Are you a risk taker? Do you think you have a stronger appetite for risk relative to your friends and family? We asked some folks from the community about their approaches to risk and have shared their thoughts below.

David Fox | Pastor

I don’t like risk. I have spent so much of my life focused on being safe physically, emotionally, and spiritually. But all of that kept me in the closet and it wasn’t until I came out to family and friends (when I was 48) that I realized that our greatest fears don’t usually come about – or if they do, we grow past them to the point where they have no hold over us. Starting a Christian word-of-God and faith-based church that is primarily about making sure the LGBTQ+ community understands that God adores them pretty much separates us from both the Christian community and the LGBTQ+ community. Read more>>

Diego Oliverio | 21st Century Digital Storyteller / Creative Director

For me, risk has always been associated with opportunity. Recently, I was faced with the decision to travel alongside a stranger I had never met before across 12 countries for 12 months as a personal content creator for this man. With the project starting only 2 days after I was given this proposition, the element of risk precipitated many uneasy questions and emotions from both myself and my parents. Who is this man? Is he a serial killer? Is he aware we’ll be traveling during this historical pandemic? My stomach was in knots trying to come up with a decision on my own and part of me hoped my parents, still a factor in my life decisions, would pull the plug so I would not have to come to terms with this unreal opportunity. Read more>>

Angie Orth | Content Creator and Travel Show Host

In the early days of my career, I was extremely cautious. I always made the smart moves, staying in jobs and situations that today I wouldn’t think twice about leaving. I was very concerned about health insurance and a steady paycheck – all important aspects of adult life! But not worth wasting mental health, energy and youth on. It wasn’t until I moved to NYC without a job, that I started to experience the magic of risk-taking. Every time I pushed fear aside and just went for the big opportunity, it paid off. And it was fun and rewarding to see things falling into place in ways I never could’ve imagined. It wasn’t long after the move to NYC that risk-taking – or leaps of faith as I prefer to call them – became the norm for me. Read more>>

Ashley Leoncini | Bridal Hair & Makeup Artist

Risk taking has played a huge part in my entire career. I am a bridal hair & makeup artist and also a colorist. Early in my career the salon I worked at didn’t do wedding hair. I loved it so much and felt stuck in my position so I took my first risk and quit my job to pursue bridal hair & makeup on my own. I did trials out of my house and traveled to everyone. I am so glad I did because my business quickly grew and within a year the next big risk came. I signed a lease to my first 900sq ft salon. I didn’t have many color clients and was just hoping and praying and betting on myself that I could grow my small wedding business into something more. After 3 years and a booming clientele, hiring 8 employees I had to make the choice to stay put or go out on a limb and get another new & bigger salon. Read more>>

Jessica Le | Hair Stylist

Risk is necessary in order to reach your highest potential. When I look back on my 28 years of life, all of my pivotable moments in life and my careers happened due to taking risks. I’m born and raised from Rochester, NY and made a cross country move by myself, leaving friends and family behind. Then at 26, I decided to enroll in cosmetology school to learn more about a passion I had always been curious about. At 27, amidst the pandemic, I left my management career to work at a salon to pursue my passion in the beauty industry. Taking risks is what has helped me ‘level up’ and what I think helps everyone grows. Read more>>

Elysa Kemp | Lifestyle/Portrait and Food Photographer, Photojournalist

Risk taking is important for personal growth and growth in general. I feel that throughout my childhood, adulthood and career the things I remember the most always come down to taking risks and trying something new. You don’t get the opportunities in life if you aren’t okay with stepping out of your comfort zone and moving away from the status quo. After I graduated college, I backpacked through Thailand and Southeast Asia for 6 weeks, my roommate from Portland and I met up there and traveled together as well as separating to go our different ways and do our own adventure. I went there to take photos because I was continuing my photojournalism, which I had got a B.S. in during college. Read more>>

Kelly Roberts | Digital Marketing Agency Owner

You cannot be an entrepreneur without being a risk-taker, at least to some degree, I have always taken calculated risks because I know that I will never achieve my goals without taking that leap of faith. I’m on my second business, and while my first didn’t quite succeed, it was a learning experience for me so the risk paid off in that it paved the way for my future. My first business was a clothing brand, so there was a ton of overhead. Read more>>

Grant House | Athlete

For me, risks are necessary to progress your life forward in any fashion. If you’re not taking many risks you’re not pushing your body or challenging yourself to adapt to something slightly beyond your current capabilities. There is a difference in calculated and uncalculated risks. Some risks will end up being harder than others in the outcome, but calculated risks allow a person to either win or learn. When either of those occur, only positive growth is achieved. Read more>>

Tae lee Lee | Tattoo artist

No one can ever know for sure whether to continue or to give up. The only thing we know is that if we continue forward, either success or failure will certainly happen. However, I know for myself that once I choose to give up, I have effectively decided to never know what could have happened if I had continued. I might doubt the path I chose and the dreaded ‘what-if’s’ could haunt me forever. Therefore, I think that if it is something that we really want, we should trust ourselves and move forward with confidence despite all the difficulties. A movie I recently saw had a nice metaphor that stuck in my mind. In archery, if you aim your arrow at nothing, you will always hit nothing. In life, too, you have to choose a goal in order to achieve anything. Just like that I like to focus on my goal and not give up. Read more>>

Kelly Vizzini | Pet Companion

I see risk as stepping outside our comfort zone in whatever manner is necessary to redefine ourselves. For me, it has looked like moving away from everyone and everything I had known to start over in a new state because it felt right to do so as a self-test that I could do it on my own despite being a reserved introvert at 30. The next big risk for me would shape another major move by teaching myself I could do anything I set my mind to do. It came in the package of facing a lifelong fear of falling (flights of stairs, high decks, bridges and the like were all issues). I overcame it by facing it head on through an activity that I thought would parallel it the most. Read more>>