There is a wealth of academic research that suggests that differences in risk appetite are at the heart of differences in career and business trajectories. We wanted to go beyond the theory and ask real people from the community about their perspectives and experiences with risk and risk taking.

TAMARA VASQUEZ | Copywriter & Sticker + Digital Art Shop Founder

With the past year that we’ve all experienced, I learned a very valuable lesson and that is that you will never grow in your comfort zone. As cliche as this sounds, life really is about taking risks. My creative career strives on the crazy ideas and risks I try to bring to life in the advertising and craft world. My small business began by believing in the success I could reach if I did take the risk. I learned to switch my view of risk from fear to an opportunity waiting to unravel. Read more>>

Monica Dimperio | CMO / Wellness Coach / Founder & Podcast Host of to be honest, tho…

My entire career has been built on taking risks. Leaping off a cliff never knowing what would happen next. Luckily, each time I have landed on my feet. To people that don’t know me, I might seem like a spontaneous free spirit but a lot of thought goes into every big move I make. The first entrepreneurial endeavor I went into was back in 2007. I was an insanely ambitious 24-year-old with a laundry list of hopes and dreams. Number one on the list was to move from Chicago to New York City to pursue a fashion career. I was gearing up to go in the Fall so I up-and-quit a lucrative yet creatively unfulfilling Merchandising job with no real plan. I just knew I didn’t ever want to be in retail ever again. Read more>>

Nkechi “Kechi” Okpala-Thompson | CEO, Publicist & Marketing Strategist

Don’t ever be afraid to take risks as long as they are calculated and impactful. Before I went independent, I worked for an entertainment company that tried to black list me. If I didn’t have the courage to step out on my own and start my own company; who knows where I would be today. Creating Kech This Inc. has enabled be to have worked and contributed to some amazing projects while travelling the world. Read more>>

Kierra Lanice Wray | Celebrity Makeup Artist and Beauty Educator

Taking risks or what I call “leaps of faith” have played a major role in my success. I’m a firm believer that great things are on the other side of your comfort zone. So even if I don’t feel like I have it all together, pressing past the moment of fear has always been important to me. Whether it’s pitching myself to a potential client that seems too far fetched or simply introducing myself in unfamiliar spaces, I’ve come to realize this: I am worth the risk, my vision is worth the moment of discomfort, and the people attached to my purpose are worth the fighting for. Read more>>

Yasmine Egozi | Head Canna-Goddess, Licensed Speech Language Pathologist, Certified Mental Health Practitioner/ M.A., CCC-SLP, CMHP

People typically preserve risks as danger, I perceive risk as OPPORTUNITY! Oftentimes when we take risks, unexpected doors will open, giving us a different perspective than that of those around us. I happen to be in an industry that is federally illegal and viewed by some as threatening. “Reefer Madness” from the 1930s was produced to teach parents and their children about the threat of marijuana, originally intended to educate audiences and has now become a piece of satire. Then, In June 1971, President Nixon declared a “war on drugs.” Unfortunately this “war” has largely been enacted on person’s of color and lower socio economic status. Read more>>