We asked some of the most interesting folks in the community to open up about how they think about taking chances and the role risk has played in their lives and careers. Risk is by far the topic folks talk to us most about and we hope the responses below will help shed light on many different perspectives.

Amber Barbach | Founder & Director

In my mind, I don’t see “risk” as risk, but more-so “opportunity”. The textbook definition of the word Risk states: a situation involving exposure to danger, however when used in a business context, I like to think of taking a risk as going after an opportunity. From an early age, it was engrained in me that persistence is key, alongside the concept that you won’t get what you want by just sitting around and waiting for it to happen. Read more>>

Carla Tovar | YouTuber & Content Creator

Risk taking is unusual and often looked at with a very negative connotation. Not knowing the outcome of a decision is actually quite terrifying, so it’s understandable. However, I think risk taking can be exciting and life changing! At the end of 2021 I took one of the biggest risks I have ever encountered in my adult life. After thinking about this decision for a whole year, I was finally ready to let go of a job that was no longer fulfilling. Read more>>

Katelyn Kopenhaver | Multimedia Artist and Photographer

Risk-taking started early for me when I was growing up horseback riding. I never shied away from feisty ponies, higher jumps, greener or faster horses. There is a lot of pressure on you once you’re in the show ring. You train and train to perfect everything, and then you have a few minutes to show it. You fall off, get bucked off, or reared off, it’s brutal, but you always get back on; you have to. Read more>>

Michelle Howarth | Actor and Writer

I have been a risk-taker since I can remember. I was taught from a young age that, in order to accomplish your goals, you need to be prepared to put in the work and run the risk. I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and, as an actor and writer, I knew I was limited as to what I could do in my hometown. I took the risk of auditioning for the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles, California, and ended up receiving a scholarship to the Academy. I left South Africa alone at the age of 21 and moved to Hollywood, California to pursue acting. Read more>>

Samantha Tavarez | Owner

I believe that old saying, without risk there is no reward. For myself, taking a risk is based half on intuition and the other on viable calculations. Starting a business during a pandemic was certainly risky, and taking on the task of our current rebrand has been another rewarding prospect. I’ve realized staying in your comfort zone will not propel you in the direction in which you are aiming. Read more>>

LexMeetsWorld | Entrepreneur , Professional Makeup Artist & Content Creator

A wise man once said, “Opportunity does not come gift wrapped. You must take risks.” It is safe to say that life’s greatest lessons come when we shift our focus out of our comfort zone. We grow tremendously when we take the road less travelled, create our own trail, and make our own choices and free ourselves from the biggest question – “what if?” Playing it safe is imperative but it only gets you so far. Read more>>

Luca Debus | Cartoonist

Because of the nature of my career, there aren’t many risks on my path. I do have to proceed with exceptional boldness, though. I am an ambitious person, so, in order to get me where I want to be, I need to shoot myself from the cannon of ambition pretty ruthlessly. Often, directly in the face of some important publisher. Sometimes, the impact is painful (for both of us). Sometimes, I land on beautiful shores that I never imagined for myself with only minor injuries. Incidentally, that’s the main reason why I have a limp. Read more>>

Nicole Esquen | Make-up Artist and Mental Health Counselor

Risk is one of those things in life that can be intimidating but unavoidable. Without risk there is limited opportunity for gain, especially as a business owner. Sometimes you give something a chance, invest your time and money it, and it doesn’t work out but sometimes it does and those are the moments that make it all worth it. I have spent most of my life in school preparing to become a professional in my field to one day realize something was missing and I wanted more. I decided to take risk and follow my love for make-up, an art I always admired but never gave a chance. I took classes, invested in supplies and branded myself as Nikki Glam, a Miami/Broward Make-up Artist. Read more>>

Robin Cortese | Vice President of Premier Technologies, AT&T Privately owned and operated Agency. Corporate Diwali Ambassador & Hospice Board Member

Each and every day we all take risks. A risk was taken on me way back in 1992 on May 26th. Sure, other risks have been taken way before then, both personal and professional but this date is embedded. On that date I was selected to begin a career within the Cellular Industry, brought along by a Manager that gave me no choice but to join her team and follow her lead. She was my mentor, what she said was gospel because she never proved me wrong and in her mind I was a sure thing as well. Read more>>

Megan Cashmore | Founder of Yachtz Club (Yacht Charter, Private Jets, Exotic Cars, Exclusive Members Only Club)

In my opinion risk taking is living life. I am not someone who wants to play life safe. I enjoy the thrill of taking risks in my life because that is when I know I am growing. I dream to help make a difference in this world and I know I can’t do that in my comfort zone. Ever since I was young I had big dreams and I knew those big dreams could crush me one day and people would talk about the failure (and trust me they have crushed me and people did talk) but that never seemed to scare me. What scared me was living a life of wondering “what if this idea of mine did work” or “what if people loved my business and it benefited the world?” Those thoughts scared me more than taking risks did. Read more>>

Payal Tak | Lucid Art Gallery and Studio

Risk and reward goes hand in hand. I strongly believe that when we take risks to experiment or try something new, we allow ourselves to learn and grow. Taking risks gives us an opportunity to become bigger, better, bolder individuals, and it boosts our confidence. Owning an Art Gallery is my second career; the first being an intensely active 30-year career in Information Technology. That career taught me that taking risks is almost essential if one wants to progress. Regardless of the outcome of the risky endeavors, each taught me a meaningful lesson that I have leveraged to keep growing as a person. Read more>>

Jo Ellen Newman | Life and Business Coach

Risk as an entrepreneur is inevitable. Learning to befriend risk is a foundational part of this journey, but, to understand risk you also need to befriend the word polarize. Both words invoke worry for some but I find they are two sides of a coin, if you will. When it comes to showing up in the world with your own unique style, messaging and skillset we will, inevitably polarize someone. That’s the risk of being authentic. By the choice to market our skill, intellectual property or art outside of the ‘norm’ allows us to define a clear niche and build brand loyalty. Read more>>

Gway | Artist

“Imagination is more important than knowledge” – Albert Einstein. This quote has carried me through my everyday life because the meaning is way deeper than what it portrays. Sometimes people in life won’t see your vision or dreams, and that’s okay because everything in this life started with an imagination and wouldn’t have been a reality without risk being taken. Life is all about risks, you never know what might happen until you take that leap of faith and go through the journey. Read more>>

Jennifer Radnay | Holistic Doula

The times in my life that ive taken the biggest RISKS, have been when I was guided intuitively. It was not a decision based on just logic because I believe we can talk ourselves into and out of anything. The times i have made profound decisions, either personally or professionally was based on an overwhelming knowing that I must ‘Just Do It’ because the unknown of not trying would cause me more suffering than the risk of making a mistake. Read more>>

Nabedi Osorio | Musician / Mentor / Music teacher

I think that it’s important to take risks in your life. You never know what the outcome can be, but that makes it even more exciting. To me, taking a risk means challenging oneself and I enjoy a good challenge. The biggest risk I took was back in 2010, when I gave up my waiter apron to start my career as a full-time musician. I can’t even begin to imagine what life would be like now, had I not made that choice. Risks can be scary, but you can learn a lot about yourself and what you are able to gain as well as accomplish. Even if it doesn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, at least you put yourself out there and tried. There’s a lot of value in that alone. Read more>>

Taylor Materio | Director of Development

I believe that taking risks is critical in your overall success in life. The key is knowing how to manage risk and your ability to engage in calculated or strategic risk. Of course, sometimes you just have to jump in, but knowing when a risk is worth the challenge it may present is the tricky part. This is why it is important to surround yourself with a team of advisors or mentors who believe in you and want you to be successful. Read more>>

Sharon Ng | Retreat Leader, Yoga Instructor, and Mindset Coach

I always dream pretty big, one of my biggest visions was to lead Yoga Retreats around the world. After living in a few different locations around the world, I got to see and feel what it was like to “work to live” rather than “live to work,” I also was surrounded by individuals who were very transient..this all just showed me that I too, could create a living based on a lifestyle that looked different than that societal “9-5 norm” and one that I loved. So the thought process? It was big and scary, but I knew I wanted it bad enough and just had to take the first step, no matter what the outcome was! Read more>>