep end without a life jacket. I’m not irresponsible I’m not jumping out of planes I have three children but I’m taking chances as an artist it’s all about taking risks. I just released my first standup special and I relate it to releasing a stripper’s reel. Like hey everyone I’m naked and vulnerable and here is my body what do you think of it?. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever had to take a risk on. I had to invest my personal savings on myself and that is the biggest risk you can take. Read more>>

Ted Whetstone | Executive and Leadership Coach

Risk is a subjective word. Educated risks are more like leverage. Whereas careless risks are just reckless. For instance, spending $1,000 on lottery tickets is stupid (sorry). The probabilities of winning are typically less than getting hit by lightning. That’s pure risk (and dumb risk). However, if I have a clear goal to increase my net worth and I borrow money at a low interest rate to make an investment (e.g., buy a house) that could potentially make a bigger return, is a calculated “risk” with a fairly good chance of panning out. Read more>>

Michael Henley | Artist

When thinking about taking risk, I often think of it as a necessary part of being any creative and especially an artist. I think that risk covers a lot of how I work, I risk myself personally and my creative process each time I engage with a new body of work or specific project. I often find myself potentially overreaching and risking not being ready for an exhibition or attempting to create a piece so ambitious and experimental that there is always the chance it wont ‘come off’ right or convey my ideas and process as well as I would like. Read more>>