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.

Juanita Tomlinson | Online Doggy Boutique Owner

I think taking risks is definitely a door opener. Whether the initial outcome is good or bad. It is all about the end result. Starting my businesses each time were both sudden and big risks that I honestly was scared to make. However, taking risks has made me much more confident in what I do and who I am. I am able to continue on instead of giving up because I’ve seen the benefits of my risk over and over. Even after they may have seemed to be a fail. I get to learn so much from risk taking. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Read more>>

Melanie Fauni | Events DJ | Marketing Consultant

The DJ scene is a male dominant business. When I first started DJ’ing over 10 years ago, the industry predominantly had male DJ’s and I felt that women did not get the same respect, pay and appreciation as we deserve. I had to let go of that fear of judgement and continue to pursue my passion and show what I am capable of. It breaks my heart that people would look over talent and think “She’s just charming and can press buttons” when it is more than that. It takes a lot of knowledge, skill and passion to be a great DJ especially if you are an open format DJ playing at different types of events. There is still a long way to go for gender equality but I’m glad to be inspiring women to break down barriers so that there wont be any gender classification in the future. Read more>>

Kaley Weil | Contemporary Fine Artist

I think of risk as an essential, unavoidable part of life. Every creative person can relate to the risk that it takes to pursue a career in the arts. I had always thought that I would become a lawyer and there was a lot of fear and uncertainty involved in deciding to pursue art professionally. In grappling with this decision, I came across the following poem, Risk by Anais Nin: and then the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Read more>>

Adouria | Comedian

All of comedy is a risk. You take a risk getting on stage telling joke with the possibility that only you think you are funny. Comedy is subjective. There’s no rule book or formula for how to be funny or the right way to be funny. You simple have to get up there and do it, and keep doing it to get good. Every time you’re on stage is a risk, every new joke is a risk. Sometimes the risk is not knowing where the line is, the risk is you might offend someone. But you can’t not take risks in comedy. Read more>>

Joy de Rose | Electronic Musician, Multimedia performing/Recording Artist

I believe that magic happens outside of our comfort zone in life, so I think taking risks is essential if we want to grow beyond our imagination and expand ourselves past our limitations to fulfill our dreams. We all have the right and ability to live life to the fullest. Back when my life was in South Korea, I had a successful career as a dermatologist but I always had the desire and hunger to become a professional artist. Ultimately, I decided to leave my job and home and move to the US where I began studying music in depth at Berklee College of Music. Now, as an artist, I am truly happy with that decision. I am living my passion and doing what makes me excited every day, life could not be more fulfilling than that. I think my decision to taking the risk to pursuit my dream is one of the biggest achievements in my life so far and taking that risks was the price for my happiness and fulfillment that I feel right now. Read more>>

Cindy Guevara | Brema Bella/Lanni Ella Founder & CEO

I think risk is absolutely necessary in order to have a career or the life that you want. I don’t mean risking your life or jumping out of a plane. For example starting a company was a risk for me. You don’t know if your idea is going to work, if people are going to come work with you, or if anyone will hire you to do the job that you are offering. I like to make a pro and cons list to see what my odds are but at the end of the day without actually taking action, you will never know. And that’s a risk worth taking. Read more>>

Heylee Barriola | Psychotherapist

Growing up, we didn’t exactly take “risks”.. My mother always “played it safe” and was not comfortable with change. My mother immigrated from the Dominican Republic with her father and her siblings and they settled in Washington Heights in New York. Being a first generation Dominican American it always felt like we were lucky to be here and therefore risk was too much of a gamble. In 2015, when I decided to move to Southern California for grad school, I felt like I was betraying my mother and everything she’d worked for. I embrace change so moving 2,800 miles from home was not a difficult choice for me. I moved across the country to a city where I did not know anyone and I do not regret the move. If I had to, I’d do it all over again. Read more>>

Michelle Perez | Vintage Curator & Creative

I heard Glennon Doyle say something the other day on a podcast that went something like, “Suffering is in the space between the knowing and the doing.” That really resonates because I like to take calculated risks, but its not any less stressful when change comes. I’ve always found myself pushing the boundaries of what feels comfortable, and while it doesn’t give me any less anxiety about what awful thing could occur, the excitement and novelty of what could be really motivates me to push past the fear. (It could be naïveté too!) Read more>>

Taro Takizawa | Artist and Educator

Taking risk is a necessity inside and outside of the studio. I am not so interested in getting too comfortable with my practice yet because I can sense that I can keep growing, developing my practice inn the studio, make improvements in the process. These risks are fairly small, calculated risks, baby steps, small things that I will try in the studio so that I can learn something new without having a catastrophic failure. It’s about being efficient in my practice since I am often busy with teaching and other responsibilities, I cannot afford to plunge in head first without knowing the outcome. Read more>>

Paul Thom | CEO, Founder of The Thom Brand

As cliché as it may sound, I’m a head-strong believer that risking-taking amounts to rewards. I can attest that your results may not appear overnight (it sure did not happen for me instantly); however, there is always something to gain from it. Funny enough, I’m learning that the clichés ring in the most truth as I navigate my professional career and personal growth. You have to believe in yourself. You have to dream big. You have to see your value. These ideas of affirmations hold meaning, and manifestation supports these notions significantly. Read more>>

montana tsai | Business Owner, Hair Stylist

I’ve had a long relationship with risk. It used to be the most natural thing to me as a kid. I would be the first one to jump off the jungle gym, run up on stage to take the limelight. This innate urge to dive head first into situations would serve me well for the first couple decades of my life. I acted and modeled from the age of 3 to 15, starring in national print campaigns and guest starred on hit TV shows. I sang the National Anthem at Dodger Stadium when I was 15 in front of thousands of people. As I got older, I became more conscious about what kinds of risks I wanted to put myself in and thought that being risky was immature. I thought that I needed to grow up. Which brings me to the first 8 years of my career. Read more>>

Dylan James | Photographer

I have learned to weigh risk. Often times, something seems risky only because I do not know enough about it. After doing research on something that I used to think was risk, I no longer have that opinion. Read more>>

Tyra Ajee | Permanent Makeup Artist & Beauty Influencer

Many people when they think of the word “Risk” they see red flags. But not me, I’ve always been a huge risk taker rather the outcome was good or not so good I always seen the light in taking risks. When starting my brand “Clishade” in 2018 it was not only a hustle but I was dedicated to making it more of a lifestyle so i took huge risks by switching things up constantly wondering if my audience would accept the changes. Although I always had support I just wasn’t satisfied, I wanted more for myself. I even took a few steps back to see what it was I really wanted to get into. I literally went ghost with Clishade & I was so nervous thinking people would forget about my brand completely. Read more>>

Samuel Skeen | Founder & Producer – Animal Victory Entertainment

Here’s what I believe about risk-taking: I never let ambition come at the cost of my empathy because creative risks do not include production risks. Creative risks are essential to telling the new stories that deserve to be told, which should never come at the expense of safety on set. Make it a habit of putting your team before yourself, push the art past its limits, not the people. That is the cornerstone of a career that will last and be rewarded. Read more>>

Jhone’ Y. Lucas | Actress, Journalist & On-Air Host of The Gen Zone

I think if life’s about taking risks… I may be the riskiest of them all. If I am not being challenged, then I get bored. I graduated with my BA at 21 years old, but I wasn’t satisfied with the normal or practical next steps in my life. I hated my office job, the 9 to 5 lifestyle wasn’t thrilling. So I’d say I risked my comfortability at a young age when I moved from my hometown, Omaha in Nebraska, to Manhattan. I was able to secure two jobs in New York prior to moving, but the rest I had to figure out when I got there and, umm… apartment searching in NYC is no walk in the park. Read more>>

Ramya Pothuri | Artist

After high school I decided to take a gap year since I had no clue what I wanted to pursue as a career. That year I got a job singing at a hotel 4 nights a week at this lounge, and it was there that I realized I wanted to pursue singing as a career in whatever shape or form that would take. I had to make the decision of whether to go to college and get a degree while simultaneously trying to pursue a carrer in music, or to just throw myself in the deep end and do it full time. I went with the latter, and even though I don’t have a plan b, the risk is what really pushes me to make this work every day. I think having a plan b would’ve made me compacent about music, because even though giving up would feel like the world is ending, it wouldn’t. If you have a backup you can tend to end up falling towards that safety net. Having no backup makes me work really hard at this every day. Read more>>

She-She O’Donnell | Angel Intuitive and Life Coach

I had been working in downtown Chicago in various corporate sales jobs for most of the 90’s when out of the blue my younger sister Maureen died of a fever of unknown origin. This snapped me out of my automatic pilot lifestyle of just being a workaholic with no free time or joy into asking the important questions, “Who am I, why am I here and what is the purpose of life?” I was married to another workaholic and we lived in a beautiful highrise in Lincoln Park with a pool on the roof but I wasn’t happy. Read more>>

Yasmine Diba | Director

One of the bigger “risks” I haven taken in my life was quitting a job where I was on salary and moving to New York with no job, apartment, or really idea what I was going to do. But I believe that “risk” ended up being one of the major reasons I get to work for myself now. Who’s to say it wouldn’t of worked out like this some other way, but I would say when it comes to risk taking with careers it never hurts to just try. If things don’t work out you just change them. Doesn’t mean it will be easy, but nothing has to be permanent. It’s your life so you are allowed to have a plot twist whenever you please. New beginnings are exciting. Read more>>

Kimberly Crawford | Singer, Model & Creator

To me I consider risk as an opportunity to have faith and to choose to take action. As much as I consider myself a rational person by always weighing pros and cons of a specific situation or opportunity, think I take most of the ‘thinking’ out of risk taking and just take action. Perhaps this is the artist and creative in me and my innate instinct to adapt my mindset of “even if “ when there are risks that lie ahead. I feel my entire career is one giant risk and I’ve spent many of my young adult/adult years living extremely unconventionally (some may consider)! To make it onto Broadway is to make it where only 1% of performers will reach. There is really very little stability and conventionality within the performance arts space … I’m totally speaking on behalf of my reality. Read more>>

iaysha samad | Body Sculpting Practitioner & Master Trainer

As a single mother and entrepreneur, risk is my middle name! Just kidding, but for me, there is a big difference between a strategic risk and blindly jumping off a cliff – and this difference is key in the way that I move. My parents moved to California at the age of 17 with a duffel bag and whatever money they had in their pockets to build a better life. Their risk was my first inspiration from an entrepreneur’s perspective, and luckily I was exposed to it at an early age. Being a single mother, fear of failure replays like a movie in my head over and over. But as a mom to a little girl who will one day become a woman, I knew I wanted to teach my daughter not to fear life and the “what-if” questions that come along with it. Most importantly, I want to create a legacy to not only leave to her but to create generational wealth as well. Read more>>

Sélynne Silver | Actress, Model, Host

Well, first of all, I left a good and secure paid job and moved across the world a few years back knowing no one in America and not knowing what to expect. I definitely call that a risk. It has not been an easy ride and it still is not. Then, every day, I put myself out there and I let people judge me and my work at the risk of being rejected. Every day, I am taking a risk of being told “You are not good enough”. It can be difficult to keep it together at times but that is the industry I chose and would not want it any other way. Read more>>

Phallon Long | Business Owner & Brand Strategist

Risk are a sign of true faith in yourself and your mission. I believe you are never truly able to see what you are capable of until you take risk and really wage how adaptable you are. Risk are a huge part of human evolution and how we as a species are still alive to this day. Taking risk is what got me to the position I have reached today. I now live in Atlanta off of risk, I started my business off of risk, found what i am truly passionate about off of a risk. Entrepreneurship is not a field for those who cannot take risk. You business will never grow and you will never reach the points of success you intend for yourself without calculated risk. Read more>>