In our experience, most folks, including ourselves don’t have enough of an understanding of risk and the role it plays in our lives and careers and so we have made a concerted effort as a team to have conversations about risk with our interviewees. We’ve shared some highlights below.

Justin Miller | Strength coach and nutritionist

After finishing my Masters’s degree and realizing the work I was doing wasn’t for me I quit my job, sold my car, and all but 50 items to take a trip around the world. While on a rooftop in Japan I realized helping people build a body and life they’re proud of is where I wanted to put my attention. Fast forward 12 years later and without that trip and those risks I would not be where I am today. Risk-taking is how my business started and how it continues to grow. But it’s not taking risks we need to get better at. It’s being comfortable with the outcomes – good and bad. Read more>>

Matthew Palumbo | Actor and Filmmaker

The element of risk-taking separates how individuals choose to live their lives. We cannot exist without taking risks. When a baby stands up and takes their first ever few steps, they are risking a fall which to the baby can feel like a matter of life and death. I believe it is this fear that begins to subdue the continuation of heavy risk taking in our lives. We fall, we fail, we falter. It’s a vicious cycle that starts to mold us, and most people live under the guise of fear for their entire lives. They fail to live the lives that they could have lived had they just taken a risk. Read more>>

Karizma Villafuerte | Artist / Designer

When you believe in something sooooo much risk is not a concern. Is it scary YES! of Course but your love, your drive and how much you believe mix in your work ethic it becomes all good. Read more>>

Lena Tsodykovskaya | Filmmaker

My job is all about taking risks. The career risks are very standard – pick the right projects, right collaborators, right team, right moves etc. The creative risks – those are the really tricky ones. I believe that as a storyteller if you are not taking risks in your subjects, themes, characters, approach… the story is not worth telling. Think about the last book you loved, or the last film/TV show you watched and couldn’t stop thinking about. It made such a huge impact on you because the author explored subjects that you haven’t seen before, or made you fall for new kinds of characters, or maybe they managed to channel your very deep thoughts, ones that you never speak out loud. All of those were risks that the author took when creating the story for you. Read more>>

Aaron Adrian | Director, Cinematographer, Photographer

We are all familiar with phrases like ‘high risk, high reward’. I personally believe in taking risks for improvement towards your goal, but it is also important to know and calculate the risks and not blindly jump into a scenario that you might end up regretting. Without taking risks, I wouldn’t be where I am today. To pursue a creative career was something no one in my life thought I would ever do. Growing up, my educational and career plans were rather simple; getting a degree related to computer sciences, work 9-5, and live a structured life with little worry. But when I started developing an interest in filmmaking, I knew I had to follow through with it. Many in my life would think I made a rather bold or crazy move to leave my degree scholarships from one of the best universities in the world, but I couldn’t be happier in my decision to follow my calling to create art. Read more>>

Scott Vasquez | Actor/Stuntman & DJ/Producer

In my life risk taking was not really a thought for a long long time. I had never taken any big risks. Then one day I had a falling out with an employer, and after a life of working a 9-5 I took a risk and quit instantly that day without a plan. In an odd way as nervous and scared as I was about where rent is going to come from, I also felt an unsurmountable amount of freedom. I felt like I had broken a cycle. A cycle of never being happy in a workplace. It lead me to the career and life I am currently pursuing and it has made me happier than ever. So if I had to say how taking a risk has played in my life and career, I would say it’s made me the happiest I have ever been. Read more>>

Cate Montana | Author, editor, explorer, friend

Apparently I’ve lived a life filled with risk. I say “apparently” because most of the things I’ve done haven’t seemed overly risky to me. They’ve just been the next thing that was “up” and seemed interesting: show jumping horses, paragliding, white water kayaking, camping solo across country. I’ve risked my money on occasion and definitely traded monetary security for the wisdom gained living an introspective and often solitary life meditating in the wilderness. I’ve risked my heart over and over again. Read more>>

Maddison Bullock | Actor, Writer, Producer

I believe that risk-taking has played an essential role in both my personal life and career. I think some people see risk-taking as akin to “Winging it” or going for something blindly. For me, taking a risk seems more the logical conclusion when you have done the work ahead of time. Preparing to the level of excellence necessary to take a genuine risk is actually fun! Read more>>

Caroline Pinal | Cofounder of Giveback Homes

I love a good thrill, an adrenaline kick, a giant swan dive into the unknown. Risk is essential to uncovering heaps of unforeseen potential and my experiences so far have alchemized into a bold life and very fulfilling work. But the greatest reward in taking risks is that whether you win or learn, you will undoubtedly inspire someone else. Read more>>

Melanie Walden | Curated Chronicles, INC – CEO

There’s that saying always thrown about “no risk, no reward’ and in my own life that has really shaped a lot of major milestones in life thus far. I’d say one of the first biggest risks I took that shaped carved a new path for my life was decided to go to art school in London, England at the age of 23. I’m from a small town in the Inland Empire and felt as though I was going in circles trying to break free into the world as a creative person. So… I applied to Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and design in London Enlgand, was accepted, took out a loan and hopped on a plane alone and flew across the globe. Read more>>

Sterling Rhyne | Singer-Songwriter, Visual Artist & Founder of Cactus Lady Creation

Taking calculated risks and failing with some of those risks is inevitable, yet necessary in the journey to success. Luckily, I was able to learn this tenet in my youth during my time at an Arts Magnet High School, as it has set the tone for the decisions I have made throughout my life and career and has shaped my view on the benefit of taking risks. There were so many auditions and competitions throughout high school that I threw so much of myself into, believing wholeheartedly that I was the right person for each solo and part, but I did not land most of them. With each part that I failed to land and each competition that I failed to win, it was a blow to my ego and was a risk to my confidence and my individuality. Read more>>

Vihang Walve | Director, Editor and motion graphic designer

“You can be anything in life as long as you become an engineer or doctor.” “Movies are a waste of your time, study instead.” “Why do you want to be a struggling artist by choice?” These were the popular beliefs in my childhood. Didn’t know anyone from the industry, Didn’t know if I could fit into the culture,
Didn’t know if I would find a way to be as successful as the people I idolize. Yet here I am in la la land, directing, producing, editing, creating impactful content and moving towards my dream of making films. Read more>>

Michael Kushner | multi-hyphenate actor, photographer, writer, podcaster, producer

What have you got to lose dictates my choices. When I think back on where I came from, it’s because I’ve reached out. It’s because I’ve asked for help. It’s because I’ve put myself out there risking rejection and humiliation. And sometimes it does end up that way, but at least I was informed of what I can do better next time. Read more>>

Jon Bennett | Singer and Bassist for Originetic

How do you think about risk? Life is too boring if you don’t take risks every so often. There are so many different aspects of life to enjoy, but far too many to commit fully too. Risks are choices. Simple as that. When you take a risk, you are making a conscious choice to follow through on your decision. I tend to take risks under three fulfilled conditions: 1. Is there an acceptable probability to your success. 2. Are you able to accept the loss should you fail to meet your goal. 3. How much are you willing to sacrifice to meet that risk. Read more>>

Alima Sanni | Founder of Entertainment Website Music Love Harmony

I think taking risks is one of the many things that makes life exciting and fulfilling. It can be scary and sometimes it’s easy to make decisions out of fear because it involves stepping into the unknown, but it can be very rewarding. When I’m faced with a situation where I have to make a decision that involves risk, I make my faith bigger than my fears. I made the decision to start a podcast for my entertainment website. It was new territory for me and I was kind of fearful of putting my voice out there, but after a lot of practice and preparation, I decided to go for it. There are also risks involved when it comes to pursuing entrepreneurship. This is the path I’m currently on. I’ve learned to embrace everything on the entrepreneurial journey. The highs, the lows, the failures, and frustrations. It’s not easy, but I love being on this journey. Read more>>

Helen Henderson | Singer Songwriter

Taking risks has been a major part of my music career. In order to live ones Dream one must show up for ones vision and basically stick ones neck out. Allow oneself to be “seen” for ones authentic self regardless of the outcome. The public and even ones own family may choose to love or hate your art or music. You make the music / art anyway, taking that risk of being ridiculed or rejected plus the financial risks of investing in oneself and ones art in the face of criticism and cynicism about daring to be an artist at all. Read more>>

Nolo Grace | Artist/Music Producer

It’s funny because I consider myself a risk-averse person, and yet many people would view the decisions I’ve made as highly risky. The chief one among them was leaving my successful career as a corporate executive in NYC behind to pursue the artistic/creative path. You have to remember there are risks associated with not doing something too…like unhappiness, always wondering “what if,” never achieving your dreams. For me, the risk associated with staying on a path that wasn’t making me happy was far greater than taking the leap of faith. Read more>>

Ting Lin | Creative Entrepreneur, Fashion Consultant, & Musician.

Risk-taking is a main factor that got me to where I am today. My life journey started from Southern China, to San Francisco, to Los Angeles, to New York, and now Washington D.C.. It’s evident that I am familiar with leaving the comfort zone and diving into the unknown. Sometimes those decisions were made for me by my mother – the queen of risk-taking, such as immigrating to America. Sometimes those decisions were made by me without thorough planning, like moving to New York without a job or stable place to live. Sometimes those decisions were made by me deliberately, like moving to DC for a better career opportunity. Read more>>

Lauren Tallman | Author

I took risks in living in another country for 33 years and going through three wars. I learned to be stronger than I thought I could be while making a home and raising a family. When others asked, “How do you do it?” I realized my reach was farther than others, in thought, and actions. I could ‘shake things up’ and excite people with the things I’d seen and done. When I found my forte in writing was erotica, it made me reach out to people and give them the pleasure that they sought but were too afraid to speak about. And my writing was warm yet intense which surprised me most of all. Read more>>

Madelyn Paquette | NYC recording artist and singer-songwriter

In my teens, I was definitely risk-averse. I stayed out of trouble, steered clear of parties and drinking, and focused on school. I liked staying in my lane, sticking to the things I knew and was good at. But since I was ten years old, I always pushed forward and took risks when it came to music. Though the grind of being an independent musician keeps getting more competitive and the pressure seems greater with time, I have found it to be incredibly rewarding. Read more>>

Bill Chott | Improv Teacher

As an improviser and teacher and a character actor, risk plays a very big role in my life and my career. My goal is to be the kindness that some people feel is lacking in the world. So every moment is taking a risk in being kind to people. It’s not what a lot of people are expecting. But in taking those risks, people find that there are a lot more kind people out there than they had expected to find. Improv is a way to be open and vulnerable and communicate at the very height of your ability. I took a risk in starting my business and now I help people and businesses feel more comfortable taking risks and achieving the unexpected. Read more>>

Nelcie Souffrant | Actress and Writer

I think taking risks is necessary! I moved over 3,000 miles away from my family. My family lives in New York and I am here in Los Angeles. I came across the country and stayed with friends with just a few dollars and my dog was stolen from me. Taking these risks opened up the opportunities for me to pursue the dreams that you see today as an actress. Read more>>

Jully-Alma Taveras | Founder, Investing Latina

I’ve always been a risk-taker. I’m naturally very curious and inquisitive which has led me to taking chances on many things throughout my life. My very first internship as a teen I got by walking into a sample sale in the garment district of NYC. Aside from the fact that I was underage, and didn’t have any work experience – I had this desire to learn and I had the courage to ask. I got the job, went on to pursue a degree in fashion, which led to countless wonderful experiences in the industry. Read more>>

David “Yungin” Kim | Grammy Winning Mix Engineer

Without risk, there is no reward. If we don’t ever take any chances, we will never find what were capable of. I feel every risk ive ever taken in my life has eventually become a lesson or a blessing. Without taking the step to attend Engineering School, I would have never realized this is what i wanted to do professionally. Without going on Chalice’s facebook page and cold messaging every employee, I would have never gotten the interview which led to the position i am in now. Without leaving the comfort of the studio that I worked at for 6 years to work with Hit-Boy, I would have never won back to back Grammys. Read more>>

Lynneisha Charles | Entertainment Journalist & Producer

What role has risk-taking played in my life/career? It has played a huge role. I was working as a radio producer in Chicago but I wanted to do more. I felt that I needed to be in a place where I would have more opportunities to do on-camera work. To me, the best place for that was Los Angeles. I’ve always been drawn to the city and wanted to live there before I chose my career path. But LA is not to be played with! Meaning you need a plan, money, connections, and did mention money. When I decided to move I barely had any of those. I mostly only had hope and a dream. I tried to plan my move, I tried to save money, but life happens and I would use that money for other things and come up with a reason why it wasn’t the right time to go. Read more>>

Karoline Iversen | Cinematographer

I believe taking risks is a big part of life and that it pushes us to be the best versions of ourselves. If you get too comfortable in life and stop taking risks, how will you be able to grow and reach your true potential? Already from a young age I realized taking risks was necessary for me to be able to grow, which is why I decided to move away from home when I was 16 and ever since I’ve kept jumping into the unknown head first, but an my personal and professional life. Taking risks is about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and having the courage to face the unknown. Even when no one believes in you, take that risk. Life is now, what are you waiting for? Read more>>

Masha Berenboym | Entertainment Agency Owner

I’m a strong believer in the saying “there’s no reward in life without risk” and I have dedicated my life to enjoying constant change and doing what I believe is right, not what society makes people right for. Risk is my best friend because I know giving is my purpose and when you have good intentions mixed with a belief to want and to do, you know you’ll succeed. Read more>>

Megan Lindeman | Visual Artist & Professor

I value risk taking in a big way. I think risk taking is essential in maintaining a kind of creative freedom and even in developing and expanding my capabilities as a human being. Risk taking is basically facing the unknown. As an artists I find no point in creating what is known over and over again. To push any kind of medium or field forward whether it be art or science I think it is necessary to learn to thrive in the unknown, to be okay with simply exploring, and to take big risks. I am at a point (perhaps even a “brink”) in my life and career where I have to take what feels like very big risks. I understand the the psychology that is involved in facing fears around risks and in maintaining a kind of belief system that will carry you through the risky decision. One must develop a profound sense of trust in oneself and in one’s environment. On the other side of the risk is always more knowledge, hopefully more advancement. and certainly more freedom. Read more>>

Victoria Prado | Actress, Singer, & Dancer

I think taking risks are one of the most important ways for you to grow. If I had not taken risks in my life I would not be where I am today. I did a lot of growing this past year and my take away has been if not now, then when so why not now? From that mentality I have come out more confident in who I am and what I have to offer not only as a performer but as a person as well. Read more>>