Shoot your shot? Take a chance? Society bombards us with messages, phrases, examples and stories of how taking risk is the key to success, but is anything ever that simple? We asked some of the brightest folks we know to tell us about how they think about risk. We’ve shared their responses below.

TYLER2WAVVY | Singer / Songwriter & Visual Artist

Throughout most of my life I haven’t thought about risk in the sense of how it could affect me in the long run much. I’m an impulsive person by nature, and based on how I was raised I’m not really cut from the cloth. I feel like it’s an important conversation. But, most of the time people can talk themselves out of taking a risk out of fear. I wasn’t taught to fear much. As I’m getting older, gaining life experience, and maturing on different levels I can look back in hindsight, and see that I’ve always contemplated risk versus reward before doing anything. I just normally follow my gut instinct. It’s a basic human survival technique to weigh the pros, and cons. That process just feels different to me now. My mom always says that during labor with me, 36 hours later she knew that my personality was going to be more laid-back and that I would take my time with things. I often joke around and say how “I’m on my third lifetime,” I just don’t feel rushed. Read more>>

Amir Rad | Master Personal Trainer, Author (Live To Thrive), Bodybuilder, Youtuber, Entrepreneur

Taking risks have been life changing for me in many ways. When I think of risks, I think of fear. In many instances, fear is the single most contributing factor for people not pursuing their dreams, achieving their goals, and taking the first step forward towards something new. It’s easy to feel comfortable, and it’s easy to fit in the crowd of conformity. Taking risk means difficulty, perseverance, hard work, persistence, resilience, and a relentless attitude to whatever is standing in front of your way and stopping you from achieving your goals and dreams. When I look back at my life, the biggest and most important risk of my life that I took was starting my first business, my dream business. I was 22 years old when I opening my own personal training, corrective exercise, and fitness facility. The risk was giving all of my time, money, and energy towards a business and idea that could potentially fail, especially with my young age and lack of “business knowledge.” Read more>>

Abyssinia Campbell | Personal Chef & Caterer

I feel that it is important to have the courage to take risks. At the same time, it is also important to have the ability to decide which risks are worth taking. Early in my career, I left my job to start my own business. Almost two months later, I found myself broke and ready to return to work. I landed a full-time job working as a sous chef at a well known restaurant in NYC. The position came with a great salary, amazing benefits, plenty of overtime and a lot of stress. About two years later, I took another leap of faith and left my job to become an entrepreneur. After my first failed attempt, I wasn’t sure if I was ready. I cried, self-contemplated, searched for stamps of approval and eventually my mind was made up. This time around I was determined to succeed, I had a lot to prove to myself and I was committed to seeing it through. It has been over 4 years since leaving the restaurant industry to work for myself. Along the way, the road has been rocky. I’ve doubted myself, my journey, and I’ve compared my growth and success to others. Read more>>

Chalyne Steer | Luxury Boutique Owner & Business Consultant

Choosing to take a risk is scary; it’s the one thing you can do that will either make or break your career. In the beginning of my journey I was so scared to take risks. Every time I needed to make a purchase whether big or small, I was questioning myself; is this the right thing to spend money on right now? Is this item gonna sell? Am I gonna make this money back? Those were the type of questions I would ask myself and the answer would be the same every time because the outcome has never failed me. After celebrating SHOP CHALYNE STEER 1 year anniversary on Feb 2nd 2021, I reflected back & realized I learned early on in my career that risk taking is NECESSARY for growth. If you don’t take the risk how will you grow? How will you become better than you were yesterday? How will you know that it’s possible? How will you elevate & succeed? “Scared money don’t make no money!“ I live by that. It takes strength, courage, & discipline to reach new heights. Read more>>

Marisol Morley | Founder & CEO

In the words of the late, great Kenny Rogers- “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em; Know when to fold ’em; Know when to walk away”. I think if you’re doing life right- life is essentially one long gamble. The trick is in reading the room and in the end, isn’t almost every single decision we make a gamble? Sure, some of them are more secure than others- they’re the safe bets, the measured bets- but my mama always told me “mija there’s only two things we can be sure of in life- death and taxes”., because she wanted me to understand that life is about taking risks. The way to to do it, is to learn to finely calibrate that internal compass so that you know when a risk is worth taking and when you should just walk away. So the way I see it- when you’re young, you should take lots of risks- you should dream big and bold, because that’s when the weight of failure is less heavy. When my business was young and I didn’t have kids- I took all kinds of risks. I mean, risk #1 I quit a reeeeeally comfy job at an investment bank to start a custom cookie company. That was scary, but I did it anyway because I knew it was the right time. Read more>>

Liene Bosquê | Visual Artist & Art Educator

The creative field is risky because we are working from the unknown and cultivating new ideas. Oftentimes, the idea is something that has not been established, so I think we artists are constantly taking risks. This instigates experimentation, but also failure. In my artwork, I deal with risk various times throughout the production process and actual duration of the piece. It exists not only with the conceptualization of new ideas, but also in terms of the medium used. I first come up with the concept for the work and then find what technique and which materials will best convey that idea. This means that I often have to learn a new technique by using a new tool. With my works that are site-specific (in conversation to the space around it), sometimes the installations are not in ‘art spaces’ and I have to ask for special permits through persuasion. When the installations are outdoors, then there is the risk of natural elements interfering with the work. I also work with socially engaged art, and then the work depends on interaction with participants. The risk here comes from not knowing how the public will react, and thus, how the outcome will evolve. Read more>>

Christian Ochoa | Creative Director & Freelance Designer

I like to think that risk is a feeling, not a certainty. If you feel there is risk involved in your personal or professional life, it’s because you are about to make an important decision and most of us are afraid of choosing the wrong path and fail. The key is to have the ability to manage the risk of your decisions. When you see risk not as a cliff but as a road not yet discovered, things start to change. I’ll tell you how it played out with me. For years I tried to deny my creative self. My father used to tell me that drawing comic books or playing the guitar weren’t careers worth to pursue. Most of my friends studied engineerings, law, business and other careers that people would call “safe”. I felt like I was left out. But my best friend’s mother pushed me to pick advertising. She was a designer. Was this a risky decision? Yes, it felt risky. Advertising is not a glamorous career anymore. At least not like the TV series Mad Men. The vast majority of people don’t like advertising. They don’t want to be sold. Read more>>

Royce Mumford | Producer & DJ

Risk for me personally are the most exciting thing ever. The most risk I’ve taken was experimenting with new sounds for future projects to spice things up. Read more>>

Destiny Moore | Interdisciplinary artist & College Student

I believe that risk taking introduces you to a world of possibilities. As an artist, I go through sporadic periods of dissatisfaction with my art. In order to restore that satisfaction, I implement new mediums and objectives into my art practice. Consequently, my form of risk taking involves actually challenging myself to make artwork outside of my comfort zone. For instance, I decided to start painting my figures blue regardless of anyone’s reaction. Since then my work has continued to evolve. Read more>>

Junior Cadet | Film &Television | Writer, Director, Editor / Track and Field Coach

When thinking about risk, you have to look at what will be the outcome of the risk you are willing to take. Taking risks have shaped up my career in many ways. The first risk I took was ending my career of running track and field to focus more into the film/television industry. Second was moving from Florida to California to gain the experience that is needed to handle everything that the industry has to offer. Third is building from scratch with the limited resources that is given when coming into this industry. Throughout all risks I continue to gain the knowledge and respect from everyone I come in contact and with that I do what needs to be done to help the next generation gain better access to working intros industry. Read more>>

Dr. Stephanie Hayden-Adeyemo | Young, Gifted, Human, and Bossed & “Thought Therapist”

Taking a risk as others say is a matter of perspective. A risk for one person may be an everyday occurrence for another. In my humble opinion, I take opportunity that I create. I take them boldly. I don’t hold back in entering each of them. At the end of the day, all decisions made will not be regretted. We rise and fall on the choices that we make. We rise to challenge or we fall another day to make a better choice. It is relative to the final outcome. Read more>>

Shane Neman | Serial Entrepreneur & investor in Technology, Real Estate & Hospitality.

For the past few years the majority of my time has been dedicated to thinking about risk and how to control or leverage it to the maximum extent possible. In my early years as an entrepreneur I was mostly assessing risk using my gut and also not realizing to take into consideration that there are many things that I don’t know that I don’t know! However now (after several years of intense studying, reading, watching and obsessing about this subject, my approach to assessing and thinking about risk has significantly changed. The first company I ever founded in 2000 was called Offyx and my partners and I put our life savings into it – I was only 24 years old! We built what amounted to Microsoft 365 delivered over Citrix Technology before the terms “Cloud”, “SaaS” and “AppStore” were ever coined – we were doing all of it and confident we were going to change the face of computing. What we never took into consideration is that even though we could successfully create a kick-ass product with a bunch of delighted customers, there are always unknowns and black swan events that can shatter your dreams to pieces. Read more>>

Marcus Wells | Director, Cinematographer, Editor, & Photographer

I’ve taken a number of risks in the 27 years of my life thus far, and I continue taking risks. My motto has always been: no risk = no reward. In order to progress and move forward in life, one has to be willing to step outside of their comfort zone. Stretching yourself pushes you to do things that you may have not known you were capable of. Taking risks have given me more opportunities than I could have imagined. Whether that was going from Indiana to Florida for school, then packing my things to move to Los Angeles without a job. The reason I risked moving to LA with no job was because I had one very strong connection in my industry of film. Now I do believe in taking risks, but they have to be calculated. For me personally, I believe you should take risks that you know you’ll gain something from regardless if you fall short. Some people put themselves in a predicament where if they fall, they fall extremely hard with no chance of recovering. So you have to way out your options and take the best risk(s) that moves you closer to your goals. Read more>>

Natasha Perez | Photographer & Travel Planner/Guide

One quote stands out as being a common theme throughout my life, which I’ve always strived to live by: No guts, no glory. In moments where I have felt fear of the unknown, change, the future, or the outcome of a decision, I have always made a conscious effort to not let fear paralyze me. One might think that the glory referenced in this quote might be monetary, material, or fame-based. That has never been my definition of success. To me, the glory it defines relates to personal growth, connection, understanding, uplifting and impacting others, creating, and experiencing real moments. Glory comes from being brave enough to step outside of our comfort zones and allow ourselves to not be in control, but to be present and experience. When I was 18 years old, I joined a community of creatives in my city who roamed around photographing during Instagram meet-ups. I was passionate about photography, but didn’t have a camera or any training. I shot with my iPhone 3. I was always told I had a good eye, but wasn’t confident I was good enough to take it seriously like the creatives I looked up to who shot professionally. Read more>>

Cecy Martinez | Handbag Designer and Pharmaceutical Executive

I consider myself a risk-taker. I believe that the beginning of any success story begins with a person who is willing to take a risk. Success is not achieved through a series of lucky breaks. It is the result of a dream imagined and goals set by a risk-taker, who had the dedication, commitment and perseverance to carry out all that was required to realize that dream. It’s easier to play it safe and not take risks. However, I believe the success I have achieved in the three companies I built can be attributed to the risks I have been willing to take along the way. It has been an essential part of of my career and life. Read more>>

Corey G. Patterson | CPA

Life to me can be described as a journey of risks, and throughout that journey we try to find ways to hedge our exposure to those risks. Through conversations with mentors and through my own personal experiences I learned that if you can directly influence the outcome of a risk and the risk also has the potential to yield the results you need to fulfill your vision that is ALWAYS a risk worth accepting!! In short don’t be afraid to embrace risks that you directly impact and you need to go to the next chapter of your book of success. Read more>>

Andrew Gaines — A.B.O.B. Music Nicholas Gaines — A.B.O.B. Music | Recording Artist

Feels like death’s shadow. Feels like hopelessness mixed with uncertainty doomed to failure. Yet… So many of the greatest success stories, people we look up to — Lebron James, Steve Jobs, Peter Guber, Kobe Bryant, Kid Cudi, Mac Miller, to name a few — ALL took risks to get to where they are now. They surpassed their wildest dreams. Took steps into the realm of un-fathomability. It’s terrifying… even now. What if you’re judged? Ridiculed? Laughed at? However… what if there was another side? Another way of looking at it? [Risk]. What if you could see, feel, and experience something that your mind, body, soul, and spirit could ever imagine co-existing with? It’s true… Some people won’t understand. Let them. You just go. Why not see the other side of that un-fathomable thing? What if risk actually meant discovery… Learning more about yourself… The world. The people in it. Doing more. Being better. Goodness. Honesty. Truth. What if it still came with all of those uncertain feelings, emotions, and circumstances? It does. Read more>>

GRISELDA LECHINI | Painting Artist/Creative Writer

Risk has been the main character in the movie of my life. Since I first came to the States just cause it was my dream to live here. I didn’t have anybody waiting for me at that time. But I strongly believed I could make it happen. Years later, after I was achieving a lot of success in my modeling career, again, I left everything behind to build a new life with my then husband, in a place that was completely different to Miami. There, I discovered my passion for painting, something that I hadn’t done before. Years later, again, I left that life behind and travelled with my paintings risking it all to participate in art shows. More than once I needed to start from scratch again, like climbing a mountain after falling down. I wouldn’t have done any of all of that if I didn’t take the risk. I believe that all we dream of is on the other side of the wall of fear and for that we need to take risks. Read more>>