Shoot your shot? Take a chance? Society bombards us with messages, phrases, examples and stories of how taking risk is the key to success, but is anything ever that simple? We asked some of the brightest folks we know to tell us about how they think about risk. We’ve shared their responses below.

Zack Browne | Creative Director

If you’re not taking risks, you’re not living. It sounds cliche, but it’s true. I always say my comfort zone is outside my comfort zone. As a creative, you can’t truly create without risk. You can’t be original without risk. Without risk, you won’t be remembered. I have been blessed and cursed with the affliction of never being satisfied. Once things get easy and I feel too comfortable, I make a change and shake things up. Read more>>

Jimmy Xie | Video Artist & Filmmaker

Risk-taking is not a choice — it is a necessary survival instinct for those who want to make the most of their lives. Everybody lives in fear of some kind. The deeper the fear, the less freedom we have to experience all aspects of this world. So, for me, risk-taking is one of the most effective ways to address and conquer my fear. Read more>>

Annie Armstrong Miyao | Psychotherapist, Writer and Mother

I am always thinking about growing and challenging myself so healthy risk is an inherent part of both my life and career. Big change or trying new things is scary but also invigorating. The challenge of taking a risk can help me clarify my strengths, sometimes figure out what I don’t want, and ultimately build my confidence. I have had a few big career changes in my life, and tolerating the discomfort that comes up around the risk of failure or potential dissatisfaction has helped shape my path, in the best way. As I continue to grow my business, taking risks has led me to some of my most fulfilling endeavors. Read more>>

Hunter Cohen | Photographer & Cinematographer

Honestly, I think risks are a huge part of life. The thoughts that come with them are usually associated with questions similar to “what if it doesn’t work out?” and “is this actually a good idea?”. Once you start to learn how to redirect those question into more positive ones, risk taking gets much easier. The way that I have always viewed taking risks is just go with the flow, trust your instincts and don’t regret anything. Read more>>

Juliana Guedes | Production Designer

Taking risks has definitely been a huge part of my career. I grew up believing my professional life was already defined, since I was very young I had in my heart I was going to be an architect. But after graduating I realized that was not exactly what I wanted to do. Even though I was still young and had a lot of time ahead to figure it out and pursue another career, it was a bit scary to change something I had always been so certain of. Read more>>

jasper | artist and songwriter

Nothing in your life will move or change if you don’t take risks. I try to live in a way where I push the things that scare me most, because fearing it just means I care a lot about it. Pursuing a career in music has always been that for me; there was that daunting potential of dedicating my entire life to something that would never come to fruition. It used to seem so one in a million, so rare that it’d be delusional to continue on the path. Read more>>

Ash Elisé | BRAND THERAPIST

I believe RISKS are a gateway into the life that was, specifically, created for us. Without taking risks, you’ll always feel unfulfilled because the life you are envisioning is on the other side of fear. Risks are NECESSARY in who we currently are, who we are becoming, & for who we are going to be. Risks have played a MAJOR role in who I am today! Risks have required me to have the courage to pursue the vision(s) in my heart, embrace who I, TRULY, am, & to wholeheartedly pursue my dreams. Read more>>

Dewaine Williams | Offdahu$tle llc clothing brand

Taking Risk has taught me how to take take life in a different roles in life as in networking and doing what I want to do in life with your career. The risk i took is not being like nobody else working for myself is the goals and dreams I had as a kid I had Read more>>

Chisato Iimori | Dancer &choreographer

Many people think taking risks is scary, however risks are “chances”; to grow, to be a new version of yourself, to succeed or break out of your shell to be true yourself. I think it’s important to take risks especially if you have goals or want to succeed. Nothing will change if you stay in your comfort zone. I’m a dancer and choreographer, and risk taking is always what I try to do when I dance. I move my body in different ways to explore when I do freestyle and try to use my body beyond what I already know. Read more>>

Christian Kornegay | Use my stage name instead: CDK on the mic Description: National Host

I think of risk as opportunities to step outside of your comfort zone. I’ve built my brand off risk. The first risk that I took was taking all of the money that I made the summer before college to invest in starting my business. During that time period I worked at Mcdonalds only making $8.25 walking away with biweekly checks of $300 on a good check. I knew college was expensive but I had a dream to follow. I spent money buying equipment with no gigs lined up, well not yet at least! Read more>>

Yengiang Nguyen | Visual Artist

Life is all about taking risks. Whether it is big or small. I like to live by a very famous quote, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” When an opportunity arises, and I am not sure whether or not to move forward. I ask myself why? If it is because of a fear of failure, what people might think, or if I know it is a limiting belief that I am telling myself, then I take the risk and do it. I find that taking action and just going for it eliminates self-doubt. Read more>>

Maripo$a | Musician & Stylist

Taking risks in life is a blessing, I always say if something feels uncomfortable than to go for it because it’s going to help you grow as a person, For me in particular, I came from a some-what struggling to make ends meet family in Florida and moving to California seemed so far out of my reach. When I turned 18, I knew I wanted to pursue music & fashion and there wasn’t much growth or opportunity in my town. Read more>>

Camden Yacobucci | Artist

Risk is the main thing that drives me to pursue my career in music. I remember sitting in my dorm room in New York City balling my eyes out because I was scared to follow my dreams and forget about the easy route. But I knew if I ever wanted to be truly happy in my life then I would have to take those risks. I knew in that moment to never let fear or risk get in my way and I haven’t looked back since. Read more>>

Selsela | Actor & Singer

I think risks are important. I also think it is important to keep in mind that what you might view as risky might not be risky to another person. It is crucial to not compare your journey and to other people’s journey, that is risky. Because if you do you might take on their fears and regrets and not go after your dreams. If you have the dream of being a singer and an actor like me, and you have no one in your circle that went after a career like that, you will get a lot of advice that will not serve you. Read more>>

Evelyn Aguilar | Pet Treat Bakery

Being a mother, impacted by the pandemic and working in the hospitality industry, has been a real challenge. I decided to change careers and bake dog, cat, and horse treats. Read more>>