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.

Todd Anthony | Actor

I think some of the most successful people in the world world are those who take risks there’s no reward without risk. And for me in my career, risk-taking will often times be some of the greatest performances or artwork that we will see. 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. Read More>>

Valerie Penso-Cuculich | Casting Director and Entrepreneur

I’ve always been a risk-taker. My thought process has never been to ask why but why not! If an opportunity that intrigued me presented itself I’d take it. Even if I meant I didn’t know what the outcome would be or if I had to figure it out as I went along. Maybe that’s just how us Sagittarius roll. When I look back on my career I am still amazed at how it all came together. On a whim, I went on the reality show Temptation Island. Mind you this was way before they were mainstream like they are now. It ended up being a huge hit and without realizing it, from there I stumbled into the world of television. Read more>>

Anthony Ortiz | Painter, Muralist, & Designer

I got into art via graffiti, which is inherently risky. At the time, I was really young and didn’t think about it too deeply. I just knew that I liked painting letters and it was really exciting to sneak out at night and do something I wasn’t supposed to be doing. Now, looking back, I know that that experience, having the passion and drive to risk your freedom for something that you love, has definitely shaped how I approach my art as a professional, and life, in general. Read more>>

Jazz Cassell | Art Director/ Visual Artist

I believe taking risk is essential to personal growth, going outside of what is familiar/comfortable and experiencing the uneasiness of something new is the only way in my opinion to tap into our full potential. Taking risks in my career has pushed me off the cliff only to discover I can fly. Read more>>

Johnnie Izquierdo | Commercial Photographer & Storyteller

Taking a risk can be the scariest thing for most people in life – the fear of failing can becoming daunting. For me, I look at NOT taking a risk resulting in regret which is my biggest fear. I think of pivotal moments in my life where if i did not take the risk, did not take the leap of faith how different my life would be right now. So yes, taking risks, taking chances, not fearing to failure has led me to this exact moment – complete happiness. Read more>>

Susan Tanner | Founder/Director of TheatreWorkers Project, Producer, Director, Teaching Artist & Actor

Taking risks has been the driving force behind my career. Starting out as an actor, the risk to put myself forward and take a chance that I would be rejected–not cast, not hired—was ever-present. When I started to explore directing and producing, I took huge creative and financial risks, launching many projects and ultimately founding TheatreWorkers Project funding by the first grant proposal I had ever written. Read more>>

Courtney Abbiati | Co-founder of The Urban + The Mystic

I think about risk from an emotional standpoint. To me a risk is never based off of “this is hard to achieve” or “this is going to cost a lot of money”, I look at risk from the standpoint of what will it cost my soul if I don’t do this? If not doing what I want to do means that in some way I’m not expressing myself or I’m sensoring myself, to me that risk is far greater than putting it all out there and doing what will make me happy. At the end of the day I know it always costs more to not follow your heart than a bad investment ever could. Read more>>

Ben Pham | Photographer

Throughout my entire life I have generally viewed risk as the defining factor to a decision. I think I can speak for everyone on this but risk has been taught to be the negative outcome of any situation. From putting all of your money into a stock because there is a risk the market could crash to the risk of cutting yourself from chopping an onion too fast; risk surrounds every decision we make and decides whether we see it out or not. I personally have always taken into account the risk of every situation but it wasn’t until fairly recently that I realized the affects of every risk. Knowing how the risk will affect you and those around you gives you a different perspective and in a way makes you just a bit more cautious about the decision you make. Read more>>

Toni Walker | Movement Artist & Museum Professional

I think of risk as an entity that fuels me. Instead of running from it I tend to always find myself embracing it. I’d like to think of risk in a positive light. A metaphorical being that pushes us to break out of monotonous motions of every day life and asks us to wake up and find something to challenge our notions of everyday life. Risk taking has played a huge part in my life and my career! I feel as though waking up everyday and choosing to pursue so many different interests is a risk in itself. There is struggle in pursuing an artistic career, but there is also so much beauty and honesty within it too. That is why I wake up every morning and choose to do what I love. It is never for the reward but almost always for the journey, lessons, and love of the risk. Read more>>

Becky Fawcett | Founder, President

I grew up always taking the safe road. When I was 29 in 1999 I thought I had the job of my dreams. My boss thought otherwise and I ended up quitting before I was fired. I didn’t have another job in place (which was a little terrifying)–I had another dream—I launched my own PR firm and never looked back. That was the beginning of my love of risk. Fast forward to 2007 and Starting a national non profit with zero capital was risky and the worst part about it for me was that I was risking public failure if it didn’t work out. That was a hard pill to swallow. But I knew in my heart and my head that the business plan and model was solid and the idea for an all inclusive, non religiously affiliated adoption grant program with no application fee and large problem solving grants was worth the risk. The people that I thought we could help were worth the risk. Read more>>

Andrea Emmes | Voice Actor & Producer

The way I see it, risk is not only inevitable but it’s crucial for taking steps towards success not only in one’s personal life but also professionally. Though we should be thoughtful in our decisions on what risks to take and when, our risks can take us one step closer to realizing our dreams – whether that’s our pursuit of love or finding our dream job. We must put ourselves out there and try. It can be scary and filled with unknowns, to be vulnerable or try new things. We might fail, get heartbroken, hurt. But in taking risks in love, life, careers, etc. we have the gift of learning and growing. If a risk I take doesn’t work out, then I give myself permission to feel that disappointment, but then I focus on regrouping and trying again. If mistakes were made, I’ll try to learn from it. If I wasn’t at a skill level I needed to be at, then I’ll take classes and work hard to level up. Read more>>

Ally Mathieu | Painter, Business Owner, Art Teacher

A risk defines a clear boundary and therefore defines clearly the steps necessary to continue successfully or fail. Risks have always inspired me to rise up and challenge the present situation. For me, a risk heightens my intuitive sense and pushes me to act quickly and accurately.. almost all of my greatest achievements have been on the heels of a risk. I like the danger and calculative nature that surrounds. Read more>>

Von T | Music Artist/Business Owner/Actor

When I think of risk I think of the service I provided for this country in the Army. I am still currently known as Captain Channing Von Taylor, professionally known as Von-T. I am a 17 year Army veteran. I fought proudly for our country during my deployment to Iraq and represented the Army with the upmost respect throughout my career while rising in through the ranks to Captain. I honored my commitment to the military without question over my 17 year career earning many awards and medals. However, the Army has not always supported me. Instead they have virtually turned their back on me as a Soldier. Read more>>

Amanda McClellan | Graphic Designer & Artist

I truly believe in the saying “nothing worth having comes easy.” And building a career from the ground up definitely falls into that category. To be successful, you must be willing to take risks. There is no other way around it. I am more of a chess player when it comes to business. I take it slow and put a lot of thought into each move. But after 2 years of living the side hustle life, I knew I had to make a big change. A risky one! I knew I was bottlenecking the growth of my company. Between working full-time for a corporate company, being a new mom, and working for my own business, I was over-capacitated. So I decided to quit my full[-time (during COVID and while being a new mom) and pursue my business full-time. And let me tell you-it paid off. Big time! Best move I’ve made yet. Read more>>

Rob Nagle | Actor, Director, Coach & Teacher

I am an actor. My entire career choice is a risk. I may play it safe in a lot of other areas of my life, but in this thing that I love so much — storytelling — nearly everything I do is about risk. And living in that world is about decisiveness, about taking chances, about letting go of your perceived control, and about accepting that you might fail. If I don’t accept falling as a possibility, then I don’t venture out onto the branches where the unpicked fruit hangs, I don’t expand, I don’t grow, I don’t set my goals as high, and worst of all, I don’t learn. As a wise Irishman once wrote: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” Read more>>

Priya Kakati | Concept Artist/Illustrator

I believe that with every decision that we make is a risk that we take. I took the risk of moving a 1000 miles away from home to pursue art; and honestly, that’s the best decision I could’ve ever made. I understand that every risk that we take we always have the “what if I fail” in the back of our minds, but I guess we’d never know for sure if the risk we’d taken was for the good instead. At the end there’s always some kind of a learning experience. Read more>>

Elizabeth Yada | Fashion Designer

Conscious risks are admittedly somewhat new to me, but when I started being aware of the risks I was taking, I found it came naturally. I don’t cringe as much at stupid decisions I’ve made in the past, I look at them as learning experiences. You really don’t grow, or even know what you want if you don’t step outside of your comfort zone. Trying big scary things really does get easier when I look back at other big (seemingly) scary things I’ve done. I think of my move to Southern California from a small Central Valley town and wonder “Did it really take me that long to do THAT?” Quitting my job to go full-time, setting up a retail space, starting a new website and merch line.. THAT was big and scary to me? I can’t wait to see what big accomplishments I make next! Read more>>

Brian/ Sheri Giberson/Cohen | Artist Couple

Sheri: I think of risk taking as pursuing nontraditional designs. I work with unusual materials in a manner totally outside what one thinks of as jewelry. I am not driven by trends, fashion styles, or what people wear. The risk is that I follow my own artistic voice. I am driven by what speaks to me so it either works or it does not. I have experimented over the years with lots of different places to show my art. I am drawn to unusual venues that attract a population that is generally outside the box. This is not to say that I do not appeal to the mainstream. Quite the contrary. My work appeals to bold, self-confident women in whatever shape and size they come. Read more>>

Ashley Day | Founder of Online Accessories Brand Graffiti Panda & Graffiti Radio Show

Honestly my whole business has been based off of risks just like any small startup business really. There is a lot you risk automatically when starting & running a business such as time, money, energy & sometimes your mental. For me, It was funding my business on my personal savings while working minimal wage retail jobs. Last year I quit my full-time corporate bank job in the middle of a pandemic. I was so unhappy and I knew I didn’t want to look back over my life asking myself “What if I had of tried this?” Risk-tasking has kicked my butt straight out of my comfort zone. When I see something new I want to try in my personal or business life I just go for it (of course after research & strong budgeting lol) I don’t even hesitate like I did in the very beginning. Read more>>

Giovanni Du Bose | Director, Photographer, Creative Director, Recording Artist, Business Owner

Risk taking has definitely been the catalyst for my perceived success for sure. Granted, I’m not where I want to be but I am much closer than from where I started. I feel like each catapulting moment in my journey thus far has had an element of risk attached to it. Risk for me is evaluated in a pretty cut and dry scenario, if it can align me further with my life purpose it has to be considered. So if that means I have to move from outside of my comfort zone or relinquish “control” on how things play out, then so be it, because the reward is that much more fulfilling. Read more>>

Jonathan Lauterilch | Owner of Smart Shark and Co-Owner Fit Pro Collective

When it comes to risk the best way to ensure you get an ROI is to only take calculated risks. The difference between taking risks and calculated risks is with calculated risks you can map out worst-case scenario and still see yourself getting an ROI from it. For example, if you are going to sign up for a business coaching program think about all the ways you could win through that investment regardless of whether the program “works” or not. Could those wins come from the network of other people who are also in that program? Could those wins come from positioning yourself better in the marketplace? Could those wins come from building a relationship with the creator for other opportunities? Every risk I have taken I run through this filter knowing that if I invest in myself I will always get an ROI. Read more>>

Desiree Ashe-Bradford | CEO & Founder at MEANT Consulting | Event Producer

No risk, no reward. That’s the number one thing that has to be understood. Once you’ve accepted that, the next step is not to go crazy with it! I’m all about taking calculated risks. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m always going to make the leap if my mind is on it. However, what people don’t recognize is the tremendous amount of thought, research, and care I put into those decisions. The key is, once all the considerations have been taken, you have to just do it. There’s never a perfect time. I moved to NY at 18years old, then to LA five years later. I’ve spoken up in rooms, asked for raises and promotions, changed jobs, and much more. I was super nervous for all of it! But I did it and I’ve had amazing results. Even the not so great responses, have always been worth it. Read more>>

Mayumi Ishii | The Chrysmela Chief

I believe there is a greater risk in not trying. No action, no pain, but no fun. I love trying something new when I see an opportunity to do so. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve all learned how unpredictable the life could be. The biggest risk is not proactively adopting and trying new way of doing business, as the world, markets, and customers change. As Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, it is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Read more>>

Connor Scofield | Head of Post-Production; former Lead Editor

I look at risk as an opportunity for growth both personally and professionally. Taking risks is the foundation for how I’ve learned from my failures or realized my true abilities and potential. In life and business, there have been numerous times where I did not know what I was doing or getting into, but went for it anyway. Most of these instances would turn out successful in the end, but not without a lot of hurdles and learnings. Even when I did not fully succeed, the outcome was never a complete failure. Read more>>

Dario Valderrama | Composer & feeling translator

Many years ago, I skydived without fully understanding the risk of jumping off of a plane, to be honest there wasn’t much of a thinking process involved in that decision. I remember my 23 year old self signing a waiver without reading a single word, agreeing and assuming full responsibility for the possibility of my own death. It wasn’t until many years later, that I got the full picture: It is insane to step out of a moving plane! Since then, life has been teaching me that I’m constantly jumping from moving planes. Read more>>

Art Conn | Costume Designer / Wardrobe Stylist

I always see risk as an opportunity to grow. I embrace the chance to be uncomfortable or do something unexpected. Win or lose, you become a better, stronger person for taking a chance. Risk also allows you to really put your talent and confidence into action. Doing something when the outcome is uncertain really speaks to your tenacity and hustle as well. Risk can light a fire you never knew was there before. And it can take you down a path you never could have dreamed possible. No one will ever fault the person who takes the chance, Read more>>

Adam Marsland | Vlogger, “Adam Walks Around,” music entrepreneur

With great risks come great rewards. You assume risk any time you take any action. Any time you take an action, not only do you risk failure, but you will always upset someone else that made different choices. To achieve your goals, you have to accept risk and accept that by moving forward you will make someone somewhere unhappy. Risk-taking should be carefully calculated, however. Don’t just jump; take a measure of every possible angle, think through the consequences of failure, measure your odds, and if it still seems worth it, then jump knowing you’ve made the best possible guess. Read more>>

Lisa S. Johnson | Photographer / Author / Kundalini Yoga Teacher / Modern Day Priestess

In order to achieve the goals I’ve set in life, I’ve had to take many risks. Born and raised in California until the age of 7, until my family moved back to Canada where I lived until age 23. I hated the cold weather and set in my mind that one day I would move to the hottest place I could find and would visualize myself laying on a beach. When I was 20 years old I had saved up $3000 and traveled alone across Europe and South Africa where I turned 21. It was symbolic because in S.A. when you turn 21 its a big deal and on your birthday you receive the key to life. Read more>>

Linda Smutz and Marcus Garcia | Pet Stylists and Entrepreneurs

We’ve always believed risk is imperative to success. Failure is imperative to success. Taking chances on projects (or anything!) you feel passionate about and following your gut is the most important step toward realizing a dream. In terms of A Cut Above, we really decided almost over night to start the business. We had the idea for a couple of years, but it never felt like the right time until last year. When we knew, we knew. Of course, we were nervous in the beginning and had absolutely no knowledge of how to start a business at all, but we were confident in our skills. Honestly, the true key to success is confidence in yourself and whatever you’re offering to the world. Read more>>

Elya Braden | Writer, Mixed-Media Artist and Nonprofit Founder/President

All acts of creation require risk – the first word on a page, the first brushstroke, the first failed lightbulb. Looking back on my life and my career, I see that it has been defined by “intelligent risk taking.” Whether it was leaving my hometown to attend a college, sight unseen, on the other side of the country, or leaving a successful career as general counsel of a public company without knowing “what’s next,” every risk I’ve taken in my life has led to something not only new, but a chance to grow and stretch into new skills and possibilities. Read more>>

Matt Francisco | Photographer & Artist

I think risk taking has always played a major role in my life. I’m very lucky that I’m young and only have to provide for myself at the moment — so in that sense, it’s a great privilege to be able to build a more creative lifestyle. I’ve always wanted to have the freedom to pursue a passion of mine. I think the risks that come with it are largely outweighed by the benefits of that freedom. In that sense, I don’t really think of risk as something that is negative. It’s more like: what is making me happy right now (in a way that is healthy), and what can I invest time and energy into that will help me get where I want to be in five, ten years? Anything that falls into those two categories, I need to make space for — even if that means letting go of a more comfortable paycheck. Read more>>

Vanessa Begley | Voice Over Artist

I used to be much more cautious about the risks I would take. I’m the kind of person who likes to know every detail before I decide to do something new so jumping right in was never my thing. As I’ve gotten older though, I’ve begun to realize my comfort zone isn’t where I want to live and die. I’d like to think I’m breaking out of that and pushing myself to do more and try more every year. Read more>>

Gabriel Saltman | Multimedia Composer, Producer & Performer

Embracing risk artistically and creatively is the best catalyst for breaking through limitations and standing out. When I expose myself to the dangers of vulnerability and failure, something magical happens; I get comfortable with fear. Daring yourself to attempt what you believe impossible, is a wonderful way to grow. A few years ago, I took a big risk financially and creatively when designing a full multimedia installation inside a remote cave in LA. The fantasy of that idea stood for so long, held back by my irrational fears, but when I finally let go and embraced the process, it was extraordinarily rewarding. I wouldn’t be the artist I am today without learning to overcome personal barriers. Often too, confronting internal or external adversity illuminates just how much fear can blow objectivity out the window. What do we truly have to lose by fulfilling potential? Read more>>

Rachel Thaw | Serial founding employee, first time CEO

If you asked my friends and family, many would call me a risk-taker, consider me plucky (and not just a little rash) for a few of my loonier career/life choices. I never thought it was entirely accurate, though I strode off the beaten path a while ago. It’s only been recently that I realized my conception of risk was one-dimensional and that, perhaps, my stunted understanding of risk is what earned me the risk-taker label in the first place. Until recently, I always connoted risk-takers as people who had material consequences on the line, a livelihood that depended on success. Read more>>

Isa de Burgh | Conscious Creator & Integrative Nutritionist, Founder of The Social Tale

This is going to sound unconventional, but I don’t believe in taking every risk that presents itself as an opportunity. We’re told, as entrepreneurs, you have to take risks to be successful. After time, it gets in your head that you *must* be a risk-taker, which creates this sense of disorganized chaos. I believe in taking evaluated risks. Use your logic built from past experiences, combine it with street smart and intuition, and weigh your threat x vulnerability x consequence. It seems too cautious, but as long as we’re open to risk and view the opportunity as a potential growing and/or learning experience, you truly can’t go wrong. Taking risks, and learning to evaluate which not to take, is crucial for growth but not always success in conventional terms. Read more>>

Emma Rubinson | Senior Fashion Design BFA Student

Risk for me is finding the balance between whats comfortable and doable vs challenging myself to take on projects and tasks that are ambitious and will force me to problem solve in new ways. I love working with new materials and learning as I go, Over the last 9 months, I’ve been working on my BFA Fashion Design thesis collection where I’ve explored the concept of dreams and bending reality. I employed techniques in my textile work and design process that I have never tried before, and challenged myself to avoid getting too attached to predetermined designs. I let the material guide me, and have been open to making changes all along the way. I found that not everything worked the way I thought it would in my 2D sketches, and it was necessary to let go of control a bit in order to be happy with the end result. Read more>>

Jae-Zee Roth-Strong | Owner of The Whimsical Twin, maker & vintage seller

I hadn’t truly considered all the risks I have taking in my life until I read this question and took a moment to process it. With out risk taking I would not be living in America (I’m from England), not be married and most definitely not have my own business.I had been a very determined but very shy growing up. It wasn’t until University, studying fashion design, that I took my first big risk. I signed up to work at a summer camp in America and was placed at a camp on Catalina Island. This was a HUGE decision I hadn’t even been on a plane at this point in my life! It was a decision no one saw coming but it was one of the best decision I ended up making. Camp gave me confidence and experiences that have invaluable to my life.This would lead to many risk taking decisions that has placed me where I am today. Read more>>

Tobi Harper | Marketing Director, Editor, and Instructor

Every decision is a risk, a chance that your efforts will be for nothing, that you will be rejected for that date, that you might fall out of the rollercoaster. Risk taking is part of what makes life exciting, and it is also what causes our greatest stresses. I have gone skydiving, flown a two-person jet, and gone white water river rafting, and for all that, you might consider me a risk-taker, but I don’t. When I take a risk, I like to have a backup plan, and a backup plan for that backup plan. Read more>>

Valerie Amador | Founder of Placement Helpers

I’m glad of the opportunity that was presented to me to be able to start a senior care business. Helping people has been and will always be rewarding to me. There are risks in many things in life. I always tell my friends when they feel fear or starting their own business if you don’t do it someone else will.. You have to take opportunities as they come to you and if you don’t act on those opportunities they will move on to someone that sees the vision. I am glad I saw that vision and after 15yrs we continue to expand and evolve as team and many new things coming our way still. Read more>>