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.

Kaitlin (KB”) Bonfiglio | educator

I think risk-taking is crucial to living a full life!! In my early years I was very anxious to leave my comfort zone; I was basically on the computer all day every day. But all that changed about when I turned 18, and I left my family for the first time. There is privilege in being able to leave home to go to college, and I owe all that to my parents. Additionally, they provided me with the ability to leave the country for a study abroad program. Read more>>

Kelly Kane | President of The Kane School Pilates Certification Program and Women’s Health Educator

I often think of myself as someone who hasn’t had much fear, until recently I took a lot of calculated and not so calculated risks when I started my business. I was a medical school student and decided to leave medical school. The culture of medicine was not where I wanted to spend my energy and time. It was a highly masculine system and I wanted to work within a system that was egalitarian and collaborative. Read more>>

Jon Dragonette | Fine Art and Documentary Photographer

For me life has been all about risk taking, wether it be my career path, life choices, or something as insignificant as ordering a new dish at my favorite restaurant. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m f*cking Evel Knievel or anything, but I try to push my boundaries, live in those uncomfortable places and push myself to the brink of potential disaster. The goal? See if I can walk away victorious, or at the least, on my own two feet. Read more>>

Sarafina Ludlow | Comedian, Writer, Director, and Actor

Everything is a risk, in some form or another, so you may as well take risks for things that you love and are passionate about. Not doing so welcomes the risk of regret. I have a tattoo of “11:30” on my forearm that is a reminder of the Lorne Micheals (SNL creator) quote, “We don’t go on because we’re ready, we go on because it’s 11:30.” Read more>>

Melissa Murphy Bedi | Hair & Makeup Artist

Everything I have done in my life has been based on taking a chance. Going for it against all odds. Survival meets talent, and determination. I started at a makeup counter to supplement my income. I became the manager, and one of my employees left working for me. She was placed as an assistant to a Porn director through a temp agency. She was going out of town and he needed someone to watch his dogs. I did the job. Read more>>

Kelsey Cooke | Co-Founder: thisishardtoread productions

We can’t talk about risks without talking about fear. There is fear in taking risks, because risk by definition is: “possibility of loss or injury…suggests a hazard…to expose to hazard or danger” (Merriam-Webster). But lets be really honest with ourselves and agree that we expose ourselves to hazard as soon as we get out of bed in the morning. Read more>>

Kelly Edward | Entrepreneur & Small business owner

I believe risks are a huge part of true growth. Stepping out of your comfort zone and into the unknown can be scary but it’s vital to see what you’re really capable of. I’m starting to be comfortable with the unknown after years of entrepreneurship. It’s really out of necessity. I don’t think I would have started any of my businesses if I didn’t feel like the leap was worth some risk. Read more>>

Bruna Fachetti | Actress, Writer and Producer

I believe taking risks is the only way to live outside of our comfort zone. As a Chubbuck acting teacher, I have learned a lot about this through the Los Angeles bestseller “The Power of The Actor,” which has also been used by Forbes entrepreneurs to encourage them to take risks. I translated the almost 500-page book into Portuguese and launched it in Brazil, which was one of the biggest risks I have ever taken. Read more>>

Mike Stilkey | Artist

I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t been open to taking risks. I watched my parents struggle and work jobs that were not fulfilling to them. I decided early on in my life that I would try to do exactly what I wanted to do, no matter what, and see what happened. I imagined the worst case scenario to be that I would try to live life my way, and if things didn’t work out I would end up getting a job anyway, so I might as well try things my way first. Read more>>

Peter Filimaua | Writer & Director

Taking risks in life is inherent. We either choose to take them, or we must go through them. Pursuing a career in the field of film has been my risk. Filmmaking has always been a passion of mine since childhood. One of my first shorts was a stop-motion of my WWE action figures that I shot on a flip video camera. It grew from that to making short skits with my best friends in high school. Now looking back into my last year of graduate school for film and tv at USC, it’s been a long journey full of learning. Read more>>

Rachel Lynn | Singer/Songwriter

When pursuing an artistic path, taking risks is an inevitable part of the process. In fact, pursuing an artistic path IS the risk – especially when we think of traditional ideas of security and success. For me, pouring my heart into my songs and sharing that with people is like a drug I keep coming back for, and so I take all of the associated risks: risk of rejection, risk of self-doubt and the aftermath, risk of lost investments, to name a few. Read more>>

Gracia the Artist | Multimedia Experimentalist

Taking risks is everything! I’m an artist and I think the beautiful reality of art is that there are no rules! The invitation is there and we are just being beckoned to take chances! I think taking risks is often viewed as this really intimidating territory, (not to say it can’t also be that!) but I think it can also be a very intimate and playful experience. Read more>>

David B. Meadows | Actor, Creator, Former Navy SEAL.

Risks are everything and everywhere. Trying to avoid a Risk IS a Risk. So, since there is no avoiding them, pick the ones you can grow from. The ones that challenge and excite you, and especially the ones that scare you. Our brains are so wired for fear, pessimism, and safety it stops us from challenging ourselves and growing into the best version of us. It stops us from living the life we could be living. Read more>>

Kaylin Lavena | Producer, Creative Director, Actress

Taking risks is equivalent to being very strong willed. “Risk” just sounds scarier because of the way society has translated that definition. Taking risks are usually either celebrated or criticized. But when I look back on my journey, that little girl growing up in Detroit had no reason to believe that she could live the life that I am currently living. Read more>>

Sue Longo | Crystal Monger, Rock Slinger

The biggest decisions made in my life have been driven by intuition. That voice inside me is strong and loud, and I have trusted her at the most pivotal moments thus far… I don’t plan to change course any time soon! Read more>>

Cargo Qell | Rapper and activist

It showed me that losing breeds a winner in the long run. Read more>>

Sarah McTaggart | Lead Singer & Songwriter, Transviolet

Risk is where innovation happens. It’s a place where we are at our most vulnerable, and vulnerability is where we truly connect. The most life changing and successful songs I’ve been a part of have been huge risks, both personally and professionally. Girls Your Age is my coming of age story. It has no percussion until verse 2. That song has almost 20 million streams on spotify alone, and has been cosigned by Katy Perry, Harry Styles, Ellie Goulding and Lauren Jauregui. Read more>>

Sylvia Aguiñaga | Video Game Developer

Risk-taking comes naturally to those who feel safe to fail. Growing up, I was not a risk taker and this created an illusion of success. As young as 8 years old, I remember telling my brothers I’d make them lunch for a week if they would beat levels in Mario for me. I lacked the confidence to beat those games by myself. Read more>>

Melissa Gordillo | Wardrobe Stylist

Growing up it was always instilled in me to have plan A, B, and C lined up. I have always been a planner and I always think ahead of any fires that could be prevented in advance. So it’s pretty clear to say that I was not very averse to risk. However, this all changed for me in 2020. As the pandemic tore through most of my plans and industry, I was left with the very core of what I value and aim to achieve while on this earth. Read more>>