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.

Diana Hernandez | Designer & Founder

I believe what we call Risk is not trusting our instinct, the possibility of something bad happening and the uncertainty about the effects it will have. But in order to achieve anything in life we must take risk and Trust our own instinct … risk plays a major role in everyones life, and we do so in any chance we take on betting on something we strongly believe in. the biggest risk I’ve taken was designing the life I wanted, doing what I love. When I became a mother, I was not ready to let go off my career, yet I still wanted to be there for my daughter. Therefore I decided to take the leap and become independent created my own company D’knack for design and started my venture. A venture that landed me the opportunity to become partner and designer for the spot barbershop cross over to the beauty industry and launch Blos Roses. Progress always involves risks. Read more>>

Frantzy Moreau | Filmmaker, Actor, Creative & Visionary

I want to be totally transparent and honest here because I feel we need these kinds of conversations more now than ever. Risk taking is second nature, particularly to someone like me, mainly because I’m black. Now, I know some or many will read this and roll their eyes or be in full disregard but I challenge the reader to imagine the daily routine of coping with walking on egg shells physically, mentally, emotionally, not to mention with little to no resources or proper resources rather and proper support around you. To me, support is just extremely advertised but the reality is, the fact that it needs to be advertised in the first place regardless of the lack there of, is the problem in itself. With that being said, being black in America alone is a risk so when it comes to film-making depending on the individual you are, it’s just innate to take risks. Read more>>

Jay Kantor | Portrait & Editorial Photographer

Risk is everything. We all make choices in this life and there are no guarantees. There’s a finite amount of time we have in this reality and it is our currency to spend it towards what we want. I believe in the idea of the a la carte life where you don’t do what you’re told but make your own choices. Whether it be on one of my photo shoots or my life choices in general I like to have an idea of the destination but recognize the journey cannot be predicted. This sharpens my skills for improvisation and being prepared for disaster or failure at any turn. Things can’t always be ready or perfect either. It’s easy to get paralysis by analysis. This year I moved from Los Angeles, my home for the last 13 years to the West Palm Beach area in Florida to be close to my family during the Covid-19 Pandemic. You have to be willing to uproot yourself based on your needs. Read more>>

Christina Twomey | Abstract and Resin Artist

Risk taking has been the primary driver of career choices throughout my entire adult life. I’ve never been one for accepting status quo, and always take it upon myself to push limits, ask questions, and continuously challenge decisions & ideas to ensure we’re providing the best possible strategy, product, or service to customers. I also believe that in life, if you’re afraid of taking risks, you’ll remain in the same spot far too long. Comfort may be a great choice for some, but for me, getting uncomfortable for the purpose of pursuing my passion is the only choice. Only a short couple years ago, I had a cushiony job – which I’d worked very hard at over the course of a decade. I probably could have retired early had I stuck around, but the job had become mundane and it was difficult to deal with the continuous office politics & lack-of support I had for upward advancement or share of voice. Read more>>

Jesse W Acosta | Entrepreneur

I think of risk as the price to play the game that is “getting ahead in life”. However, before taking on risk one has to weigh the risk/reward factor and figure out if taking that specific risk is worth the reward. As a day trader and entrepreneur weighing the risk-reward before each trade and or endeavor is absolutely essential before taking a single step. Taking risks is a huge part of my life. I have been self-employed for nearly 15 years now and if there was no risk-taking factor in my life. I would just live the regular 40/40/40 life. Work 40hrs a week for 40years to retire on 40% of my income. Instead, I get to provide my family with a nice life with plenty of family time and a chance a brighter future year after year. With an end goal of building something, my kid can continue growing. Read more>>

Eric Gaunaurd | Executive Producer & Founder

I think being a risk taker is the most important attribute an entrepreneur can have. It’s usually what gives us the most anxiety. Stepping out of our comfort zone, putting financial stability on the line and perhaps more than that, in the pursuit of something you feel will move your company forward. But as all successful entrepreneurs can tell you, they wouldn’t be where they are today if they hadn’t taken a risk. Research, careful planning and a detailed, thorough plan are my requirements to taking calculated risks with Paradiso Pictures. Taking risks are a necessity for my business. The creation of my business was a huge risk. In my late 30’s I decided to leave a comfortable career outside of entertainment to pursue my goals of producing content for film and television. I had three young children and my wife was a high school teacher. Read more>>

Tina Cornely | Founder & CEO

What is risk you ask? For me it boils down to an “all or nothing scenario”. Why? Because people who avoid taking risks essentially hide under their false sense of security. Security does not exist in nature, in the animal kingdom nor in children. Avoiding risks is a non sequitur fallacy. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. Without taking risks my life would have been dull and boring. As a consummate risk taker, my life’s journey has been like rainbow colored roller coaster ride. Read more>>

Paul Daniel Capote | CEO & Landscape Contractor

I’m sure many of us have heard the saying “High Risk, High Reward” I like to believe this has worked for me to get a step ahead of the curve. A lot of the decisions I’ve made in my business came to a moment where right before I make the final move, i tell myself that it will take will take WORK. I work best under pressure, therefor i use risk as a leverage to motivate me to move at a faster and higher level. Taking risks makes you accountable if you are a responsible. person. You can also easily bite more than you can chew if you take more risk than you are ready for. Timing has a lot to do with taking a big risk, find the right time and take the plunge. Read more>>

Courtney Mitchell | Vegan Yoga Teacher & Owner

I trust that the Universe has my back, always, so I’m not afraid to take risks. Somehow, everything is working out and I am guided. My ultimate goal is to be happy and peaceful, so my decisions are based on what will bring me the most joy. Read more>>

David Uribe | Barbershop Owner, Author & Men’s Grooming Line Owner

I think that for one to grow you have to face risk. If you play it safe, you will never grow; it is important to get out of your comfort zone and at times be uncomfortable to learn and reach new heights. In my case, I have had to make decisions that put everything on the line. After making hard decisions, I have had to make a great effort to learn, educate myself on subjects that I never knew to advance my career. It happened when I decided to open my first barbershop, write my first book and now launch my own product line. Each have a different level of risk and in each there are hard lessons, failures and setbacks but when you persevere, success is sweeter. Read more>>