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.

Michelle Mckoy | Fertility Advocate & Social Entrepreneur

I have learnt to see risks as an opportunity. When one thinks about a risk, a negative connotation comes to mind and in my case, it would have been a barrier to moving forward. Becoming a fertility advocate happened when I took the risk to share my journey, become vulnerable to ridicule and step into a space where there was little being discussed opening about fertility, infertility and reproductive rights. My personal journey with endometriosis and ovarian cysts led me into this world which I initially believed did not include me, but it did, as well as the millions of individuals who are involuntary members and tend to suffer in silence. As a result, I am producing the 4th Annual South Florida Fertility Expo, as a virtual event providing valuable resources to assist persons on their journey to having a family. Read more>>

Daviah Jennings | Nail Artist

I believe that risks can somewhat be positive. Taking a risk proves how much faith you have in yourself, someone, or something. Risk-taking has always played a key role in my career and in my life. Had I’ve not taken certain risks I would’ve missed great opportunities and I wouldn’t have known my strengths. Read more>>

Kristen Guskovict | LCSW & Staff-Care / Mental Health Program Consultant

Starting a business is a major risk. It messed with my finances, it sometimes makes me obsessive and it definitely makes me a workaholic. Plus, it makes some people look at me like I must have been a little crazy to even try it. But it is also an opportunity. One I tried to do with my eyes open. I am a consultant, so in the beginning I talked with every consultant I knew, about anything they wished they would have known. They all told me it would take three years to build my client base and to get my income back to where it was before I started the business. I fully admit that maybe I was a little crazy to try because I didn’t believe them. I took the risk, seeing only the opportunities and ignoring the challenges. It didn’t feel like a risk at the time, it just felt like the next step. I focused on what I could do to make it work, instead of what might impede my success. Read more>>

Sterling Neilly | Mother, Educator & Business Owner

I feel that every decision you make in life is risk. Every action has a consequence, whether it be good or bad. We just have to remember that the good can outweigh the bad and we should take that leap of faith. It’s much better than living with the unknown. When I was younger, taking risks was never something I considered. I was raised to do things “by the book”. Go to school, get good grades, graduate, go to college, and get a job. This didn’t leave much room for my creative side. After realizing that yes, I’m good at school and I excel, I realized I was not happy with that. I started to write/blog, draw and create a lot more. This is when I began taking risks. Let’s talk about the things people often shy away from or are altogether afraid to address. I stopped being scared to remove myself from the things that were making me unhappy in terms of my career. While I carry the responsibility of being a mother and having bills to pay, I could no longer settle for a job. I took a risk and quit and BOOM. A better job fell into my lap and then there was the birth of Her Lotus Co. Letting go is a HUGE risk, but the reward has always been greater for me. Read more>>

Alexandria McMillian | Creative

Before I make any risk I make sure my kids and dog Nala will be as happy and stable as possible. I prefer a more calculated risk. I don’t recommend just jumping into something without having a few systems and resources in place to keep you from being stressed out unnecessarily. That stress alone hinders a lot. So make sure your basic needs are good. And then I say go for it!. Read more>>

Josh (Flyguy) Floyd | Artist Manager & Marketer (DOT CONNECTOR)

Risks have really been all my life has been about if I’m being honest. As a basketball player for a great deal of my life in South Florida I have always been a risk taker when it came to different opportunities for my career from going to three totally different high schools in different parts of Broward County. To going the Junior College route, playing at the Division 1 level, to ending my career while receiving my Master’s degree in West Virginia. It’s all been a journey to get me where I am today as a person that never had a problem changing locations if it was for the better. I now consider myself a professional “Dot Connector” I’ve stepped away from basketball and currently help different artist and creatives with helping their visions come to life with different marketing strategies and being the bridge to bring people together to create magic. Read more>>

Julia Angel | Copywriter

The way I see it, taking risks is the only way to grow professionally and personally. I always encourage people to try something new or to take a chance on themselves. And what I’ve found most comforting is that things usually fall into place in a way that you couldn’t anticipate–even when it feels like you’ve made the worst mistake of your life! I now have a career that I love so deeply, and it’s all because I took the risk of leaving my (really great) job to try something new. Read more>>

Alma Grace | Artist & Photographer

I think when it comes to making art and pursuing a career in art it’s all about taking risks. About 3 years ago I was in a retail job I absolutely despised. I wasn’t pursuing my own work or taking any pictures, and instead spent day in and day out selling shoes at a store in the mall. When I realized that this job was becoming my life, and in turn making me very depressed, I decided to take a risk and quit on the spot, despite having no backup and no other form of income. A couple months later I ended up finding work within an art museum that fully allowed me to immerse myself in contemporary art and in turn starting to develop my own photography in a way that I hadn’t done in years. Separate from that, I took a risk when I decided to study art history while at university. My parents always wanted me to pick a major that guaranteed an income – something like hospitality or journalism. However, I knew that if I didn’t take that risk and follow my heart in studying art, I would look back 10 years down the line and always regret never taking that chance. Read more>>

Rana Florida | CEO, Creative Class Group & Best Selling Author, Upgrade

For most people, assessing and accepting risk takes a severe emotional toll; it causes fear and confusion and it can lead to stress and fatigue. Life is already risky, many of us think — why ‘rock the boat?’ But most successful leaders, thinkers and innovators understand that new opportunities and rewards come only after taking risks. Facebook‘s motto is “Move fast and break things,” meaning, it’s okay to take a chance on several things at once. But the harsh reality is that most of us are not rewarded at work for taking risks. Curiosity is stifled in a risk-free environment. If workers are afraid of getting laughed at for their ridiculous ideas, any number of important inventions won’t ever see the light of day. Our society and workplaces need to encourage more risk-taking. Innovative leaders understand that not every risk yields success but they also don’t reprimand their teams for taking risks. They encourage them to think their ideas through and assess their potential consequences. Read more>>

Ashley Saunders | Founder & CEO

The saying “it’s better to have tried and failed, than to not have tried at all” perfectly sums what I think about risks. Outside of physical maturation, I feel, taking chances is ultimately what leads to growth and success. I owe most of my personal and professional accomplishments to having enough courage to testing my truest potential. My honest opinion is that you discover possibilities and opportunities on the other side of taking risks! It’s the reason I am where I am today!. Read more>>

Isabella Addison | Isabella Addison | Artist

Being an artist is a risk. I am a freelance artist which means I need to pursue creative work in order to survive. No one is handing me anything, I actively need to look for jobs in order to move forward in my career. I think that is extremely important to an artist, that “not knowing if they’ll have work this month or not,” it keeps us motivated. The worst thing you can be as an artist is comfortable. Once you’re comfortable you stop innovating. And choosing a life where being comfortable means your art may be worse is a very risky path to take. Because being safe and comfortable is easy. Art is about fear, expression, and taking risks. Taking risks has made me feel confident in my work because I’ve learned that making mistakes is totally ok. It’s how you overcome those mistakes and what you choose to do after is what defines you. During the pandemic, in 2020, I started to feel way too comfortable in my life and that made me feel unsatisfied with my art. Read more>>

Jose Lawrence | Photographer, Creative Consultant, and Business Owner

When I think about risk, I think about a venture into the unknown, a walk into the dark where I do not know what may await me. Its terrifying but also exhilarating. Risk is an odd way of proving that we as individuals are indeed alive. You may succeed, you may fail. But the fact you took the leap of faith, that you took the risk, is a mark of true courage. Sometimes they can be as simple as taking a walk down the street for some. We in fact live in a world where for many people simply walking out of their homes is a major risk. But we take that risk every single day because we are gambling that day we may do something that changes our lives for the better. Risk is an essential part of the human condition, risk is the reason we came down from the trees and ran across the grasslands. Had we not taken that risk, we as a species would not have been able to accomplish all that we have today. Indeed sometimes the greatest risks are the most simple choices, that have major ripple effects across time. Read more>>

Tameika Lewis | Entrepreneur

I believe nothing is worth pursuing unless you are taking risks. Thats with everything. Life, Love , Business etc. Ive never been afraid to fail especially. Failing teaches you lessons that success never will. I was terrified starting my own business, but the idea of not even trying made me sick. Knowing i took a chance on myself for myself gives me a sense of freedom that can never be taken from me. The saddest thing in the world is not knowing what was possible because you were too afraid to try. Read more>>

Justin “Justus” Grey | DJ & Promoter

I am firm believer that in order to succeed you must take risks. Risk taking for me is simply stepping out into the unknown , having faith and immense self-belief, that regardless of the possible outcome, you are willing to bet on yourself and follow through your goals and objectives. No matter what field you are in , in order elevate you have to take risks. At 18 years old I made the unorthodox decision to follow my passion for music. At the time I didn’t know where the journey would lead me or how it would sustain my life. What I did know however , was that I was really talented in my craft and passionate about it. My love for music is surreal and I know the power it has on people. Fast forward 5 years later at 23 and I can safely say I have no regrets about my decision. That one choice has allowed me to meet greet people , travel and earn a stable income while doing something I love. Read more>>

Domino Saints | Latin Urban Artists

Every true artist has to think about the payoff of dedicating your life to art vs the stability and financial security of a normal career. Back when we were still studying music and also working full-time the 2008 crisis started and many people we knew with stable careers lost their jobs. The illusion that art and music were the professions that were uncertain and that other professions always provided job security was shattered. From that point on it was very easy to decide to dedicate ourselves 100% into our music. Yes we would go on to struggle for the next couple of years. Yes we did a lot of surviving eating tuna and taco bell to keep things in a minimum budget, but we were playing shows, traveling the world, exploring South America, and sharing stages with artists we had only dreamed of someday meeting. It was 100% worth it, and we never look back. Read more>>

Cheyenne Araujo | Creator/ Photographer

I was always one to shy away from risk-taking, both in my career and everyday life. This fear of failure thrived when I was tasked with doing anything outside of my comfort zone; it was a reflection of my lack of confidence and the doubt I had in my cabailities and talents. It was stunting my growth and my opportunities were restricted the more I turned down new challenges. I was depriving myself of experiences.When I freed myself from the fear of getting turned down…fear of failing…fear of not being good enough, I discovered I was in a better position to accept challenges and the fruitful benfits that came with it. Taking the more daring route pushed me to find new solutions, nudging me to explore variant options. In my creative career, a notable risk I took was agreeing to shoot at one of my universty’s formal functions. I was hesitant to agree to this opportunity because I had no background in event photography; I realized I would lose absolutely nothing if I said yes to this fantastic job which prompted me to take up the task. Read more>>

Angelica Bergamini | Visual Artist

Deciding to pursue a career as a professional artist is already a risk that pretty much determines your life. Following my ‘call’, I left my hometown when I was nineteen to study Art in Florence (Italy). A few years later, with two grants received by the European Commission, I was offered to live, study and work in Spain, first in Granda and then in Madrid. But once I decided to try to make a living as a professional artist, I applied for an artist visa and moved to NY as soon as I got it. To follow my dream, to make a living out of my passion, I left family and friends behind, and I rebuilt a life from scratch here in the big apple. Art and risk are, I think, two words strongly interrelated. Every work evolves from an undefined landscape, that pool where the artist dwells and from which you get that spark that ignites a new creation, a new process, a new project. I often use paper in my work, but I always look for new ways to work with it. Learning a new technique always involves some risk, but that’s my way to work in search of a new texture that better represents the atmosphere I want to communicate with a specific piece. Read more>>

Sage Thompson | Creative Director

The amount of risk I am willing to accept is in direct correlation to my age. As a child we were willing to do many “stupid” things because there was little consequence. As I get older and the responsibilities add up my appetite for risk has slowly decreased. That is not to say I don’t push my limits and do things other folks might think is “crazy”, but there is a lot more calculation behind it now. As a mountain biker and trail runner we are conditioned to make these calculated decisions all the time. The more we prepare and practice the less risky an obstacle or venture becomes. But you still have to take that leap. Read more>>

Thaini Rolle | Credit Improvement Specialist

I’m definitely a calculated risk taker. My view on risk as it pertains to business is this… The way I see it is I had two options: Continue working every day trying to make ends meet or give my business a fair shot and succeed. the alternative was that the business would fail and I’ll end up going back to depending on a job to make ends meet, so what do I have t lose. To me, the risk lied in NOT following my dreams. I would’ve risked my financial security, the ability to do what I love, and a life of regret. Entrepreneurship has taught me that there are no failures, only obstacles and my job is to figure out how to beat those obstacles every day. Taking risks is what got me here and it is what will keep me advancing to new levels in my business for years to come. There is no reward without risk. Read more>>

Quenequia Graves | Guitarist & Producer

My thoughts on taking risks are simple. It’s necessary. The saying goes, ‘No risk, no reward.” I’ve taken risks that some probably wouldn’t consider risks at all. However, as a person who battles fear, these were great risks to me. I believe that when you step out of your comfort zone and do something that you know will make you better even though it makes you afraid you’ll find the results so rewarding. We grow and learn so much from choosing to take risks. I wouldn’t really have a career had I not taken some risks. Read more>>

Saadin Dassum | Singer and Writer

Years ago, I was watching this Christopher Nolan Batman flick, and I remember this scene that bounces back and forth in my head to this day. Ra’s (the bad guy) burns down Wayne Manor, and Bruce Wayne has to flee to the Batcave with assistance from his butler, Alfred. So while the bad guys wreck havoc in Gotham, Bruce speaks: “I’ wanted to save Gotham, I failed” And Alfred says: “Why do we fall sir?… So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” “You still haven’t given up on me?” “Never” For those of you who don’t know, let me introduce myself. My name is Saadin Dassum (pronounced Suh-deen Dih-soom), and I am a musician from Quito, Ecuador. I went to an American school, where I fell in love with Rock and Roll and all music alike, and now I write and record my own songs! So you want to ask me what I feel about risks, huh? Well, in summary, take them. Taking a chance is scary. Things might go wrong, or events might not play out like you expected them to. Read more>>

Saturnie Antoine | Certified Professional Relationship Coach, Mentor & Speaker

Risk (aka taking vast leaps of faith) has played a significant part in why I am here today as an entrepreneur. I remember being in the process of applying to medical school when I felt deep in my spirit to take a step back and pursue Professional Coaching instead. After many years of studying and accomplishments leading up to this moment, giving it all up for a new venture I felt I was called and purposed for took a lot of gut. But. Read more>>

Kevin Jantunen | Photographer

I think that risk is one of the key components to being able to discern where luck and opportunity reside. It is one of the many hurdles to “widen the blinders,” so to say, and be able to see things in life where luck will manifest in a potential opportunity or moment for you to seize and utilize. Too often when you are immersed in a bubble, echo chamber, or despair you fail to see a chance and ephemeral moments whether they be just outside or around your periphery. Taking risks, alongside education, patience, and focus has helped me carve my upward path. Don’t listen to me though, don’t listen to gurus, don’t listen to pyramid schemers, don’t listen to self-declared CEOs/entrepreneurs, DON’T listen to social media, don’t listen to anybody. Learn and listen to yourself, figure out which risks are appropriate to take, and move forward at your own pace. Enduring fruits of labor come to those who are genuine, I think. Read more>>

Tyshon tufi | Recording Artist/Poet

My perspective on what “risk” is in the business world is that it’s a matter of either gaining a “Win” or enduring a “Loss.” I don’t recommend exclusively relying on risk-taking but being open to taking risks in certain scenarios. In business, it’s important to know what you’re putting on the line and strategizing in order to take educated risks. It’s important for me to do all the necessary research, so I can consider all available options before making a decision that may change the trajectory of my career. Risk-taking has molded me into the person I am today because I’ve experienced both wins and losses. I’m the type of person who seeks advice from others who may have the answers I’m looking for, yet I will still move forward with what I want to do because I enjoy having my own experiences. Most people would call this stubbornness; I call it faith. As a music artist, I value being unique and being true to myself. It gives me the opportunity to fill the space of diversity in the music industry. Read more>>

Harry Blustein | Founding Member of HARRY BLU’S® – An Original Miami Handcrafted Gin

I’m not a gambler; however, I have risked it all at times for an opportunity. Some have paid off, whilst many have not. Read more>>

Theo Matz | Songwriter

I would consider myself a fairly risk averse person. I typically avoid situations that would be unsafe or life threatening. I haven’t taken many risks when it comes to my music, I haven’t quit my day job to pursue it full time and I haven’t done any risky financial moves. That being said, I definitely like risk, I really enjoy outdoor sports that many consider dangerous and risky, rock climbing, scuba diving, backpacking, etc. So I definitely have the capacity for risk, but I think of it as a calculation before I take one. At the start of the pandemic I was very worried and it felt like every little thing one did was considered risky, if not for you than risk for someone else. That made me re-evaluate a lot of the risks I’ve never taken, and it made me look forward to taking risks in the future, because a lot of things we consider risky are not so, they are in fact very safe but can feel risky due to embarrassment, prospect of failure or otherwise. Read more>>

Fernanda Lamuño | Independent Filmmaker

It’s everything! Risk-taking is by far the factor that impacts your filmmaking growth curve most. I’m not talking about the “do-it-for-the-vid” mentality which tends to render more reckless than productive results. I’m talking about the risk-taking mentality you need to have to even begin trying to create something that someone else can relate to. Risk-taking in filmmaking means putting yourself out there and give everything to tell a story honestly and wholeheartedly at the risk of someone not agreeing with or not even understanding what you mean. It also means taking the risk of giving your all to a production when at times the logistics, the budget or the end results are unclear. It takes guts to tell a story effectively, but even if you don’t succeed it’s worth the sacrifice. To wrap up my ever so eloquent growth curve analogy, when you add risk-taking to the filmmaking function, everything becomes exponential. Read more>>

Mark Samuels | Filmmaker & Television Producer

I think life is all about taking calculated risks. My career as a director, producer in the television industry all started with taking a risk. I was a musician and wanted to start shooting my own music videos. I didn’t go to film school or know anything about creating a film so it was a bit of a challenge to get started. I decided to take the risk and invest in a camera (even though I didn’t know how to use it or even attach a lens LOL ) and I started filming as many music videos as I can. After a few years of shooting music videos I decided I wanted to make my first feature film. I had no experience with script writing or managing a production this large but I decided to take another risk and give it a shot. This was one of the best decision’s i’ve ever made. 2 years after filming my first feature film titled “Murder Gardens” it ended up being one of the most viewed independent films of 2019 and instantly gave me the platform I needed to now begin directing and producing more feature films on a bigger and broader scale. Read more>>

Malcolm Sommons | Multi-Media Journalist & Film Producer

Risk taking is both exciting and nerve wrecking. I love taking risks because it will make you stronger if the outcome is great. If the outcome isn’t so great then you have the opportunity to learn and grow from mistakes. I’ve taken many risks and stepped out on faith with a lot of my decisions. Taking risks got me further in my career. I’ve always wanted to do stand-up comedy, along with the many things I do already, but wanted to build my name and brand, The Malc Show, first. The year 2021 for me is all about risk taking, which is what God told me. So this year I started my comedy career. I took the risk of going on stage. If I wouldn’t have, I would have never known the outcome which was amazing. I did great my first and second time on stage doing comedy. The comfortability came from being on stage previously with hosting events and conducting interviews with many people. Read more>>

Shaina Moriah | Life Coach & Boutique Owner

The saying that “Scared money don’t make no money” is my new mantra. You have to take risks , it is scary but you will never know the outcome. As someone who has their PHD in overthinking. I stop over thinking and just go with my first gut instinct. For instance , in the beginning of this pandemic , I had to go to a fashion retreat in LA for a week , it was a costly investment and I started to get scared , I was having a moment lol. My mind was creating different scenarios lol. I silenced the noise and I made the decision to go. I told my partner he said “Speedy G is making the move”. I laughed. That risk inspired me in so many ways , it brought my dream life into reality on how I wanted to start and end my days. I fell in love with LA , I got to connect with other creatives. I did not want to come back to FL lol. Just imagine if I did not go that would have plagued my mind more. Risks are necessary to evolve. The next big risk I need to take is leaving this job that no longer aligns with me. Read more>>

Emilio Dominguez | 30 Under 30

Taking calculated risks, some more calculated than others, has been crucial to building my own career as an entrepreneur. A lot of the people closest to me doubted my ability to stick to the plan, to keep my head down and put in the countless hours of unpaid work, and to have the necessary vision to execute something unique. I never doubted myself, though, and knew the risks I took would pay off. Read more>>

Felipe Correa | Photography Artist

I have always gone for the long shot in my career choices. Growth happens at the edges and to take that risk, even if it’s a little one, can help one grow regardless of the outcome. I believe that one can win life if willing to take a leap. Read more>>

Drew Minako | Singer/Songwriter & Producer

I think taking risks can help mold us into the best version of ourselves. There was a lot I didn’t do at at an early age because I was scared of what people would think, and I never really subscribed to cisgender’d norms for as long as I can remember, long story short, i was scared to change the course of my comfortableness. Staying comfortable doesn’t allow room for growth and I didn’t know who I was at the time. Nowadays Its a lot different. I’m not afraid to dress how I want and express myself how I want because I realize now that I’m not meant to fit in at all, & never was. The same goes for my music. I love all kinds of music. I draw influences all across the board genre wise, so I don’t plan on putting myself in any boxes when it comes to my sound either. Read more>>

Sol Ruiz | Music, Sol and The Tribu

My father was a gambling man. When choosing music as my life path, I inherited that risk-taking approach. It was not just a plan b or a hobby, for me, music was all or nothing. With music, I always had the ace up my sleeve so I rolled the dice with my eyes closed not considering all the ups and downs it would bring along the way. With my instinct in place, I roll the dice every day with my choices of art with my band Sol and The Tribu. I love making bold music that speaks from my heart. Recently we made a video called Conga Online in quarantine. Funded by The Arsht Center’s Heart of Art Challenge, we made the video with 1000 dollars. Making a video with this budget is challenging. We had to be very imaginative. But our team of creatives along with The Good Year Agency managed to pull this together for a good cause. Bringing the community together for the first Online Conga Line in history! Change begins at the end of your comfort zone. Read more>>

Carrie Ann Baade | Painter and Professor of Art

Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work. Gustave Flaubert I was first made aware of this statement by a colleague. In her opinion, I was likely risk taking in both my work and in my life. Not making risks in my life, came with maturity. Yet in order to become a successful professional, it had been necessary for me to recognize the obstacles, run at them, and jump into the unknown. We are told that learning occurs when we get outside of our comfort zone. For me, the advancements in my career have all occurred when I dared to be uncomfortable by testing my limits, kept clear goals, and challenged myself beyond my prior capacity. No one prepares you for how much self confidence it requires to “do what you love.” If I could gift all my students resilience and self belief, I would. After earning two degrees and having numerous apprenticeships, I had the training I needed to make the work I wanted to create. Read more>>

Margie Joseph | Food and Entertainment Blogger

The Truth is taking risks isn’t for the weak hearted, Soon as you have a dream that’s outside of what society deems normal, people tell you your taking a risk, “you’re giving up security. Simply put, people think you lack common sense for doing anything outside of a 9-5. With risk taking comes fear and sometimes depending on how strong that fear is some of us cant even think past it. I think risk is a necessary factor when it comes to reaching our goals. Literally gives you the feeling that you are willing to do something bigger than what has been presented to you. Without risks, many of would not be here, that includes me. Stepping past fear and into risk taking has allowed me to progress in both my career and my new ventures with The Local Angle. Read more>>