How do you think about risk? What role has taking risks played in your life/career? Check out responses from hidden gems from our community below.

Mike Munich | Entrepreneur & Intuitive Healer

I see risk taking an expression of vulnerability, innovation, and faith. We typically perceive risks as involving big life-changing decisions of no return— quitting that job, moving across the country, or asking out your best friend’s ex. But risk taking can be much more internal. It takes a lot of courage to look deeply at oneself and challenge one’s beliefs, values, or ways of being. Risk taking can be something as simple as having an uncomfortable conversation, telling yourself “I love you,” or signing up for that wig making class at the roller disco. The ultimate risk is when we risk what we know to broaden our perspectives and become who we are really meant to be. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t taken some major risks— coming out at the age of 16 (risking expulsion from a Catholic high school), dropping out of college in pursuit of a dance career. Read more>>

Chihsuan Yang | Multi-Instrumentalist, Performing Artist & Songstress

Risking taking is a mindset. I think that is part of where courage comes from. Changing the feeling of anxiety and fear into the feeling of excitement. We are all much more courageous when excited rather than when anxious and fearful. To me, courage is something you have or do not have from the inside. It can be exercised but some people just naturally possess it. However, as long as you are willing to work extremely hard, think creatively, and ask others for help when needed, you can accomplish your wildest dreams.  As a native of ­­Taipei, Taiwan. Moving to a different country when I was 15 was a true test of my adaptability, courage, and character. The prospect of continuing my education overseas both scared and excited me. Some would say that becoming a successful musician is one of the most difficult career paths to go down. Read more>>

JC De Luna | Teaching Artist & Guitarist

I started taking risks from that day I’ve decided to pursue music. It is a sink or swim industry and that means that you are taking a risk all the time. You have to bring your “A” GAME every time you perform, every time you teach, and every time you communicate with anybody because you could get cut any second. There is a small room to learn your ways around the industry and making that one mistake could derail your career. It is important to understand that you have to prepare and practice even if you are not expected to perform. There is this one quote that I would like to share from one of my guitar books and it just hit me when I’ve read it the first time (“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Read more>>

Cameron Cohen | Fine Artist, Makeup Artist & Lash Extension Artist

I believe the only way to live your dreams is to be a risk taker. Through my life I have had many careers from being a Jewelry Designer to a Makeup Artist/ Lash Extension Artist and now I am a Fine Artist. The unifying thread that weaves them together is that I have always followed my passion of creating beauty and evoking joy through my craft. I live by the line, “If you build it, he will come.” from the film Field of Dreams, Sometimes you have to just go for it and have confidence that if you follow your passion others will want to be a. part of it. When I left the makeup studio where I was working, to go out on my own, I had to take that leap of faith that I would be able to make a living. I started over with less than half of my client list. I quickly built my business where I had a full client roster and was now living my dream…working less and making more! Read more>>

Danielle Jo | Jewelry Designer

We all have to take risks or we risk losing out on experiencing life to the fullest. For me, fear ruled over my ability to do so in my younger years. Here’s an example of my earlier years and my first real risk I took. Since I was a kid, music has been everything to me. I loved to sing and fantasized about being a famous singer, but I feared anything that put me in the spotlight. In high school, I wanted to do talent shows and such, but at auditions I would walk up to the mike and just giggle while my body trembled. I was so afraid of not being chosen, that I was not good enough, or would completely forget the melody and lyrics. I just couldn’t do it then. Fast forward to college years and I finally got the courage to audition for a band. Took me 30 mins to get the courage to breathe one note, but I did it and started my own underground band in NYC that I had for 16 years. Read more>>

Natalie Yco | Private and Group Fitness Trainer & Co-founder

Until now, I’ve never truly thought about risk being an integral part of my life and career. It literally dawned on me that my entire career has been based off of risk. I received a B.S. degree in Sports Management. I could’ve continued on the path of working a 9-5, with the security of a salary and benefits. Instead, I chose the life as a fitness professional and owner of an activewear brand. Having my own business offers it’s perks, however, it’s a constant hustle. As a personal trainer I can never assume each month will be the same. It’s like a roller coaster. Same idea owning my own activewear brand. When starting my activewear company, my business partner and I didn’t fully understand how saturated the activewear industry would become. So when reading this question, I realized that I risked quite a bit for the career I have. I risked a potentially secure job with a regular salary and benefits, to a life of uncertainty. Read more>>

Cersha Burn | Professional Dance Artist

I think risk is unique and individual to each person. Something I might think is risky may not feel like a risk to somebody in a different position than I am in whether it be life, love, financial or physical risk. Risk is an act on which an individual extends themselves past what they in particular think their capabilities are, whether the results can be or is measurable. It is when an individual decides on taking a step into an outcome that is truly unknown to them. I think risks are exciting because of their unpredictability and can only put an individual more firmly on their path. Risk has played its biggest part in my life AND career when I made the move from Australia to the United States of America. The decision was always in the back of my mind for years, I always wanted to live and work as a professional dance artist internationally and when the chance came there was no doubt about it. Read more>>

Nalini Arora | Footwear & Accessory Design Consultant

I learned at a very young age that without risk there is no reward. My father was an entrepreneur. I remember as a little girl seeing my father try and do different things. I never sensed fear but the excitement of what could be. I’ve seen him fail, and then all of sudden be driving a convertible Mercedes. So, I always sensed he was driven, fearless, and maybe a little crazy. Having seen that in my life, I knew that if I wanted something in my personal life or career that I had to take risks. When I was working for brands and saw that I was not moving up in the company, I was bored, or I was being chained to my desk to work, I knew I had to take matters into my own hands. I decided to go freelance, and in fifteen years, I’ve never looked back. Yes, there are good months, bad months, years, etc., but I feel what I’m creating is greater than sitting an office being a worker bee for a company. Read more>>

Tandya Stewart | Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger

I am all about balance. I believe in making smart decisions as well as taking risks. When I first quit my full-time corporate job, to follow my dream of being a blogger, I was taking a huge risk. I always say the biggest risk, has the biggest reward. Leaving the security of my job, was one of the scariest things I’ve had to do, but I am so glad I did it. I love what I do. I love creating content, editing photos, and being my own boss. Read more>>

Eric Buss | Builder of Treehouses and Play Structures

I’ve always been a big risk taker. I started practicing magic and comedy at age 16. Once I got serious about it, I never really had a back up plan for a career. Having a back up plan seemed like admitting failure to me. After college I moved to LA to pursue comedy, magic, and acting. It didn’t seem risky to me. I knew it would be difficult. But it was too exciting to worry about the hard parts. Taking that risk paid off. Since moving to LA, I’ve been a professional comedy magician for 22 years. To further my risk taking habits I studied and graduated from The Second City comedy improv school in 2007. The motto of an improviser is “Yes, and.” When in a scene you always agree with what your scene partner gives to you, AND add on to it. “Yes, And-ing” is also a great motto for life. Read more>>

Zac DelVecchio | Founder

I think people over complicate risk. Often I hear people describe risk as something to be fearful of or even something to be proud of. To me, if one chooses to enter the world of entrepreneurialism, risk is something that just occurs every day and should be accepted and embraced. For any circumstance, one must look at all the facts honestly then make the best decision even if it goes against one’s initial thoughts. After you made your decision you simply have to see how it plays out! You know what? sometimes you’re wrong and that’s ok. One can’t beat themselves up over it, just learn from the lessons and move on until the right outcome is achieved. In my career, every day I am presented with new opportunities and I have found that the risk of failure is no longer on my brain. What worries me now is the risk of investing time into projects that ultimately fail when that same time can go towards nurturing and improving my other existing projects and businesses. Read more>>

Justin Worley | Owner & CFO

By definition, entrepreneurs take risks. In my experience, the most successful people learn to embrace risk as a learning tool. For example, Steve Jobs said “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” As we all know, Jobs went on to great accomplishments and was quoted saying,“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” When I was twenty-four years old I took the risk to start my first business and it was an epic failure! In my mind, failure wasn’t an option and I was surprised when I quickly burned through every dollar in my savings account. How did this happen? Why was I forced to be back on the job market looking for employment? It was a very humbling experience. But this failure taught me valuable lessons that shaped my future. Read more>>

Christina Santini | Clinical Nutritionist Specializing in Biological Medicine

I love adventures. I think life is about creating yourself and your own adventure – taking risks to figure out what works and what doesn’t. I have always travelled extensively on my own from I was 16. I love the unpredictability of waking up to a new day doing exactly whatever I feel like doing, no compromises and never knowing what will happen next. I think that is amazing – discovering new places and faces, and just navigating according to whatever comes up along the way. I backpacked on my own around Asia when I was 18 and this was before smartphones, so you navigated with maps and that was it. I had no plans, but just woke up every morning and went wherever the day would take me. I was traveling in Burma during the guerilla conflict, so there were no other tourists there, and I was staying with various tribes that I stumbled upon, It was amazing: you’d take a boat down a river with some locals, no one spoke English and you had no idea, where you’d be staying that night, but things always worked out. Read more>>

Christy Bareijsza | Founder & Chief Experience Officer

Risk is an absolute part of life and when combined with blind faith, critical to achieving success. My entrepreneurial career was built from a combination of passion, continued education, a healthy sense of competition and the awareness that goals cannot be reached through complacency. In my own personal experience, my proudest moments have been driven from making an unconventional decision, often not fully acknowledging that the result could end up being an utter disaster. I am a firm believer that preparation is key to achieving your goals and if you have truly done the work building up to the opportunity, the reward behind the risk will always prevail. Read more>>

Grace Pei | Designer

To me personally, risk is something to look forward to. I am not a girl who can live with routine life, (not that I don’t think I should have, at least my mom does) I went to England to pursue my study at a very young age. I quickly learnt there are loads of interesting things and people I have never heard of and experienced of. Risk is considered as dangerous in my culture and we should try our best to avoid it. One of my mentors at University of Durham opened my eyes and told me how far a person can go if you follow your heart and spend all your time wisely and chase your dream. I started my career in Finance and Investment in the United Kingdom for four years before I moved to San Francisco. I quit my job and quickly moved to the U.S.A. in a month and could not wait to start new adventure. I was fortunately enough that a huge public company hired me immediately and I worked in the Finance team for over two years. Read more>>

Stacy Michelson | Illustrator & Food Journalist”

I feel like you gotta risk it to get it, right? If you believe in something, it’s always worth it to just go for it, otherwise you’ll never know! I think putting myself, my art, my ideas, and humor out there can feel scary or make me nervous sometimes, but I tell myself to just do it, because awesome opportunities/ jobs/people are on the other side. Early in my illustration career, I gave myself jobs that were food focused and I posted them on Instagram. No one asked me to do these things, they weren’t paid jobs or anything, they were just things I was interested in and wanted to explore and thought–hey, maybe other people will like these too. If they were based on a podcast, article, or book, I would tag the people involved. Read more>>

Jenna Taylor | Owner

I’m a big risk-taker. I always have been. For me, risks equal rewards, whether I “succeed” or “fail.” I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I would say the first big risk I took was in 2005 when I packed up everything I owned and moved to California without knowing a single person or having a job. I just knew, even though I loved Wisconsin very much, that it was time to spread my wings and try something new. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. There were definitely a lot of sleepless nights and many tears, but after I settled in, found a great job, and met some awesome people that risk became one of the greatest rewards of my life. I’m still here and loving every second of it. I would say the second big risk I took was in 2015. Well, it started years before that. I had been really sick with an autoimmune disease called Lupus. Read more>>

Juliana Sorelli | Artist, Designer & Film Director

I have always been the kind that takes risks, even as a child, it always seemed to be more fun and interesting than safety. It made me do some very stupid things but nothing I ever regretted and my life has never been boring. Because of it I have seen, done and tried many things, met all sorts of people. I m 32, and not that I would want to die today, there is a lot I want to do but if the world was to end I would say that I have lived a very full life already because I have never hesitated to take risks. Read more>>

Robyn Young | Brand Cultivator & Creative Agency Founder

You can’t have big results with small actions. Most of us stay small, not because there’s a lack of opportunity but because we don’t think big enough. I’m a calculated risk taker. I’ve definitely bet (and bet big) on myself time and time again in my professional career – not always with big investments but with brave leaps. Sometimes it was quitting a job with no safety net, or starting a business while I was pregnant. I have found that the more I trust myself and stop second-guessing my intuition, the farther and faster I grow. Read more>>

Erin Rose Ward | Yoga, Meditation & Breathwork Teacher

For me, what feels in alignment is what has brought me the most joy and peace to follow. Even if it seems like a risk, I know that following intuition and one’s truth will always bring goodness. Sometimes it doesn’t look or turn out the way I planned, but that feeling of action in alignment with truth is always worth it. I also heard someone say the other day “follow your hard.” If it is bringing up the discomfort or the butterflies, but something in you is nodding yes, then that’s where you go. Read more>>

Francesco Sinatra | Owner & CEO

“Memento Audere Semper” is my motto. (remember to always dare). At the age of 19 I walked out of my father’s house after a big fight. I didn’t have anything with me. From that moment I decided I would try my best in every job i would have taken, in every relationship i would have started, and in general with my life and where it would have taken me. I decided I wanted to become a journalist, and I did, in 3 years I was working for the most important newspaper in Italy. when I wanted to learn English, I took a flight to Los Angeles and I moved. I worked as a busboy in a family restaurant in West Hollywood, and when I start speaking English (in the main time I learned also to speak Spanish), I moved up as bar-back, then bartender, waiter, and manager of a restaurant, until I felt it was the time to open my own Italian restaurant. Read more>>

Toby B. Hemingway | Writer, Musician & Retailer

The strange thing about risk is that I haven’t always felt like I was taking one at the time, but in hindsight I was. I have always been careful not to get too far ahead of myself and to take on risks that I feel confident I can handle. ‘What do I have to lose?’ has always been the key question. But I’ve also been incredibly lucky and had support from family and friends. That’s important, too – feeling like you’re not taking on a risk alone, even if it is completely your endeavor. Moving to the USA at twenty three was a risk, but I didn’t feel like I had a lot to lose at the time. When I was close to finishing high school, a teacher took me aside and said he thought I wasn’t pushing myself far enough. I remember he said “You have to take a risk. You could drown swimming in the ocean, but imagine being able to swim and never going in the ocean because you’re afraid of drowning.” I like swimming in the ocean, so I guess it stuck with me! Read more>>

Indeana Underhill | Director of Photography

I believe that risk = growth and opportunity. Allowing ourselves to take a risk in any area of our life gives us a chance to push past old boundaries and connect with something unexpected within ourselves, our art, or other people. Whether it’s skydiving, trying on a new approach on a film set, or walking up to a stranger at a networking event (which can feel like the scariest one of all), it all equates to growth. You can’t really fail when you take a risk, you can only learn a way to do something better next time, and perhaps even create something new and entirely your own. In the film industry, opportunities for risk-taking are everywhere. We are always working in the mindset of minutes: How many minutes do I have for this lighting setup? For this company move? Until lunch? Into grace? Trying on a new lighting approach is inherently risky because you have significantly less certainty of the outcome. Read more>>

Megan Dostal | Founder

I think that taking the step to start your own business is incredibly risky. That said, there are degrees to riskiness. We have always been on the lower level of risk mostly because we started Further after we had started our family. We had bills to pay and mouths to feed so the idea of “risking it all” was not possible, for us. We could not invest every penny we had or “roll the dice” to see if a big launch was worth it. We have grown slowly, by design and for us, this has worked well. We bring products to market when we know the desire is there, we do most everything in-house and we run very lean. This might not work for everyone. There is something fun about wanting to hire an amazing packaging designer, build-out an incredible office and warehouse and so much more – right off the bat! But we remain more concerned with actual success than perceived success. Slow and steady wins the race, right? Read more>>

Georgette Angelos | Film Producer

In the words of Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” From the moment I packed my bags to move to Los Angeles. Taking a job as the House Photographer of a big record label before I owned my own camera. That job led me to film. My first Associate Producing job got me hired as the Head of Production of Snoop Dogg’s Media Label, Merry Jane, at the age of 24. I resigned to Produce the now 5-Part Docuseries on George Jung’s life, who the movie BLOW is based on. I guess the point I’m trying to make here is, the worst that could’ve happened is I had to go back home. Read more>>

Paige Padgett | Author & Founder

I’m a risk taker. I believe no risk no reward. But I do think risk should be measured. Your current life circumstances should dictate that amount of risk. Risk taking has only a large role in my career. I was a pioneer of green beauty over 15 years ago when on one was talking about green beauty and. few cares about it. It was especially difficult as a professional makeup artist. Editors, agents and artist said it was impossible to be a green artist and create beautiful faces.. but I found the right agent and it paid off for me. Now it’s on trend to be green. Read more>

Betty Fraser | Executive Chef & Event Producer

Risk or opportunity? It’s all in the way you approach it, in my opinion. We’ve all heard the adage, is the glass half empty or half full? Life is all in the way you look at it. For example, deciding to be on Top Chef, Bravo’s very successful culinary competition show, was definitely a risk, but oh what opportunities it brought! Opening a restaurant in hidden part of Hollywood, as we did with Grub. Definitely a risk, but again, it brought us so many opportunities to meet and feed so many wonderful people that also helped build our catering company as well as being chosen to be as Spokesperson for Happy Eggs and countless additional culinary television opportunities. Read more>>

Jeremy Sygh | Inspirer & Entrepreneur

When I think about risk, I analyze all of the pro and cons associated with that risk before making a final decision on it. However there are times where I just leap and hope for the best. That’s mainly because that anything beats a zero and if I don’t take the risk, I will never learn from it or benefit from it. In my life and in my career, risk has a deciding role for me. Case in such when I decided to leave my travel job to be home more. Well the occupational role that I chose started off fine but in the end, it winded up not being such a good decision hence taking a leap and hoping for best. Since I learned from that risk taking experience, I decided the best risk for me to take to maintain the lifestyle I have created for myself was to return to my travel job and do the best I can to continue to market my brand as well as maintain my household. Read more>>

Marcel “SEL” Blanco | Artist

Taking risks is vital to the growth of your personal life and career. By putting yourself into a situation you may not be comfortable with forces you to figure out solutions to new challenges. If you happen to mess it up even better because you will figure out what went wrong so you don’t make the same mistake again. I use to approach things with extreme caution to make sure I took the right step or made the correct decision, It took me a while to realize how much this held me back. The fear of failure ran deep within me but now when that fear comes up I see it as a sign that I should take the project on. A few years back I commissioned to paint a glow in the dark mural on a 100x50ft wall in another city. I had never done a glow in the dark mural or a wall that size and it scared me so I said yes I’ll do it. I ran into several issues but in the end, it came out amazing. Read more>>