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.

Synthia Balmaceda: Eyelash Extension & Microblading Artist

I believe taking risks are exactly what led me to where I am now. It wasn’t until I took the risk to leave my life behind in FL to move to LA, after failing nursing school and working in the service industry for years, that I truly understood what I was capable of. Read more>>

Todd Mason: Composer

“Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” — Helen Keller. If you read biographies of famous people, one common thread keeps emerging — they all took huge risks. In fact, most of them failed much more than they succeeded but we only see the successes, from a distance. Read more>>

David Antonio Garcia: Recording Engineer

Risk has and will always be the most rewarding challenge anyone could ever take. It’s what defines who you are by your experience and your lessons you had learned from. The biggest risks will always be the most rewarding in some way or another. Read more>>

Diane Bell: Screenwriter, Director, and Mentor

For years, I wanted to write a screenplay but I was paralyzed with fear. What if I was no good? Not talented enough? If it was all a waste of my time? And surely it would be a waste – because even if I wrote something good, how would I sell it? I knew no one in the film industry (I was a Scottish yoga teacher living in Barcelona!). Read more>>

Josh VanBatenburg: Sketch Comedian/YouTuber

Honestly, I don’t think I’d be where I am today without taking risks. Wanting to go into the social media space, and having that dream of wanting to be an “influencer” or even work behind the scenes in that creative space, I knew I had to be out here in LA for that. Read more>>

Sian McMullen: Engineer and Producer

I think taking risks is necessary to reaching your goals. I’m a firm believer that you cannot grow within your comfort zone, and without taking risks you won’t ever step out of that comfort zone. Read more>>

Lefteris Ioannou: Composer

Taking risks in my life has led me to expanded growth, self-empowerment and getting to know myself better. That being said, I focus on my intent and being honest with myself when taking a risk. Don’t get me wrong, a risk will most likely feel uncomfortable in one way or another. However, what I’ve experienced is that most of the times what my brain considers to be a risk is an opportunity for me to grow. Read more>>

Yaelle Amar: Filmmaker

I have always been scared of taking risks in my career because I was afraid of failure. For a long time I had the misconceived idea that to reach what I wanted, the only obstacle on my journey would be hard work and that by working hard, I would follow a safe and steady path towards my goals. Read more>>

Chelsea Konenakeaw: Poet & Content Creator

I’m a very anxious person and will always be fighting worry with everything I do. But what I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that you can’t let the worry win. Life is a mix of good and bad, but you have to actively fight for the good even when it doesn’t feel natural. That’s what Muse and Manuscript is for me: choosing to fight for my creative self even when it would be much easier to just “grow up” and give it up. Read more>>

Penny: Musician/Hip Hop Artist

I think risk is a HUGE part of being a creative artist or a business owner. if you are not willing to risk potential failure, you will never be willing to take that leap of faith it takes to get beyond your own comfort zone. For me as a musician, if I’m not willing to risk trying something new, or being willing to go against the grain, then I risk never reaching my creative potential. Read more>>

Katya Martin: Family Lifestyle Photographer

Risk taking has a lot to do with overcoming fear. Fear can be a good thing that protects us but it often is limiting, and there are new great things on the horizon if you overcome it. It’s always scary to start something new and go out of my comfort zone. And it’s always worth it because once I do it I grow, I change, I become a renewed person. Read more>>

Sonja Montiel: Educational Consultant and Parent Coach

Growing up as a very timid and anxious kid, learning the value of risk taking took some time. I am grateful for my father who presented opportunities for me (perhaps by force in some cases) to take on physical risks from climbing boulders and learning to be a soccer defender to skydiving and leaving home for college. Read more>>

Emily Jenks: Photographer, attorney, and entrepreneur

I am definitely a risk taker and comfortable with taking risks in business – especially financially. I think that is what sets me apart from a lot of other photographers. I spend A LOT of money on my business, especially for marketing. I spend a lot on my branding, website, and ads. Read more>>

Eric Shen: Musician & guitarist

I take risks as challenges. People sometimes think about risk in a negative way because of the uncertainty they are facing, on the other hand I believe there is still some degree of certainty in which we can control. Read more>>

Royce Ruixi Gao: Director of Photography & Producer

Risk is not an uncommon word in our lives, it’s an inevitable part of life. I am a cinematographer, while the film industry might look like a glamorous job, it’s also a risky one. It’s an industry with high investment and low or no-return. Almost everyone in film industry is considered a freelancer whether you are in union or not. Read more>>

Joomee Song: Author and Creator of KAIKA™️ facial massage

What else is there without taking risks or challenging yourself in life? I’ve always wanted to create my own path since I was a child growing up in Japan.
Coming to America at age 20 was the biggest risk I’ve ever taken. Not knowing the language well at the time and having no relatives or friends to rely on. Understand, diving into American owned establishments, instead of diving into the Japanese community in the US was a scary decision. Read more>>

Keniesha Robinson: Actress/Content Creator/Entrepreneur

Life is about risk taking. Most of us fail to realize that the greatest risk we take in life is actually not taking one. We have to do what we love, what excites us, what we’re passionate about, and what makes us happy. A lot of people chose the path that makes others happy, but in the end aren’t happy themselves because what they’re doing is not actually what they want to do. Read more>>

Daria Mudrova: Beauty Expert, Beauty and Fashion Contributor, NYC Entrepreneur

My mom once told me, translated from her Russian, “Who doesn’t risk, doesn’t drink champagne.” I have lived with this mindset all of my life. Taking risks have been a big part of my life and career, and all of the best outcomes in my life have been the result of taking responsibility for my big, risky decisions. Read more>>

Chancellor Warhol: Director/Creative Director

Risk takers can be bliss makers. I think that without risk there is no real reward in life. You can’t create an empire with out having confidence that even if something fails you will gain a lesson and be able to push through. It is essential to the path of being ones best self. Read more>>

Ilya Tselyutin: Visual Artist

I consider myself to be an adventurous person. Comfort zone, what’s that? From living out of a suitcase in New York to landing a job in Germany where I didn’t speak the language, to moving my whole life across the world to LA Read more>>

Josh Separzadeh: Photographer and Digital Artist

Taking risks is a huge part of gaining confidence. Without putting yourself in a situation where there is a possibility of absolute failure there really is nothing you can learn and you are doing yourself and the world a disservice.  Read more>>

Meg Vesce: Founder of West Fourth PR

I think taking risks is a necessary part of entrepreneurship. It requires careful planning and hard work and the ability to accept that the risk may not work out no matter how much time went in to calculating the outcome. I think being able to not only be a risk-taker,but an optimistic risk-taker, is the difference between a successful, on-going career and a short-lived one as an entrepreneur. Read more>>

Zach Zucker: Performer & Producer

I personally have no interest in creating art that is “right” or correct. If there’s no risk, there’s no reward, and I want nothing to do with it. There’s too much going on at all times to take a lazy, safe approach to creation, especially when there are so many people out there who would kill to be in front of an audience. Read more>>

Timmie Brann: Coach, Gym Owner and Pro Athlete

For me living and taking risks are essentially the same thing. I don’t do complacency in any facet of my life. So it’s not only in business that I take risks, it’s also in competition, my personal life, and all things I do. You see for me nerves are a sign of life, almost like a heart beat. In nothing in life makes you nervous, I fear you are not truly living. Risk is the only arena I know how to live in. Read more>>

Todd Williamson: Artist, co-founder ArtEmerge.org

Risks are important to keep us interested in the flow of life and alive! We need to take risks to grow and to challenge ourselves. 2020 allowed, or rather made me, take a couple of huge risks that could potentially change the course of my career. Read more>>

Ekeobong: Actress, Model, Photographer

I am a big believer in taking risks. Every major step that I’ve taken that has brought me closer to my goals required me to take a risk. There is no getting around it. My parents took the ultimate risk when they left their home country with hopes of more opportunity for us. Read more>>

Mark Martinez: Illustrator, Animator, Cartoonist

I think you just have to invest in yourself as much as you bet on yourself. To quote Michael Scott quoting Wayne Gretsky, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Starting something, whether it’s a piece of art, writing a book, etc. is a good first step, but finishing it is payoff in itself since you did more than the people that did not. Read more>>

Matt O’Brien: Comedian & Actor

Starting a career in a comedy is always a huge risk (my accountant, parents, wife, and dentist will tell you that). But taking risks has always garnered new experiences that wouldn’t have happened had I not taken a chance. Read more>>

Ajay Hira: One of the Owners of Jesse Boy, Marketing and Customer Connections Partner

We approach risk as methodical as possible while keeping lines of communication with our instinct and heart wide open. To us, we see risk as a dance. Is it worth it? Can we do something better than the option we have? What will it cost? Is this even a cost or is this an investment? Constantly, we assess the risk and the environment, and we adapt. Read more>>

Aine Lynn-McEvoy: Art Director, Graphic Designer & Scenic Artist

I learned a while ago, of course as I often learn, the hard way; that happy and successful people take risks on people and ideas, they are people often always looking to help. Those that live unhappy and unsuccessful lives continue to ask “what’s in it for me?”, so I love to raise people up and support their strengths. I see risk in lifting people and watching them thrive, see us learn and thrive together. Morale is good for the mind. Read more>>

Chase Elder: chef / rollerskater

Taking risks have always been a challenging action for me. a risk can be as small as pressing the purchase button for a trip overseas or deciding to hire a book keeper..once you’ve made the choice..you’re doing it! . Before I make a big decision, I usually feel a flush of anxiety because I know I am approaching change. Read more>>

Mikey Jay: Actor & Writer

You have to take risks for success, just like you have to eat to survive. If I didn’t take chances, I wouldn’t have all the knowledge I’ve gained, and I’d live a life of “What if?” Granted, COVID dismantled a lot of the foundation I’ve built for the past 7 years, I can at least repair it with the knowledge from all my experiences. Read more>>

Jordan Nancarrow: Actor & Content Creator

Oh man, that’s all I do is take risks! If they’re legal for course. But taking risks has played a huge role In where I’m currently at today. All of the risks that I’ve ever taken were the ones that I never regretted, either. The way I look at risks is depending on the circumstance or the situation and the least that’s going to happen is a no or a no response. Read more>>

Yesica Lopez: Small Business Owner – IXTA Apparel

Life is all about taking risk and you will either fail or succeed, but what you learn through the experience no one can take that away from you. You can either take a leap of faith and go for it or stay in your comfort zone and wonder what if? As a business owner and just as myself, I believe in taking risk and just going for it. Read more>>

Joshua Silverstein Joe Hernandez-Kolski: Comedy Duo

When it comes to our career, I feel like all Joe and I do is take risks. As a duo, when it comes to our content, we believe that if it’s not taking a risk it’s not worth doing it. We put ourselves out there. Putting a spotlight on our personal ish, commenting on things about the world we live in that we feel should change, all while pointing the finger back on ourselves to show how we play a roll in all that. Read more>>

Lisa Nwoyé: Creative Business Owner & Marketing Executive

I’ve learned that comfort and growth do not mix, and in order to grow and experience something different in life it requires taking multiple risks. The risk is scary at first because you’re stuck thinking about all of the what “ifs” ( what if it doesn’t work out, what if I end up in a worse situation than my current one, what if I fail, etc.). Read more>>

Jake Yuzna: Director

Anything in life includes risk and there are two forms of risk. Risk to our well being and creative risk. When it comes to my well being, such as physically dangerous activities like extreme sports and the like, I have no interest at all. Those are very real, with very potentially very serious consequences. Read more>>

Kamathe Daniel: Videography Enthusiast

Risks are what we are generally taught to avoid. Some risks are deliberately taken, and some are reluctantly. However, the lessons that I’ve learned from the outcomes of the risks I’ve taken have made me a tougher person. I believe that risks exercise our inner courage to resist against fear of the unknown. Read more>>

Victor Wilde: Artist

Life is a risk from birth. You can get hit by a falling piano at any moment. When you’ve been through the tortures of the damned or have nothing to lose, risk isn’t a thought, it’s a fact of life. Read more>>

Xander Corbett: Musical Artist

Taking risks is the only way you’ll grow and learn in my eyes. You have to risk doing something wrong to get it right. Read more>>

Kym De Los Reyes: FULL TIME WORKING ARTIST

I am becoming a risk taker late in life. A few years ago, two words changed my life…”WHY NOT?” Someone is going to make a living as an artist, why not me? The possibilities are endless for someone who wants it and is willing to put the work in. The risk taking in my career turned into a “WHY NOT?” You have nothing to fear but fear itself. Read more>>

Sharnel Guy: Designer

One of the biggest risks that I took was leaving my home in Las Vegas to open a manufacturing company and studio in Los Angeles. I was afraid at first but now that I’ve made the move, I’m happy that I did Read more>>

Leonardo Moleiro: Fien art Artist & Creative Director

No risk no story Read more>>

Billy Almon: Astrobiofuturist

I think, depending on how you grew up, taking risks is the only way to break out of generational cycles and circumstances. So for me, challenging the status quo of things has kind of become an inherent reaction to experiencing life. Taking risks separates you from the pack and allows you to gain exposure to the things that will help you accomplish your goals. Read more>>

Nasrin Jafari: Founder & Designer, Mixed

When something feels risky and sparks a bit of fear in me, I know it’s something that I need to pursue—because on the other side of that uncertainty is adventure, self-discovery and growth. But when I think about risk taking, I try not to think about my fears and I don’t attempt to work out every possible scenario in my head Read more>>

Jacob Huizar: Cinematographer

Taking risks has been everything my business and life has been built off of. Moving from New Mexico to CA was a leap of faith. Three months into living here in California, the only contract I had with the company that moved me out fell apart. I had no clients, no business established, bills to pay and family to provide for. I risked everything I had to move and make it happen. Read more>>

Melissa Yap: Freelance Copywriter, Full-time Content Marketer & Pilates instructor (in-training!)

I’m all for taking risks and found that throughout my life, I’ve always liked to step outside of my comfort zone. I moved from my hometown Melbourne (Australia) to London in my early 20s and I couldn’t really sit still after that point. I remember moving to NYC in 2012 without any job prospects or contacts, but I had a job offer for a global athletic brand in Melbourne. Read more>>

Gabrielle Sundberg: Producer, Cinematographer, Editor & Stage Manager

When I was younger I always thought I would go through life taking the safe route, making the easy decisions we are “supposed” to do, until I took one of the biggest risks of my life a few of years ago. I made the decision to drop out of college after my 2nd year and move to Los Angeles, California to pursue my dream job to be in the film industry. Read more>>

Turt Franklin: Owner of Destroy All Denim

I feel like I took a risk when i was doing it by myself, trying to take on the task of running a quickly growing brand, and trying to keep up with daily content as-well as managing orders while maintaining our, “Same day shipping” motto quickly became hectic, Read more>>

Dylan Townsend: Writer & Producer

Risk is the essential component of growth. To lean in to your edge and face your own shadows of uncertainty, is the place where expansion comes from. Risk is therefore a great asset of any entrepreneur or artist, for it’s the leaning into one’s terrifying abyss, that come the miracles of tommorrow. Read more>>

Jay Young: Photographer & Creator

Throughout my career, a large amount of my achievements were accomplished by going outside of my comfort zone. Early one, I was taught by my peers that nothing comes easy, and failure should be used as a tool towards building character and confidence levels. Read more>>

Jordan Royale: Music Artist & Entrepreneur

It could be argued that risk is THE MOST contributing factor to success. Obviously as we get older, we’re less likely to take as big of risks as we did when we were younger, but it’s important that the idea of taking risks never goes away. As the phrase always goes, “No risk, no reward”. Read more>>

Laura Hennings: Mindset & Business Coach for Female Entrepreneurs

Here’s the thing, live isn’t meant to be lived outside the comfort zone. So make it a habit to check yourself, “Is the risk worth the reward?” It’s important to situation your highest goals as PLAN A, as a NON-NEGOTIABLE, and trust me…all else will follow. Magic happens outside the comfort zone, whether you want to jump into the fire or bridge yourself towards it. Read more>>

Monte Bell: Actor/Writer/Director

I believe that the biggest failure in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, has nothing and becomes nothing. You have to be in love with whatever it is you’re pursuing. You can’t treat it like a side piece. Your love for it has to be so strong that you’re willing to sacrifice everything in your current world for it. There’s simply no reward in playing it safe. Read more>>

Laila Marshall: Founder and CEO

When measured correctly, I think taking risks is great. I have always taken risks because without risk there isn’t any reward. Risk also centers around believing in yourself. If you know that you will be okay, why not take the risk? I am not saying take completely blind risk, but if you weigh the pros and cons and see it is worth it, do it. You will often surprise yourself and rise to the occasion. Read more>>

Paul Zambrano: Composer for Visual Media and Music Producer

Risk taking is a way of life for me. I risked moving from Florida to LA without any connections or jobs lined up, and a faint idea of what I’m doing. Quite honestly, I’m still making this up as a go along, since I’m a firm believer of forging your life and career on my own terms. Read more>>