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.

Deja Brown: Illustrative Graphic Desinger

Risk-taking, in my opinion, is one of the best ways to grow as a person and artist. The biggest risk that I have taken was packing my life upon a month’s notice and moving to New York City. I never would have thought that taking a risk like this would help me grow so much! I did not know what the city had to offer, living in New York is completely different than visiting New York, and I had no idea how different it would be. Read more>>

Jingze Cooper Dai: Project Manager & Art Educator

Risk is unavoidable. No one can mitigate risks; even the most trained economists cannot predict black swan events. Hence, risk management is my key focus. The best risk management strategy is to think ahead with each action, practice environment scanning, and always stay prepared. With careful planning and staying alert to internal/external threats, a good majority of risks can be avoided. Nevertheless, when risk is inescapable, it is equally important to have the correct attitude to conquer the challenge. I am certain that overcoming any milestone will bring a better light in the course of one’s career/life. I would not be the same person today if I did not initiate risk-taking and faced the unplanned. Read more>>

Nestor Hernandez: Creative Director & Actor

I Think of risk as an opportunity for growth and millions of possibilities. From migrating from my home country at five, taking risks has gotten me to where I am right now. Before age 17, I knew that I wanted to move to Los Angeles to pursue my creative career. Moving to LA at such a young age was one of the biggest decisions I took in my career and teen life. I found myself in very dark places at the beginning and would question myself hundreds of times. Fast forward almost four years later, my collection for KoKo Brand Co, which was inspired by the culture in Los Angeles, has been my most successful launch. Read more>>

A Ruth Proctor: Mom •Serial Entrepreneur• Philanthropist• Author

Taking risk has been my middle name. I jumped out the window in 2001 going to college at NCCU. I paid my way through school and graduated in four years with two bachelor degrees with a 3.6 gpa while working full time. I’ve always been a risk taker, my entire life has been a risk. From foster care to being the first in my family to graduate college and graduate school. Read more>>

Tay Robinson: Drummer / Producer / Arranger / Programmer

Risk-taking is something that has become a part of me almost second nature. I didn’t necessarily have all the resources growing up to get where I wanted to go in life, but thankfully I had nurturing parents that were kinda hands-off f and those were enough resources that I needed. Read more>>

Alyse Marie: Actress & Producer

Risks are scary but they’re necessary. And if you never take a risk, you’ll be stuck in the same spot. It takes courage. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be a risk and everyone would be able to do it. In my own life, I’ve had to walk on the edge and put myself out there to take advantage of opportunities. If I had not seized the moment to talk to someone, send an email, make a phone call, or get past security (keep that on the hush), I’m sure my experiences would be less than they are. And some of those things, I did while I was nervous. While I was trying to figure out what to say or what to do. But I believed in myself and my dreams, even when I was afraid. So, whatever it is that you want to do, do it afraid. But do it with the strong belief that you know it’s possible. Read more>>

Kelsey Grina: Artist, Florist, & Art Instructor

I’ve packed up my life and moved thousands of miles back and forth across the globe and truly feel that riding a bicycle is a bigger risk. The term ‘risk’ is difficult to define because it really depends on perspective. In society’s eyes, a lot of my life decisions have been ‘risky,’ but I feel the opposite. My idea of risk is a bit skewed having grown up in an environment as volatile as Kuwait; the fact that we had to evacuate multiple times due to conflict in Iraq is somewhat desensitizing when it comes to the concept of risk. Read more>>

Kyle Jeffrey: Photographer/Art Director

With every decision you make you’re weighing risk vs reward, and risk is inherently scary. It’s the reason why most of us end up living mundane lives – the least risky path to follow is the one with the lowest amount of resistance and the most predictable outcome. That might work for some people but for me, it’s always been much more exciting to take big risks that could end up being potentially life changing. Read more>>

Dave Marx: Music Producer & Founder of Arty Masters

Sometimes the biggest risk you can take is staying with the safe path. I had a stable career working for Google and YouTube in the Bay Area from 2013 -2020 and chose to leave that job and move to Los Angeles to start my career as a music producer even though I had no hit songs, label deal, or financial backing. One month into being a music producer full time, COVID lockdown hit and I had to take a serious look at whether I could make this dream of mine a reality on the timeline I had planned. Read more>>

Nick Rascona: Actor, Musician, Model, Activist

“Get away when it ain’t really safe And it don’t seem right
But what’s new? You get used to the bullshit
The screws, they go missing
It’s likely they might be, but
You remind me
Shit, I need to stay in line
You damn-well are a great design”-Mac Miller Read more>>

Steve Cowell: Editorial/Lifestyle Photographer

Risk is scary for me. I feel like i’ve taken risks in my life that didn’t end up paying off and the challenge was maintaining the courage to take a risk again regardless of the outcome. Possibly the biggest risk I took was deciding to pursue photography full time. Read more>>

Show Whight: Recording Artist

Taking risks is everything, it’s what gets you from nowhere to somewhere. You must take risks in anything that you do, if you want to grow and become the best at what you do. Read more>>

Darneisha Hilton: Event Planner & Stylist


Risk taking is not for the faint hearted but it most definitely is necessary at some point in your life. We often take risks when we least know it and gamble with options when faced with common dilemmas. If I can be transparent, I’m guilty of “fearing the unknown”, SOMETIMES. I’m human, I may get anxious or nervous if I’m faced with a challenge that requires me to take a major risk but I won’t allow it to discourage me. Read more>>

Ericka Page: Singer, Composer, Author

This question sort of hits two fold for me. As a musician and creative person we don’t always have an exact direct path to being able to reach our full potential, and even choosing a career in the arts, especially as a freelancer, has plenty of risks. Art can be subjective and more than ever people want work for free with the “promise” of getting you the next paid gig. I think we have to first be making art because we love to do it, of course, but eventually some money would be cute too. Read more>>

Jordyn Rax: Model & Actress

As humans, we tend to fear the unknown and what might happen or what could go wrong but taking risks is how we grow and experience life. ‘Always bet on yourself’ is the motto I’ve been living out the past few years. I think in any industry, especially the entertainment industry, you have to step out on a limb and trust whatever the outcome will be, is for your greater good. You’ll either win or you’ll learn. That’s life. Read more>>

Anat Sideman-Schneider: Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Divorce Mediator

I’m not naturally a risk taker. What I mean is that I don’t like to leave things to chance. As you can imagine, gambling is really not my thing . . . On the other hand, I do believe in taking risks, even big risks, for the sake of going after my dreams and living authentically. My father was a great inspiration to me in this regard. He was a scientist and driven by a genuine curiosity and passion for his research and for life. His example formed my conviction that it’s important to choose a path that reflects our passions and allows us stay true to who we are. I’ve tried to apply this ideal in my life and to make career choices that felt authentic and that aligned with my identity. Believe me, I didn’t always get it right. Read more>>

Lily Ontiveros: Dancer & Choreographer

Risk taking has been a huge part of my life and career. Artists have to carve their own path in order to be successful and there is no step-by-step guide on how to “make it.” For me, the biggest risk was moving to the United States from Mexico to pursue my dream of being a professional dancer. I chose to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in dance without knowing a single person who had gone the collegiate route for dance. However, this choice gave me time to acquire more technique and life skills; college taught me to be independent, disciplined, and organized. Taking those skills into a professional career in Los Angeles has given me peace amongst the chaos and risks one takes being an international dancer. Read more>>

Cisco Swank: Artist & Musician

I look at risks as one of the most important aspects of what I do. Being able to experiment with ideas that might not always work or creating something more unconventional is whats beautiful about music. I think taking risks artistically is what separates me from everyone else. Read more>>

Tanja: Founder of BREADISTA

In short – taking risks is part of life. Otherwise, you wouldn’t come forward. The older you get, the more you see the need of taking risks. The difference is, that you then think more about the cons / pros in every decision you make. I’m mostly based on facts, that’s where my decisions and taking risks are coming from. Read more>>

Deitra Leak: Actor/Producer

I’m a firm believer in taking risks. If you don’t take risks you’ll never know. My biggest risk is moving to Los Angeles almost 8 years ago from Philly! I’m still surprised I actually did it and it was/is the best decision of my life by far. My acting career is definitely on the rise with a few projects I’m filming this year. I just started my production company called Creative Release Productions, with several projects I will be producing this year and definitely beyond. This is truly my life and I’m so excited about it! Read more>>

Ashlyn Rich: Sweat House OC founder and owner

Typically, I don’t think I would label myself as a risk taker, however, I am extremely spontaneous when my gut says “go for it” It’s a fine line between risk taking and spontaneity. Thankfully, many of my spontaneous decision have worked out in life. Knock on wood right? If I am faced with a challenge, a decision, or even an obstacle, I typically make my mind up very quickly and push forward. Sometimes this can be great and sometimes I envy people like my husband who has the ability to think everything through before making a decision. Read more>>

Emir Horton: Television Producer, Actor & Entrepreneur

One of my favorite songs that I have in my motivation playlist is Entrepreneur by Pharrell and Jay Z. There’s apart of the song that says “You gotta risk it all. Or they’ll be lots of things you’ll never see”. That phrase is so true. It’s going on three years already since I moved to Los Angeles, and the experiences and rooms that I have been exposed to blows my mind.  Read more>>

Devin Patterson: Makeup Artist & Business owner

Growing up I was never the person to be a risk taker. Taking risk has been my life ever since I I moved to LA when I was 22 to purse my dreams. It took risk taking in order for me to move, pursue the career that I’m in and also start my cosmetic business. It’s now a way of life for me. Read more>>

Zubaida Khan: Mental Health Counselor

The risk that I think is most detrimental is not living a life of free will and making choices that do not align with your true self and purpose. Not trusting and loving fully is a risk. Staying in a job you don’t like is a risk. Surrounding yourself with negative people is a risk. Not believing in your personal value is a risk. Following the masses in quiet desperation is a risk. Read more>>

Cristina Cano: Musician aka Siren and the Sea

The experiences in my life that have brought me the most joy and success, all took a level of risk that each time felt both terrifying and exhilarating. I would say that in general, I am a person that seeks out new adventures and welcomes risk. Of course, stepping out of my comfort zone can be terrifying, but with practice I have learned that without fail, I am met on the other side with nothing but rewarding experiences that harvest growth…and some great stories. Read more>>

The BLK LT$ pka Andreena Mill: Singer, Songwriter, Producer, Video Director

I believe as a creative it is imperative to your career to take risks. Risks with your artistic direction, risks with your message, even down to taking a risk and leaving your hometown to see what the world can offer. Do whatever you need to do to stay true to yourself because not taking a risks might end up stunting your growth and you may never see what you are truly capable of. In 2018 I moved to Los Angeles alone with no family and as a native of Toronto Canada it was a very hard thing to do, but since arriving here I have met and worked with some of the people I have dreamt of working with. Read more>>

Teressa Foglia: Hat Maker & Entrepreneur

I took a hat-making course for fun while I was in Europe in the summer of 2016, and it led me to switch careers entirely. I’ve loved hats my entire life and thought the course would be a fun escape from my former career as a social media consultant. After strangers started asking to purchase hats right off my head, I knew I had something special. When I started my brand in December 2017, I had never worked in fashion, retail, or millinery, but I knew I had a passion for creating something one of a kind. Read more>>

Tanner K Williams (he/him): Creative director, photographer, artist

Risk is something that I think about with every single piece I make; I think it’s the key to making my work smart, successful and wholly me. There are many small risks that I take in almost every piece — I risk not using moody instagram lighting, I purposefully don’t use popular trends in fashion, makeup or hair; most of my work isn’t very “shareable,” it’s gross, ugly, kitschy or dumb and isn’t a white a skinny white girl against a pink wall holding coffee lol. Therefore, my work remains pretty hidden online and my clients, niche and specific. My biggest risk however, is that most of my work is made directly in response to the dark experiences of my youth. Read more>>

Paloma Riojas: Screenplay Writer & Film/TV Producer

Risk is defined as “the chance or probability that a person will be harmed or experience an adverse health effect if exposed to a hazard.” I think “risk” is a culturally misconstrued word. I can quote myself saying, “I risked it all to follow my passion.” And I want to take it back because I now believe that positioning following your passion as a risk is unhealthy. We should not feel the pressure of thinking we might be putting ourselves in harm because we want to follow a passion in any capacity. Read more>>

Jivanta Roberts: Producer, Creative Director & Entrepreneur

Risk taking plays an important role in EVERYTHING that I’m currently working on. Now that I’ve been able to sit back, assess and factor in my risk taking, I’ve had to take risks every step of the way in my career. From leaving my old life behind to moving to Los Angeles to pursue dance and acting, even now, with my production company and fragrance line UNI. I truly feel, as cliche as this sounds, the greater the risk, the greater the reward. Read more>>

Maria Ignacia Hojas: Actress

I think that risk is the key to discovery. Without risk we might be staying in out comfort zone. These days fear can be very paralyzing. Our bodies are constantly looking for what’s known in order to stay safe. But many times we want to experience or manifest new adventures in our lives. I certainly have been victim of fear, self doubt and telling myself stories that aren’t encouraging. But there was a point in my life where I just decided to do things regardless of fear or the attachment to a result / expectation. Read more>>

Bradford Ferguson: Photographer & Entrepreneur

What is life without risk? Risk is taking a chance & without a chance, you cannot seek change. I think that risk is a major key in life at least in mine it is. Risk allows me to be where I’m at, although it’s not the BEST position I’m very thankful for the risks I have taken to learn outside my comfort zone. Comfort Zone can really keep you away from so many blessings, you being afraid to take risks will keep you where you are. I struggled for a while with my family financially & mentally, being young I couldn’t get a job, nobody wanted to hire me even at school. Read more>>

Keelin Clark: Owner of Liberty Empowerment

Risk taking can look a lot of different ways. I am a risk taker who wants to jump out of planes! I am a risk taker who will speak my mind, tell you like it is and take calculated “risks” financially and in the moment. Because of my ability to risk, I have lived a life of excitement, creativity and a times, had to learn how to face my fears. I moved across the country at 28, I “retired” from my corporate position at 38. I proclaimed I am a living version of the Statue of Liberty in 2018 and decided to start a company that would Empower and Liberate humanity. Read more>>

Pierre-Marie Leprince: French Master Chef, Chief Creative Officer at 3Di Creative Food Group, LLC

When I think about risk, I do not see fear of failure, I see the catalyst that has accompanied and pushed me in my life and career. First of all and mostly because risk in its simplest form in the chef’s world start with cooking for someone and exposing oneself to an immediate judgement.
But also because life is a road that curves often and not always let you see what’s at the curve’s end. Read more>>

Gina Cohen: Restorative Artist/Anaplastologist

Informed risk taking is so SO valuable in life. I like to say, “If you feel just as excited as you feel nervous, jump at the chance.” My first major “risk” was choosing to forego my high school classes at age 16 in order to dual enroll at the local college full time. Many of my highschool teachers told me I’d regret it, my credits wouldn’t transfer, I’d miss out on Highschool experiences, etc etc. I didn’t believe them. Once I switched, I found that my classmates were more mature, the schedule was far better and I graduated with my AA at age 18, still managing to have the highest GPA of my highschool class. The teachers who tried to discourage me were also mad I had such good grades, so there were two highschool Valedictorian’s that year. Read more>>

Sean McHugh: Actor / Host / Model / Editor / Podcaster

I think risk is a loaded word. Despite Merriam-Webster defining it as “to expose to hazard or danger,” the word risk has taken on a sexy, impose your will, machismo-ness about it. “You have to be willing to ‘risk’ it all to get ahead.” Often people will credit their risk-taking as the key to their success. However, I would posit that taking a risk, even a calculated one, is only glorified when it pays off. Read more>>

Kayla (Keiko) Dempsey: Model, Stylist, and Creative Director

When I think about risk, I think about opportunity. I’m sure we’ve all heard of the famous quote “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”, well to me that’s true. I simply take risk because I don’t want to regret not taking them, and I don’t want to have those “what if” scenarios playing through my head, so instead I just do it. In this creative industry that I’m striving to make a career in, I believe that taking risks is what you must do to stand out. You must strive above and beyond to attain your goals and you must step outside the box of being comfortable. Read more>>

Conney Williams: poet/spoken word artist/activist/performance artist

wow. this is actually question that seems quite ironic in some sense. what i mean by that is I’ve never thought of it as risk taking. for me, risk taking is tantamount to choosing between breathing and asphyxiation. risk taking is a “sine quo non”: for my life and i honestly don’t know how i could live from day to day without it. Read more>>

Amy Webber: Director, Producer, & Digital Content Consultant

Perusing a life as an entrepreneur and a creative is anchored in risk taking but I don’t really think about it as risky. I have always been someone who comes from a place of yes and what could be and this has lead me to give things a try that others may shy away from and helped me form the mindset of opportunity that allows me to ride the waves of uncertainty that owning a business and being a creative bring, and that the pandemic has only amplified. Read more>>

Shaun Collings: Commercial Director

Risk has been a huge part of my career and continues to be. It’s played a pivotal role in many stages of my life and I’m one that tends to embrace the unknown and use it as energy for the next chapter. I originally set out on a very safe path when I started college, but something inside me knew I would never be happy unless I set after a more artful career path. Once I jumped into design and animation I was still unsure where it would take me or even if I could have a long career. Read more>>