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.

HENDERSON GONZALEZ | creative director And owner

I think risks are important for growth! if we hadn’t taken the risk of coming to this country 6 years ago none of this would be possible, even if I hadn’t taken the risk of leaving the solid company I worked for before, Party Cake Events will still be just a part time hobby. Read more>>

Carolyn Allen | Photographer

Overall, I wouldn’t categorize myself as much of a risk taker in life. In most things, I typically take the “play it safe” route, however, I don’t shy away from a challenge if I feel that I have the tools to succeed. Perhaps, I would be described as a calculated risk taker. Five and a half years ago, I made the decision to leave my job and pursue my dream of owning a photography business. Starting a business from the ground up is an inherently risky decision, but prior to making the leap, I mapped out exactly what I needed to do to succeed. Read more>>

Melly Diaz | Founder & Editor in Chief of Just Begin Magazine

When it comes to risk I have a very straightforward view— Just Begin. I know it sounds a little cheesy since the name of my business is Just Begin Magazine but I feel strongly about taking risks. The name of my business came to be simply because I had taken too long to start and when I was brainstorming ideas for a name “Just Begin” came to me. From then on I knew it was time to launch and then adjust. Read more>>

Danna Zuluaga | Creative Director

In my case, taking a risk is the result of going against your fears and winning. Every step I do, every risk I take and the ones that are coming are who I am today and who I will be. No matter if it turns out good or bad, in the end, there is something to learn. For example, if I hadn’t taken the risk to grab a camera I wouldn’t know how photography and cinematography have an impact on me. If I hadn’t taken the risk to be in front of the camera, to this day, Read more>>

Mark Pierre | Visionary, Record Executive, Artist & Producer

Risk is super important! I know it’s this scary word with a negative connotation, but the only thing between anyone and everything they ever wanted is a risk and some faith. Your comfort zone will never take you to new heights. That’s not to say to just be doing wild stuff or be reckless. Calculated risks made with intention are the name of the game. Read more>>

Ryan Knowles | Founder & CEO

I’ve always believed that without big risks, you cannot have big rewards. Very early in my career, I took a big risk when I left a steady concierge job at a swanky hotel to work for a real estate broker I had just met. It was an industry I knew absolutely nothing about but it felt like the right thing to do. Several years later, I took an even bigger risk by leaving that broker – who had been by mentor to that point – to go and work for a rival real estate firm. Read more>>

Melina Brokmeier | CEO AMZTOTAL

Be comfortable with the uncomfortable – When looking at risks now that’s my mindset. I believe that with risks, results can be much greater, and life is more fulfilled. But of course, this has not always been the case. Growing up , I was obsessed with perfection. Always having the best grades in school or being the best on the sports team or really at anything else. Of course, that mindset was not helpful when making decisions that would involve a potential risky outcome. Read more>>

Shalanda Wellington | Digital Content Creator: Hair Care, Skin Care, and Lifestyle.

I see risk as a challenge, or an obstacle needed to be faced in order to prepare myself for what’s to come. In my opinion, there’s always a lesson behind a risk. For years, I told myself I will start content creating but every time I would begin my platform, I would talk myself out of it due to fear (False Evidence Appearing Real). Therefore, I was holding myself back. During the shutdown, I had a lot of time to reflect, and I realized time isn’t on anyone’s side and if I don’t start taking risk it will never get done. Creating my platform and continuously putting myself out there is the best risk I could have ever taken. Not only am I building myself up, but I’m also helping many. Read more>>

Emmeka Hawkins | Hair & Beauty Creator

Risk-taking is the cheat code to life ! When you take risks you tell yourself that you are capable of doing anything, even if you don’t see a clear path of how. Becoming a risk taker has done so many amazing things in my life. Taking a chance on life was something that I did when I created my brand. I was nervous to step out of my comfort zone because I always thought that there is going to be someone better than me. But in the end, the risk that I took opened up doors I didn’t even know existed. Read more>>

Shawn Gatlin | Artist: You Killed Me First

I find that taking risks has been important to me in trying to further my career. In 2010 I started putting my artwork in the streets of Los Angeles, and during that time there were a large number of street artists fighting to be noticed. I started using bright neon colors and tried to get up in the most high profile spots I could in and around Los Angeles. Working with my wife, and fellow street artist There She Is, we were able to put up art quickly and discreetly, appearing to be a couple walking together. A few years ago the two of us decided to leave Los Angeles and move to Las Vegas, a city we only visited a few times. Read more>>

Sarah Stokes | Business Breakthrough Coach

When I think about risk now, I smile. As a former TV anchor/journalist, I was trained in facts and only facts. The only risk I took was picking a bright lipstick. Eight years into being a female founder, risk is something that I continue to smile about, but only because what other would see as a “risk” is me following my heart and soul toward my bigger future. Read more>>

Dr. Leia’ Love | Salon CEO & Confidence Cultivator

Risk for me is about betting and regreting. What/who am I betting on and what am I willing to regret. I bet on myself everytime- you have to trust that you can depend on yourself not to quit but see it all the way through. I know when I can’t do something and when I have to enlist someone else’s assistance. Then I have to weigh what the regret may be. Will I regret not taking the risk, can I live with not knowing how things may have gone, what outcomes can I not live with. How well can I strategize and how much am I willing to persevere.
Ultimately risk is having faith and trusting God that with every blind step he’ll still catch me if I fall. Read more>>

Brittany Donaldson | Artist & Crystal Enthusiast

To be very honest, taking risks has been the catalyst to all of the growth and progress I’ve experienced over the years. The comfort of complacency is safe, so I can understand why it’s easier said than done to shake things up. Luckily I’ve never been shy of being a risk taker, I kind of naturally gravitate towards the unknown. If î wouldn’t have abruptly quit my job working as a TSA agent back in 2010 I would’ve never stepped into the best years of my adult life of pursuing my passions. Read more>>

Dontrail Giddens | Tattoo Artist/ Visual Artist

I think taking risks are necessary if you want to grow. Taking risk honestly helped me become who I am today, they all broaden my horizons. If I didn’t I would have still been in a job that I hated and, dissatisfied with myself. Read more>>

Cat Machine Gems Cat Morales & Alejandro Zamora | Gem cutting artists and Sculptures

Being a gem cutting artist is a risk from the start and Cat Machine Gems was created and built on risk. It’s the only way to get results that have impact. Risk taking has to happen everyday and be part of your lifestyle. Read more>>

Ayesha Ibrahim | Fashion Designer & Educator

Growing up there was a motto we had to recite everyday before class, well there were many, but this one stuck with me, “Try, try until you succeed and if you don’t, try again.” So as that quote stuck with me, I have applied it to every venture in my life; I put my best foot forward this includes my business which also as a result includes taking risks, financially and emotionally. When it comes to taking risks, I always ask myself if it is worth it. Then my nagging passion comes to mind and the answer is yes. I say “nagging” not in a negative light but to express how much from a very early age my passion… Read more>>

Melanie Zajac | Health + Wellness Devotee & Content Creator

To me, “risk” is about asking yourself, “Well, what happens if I try?” and “What happens if I don’t give up?” and following through with whatever it takes to find out. Typically, the word “risk” has a negative connotation around it, implying that there’s an opportunity cost at hand, but to me, risk in itself is a symbol of success; there is no loss in taking risks, simply different versions of growth and prosperity. When I began to take risks in my personal life and career, is when I felt as though I was truly opening up to the human experience. Read more>>

SEVEN MILLI . | Artist

Taking risks is up there with on my list of things that have got me where I am today. I believe taking risks is proof without a doubt that you actually believe in you and whatever you’re doing. I feel if you don’t take risks you aren’t fully committed. Read more>>

Katie Moon | Researcher, Teacher, & Artist

I love this question! We tend to believe something is a risk because something is unknown. We take comfort in the known, and we doubt the UNknown could be good, beneficial or even work how we hope it’ll work. Thus, it largely feels unsafe to us. But I connect our fear of the unknown with the doubt we have surrounding who we are. We grow up in a world that teaches us who we are is limited and lacking. So, without really questioning, we go into agreement with what we’re taught. As a natural byproduct, we live limited and lacking. Read more>>

Gabriela Baluja | Miami Nail Artist

Risk is just an opportunity waiting to be taken. I have taken many risks in my nail artist career, among that of content creation and personal goals. I don’t think theres been a moment where risk was not a factor! When I first started, I had the risk of not being able to support myself without having clients. I put in my 100% and no matter what obstacle came, I knew I had to just “figure it out” and I always did because I believed in myself and always dived in. I risked it more by moving far away, and making big changes, but alas risk is about whether or not you take it! Read more>>