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.

Ashley Porter | CEO + Designer

Life is all about calculated risk. Without risk, there would be no reward. I learned this early when I was in my Masters in Finance program; the higher the risk, the higher the return, however you need to analyze if the risk is worth it taking that chance. Read more>>

Jacqueline Journey | Producer, Host & Entrepreneur

Taking risks transformed my life. When I was younger, I was very averse to certain risks, and I know now that it held me back from pursuing some of the things I wanted most in life. As I got a bit older, I learned there is no success without the risk of failure, and it changed everything. I began to acknowledge and recognize that so many of the people I admired had failed multiple times before they achieved what it was that they wanted. It’s truly not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get back up. Read more>>

Catie Laffoon | Photographer + Film Producer

A lot of people think it’s risky to pursue a career in a creative field or their passion, whatever that passion may be. I think it depends on how you define risk. I’ve always looked at it from the perspective of happiness and no regrets. What is more risky? To live a life where you know exactly what you are going to get? You punch a clock and cash the paycheck and you don’t love what you do, so you sit and wonder, “What if?” Read more>>

Janola Morris | Founder & Principal

I think risk is an investment. To me risk taking is a critical skill in running a business or simple just being a leader. When we hear the word risk we tend to primarily think of the possible lost vs the possible reward. For me risk taking is necessary, starting my business was a risk, I risked failing in an saturated market, I risked personal finances, friendships and so much more. Read more>>

Denise Castillo | Creator of Thermal Vibes Patented Washable Heat Cap

I’ve learned that risk-taking is a must if you want to grow. Playing it safely takes you nowhere. I didn’t always think this way. As a young adult, I was always cautious with my decision-making. Always make decisions based on what was normal and accepted. Life to me meant going to school, getting a day job, marrying, and having kids. That’s how I was raised and never thought of doing anything outside of that routine. Read more>>

Melissa Latortue | Owner of Black Owned South FL

I am a strong believer in taking risks when you truly believe in and have a passion for something. I have taken many risks in my life and while some may not have always been in my favor, I am a glass half full type of person. I would rather try and fail, than to never try and wonder what could have been if I did try. Read more>>

Rich Epstein | Photographer

I believe any growth comes from taking risks. Both personal and professional. Sometimes the risks are fairly calculated, but other times it’s the “hold your breath” risks that often pay off the most. Whether it’s asking someone for a conversation, or deciding to open a business or start a family, so much has to be done outside of ones’ comfort zone in order to put the thoughts into motion. I think of it as a little blind faith in oneself. I have never been one to sit for long, and I thoroughly enjoy working with people, so my career path has followed suit. My first profession was as a personal trainer. Read more>>

Gui Dapelo | Group fitness instructor

Risk is written in my whole life and career, starting from leaving South America with my mom to take a risk for a better life in the United States, all the way from living in a gym during a time when fitness wasn’t lucrative and appreciated as it is today. I still remember taking a risk quitting my former job at Fightclub and taking a risk to work at one of the most amazing companies on earth Barry’s and seeing how well worth it was to risk it all. Read more>>

Shea Hansen | Landscape Architect & Arborist

I think everyone has a different level of risk-taking that they are comfortable with. I also think that risk-taking is demonstrated by people we know or admire, so risk-taking can be learned, but it can also be something that’s in our blood. Any kind of risk-taking usually requires aligning yourself with others who hold that same level of risk-acceptance, because none of what successful people do is done all on our own. We are surrounded by others who believe in us and accept the level of risk that we have presented to them. Read more>>

Tarell Lee | Filmmaker

Risk is 100% necessary. Spending $800 on my first camera when I wasn’t sure if I would get good or even like video was a risk. Most people would have never risked the first step. Now I have cameras that cost much much more than that and my business has funded all of it. Every time I take a risk it has been worth it in the end. Read more>>

Emily John-Belingy | Multicultural hairstylist/ Healthy haircare specialist/ colorist and owner of naturally kinky curly haircare haven

I think risk is important not only to business but every day life . I remember some 6 years ago I took a risk left my job as a junior stylist and open my own hair salon here in Trinidad and Tobago and feeling afraid had so many mixed emotions but I remembered what my mom would always say no one is born being absolutely incredible at any thing , feel the fear and take the risk anyway . Even though it was filled with trails and error and alot of opportunities to learn because of that risk I took I’m the professional I’m today because of it . Read more>>

Sheka Porter | Entrepreneur, Business Owner

Risk plays a major role in my life; taking risk is the reason why I am the CEO of my own online boutique and living good in my 20s. It gives you opportunities; it teaches you how to be fearless and go after the things you want. It helps build faith within yourself. Nobody ever got successful being complacent. Sometimes its that one big risk you got to take to live the life you dream! Read more>>