How do you think about risk? What role has taking risks played in your life/career? Check out responses from hidden gems from our community below.

George Gann | Chief Conservationist & Ecological Restoration Leader

When I was younger, taking risks was the norm. I grew up about a mile from the Monkey Jungle in southern Miami-Dade County and my parents gave me several square miles to roam by foot and bike. At a young age I went on plant collecting expeditions to Central and South America, and spent a lot of time hiking, canoeing, camping, and botanizing in the wilderness. I attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, where I could pursue my outdoor passions, hitchhiked from Boulder to Alaska at 20, and spent five months in the Brazilian Amazon at 24. Read more>>

Rochele Spencer | Fashion Designer & Stylist

I like to refer to risks as “Leaps of faith” and I would rather take a leap of faith than live with not knowing what the result of that leap would be. Taking risks has played a huge role in my life and career. Some of the biggest “leaps’ I’ve taken has brought big successes & failures alike. The biggest one was quitting my full time job as a bank teller to pursue my fashion business despite having no classical training or experience in running a business, I soon had to take up a part time offer with my Dad when the struggles hit but I never stopped pursuing my fashion dreams. Read more>>

Tico Gutierrez | Financial Advisor & Cigar Bar Owner

Risk may as well be my middle name. My 25 year professional career has centered around helping people manage risk. Be it in the stock market or helping clients with protection for their families, it’s a conversation that I’ve been having a couple of times every day. The funny part is that while I’ve always taken a conservative approach with my clients, in my personal life I’m always taking challenges for better or worse. Read more>>

Sandy Despres Stevens | Co-Founder & CEO of Studio Jean-Philippe Nuel & Partners

A sense of risk leads my professional life. While the mere idea of it lights me up and opens multiple paths to venture on, I have been always attentive on controlling every one of my steps, therefore risk itself. Being an endless prepared explorer As soon as I graduated from a graduate program in management and finance, I knew that each work experience would lead to new opportunities and discoveries. I could not fathom the idea of having one and only one career. I wanted every task to become a stone to help me build new ones. In my case, it meant a 180 degree turn from finance to design when I moved to the United States at age 40. Read more>>

Jay Chosen | Director, Entrepreneur & Investor

I’m a big risk taker, I believe in no risk no reward. Taking risk allowed me to elevate myself to be able to start and run a business. Read more>>

Jayme Navarro | Hair therapist

I’ve always believed in, high risk, high reward. We are our biggest investment, if we don’t bet on and believe in ourselves, who will? That was my motivating factor in opening my business. Every risk I’ve taken has resulted in a reward or lesson. But if I’m going to spend time building my career somewhere, I’d rather do it in my own business. It’s a huge risk to start your own business, but it’s never a loss when your invest into yourself! Read more>>

Laura Tatiana | Freelance Portrait Photographer

10 years ago I was introduced to photography. It was something I loved to do and soon after I graduated high school, I was given the opportunity to work for an event company in Brooklyn, NY. I was taking BTS shots, secondary photographer shots and even lead photographer shots sometimes- I got a good amount of exposure that summer, averaging at least 3 weddings a weekend. This is where I grew my love for portrait photography. It was great, I thought I would do that forever. But then came the pressure of pursuing a college career. All my friends were doing it and that was what I was taught to make you “successful”. Read more>>

Stephanie Theis Fajardo | Founder @ Swipe and Scroll

What’s life without taking risks? There is obviously a fine line between calculated risk and recklessness, however, my most rewarding moments that are tied to personal and professional growth, all involved a certain degree of risk. Swipe and Scroll was created from a deep-rooted desire to take a leap and explore the possibilities outside the boundaries of an institutionalized office culture. I was quite comfortable at my previous role, however, as time progressed I found myself feeling bored at times. Read more>>