In our experience, most folks, including ourselves don’t have enough of an understanding of risk and the role it plays in our lives and careers and so we have made a concerted effort as a team to have conversations about risk with our interviewees. We’ve shared some highlights below.

Milcho | Filmmaker, Creative Thinker & Mental Health Advocate Through Self Crush Project

Living is Risky! People try to live a none risky life not realizing that everything we do is risky, we’re just doing the comfortably risky things… driving, walking down the street, stepping out of your house takes a risk… now why not take intentional risks and see what that feels like? Why not change the word Risk for “New Exciting Experiences” to take the edge off the word “Risk” and make it less threatening? That might help people step out of their comfort zone and be more curious. My risks are described as “MAXIMIZING MY HUMAN EXPERIENCE!” I’m my own experiment and think… “Dude, wouldn’t it be F*ing amazing if you did THAT?” and then I GO FOR IT! I’m intrigued with the pure experience of what it takes to get to that new place! Who I have to become to get to get there, what new tricks I have to learn and what part of me needs to be polished so that when I do… I show up as the best version of me. Read more>>


Ive always been a risk taker by default. Something rooted deep within has always had a desire to try the impossible and test my abilities, my limits. One thing I can attest to, risk taking comes with a high probability of failing at least once or twice or a hundred times, but it’s also come with the biggest rewards I couldn’t have even imagined as well. My piece of advice associated with taking a big risk, is that there are still ways to take “smart” risks. I have done the whole, “throw something against the wall and see if it sticks” approach, and that’s when I failed miserably, lost money and took giant leaps backwards. This however, taught me that had I just don’t a little bit of researched and slowed down and assessed the opportunity properly, it actually could have had a much different outcome. Risk is an important part of having major success. Read more>>

Carli Brinkman | Public Relations Practitioner/ Owner and Founder of Carli Brinkman PR & Co-Founder of One World Associates

I embrace risk. I think risk-taking is an important aspect of living a life that excites, motivates, and inspires you. I try to look at life one step at a time and do what feels right in the moment, because it is impossible to be able to see into the future or navigate your entire life with each decision, and I think that this allows me to take more risks. I know I don’t have to have it all figured out, but I know I need to follow my heart and my gut in the moment, then go from there. Sometimes that means doing things that are out of my comfort zone or come with unpredictability, but experience has shown me that it is always worth it. I’ve lived an exciting, passion-filled life because of it, both professionally and personally. Read more>>

Salem Aya | Rapper

Growing up in Morocco, I came to realize that queer identities were not celebrated. The choice to openly come out as gay was always daunting to me in my youth, and often unfathomable at times. I have always been a creative person, and much of my personality and mode de vie is conveyed through my art. There came a time where I was tired of watering myself down in order to keep those around me more comfortable, so I eventually took the risk and began celebrating all aspects of who I am unapologetically. Moreover, female autonomy and individuality are very much pioneering concepts in patriarchal MENA societies, and even simply putting myself out there as a female rapper is expected to be met with backlash. While Morocco has progressed in a multitude of facets over the last 20 years, society still holds extremely traditional values of which women are expected to adhere to. Read more>>

Luisa Rangel | Lifestyle Editor

Having a career as an independent is a risk in itself. You must have planning, discipline, perseverance and the most important believe in yourself. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will result in risk minimization. Risk is usually something that we see in a negative way, but it is also the factor that drives you to grow and pursue your goals. Read more>>

Josh Ritchie | Freelance Photographer

There is a lot of risk taking in starting out on your own as a business owner. I started out as a staff newspaper photographer where everything was taken care of. As long as I showed up to work and did a proficient job I was paid and had benefits. When I decided to leave the safety of a full-time position I was taking a leap into the unknown. I had no idea where my next pay check was coming from. No idea if my new business would survive. If it failed I had no idea what the next step would be. Luckily that risk paid off. Now that I have been freelance for 17 years the risks have shifted to more subtle ones. How do I market myself? How much money do I spend on marketing/gear/personal work? How much money do I put away for a rainy day? How do I set myself up with the IRS so I am not paying more than I should but I am still doing things by the book? Every decision is a risk. Every little thing affects the outcome of the business. Only 10% of what I do is actually taking photos. Read more>>

Legal Burning | Burn Artist

I believe taking risks comes hand in hand with putting your artwork out to the masses. Every post, sale, and conversation with clients is a risk that will or will not work out in your favor at that specific time. I believe creative strategy is key, and there is always a risk when you take a concept and project it out into the physical world. Read more>>

Lucia Martinez | Tattoo Artist & Painter

Taking risks played a big role in what my life is today in every aspect. As far as my career is concerned I was in a situation where I felt i wasn’t heard and I was being held back from growth. It took a huge toll on my mental. I had to cut some ends and take the leap. I strongly feel that if a situation no longer fertilizes your growth then no matter how hard it is to take the next step, it has to be taken. Otherwise you will stay in your comfort zone and never grow. Risks are scary but withering in comfort is horrifying. Read more>>

Jennifer Fidder | Personal Fitness Trainer & Mindset Coach

I believe risk is a necessary evil. We all like spending most of our time in our comfort zone because it is….well, comfortable. The reality is, by avoiding risks we might get stuck in a position we don’t want to be in. When I moved to the US eleven years ago I took a huge risk. I had two suitcases, a little bit of savings, no apartment, and no job. The first years weren’t easy but it paid off. I wouldn’t be where I am today in my business and my life if I didn’t take a leap of faith. I think the biggest problem is, that we are afraid to fail but as long as we get back up when we’re falling, there is no failure. There are just experiences and lessons learned which in return will make all future risks more calculated. Read more>>

Garrett Kealer | Songwriter & Producer for Stumble Steady

Every aspect of music is a risk. There is risk in the form of songs, there is risk in lyrical content, there is risk in how you market your product, and there is risk in how your music is performed. I set myself up in a position where I have to take risks to succeed. There seems to be a point for every release where I think to myself, “Is this good enough? Is this going to hated, loved, or even thought about at all?” My mantra is, “What is the alternative?” Do I turn my back on the thing that I love out of fear of failure and/or rejection? Do I jump to a profession that I don’t find meaning in to find security? No. So my only choice is to take the risk and move forward. Taking risks has only benefitted me; I either accomplish financial gain, a more positive reputation among peers, fans, and employers, experience personal fulfillment, or I learn what not to do in the future. Read more>>

Rebecca Proenza | Author

I believe that nobody gets anywhere in life unless they take a risk, whether it is small or large. If you want to write, you have to take a risk and put yourself out there. I have taken plenty of risks, from publishing my novels to going to graduate school. I took a risk and went back to school, now I’ll have my Masters in Fine Arts soon, even though I’ll have student debt, but I took a risk to pursue studies in something I love. I took a risk in publishing my books, now I’m about to publish a fourth one. I say apply for that job even if you don’t have the experience, take the risk and do what you love. Read more>>

Tawana Randall | Freight Dispatcher , Coach & TPA Consortium

I feel like you. have to take risk in business and in your personal life. I took a risk and stepped out on faith when I quit my full time corporate America job to focus full time on my business. I knew it was something i wanted to do and needed to do for my family. No benefits coming in, a few bucks in saving and my plan is all I had. We also take risk to grow in business by hiring employees, scaling, purchasing equipment and education. Successful entrepreneurship involves taking risks but it requires planning and hard work. Read more>>

Lasheika Simmons | Chandler

Risk are apart of life. We all have taken a risk at one time or another. Both risk and faith have played major roles in my life and career. Stepping out on faith to take a risk and start a business was a major decision. Being a mom of five, money has had to stretch from time to time, but the risky decision to start my business has not been a risk that I’ve regretted. Read more>>

Andrea Ocampo | TV Host/ Entrepreneur/Producer

Looking back I can say taking risks has been the cornerstone of every decision I’ve taken especially in my career. I think for me it was important to identify what risk-taking was and how it was going to play out. In reality, we never know what the future holds but for me it was knowing how to pivot or not get derailed when the outcome wasn’t what I imagined. Having that mindset really helped me solidify my career as a successful sports broadcaster for 8+ years. When I started in the world of sports I took a huge risk by approaching the Florida Panthers to hire me as their arena host, although I didn’t know much about hockey. I knew in my heart that if they hired me I would do all the things I needed to do to become the best broadcaster the team has seen. At least that was my motivation. It was very ballsy because as a broadcaster you’re putting yourself out there and understanding the risk to be vulnerable for the world to see. But my passion was bigger than my fear. Read more>>

Antonio Nesbitt | Fitness & Financial Literacy Coach

On a personal level i believe that risk is about betting on yourself and committing to the choices you make, even when the circumstances are less than ideal. As humans, we are able to make the conscious decision on a daily basis to get better, or to stay the same. The question is, how much are you willing to sacrifice to reach your potential? From a macro perspective, I believe we all have the individual responsibility to take risks in order for the community to thrive over time. This means leaving our comfort zones, finding real opportunities to help others, and striving to learn more through shared experiences. The more we learn, the more we can influence positive outcomes in the future. Read more>>

Nikki Speer | Executive Director & Podcast Host

Risk taking plays a large roll in what I do as a Non profit founder; both good and bad. There are not many people that dream of asking people for money for a living. LOL The thing that makes us want to do this work is the good we can do together! The risk for me is that I literally knew NOTHING about non profit work other than the little volunteering I did when I was a teenager. Also, I was working part time, didn’t know all the logistics, didn’t have the funds to start a non profit and once I did my husband lost his job. There were scary moments of saying yes to the honor of keeping my mom’s legacy alive and the power of encouraging women walking through breast cancer. I am 3 years in this space and every day is like taking a risk, the risk of helping someone that won’t respond, the risk of someone saying no to our mission, BUT the risk that keeps me going is that of the woman who receives HOPE ( a post op shirt to heal from breast surgery) and knows she’s not alone in this fight!. Read more>>

Laurie Davidson-Smith | Owner of The West Events – Unrivaled Beachside Venue in Tampa Bay

As a former collegiate athlete, I think ‘risking it’ has always been a part of my life, While pitching for the University of Georgia, we has the saying, ‘Risk and Adjust’, which helped us push the limit without fear, knowing that we could always recover if things did not go our way. This rings true on the softball field as well as off the field in life. My wife and business partner, Michele Smith, is also not afraid to lean in and take a risk when it comes to new ventures. Michele is a two-time Olympic gold-medalist softball pitcher and currently works on-air as an ESPN analyst, so she is well versed in ‘risking and adjusting’. As a pitcher, you are constantly taking a risk every time the ball leaves your hand. We may not be lacing up our cleats anymore, but now we find our new challenge in real estate projects. As avid cyclist, many of our new projects are found while on two wheels. Read more>>

Mirguens Cyrille | Photographer

What do I think about risk taking ? Well I always felt that you have to minimize your risk sometimes and go with the smart decision, there are going to be times where the risk is higher but I always ask myself how much it will affect me and the plans have moving forward . also without taking risk in life you might just miss out on the success you are looking for , so be brave and take risk nothing can replace experience. Read more>>

Nicole Melgarejo | Model/Artist/Singer

Going into any career that is outside of the “norm” comes with risks. But I’ve never been one to take the normal path. I see risks as a chance for growth and change. If I never took risks I wouldn’t be where I am today. I was always very shy growing up and never expected to be a model, singer, artist, or MUA. Every show, casting, and job I threw myself into came with risks, but it seemed to pay off every time. Every experience built me up for the next shoot or business opportunity and brings me closer to achieving my goals. Success without risk doesn’t exist. If you’re thinking of chasing your dreams you should definitely take some risks. Read more>>

Maya Alexandria | Travel Blogger, Local guide

Risk are scary, but thats what makes them worth it right? At the moment I feel like we’re all taking risk. For me, being in the business of travel has been tricky through out the pandemic. However, taking risk and creating content for brands I never imagined has been a huge rewarding risk in disguise. As a. Read more>>

Carlie McCann | Artist & Filmmaker

It’s tricky when you decide you want to dedicate your life to making art. Maybe at first when you’re a kid, it seems easy, and the only option. However, when you get older there is expectations we have to overcome through family, peers, and to ourselves. “By age 25 I need to be successful” is not the mindset those should have when creating art, whether success to you is money, fame, or at least good in you and your audiences perception- taking risks is what makes your art better. In my own life, I learned that it’s not interesting to give people what they want. It’s the same thing as no one knows what the other person is thinking circumstance. With film, no one wants to know or be able to predict what your story is unfolding, with these types of stories anyone can do this – genres, formulaic plots. Read more>>

Chitarra Natt | Celebrity Executive Chef and CEO of Dymonds Catering

I’ve always been a risk taker. Once I put my mind on a goal; I set out to achieve it head on. So to be perfectly honest leaving a steady income career to start my own business was a very big risk. Without the unfamiliarity that taking a risk provides, we may struggle with adapting to change. Consistency in the ability to recalibrate and try again is imperative to one’s success. Some risks are larger than others. Within this risk I had to communicate to my family that their will be a drastic change in their living situation until the business is established. However, each risk has been a stepping stone towards my success. Whether or not I succeeded, I still learn a valuable lesson, and to me, that is a different kind of success. I couldn’t be selfish with my risk but I wanted to be able to leave a legacy behind and something for my children and grandkids to be proud of. Read more>>

Jeffrey Fermin | CEO, Marketer, and Content Creator.

Starting a business, being self-made, starting from scratch, it sounds glamorous, the truth is that it’s not for the faint of heart. There’s a lot of lonely nights, people questioning you, family and friends teasing you. An entrepreneur’s journey has become pretty cliche, but it’s cliche because it’s true. I’m not saying I’ve had it better or worse than anyone, but I will say that my ability to take a leap without caring about failure has probably helped me out. Taking risks has been a big part of what my professional and personal journey has been all about. Living in different places, starting new companies, failing often, growing, learning. The risks I’ve taken and the lessons I’ve learned have blessed me with knowledge, grit, and fearlessness. I court risk and loss, but am more calculated nowadays, and that experience can’t be taught, it’s earned. Read more>>

Jenny Thelwell | Author, Speaker, Educator, & Publisher

Risk is the deciding factor on how far you’re willing to go. I think people must define “risk” for themselves. Many of us feel like we take a risk if we gamble $1000 on a hand of blackjack and it is for someone who is not a gambler. However, to a gambler, $1000 may not be a risk at all because they are used to betting much more than that on a regular basis. The bottom line is that one must define how far they want to go without looking at where they have been. What is your goal? What’s your plan? You have to do things you’ve never done to get results you’ve never seen. When I decided that I wanted to go to college, I couldn’t look at my family line and make a conscious decision on whether that would be a good choice. I had nothing to compare it to. I didn’t know what going to college was going to entail, how much effort it would take, what it would cost me, or how I would get through it. Read more>>