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

Tina Herald | Newborn, Child & Family Photographer

Taking risks is by far the most important role in being able to work for myself, own my own company and being successful. You cannot grow without taking risks. The most common question I get from friends, clients and strangers is “how did you get started”. Well, I took a risk! I owned a camera and I took photos of animals, nature and landscapes. One day a friend got engaged and asked me if I wanted to photograph her and her fiancé. I immediately said NO! I don’t know how to photograph people!! I was clueless. I didn’t know how to pose people, where to go, what to do. Zip, zero, nada! But my friend wouldn’t give up. So, I did a little research online, prepared the best I could, met up with my friends and had a little fun. After I took her photos, another friend, then another, then another all wanted photos of their family, children or events. Read more>>

Jordan Sanchez | DJ, Producer, Record Label Head

In my line of work, almost every decision involves taking a risk. As a DJ, one takes a risk for every single track chosen to mix. As a record label head, one takes risks on signing on artists. A lot of it is balancing risk vs. reward, but most of the decisions taken in the creative space involves diving right in. If it flops, then all that matters is how you bounce back up on the other end. Did you pick the right track? Did you sign the right artist? You won’t ever know until you do it. Read more>>

Jai Renegade | Rapper

I feel like taking risk is very much necessary. I try to take my time when making decisions on how I want to approach things. I weigh risk vs reward basically. In life I’m willing to take risks depending on what I’m risking and what i stand to gain. I’ll never risk my freedom but I definitely feel like you can’t get ahead in life without risking something. In my music career risk are unavoidable. Simply because every new song is risking someone bashing you as an artist. I personally take whatever risks when I create songs. I have some people upset before just because they think or even know a certain song may reference them lol. I feel like to be a true artist I must risk hurting feelings or even exposing my own feelings through my music. I personally try not to portray anything I’m not but sometimes you have to risk how people view you to put your all in the song. I’ve had to audition before and perform on stage in room full of strangers. Be willing to take risks has been good for me in life and my career. You can’t succeed in anything without risking failure. Read more>>

The Jas Sound | Vocal Artist & Entrepreneur

When it comes to taking a risk, it is particularly important that you weigh all the pros and cons before making a final decision. Before I branched out as an “official” vocal artist I was working at AT&T as a customer service representative. My salary was great and although the job was a bit stressful it was worth it to me for a while. About six months working at AT&T I realized that I missed singing; I was singing at events since I was six years old and went to college for Music: vocal performance. Although I was making a good paycheck, I soon realized that I was not satisfied, and that I wanted more than money; I wanted to my purpose. I took off 3 days from work and prayed to God for direction. During this period God revealed to me a series of things, first, that I had placed myself in multiple toxic environments and friendships that were taking my energy and not pouring back into me. Read more>>

Osmara Rojas | Professional dancer/choreographer

My whole career began with me taking risks. From taking a risk auditioning to be an NFL cheerleader while still being in high school, to deciding to move to a completely different state where I didn’t know anyone, and starting over. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing had i never taken any risks, and I’m still taking them to this day. Life is all about taking risks!. Read more>>

Agnes Saint Preux | Health Service Administrator & Grant Writer

To me, taking risks are the opportunities of uncertainty. Throughout my whole life I’ve had to take a risk to get somewhere in life. I never knew the outcome but I know that God is with me always. I remember the first risk I took! I quit my job as a legal assistant at 23 years old and wanted to figure out what my life was really about. This was such a huge risk and improperly planned, but the end results was sooo much greater and I can say, I think I’m walking in my purpose now. As an entrepreneur I’m learning everyday is a risk, you’re either going to make your vision come to life or take in so much until you crumble. Risk are important decisions that you can’t ever get back, but if you have wise counsel, a solid plan and intended outcome, and most importantly you’ve got to believe in yourself!!! Then take that risk or miss the chance!. Read more>>

Diego J. Cancel | Program Coordinator

One of the biggest risks I took in my life and career was leaving a City job to work for a non-profit, Dream In Green (DIG). It has also been one of the biggest blessings. DIG likes to emphasize that our natural environment is connected. As such, things that affect any part of our environment; our oceans, natural areas, animal/plant biodiversity – will affect us at home. Long term risks range from extinction of species to sea level rise making homes inhabitable. That being said, if we all work together we can make a difference and keep these things from happening. Read more>>

Marsha Chamberlain | Flight33 Rum Punch

When I think about risks, I think about liabilities. In my business Flight33 or in my life, these liabilities can be foreseeable and unforeseeable problems. With my business Flight33, the foreseeable liabilities would be my expenditures such as my labels, quality, gas-deliveries, spillage, bottles, inventory etc. However, the unforeseeable liabilities would be wrinkled labels, defective tampered tops, broken bottles, etc. My goal is to prevent as many liabilities as I can to lessen the risk taken. Though, not all risk can be prevented. For example, I need supplies to produce Flight33. When I purchase the supplies, I run the risk of having more inventory then the demand if I don’t strategically order my supplies, look at my budget prior to the supplies being ordered, and gage how many products are being sold on a regular. Therefore, I must mitigate the risk before placing my order and reduce the liability. Read more>>

Ike Rhein | Pop Singer

Taking risks is very important. To be success you have to take risks, end of story. Its like Denzel Washington said, “I’ve found that nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks. . . Fall forward. Every failed experiment is one step closer to success. You’ve got to take risks. You will fail at some point in your life. Accept it. You will lose. You will embarrass yourself. You will suck at something. There is no doubt about it. . . Never be discouraged. Give everything you’ve got. And when you fall throughout life . . . fall forward.” Taking risks has been the biggest blessing in my life. I wouldn’t be where I am now if I would have settled. We should never settle for a “normal life” Follow your dreams. Read more>>

Connor Munroe | Jazz Saxophonist & Actor

Risk-taking is as essential to discovery as tradition is to grounding. If man leans his upper body too far in front of his lower, he will topple forward in the name of progress— he spirals. If he shifts his weight excessively behind him, he will fall backward onto the concrete of similarity— he stagnates. Ever since I was young I have found taking risks to be worthwhile— namely engaging with beauty. It’s intimidating to establish a communion with such a transcendent concept as beauty because it is higher than us. This is what drew me to create and admire good art, from drawing to writing to music to acting. Read more>>

Erica Armstrong | Mobile Barber

Risks are opportunities to grow. They may be scary and discomforting but the end reward will be worth it. If you don’t take risks, you will always live in “What If’s”. I’ve always been a risk taker. If someone tells me I can’t do something, I will always take the risk no matter how bizarre it may seem. That’s what led me to barbering. There’s only a handful of female barbers in the industry. Some have given up because of sexism. But I’m here to defy the odds. Becoming a barber and being that I’m a female, was a risk in itself because it’s a male dominated field. The journey hasn’t been easy but with determination and will power, anything is possible. Risks play a major role in my career. Taking a risk led me to become a better me. Growing up becoming an entrepreneur was never spoke of, but I will be the first to create generational wealth. Read more>>