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.

Melissa Mayo | Food Network Chef, Author & Inspirational Speaker

I am all about taking risks and following my passion. Ten years ago, everyone laughed at me and told me retiring to Italy was a crazy impossible dream. But I stayed focused and sent energy daily to my dream. Three years ago, I opened a gorgeous cooking school, Susina Cucina, in Lucca Italy. During the summers I host luxury retreats where teach food lovers how to create mouthwatering dishes under the Tuscan sun. In my 6th book that is on sale June 18th on Amazon I share all the steps and tools I used to manifest miracles so reader can create their own big magic!!!! Taking risks, falling, and failing is part of life. Read more>>

Maleka Ellis | Wedding Videographer & Business Owner

Taking risks is everything to me. My whole company (the Siren & Co.) was built on a risk. I started this company with nothing, but a laptop and an idea. I had no video equipment, no audio equipment, and no clients. My social media footprint was nowhere to be found, I didn’t even have a website. I had nothing – well, almost nothing. I had friends. I had friends getting married, friends willing to lend me equipment, and friends just willing to help me start my business journey. I started a business and all I knew were the basics. I rolled the dice on starting a new chapter of my life that could have potentially bankrupted me in the city of L.A. Read more>>

Gil Garcetti | Photographer, TV producer, Teacher & Former Los Angeles County District Attorney

When I speak to groups, especially to young people, I encourage them to take calculated risks with one’s life and especially with one’s career. When I was in law school, the Vietnam war was underway. I wanted to become a criminal trial lawyer with the Public Defender’s office. But when I concluded that the seat of power and authority in the criminal justice system was the the District Attorney’s office, I made a somewhat professionally risky decision to join the DA’S. A truly risky decision was to run abasing the incumbent District Attorney in 1992. I had never run for any office and had not been politically active. I would have to raise at least $1M and get support from respected individuals, businesses, and professional organization. In essence, I would have to start a business from scratchWhen I speak to groups, especially to young people, I encourage them to take calculated risks with one’s life and especially with one’s career. Read more>>

Jesica Yap | Composer for Visual Media, Pianist/Keyboardist & Piano Teacher

Growing up as the youngest of 5 children, my parents were a little over-protective of me, but now that I’m older and have been independent for years, I feel lucky for how much they cared and gave me. But being so protective sometimes felt like the blueprint of my childhood was drawn by them a little too safely. Like there was no opportunity for me to deviate from the path. Because of the predictability and “control” my parents built into me in my early years, as I got older, I became more and more of a rebel. Not as in, a crazy wild child or out-of-control teen or anything; it was more like, I needed to take control of my own destiny and create a new map for myself. A new blueprint. Read more>>

Marlena Robbins | Make-up Artist

To me risk is a necessary factor in anything you pursue in life. Regardless if it’s personal or professional. Without risk, there is no change and without change there is no growth and without growth there is no potential for success. And even though risk is scary and success is not guaranteed, it’s always worth taking. Nothing I’ve had or experienced in my life that has been wonderful didn’t come with some amount of risk. And even when the risk hasn’t panned out, and believe me there’s been plenty of that, there was always an important lesson learned that in turn helped me when taking other risks. My parents have a saying that I’ve heard my entire life and has stayed with me with every risk I’ve had to take, “nothing worth while comes easy”. Read more>>

Rebecca Bergin | Chief Financial Officer

There’s a quote from Spencer Johnson’s book Who Moved My Cheese? that completely changed my approach to taking risks. The book asks, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” For me, this simple question transformed the way I looked at risk. Rather than fearing the downside of risk, I learned to mitigate it and focus on the upside. The book asks, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” For me, this simple question transformed the way I looked at risk. Rather than fearing the downside of risk, I learned to mitigate it and focus on the upside. Read more>>

Nicole Dunn | CEO

I have always been a risk-taker. I can remember as a second grader taking all kinds of risks that no one else was even thinking about at that age. I knew what I wanted, and how I was going to go take a risk and get it. When I was working in television as a Producer I remember I would read about someone in Hollywood that I wanted to meet with – and I would find someone I had a relationship with or that knew them or heck I would just cold call them. That is a great way to take a risk, get them on the phone. I can remember doing this with Ghen Maynard who was a Senior Executive over at CBS Studios and helmed Survivor. I just cold-called him and the next thing I knew I was sitting in his office pitching a television idea I had. Read more>>

Courtney Scheuerman | Comedian & Actress

By definition, the word RISK sounds scary; a situation involving exposure to danger, harm or loss. But for me, the word risk is one I dance with everyday in my life and career. As a comedian/ actress I’m taking risks everyday, even deciding to go into this line of work was a risk in of itself, I knew that from the start and I loved it. I think if you dance with risks long enough they become your friend. Being willing to take risks, I believe is what makes people successful. To know that there’s a chance things won’t go the way you want them to, but having the will and faith to do it anyway is courageous. Everything I have done thus far in my career and life has left like one big risk, choosing to go into the entertainment industry, an industry where so few people actually make a living, HUGE RISK. Read more>>

Giselle | Singer, Songwriter & Musician

I think taking risks in life are extremely important. If you never jump, you’ll never fly. Moving to LA was on big jump for me and one big risk. I worried, “what if I become a failure,” “what if it just doesn’t work out.” Those were thoughts that ran through my head constantly when I first got out here. It’s been three years now, and while some bad has happened, a lot more gold has come out of it. I’ve had absolutely amazing opportunities like performing on the iHeart Radio Stage, I’ve performed at The Mint, gotten to perform at Disney events, and I’ve worked with wonderful producers from The Ready Set to HUSH, and gotten to film amazing music videos with BeamLA, Lezgo, and Ben Attwall! These are just a few great things I’ve gotten to do. There’s been so many. Read more>>

Angela O’Neill and The Outrageous8 O’Neill | Vocalist & Leader

I often think about how risk plays into..creative endeavors. There is so MUCH risk involved..playing in a music market like Los Angeles The reason I came up with the name Angela O’Neill and the OUTRAGEOUS8…is a tip of the hat… to that time in music…when the level of musicianship was sooo high.. and the amount of music being made..with Frank Sinatra and Nancy Wilson and Peggy Lee and Nat King Cole…was stupendous. I’m told you could go out ANY day of the week, back in those days, to the Copa or any of the clubs around town…and see an incredible dance band playing. A lot of those acts..played from the forties…all the way through the early 60’s…and the songs were so well written, and the lyrics so emotional…I still find today, that the audiences that come see us…are really captured by the music of this era. Read more>>

Courtney Hardy | Travel Blogger

I find it funny to be answering this question because on exactly this date (June 9) 6 years ago, I took one of the biggest risks of my life: packed up everything and moved from North Carolina to Los Angeles, California with my then-boyfriend, now husband. We had no jobs, only knew 1 other person living in LA, and were about to move in with a complete stranger…who eventually became one of our best friends. But it was one of the best decisions. Within a year we were both working in our desired fields and truly loving life. In 2018, we were presented with an even crazier opportunity: move to Europe for the year for my husband’s job. I was at a turning point in my career where I was ready for change, so after much consideration, we decided to go for it. Read more>>

Nate Kreiter | Fashion Designer

Growing up I was pretty strategic. If I was going to make big decisions, I would try to think about it rationally as risk vs reward. So if something has a high risk probability, with a low probability for reward, it’s not rational to make that decision. But with that decision making process, I was finding less and less excitement and beauty in my life… it was very grey and dull. My life in Montana was going according to plan, but things going according to plan isn’t exciting, theres a lack of “life” that happens. That’s great if that is what you want… but I didn’t. Life is supposed to be exciting, scary, and unpredictable. So when I graduated college, according to plan, something in me snapped. Read more>>

Osmar Okuma | Musician & Educator

Taking risks is something very important for people who are looking to pursue a creative career because it forces you to grow and learn. A lot of opportunities I have had as an artist have opened up to me after I have decided to take a risk and venture into something new that might be out of my comfort zone at first. As a musician it was an extremely important factor in my life because it allowed me to open my mind and skills to new creative ideas, which later flourished into being able to use those ideas as a way to build up on my career. This allowed me to have more tools at my disposal which meant that if someone was looking for a specific set of skills, I could step up and take the challenge. Read more>>

Brandon Black | Comedian

I think risk is necessary to accomplish anything. Risk should be mitigated when possible but its definitely something everyone should incorporate into their lives or career. I wouldn’t be on stage telling jokes making people laugh and feeling the high that comes from that if I risk getting on stage the first time. Read more>>

Steven Daily | Artist, Illustrator, Muralist & Instructor

I believe Risk taking is a huge part Growth, staying fresh and prolific. If you don’t take risks, i don’t believe you will grow as an artist technically, and style wise. Also, I think that really meaningful work comes with risk. I Personally get excited about trying a new medium or a larger scale or a different subject matter. A common mistake i see is, a lot of artist paint for there audience, instead of creating form within. Everyone needs to make a living and i get that. So why fix it if it isn’t broke? I know guys who are the robot guy, or the rabbit guy, who are sick of painting rabbits. Maybe their to afraid of taking that risk, to do something out of their brand? In fear of loosing an audience. A very famous artist once told me to paint what you love, and an audience will follow. Read more>>

Randy Gloss | Percussionist, Composer & Educator

For me, everything is a matter of perspective. In the context of risk versus reward I see it more as being present and in the moment, recognizing opportunities when they present themselves and staying open to the possibilities. I tend to “go with my gut” and “follow my heart”, my instinctual and more immediate response. This openness and doing it from a place of love is of course another essential ingredient. The mind will rationalize a million ways in which something is risky, impractical, irrational, dangerous…why I shouldn’t do something, but that first response of following my heart has been what’s guided me and shaped the path of my life and career. Read more>>

Robert Beddall | Actor & Writer

To me and I think to many people, life is all about taking risks it’s how you learn. They should teach you that in school instead of boring you to death with text books. It can be very scary taking a new risk doing something that you feel uncomfortable with but that’s life. If you don’t risk you won’t succeed. The minute you jump and learn how to swim is the most satisfying moment. Read more>>

Anna Vescovi | Textile & Surface Illustration Designer

We take dozens of risks each day- some are subconscious decisions while others have us baffled and fazed. Artists and designers are no stranger to the game, as risk plays a vital role in keeping art alive. Having previously trained under companies like Boston Ballet and Royal Danish Ballet for about fifteen years, there was a period of denial towards the end of my career. I was injured, miserable but worst of all, completely numb. Fatigued by the repetitive cycle of rigorous ballet training I became so deeply submerged in, I had arrived at a crossroads. Was it possible to wake up each day, excited and motivated by learning and creating? The act of changing my career path was a shot in the dark, but there would be lessons to gain if fate took a turn for the worst. Read more>>

Vanessa Punche’ | Coffee Truck, Mobile Coffee, Gourmet Coffee Business & Curated Beverage Caterer

I’d be lying if I said, I didn’t take risks. I’ve always been one to run to the fire, and some might say, you’ll get burned. But I don’t see it that way. I see risks as a challenge, I started my business by taking a risk. Yup, going against the grain and starting my own coffee business was definitely risky. I was originally very hesitant to share the reason why I started my business. I felt that people wouldn’t understand or support me. But I quickly realized, I had to walk in my truth and be authentic to who I am, and so what if some people wouldn’t support me. Maybe they’d encounter me and change their minds. I also think you’ve got to believe in yourself if you’re taking any kind of risk. Read more>>