Risk is the most common topic that comes up in our conversations with entrepreneurs and so each week we ask entrepreneurs to talk to us on the record about how they think about risk.

Michael Munday: Dancer & Designer

Risk is something that I have to deal with on a daily basis. Being a black, gay, male, artist in America, is a risk. A risk that I was born into, and wouldn’t change for anything. I see the risk in everything I do. In what I wear, what I say, what I create, how I walk down the street, even as simple as how I look at someone out in the world. Its a feeling of always being at risk and knowing I am being seen as one no matter what. Read more>>

Vivianna Hernandez: Chef/Owner

I feel like taking risks in life is a must. Whether it be in your career or relationships. Its important first to believe in yourself and who you are and what you have to offer the world. Once you establish that you have to put yourself out there for the world to see. And cross your fingers that people can understand your heart and appreciate your vision. Read more>>

Omar Salas Zamora: Filmmaker

Being young and being from a place that feels almost antagonistic towards art and artists, you really must fight to make your voice heard. Being creative or expressive went hand in hand with being weak and that is something you must rewire yourself out of when you move to somewhere like Los Angeles, which for the most part has been welcoming to me. That move was the biggest risk of my life – to take a step forward and confidently say your point of view is worth something. Read more>>

Morgan Pine: Event Planner & Designer

Its all about the risks…the bigger the risk the bigger the reward. But there is something to a calculated risk…and that is what I practice. I always thought I was one to “fly by the seat of my pants”. But after a long conversation, I once had with my Dad, I realize I don’t. I weigh the pros and cons of everything I do, down to how I plan my day in order to be the most efficient with my time. Read more>>

Gooey: Artist and Designer

I believe risk is unavoidable if you want to create something new exciting and meaningful. Taking chances on yourself, starting your own creative practice and deciding you will make your craft your main source of income is a big risk, but it has amazing rewards. There is no such thing as “playing it safe”, for me playing it safe means you are putting your mind at ease and not getting challenged, risk is growth. Read more>>

Janel Foo: Stained Glass Artist

I wouldn’t be where I was today without taking risks. I left a good job to go back to school and enrolled in the Jewelry Design program at Pasadena City College. I didn’t really knowing where I was heading at that point but this is where I was taught by one of the best teachers I’ve ever had and where I was introduced to stained glass. To me, this was the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever taken and it completely changed my life. Shortly after I finished the program, I decided to go full-time with stained glass. Read more>>

Kelsey Norris: Showroom Director & Contributing Editor

Risk is the chance of anything happening, both good and bad. If you don’t take risk, nothing will happen. Anytime I feel stuck, I choose to take a risk. Read more>>

Khiyon Hursey: Writer

I think of risk as a natural part of life and an essential part of growth. Risk is essential to creating the most compelling, richest art so I always enjoy being challenged with it. One of the biggest risks of my career was moving to Los Angeles five years ago with no plan, no immediate connections and no source of income. But I think the risk pushed me to really grind and hustle and figure out my immediate community and how I could incorporate myself into the television world. Without risks, I would not be where I’m at right now. Read more>>

Kirsten Evans: Media Composer and Session Vocalist

Risk-taking is everything. You gain the opportunity to grow in uncomfortable situations, thrive whether you are acing it or improving from a failure, and you prove to yourself that you are capable of anything if you just try it out. Read more>>

Morgan Berry: Voice Actor / Recording Artist / YouTuber

I believe in taking risks that could possibly enrich your life. But I feel it’s smart to calculate the costs and weigh the pros and cons before taking those risks. Though I acknowledge that some risks don’t allow time to contemplate the possibilities. Read more>>

Nicole Delgado: Actor & Fitness Coach

How do you think about Risk? I think Risk is absolutely essential in living any semblance of a life that’s interesting, engaging, and meaningful. I more often than not ask myself, “what am I missing out on by NOT doing this?”, rather than, “what am I risking by doing it?”.  Read more>>

Glory Magana: Comedienne

First time I took a risk was when I was almost nine months old. I bit my mom’s hand with the little teeth I had to let go of me because apparently I thought I could walk at nine months. Well, she was right I couldn’t walk. I ran. My mom said she was surprised and stood still then it dawned on her that I was running, so she ran after me. Read more>>

Philip Nguyen: Photographer/Filmmaker

I firmly believe that we only grow from taking risk. I’m not talking about the “yolo”, “all-in” mindset but rather the calculated, well thought out risks. We accomplish the most when we step out of our comfort zone and take on challenges we never thought we were capable handling. Read more>>

Shannon & Natalie Shuman: Owners

We think risks are always worth taking when they’re calculated. To the outsider, our decision to upend successful careers, leave a dream home behind, and move to a foreign country to run a business in an industry in which we had no professional experience might seem like just betting it all on black. Especially in the midst of a pandemic when tourism was tanked. Read more>>

Brandi Benson: Veteran, Sarcoma Survivor, Speaker and Model

I think calculated risk is necessary. We are oftentimes scared of the unknown, but we can use this fear to guide us and fuel us if we embrace it correctly. I’ve taken many risks in my life, but they have all been precalculated. I am a very motivated person, and I know I will never allow myself to give up. The most significant risk I have taken was opening up to the world my story of having a rare and aggressive cancer called Ewing Sarcoma. Read more>>

Dailey Pike: Polymath

No risk no reward. Risk taking has been a big part of my life. Qutting a well paying but uninteresting job to start a career as a standup comic in the early 80’s is an example. But I ended up in Los Angeles and worked on hundreds of talk shows and sitcoms in the 90’s, appeared at the Hollywood Bowl and Apollo Theater, and met a cavalcade of stars. Read more>>

Jesse Nicassio: Fitness and Athletic Equipment Professional

If you are in business for yourself you have to take risks. You have to be ok with taking risks because you will be taking a lot of them. Just starting a business is a huge risk and then there will be many more opportunities to either take another risk or keep going down the same path as before which might not be bad but everyone is always looking to grow. Read more>>

Crystal “the Indigo” Torres: Artist, Musical Creator, Wellness Advocate

I think of risk taking as the optimist’s super power & a lifelong companion to every successful dreamer known to humankind. The highlights of my career have all been born from moments when I had the audacity to risk rejection & go for what was calling out to me. (ie. packing up my car and moving across country to Los Angeles, reaching out to an artist or musical director to explore the possibility of a tour or musical collaboration). Most of those time’s I’ll ponder two perspectives: Read more>>

ANDY GARCIA MORENO: DISTRICT PRODUCTION (CEO)

Risk-taking is something that my team and I think about on a daily basis. As a collective, we all try to come up with different innovative ideas to incorporate into each event. Sometimes the outcome can be really rewarding and feel like an amazing accomplishment, but there are those times where everything doesn’t go as planned. The only way to find out is to really take that leap of faith and trust your instinct. I like to think about these types of situations as “high-risk, high reward”. Read more>>

Abe El-Raheb: Screenwriter & Showrunner’s Assistant

Hey! I’m Abe and I’m a screenwriter based in Los Angeles. I work in the Entertainment industry, so risk-taking is a massive part of my day-to-day life, but the truth is that I come from a family of risk-takers. My father quit his job to pioneer a (then) new form of medical treatment by starting a company of Hospitalists. My mother has been a risk-taker her whole life through myriad different examples, but the most recent was starting a coffee shop, her first time working in the restaurant industry, in her 50’s. Having two risk-takers in my family inspired me to attempt a career in Hollywood. Read more>>

Tonya Sue TimeSaver: Virtual Assistant

Understanding the risks and benefits of all options is critical for effective decision-making. Unfortunately, none of us have the power to foresee the future. But as Wayne Gretzky said- “You miss 100% of the shots you didn’t take”. Read more>>

Andrew Benjamin: Musician, Songwriter & Educator

Life is risk, its just the nature of living. Following your heart and walking in your purpose is always going to come with roadblocks. It isn’t risk that has played a role in my life, as much as learning to assess it. The Success I have as a husband, musician, songwriter and business owner directly correlates with the one true constant in my life. And that constant is always facing risk with a high level of optimism, hope and faith. Read more>>

illunis: Band

Risk taking is a big factor of life. Sometimes, it’s real easy to get risk taking and gambling mixed up. In the music business, there are many risks that we have to take. Those risks are driven from previous data or experiences that we have encountered or overcame. Though there are times in life you might need to take a gamble. Read more>>

Benedikt Brydern: Jazz Violinist and Composer

Risk is an integral part of an artists life, although when starting out you usually don’t think too much about it. Usually you just “do” your art and present yourself. Many years later after having had plenty of experiences with projects, offers, promises and other music related things I started to think more about “taking the risk”. Read more>>

Chaz Cunningham-Coggins: CEO of Vinyls By Lady P LLC & Professional DJ Services for DJ Lady P

Life is full of risks, so to think you’ll never have to take a risk would be being dishonest and unrealistic to one’ self. The key is to determine which risks are you willing to take that will be worth it for you in the end. My Faith is my absolute foundation in all I do.  Read more>>

Catherin Cubillan: 3D Modeler

Personally, I’ve taken many risks in life, especially to pursue my dream career. I believe that taking risks is essential in order to pursue your goals. Not only it gives us a sense of exploration, but through the process we grow as individuals. It’s important to understand that not all risks will lead to success but it will benefit us regardless of the outcome. By failing, I learned that it has made me stronger and more resilient. Read more>>

Jenny Loya: Photographer

I have lived with anxiety my whole life. Risk-taking for me in my personal life is pretty minimal as I overthink everything. My photography career has been totally opposite. I love taking risks and trying new things to get that perfect shot. It has truly been an escape, and honestly, I think the greatest creativity comes from risk-taking. When working with clients, I want to give them the best images I can create. That makes me jump out of my comfort zone and into a place where I am ready to try anything. Read more>>

Olivia Cuartero-Briggs: TV and Comic Book Writer

Taking big risks in any facet of your life is terrifying, but I heard somewhere – and now, of course, I can’t remember where exactly – that “fear” is the same as “excitement”, the only difference is how you frame that sensation in your mind. I live by this. Whenever I am faced with a scary choice –  Read more>>

Tony Vivio: Behavioral Health Technician & Aspiring Storyteller

I’m someone who has lived by mostly taking risks. Risk is something that appears frightening at first, but it can ultimately be the best decision you’ve ever made. As someone who loves to perform, the biggest risk I ever took was leaving home and moving to Los Angeles in order to pursue my career goals. Some might think it’s very easy to do – but let me tell you it isn’t. Read more>>

Audrey Taylor: Prop Stylist

Risk involves overcoming fear, and doing anything creative involves risk. I tend to be a hard critic of my work and have found that I am able to bury fear by working through the challenges. The projects I’ve been the happiest with are ones where I faced those challenges. Read more>>

Jacob Kunysz: Artist

I think that risk taking has shaped every aspect of my life. As someone who grew up skateboarding, I learned at a young age that achieving success after taking a risk is one of the best feelings ever. Taking a risk makes yourself vulnerable, and I believe that vulnerability is a good way to both stay humble, and preform at your best ability Read more>>

Melissa Rodriguez: CEO and Publicist of MVRPR

I think taking risks is very important if you want to reach your goals. You can’t play anything safe because if you never step out on faith you will never know what’s on the other side. The role that risk taking took place in my life was changing my career at the age of 31 from being a full time Psychotherapist to a Publicist in the Entertainment industry. Read more>>

Tiffany Travillion: Attorney, Author and Entrepreneur

To be honest, I’ve never been a big risk taker. That may come as a surprise given that in 2009 I quit my full time job as a Deputy Attorney with the Indiana Attorney General’s office, sold my belongings and move to Los Angeles into an apartment I had never seen. What some call risk, I call faith. I knew that I wanted more fulfillment than I was getting in my role with the AG’s office and I always knew I wanted to start my own law firm.  Read more>>

Ulises Lozano: Latin Grammy Winner Music Producer

Risk is a very important topic to talk about, because we have to first understand de difference between Risk , Gamble, or to do a dum decision, to take risks in my concept is, once I already. evaluated all my options, also know that I can accomplish what I want to to even without taking the risk, then I decide if I want to take the risk. Read more>>

ARLOH KLEIN: Artist/Musician

I think risk taking is great and that everyone should do it once in a while. For me, it gets me out of my comfort zone which I think is something people should experience because change is always good. I will admit that I’m the type of person that will sit and think on something for a while until I’m sure of it but there have been times where being spontaneous were the best idea I’ve had. If it weren’t for taking risks, life wouldn’t be thrilling. Read more>>

Dr. Judy Ho: Clinical and Forensic Neuropsychologist, Tenured Professor, and Published Author

Risk taking and facing mistakes, blunders, and failures are a necessary part on the route to success and achieving your goals. It is so important to reframe failures as opportunities for learning and to accept that they are going to happen, so that you don’t become trapped in a cycle of avoidance because you want to play it safe, or because you’re afraid of what others might think (or what you might tell yourself) if you falter. Read more>>

Joe “Savage” Faavae: Founder, Island Block Network

I learned that taking calculated risks is a must in business and in life because it’s a necessity to grow and evolve. I was raised around risk-takers that bet it all and lost it all at times. My mother and father took a risk to migrate to California from Samoa and raise a family of 10. My father owned his own business as a painting contractor for over 40 years, which inspired me to become an entrepreneur later on in life. Read more>>

Maryia Bulka: Brand Identity & Packaging Designer

I believe that risk-taking is essential for growth both in life and career. It is at times easy to get comfortable where we are and nag about the circumstances. But to get different results or to be in different circumstances we need to change our ways. This is where the risk comes into play. Read more>>

Risha Rox: Fine Artist & Makeup Artist for Film & Television

In a nation that is not particularly supportive of the arts, to make artwork and put it into the world is always a risk. Very seldom is it a path that begins with funding and sustainability. I took the risk of believing in myself and my voice as an artist. This required a lot of internal work and faith. Read more>>

Flor Romero: Creative & Social Worker

I think of “risk” as a scarier synonym to “trying something new”. And since I like trying new things, I feel like taking risks comes easily, especially when it comes to my cards and overall life. My mom has always reminded me that life is too short, so when it comes to new opportunities, taking them has always been the move because we never really know what it may lead to. Read more>>