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.

Emiddio Isernia | Pastry Chef

I see risk taking as a necessity to grow and to find new goals to achieve, a tool to measure and understand the own potentials. If I think about how I act in life and career I can relate the two. When I reach a goal, the joy and enthusiasm doesn’t last long and soon I have to find something else to keep going.
It is like if there not risk, even a bit of “struggling” it doesn’t seem to be real, almost like I can’t savor the final “scope” of what I just did, and so I keep going on. It is sometimes painful and hard, but in those few moments of joy I can say all the effort was worth it. Read more>>

Lauren Minear | Musician, Psychotherapist, & Mom

I have taken several unconventional paths in life, but I consider myself to be pretty risk-averse. When I was fifteen, I got up on stage alone in downtown Nashville to perform my original songs. When I was twenty-two, I quit a stable, well-paying finance job in New York City with a loose plan to go to yoga and graduate school. In 2020, I pivoted from my successful private psychotherapy and yoga therapy practice to being a full-time songwriter and recording artist. All of those decisions required vulnerability, but very little risk. Read more>>

Colm Summers | Theatre Director

Life in the arts – and in particular life in the theatre – is perilous. Risk abounds. Everywhere, theatre artists live and work at the limits of financial precarity and career stability. Increasingly, we are forced to work with a scarcity of resources. For most theatre professionals, the phrase “work-life balance” is almost laughable. In the time of Covid-19, the health risk of gathering has further compounded the problem, as audiences hesitate to gather together and breathe the same air. From the point of view of career, there has never – in living memory – been a “riskier” time to be a theatre artist. Read more>>

Eva Jurko | Actress + Artist

I think taking risks played a major part in my life and career; before moving to the US, I grappled with two options – whether I would stay within the familiarity of my home, or leave everything behind and move to New York. Obviously, the latter won, but I vividly remember that split feeling – the feeling of excitement overshadowed by fear, constantly going back and forth between the two options, until a very clear moment arose of me absolutely knowing that I need to leave and not look back. And I remember the morning after I had bought the ticket, the anxious thoughts of “oh God what have I done”. Read more>>

Michael G. Riggins | Author, Host & EP

Whew! where do I even begin? For me I personally feel that taking risk are very important because it’s the chance of “you never know until you try”. I decided to take a few risks actually one being moving away from my hometown of D.C. to Atlanta and from Atlanta to where I reside now in LA. That journey alone was scary because I started from D.C. to Atlanta alone and ended up leaving Atlanta with my now boyfriend and the first season of my Reality Show ‘All About Mike” which leads me to another risk I’ve taken which was becoming a content creator of not only books but interviews, reality shows and a documentary. Read more>>

Markus A Ljungberg | Cinematographer

The risk that has been most defining to my life was a move I made in 2010. I decided to quit my job in Stockholm and move to London to pursue a career in film. I decided on London because the film industry is huge there and there’s a long tradition of filmmaking. I knew the language, I had a few friends there plus as a EU citizen, at the time there was no requirement for a work visa. I expected it to be challenging, but I was excited to set out on something new and unknown. I had savings to last me for a couple of months. Read more>>

Manon Berryman | Plus Size Influencer & Co-founder of Berry Brand Agency, LLC

I think about risks as a way of challenging yourself and putting into action what’s you’ve been thinking about doing. In a simpler word: Manifestation, A risk is something that’s going to make you go out of your comfort zone and experience, no matter the outcome, it’s a lesson. Without risks there’s nothing to accomplish. Without risks there’s no manifestation. I had the opportunity to visit Los Angeles in 2015 for a plus size modeling career. I decided even if I wasn’t speaking a single word in English to stay in LA as an immigrant, I changed my whole life. Read more>>

Drew Tilk | Marketing Professional

I often think about the quote, “Leap, and the net will appear.” Life is all about taking risks. The comfort zone is a dangerous place to be. I’ve always struggled with staying emotionally present. I’m constantly thinking about the next step. While many people see this as a character flaw, I believe it’s helped me to see around corners. Understanding your risk tolerance is key to decision making. It helps you weigh the pros and cons. When I’m thinking about taking a risk, I tend to analyze the outcomes of each variable before arriving to a conclusion. Read more>>

China Givens | Licensed Cosmetologist & Entrepreneur

Risks are scary but I wouldn’t be where I am today without taking risks. I sometimes have to remind myself as I make plans to expand my businesses that it will only happen if I’m willing to take the risk and step out on faith. Big risk, big reward. Read more>>

CJ Strahan | Artist

I feel like risk is involved in most decisions we make. Especially the big ones in life. We either take the risk of failing or we take the risk of missing out on an opportunity. I personally knew from a very young age that I never wanted to look back on my life thinking what could’ve been. So I followed whatever I felt in my heart was right. I would definitely call myself a big risk taker. After I finished school in Germany I started my own business at the age of 19. I was told by most of my friends and family that I should go to college or find a job. Little did they know I would build a career in direct sales and get to travel the world as a public speaker. So I would say risk is a necessary component of progress. Read more>>

Rosemary Minkler | Keyboardist, Producer & Audio Engineer

I believe that creative people, especially musicians, are natural risk takers. Performing in front of others takes a lot of courage! It requires being vulnerable. And it also requires a lot of trust: with the audience, the other musicians on stage, and most importantly, oneself. Most every step we make with our career as artists is a risk because oftentimes there is no definite guarantee of success. We act on faith and the fact that we simply couldn’t imagine doing anything else with our lives. The biggest risk that I’ve taken in my career thus far was moving to Brooklyn, New York. Read more>>

Kassandra Carrettini | Cinematographer/DP

Risk is a very important element in the development of my career. It forces me to be in a space outside of my comfort zone, a space where life experiences happen. We can get too paralyzed by fear, instigated by the perfectionism inside of us that wants to have everything under control. We have to be willing to fail in order to succeed by pushing the limits of what we know. For that reason I am always making sure I take action, even when the fear is there, and I can see the positive impact that it has had on my career and life. Read more>>

Allen Liu | Licensed Acupuncturist

In my professional life, I’d say all of the major decisions I’ve made have been risks. So far, I’ve had two professions. First, I was an actor … risky haha. And now, I’m an acupuncturist … also, risky! Not to be too boastful … I had some success as an actor. And now, I’m slowly but surely experiencing greater and greater success as an acupuncturist! Read more>>

Ashley Nguyen | Permanent Makeup Artist

I believe that taking risks are necessary to be successful sometimes. However, I did not have this mentality before my career in the beauty industry. I was a pharmacist for 14 years. Life was comfortable. It was a very stable career with great financial benefits. Yet I found myself lacking the passion and enthusiasm for my job. After many years, I’ve come to realize that there are more important things in life than just making money. I wanted to spend more time with my kids while they are still young. I didn’t want to live my life with any regrets, wondering how life would be if I pursued my interest. Read more>>

Francisco Martos | Actor

I think that risk is one of the most valuable instincts we, as human beings, have. Risk make us get out of our comfort zone and jump to explore the unknown. Make us explore the world and it diminishes the rules imposed by society to create our own. Risk is exploration and curiosity to find answers that we couldn’t find in our schools, community or professions. Risk is a thought positivism that embraces new experiences. Is definitely a word that was always inside me and made me look around with certain curiosity and inspiration. Read more>>

Stephània Pourgouri | Singer, Songwriter, Producer & Recording Engineer

I think taking risks is one of the best things a person can do for themselves. Sure, uncertainty can be scary but I’d rather live a life full of failed attempts than a life where I tiptoed around security and comfort. Taking risks doesn’t always lead to success but you can grow so much from a lost attempt. Failure can make you more resilient, stronger and builds character. The point of taking a risk in my opinion isn’t the outcome, but the journey and process of it in itself. I truly stand by the fact that failure is not the opposite of success, but that it is part of success! Read more>>

Gia Heron | Musician & Hair Connoisseur

I think that taking risks are crucial in order for a person to truly grow and evolve. Risk has played a tremendous role in my life from moving to a brand new state alone at eighteen for cosmetology school, to spending my last dollar on studio sessions. I believe you have to be willing to put everything on the line and maybe even take a loss in order to achieve your end goal. Although taking risks can seem scary, they will lead to greatness and help you unlock your true potential. Read more>>

Nicole Ray | Illustrator

Risk played a huge part in me starting my business: I likely would not have ever done it if it wasn’t forced on me. I have been a risk taker throughout my career, walking away from jobs to travel, working as a freelancer with all the uncertainty that entails for the bulk of my 20s and 30s, taking any job that would allow me to live in interesting new places. But when it came to trying to do the thing that I really wanted to do — illustration — that was a risk I couldn’t seem to tackle. Fear held me back. Read more>>

jeremy erwin | Entertainer & Event Producer

I have seen both sides of taking risks. On one side I left home to attend college in New York at 17 – fresh out of high school. Followed by LA the next year. Having no idea how to navigate through either city, especially coming from a small town in Dallas Texas. But taking that risk showed me the world in a way that I would not of seen had I stayed in Dallas. It showed me the possibilities that I’ve never even thought of. I learned that unless you take a leap you never know how far you can go. Or what you can accomplish. Some things look like they’re out of your reach or your league, but once you take that risk and make an attempt you’ll see things are much more tangible than you thought. Read more>>

Milad El Doumani | Lebanese Actor.

Choosing love is the biggest risk anyone can take, you either have the greatest experience of your life, or you break your heart. The first step in my journey as an actor was deciding wether I should take the risk or choose a different path. My fear was that I’d be risking my financial freedom, my happiness, and my stable life. I was always aware that being an actor is rarely about the glitz and glamour we see on tv. I was also afraid I wasn’t good enough, having never acted until I was 18, The odds I could make it were 1 or 2% based on how many actors are employed at any time. I was good at many other things, I had options. Yet it’s crazy that I decided it’s better better than zero percent. Read more>>

John Tuttle | Artist, Producer, & Songwriter

In some ways, it’s hard for me to take risk, because I have the tendency to over analyze things. I’m very calculated and strategic about my choices. But in saying that, I feel that each jump I take has more upside possibility than downside. If it doesn’t work out, I try to view it as a learning experience to become wiser and smarter for next time. Risk spurs growth, whether the desired result pans out or not. It can be as little as just releasing music; That is a vulnerable exposition for a lot of people. But how tragic would it be if great art simply died on a hard drive never to be experienced by anyone. It was risky for me to start a new project called Shadowalker at the onset of the pandemic, when I already had a bourgeoning band making waves. Read more>>

Nick Trainor | Artist & Entrepreneur

I actually tend to think of myself as risk-averse. I am the poster child for taking my time and evaluating situations for seemingly a long time, but I have found both reward and pain in the risks I have taken in my life. I was born almost blind, and eventually was able to see somewhat in one eye after extensive light therapy with my ophthalmologist. Growing up in South Carolina, I was also very close to my mom, Della, and we shared a creative spirit that I am so thankful for to this day. Read more>>

Randy Colosky | Painter

Over the last 15 years, I’ve worked primarily on large-scale public art projects. As both a builder and an artist, public art installation has been the pinnacle of creative expression for me. Each project, some made at colossal scales, has required me to employ all my wide-ranging skillsets and work at my maximum level of endurance. The public art process engages resourcefulness and inventiveness as I navigate the challenges of executing art using a wide variety of materials. Working with consultants, developers, architects, and contractors is another layer of interest as I collaborate with different types of thinkers. Though each piece has offered challenges, it is incredibly gratifying to make work that entire communities can enjoy and engage with. Read more>>

MBM FRANKO | Artist

When I think about in all honesty I think about the REWARD behind my risk before I take it …I see things before they happen at least that’s how I’ve adapted to becoming the artist I am today RISK IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT Read more>>

Lee Lee La Cubana | Artist & Innovato

I am known to take a risk or two whether that be in fashion choices, career moves or anything related to self-expression. I have always felt it is unfortunate that making unconventional decisions to express yourself, making moves that bring you closer to your goals and trying new things are considered risky. Speaking for myself and my generation, we grew up in a society made of rules that define how to achieve success, what career paths are acceptable and what success looks like, making anything falling outside of set paths “risky” and “unconventional”. Read more>>

Corey Lewis | Fitness and Wellness Coach

Risk is scary, but it’s necessary. If you want to learn how to grow and challenge yourself, taking risks is the best way. Risk is also a choice. It gives you the ability to actively trust yourself and go for it, even with the possibility of failing. Taking risks in my personal/professional life has shown me what I can accomplish, and I’m so grateful for betting on myself because I wouldn’t be where I’m at today or met the people I know if I didn’t take a chance, Read more>>

Omar Montoya | Storyboard Artist

There are many risks artists have to make in their lifetime- the biggest one being the fact that they chose to be an artist. Many of us in these hard times are struggling to find work that can be fueled by our passions. Us storyboard artists in particular take shots in the dark with applications. 90% of the time we hear nothing back, or it’s some sort of scam. It’s easy to become disillusioned by the darkness that plagues our world; the unknown that constantly swarms us. Others with common sense might give up. Read more>>

Rob LaRay | Singer, Songwriter, Recording Artist

Risk-taking to me is counting the cost of a decision, discovering that it has the potential to end very well or very badly, and choosing to do it anyway. Taking risks is necessary in order to find out what is on the other side of “what if.” I have always known that I wanted to be a professional singer and songwriter since I was kid. The talent and the passion were always there, but the confidence to pursue the dream was not. In fact, I deferred the dream for years out of fear of taking risks. When I graduated from high school, I went on to obtain my bachelor’s in psychology and then a master’s in clinical social work. Read more>>

Meg Titus | Hair Magician

When I think about risk; the possibility that something unpleasant or unwelcome will happen. so much of our lives and how we live them involves risk; the forks in the road, choices we’re forced to make, the sliding doors of it all. I didn’t start trusting my intuition till later in life so many lessons have been learned. Some would say opening a business in the middle of a global pandemic is a huge risk. I say never stop taking risks, falling down, making mistakes, learning from them – keep on growing and evolving. I am so excited for this next chapter and all the pages I have left to turn. Read more>>

LaRonica Southerland | Dance Artist & Wellness Practitioner

Taking a risk for me is all about trusting yourself; more of a leap of faith. By taking the “risk” in your life or career it is simply you saying to yourself “I know thyself” and I trust that this risk will be both a gift and a lesson. From the moment that I landed in California I took a risk. I knew that it was time for me to bet on myself and to trust that this decision of moving from Columbus,Ohio to LA was more about trusting my gut and divine instinct. Read more>>

Kylie Long | Graphic design & fine art artist

Risks are your path to gold in any career. Especially as a creative where the quality of your work brings in success. Going through that discovery has to be authentic. It takes time,practice,luck,mood..the perfect storm . Allowing yourself that time to create is always a risk. Some days are just put aside to think. Feel. It’s not always something you can just do. There is no A B C to art.
A lot of times as an artist we hold onto another stable career as we refine our craft. The true risk is letting that go in order to become more. Sometimes in order to reach the next level you have to allow yourself to jump and free fall for a bit. This is terrifying ! Read more>> 

Victoria Ester Orantes | Artist & Old Soul

Risk is necessary to have a life of vigor and satisfaction; if we do not ask, the answer will always be no. I believe risk also intertwines with faith, intuition, and an understanding of personal intentions. Though taking a risk means to expose ourselves to uncertainty and possible danger, when an individual understands who they are, what they want, and recognizes that life is a garden of growth, change, and learning, the risks that are taken are of a different kind. The danger of the risk lies more in the uncertainty, rather than it qualifying as dangerous due to an absence of wisdom. Read more>>

Kale Panoho | Managing Director at K&J Growth & Rugby Bricks

I look at risk as the opposing side of the coin of opportunity. The two come hand in hand but one needs to be mitigated when assessing what is in front of you. When you act on opportunities some turn of fate will inevitably strike creating a negative outcome. In my field, this can be a marketing campaign going astray, a client not paying a bill or something entirely unforeseen such as a pandemic. Read more>>

Oleg Kaiross | Photo artist, Actor & Travel adventurer

To my mind, there’s not so much real risk in our lives as we might think. Yes, sometimes we have to choose between the cozy and safe comfort zone and the scary unknown. We consider all the pros and cons to make the most efficient decisions, but the truth is: life is unpredictable itself and avoiding new challenges is a risk. Staying in the familiar, you might even put yourself at danger. When I live and create, I prefer to think of ‘risk’ more as ‘curiosity’, as much as possible. It’s true, however, that it can’t be applied to all life situations, but my life experience sufficiently proves that it is being curious to try something new, it is reality testing that opens all doors in front of you and makes the world play out in fresh colors. Read more>>

Azizi Donnelly | ACTRESS

I think Risk taking is everything in the creative field. How can anyone stand out or create something new by staying inside the lines? Or doing what’s already been done. As an artists we have chosen a risky career to begin with so why play it safe. My favorite quote that I heard from Jim Carey is “ Risk being seen in all of your glory” I love that and do my best to live by it although I am far from perfect. All of my successes I believe have come from taking risks.. Weather that be I risked being rejected yet put myself out there anyway. And a great opportunity came from it, Risked making a bold choice and was remembered or made an impact. Read more>>

Asia Mobley | Founding Editor of Rare Radar + Publicist

In life, we have a bunch of socialite norms that often restrict us from being our best selves. People are concerned about how they’d be perceived or how they will make ends meet. I was raised to do what makes me happy NO MATTER WHAT. As a I get older, I appreciate that being instilled in me even more because I’ve learned to detach myself from fears and take risk. You can’t lose when you choose happiness and bet on yourself. Read more>>

Hilmar Ramos | Artist

Taking Risks is overcoming your fears. Fear is like a cage that keeps you captivated and doesn’t allow you to continue progressing. With out taking risks we hold our selfs from reaching our greatest potential. Taking risks In different stages in my career has helped me reach goals and live a life I never thought possible. Sometimes those risk don’t always work out how you want them too but it gives an opportunity to learn from mistakes and help make better wiser decisions for the next risk. Read more>>

Tecola Burrows | Author & Podcast Host

I see risk as to the next level to your breakthrough. Risks have the ability to capitulate you to the right where you belong. I believe risk and trust in God go hand in hand. The risks I have taken have played a major role in my life because, in order to take the risks I had to trust the person who would catch me once I fall, That’s God. notice I said when I fall because it will happen but who do you trust? what do you believe in? Read more>>

Naya Collins | Makeup Artist & Fashion/Content Curator

Can I be honest? Risk and I have had an on again/off again, love-hate relationship for years. You know the saying “Its not you , its me”? Yeah. Risk really isn’t that bad and its actually quite rewarding when trust is implemented. If you’re anything like me, you’ve allowed fear to cause you to forfeit a kairos or two in the past that could have been life changing. I mean…literally. (Never doing that again.) Read more>>

Nadia Imani | Creative & Influencer

I like to think of risk as taking that step to get on the other side of your fears . July 31,2022 I took the risk of moving my whole life from Virginia to California . I didn’t have a job line up , or an apartment. I had my Airbnb and 2 suitcases. What looked like the biggest risk at that moment turned out to be the best thing I could’ve ever done for myself as well as my career . I’ve grown so much since my big move , through the ups and downs i wouldn’t trade this experience for the world . Read more>>

Roberto | Rapper, Music Producer & Educator

I feel as though risk has been a sort of “make or break” factor for me. Every time I see stagnancy I look up and find comfort as the source. Though the number of unanswered emails in my sent box is countless, f I had never sent certain emails I’d have never gotten my highest paying gigs, or played my first shows in certain cities or states. If I’d never decidedly been dead broke for years, I’d have never gotten this close to stability from art alone. Read more>>

Ryan Spears | Entrepreneur & Musician

Taking a risk is something that I learned will help me elevate to the next level. I always over think and doubt my abilities but once I decided to take a risk just live with the outcome it doesn’t bother me as much because I know I put my all into it and I know everything will work out. Taking risks for me helped me become more self reliant and on go mode at all times Read more>>

Christine Cho | Writer/Producer

I used to weigh my risks by starting with the negatives – what are the worst risk factors? What can go wrong if I do “X”? Listing out the negatives was normally a sure-fire way for me to trigger my anxiety and spiral down a k-hole of hypothetical concerns. I find that it can also get harder to discern whether a risk factor is even practical or just plain anxiety. To top it off, sometimes the biggest and muddiest risk factor can be the abyss that is the unknown. Read more>>

Kamari Smalls | Inter/multidisciplinary artist

I think about risk in a lot of different ways, but in this moment, I’m really thinking of it as a trusting of yourself and your heart. An invitation to experience life at its fullest with fear, hesitancy, and wonder present. Taking risks has played a huge role in my life and it’s a testament to those who pray over and for me. It is why and how I’m at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) as an MFA student in their Digital + Media (D+M) program and ultimately, it’s how I come to know the depths of romantic love. Read more>>

Andrew Clark | Metal Fabricator & Glass Artist

When I begin to feel comfortable, like things in my life are easy or familiar I know it’s time to challenge myself and take a risk. Not taking a risk is a more risky decision than the risks we decide to take. For me, it feels stagnant to stay comfortable and stay familiar. When I started my business I knew I would be the one who had to create financial security for myself. Not having a bi-weekly steady paycheck was daunting to me and it still is. Read more>>

Dafi Cramer | Actress

One of my favorite things about acting is the moment when I embrace the unknown and jump into the cold water. Usually, that’s the moment when the atmosphere in the room changes, and new and unexpected things are created. When I feel the butterflies in my stomach the most, I know there’s an opportunity worth chasing. Read more>>

Katharine Boss | Owner & hair cutting specialist, Freija Collective

To me, risk = reward. I think that I’ve taken a lot of risks throughout my career that have all lead me to this point. When I was 19 I moved to NYC to pursue an apprenticeship with Bumble and bumble. I think I had age to my advantage because when you’re that young and you haven’t had many real failures, you can kind of just follow your intuition without worrying too much about the consequences. Then again, in 2020 I found myself taking my biggest career/life risk to date, when I opened my brick and mortar boutique, Freija Collective. Read more>>

Aleza Zheng | Fine Artist & Art Director

For me, risk-taking is less about risk and more about having a little faith. It is allowing some unpredictability for the slightest hope that it might turn out good. Read more>>

Josh Futcher | Actor

Risk taking is scary as hell, but it’s the only thing that guarantees growth. Personally, the biggest jumps in my career have only come about from taking risks; Moving from my home town to a bigger city with more creative opportunities. Moving from my home country (Australia) to the US. Giving up a secure 9-5 for the uncertainty of freelance acting work. All I know is that if I had stayed put, and lived in my comfort zone, I wouldn’t be where I am today and I will never get to where I want to be. Read more>>

Brooke Taylor | Hospitality Brand Strategist

It’s funny: I generally consider myself to be a risk-averse person, and yet I’ve taken some pretty big risks in my life and career. The one that really tested me was uprooting my family so that I could pursue a new career–I moved with my husband and two daughters, aged 4 and 1 at the time, to a new city and state where we had no family and few friends. I had been trying to make the shift from hospitality interior designer to brand strategist for years, and an opportunity finally came along that I couldn’t pass up. That move showed me that I don’t jump into risk blindly, but that I will take a calculated risk when I’ve done my research and it feels right. Read more>>

Keiry Suero | Content and Brand Strategist

Taking risks is the only way to find the light at the end of the tunnel. The tunnel might be dark and seen scary when we first go in, but we need to take that risk and walk through the darkness to find the light. Being business owners, we need to take a lot of risks to be able to be successful. There is no manual guide. There is no specific road map of how to navigate entrepreneurship. We have to take that risk, believe in ourselves, and never give up. There will be many obstacles and lessons that we are going to face during the journey, but that’s not a sign of giving up and not taking the risk to continue. That’s a sign to better ourselves as business owners and individuals. Read more>>

Stephanie Carlin | Singer/Songwriter & Creator of Truth School

I was raised to be careful and cautious – “Dont climb that tree! Don’t run too far!” It took a lot of unlearning to realize that my success requires risk. That if it feels risky, I’m probably on the right path. If I feel terrified, or at my edge, it’s become my job to run straight towards that feeling and say hell yes. And from there, I grapple with whatever limiting beliefs are keeping me fearful or committed to “safe.” Read more>>

Susan Rukeyser | Writer, literary event host, and occasional publisher

In 2017, I risked everything to move across country to live alone in the desert. I suppose, in the aftermath, I felt brave. A year later, then-President Trump tweeted that comedian Samantha Bee should be fired for her “horrible” language because she called his daughter Ivanka a “feckless cunt.” For me, this was a moment that changed everything. I could not take it – that man, claiming the moral high ground? I was about to turn 50, a radicalizing event for any woman, if she will allow it. I had never in my life had so little to lose. I decided to publish a book in response to this hypocrisy. Read more>>

Raven Watson | Photographer, Playwright, and Director

With risks , I have learned to weigh my options. I like to figure out how it would effect me positive verse negatively and decide if its worth taking. It’s always freighting to step out of your comfort zone. I’ve learned to lean into that because it’s supposed to be uncomfortable. You are trying something new. Explore and see what awaits you. Read more>>

Callie Wei | Concept & Visual Development Artist

Calculated risk is what got me to where I am today. In fact, it’s what continues to foster new windows of opportunity and growth. Growing up I had expectations laid out for me. My options were to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. As a kid I had no idea what these titles even meant. All I knew was that my parents were extremely hard-working entrepreneurs who sacrificed everything to make sure I had a good education and diet. I grew up believing I needed to work hard to make them proud and not let their efforts go to waste. Read more>>

Jack Jack | DJ

I believe that risks are necessary to learn and grow in whatever you do. As a DJ, there are times where I am presented with new, unfamiliar opportunities. I could always play it safe and stick with what I know, but taking that extra step to step out of my comfort zone is what drives me to be better. I would not have gotten to where I am today as a DJ if I settled for that comfortability. There is so much more out there to experience and explore. Read more>>

Wynter Alana | Influencer & Business Woman

I took a huge risk in 2020 when I decided to further my career by enrolling at Young Actors Space where I received top of the line on camera television training. I enrolled out of pure desire to become better at what I do. Even though I decided to enroll at the beginning of the pandemic, I gained access and insight specifically regarding commercial acting, television and movie theater. Ever since this experience, I felt a newfound confidence in my performance when acting and modeling. Studying at YAS allowed me to foster and nurture my skills during a time that was not so great. Read more>>

Aleece Braziel | Cosmetologist

Taking risk can always be a challenge but if taking that risk leads to something you really want then go for it. A few years back a took a huge risk and quit my manufacturing job to pursue my career as a hairstylist. I gave myself a year to prepare financially to leave my job with the intentions of attending cosmetology school. Every time I would think about leaving job security it would terrify me. But I overcame that fear and did what I wanted to do. Read more>>

Charyn Harris | Artist Manager, Author, Speaker, Professional Development Specialist for Musicians and Creatives & Host of The Charyn Harris Experience on SIRIUS XM’s Studio 54 Radio

There is adventure in being unpredictable and being a disruptor. If you play it safe and if you don’t take risks, how will you reach your true potential? How will you even know what you are capable of? What is the cost of taking the risk vs. the cost of not taking the risk? One risk I took was leaving my comfortable job at a large corporation and driving across the country to pursue a career as a musician. I had $800 saved in the bank and only knew one person in my new home in Los Angeles. This was an important pivot in how I viewed myself and my ability to reach my potential. Read more>>

Emily Riches | Editor & Publisher

Sometimes taking a risk leads to a big change, and for me it certainly did. I started freelance editing only a few months before launching Aniko Press, an indie publisher, in 2020 and producing my first literary magazine. That this was also at the beginning of the pandemic after I’d lost my job felt like a risk – financially, yes, but also on a personal level: what if it failed? For me, doing something “risky” in the moment often just feels like doing something difficult, uncomfortable or even impossible, but looking back has led to me doing something creative for work, something that I love, following my passions and interests, making connections and relationships I never thought possible. Read more>>