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.

Julian Tate | Model & Creative Director

When it comes to my modeling and creative career, it easily feels like it’s entirely made up of taking risks. Like anything else, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of success but nothing is guaranteed. I’m going to model casting for fashion week fully aware that I’m about five inches shorter than they asked but if other shorter models can breakthrough, then why can’t I? Runway has always been harder than other modeling jobs like beauty but that just means I have to work extra harder to stand out. Read more>>

Kevin Eugee Wilson | Tv Executive Producer | Showrunner

Taking risk is EVERYTHING! In life and especially in business. How does that quote go “a life lived without risk is pretty much not worth living,” or something like that. My entire career was build on taking risk. Some worked some didn’t but I lived another day to try and make it work. Read more>>

Ofer Yakov | Creative Director and Owner of a video production company in Los Angeles

Back in 2015, I developed my video production and manage to help many brands to increase their profits and make a bigger impact in Israel, I felt that I’m looking for the next challenge and made the decision I want to move to Los Angeles. The main reason I wanted to do that was to take my filmmaking career to the next level and surround myself with inspiring and talented people. After officially getting the approval for my artist visa, I ordered a flight ticket and flew by myself to Los Angeles. Read more>>

Alex Ferreira Simoes | Mentor & Character Animator

Throughout my career, I had to make many decisions that involved a lot of risks. When I started learning animation in Brazil, the industry was really small and we didn’t have any good schools for the subject at that time, but I kept pursuing it on my own until I started studying at Animation Mentor, without good knowledge of English, I took the risk of leaving my day job in Brazil to study full time. Read more>>

Ella G. Burgos | Music Composer, Producer & Bass Player

Either being a business owner or starting your own creative project are both taking risks. Risks are all about making the changes for the life you want to live or what you want to become. Yes, you are jumping into the unknown, but as long as you have a plan and believe in it. It will become true. Read more>>

Samuel Hagai | Muralist & Oil Painter

Risk taking has given me my career, literally. I taught myself to paint at a young age, but it was only a hobby that I would share with friends and family. In 2015, after visiting my sister in New York City, I decided to leave the comfort and familiarity of my home in Israel and move to the United States. It wasn’t easy, as I didn’t know many people in the big city and I didn’t know the language. But I had big goals and America was the place to pursue them. In New York, I made the decision to turn my hobby into a full-time career. Read more>>

Ysabel Bain | Singer, Songwriter, Creative

Someone told me once that the scary part of taking a risk isn’t the first step, but the decision to keep stepping. Sometimes what we view as risks aren’t actually “risky” but because it’s something that scares us it feels like we’re risking something to get it done. I would never have described myself as a “risk-taker”. I was a very fearful person, and the few times that I’d stepped out of my comfort zone often resulted in situations that made me say “see, this is why I don’t do new things”. Read more>>

Douglas! | Artist

I’m a firm believer in “bigger the risk, bigger the reward”. With that being said, I know each risk I take, especially as an independent artist, has to be calculated. Taking risks has played a huge part in my career because they’ve allowed me to elevate my notoriety, pickup game by being in new places, and grow as both an artist and a man. Read more>>

Wayne Dunne | Business Development for Training Loft

Taking risk is more than just a willingness to take a chance and roll the dice. It’s a willingness to take a chance but have a clear understanding of possible outcomes. I hail from Dublin, Ireland and studied Actuarial Finance in university. I was lucky to receive a formal education in risk analysis. As an entity, risk became something to be respected & considered very carefully but not something to be feared. This played a pivotal role in my life & career. Read more>>

Cat Wright | Wardrobe Stylist and Writer

There wouldn’t be all of these old, wise sayings about risk and reward if it wasn’t true right? I’ve found that some of the risks I’ve taken, especially those that didn’t really come with much of a cushion for failure, have honestly led to some life-changing moments. The biggest jump I’ve made, is when I decided to quit law school and move to LA to pursue fashion. I didn’t have a job, an internship or really even a clue as to what I was going to do when I got here, just a gut feeling that I should make the move. Read more>>

Eva Tadros | Owner, Sole Paper Co.

I think risk is a huge part of succeeding at anything in life. Risk is a combination of fear of failure and optimism. I feel like you have to give yourself a pep talk prior to taking on any risk. Out weigh the pros and cons and go for it, if it makes sense. I often times find myself more proud of the risks I have taken in my business and personal life because these initial goals or projects mentally seemed so out of reach in my initial thoughts. Risk can be a mind game for sure. Once you pass the fear of doubting yourself and actually go for it, Read more>>

Alicia Hobbs | Fine Artist

It’s funny because risk has never really occurred to me in the moment. Risk taking is very much an analytical process and calculated way of thinking, and is basically the opposite of how I think as an artist. In hindsight, the choices I’ve made that have brought me to where I am now can all be written off as traditional risks, but really I was only doing what felt right at the time. I like to think of it as pursuing an opportunity rather than taking a risk, and the outcome will either work in my favor or it will be a learning lesson to build on. Read more>>

Alfiya Glow | Music Producer / Violinist / DJ

I believe risk taking is pretty much the essence of being an entrepreneur. I personally owe a lot to risk taking. It showed me the way to my multiple talents I would not have found out otherwise, beautiful connections, and success. If it wasn’t for continuous “not playing it safe” I would probably still be just dreaming and wondering what my career and life could be. Read more>>

John Aderotoye | Videographer/Photographer/Creative Director

I think risk is an integral part of creating the life you want to live. For as long as I can remember I’ve been a big risk taker, seeking every opportunity to elevate myself, whether it were in sports, academics or even in my personal life. At a young age I developed the mentality of “no risk no reward” that has helped me tremendously with my videography and photography career. After graduating college I took my first creative risk and purchased my camera and lens with high hopes that it would work out. I took the time to practice shooting and editing. Read more>>

Bryce Hodges | Music Video Director, Producer, and Entrepreneur

I feel like risk-taking is an important step towards being successful. If you don’t take risks and are scared of failing then you will never learn from your failures or mistakes. The greatest risk is not taking one. When you’re willing to throw everything on the line, that’s when life takes on a whole new dimension. With taking risks you have to break the routine and most people are scared to do so. People go through life playing it safe and this is like a living death. the only way you can become your best; you have to take risks and challenge yourself I know many people may view me as being successful. Read more>>

Andrew Long | Producer & Mix/Mastering Engineer

I think taking risks in life only progresses you forward and makes you a stronger, wiser and experienced human being. Sure, not all risks are worth it but for the one’s you’re willing to take, you grow in a way you might not even realize. As a kid/teenager, I had a fear of heights. One time I was at Knott’s Berry Farm with my girlfriend in high school and she really wanted me to ride a terrifying roller coaster with her but my fear was holding me back. Read more>>

Aleia Kristene | Screenwriter-Director, Author, & Actress

Ever since I can remember I have been a risk taker. My mom would probably agree. At a young age of 5, she had to come to my rescue after I decided to flip over a bar to roll down a metal slide in Kindergarten. I didn’t care that it was risky, or that I could possibly bust my head open (which is what happened). I just wanted to feel the adrenaline and try something different than the other kids. Haha! I’ve always been different. Read more>>

Erin Carere | Award-winning screenwriter, actress, singer.

For some reason science may never understand, I was born to a very stoic, sober, calm Midwestern family in the middle of Minnesota with a risk tolerance level unheard of in those parts. Of course, I learned, and continue to learn, over time, the value of being less fearless. For example, traffic will not always stop for you. Banking at midnight is not always safe. The Carolina Reaper (a pepper) is not for amateurs. Read more>>

Imani McCray | Photojournalist, and graphic designer

Risk-taking is necessary for innovation and progress. Pioneering change takes accountability and empathy for the individuals and collectives put at risk. If your livelihood isn’t wagered in your actions, it’s not your risk to take. Within my life and career, I found myself in situations where my well-being is on the line. Whether it’s to document a historical moment or deciding to not back down from adversity. I try to make sure the risk I take will only negatively impact me upon failure. As well as not endeavoring to pursue risks that can’t yield a positive impact for those in need. Read more>>

Kostas Siozos | Musician

If you don’t like to risk, you better stay home. That’s all. Do you wanna be success-full? Then you better risk. In my life, I risk all the time. I am where I am, because of that. When I was 23 years old, I took the risk to open a bar in my hometown in Greece with literally zero money. Bank loans & checks. Ten years later, I sold everything to move to Los Angeles. Do you know what I was hearing? Where are you going, you have a good life here, your business is great, why you risk everything for a dream? Because life is simple. I know what I want and I take the risk to follow my dreams. That keeps me alive. Read more>>

Erika Porter | Yoga Instructor & Student

I’m not sure I would have described myself as a risk taker in my 20s. But after working in the world after college for the last 12 years, I have come to realize just how much of a risk taker I actually am. I didn’t grow up in a traditional household. Meaning, my parents didn’t get a job and keep it for 40 years with all the benefits and retire and move to Florida. They tried that because that is just what their generation did, but it didn’t work out that way. They may see that as a failure in some aspects, but I actually appreciate that I saw a different way of doing things. I also do not feel the pressure to follow those traditional standards. So really, to be very frank, I didn’t choose the entrepreneur life on purpose. Read more>>

Nathan Han | Intrapreneur & Director of E-Commerce

I tend to be a person who is not afraid of risk, but if I said that risk didn’t keep me up at night, I would be lying. Risk, to me, is very dynamic and certainly isn’t the same from person to person. Risk is unpredictable, can have due dates, can rely on other people’s ability to achieve in their role, and so on, but the best opportunities come from taking risks. This, in my eyes, makes risk-taking a lot of fun. It is a chance to bet on yourself, your team, etc. and to achieve something with low probability for success and be better off from it. Read more>>

Janelle Marie | Actress & Yoga Teacher

The word risk can imply that if we don’t succeed as we would have liked then we failed. I have learned there is no failure on our journeys. There are just lessons and opportunities for growth. Every time we take a risk we step into a world of unknown results but that is where the growth and ultimately change comes. I’ve had to take many risks, moving to a new city on my own, starting a new career, ending a career and beginning again, putting out your art, your truth, and being vulnerable. Sometimes these risks have paid off right away other times there were valuable lessons learned. Without these risks I simply wouldn’t be where I am. Read more>>

Kristal Pitts | Wax Specialist/Entrepreneur

In my opinion, risk taking is the the thing all business owners have in common. It’s scary to open up a business, let alone, even allow yourself to imagine you can be successful running one. Taking risks has been the sole driver of our company. I woke up one day, felt I could do everything I was doing for another company on my own and went for it. It happened so fast, with not much thought behind it, but I had this overwhelming feeling of belief in myself. Both my sister and I have really strong support from our family, which I feel allows us to feel free to take risks. Read more>>

Leah Korican | Visual Artist & Poet

Call it what you will; risk-averse, sensitive, anxious, neurotic, I am not a big risk-taker. What seems easy peasy to others can feel like a huge risk to me. I will not be jumping off a giant rock into a lake or getting a spontaneous tattoo. I like repetition, routine, and the familiar. Perhaps this comes from a chaotic childhood, a legacy of refugee parents who fled the Holocaust, or anxiety hardwired in my Ashkenazi genes. Read more>>

Yan Ling Weng | Reiki Master | Yoga Instructor | Investor

What is so attractive about Los Angeles that I quit a high paying finance executive position in New York City 11 years ago, and moved to LA without any prospect for work, nor a circle of friends and family who I can count on? Before this decision, I had such mixed emotions when my boyfriend had asked me to move out to LA with him. Shall I stay or shall I go? I was excited and scared at the same time. Oh Yan, do you know what you are doing? Read more>>

Denton Adams | Writer, Director, Producer

Risk-taking, to me, is all surrounding the identification and element of faith. For me, I’m a God-fearing man who knows that the decisions we make sometimes have to come with unforeseen results, although deep down inside, we believe it will all work out for us. In my life, I’ve stepped out on faith and taken risks to follow my dreams as a storyteller and filmmaker. I worked for the federal government for ten years following graduating from film school. I challenged myself to produce several independent short and feature films in the Washington, DC area during that decade. In 2015, Read more>>

Brittney Perry | Founder of PerryCo Shoes

I think of risk as being uncomfortable with uncertainty. There’s no guarantee that you will see anything back in return for what you sacrifice. I’d say risk taking has become the norm throughout my adult life starting in high school. I quit basketball and decided to run for a class office position. It was way out of my comfort zone and I actually had to create a campaign to get people to vote for me and I ended up winning. It was this single event that gave me the confidence to step outside of my comfort zone and go for whatever I set my mind to. Read more>>

Michelle Suzanne Snyder | Entrepreneur, Advocate, Artist & Writer

When most people talk about risk – especially as it pertains to business, they talk about security. Security is nice, but it doesn’t reflect the whole picture. From my perspective as an entrepreneur, writer, artist, and activist – I see a need for a different sort of conversation. What we should be talking about is power. Read more>>

Dane Drewis | Singer/Songwriter/Producer

I’ve always been a “gambler”….and not super risk-averse. I think taking risks is absolutely necessary…no progress can be made by being complacent and staying in your comfort zone. I’ve taken a lot of risks, and I’ve missed out on some opportunities by not taking risks. I’ve learned that if you follow the path that you’re meant for, things will all work out. Just have to have faith in yourself and in the process. Read more>>

Omar Akrouche | Music Producer & Audio Engineer

Simply put, the whole thing is a risk. I know that sounds dramatic, but I really think it’s true… I feel like I’ve learned to love risk and to actually use it to my advantage. Taking on jobs that I might feel unqualified for, buying a piece of gear and figuring out how to to make it pay for itself later, sharing art, being vulnerable, trying to make a living working in music, etc. Read more>>

Seth Pringle | Artist & Curator

Failure needs to be built into your expectations. If you’re not failing with some regularity, you’re not being ambitious enough and therefore probably not realizing your full potential. Risk needs to be calculated though. Small risks can be taken on a weekly or daily basis while big risks should probably be staggered and given time for consideration, Read more>>

Cheng Guo | Character Designer, Visual Development Artist

For risk, I think it is inevitable if we want to make changes to our life. For me, I strongly feel it before every important decision I made for my future path. In fact, lots of my anxiety come from the consideration of the decision making because I am so worry about taking risk personally. That makes me prefer the option that is more safe push me to be more conservative some times. Read more>>

Cambria Kelley | Poet, Artist & Educator

Risk plays a significant role in my life. My life has been full of risks, big and small and has taken me very far. For example, continuing graduate school right after college and uprooting my life in LA to living in NYC has been part of that. I could have stayed and waited a year and everything aside, but I chose not to. Risk is just a natural part of life in my opinion and everyone has to take risks some way or another. My practice as an artist, writer, poet, and educator is a risk in itself. Read more>>

Claudia Whitney | Certified Hypnotherapist, and Life & Business Coach for Women

Looking back on my life, I don’t think I realized what a risk taker I really am! Growing up, my parents did not shape me with their expectations. At the time, I felt like they did not care, and I held it against them. They couldn’t help me financially, so it was always up to me to figure out a way to make it happen. And now, when I look back, I see how them not pressuring me to do what they thought would be best or being able to help me pay for college turned me into a woman that figured out a way to make all my dreams come true. If it was to be – it was up to me! And I never had the feeling I was going to disappoint anyone. The only approval I needed was mine. Read more>>

J’lan Oliver | Singer & Model

One would define the term risk, as a situation involving exposure to danger. As a Black man living in America every time I step outside I’m risking my life. As an individual pursuing a career in something I’m a passionate about, I think that’s the biggest risk anyone could take. Risks are an essential part of growth, without them we wouldn’t know what we are truly capable of. Through out my life and career I’ve taken a lot of risks, some situations turned out to be better than I could’ve imagined, and some not so much. Read more>>

Jessica Williams | Fire-Spitting Resume Finesser & Jobsnatcher

Put up or shut up! That’s the thought that runs through my mind when I think about taking risks. Risks create opportunities and unforgettable moments that playing it safe will never stir up. Risk is dang near a necessity in this life of mine-especially in this career path I’m embarking on. Read more>>

wendy parr | Holistic Artist Coach. Founder of the Parr Method + The Artist’s Circle

Risks Friends have often remarked that only I could pull off an outfit, that I have courage for traveling to Turkey alone, living in India, taking up riding at 40, (and by riding I mean galloping on ex race horses through the field La of upstate New York my second time in the saddle), having kids at 50 and I can see why people say it but I don’t see them as risks. Read more>>

Kash Young | Hip Hop Artist

i feel that life is all about risk. from wanting to go on a interview for a new job or thinking about leaving and becoming the entrepreneur you always wanted to be, trying a new restaurant, or giving the person that has been pursuing you a chance for a date. All of these are different levels of risk of course and require a level of discernment. But i feel without risk we wouldn’t be able to do the things we do on a day to day basis. Read more>>

Savannah Griggs | Bakery Owner

I think taking risks are what truly develop you personally and professionally. We spend the first 20 ish years of our lives being told what to do, how to do something, what to eat, when to sleep, how to feel and while having parents, teachers and coaches guide us as we begin to grow, constantly being told what to do will condition us to stick to what we know, stay in our comfort zone and always do what feels right. But it’s not until you start taking risks that you really get a glimpse of what life can be like if you just say, I’m gonna do it and I’m all in. For me personally I was that way. Read more>>

Jack Crow Buckley | Florist

Before becoming a florist, I was working in production as a set dresser and PA for a stop-motion studio when I realized it wasn’t making me happy. I’ve always believed in a very hippie-like attitude of “trusting the universe” and so I quit my job and did exactly that. I stopped working in production after years of being in that industry and began to follow a more creative outlet. Read more>>

Paul Lacques | Songwriter, guitar player, producer

Risk informed my life from pretty early on. I was on a solid academic path, majoring in geology and Latin at UCLA, but I’d started playing guitar in my last year of high school. Totally irrational, but music took over, I dropped in and out of UCLA, and finally chose music for keeps. I was a bluegrass, folk, and blues fanatic, stealing guitar ideas off records and seeing my heroes in concert, ignoring my parents’ concern over their dropout son. Read more>>

Aedan Carden | Artist, Singer, Songwriter and Producer

I think about risk as a brave man’s game! The role risk taking has played in my life /career, i would have to say a really big part. My career started at 16 years old, born and raised in a small pueblo, in Mexico. As a kid when i was growing up, i always had big dreams of moving to Paris. So that’s what i did at age 18, my brother age 19 set to embark on a journey for something way bigger than our hometown. We left to Paris with $1,000 to share and never looked back since. Read more>>

Dyan Lopez-Fiamengo | Professional choreographer, dancer, actress, and business owner.

I have been taking risks since I was in fourth grade. “My motto was never let your fears get in the way of your fun”! As a child I had a lot of fear. I am not sure where it came from but it really didn’t fit with my bigger than life and adventurous personality. I just couldn’t let fear hold me back if I wanted to do anything worth doing in life. Read more>>

Phillip Lewis (P. Lew) | Photographer & Cinematographer

I believe risks are super important in order to succeed in this industry. The biggest risk I took in my career was moving out to LA with a couple hundred dollars on me and no plan to how i would make it– i didnt even have a place to stay when i moved. Read more>>

Karon Clerk | Storyboard Artist, illustrator & Fine Artist

I think of risk as a vital ingredient for success for artist in general. I feel that risk are needed for us to elevate to the next level in both our craft and our personal growth. All the risk I’ve taken as an artist has helped me grow so so much. Though in the moment it might’ve felt like I was going through hell but it always lead me to a better place. Read more>>

Melissa Olguin | Photographer & Product/Interior Stylist

Taking risks have always been a scary though. Many times the risk I think I want to take, I’m too scared to take. I end up thinking of all possible outcomes of why it won’t work. I’ve come to learn that life is about taking risks. Whenever I have taken a risk, whether it was something that worked out or not, some thing good has come out of it. I was always able to experience something I never thought I would be able to experience if it wasn’t for taking that risk. Read more>>

Patricia Williams | Colourism Cosmetics, CEO

Take it. Don’t wait for a perfect moment, it’ll never happen that way. Just take it. Many people never get the life they want because they are so content and afraid of being extraordinary. You can’t expect to change your life for the better if you are hiding behind fear and resisting taking risk. What’s the worst that can happen? You fail? Then try again. If then you fail again. Read more>>

Sima Cohen | Entrepreneur, Producer, Author and Life Coach

I feel like ever since I was a little girl growing up in a place with no resources, no money, and no positive role models I had a burning desire to break the cycle. I wanted to dream big and accomplish the unimaginable. Some people call it risk; I call it following your intuition. I’ve always loved being a business owner and getting the opportunity to create jobs for others. Risk taking is a vital part of building your own company and being an entrepreneur. Read more>>

Humberto “The Chori-Man” Raygoza | Artisan chorizo & sausage maker & business owner

For me, taking a risk is grabbing unexpected opportunities that open up for you when you least expect them, and especially when they scare you the most. It’s the only way to learn and grow. If you aren’t taking risks, you are settling. And that to me, has always been unsettling. The Chori-Man began when I took a huge risk, and sold everything I owned, even my bike, to start my chorizo operation from my one bedroom apartment. Read more>>