Legend holds that Cornelius Vanderbilt had built a massive fortune in the steamboat shipping industry, but then realized the railroads were the way of the future and invested almost his entire net worth into railroads. The gamble paid off and made Vanderbilt one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs ever. But risks are inherently…risky. How do you think about risk and how has it affected your life and career? Some of our community favorites share their perspective below.

Ellis Mae | Content creator + wellness coach

Risk taking has been everything. I wouldn’t be where I am career wise if I didn’t spontaneously move to Australia and then to Mexico and now to America. The magic happens when you push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Change is scary but it’s the only way to truly grow! Your network is your network so take a look at who you surround yourself with and decide if that’s what you want in life. If you don’t challenge yourself and force yourself to grow, move and change you are completely limiting your potential. Take that risk, go to that event, travel to that country, say YES more often and watch how your life begins to change. Read more>>

Lucie Wicker | Commercial Photographer

I do not take risk lightly but I do think in most cases it is necessary for starting your own business. I left a fulltime job with benefits in 2010 to go back to school for photography and at the time it felt like I was taking a huge leap. I had savings but it was still a big risk leaving a job that provided financial security. I couldn’t go back so it was really sink or swim. I did not have a business plan at the time and had to learn a lot along the way but when I think back to how unhappy I was at that job, it makes taking that risk completely worth it. Read more>>

Valentina Pardi Gaby Arauz | Graphic Designers & Co-Founders of Freaks Design Co.

As saturated as our industry is, in a world where communication is so accessible and you can reach so many people at the same time, we believe taking risks is extremely important. If you don’t, your work is going to fall flat and get buried beneath all the millions of other people trying to make an impact. The only way to be moved to the front in today’s world, is by taking risks. Read more>>

Lori Jones | CEO & Founder

Wow what can I say… I have always been a risk taker! From childhood I always dared to do what others wouldn’t do. I feel that for me, life without risk isn’t life at all. Great things, ideas, businesses, and investments all come from taking some sort of risk. I took a risk launching a business in the midst of a global pandemic! That risk was so worth it too! I was laid off from a Head Chef Job at a sorority house that I absolutely loved and had a choice to make. Read more>>

Anezka Libovicka | Photographer

Taking a risk changed my whole life! It was never easy but I knew it would be worth it. Here is a list of a few of them: moving from the Czech Republic (in 2018) to Jamaica and stepping out of my comfort zone, leaving my family and friends, starting a new life in such a different environment, pursuing my passion and leaving my office job after a year and a half so I can focus on photography business only, jumping into a wedding photography industry and many more. I am grateful for every open and also closed door. Every single risk led to a life lesson and those experiences shaped me into the person I am today. Read more>>

Alyssa Alexander | Model, Actress, & Influencer

Risk taking is such a impactful topic in my life, mainly because I fully acknowledge that I wouldn’t be where I am in life without taking risk. A lot of us wouldn’t. It is scary taking risks, but sometimes with great risk comes great reward. Back in 2014 I took the risk of hopping in front of a friend’s camera (Amanda Cantrell) to be a model for her. Being a plus size/curvy girl and not so confident in myself at the time took a lot of courage to put myself out there! Read more>>

Aria Vega | Colombian Artist

Risks have Played such an important part throughout my life, since I was a teenager I knew I wanted to dedicate my Whole life to music I participated in a reality show were and a lot of opportunities showed up at the capital of Colombia, Bogota. When I told my dad about leaving my hometown Barranquilla he said to me “Your brother who’s a man, didn’t even leave Barranquilla to go to Bogotá and study law, and now you’re expecting as a woman to go by yourself and do music” I couldn’t understand why wouldn’t support my dreams especially when I had proven myself along so many people who participated in that reality show I was the fourth in the whole country, Read more>>

Fritz Dorisca | Private chef

Risk played a big role, I left Florida to go to New Orleans with about 200 bucks in my pocket at the age of 20 just to seek knowledge of my career with no place to stay or place to eat till I secured a job, but the biggest role was My grandma risking her life, I think twice to come to America and worked her tail off to get her family to this country, which is something I got to hear after her funeral, so I guess risk has to be a part of your life if you really want something Read more>>

Giulia Gallon | Costume Designer

As any other person working in the creative industries, taking risks is what my career is entirely based on! The performing arts world spins so fast that stagnating in the same position for too long could be fatal. As well from a completely creative point of view, I feel that I can produce my best work when I push myself into new territory, with all its potential and all its challenges. Read more>>

Lisa Leung | Photographer / Graphic Designer

Although I’m not a natural risk-taker, I’ve come to realize it’s a necessary element of growth in all aspects of life. From learning photography to picking up hiking as a new hobby, to changing careers from engineering to design/marketing, these decisions involved risks but had meaningful payoffs (and yes, I made tons of mistakes!). Doing life with an element of risk is still a learning process for me — to not obsess over what could go wrong, accept uncertainties, and stay positive about what’s on the other side of the “what-ifs.” I’m not quite ready to go sky-diving yet, but I’ve hiked up to some pretty high mountaintops! Read more>>

Ela Imer | Entrepreneur

From a very young age, I always thought about risk-taking as an opportunity to grow. I am one of those people who thrive from ever changing surroundings or situations that life brings to us. I have come to the States from a beautiful multicultural city, Istanbul, to study majoring in Fashion Photography. After I graduated, I worked in fashion both as a photographer an as an editor in Harper”s Bazaar Magazine. I was always a multitasker. After I got married and had two beautiful daughters, I wanted to continue to work for myself, curating a fashion jewelry and accessory business. Read more>>

Randi Eisenshtat | Financial Advisor & Fitness Instructor

I’m not sure I agree entirely with the statement “no risk, no reward”, but I do believe that you have to take some risks in life in order to get what you currently can’t see. I’ve taken many risks in my life but the biggest was in 2019 when I made a complete career change after 15 years in the health and fitness industry to begin my practice as a Financial Advisor. I was terrified and second guessing a lot of things, but I had a ton of support and just went for it. It was one of the best decisions I ever made! Read more>>

Katie Foley | Food Truck Entrepuner

We would not be where we are today if it were not for Risk! Our business, Ball of Energy, LLC, was born with a huge leap of faith in love and in buisness. In the early summer of 2014 my partner, Jesse Steve and I, met at a small music festival in a close by commuinty. At the time, I had a successful career in the non-profit sector serving in leadershp roles in Development, and Jesse was the Kitchen Manager at a very popular restauraunt on Seneca Lake in upstate NY. In addition, we were both transitioning out of long term relationships, but our spark was undeniable. Read more>>

Daniel Chong | Founder & Chief Creative Officer

Taking risks is important because it generates motivation. When we opened the first store in Madrid, we had left another city behind and the expectations were very high and the change made us very dizzy about it, but I knew it was the right decision. confronting the banks and asking for money for your project was also another risk that I had to take if I wanted to move forward with the project. We presented a business plan based on production made in Spain and with sustainable materials, and we succeeded. Read more>>

Bianca Nixon | Natural Hair Influencer and Pharmacist

I believe taking a risk will many times be the thing that elevates my brand. My motto regarding taking risks has always been, “What’s the worst thing that can happen? Either they say no and you end up back where you are now or they say yes and you gain. You don’t lose anything, so go for it! Taking risks as an influencer has definitely allowed me build a genuine community and also build rapport with brands to create long term partnerships. I am willing to step out on faith and although at times it can be nerve wrecking the reward on the other side of the hurdle is well worth it! Read more>>

Gersson Pérez Sierra | Tattoo Artis

I can’t talk about art without people knowing what “my art” is like, how I live it and what being a tattoo artist means to me. Being a professional tattoo artist is not a job, it is an engine that drives my life, I definitely didn’t find this profession, it found me, that makes me live it in a more personal, emotional way and full of overflowing passion. Every time I’m doing a tattoo I feel an almost sacred connection between me and the tattoo, it’s as if the rest of the world doesn’t matter, I put my life into each design, stroke or shadow, that’s why people don’t just get a tattoo, They take a part of me embodied in their skin. Read more>>

Taylor Krauser | Owner/Lead Photographer | Taylor Jordan Photography

I’m constantly taking risks in my business! From originally going off on my own, to something like buying a new piece of equipment or rebranding, risks are an inevitable part of running your own business. I believe you need to take risks to grow and if you are a little anxious about something, its probably a good step forward! Read more>>

Barbara Courshon | Publicist and event planner

All my life I have welcomed taking “Calculated Risks” without hesitation inspired by the fabulous women in my family…but especially my great-grandmother, Grammy Katie Pollack. Who could have imagined that this Russian immigrant settling in Chicago having five children and owning a small hat store would be the founder of an influential family in Miami Beach? When her husband was killed in a train/auto wreck in 1920 this woman sold all she had, packed up her kids and move to Miami Beach because she found out “You could make money there” She settled south of 5 th Street and begin slowly acquiring small apartments, then larger ones, then hotels… Read more>>

Tempest Burns | Clothing Boutique Ownerg

Taking risks, in my opinion, is the key to success. It all boils down to having faith in yourself and the desire to give it your all. It can be frightening, to be honest. But for me, I was more scared of the low position I was in. Starting my clothing boutique was definitely a big risk. I was at a good career job for two and a half years. This same job let me go, over the phone, while I was at the viewing of my mother’s body. The way they fired me with no hesitation, I learned then working for someone else you’re just a number in their dreams. Read more>>

Jose Musa | Portrait/Fashion Photographer

My entire career has been built off of taking risks. I am. firm believer that you should constantly be taking risks because that is the only way you can keep moving forward in life. Back when I was 17 years old thats when I knew I wanted to become a photographer so I started practicing and shooting more, google and youtube became my bestfriends. Began shooting with my friends any chance I got and loved the process. Fast forward two years later, I am in college, for a major that I believed wouldn’t help me achieve my dreams of becoming a fashion phot0grapher only because my parents wanted me to go. Read more>>

Alvaro Nunez Alfaro | Entrepreneur

It is really what has defined my entire life. Every major turning point and breakthrough I’ve had started with the wild decision of doing something that seemed “too risky” in the eyes of those around me. And it is right there, at that moment, when I get the inner feeling (the guts) of moving forward with that decision. Read more>>

Tashana Williams | Life Insurance Producer & Artist/Model

I know that without risk, there is no reward. In my life, I am consistently taking risks whether it is investing in a new business idea or starting a new hobby like scuba diving. I pride myself in being able to exist in spaces that are uncomfortable because that’s where growth happens. I am not afraid to be vulnerable and an amateur in a new spaces. My goal isn’t to be a know it all, my mission is to learn as much as possible, so that I can continue to develop and get to my next goal post. Read more>>