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.

Aizhou Liu (For Artist Name I go by “Aizhou”, My First Name Only) | Bilingual Singer-Songwriter, Composer & Model

Raised in China in an engineering and entrepreneurial oriented family, becoming a musician living abroad was the last thing that was expected. Having lived in six cities, my adventures have been challenging but so exciting. Risk and uncertainty have always kept me on my toes but have also pushed through my creative boundaries and made me become the most courageous version of myself professionally and personally. Read more>>

Hagar Elaziz | Founder, La Fleur Bouquets

Risk is a 100% necessary component of progress. Over time, the biggest risk you can take is to not take any risk and remain stagnant in the “safe zone”. With every single thing you do, there is risk involved. The most important factor in taking risk is that, even when you don’t get the reward you were after, you still learn something valuable that you apply to your life moving forward. You never lose, you only learn. I was a television producer for 10 years. When I launched La Fleur Bouquets out of my apartment in DTLA, I had no idea how large it would become in such a short period of time. I took the biggest risk in my life: leaving my profession and my identity as a tv producer to move into the space I knew very little about. Here I was risking it all (stability, identity, comfort) for an idea that I was still getting to know and developing. I knew the risks were high if this failed but I was 100% willing to take the risk and it was the best decision I ever made. Because I took this risk, I now am more comfortable with continuing to do so when it comes to business. At some point the risk doesn’t feel so “risky” and almost feels like the right thing to do. Challenge yourself to become comfortable with taking risks- it will change your life. Read more>>

Kristen Liu-Wong | Painter and Illustrator

I’m naturally a more cautious type of person but in both life and art it is necessary to take risks. The first big risk I took was applying to art school- I knew that success was not a guarantee and while my mom has always emphasized the importance of doing what you love over having money, as a kid who was raised by a single mom and grandmother I also saw the realities of financial difficulties and I knew that there would be sacrifices. I went to art school, knowing that the likelihood of me having an independent art career were low but also having a backup plan- I could always find a job teaching art or another practical creative alternative but I wanted to get an education in art and I felt my happiness and fulfillment in life were worth taking that chance. Because of the sacrifices my mom and grandmother made for my education, I also felt pressure to make the most of my opportunities. The second big risk I took in my career was when I moved to LA 2 years after graduating and I decided to try to freelance full-time instead of getting a 9-5 job. Read more>>

David Trulli | Artist

I’ve taken a lot of risks over the years, whether they were career, personal, artistic, physical or emotional. I’ve changed careers, changed my style of living, took on debt to run a business, and more. In my art and creative endeavors risk taking is essential, even when I fail – perhaps especially when I fail. It’s in failure that I learn so much about myself and my art. It’s not that I’m so brave, it just seems to be my natural approach. In my mind, there’s a place I want to be, and only one pathway to it. This approach can lead to trouble sometimes, leaving me to have to improvise to get out of a jam. When I was younger, I had a tendency to burn my bridges behind me. The upside of this is it will keep you moving forward, the downside could mean you fall off a cliff. In spite of everything, I consider myself a careful person and physical risks like skydiving hold little interest for me. One exception is that I used to race cars – an activity that I felt I had some control over…and a protective roll cage for when I lost that control. I like to research my options and try to make an educated guess as to whether the risk will reward me or not. Risk is a serious thing, and I like to prepare so I can hopefully increase my odds of success. Read more>>

Amy Hagan | Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach

I think taking risks are a big part of life and what brings it joy and excitement! If we don’t try something new in life we will be going through the motions and life will be dull and boring, in my opinion. I stepped out of a job and switched into a totally different field of work and it has had many ups and downs but I would never go back. If I wouldn’t have made the choice to take a risk I would still be working a job I dreaded going to everyday. Cheers to many more challenges and risks that make me grow into a better/more well rounded person. Read more>>

Jaclyn Amor | Filmmaker + Co-Founder of Agent 86

I think being a creative is already a risk in itself. The lack of consistency and foundation seems glaring when you first branch out and freelance – there’s no right or wrong way to go about our work, so deciding to dedicate your life to your craft is the risk. There’s a lot of sleepless nights, waiting for checks to clear, heartaches, failures, lessons and everlasting days where you apply for job after job, not knowing when you’ll work again. It’s a risk every time we put our art out in the universe, not knowing who’s going to see it, let alone connect to it. But, the risk is worth the reward. I have always had the mentality of saying “yes” and just figuring things out when challenges get thrown at you, which of course happens all the time in the entertainment industry. I personally encourage people to always ask for opportunities, ask for the introduction, tell people what you want and what you’re looking for. My network is well aware of the fact that I will straight up just tell someone that they need me on set (yes, this is how I honestly got a number of my jobs), and that’s a risky move every time, but you’ll never know if you don’t try. It was a great risk to start a new business during a global pandemic, but if you want to shake things up and create your life, you have to take the leap. Read more>>

Jasmine Dshay | Model and Philanthropist

I believe taking risks are very important when following your dreams. Back in 2017, I quit my job to pursue my career in modeling and acting. I didn’t have much at the time and the only thing that was keeping me afloat was my drive and my faith. It was scary at first, not knowing how I would pay my rent or bills… Well, to be honest, I was even afraid of being rejected by casting companies, but something inside me refused to let fear keep me in my comfort zone. Read more>>

Nate Taitano | Drummer & Producer

Risk is the reason why people succeed, fail, learn, invent, and LOVE. Without risk, you are considered “safe,” but is being safe something that brings you true fulfillment? If you answered yes, then good on you, and I wish you nothing but success and happiness. But for me, I Believe without risk, there is no real reward. I genuinely believe that Stepping into the darkness while navigating uncharted territory is why people excel in life and learn what enables them to grow and become wiser. Risk is essential in so many ways, and I genuinely believe that I would feel trapped and always wondering “What if” without it. What role has taking ricks played in my life/career? Taking risks has literally been the main reason I have achieved my goals and learned so many priceless lessons in life. Taking risks and making mistakes have taught me more life lessons than if I played it safe. Not to say, playing it safe is terrible. Still, in my opinion, if I played it safe from the beginning, I would be so lost and full of questions id never be able to answer. To me, that sounds like torture. Read more>>

Vincent Edwards | Birdland Sound Studio Owner // Artist // Musician

Taking risks means pushing boundaries, and when you are able to push boundaries, you can create art that no one has gotten to experience before. Also without risk there is no failure and without failure you can not grow. I encourage every artist that comes through my studio to take risk, and choose the harder path with the greater reward. We tend to be be very afraid in life to take something down, or break something apart. It requires a certain level of risk, that we have been told we can’t push past. But the greatest lesson I learned this year, is with the proper dedication to your vision, you can deconstruct anything to make it better, as long as you let your creativity and ability to take risks, lead over your understanding of how society may have taught us how something should be. I challenge myself in my creative endeavors, as well as the artists who pass through BirdlandSound, that no thing we try should be judged. Take a Risk. Find Joy in Risk. And Fail, because failure gives us more information about how to succeed. Read more>>

Timothy Cubbison | Founder of Horseless Cowboy, a Creative Consultancy

Evaluating risk is an essential factor in all decision making. Yet convincing ourselves that we can avoid risk has become such a big part of our broader culture. I teach a class on entrepreneurship in the arts, and one thing I try to reinforce is that working as an employee for someone else is not less risky than working for yourself. It is simply a different kind of risk. It is choosing not to see the risk and trust that someone else will mitigate it for you. For many folks, that may be the best approach, but for those of us with an entrepreneurial bent, we’d rather face risk head-on and be responsible for our own success or failure. By staring risk in the face and understanding the true downside, not the nightmare scenario that our fear tries to show us, but the actual worst case scenario then you can make an informed decision. Adopting that level of risk tolerance and risk understanding is key to running your own business because it allows you to make decisions with your eyes open and based on facts rather than fear. Read more>>

D. Yoshikawa Wright | Stone Sculptor

Risk is such an interesting subject! Risk can be subtle or dramatic but none the less, it permeates our existence. Each day, there are elements of risk which effect every aspect of life. But those risks which are most defining, would be those risks that have created or determined the trajectory of my life and who I am. Risk is a tricky thing. If I put too much attention on the risk factor, I become paralyzed with indecision, anxiety and fear. Instead of succumbing to risk, I maintain my ability to confront by keeping my attention on what I want to create. Through these succession of risks, I’m realizing more and more of my potential. Read more>>

Leah Martin-Brown | Musician/Songwriter/Vocalist

Anyone in a creative industry will tell you that their entire career is based on risk. As a musician, every step of the journey is paved with obstacles and there is absolutely no guarantee that you will succeed- it doesn’t matter how talented you are or how much you want it. That in itself is enough to stop people from pursuing this lifestyle and opting for something more stable and reliable that guarantees a regular paycheck and security. Without risk- I would not be where I am today. The first risk I took was when I graduated High School. I had the option to study Law and Psychology but I decided to accept the offer I had for the Bachelor of Popular Music Program at Griffith University. People thought I was crazy to turn down the opportunity to study Psychology or Law but it was my dream to be a professional musician. I knew in my heart where I needed to be. Then, in 2014 after completing both a Bachelor’s Degree and Post Graduate Degree in Music, I received an invitation to travel to Los Angeles, CA by a Management company. They wanted me to perform at a label showcase. I didn’t know anyone in the USA, I didn’t even have a band there. But on January 1st I stepped off the plane at LAX. Read more>>

Brittany Dolin & Nicole Dayan N/A | Co-Founders, The Pocketbook Agency

I have always viewed risks as opportunities for learning and growth. Success is not something that will just randomly happen; you truly have to pursue it. When I started Pocketbook Agency, it was the biggest risk I had ever taken in my professional life. I had no idea if it was going to fail or going to exceed all expectations. Luckily, Pocketbook Agency became a success and continues on the path of growth every day! Even today, I take risks for my company in order to learn, grow, and continually improve how we do business and provide exceptional services for our clients. Playing it safe won’t get you to the next level – in work and life. – Brittany Dolin. Read more>>

Bella Foxx | Professional DJ

Risk taking is absolutely ESSENTIAL if you want to fulfill your dreams! If it weren’t for risk taking I’d be working as a cocktail waitress the rest of my life or clocking in from 9-5 fulfilling someone else’s dream! Taking risks has changed my life completely. It’s the only way I’ve been able to achieve everything I have. If I wouldn’t have taken risks being the Official XFL Dj for the Los Angeles WildCats wouldn’t be possible, performing on Jimmy Kimmel with Yo Gotti wouldn’t have been possible, traveling the world would not have been possible! I’m telling you, believing in yourself and taking a leap of faith is key. Read more>>

Marty Rifkin | Studio Musician/Producer

When someone chooses a career in the Arts, we know there’s always an inherent risk involved. We’re usually brought up to look for a career that will provide steady fixed income for our future. By following our art instead, we need to be prepared to take an unconventional journey throughout our lives. The first major risk that set the course of my career was moving to Los Angeles in my early ‘20s with nothing but my instruments in the van I ended up living in for the first year. Didn’t know any musicians here, but I always felt this was the place to be. The second risk I took happened not long after coming to LA. I had a day job at a firm that recruited aerospace engineers. One day the head of the company called me into his office and said that he’d like to promote me to manager of one of the sections. Although it was nice to hear, my immediate reaction was, “Thank you so much, but I’m going to have to give you my two week notice.“ With a look of shock, he asked me why. I told him that with the extra money they were going to give me. Read more>>

Aaron Nevezie | Music Producer, Mixer & Composer.

All the biggest leaps of my career and by extension my life have been tied to risk taking. Starting with the choice to move to the USA to pursue music in NYC my career has been a series of risks that have most often paid off. Some of that is luck but I believe that putting yourself in a place to succeed and progress is usually associated with a willingness to step beyond one’s comfort zone. That can be financially, technical expertise, inter-personally or even just at odds with your expectations for yourself and career. One of the biggest risks I’ve taken was the expansion of my recording studio, The Bunker Studio in 2011. For various reasons we needed to move location and took on a raw space that was double the size of our original studio. With no real previous experience in construction we built out a two room facility over 9 months calling on the help of friends and draining every financial resource we could call on. Somehow we made it through to opening day and after almost 10 years in our ‘new’ space we have grown beyond our wildest imagining. Read more>>

Juliette Toma | Illustrator

I feel like being an Illustrator is all about putting yourself out there. Posting on Instagram, reaching out to potential clients, etc. I consider myself a shy person so this can sometimes feel like a risk to me. The risk of putting yourself out there and asking to work with someone who may not like your work and the risk of failing. You will never know the outcome unless you take a risk and see what might happen. I have found being brave and forcing myself to take risks has always worked out and has helped further my career as an illustrator. Read more>>

James Anthony Morelos | Curator of Experiential Retail

When you live intuitively risk doesn’t ever factor into your decisions in a real way. Still, there is always a moment in a new venture that I wake up thinking, “What did I get myself into”, but that doesn’t last long and the excitement quickly returns. Read more>>

Jamin Scotti | Filmmaker

We all know I could go type into Google, “Amazing Quotes About Taking Risks” and begin this paragraph with something epic — but the truth is that if you don’t take risks in your art, then (in my opinion) you’re not an artist. Straight-up: that word “risk” really sums up everything I hope to do within my film career, maybe to a fault? I have no desire to create anything that: A) Looks like everything else. B) Doesn’t challenge an audience. C) Doesn’t have a deeper message. Sounds cliche; but, if you really follow those guidelines, that leaves a relatively strange, largely unpopular niche to express myself — at least, in such a way that I find fulfilling as a filmmaker. This is why I’m expecting my debut feature film, “Artificial Flowers” (coming Christmas 2021) to really raise some eyebrows in my direction. The darker area of the human condition I like to explore in my work is — in a word, “RISKY” to explore. It has the potential to turn people off entirely; walk-out of the theatre even. But, it also may posses the power to open eyes and start conversations. Read more>>

Mack Ogden | Actor & Writer

I used to think the biggest risk I had taken in life was talking to a boy in middle school, then it was raising my hand in math class in high school, then it was signing up for some challenging workshop in college, and then it was moving across the country to “make it” in Hollywood. But every time I was taking a “risk”, I would act the way I thought they wanted me to be. I was a chameleon. A people pleaser. And it wasn’t getting me anywhere. Sure, I moved across the county to LA, but I was still just another people pleaser in LA, blending in. So, what role has taking risks played in my career? Well as of late, my biggest and most effective risk is being myself. When this world is just a society of carbon copies and wear this/buy this/say this/post this to fit in…the biggest risk you can make is to be you to stand out. Once I started doing that, things started happening for me. In my career. In my personal life. In my happiness. Life is more simple when you are yourself. It’s not as confusing for you or the people around you. There’s more room for happiness and success. So I’m going to keep being me and I hope everyone does the same. Great things happen when you’re true to yourself. Oh, and kind. Read more>>

Maria & Omar Lopez | Candela La Brea – Owners

As fortunate children of Mexican parents, we have seen how risk taking has allowed for our generation to enjoy many advantages. Our parent’s sacrifice and risk taking by immigrating, is at the core of who we are as a family and business. Since an early age we have witnessed their passion while they instilled their entrepreneurial spirit. We are completely convinced that with every change comes great risk. We especially found this out in our rebranding process. After 35 years of running our family business as a salsa/regional Mexican nightclub to a full service venue; an event space which includes catering for corporate and social events. We were without a doubt sure the risk would be worth it, as gentrification was at our door and our community’s demographics had shifted. Like any business and especially being a family business, we faced financial risks and of course some heavy emotions throughout the process too. However, we met this risk with preparation. We planned extensively, hired the right team, and heard what our neighbors’ needs were. Read more>>

Joe Dolezal | Polymath

Risk is a term we assign to things unknown. So naturally, it’s best to figure out how to become familiar and comfortable with the unknown, as much as possible, to abate the risk and any action when is about to take. As someone who isn’t afraid to take risks, Ive definitely faltered and fell on my face more times than most people. surprisingly it didn’t lead me to become frustrated or indifferent, rather, Compelled me to become intrigued about how to foresee potential problems in any action by quantifying element of risk. Read more>>

Celeste Drake | Commercial & Freelance Photographer / Documentary Photographer & Photojournalist

I started photography during my high school career, where I happened upon the only photography class my school was offering. I thought photography might be interesting to me because, at the time, I was modeling for a photography brand and I always found myself wanting to understand the camera. I would wonder how it worked, how it was capturing the light around us. Once I started this class, I quickly realized the craft was one I had to continue pursuing. I took one photograph that I was incredibly proud of. I had learned a new technique. I made a long exposure photo where I had the model use a lighter to draw in the air as I shot. The model was sitting cross legged, the background dark behind him. He drew a heart in the air, which was lit up with fire. I called it, Heart on Fire. Of course, this is a concept we all know very well now. But since it was my first time succeeding, I felt exceptionally proud of myself and have cherished the photo since. When I began applying to colleges I always made sure they offered a photography program. If I could make photography my source of income, I would be forever content. I was accepted into a photography program in L.A. county. After 2 years of formal training, I began shooting professionally. Read more>>

Taylor M. Tieman, Esq. | Business + Trademark Attorney

Taking risk has never been something I am drawn to, and opening a business/law firm was probably the biggest risk I’ve ever taken in my life. I never thought I wanted to start my own business. Lawyers typically try to avoid risks at all costs, but I hit a point where my purpose and passion for my job was more important than the “safe” route of being employed by another law firm. Taking one big risk allowed me to solidify my purpose in life as an attorney. Read more>>

Emily Sudd | Artist

In my ceramic work, I have developed a unique process through which I transform collectible kitsch ceramic objects and functional ware into fine art sculptures. After collecting and arranging various items, I subject them all to the same firing conditions. The process produces the literal and metaphorical melting down of the materiality of domestic and artistic space. In the firing, some objects retain their form, while others melt down into fluid clay and glaze. Materials mix together creating swirls of color and pattern and globs of texture and form. Lowbrow kitsch objects merge into painting and sculpture in compositions that seem to suggest both the opposition and equalization of decoration, materials, and form. I don’t know if I would use the word “risk” exactly, but what I do is closely related to that idea. Words I usually use are “chance” and “failure”. I am a strong believer in embracing failure as a space for discovery. When I am working on something, I generally have hopes and expectations as I make attempts to execute certain outcomes, but those outcomes almost never come to be. I have to let the process contribute what it will to the work. Read more>>

Paula Neves | Photographer & Creative Director

As an immigrant living in the US, taking risks is what brought me here. I’ve been in LA for 6 years now. I dropped my college back in Brazil, my family and friends, and decided to start over, in a new city, a new country, a different language. Leaving everything behind, to take a riskt at “the Hollywood life”. Back then I was sure I’d be a famous screenwriter and director, and then life happened, I fell out of love with the movie industry and decided to focus on photography. The thing I’ve been doing as a hobby since I was 14. So there I was, taking another risk. Changing careers, denying old clients and looking for new ones in a completely different industry. So taking risk is what brought me to where I am today. It’s what made me follow my gut and bilieve in myself. Read more>>

Amelia Posada | Owner, Birch&Bone

I am a huge risk taker. I believe in the old saying, “no risk, no reward”. Back in 2010 I started my first business- it was an organic, whole animal butcher shop , Lindy&Grundy-that supported small sustainable farms throughout CA- that was my first big risk in business and life. The shop was a huge success and grew to be a staple in the community…when i closed that business in 2014, I took so much knowledge away. It gave me the confidence to be authentic, bold, to stand out among others my field. It doesnt matter what you are selling- it’s about being authentic and going HARD. I went from having a well known butcther shop to SELLING FLOWERS! I had to create a new brand around myself when everyone knew me as LA’s butcher! It was scary at first to put myself out there and dive into a competitive, saturated industry- but I believe in my art, myself, my craft, so it worked. Taking risks is the only way you will ever make your own dreams come true. Be fearless, be confident, dont complain, just get up and CRUSH IT EVERYDAY. No matter what you are selling, making, creating- think like this- there is always someone more connected, more talented, harder working- so become the hungriest person in the room and never take no for an answer. If you fail, get up, try again. Take the risk. Read more>>

Thalia “Ty” Hedrick | Artist

I see risk as something that is hard to pursue, yet necessary in order to grow. Risk is making a move that could change a pretty major aspect of your life depending on what it is. An example for me over the last year or so has been risking pursuing art as a means to support myself. Living costs here in Hawaii are high, so right out of college I had about 3 jobs, then went down to two solid jobs for the last 2 years, and in the last year started selling art and becoming a vendor at markets. This past year with Covid, I decided to drop one of my jobs, and took the risk of relying on one paycheck, and my art side hustle. As someone who was used to getting paychecks from multiple workplaces, it was sorta scary getting money from only one! Now coming into 2021, I have made the decision to go down to part time and pursue my art more seriously. The risk overall is missing out on a solid paycheck that I know comes twice a month. Despite that sense of “stability,” I need this risk to be taken in order to put more energy and time into my art business in order for it to grow. Read more>>

Wade Patterson | Filmmaker

Making the choice to become a filmmaker was the ultimate risk. Growing up, I really wanted to be a writer. Even though it was artistic and riskier than becoming an engineer or an accountant, I think most people could understand it. I still had options. I could write a novel or work for a newspaper or magazine. These were all things that made sense to people. When I realized that I wanted to be a filmmaker, people said, “Oh, so you want to be Steven Spielberg?” And in my naïveté, I said yes. It seemed easy to aspire to making blockbuster films that everyone could watch in the theaters. That made sense to people. As I started working in the film industry, I realized that working on projects that big was very difficult and maybe not even what I want to do. But now when I tell people I’m a filmmaker, they ask: “Have I seen anything you’ve made?” Usually, the answer is no. For many people, being a filmmaker is only one thing: you make big movies that people can see in the theaters. Of course, I want that, but I’m learning that taking big risks also require different measures of success. Read more>>

Ava Johanna | Founder of The Academy of Breath Online Certification Program

Risk is the edge of your comfort zone. It’s the step into faith and the communication to your own mind and belief system that you trust yourself and trust that what you are doing is going to result in success, growth, or fulfillment. It has been a fundamental aspect of my business and success from the very beginning. In today’s day, it’s a risk to simply show up online and be authentic and honest. We risk conflict by sharing our voices – but the risk of staying small or not helping the people you are meant to help through your work has always felt like a greater loss than trying and taking that leap of faith for the greater good. Even starting my business in the beginning was a risk, it’s not consistent income to start, you’re investing more than you’re making often in the beginning, but my advice for anyone starting is to take risk with intention anchoring you to your desired outcome. It’s the mindset of “I KNOW that taking this step forward will get me where I want to go” that can and has made the biggest difference for successful leaders. Read more>>

Jessica Payne | Nonprofit Consultant and Executive Director

Starting Mockingbird Analytics was risky enough, but starting a company that works with the smallest nonprofits was doubly risky because the failure rate for new nonprofits is high, not to mention that they rarely have much money. However, taking that risk meant that we were able to tap into a population of nonprofit founders who are vastly underserved because many consulting agencies will only work with organizations of a certain size. Though it’s been bumpy finding our way, it’s become incredibly clear over the past five years that founders getting into nonprofit and social justice work are providing important innovations to their field of practice, are advancing conversations and policy issues, and are hungry for more resources to help them navigate the very complex world of nonprofit and social good entrepreneurship. With this in mind, we followed up our consulting agency by creating a sister nonprofit organization that helps incubate nonprofits to get them ready to scale up their infrastructure. We took a significant risk on small nonprofits and whether they would be able to sustain our business model, and we’ve seen nothing but tremendous growth and some really exciting innovation by founders tied to the recent movements towards equity and greater social justice. Read more>>

Dan Bynum | Ceramicist

I think there are degrees of risk in everything.  So, understanding it can’t ever be completely avoided, I try to be mindful of my options and choose the risks worth taking.  As it relates most directly to my career, I always seem to lean towards risking my financial security for the reward of enjoying what I do every day. I’ve always opted for the freedom to choose my projects.  I’ve spent the last 15+ years working as a recording engineer, a live sound engineer, and a tour manager.  It’s mostly freelance, so financial security isn’t guaranteed, but I’ve always been able to line up more than enough work to live comfortably.   That was the case, at least, until last year when the pandemic started and my industry shut down; a risk of working in live entertainment not many could have foreseen.  I found myself at home with a seemingly endless amount of free time. It pushed me to explore ways to be creative outside of the music business, which ended up becoming what is now my ceramic practice.  A path I never planned, but one that has thoroughly consumed me. Read more>>

Jamal Douglas | Actor, Educator, & Writer

Here’s how I think about risk: take them as much as possible, no matter how big or small. It could be jumping out of a plane to shake up things (which I am planning on doing soon), or starting to write that tv show you’ve been sitting on. I believe that if you desire it, then you can obtain it. Often, the desires that we grow to fear the pursuit of, are ones we were fearless of in our youth. As the world conditions us, we begin to limit ourselves out of fear of success or failure. However, when you take the risk, that being the first step to manifesting your desires, each obstacle is a learning opportunity guiding you towards your goal with the greatest benefit for you. Be present and your creativity will inspire you through the intense work that is important for you to be your strongest at your personal zenith. Taking risks is the very thing that has molded my life/career, and it will continue to do so. Growing up in poverty, in underserved communities, I never had all the resources that would seemingly set me up for success. When I chose to go to college, my family could not afford tuition, but I knew that my education was important to me, so the first week of undergrad in 2006, I obtained 3 jobs, while being a full time student. Read more>>

Chevonne Ariss | Stained Glass Artist & Teacher

When I think about the word risk, the first thing that comes to my mind is the word intuition. My intuition has guided me through hard times, protected me, and helped me navigate even the riskiest situation, in both my personal life and my career. The times I’ve gone with my intuition have also brought me to some of the greatest experiences of my life. A woman’s intuition is truly magic if it’s trusted and listened to. Read more>>

Ilya Mokhov | Painting Artist

I believe that life rewards those that are not afraid to take risks. I risked it all when I started my career as a painting artist. I just graduated 2nd in my class at Sacramento State University, with a major in International business(business administration). All I thought about was painting, all of my free time was spent creating art, and learning new methods of expression.  At that time I was living in Sacramento where my family was against my decision to follow art fully, but I kept going because I believe that life was meant to be lived with passion and joy. Art brought me those feelings. Then I made a huge decision, to move to Southern California(LA/Hollywood) and to follow my passion of art, with no place to live but my car, and no real plan. My parents were not big fans of this idea, or lack of one. I packed everything into my Honda Civic and drove down to Santa Monica, where I spent the next week or so living on the beach, letting nature inspire my art career. Fast forward 3 years later, I am here living in Laguna Beach, working daily, with over three hundred paintings sold, murals I completed in Orange County, illustrated a children’s book, painted hundreds of commissioned paintings of pets and people. Read more>>

Dalia MacPhee | CEO DALIA MACPHEE Apparel Brand

No guts, no glory. This is a mantra that’s shaped my life, and I believe anything worthwhile, involves some degree of risk. One thing I’ve learned though, is we can be calculated risk takers, and in doing so, provide the best possible outcome. Before I took my first solo skydive, ( yes, I’m terrified of heights but had always wanted to learn to do this), I took every necessary precaution I could think of. I researched the best school, the best instructor for me, ( we all learn differently), had equipment triple checked, asked to repeat emergency drills several times and made sure the jump was done during the safest time and conditions of the day. When I jumped, although my parachute did open, the lines crossed and I started spinning, with potential for a disastrous, even fatal landing. I had over prepped every worst case scenario with my instructor so many times that when this happened I knew exactly what to do to correct to situation. In life, in business, in love, there are always risks required for glory, but we can be calculated in our prep before the jump, so if things do go south, we have the best possible chance of landing on our feet. Read more>>

Debra Roberts | Free-range Honeybee Devotee, Celebrant and Poet

In some ways, my life has been a constant stream of risk taking if viewed from the outside. But within me, each leap, inclination, and navigation decision has come from a place of calling and intuition. When I look back, the many large decisions in my life have been made from a place of potential risk, but in the moment itself, that word isn’t really what governs me. It generally isn’t even in the room. I move in a certain direction usually in company with interest, curiosity and sometimes full blown passion. Then, afterwards, my mind steps in with its job of co-creating the planning with my heart. This is where a whole lot of thoughts may or not be present and the word “risk” or some uncomfortable feelings might also arise. But at this point in my life, in my 68th year, I see those arisings as old friends who I welcome to the table. I have always had a very full and creative life and despite the challenges, my “risks” have always been worth it. Read more>>

Maureen Burke | Makeup Artist

Risk taking has played a big part in my career since the age of 18 when I decided to leave finals in college and go on a tour of Japan with the Vidal Sassoon International Artistic Team. Hence, having my 18th birthday in Tokyo, away from my friends and family, my love for the Beauty Industry began. However, the life experiences that were about to unfold far surpassed what I was learning in school at the time. I was asked to join the tour for dual-purpose as a Model and Makeup Artist. I had been fortunate enough to apprentice the head Makeup Artist for VS giving me the skills I needed to commence a great career path. By risk taking at an early age, I have launched several successful businesses, including and most currently, PPE company, HMUAPAX.com. Simultaneously, I have managed to maintain an accomplished career as a Celebrity Makeup Artist. I have been permanently enrolled in the “school of life” and feel extremely grateful for all of the risks. Read more>>

Julia Rockowitz | Tattoo Artist & Illustrator

To me risk is relative. Relative to the degree you believe in the stories you are told. If you ask most people, I’ve taken a ton of risks in my life and career. I’ve moved cities overnight with nothing but my clothing, I’ve quit an kush job to sell greeting cards, I’ve picked up a needle and decided to be a tattoo artist and a whole lot more in between. The thing is – I never really saw those things as risks, I saw them as opportunities to push myself and grow and as a result, I get to spend my time doing something I actually want to be doing. I believe that ultimately, you’re writing your own story and you can do literally ANYTHING you want. Of course, I’m all for being thoughtful and rational but if you’re not pushing boundaries (“taking risks”) then you’re not moving anything forward and that’s ultimately what I want to be doing as a human. Read more>>