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.

Gabriela Grant | Creative Artist and Arts Advocate

Risk is liberating. It never feels comfortable and never feels “right”, but without risk it’s easy to plateau. In order to uncover who we really are and discover what “it” is for us, we have to task risks. When I first moved to Los Angeles, that alone was a risk. Therefore, I felt like I had taken “the risk” and could finally step back from making so many risky decisions; “finally get comfortable” is along the lines of what I used to tell myself. I have almost reached my one year mark in Los Angeles and in reflecting back I realize that risk is inevitable. Read more>>

Kay Eye | Music Artist, Actor, & Model

The way my mind is set up to think about risks has always been extremely calculated. Like I always look at all sides of everything. The view that I have on risks as a whole is that they are necessary in order to move anything in life forward whether it be career, lifestyle, finances, relationships, etc. In my opinion, the opposite of risks is stagnation. For me, my entire lifestyle is risk based because I’ve never been satisfied with normality. I always wanted more out of life than what I saw around me on a day to day basis. Read more>>

Ryan Luevano | Ryan M. Luevano | Playwright | Screenwriter | Talent Manager

Risk is my middle name. As someone who works in the entertainment industry, I take risks every day. It’s an ongoing challenge because risk has a best friend: fear. This four-letter word can be crippling. For me, fear is fuel and risk is a match. I take the risk, flick the match then let fear ignite and hope I don’t get burned—that’s it. As a writer I use the tools of my craft and life to write stories that are weird, unique and original it hopes that they will resonate, entertain and ultimately sell. Read more>>

Emma Hoeflinger | Musician (Vocalist, Guitarist, Songwriter)

Risk taking is such a fickle term. I think it changes just like we do as we make our way through life. So to me the “risk” is simply the nerve to make a choice regardless of the consequences, or rather despite them. I’d say my first big risk was deciding to go to school for music. I knew I was paying my own way and I knew that I was leaving home with the understanding I would be facing a lot of sacrifices down the road for my choice. Read more>>

Lorenzo Cosci | Director Of Music & Sound Designer

This is a brilliant question. It touches on a fundamental topic in modern society. We are taught from an early age to strive for security, pushed to fit into the universally accepted mold of getting a college degree, a stable job, starting a family, raising your kids to fit into the same mold and, eventually, die. My opinion is that being able to take risks is, perhaps, the most important aspect of anyone’s attitude. Life is whatever you make of it, and there’s no way around it: taking risks is a necessary step to reach your goals. Read more>>

Rachel Antone | Fashion Designer & Small Business Owner

Risk taking has played a huge role in my life ever since I was young! I strongly believe that in order to find who you are, achieve your goals, or figure out what you are meant to do in life you must take risks! No matter how big or small the risk, I think it helps to shape who you are and gives you a chance to step outside of the box, even when you may feel unsure of yourself. Read more>>

Blake Stargel | Real Estate Advisor and Investor

I think risk is the fuel to achieve our biggest goals and dreams. Very little in life that is worth achieving comes without it. It’s why some stay behind in safety and live an average life and others go on to accomplish monumental things. Realtionships are risky for the fear of heartbreak, quitting your job to pursue your own business is risky, but in the end taking these leaps of faith can lead to the most rewarding outcomes. Read more>>

Trishita Recs | Vocalist

When I was studying commerce in high school, one of the first things we learnt is that – the bigger the risk, the bigger the return. I truly believe in that statement and I have been following that throughout the course of my career. I think every single breakthrough I have been able to achieve, has been the result of huge risk. However, it’s always calculated and careful at the same time. Read more>>

John Ruby | Actor, Casting Professional, Acting Coach, & Podcaster

To me, being a risk taker is vital to living a full, meaningful life. It can be very easy to get comfortable and not leave that zone. But almost all of our growth and learning comes from taking risks in new areas. I’ve found that I have always leaned into risk. Whether that be trying something new, and not being afraid to fail. Or creating something that no one shows up for. I remember doing a two person improv show and there was one audience member and the waitress, coming in and out. But doing a midnight show like that, helped prepare me for where my career is now and the feeling of fearlessness that I feel at times. Risk can be internal or external. Read more>>

Jon Meggison | Actor / Model

To me i believe risk taking is everything & its how we all grow as people. It has played the biggest role in my life and career. When i decided to take the risk and pursue the career as in actor everything i did, every decision i made was a risk, because in this industry nothing is ever a guaranteed. So back in December of 2019 when i threw myself into this world i went to my first actors showcase in Los Angeles. It was called TCE – The Celebrity Experience that is hosted by Adrian R’Mante who is known for his iconic role as Esteban in the Disney show The Suite Life Of Zach and Cody. Read more>>

Kymberly Harris | Director/Writer

I find to tell truthful and personal stories, or to interpret stories uniquely, always involves risk. When an artist is willing to be courageous, you are not working with a comfortable, stereotypical, or formulaic vision. In fact, I think just having a vision is generally a form of risk, as you are somehow stepping outside of the norm. I suppose some brains thrive on memorizing formulas and repeating them and this is certainly a skill set. For me, my mind has always immediately embraced some impulse that leads me into creation. Often with a bent towards social consciousness. Read more>>

David Richards | Hair Color Specialist

I think as human beings we do everything possible to avoid discomfort and struggle. When given the choice we usually gravitate to what is most familiar or easiest. It makes sense! Why would we choose the unknown, the less secure option? However, if we do things the same way we always have, or the way that feels safe…what possibilities are we denying ourselves? Read more>>

Chris Recinos | Entrepreneur, Boxing & Fitness Coach, and Yogi

We are all risk takers; from the moment we wake up, every single decision we make has a risk. Taking risks is something we must do. Certain decisions, of course, have a higher risk than others. In my life, taking risks has been skewed to more serious consequences. For as long as I can remember, the decisions my parents and I made resulted in detrimental risks. However, I have been blessed by having a tough upbringing- not everybody goes through that or survives it. Read more>>

Brandon Isaac | Artist

I think of risk as bricks to build your artistic foundation. When you walk through door of “Risk” you are walking into the unknown. When you are in the space of the unknown that opens up the door to being uncomfortable. Uncomfortablity breeds growth. Through that process you get to experience what it’s like to become something; Or should I say discover a different part of yourself. I’ve fallen in love with that process and it’s played a big role on my artistic path. I don’t even consider them risk anymore. Read more>>

Ty Hands | Rapper & songwriter

I don’t really have an opinion when it comes to risks. To many, what I do and the steps I’m taking to get where I’m trying to go is a risk. But to me it felt like the right thing to do. Not everyone is dealt the same hand in life. So what May seek like a risk to you may not be a risk to someone else. People are so caught up in the “norms” that they forget their own individual strengths. I’m not excluded from that battle, I try to break myself out of it everyday. That’s Off-Road, “No Signal”…doing your own thin…paving your own path so no one can tell you anything. Read more>>

Na’eem Walon | Brand Consultant & Model

Taking risks has played a pivotal role, not just in my career, but also in the course of my life. I think risk taking is essential for growth because unforeseen opportunities usually arise, you develop new skills, and it’s a confidence builder. Read more>>

Rodney Gainous Jr | Founder & CEO

I think about risk as a necessary for growth. To do something new will always come with risk because you’re unfamiliar with what’s new. In practice, when I think about a situation or decision, I’m making my best guess at the probabilities of an event / outcome. Using those probabilities, I make bets based on what I’m willing to lose vs the upside of winning. Read more>>

Jordana Lorraine | Hairstylist & Brazilian Blowout Specialist

I don’t think of myself as a risk-taker. I’ve even described myself as “risk-averse”. But when I describe some of my decisions to other people, they tend to disagree. I guess this means that I am a measured risk-taker. I think things through, evaluate options, weigh risks and benefits, and look at the big picture. Then I make a decision, and dive in. Read more>>

Argel Cota | ‘Arhkota’ – The Avant Garde Artist.

My first risk was when I decided to come to Los Angeles, CA. at my 25 years old , leaving everything behind, friends, culture and my family. The risk of coming to do what I like the most “music” and bring it to another city, another Culture, is the most important risk I have taken in my life and the best. between highs & lows I have still been able to survive doing music for twenty two years as a session Drummer and solo artist. Read more>>

Camille Montgomery | Actress

There’s really nothing that compares to the freedom I feel when I’m embodying a character. My love for acting started in the theater. When I was 9, I performed in my first play. It was “The Mystery on the Waterfront” and I played the role of “Saucy,” which was not only the character’s name, but the epitome of how she carried herself. It was the first time that I experienced the magic of being onstage and exploring a character. Read more>>

Karmon DuPree | Founder & President

I believe that risk taking, in business is essential. Being able to analyze which risk to take, is vital. As a entrepreneur, being able to determine when to take a risk is also vital to your business. Read more>>

S3lf | artist & business owner

How to I think about risk? Well, first off risk is defined as exposure to danger. To me that means vulnerability. Risk is putting who you are , your belief, your faith out in the world and betting on you. Betting on you being able to survive. In order to risk, you will have to fully 100% belief in yourself. What do I think about risk? I believe thats all we got when it comes to fulfilling your purpose in this life. All that I am experiencing in life currently is due to the risk I took previously. Risk has provided answers to the “what ifs” i have in life and has created roads in my journey that did not exist. Read more>>

Michael Arinze | Photographer

I think about risk as short-term discomfort for long-term comfort. Temporarily stepping out of one’s comfort zone has the potential to open doors to unimaginable opportunities. Being reserved and timid growing up, I was always anxious being in the presence of people with authority or success. Being a photographer who focuses on capturing moments, a job that often requires me to be up close and personal with clientele, I’ve learned over countless interactions how to compose myself in a manner that is non-obtrusive yet close and intimate. Read more>>

Sarah Lotherington | Event Planner

What makes risk risky is the unknown. As Carmine Falcone once said to Batman: “You always fear what you don’t understand.” But during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, a popular opinion led many to abandon their old jobs (some by choice; others not) and venture into the unknown to start their own small business: the opinion being that it is often riskier to stay where you are and never attempt to fulfull your dreams. This can be true for two reasons: (1) staying where you are isn’t always as stable as you think and (2) you might have regrets at the end of your life if you don’t take a risk. Read more>>

Chad Carrier | Musician, Songwriter

I am a musician and songwriter. There is a lot of risks to be taken. It is an interesting journey in music. you have to take risks at most things you do in this business. You have to put together songs and other musicians to play music with you. It all starts with learning to play you have to show what you learned at some point. That is playing it to someone or group of people not knowing if they will like it. I started in room learning bass guitar and acoustic guitar then added a friend and eventually a full band. We started out playing cover songs at parties. Read more>>

JAWAN.mp3 | Singer-Songwriter

Risk-taking has led to some of the most significant rewards in my life and career. A recent example that comes to mind is me quitting my job at the start of the pandemic to pursue music. People thought I was crazy, but I had made up my mind about what I wanted and saw it as all or nothing. Definitely took a lot of practical steps before doing so, but I still took that leap and watched my life change. Not sure we’d even be talking today had I not bet on myself. I’ve been calling 2022 my “Year of Yes” (shout out to Shonda Rhimes), where I’m saying yes to everything that terrifies me. I see that fear is a signal, and I trust that on the other side of it is the growth I need. Read more>>

Jaclyn Taylor | Founder of Jaclyn Taylor Cosmetics & Zeena Digital Media

Risk is what got me to where I am at today. It’s important to take risks at the early stages of your career. When you take a risk and fail early on in your career, you learn something valuable and become more confident. I had my fair share of risks that failed, but I also had risks that were even more rewarding! I’ve gained so much knowledge and grew as a business owner by taking risks in my career. So if you’re under 30, take risks. Move to a new city, start a new business, start a new job, etc. You’ll learn more in three years of risk-taking than in your entire lifespan. Read more>>

Paulina Ulrich | Director

Risk management and risk/reward ratios are actually on the forefront of my mind quite often. I am not afraid of risk because you don’t get the rewards without the risks. My work involves putting in a lot of unpaid work to pitch on jobs or to sell to a production company. It takes a lot of investing in shooting projects that may or may not propel my career forward. There’s risk involved there in regards to spending time and money on things that may or may not pan out. So, I guess, risk taking also requires a certain amount of confidence and belief in yourself. Read more>>

evi (like chevy) kosciow | photographer

Risk taking has single handedly changed the trajectory of my life. I decided to move to NYC at the height of the housing market crash. I didn’t even have a solid plan, but I purchased a one way ticket and figured I would iron out the details once I got there. Some people call it impulsivity but I honestly believe its just listening to your intuition. I think the trick is acting on it right away before you can talk yourself out of it. Read more>>

Steph Hendrickson | Creative Director in Floristry + Balloons

I remember I was wanting to move into my dream apartment, and I called my friend and said “I can’t do this, I financially can not do this”. She responded with “If I didn’t say yes to the things that scared me, would you think id be as successful as I am?” That was a HUGE ah-ha moment for me. From that point forward I have said YES to the things that scared the crap out of me. If I get an inquiry and I doubt myself, I ALWAYS SAY YES. Read more>>

AnZhane Nae” Burrell | Wardobe Stylist & Creative Director”

When I first use to think about taking a risk, I always use to get so much anxiety. Fear would also be at the top of that list as well. I remember the first risk I ever took was moving across the country to go to college, where I didn’t know anyone! It was the scariest thing, at that time, that I had ever done. I remember my dad dropping me off and at that moment it hit me, that I had to really figure it out by myself! Whew, was that the best risk I ever took. Read more>>

Chef Jason Crain | Personal Chef & Kitchen Consultant

Success is catapulted through taking risk! It’s easy to stay in the area of comfort but growth comes from making hard decisions. When I made the choice to leave the grind of the restaurant world it was scary because I was comfortable with punching a time clock for someone else until I realized I was loosing myself, loosing my passion for cooking. Then I met my partner which helped me realize it was time to let that world go and focus on sharing my love for food and providing a culinary Experience the Crain Way!!! Read more>>

Thomas H. Stewart | Filmmaker, Producer, Director, Editor, and President of The WAZI Group

I believe risks play a part in every decision we make. The consequence of each decision is the cost that we pay. In business, you are invested in the mission of that business. All investments are at risk for a loss. However, in the event that you believe in that investment, It’s worth the risk. If it’s worth the risk. That’s a good investment. After Penn State, I decided to move my family to Los Angeles. That decision was very risky. The immediate result leads to a tiny apartment, a tiny salary, and 4 years of struggle. Read more>>

Ar’Tavia Harris | Master Cosmetologist

Life is full of risk. We are programmed from the time we are born to take conventional risk. I did not get a chance to make a decision on which conventional risk I would program my self to take early in life. But, once I became more aware of my autonomy I begin to choose risk that lined up with my desires for life. I’ve taken many significant risk some I’m not proud of , and others I am. I’m proud of the risk I took when I stepped away from my nursing career to pursue a career in beauty. Read more>>