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.

Christopher Kim | Los Angeles Photographer

Taking risks is something that I’ve never done before until recently. Even if it was the little things like choosing something different on a menu at a place that I always go to just to try something new. Always picking the safe route because I knew what was waiting for me at the end of the road, comfortability and security. That, however, is what got me unfulfilled and upset with myself that I wasn’t doing anything fulfilling with my life. The biggest risk that I’ve taken for myself was quitting my job at Trader Joe’s to pursue my passion as a photographer and as a personal trainer. Trader Joe’s was and still is a great company to work for. It gave me a stepping stone and the financial help I needed to pursue what I wanted to do. Being stuck in a place for eight hours of the day, constantly doing the same task, and finding myself just constantly looking at the clock to see if it was time for me to go home yet, was just not how I wanted to define myself in what I could do. Read more>>

Sarah + Darren Hendry | Photographers

The most substantial risk we’ve ever taken was moving our business, and lives, over to Los Angeles from Scotland. LA, and California in general, is somewhere we’ve always loved to visit, ever since making our first trip over here in 2009. It just resonated with us on so many levels, we can’t really explain! But we always knew living here full-time was going to be a completely different monster, with acquiring work and clients from the other side of the ocean, building up our business SEO from scratch again, making connections with other people within our field, and basically starting afresh and relearning life in a new part of the world (health care and taxes, we’re looking at you mostly!). In our minds, we knew it was now or never, so we took the plunge and started the visa process. Fast forward 2 years later, we know we made the right decision. It’s been a tough, but very rewarding, couple of years. Read more>>

Rosie Gold | Salon Owner & Hair Stylist

It was a bright and sunny day in LA. Tuesday to be exact. Much like the day before, much like the day would expect to be the next. I was on my usual metro train ride to El Segundo, Ca to sit in my cubicle and continue to slowly kill my soul in the ever so prestigious company of Boeing. I could feel it, in the depths of my soul, that my spirit was dying a little more and more each day I stepped foot on that campus. “Is this what the next 30 years of my life will look like?” I asked myself. I just could not live with that. I did not want to look back on my life with regret. For as long as I can remember I had a strong curiosity and interest in hair, and I had the undying desire to follow my heart’s passion and dream of doing hair. Even if that meant leaving behind the security and dream of many. I just had to listen to my inner gut feeling – defying everyone around me and everything that ever made practical sense to anyone. I had gone through college, obtained a bachelor’s degree, and landed myself a job that could only be dreamt by many. Read more>>

Connie Ni Chiu | Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Practitioner, Facilitator, and Writer

I wonder often about how taking risks is passed down in families as a declaration of love and how risks evolve through the generations as a sacred part of our stories. I wonder a lot about where I would be or who I would become without the risks my mom took to flee her home, leaving everything behind to rebuild in a country that bombed her and refused her. What if she stayed? What if she didn’t leave everyone behind? Would I be missing from her life? I don’t know the answers. I can only feel her risks as inherited and sacred to my being, my becoming. The other way I think about taking risks is as a big leap of faith, a sense of trust wide enough to cushion all the possibilities of danger — physical, emotional, spiritual, relational. There is a paradox to taking risks, to invite danger and transformation into your life simultaneously. It’s a matter of trust. Risk is trusting others with your life. If I fail, will you be there to hold me and lift me back up? Risk is trusting unfamiliar and unknown spaces with your safety. Moving to New York City alone at 22, in search of a home and life; moving back to Los Angeles at 26, alone and still in search of a home and life. Read more>>

Hassan del Campo | Ethical Digital Marketer & Intrapreneur

When you begin to understand that risk is a spectrum of outcomes that can take place, of which you have some control, then opportunities become something that you can create rather than have happen to you. The decisions I make for my business, career, and life come from this premise. Predictably, we search for assurance in our choices. The challenge is how we reconcile our emotions in the decision-making process. It may feel like a leap of faith, but it shouldn’t. Risk-taking should feel, to a certain degree, uncomfortable. That feeling is a signal to our brain that we are challenging our biases. Not coincidentally, it is the perfect incentive to learn as much as we are willing to learn about the “leap” before we approach the cliff. This is the advantage we have as entrepreneurs. We know the effectiveness of strategic planning, research, experimentation, and iteration. We trust these activities. We welcome the process. Read more>>

Johnny Smoke | Co-Founder | Sun City Rags

This is an interesting question in respect to ones career …especially in 2020. We’ve often seen being an entrepreneur painted as a risky endeavor. To be fair it is. But is there really much more risk involved than attaching your future to the whim and circumstance of someone else’s business? Giving sometimes a decade to an employer only to get laid off from downsizing, or in the case of this year a global pandemic. Starting over and over, each time investing your life into the success of someone else’s dream. It seems “job security” is more and more elusive these days. Going into 2020 Sabrina and myself were in LA working as a makeup artist and music producer. Obviously these are careers you don’t enter into without taking some pretty significant risks. We moved to California from Florida unsure of how to get into those industries.No contacts to speak of and very little money. 7 years later we found ourselves doing alright. Sabrina had signed with Wilhelmina agency, I had a Billboard #1 and various projects, from working with Nickelodeon & Cartoon Network to having music in movies and TV. Read more>>

Sean Jewell | Principal Raconteur, American Standard Time Records

I’ve always been a risk taker. As a kid I was a bit of a daredevil. I liked the feeling of fear fun. I was always the first to try things. I’d climb higher, go farther, or faster any time I could. It helped growing up in the desert, with a lot of room to tumble and roam. As I got older I didn’t really pay attention to how much the risks I was willing to take made others uncomfortable. I thought maybe they were scared, or that I was misunderstood. At some point you grow up, have a family, close friends. People, who worked with me in (of course I had risky jobs) began to point out some of the risks I was taking: drinking, drugs, working all the time. I didn’t listen very well. Eventually that all takes it’s toll. I took a risk on myself. I sobered up, stopped working so much. I was able to think clearly about the valuable lessons I’d learned taking risks. In the military we used a strategy called operational risk management, to predetermine our chances, and effectively eliminate risk. In the sober community someone used the term “healthy risk” once, and that really resonated with me. I started to think about risks which were healthy, survivable, to keep life fun, but fulfill my desire for adventure. Read more>>

Ashley Aldridge | Makeup Artist

Risk has played a huge part in my life and my career. After taking a chance and switching to an industry I knew nothing about, I ended up in a management position at a heating and air conditioning company. It was a job I detested, but it paid well, so I had sort of given up on makeup and worked there for four years. I finally was so unhappy that I decided the risk of freelancing and possibly failing was worth it. I had successfully proven I can manage a sales team, so I knew that was something I can now fall back on if I needed to. Fast forward to two years later, and I have been working steadily in an industry that I absolutely love- even in the midst of a global pandemic. Read more>>

Karinna Karsten | Tech, Media and Love Lifestyle Entrepreneur

Risk can have a double edge, so I prefer to use the term bravery over risk. It takes bravery to be, (live, create and do business as) the authentic you. It takes bravery to start a business and believe in your offer’s value before anyone else does. While it didn’t feel like a risk at the time I started my business, launching products and services outside what already existed, was. As a serial entrepreneur in the space of love, tech and media I have continued to bravely challenge the status quo of relationship development and optimization. Read more>>

Bunnie Reiss | Muralist, Public Art, Installation, Painting

I’ve always laughed at the idea of a calculated risk, as if this is some type of concept you could put an actual number or math equation to. Risk is a state of mind, a dive into a cold swimming pool, a drive on a dark highway with no directions, a chance to roll the dice and see what tomorrow brings. My ideas have always come from living life to the fullest, despite the ‘obstacles’ we create to distract us, and this type of sentiment involves a lot of risk taking. Fear is a strange state of mind that can be crippling if you let it set in for too long. I’ve found that trying new things, keeping a positive mindset, following your intuition and being honest with yourself and others can lead to a super fun life. Read more>>

Jessica Orcsik | Actor, Writer & Producer

Risks are one of life’s blessings. It’s also the thing artists fear most. For me I’ve sat in the middle of loving and fearing the impact of taking risks. Yet I feel they are a necessary part of being an artist and ultimately helped me elevate my career to where I am today. Moving countries, starting my businesses, creating my own production company… they have all been important yet exciting risks that have always paid off. Even if it’s not as successful as I would’ve hoped. Risks are all about pushing outside your comfort zone, so you can live life to the fullest and live up to your highest potential. If you are afraid of it, then you MUST do it. Read more>>

Shenho Hshieh | Illustrator & Art Instructor

I think risk taking is important regarding one’s career. If the risk is something you really believe in, and you possess the privilege of engaging that risk, then it will most likely benefit you in the long run. Taking risks had initially caused struggles with my financial well-being, but in the end, the positives outshined the negatives. Risk taking had allowed me to pursue a career in illustration. Read more>>

Jess McNaughton | Interior Designer

Risk taking and stepping out of your comfort zone is necessary for building a business. It can be extremely scary, but also extremely rewarding. I was very fortunate to have a well paying job at a big tech company with all the fun perks of tech culture.  However, all the free lunches were never going to fill the void of not pursuing my creative interests.  I enrolled in the interior design certificate program at UCLA Extension while working full-time, taking one or two night classes a semester. That was the first step of a 10 year journey comprised of working, going to school part-time, and starting a family.  It wasn’t an easy journey, but I never lost the motivation to pursue my dream. I finally took the biggest risk of my life when I left my corporate job of 12 years and officially started Jess McNaughton Interiors. Some friends and family will think you’re insane to take such risks. You’ll second guess your choices when you give up your employer provided health insurance and cringe at the thought of looking at your bank statement. Read more>>

Joy Ray | Artist

Every new work of art is an opportunity for risk. Do I try something new, or stay with familiar materials and techniques? My work involves sewing/textiles—it can take a lot of time to create something. I have to resist the urge to be cautious. I have to be willing to try things—to cut something up or paint over it—and put aside concerns about ‘ruining it.’ Not everything works out, but even ‘failed’ experiments can sometimes lead to great discoveries. I believe in taking this same approach to most things in life. I’ll try just about anything once. Will I do it again? That depends on how it went the first time. Take risks, but be smart about it. Stay lucid. Try to learn from mistakes. Read more>>

Rachel Silva | Artist

I think risk is exciting and essential. A huge risk I took in my life was dropping out of college and soon after moving to LA with very little savings and no job. It was terrifying but so worth it. I thrive on spontaneity and try to leave a lot of space in my life for last minute trips (usually out into nature) which act as a recharge for my brain. For me the story of taking the risk is worth it, whatever the outcome may be (within reason, not risking my life or other peoples’ health or anything that drastic) but when it comes to art especially, I have been willing to destroy what I work on for the sake of experimentation, or rash decision making. A lot of my risk taking used to be based in materials and the process, like choosing a large canvas or temperamental medium, once I filled a slip n slide with paint and slid down it onto a canvas. The painting was ugly but the experience was worth it. Lately though I’m taking my artistic risks with my subject matter more so than my materials. Read more>>

Kim Kyne | Visual Artist, Illustrator

Risk taking is what got me as far as I currently am and I believe it is what will continue to carry me forward to the next level. We are constantly tested in life and playing small will reward a person with a mediocre life. As often as I can, I reevaluate my life and try to let go of the things that are holding me back (relationships, jobs, and professional collaborations that no longer serve me) and let them go in order to create space for more expansive blessings. To give a specific example, I had to end a relationship with a person I was deeply in love with because I had clarity on the fact that our values didn’t align. Although it was painful, this newfound space and energy in my life allowed me to become more authentic and invest in my artistic skills and career. Read more>>

Erica Robin | Oil Painter & Artist

I think the higher the risk, the higher the reward. I have been a risk taker my whole life. It’s gotten me into some trouble and injuries, however those challenges served as key teaching points and pointed me in the right direction. The Universe rewards bravery. Being a full time artist is very risky as there is no guaranteed security. However I think some people are finding especially this year, is that nothing is guaranteed or secure. We all live our lives each day with limited control. Some think they have full control, then God tells you otherwise. I would not have life any other way than to live every day as if it’s my last. Read more>>

Missy Washington Cross | Muralist and Illustrator

Risk reminds us that we are alive and that our time here is finite. With so many cushions and barriers in place to help keep us safe, I think most of us operate in our daily lives under some pretty blinding assumptions. Inviting or even accepting the possibility of high consequence scenarios, allows us to practice resourcefulness. We are pushed to think on our feet or solve a problem efficiently; this creates a stimulating environment for learning new things. After a risky situation, in which we’ve performed well, we get a boost of pride and self-confidence. We need this! I think we have, as a society, inched our way more and more into a zone of safety and protection, which engenders fear. This is so debilitating. Living without fear is really the goal. I think we tend to think of risk as performing dangerous physical feats, like skydiving. But I think real risk and reward are in confronting situations that we face in everyday life – leaving a dysfunctional relationship, leaving a stable career to follow a dream, telling someone how you feel, being kind and vulnerable when it’s easier to shutdown. I think confronting fear is one of life’s biggest challenges. I continue to wrestle with these ideas in my life and career. Read more>>

Kim Ryu | Product Designer & Illustrator

I am inherently very risk-averse, but I’ve learned to combat my anxiety by being well-prepared. I ask myself questions like: “How can I make this risk feel empowering rather than paralyzing?” and “Even if it doesn’t go the way I hope, what will I learn from this experience?” This self-introspection de-emphasized the negatives of risk-taking and shifted my mindset to be more pro-active. While I can’t control the outcome, I can still prepare to give myself the best chance and to cushion a potential set-back. Through this process, I’ve been able to take more risks throughout my life. Smaller risks like taking a college course I thought was beyond my capabilities and big risks like changing my entire career trajectory, have rewarded me with new business ventures and with invaluable experiences. It’s a privileged position to be able to take a risk, and there were times where I felt like I couldn’t afford that luxury. It’s easier to say this now being on the other side of that cliff, but my biggest risk to pursue a career in design has been my proudest achievement and it has provided a strong foundation for me to take even more risks. Read more>>

Monica Griffin | Visual Artist / Art Director

I think there’s two sides of takings risks. There’s the inward risk, what goes on personally when you take a risk and then there’s the external risk, which is how other people view what you’re doing. Everyone forms their own narrative. I think that’s why risk is so scary for most people, sometimes a seemingly small step feels like a huge leap to oneself, and you’ll never be privy to the outcome ahead of time. I’ve taken a lot of risks in my life. Nothing outwardly adventurous like sky diving or swimming with sharks, but very big life changing type risks. I’ve moved around quite a bit chasing one thing or the other and have had to work really hard to get where I am. I’ve had to fail and start over a lot. Each time I feel like I shed a layer and grow into a truer version of myself. In regards to my art practice, vulnerability has been the greatest risk for me. As an artist, we are asked to be vulnerable for show. We analyze and emote and create based off of those sometimes visceral reactions and then put it out into the world to be judged. We’re hoping for connection. In our mainstream society, however, vulnerability is often taken advantage of or viewed as weak. Read more>>

Bri Meejoo | Artist & Healer

Risk taking is vital to progressing in life. You want that career? Then you have to risk putting yourself out there and staying consistent even when it feels like you’re not getting anywhere. You want that relationship? You have to risk trusting that person. Taking those leaps in life can bring you great rewards, but it can also bring you great lessons. Sometimes the Universe isn’t ready to give you what you’ve been prepared to receive. This is called Divine Timing. It means at the right time, things will manifest in your life. Although, this doesn’t take away the importance of risk taking. You’ll never learn anything or know if it’s the right time if you never try. Fear is usually what stops people from trying. Fear of failure or fear of embarrassment. There is also fear of success. What if you actually got what you wanted and it was much bigger than you had anticipated? Now that’s a thought. I have feared all of these things, but I tried anyway. These are things I work through everyday. I am constantly scraping away at my limiting beliefs, limiting thoughts and fears. Read more>>

Lyena Kang | Artist, Healer, + Content Creator

I believe I’ve always been a risk taker, it’s just in my personality. I lived a very sheltered lifestyle growing up, but the minute I learned how to be independent I became a rebel in my own way. Taking a risk meant making my own decisions and seeing them through no matter what. It may not sound like a risk to you, but when you come from an Asian family that risk of pursuing anything other than business or the medical field is extreme. Especially because I chose a creative path that no one in my family has ever done. Maybe that’s why it was exciting to be on my own, I felt that taking this risk meant finding out who I really am as an individual and sadly not enough people in this world take that risk. They choose a career path of safety or stability, but my life has never been stable. I moved a lot, we were rich and poor in different phases of our life. We never truly had it together and I think that’s what pushed me even more to create my own value. I’ve always wanted to help people and naturally I got into Psychology. It has been the driving force as to why I create. Read more>>

Ben Quinn | Artist

Taking risks is the only way to make something different happen as a result, and in many was is inherent to the making process. I think about risk in my studio practice almost every day because I have certain ideas where there’s no way to know without trying if they’re going to work or make sense. A lot of them don’t, but I have a better perspective on how to problem solve and insight on what not to do which is also valuable. Putting time and effort into failed experiments can be mentally and financially taxing but I wouldn’t be here today if I didn’t go all or nothing on a lot of situations. I’ve been recycling my time and income for the past decade pushing forward and constantly investing in the means to make new paintings and music, unsure of an audience or any promise of return. I like to challenge myself to always follow inspiration in whatever form it takes and just recently it’s starting to pay off a bit. Read more>>

Carlos Dupouy | Director & Editor

Risk taking is the key to success. There’s a saying in my country that translates as “The only lost battle is the one that was never fought” and I tap into that every time I make a career decision. Risks are presented to us in many ways as creatives, whether is by having to push a vision to make others believe in it, or exhausting all of our resources (time, money, effort, etc.) in order to make a dream come to reality. At age 20, I moved to the United States by myself leaving family and friends behind, some who I unfortunately won’t see ever again. Migrating with the dream of becoming a director is the biggest risk I’ve ever taken in life, and coming from a country in the conditions Venezuela has been in the past two decades, I had no choice but to make it work. To me, the fear of missing out is bigger than the fear of failure. The real risk became not seeing the full potential of an idea or a feeling completely unfold. Read more>>

Anna Braff | Entrepreneur & Designer

Business is risk. Everything about it: from starting it to working on and in it. There is risk associate with everything I do. Even under the current situation with the pandemic; we have no idea what is around the corner. I have had no choice but to embrace uncertainty and risk. In order to grow you must take risks. The caveat, not all risks result in rewards. You have you weigh and measure your risks, of course. Be smart about them. There will be failures, whether perceived or real, and you have to pick yourself back up and give yourself grace. I was a lawyer in a former life (still have my license, but am inactive). That is a very risk-averse field and you are always looking for ways to mitigate risks. Business feels diametrically opposed. I definitely find myself at odds and perseverating at times between the two worlds. Sometimes you have to quiet the mind and make a decision, and be okay with the risk in the decision. Even when you start a business, you don’t know if you are going to succeed. Read more>>

Raphael Verela | Group H.I.I.T. Fitness Instructor

Risk taking is what being a business owner is all about. At some point you have to put aside the planing and just do it. It’s never going to be a perfect time to start it. The stars will never align perfectly for you. The perfect time to start is now. Read more>>

Ela Mella | Street Artist & Creative

Risk is rolling the dice. But not just in the obvious sense. Risk is rolling the dice because its usually the first move of a game. For me that game was to become an artist. The first risk I took was to move to LA from a small town in New Jersey. The second was to submit to my first art show. The third was to show up. Every time I took a risk, it forced me to level up. It forced me to experience, to learn from that experience, and use that to prepare for the next. Everyone thinks that ‘making it’ involves some random stroke of luck, but the truth is that luck doesn’t exist the way we think it does. We put ourselves in luck’s way. I ‘got lucky’ because for years I never stopped hustling my art. I never stopped taking risks. I continued to put myself out there. I met more and more people. I gained more and more clients. Every time you expand your footprint, you increase your odds of luck finding you. And that is what happened to me. If not for the many risks I’ve taken, I would’ve never become a street vendor. I would’ve never painted a mural for MTV. I would’ve never become a street artist. I would’ve never succeeded in doing art full time. I would’ve never landed where I am right now. I would’ve never become me. Read more>>

Mia Calderone | Storyboard Artist

Risk-taking has been the key ingredient to both my life and my career. I quit my job at an art gallery in NYC five years ago to become a Studio Page at Paramount here in Los Angeles in hopes of starting a career in film. I had no idea if the risk would pay off, but I knew trying was better than lamenting, even if it ended in failure. I worked my way up on the corporate side of the studio, but I knew I wanted to work on the creative side, so I then quit that great job to go be a PA on the Lego Movie 2. This choice also had no promise of success, but I worked very diligently on the movie, and on my skills, and eventually was hired as a storyboard artist for animation. I am now doing what I love, and so grateful to be where I am. I wouldn’t be here were it not for taking those risks. Read more>>

Monica Linda | Photographer & Filmmaker

Being naive isn’t a negative part to starting a business. I actually fee it is what makes people move forward and take risks, they don’t overthink it, or talk themselves out of it. They do it because of one thing. They want to. Read more>>

Matt Johnson | Host of True Crime DEADLINE Podcast

Simply put, what do you have to loose. When I was just 19-years-old I adopted that mantra and never looked back. As a Sophomore in college I was selected for a paid internship with ‘Rolling stone’ magazine in New York City. I was one of four students chosen in an international contest in search of the best MILK marketing campaigns. My campaign focused on the retro dance craze at the time swing. I called the campaign: ‘Swing into Milk’. As a winner I was flown to NYC, received a stipend, housing on the Upper West Side and was featured in the magazine with my picture. That experience showed me that dreams and hard work can manifest success. Since then I have won two Emmy awards, produced a pilot for the Oxygen Network, have been featured as a crime expert on national television and produce and hosted a hit True Crime Podcast called ‘True Crime DEADLINE’. Read more>>

Brooke Daye | Artist and Songwriter

Taking risks always feels like the scariest thing we can do at the time of making a big decision. You’re putting your faith, hopes, and dreams into the unknown. And a lot of the time, we take our chances anyway. The biggest risk I took in my life and career was moving to LA without really knowing anyone or having opportunities lined up. I was scared out of my mind, unsure of what to do or how to be seen in the music industry. So I went to every networking event that I could, and wrote with anyone who wanted to write with me. I sent cold emails out to the business side of the industry, went to/played shows- all of the basic things you should do. And eventually, I started to grow a small community of people that were both friends and collaborators. 10 months into moving to LA, I was offered my first publishing deal. It helped me make a job out of something I love, and collect incredible experiences along the way. It’s been almost 5 years since I moved, and I’m grateful that I took a risk for music. Read more>>

Cindy Pitou Burton | Photojournalism to Fine Art

Winning a third-grade art contest formed my identity as an artist, my work displayed for a month in its own hallway glass box, building shy confidence. As a constant reader growing up in a hot and sleepy southern FL, NYC arose as an exciting and glittering destination, the star of many books and endless possibilities for being an artist. I was shy but yearned for adventure, which introduces risk. One college summer my girlfriend and I flew to NYC, finding a job in Queens and renting a couch in an apartment in Manhattan. We took Wednesday and Saturday off to see every play on Broadway and all the museums, exploring this magical new city. I returned after graduation as a flight attendant based in NYC, earning just enough to pay the rent. Life kept me busy with family and a variety of jobs–but when I picked up a camera for the first time I landed. I took a darkroom class and lived in my basement breathing fumes under red lights, teaching the same class two years later. I took more classes and any job that came my way, always saying YES then figuring out how to shoot it. Read more>>

Annie Clavel | Artist and Mathematician

A risk-free life is like cheese without salt, totally tasteless. I have spent my life following different professional paths: teaching mathematics, selling IT consultations, marketing IT classes for companies, starting an art career when I was 65. I have loved knowing different countries. With my husband and three boys, we have lived in France, Germany, and Tunisia. It was always a challenge for me when I arrived in a new country. Each time I had to get used to the different lifestyles, I had to understand the habits and customs and learn and speak a new language. We arrived in the USA in 2006. Once in the US, I created Les Jolis Trésors Art Gallery in Long Beach and managed it from 2009 to 2014, curating exhibitions, moderating art talks, and teaching art in the venue. Meanwhile I started building my own career in Los Angeles. I was so stressed when I took the courage to show my art in an exhibition for the first time, I felt as if I were naked in front of the guests: in my paintings I see me. I believe in taking risks, That’s how I can go forward in all my projects. Read more>>

Kait Lucas | Marketing Strategist, Writer & Produce Enthusiast

Risk has been a huge factor in my career thus far. In fact, I like to think of my career as strung together by a bunch of little leaps of faith. I have always craved stability and predictability, but had never thrived in a 9 to 5 corporate environment, so my freelance career required me to take that leap of faith and let go of that need for control. I think life has been trying to teach me that for years now, and will continue to be an ongoing lesson for me: how to ebb and flow with life instead of always trying to predict and control it. Having the strength to simply surrender to the unpredictability of one’s life is sort of a risk in and of itself. Read more>>

Nikko De Leon | Illustrator

In my experience as a creative professional, taking risks has led me to some type of opportunity. An example that comes to mind was the moment I left my job for another job that pays less. This new job offered opportunities for me to be more creative in my work but didn’t support me financially. I knew by taking this new job I would find more fulfillment as an artist but there will be sacrifices I had to make. This new job eventually led me to meet more creative people, helped me improve in my work, and gave me time to work on my personal projects which led to more freelance jobs. These types of risks are not always easy to take. In this example, my old job provided me a comfortable lifestyle so I still had to be logical about my choices. But I think what helps me in my decision making process is being honest with myself. I have to keep in mind what I really want for myself in life. If there are any sacrifices I need to make, I have to make sure that they’re manageable. But if I’m honest with the decisions I make, I don’t ever have to look back. Read more>>

Elisabeth Collazos | Creator of Gemma Magazine and Host of Blog Talk Radio show (She’s Raising the Bar)

Since I tend to be on the shy or reserved side (at times), others would not naturally think of me as a risk-taker. However, I found risk-taking to be exciting and an amazing experience. It’s also a great challenge that you can give to yourself. I am originally from Louisiana and moving out here was a big risk, going to school in Los Angeles, and adapting to the culture was also considered a risk. Obviously, contributing to magazines as well as starting my own was an enormous risk. However, I have learned so much and have met so many amazing people along the way that I’m truly grateful for all the hesitation I have gone through. Read more>>

Shanna Lynn Milazzo | Professional Chef/Entrepreneur

When I was 23 I showed up to my shift as cocktail waitress too early so I decided to get a tattoo on my wrist to waste time, because at 23 that seemed like a logical decision. It was in this little shop on 6th ave in SoHo & I couldnt decide between the word chance or risk, they both seemed to have the same meaning to me. I settled on chance bc it has a more positive feel to it. I’ve always left my life to chance which in itself it a huge risk. I left New York at 25 and moved to Los Angeles, I maybe knew 2 people. I knew I wanted to cook professionally, I grew up on a stage as a dancer back home, I felt Los Angeles housed all the feels I was looking to feel. I knew it was risky to start a career in which I was never fully educated in but I’m also aware of the determination & discipline I have, and thats what drove me then and still drives me now. Read more>>

Henry Jones II | Photographer

When I think about risks I have to assess my path from a wide spectrum. When I made the decision to take on this artistic career as a photographer I immediately had to strategize a plan to spend as much time practicing my skills as a photographer as I could. Time is one thing we can never get back and to say the least I risked many family events, downtime and sleep amidst working on different projects. Often times when I started out I wasn’t making any money, I was showing up and shooting for hours just for exposure. That risk helped to launch me into paid gigs including my first job with Nike which would prove to be one of the highlights of my career thus far. After a brief call with a Nike rep, I was asked two things, if I had ever ran more than a mile, and if I could be on location a photograph a group of women as the tested out a newly released running shoe. Reluctantly I responded as if I were fit enough to run a mile let a lone around a city block. Read more>>

Alfonso Cervera | Professor of Dance, Artist, Choreographer, Reiki & Yoga Instructor

The idea to take risks was embedded in me at a young age by my familia and has followed me throughout my personal life and career. Being risky is instinctual, a habit, a choreographic approach, and one of the things I have learned to appreciate about myself. The concept of risk is defined as taking a chance on something knowing that there’s a huge possibility of “failure”. Though many would agree with this statement, I have learned to see failure not as a defeat but rather a possibility leading to an opportunity one didn’t think about. I tend to move through, around, in, and out of risk so that I can find all the possibilities that can exist within the moment while holding onto my ancestors and in order to live through my Mexican American experience. Having the need to pack up my bags and move on is always something that brews inside me as I’m always searching for something new so that I don’t become complacent. Living and traveling between San Bernardino, Riverside, Moreno Valley, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Maine, Mexico, Minnesota, New York, Wisconsin, and now Seattle, has allowed me to work and meet artists I now consider my familia and long lasting collaborating partners. Read more>>

Lisa Lopez | REALTOR® + Architect of Change

To Do or Not To Do? That’s the question that haunted me for months. I loved my career as a TV Advertising Sales Rep. It was consistent, my coworkers were friends and the paycheck was steady. After 15 years in the industry, it was cake, I was great at it, my nights and weekends were free – but I craved more. I wanted freedom and a chance to make a difference in people’s lives. The problem was, I was scared. For the first time in my life, I stood up to my fear and took a chance on myself. That decision changed everything. Lisa Lopez Real Estate was a risk and it’s been the most life changing thing I have ever done. I joined the powerhouse Palm Realty Boutique, combined forces with the top producing team, Team Tami, and within the first year, I was recognized as Rookie of the Year from the South Bay Association of REALTORS®. Shortly after, I was honored with Top 100 CA Agents on Social Media by Property Spark. All of this because I believed it could happen. Read more>>