We asked some brilliant folks from the community to talk to us about how they think about risk and the role risk has play in their lives and careers.

Jennifer Lail | Visual Artist

When making a decision I ask myself a few questions. One of those questions is will this help me grow? If it feels out of my comfort zone and I have a pit in my stomach than I say yes. That is not to say I don’t listen to my gut, instead I make sure I decipher my nerves from my ego. Your ego will keep you safe and unfortunately safety is not where growth, development and evolution happen. Read more>>

Vanessa Navarro Maza | Folklife Curator

I think there are situations when risk taking allows us to push boundaries and dream up new concepts, and then, of course, there are situations where the possible negative outcomes outweigh the possible positive ones. That being said, I think taking a risk on a new idea that you believe is almost always worth it. If we didn’t take risks and push our creativity and possibilities to new limits, life would be pretty boring and we’d never grow or learn. However, once you’ve committed to executing something, whether it’s a risky idea or not, you should work hard to make sure the follow-through is as full-proof as possible. And if things don’t work out, the silver lining is that failure often leads to lessons learned and future successes. Beyond this, risk taking also needs to be measured against your resources. Read more>>

Harriet Silverstein | Multimedia Artist

Risk is an important ingredient for any kind of development and growth, such as professional, personal and spiritual. The best risks are combined with confidence and trust in yourself. Analysis and information are very significant but so is a gut feeling or intuition. I have found that gut feeling or intuition about a risk is almost perfectly right, for me. I have made defining decisions in my own life with that flash or spark of intuition, and everything was right. (I will qualify this and write that anything dangerous or harmful to your complete well-being is obviously exempt). I feel that risk is part of the excitement of my artwork and career. Risk is the spark that starts a new painting or any form of art. Starting with that spark and gut feeling opens unanticipated new doors and directions. Read more>>

Melanie Oliva | Artist Activist & Art Instructor

Putting yourself out there – opening yourself up to critique – feels scary for everyone at first, but it’s an important muscle to flex. If your artwork or activism is for a cause worth fighting for, you may decide the outcome outweighs the risk. Of course, I recognize I’m coming from a place of privilege and what’s risky for others may not be risky for me. This is an area where opportunities to use my privilege for societal change appear. I recommend exercising risk as much as you feel you can at the time. After all, we wouldn’t have so many innovations, works of art and societal progress if those before us had not taken risks! With that said, I need to follow my own advice and use this opportunity to say that Breonna Taylor’s murderers need to be brought to justice. The immigrant concentration camps in the U.S. are a crime against humanity and must be shut down. Read more>>

Victoria Lazarou | Storyteller & Humanist

Our only way to grow is to take risks. In the beginning, it is difficult to understand and believe the abilities that we develop as humans when we take risks. Stepping into the unknown brings us to places that we never would have thought of. Taking risks and chances is probably one of the best things that we can do in order to grow. When we do not allow ourselves to take the risk, we are unable to grow into exponential growth. Taking risks has played a vital part in my life/career. I never would have thought that I would be here today until I subconsciously took risky baby steps to get here. Most days, we still don’t know but what I do know, in hindsight, is that if I never took risks, I would have never found success. Read more>>

Antonello Pasci | Master Stylist

Actually every time that I took a risk I can say that the risk took me to a big change for my life/career . So I can say that risk for me is a necessary reason to keep going. I took a risk when I decided to leave my own town and my old business, to join/work with a group that was founded by a well known Italian stylist. Then I took another big risk leaving my country and coming to America. I always saw those risks as a challenge to do better and grow professionally. Read more>>

Natacha Noel | Baker

I view risk as ‘scared money don’t make money’. Taking a risk to achieve a goal requires courage to face the fear of uncertainty. No matter the outcome, either way, we grow through the process and become more resilient and confident. I don’t fear the unknown, I embrace it. Opening Sélman Dous was a risk I was willing to take. I didn’t want to doubt it later with should’ve, would’ve, could’ve of. If it didn’t work at least I know I tired and gave it my best. Read more>>

Dr. Mary Nochimson | Chiropractic Physician

I would say that the year 2020 presented with many risks… risks to stay covid free while providing the BEST quality of care for my patients. Wanting to help people heal exceeded my fear of contracting COVID. The biggest risk I took this year is publishing my first children’s book amidst the pandemic. The amount of money invested in a children’s book can range from $2500-$5000 depending on numerous factors. Given the fact that we are in a little bit of a financial pickle with shut downs and people’s fears stopping them from seeking chiropractic treatment, this definitely was a risk; however, I have received positive feedback from family and peers which motivated me to take that leap! Read more>>

Natalie “Nani” Montejo | Paralegal & Cake Artist

RISK: An opportunity to be daring & lean into the sharp edges of uncertainty! Ultimately, a willingness to risk translates into a determination to grow & evolve at all costs. In life & in business, I pivot & adapt whenever it’s necessary- even if it’s uncomfortable. Sometimes that looks like walking away from something that no longer serves me & sometimes it’s deciding to launch a new brand (@flourandfleurmiami) in the middle of a pandemic. No Risk, No Return, Right?! Read more>>