Legend holds that Cornelius Vanderbilt had built a massive fortune in the steamboat shipping industry, but then realized the railroads were the way of the future and invested almost his entire net worth into railroads. The gamble paid off and made Vanderbilt one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs ever. But risks are inherently…risky. How do you think about risk and how has it affected your life and career? Some of our community favorites share their perspective below.

Eratik | Artist

Risk-taking has been a big part of my life, one of the most important parts if anything. Pursuing an artistic/creative career is one of the biggest risks you can take in terms of career choice. Success isn’t guaranteed whatsoever, and a lot of the stuff that you have to do will be self-taught. However, life is a lottery. To be able to stand here and have the option to do something that I love means that I won against the greatest risk there is. If that isn’t a sign to chase my dreams, I don’t know what is! Read more>>

Andrew Rosales | Risk taking As a musician/Actor/Cinematographer

How I think risk taking played a part in my career is ever since I was a kid I was a risk taker and at times I took a little too much of a risk. But it’s helped me in the long run good and bad by showing me my path and what I need to do to get to where I want to be. The first time I took a huge risk was when I was a freshman in high school and I was still discovering myself but this one teacher approached me in the hall wag during passing period and asked me if I like to film and I said yes at the time because it has always been my interest. Read more>>

LaKeysha Jean | Founder, Speak To The King, LLC

Risks are necessary for pivotal movement towards purpose and destiny. Many of the circumstances I’ve faced in my life have forced bravery and built defiance against the fear of taking risks. I’ve taken them with confidence and I’ve taken them afraid— either way I take them. My grandmother taught me the power of faith. She raised me to believe I could thrive in uncharted territory if I believed. Couple nurture with my adventurous personality and you get some pretty interesting stories about my life experiences thus far. I’m currently undertaking my biggest risk to date having left the comforts of tenured employment to become an entrepreneur. Read more>>

Rhonda Kennedy | Filmmaker/YouTuber/Entrepreneur

Risks are what create some of the biggest moments in life. Also, taking risks serve as a reminder that I trust myself. When I take the leap and go after something, I fully expect that I’m going to show up and give my all. For many years I wanted to work for myself but was too afraid to go for it. That all changed in December 2019! I finally got the guts to go for it. I left a safe, high paying, corporate job with no plan. I had to figure it out day by day. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do but it’s also the most rewarding. I wouldn’t change a single thing that’s led me to this point. Read more>>

Irina Isberg | Actress & Performer

Risks: I have always taken them, although I’ve always been scared of them. I had been focusing on my international career before the pandemic and had some good opportunities and projects coming up. Then all of a sudden, everything collapsed, fundings were withdrawn etc. I got a chance to return to my previous job in a very succesful show in the Nordics. But it didn’t feel right for me anymore; I had moved on and even if everything was in lockdown, I felt very strongly that there was no turning back. I still had to keep my focus in the future and pursue my artistic dreams, no matter how impossible they might seem. That was a risk; but I believe it will be worth it in the long run. Read more>>

Virginia Boudreaux | Owner Louise Lane Boutique

Starting my own business was a huge rush for my career and life. After losing my job in December 2020 with an industrial engineering degree, I wasn’t sure which direction to go with my life. Should I continue to work for companies that didn’t fulfill my life? Or should I follow my dreams and open my own boutique? A dream that I had since I was 13…My father was the influencer who advised me take a risk and to go all in and follow my dreams. In the beginning, I was very hesitant because I had worked so hard for my degree, but I soon realized that my degree has prepared me to follow my dreams. As my dad would say, you gotta risk it to get the biscuit. In the end, this has been the best decision I’ve ever made because I now control my own happiness rather than having it in someone else’s hands. Read more>>

Samuel Nkwume | Film Line Producer

Risk is a big part of our lives. We take risks every day and when you take a risk, there are two outcomes, you either fail or you succeed. When it comes to something you’re extremely passionate about like a career, everybody wants to succeed. I want to succeed, but sometimes you fail. When it comes to your passion, even when you do fail, there are lessons to be learned. Hence, when it is something you believe in, the risk is always worth it, regardless of the outcome. I took a big risk by leaving my stable accounting job to pursue my filmmaking dream in a different continent. The risk for me was extremely high and failure during the long term wasn’t an option for me. Read more>>

Love Vi | Musician/ Visual Artist

Every day is an opportunity, and each decision we make will have an effect on our lives. My thought process switches back and forth to the micro and macro perspectives in helping me assess the risks that are presented to me. Although I love details and planning, it really boils down to having the faith and confidence that the outcome is going to be alright. The many times I’ve been able to leap and go forth with some major decisions is my ability to lean on faith, believing in myself, and trusting my intuition. It helps to know at the end of the day, I will always bounce back because I am not a quitter, and I will always try my best to become better. Read more>>

Pollux King | Musician

By nature, I’m fairly introverted. I don’t love doing things that make me really nervous, and I like to think important things through (or to death sometimes). And that’s one of the fastest ways to never change. You definitely have to be willing to be WILDLY uncomfortable and push yourself to get where you want to go. You have to take risks to grow. Just take the time to get to know yourself well enough that you take the healthiest risks, and it doesn’t turn into self sabotage. Read more>>

Landa Ampong | Lifestyle Blogger & Co-Founder of God’s Lanes

Risk to me is about releasing the power “fear” has over you and betting on Faith in the unknown. In the Oxford dictionary, risk is defined as “a situation involving exposure to danger”. Another definition says it’s exposing something or someone of VALUE to danger, harm, or loss. Meaning, you aren’t risking anything unless something valuable is being exposed to something dangerous or unpleasant. Let me walk you through my journey of risk. Read more>>

SANTEE (MAMA SANTEE) WILSON | INTUITIVE HEALER (LICENSED AND CERTIFIED MASSAGE THERAPIST, REIKI MASTER AND ENERGY HEALER)

AS AN ENTREPRENEUR RISK TAKING IS THE NORM. I FEEL THAT TAKING A RISK IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO STARTING A BUSINESS AS WELL AS FOLLOW THROUGH. TAKING A RISK IS TAKING THAT ‘LEAP OF FAITH’ INTO THE UNKNOWN TO SEE WHAT WORKS AND FLOWS AS WELL AS WHAT DOESN’T. ONCE I FOUND THE BEAT TO GROOVE TO WITHIN MAMA SANTEE’S HOUSE THR RISKS THAT COME BEGIN TO JIVE AND IT BECOMES CLEAR WHICH TO DANCE WITH OR WHICH TO LEAVE BEHIND. Read more>>

Adam Clark | Music Producer & Songwriter

I see risk as an inevitable characteristic of success, regardless of industry, but especially vital in the entertainment industry. A creative has to know going into whatever they are about to do that the probability of success is little to none. Even if they stack the odds in their favor, one loose nut can make the entire thing fall down. I think its an essential part though of being human. You’re never not going to have risk, and that should be empowering, not defeating. Read more>>

John Wallace Jr | Fashion Designer & Creative Director

For me starting a business was a complete risk because where I come from I didn’t see anyone my age doing it. I knew I was creative from a young age and I’ve always believed that I can do anything I put my mind to, so why not bet on myself. Through the process you’re going to have ideas that hit and some that don’t, but the moral of the story is to NOT QUIT! This journey is long and rocky filled with highs and lows, however taking risk can lead to the thing that takes you to the next level. There has been times where I’ve designed something and it sells out quickly, and there’s times when I don’t have one sale, but without risk there’s no reward. Pace Yourself Accordingly!!! Read more>>

Laurissa “Lala” Romain | Singer/ Songwriter & Actress

Quitting my day job was probably the biggest risk I’ve taken, but I’d almost dare to say starting that job was an even bigger one. I started as a child actor, I grew up in the industry, by the time I was in my pre teen/ young adult phase of life I craved a passion that I found all on my own. It happened that makeup was something I was naturally interested in already, I really enjoyed stepping out of the spotlight and helping others feel beautiful and preparing them for their performances / shoots or events. Read more>>

Aprille Ricafranca | Owner/Baker

After High School, I went the traditional route and went College. I eventually worked for a Domestic Violence Shelter as a Children’s Case Manager. I worked there for a few years but decided to leave once budget cuts happened. I made the bold decision to go to Cinema Makeup School and became a Certified Makeup Artist. I worked on sets, doing makeup for local commercials, music videos, shorts, fashion shoots and weddings/special events. I loved it! But, once I became pregnant with my first child, I had a choice to make. Read more>>

Carolyn Fe | Filipino-Canadian Actress, Singer, Songwriter, Writer, Borderless Thinker. Old Person.

I remember, at a very young age, telling myself that I wanted to experience all that there is to experience in lifetime and on my own terms. Depending at which stage in one’s life may be, it could be a curse or a blessing. At age 60, the time of this interview, I can now say that I have been blessed even though there were time I thought I wasn’t going to make it. Read more>>

Rich Morrow | Actor / Producer

Risk taking has been the backbone of everything I have done, both in my career and personal life. Without having the faith to let go and jump when the opportunity presents itself, my life would look very different. When pursuing a career as an artist I’ve learned that many underestimate the sacrifices that come with it. It’s not just a job, or a hobby anymore, it’s a business and a lifestyle that you have to live every day. Read more>>

Calvin Jean | Actor / Model

Ima a Huge risk taker! The biggest risk I ever took was moving across the country and away from my family to chase a dream in the entertainment industry. Before I fully immersed myself into the industry I had to quit my 9-5 job which actually took a leap of faith for me to do. Once I did all these opportunities and connections starting working in my favor, it was a big boost to my career and living because for the first time I was in total control of my life. Taking risks has made me to who I am today ! Read more>>

Sijie “Leslie” Liu | Video Editor

I think risk is all around my life. My family all work in the financial industry. Every time when I said doing something is risky, my dad always comforts me and says “Working in VC in these years, what risk I haven’t seen? Just do it if you want!” Under my parent’s influence, although I’m an introvert, I’m bold when it comes to my career or some other important life events. Read more>>

Alexander Morgan | Musician, Producer, YouTube Clown.

Risk taking is a part of almost everything I do. Some risks are smaller than others, but on a daily basis it feels like I’m taking them. Some minor decisions on what instrument I should use or how much compression I should implement (music stuff blah blah). I’d say the biggest risk was deciding to dive into music and music production full time. I think a lot of people expect, in most creative endeavors, that one day someone just gives you a call and says, “Hey, quit your day job! You’ve made it!”. That probably happens to some people, but not to most and certainly not me. Read more>>

Angela Sun | Founder & CEO

I’ve noticed that the older I get, the more methodical I am with taking risks. I am less inclined to take a risk for the thrill of it. Instead, I’d do my research, talk to experts/mentors, map out the plans before making the moves. The truth is, it feels more scary taking a risk in my 40s compared to when I was in my 20s. A lot more things are at stake (at least it feels like it) and a lot more caution and planning are required to ease my anxiety in risk-taking. That said, looking back, every major leap/risk I’ve taken in the past, landed me in an abundance of self growth and career satisfaction. It’s almost as if the need for change and growth is so strong, it outweighs the fear of risk and the only option to move forward is to take the leap. I find myself plotting and scheming every time life and/or company growth plateaus and feels stagnant. Read more>>