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.

Myra Lopez | CEO ~ Latina Mi Inc

Creating “La Catrina de Arizona” that launched our brand in June 2021 was my first Catrina creation/photoshoot as creative director. Having been an executive in the hospitality industry for over 20yrs & being a single mother of two sons the thought of creating something this big is more than I ever imagined. Being inspired by industry influencers is what sparked the idea for Latina Mi Inc. Building a team to represent the culture of La Catrina in the way that I knew it had to be done was something I took very seriously. Read more>>

Caitlin Bennett | Artist, Painting

Risk is very important in life and in business. It leads to growth, tests your boundaries, opens your mind, and opens new doors. The greatest moments in my life were all due to taking risks. If something seems scary to me but doable, I force myself to do it because I have learned over time that those experiences were the most life-changing or inviting to serious growth. It’s good to be uncomfortable. Growth can’t happen when doing the same old thing every day, it’s trying something new or putting yourself in a new environment and saying here I am universe, I’m ready. Read more>>

Colin Westerman | Mobile Car Detailer/Washer & Owner of Westy’s Wash

As a 17 year old business owner/entrepreneur, I would have to say risk is one of the most important measures someone who is trying to become successful at a young age should take, because you essentially have nothing to lose. Your parents will always be there for you whether that be providing a roof over your head, dinner on the table, or that confidence boost driving you forward. Taking risks has pushed me to be the greatest at everything I do, has taught me that you can achieve anything you put your mind to, and has motivated me to help others reach their goals and take risks. Read more>>

Sarah Sessler | Baker & Coffee Enthusiast

On the surface, I do not think of myself as a risk taker whatsoever. I am always planning ten steps ahead, have considered every possible outcome before I take one single action, and I am overall a very cautious person. I crave security and simplicity. There is not a single person that knows me that would describe me as spontaneous or impulsive. And though I feel those adjectives are typically associated with being a “risk taker”, I think there are several types of “risk”, and the way that I take risks falls under a completely different category: one where passion is the driving force. Read more>>

Spencer Verhines | Coffee Enthusiast and Founder of American Classic Coffee

Having the courage to take risks is very important when starting a business. Sometimes risk involves severe hardship but with that can come a big reward. Where starting a business is concerned, when you’re receiving a paycheck a few times a month along with health benefits and a 401k, taking a risk that means giving all that up can be very intimidating. But, it can also mean that you get the opportunity to build the lifestyle of your dreams and do the things that are important to you instead of having to ask your employer permission for a limited amount of time off to squeeze what you can into those few days of vacation. As an entrepreneur, I believe it’s important to embrace risk. Read more>>

Tracey Beal | Founder & CEO of School Connect

Every time I have started something new there has been risk involved, but beginning our nonprofit, School Connect, felt particularly that way because I loved the job I already had,.The chance to do something really fresh that could make a true difference in schools and communities was so compelling that I took the leap and I never looked back! Taking risks is the only way I have actually moved forward in things that really mattered to me. I had to believe in a vision of what could be, become really clear about what I was trying to accomplish and cast that vision in a compelling way so that others came to believe it as well. Read more>>

Candy and Joshua Carpenter | The Band Wanted

Selling our house and closing our electrical contracting business was a leap of faith that felt extremely risky at the time. 5 years in, we have come to realize that everything in life has inherent risk, and we choose to feel excitement instead of fear when we take on more and bigger risks! Security is a fantasy; it takes very little to poke a hole in our “security.” When we embrace risk we simply accept what is, and adapt. Read more>>

Live Theatre Workshop | Performing arts theater in Tucson, Arizona

As an organization in Tucson’s non-profit theatre community, risk has played an important role in our growth, and it is always a factor in our decisions around programming. One of our core values states, “We believe theatre has the power to improve the quality of life, and to transform children, adults, families, and communities.” Keeping our finger on the pulse of the needs and desires of our community is crucial to our work. In 2019, we made the decision to lay the groundwork to make it possible for us to move into a larger building with the primary goal of making a greater impact on our community through expanded programming and education opportunities. Read more>>

Christina Caprino | Aesthetics Nurse Practitioner

I believe taking risks can be scary for most people. It’s the uncertainty of consequences that may be uncomfortable. Taking risks to achieve one’s goals doesn’t mean succeeding every time. Failure is always a possibility. However the optimistic side of failure is that it aids in personal growth. Failure enhances your resilience to recover quickly from difficult situations. Without risks or failure it would be harder to appreciate success. Failure is a wonderful teacher. I recently have taken major risks in my life in accordance with my career. Read more>>

Susie Bielefeldt | Photographer

Risk taking, to me, had always sounded a bit scary. It has taken me, sadly, 10 years to overcome the fear of taking risks. In the photography business, taking risks is necessary in order to pursue a career as a photographer. Taking risks has changed my career tremendously, I had seen my business flourish in just a years time once I decided to start taking risks. This past year I had taken risks and added new sessions to my profile, such as mini sessions. I also decided to branch out on social media, starting an instagram account. Read more>>

Liz Tavarez | Co-Owner/Dark Crown Projects – The Coronado PHX, Dark Hall Coffee

Risk taking is inherent with growth. If you don’t like where you are, you have to take a risk to get out of that spot. Changing anything is always going to be a risk, but we don’t look at risk as what could be a future failure. Nothing is failing because you tried something and it served its purpose for the time. So even if you “fail” at something, it is really just a step towards whatever is next for you. That definitely helps to not be so scared of taking risks. Read more>>

Izzie Barcenas | Licensed Aesthetician

I think taking risks is the key to growth. Staying in your comfort zone is your enemy, especially in business. Taking risks can be scary, because of the unknown. I know! However, taking risks has been the best adventure for my life and career. I’ve seen more success in my business and personal life when I put all my fears aside and just go for it! I always tell myself and others that it’s okay to be afraid, but if you want to grow in life, business, love or anything else, you MUST learn to put your fears aside. Otherwise, you will always be half in, half out and that is what hold one back. Read more>>

Liz St Andre | Artist

Fear and overthinking make it easy to talk ourselves out of things. It’s easy to find reasons not to show your work, not to launch, not to (insert whatever goal you’d like here) but the truth is that once you decide to just go for it, chances are you’ll be able to overcome those reasons and you’ll learn from the experience. Read more>>

Feana Hodges | Model

To be perfectly honest my entire career has been a risk. If you do not jump you will not fall or fail. In all reality taking a risk is how you learn. My first risk was my fist go- see experience. I went to Chicago with no money to seek an agency. I took a train ride, slept in the train station and met with ford models along with a few other agents. I did not get picked and I was under prepared. But I learned and I have grown from the experience. I promised myself I will not share the photo of me in the train station until I make it where I truly want to be. Read more>>

Alison Wysong | Serial Entrepreneur

Risk has played a huge role in my life and career paths! I believe that having a high level of risk intelligence is necessary in life. Without risk, one could not achieve near the number of opportunities that could be presented to them. Throughout my life, I have dealt with risk quite well. For instance, growing up in the Chicagoland area brought a level of risk on its own. As a young adult, I followed my father’s footsteps for a little while and started working in the field of Criminal Justice. After dispatching for a few years, I started doing evals with the officers working in the Government Housing Projects. Read more>>

Samm | Rapper/Lyricist

Taking risks, to me, is the essence of life. We’re out here to try new things and experience as much the world has to offer as we can. Everything you do, especially for the first time, is a risk. No matter the size of the reward everything comes with it’s fair share of risk. In my life specifically I’m working on being less cautious and taking on more risks. As a young man in his 20s I’ll never get to where I want to go without putting myself out there and really taking a chance. Read more>>

Susan Lanier-Graham | Publisher, Editor & Public Speaker

I received an amazing piece of advice when I was 16. My high school speech coach told me that if I took anything away from his classes, it should be “Never be afraid to change.” I think that has dictated my life since that point. As a writer, I’ve had amazing experiences, but they haven’t always been traditional. I have had to take a lot of risks. I chose to give up a full-ride scholarship to law school to pursue my passion. I have never regretted that choice. I tell people that there are easier ways to make a living, but there is no better way to make a life. Read more>>

Jennifer Meyers | CEO & Chief Confectionist

Earth Sugar was born out of risk. On January 4, 2021, I sat perched at the writing table in my Brooklyn apartment and I was overwhelmed with emotion. In approximately 5 hours, I was hopping on a one-way flight to Arizona, during a pandemic, to take a trip that I hadn’t planned yet. I just knew it was time to go chase my dreams. Read more>>

Amy Werly | Photographer & English Teacher

I have a bad habit of correlating risk with fear. When faced with a risk my mind immediately goes to the worst case scenario. But the start of my photography career pretty much started out with a fear of regret. I didn’t want to be old and grey telling my children that I desperately wanted to be a photographer but was too afraid I would fail. My kids and husband give me the motivation and support to take risks as a business owner. Read more>>

Raymond Love | New Groove Entertainment President

This is an amazing question and as I reflect on my life this scripture from Psalms 27:1-3(NKJV) falls deep on my heart. “The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall, I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell.3 Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident”. Read more>>

Lindi Fox | Owner & Aesthetician

Risk taking to me is the journey of getting where you want to be, without worrying what other people will think. It’s going back to school at the age of 42 so that you can follow your life long passion, and then starting a business in a new city, with a small network, in a Peri-Covid world. To me taking risks is something we must do, to attain the life we want and dream of. I believe that taking a risk, and and having any sort of success play a big role in people’s happiness. Risk, growth, success… that is the evolution of happiness for me. Read more>>

Matthew James | Entrepreneur, Producer & DJ

When creating something, whether its an idea, a business, or anything, you have to be willing to give it your all. You have to be willing to give as much time, money and effort into it. That how you can progress further and at a faster rate. You just have to believe wholeheartedly no matter what risks you take you will eventually find the path you were looking for. Read more>>

Sterling O’Ray | Artist & Illustrator

The beauty of risk taking is the experience given at the end. Life is all about taking risks. Often throwing ourselves into the deep end of the shark tank is what will push us to decide whether we are going to sink or swim. We question if the decision we are making in the moment is worth the reward. What if it doesn’t come true? Ah, but what if it does. This is the mindset I tackled as a young artist finding myself. Which included being 862 miles away from home in a state I only visited once. Read more>>

Michael Ash Sharbaugh | Music Composer + Poet

I believe that taking risks is paramount to actualize any modicum of self-worth during one’s venture through a lifetime. Just as with a crawling child learning to walk, taking an initial step — while simultaneously preparing for a fall — engenders optimism and character, particularly when one preemptively envisions themself able to rise up post-failure. Read more>>

Kiosha Lee | Actor & Filmmaker

I think of risk in terms of my acting career. This definitely is a field that sort of requires you to take risk big or small. Risk for me personally has taken a major role in my career. Back in 2018 I decided to quit my job and devote all my time strictly to acting. I was going to train, take new photos, revamp my look and casting sites, update my resume, create great content for my reel and secure me an agent. Proud to say that I did exactly what a set out to do. Secured an amazing agent, Desi Nicole at Making Stars Talent Agency. I audition on average 3 times a week so I’m happy with that. By me taking that risk I did lose my vehicle, storage and had to move back home with family. Here is the thing, I have no regrets whatsoever and would do it again. I love acting and very passionate about my career. Read more>>

Angel Williams | Brand Founder

Risk tasking is something that I am BIG on. Ive seen the advantages of taking a chances or taking that leap of faith. I can also dig deeper and talk about the importance of taking calculated risks. Because when you’re expanding and starting from nothing you will know that not all risks are worth taking. The biggest risks that I deal with when growing my brand, Make It Make Cents LLC , is basically with the location and the investments that it takes to grow the business. Starting off you our never guaranteed success but I know that with the effort and vision that I have for brand I’ll do whatever it takes to keep the brand a float. Read more>>

Shea Bridges | Adventure Photographer & Full-Time Student

When it comes to taking risks for me there is almost always an unnerving feeling when I start. The bigger the risk the more that feeling presents itself, but, it is when that feeling comes around that the risk is always worth the reward. Risks are like training any skill. If you aren’t failing to some extent, you are not pushing yourself as far as you need to be and you won’t learn how to do it better the next time around, and most importantly, you won’t be able to evaluate yourself to the full extent could be. Read more>>

Melophova | Visual Artist / Creative

I think risk taking is a pivotal part of anyone’s journey whether in life or career. Stepping out of the bounds of comfort catapults you into the unknown. Although unfamiliar and often scary, this change is the very element needed for growth and evolution. Whether out of your own volition or forced, risks are important. Personally for me, it was only through risking everything that I was able to achieve anything. My wisdom expands through the learning, unlearning and relearning brought upon risk taking. This newly cultivated wisdom is what fuels my continuous evolution. Read more>>

Stacy Ayiers-Latimore | Owner of Stacy Jewel Beauty

I believe that taking risk is the only way you will know if you can grow and succeed. Nothing can be scarier, but nothing can be more rewarding. Read more>>

Katie Schmidt | Jewelry Designer & Creator

Risks have always been something that I stay away from I loved playing it safe and I was definitely a person who loved to stay under the radar. After starting Hidden Gems all of that changed and I’ve never been happier about taking a risk in my life. When I first started making jewelry I never planned on selling it. I was embarrassed and I didn’t want people to judge what I was making and I was afraid that no one would like it and it wasn’t going to go anywhere. Read more>>

Patrick Brown | Realtor

I have taken a few leaps of faith in my life. Prior to being in Real Estate, I worked as an actor for a number of years. I left a sales job in my late 20’s and jumped in head first to that. I found moderate success and my risk was rewarded. When you bet on yourself and succeed, you gain a sense of ability to accomplish. When you take a risk and fail, you learn lessons how to improve for next time. Read more>>

Art Fieldty | Co-Founder and CVO

Risk-taking to me is gambling, taking a chance to see what is to come behind the door of a risky decision. But, unfortunately, we are all conditioned to grow up, go to college, pick a major, find an internship, land a career, work in that career for years, retire, and now have your freedom as long as you are wise with your finances. But what happens when that career is high stress and creates anxiety? Read more>>

Jenndee Franklin | MakeUp Artist & Entrepreneur

As they say, no risk no reward! That is my thought process behind taking risk. I quit my day job and committed myself to getting better at my craft. I was also working on myself to be my “Best” self. Which I believe plays an important part when you are self employed and a creative. Read more>>

Erin Lane Daly | Photographer & Videographer

I’ve noticed some of the biggest “risks” I’ve taken in life have led to my greatest successes. Even in the “failures” I’ve experienced from taking career risks, has only drastically propelled me forward. I think a lot of people look at taking career risks as being scary because of the unknown or the fear to fail. However I look at risk as not being scary when you’ve educated yourself in what you’re pursuing, thought through all the possible outcomes in what can occur, and bounce ideas off of other business owners you admire/respect their opinion. In the end, I’d rather “fail” than regret not taking the risk and wonder “what if”. Read more>>

Christine Andert | Photographer/Owner of Picture Lady Photography, LLC

I have been doing photography for probably close to 15 years, and four as a “side hustle”. I had planned on resigning from my job with the State of Arizona and ADEQ as a Budget Analyst in September of 2019, but due to reorganizations, my husband was cut from his job at IBM. I kept my job for the health benefits while he did contact work and went back to school for his Masters in Global Management. January of 2020, my husband had a job with benefits, we had a date in March for me to resign. Then Covid hit. I chickened out. The old “what if”…. Read more>>

Juan Diego Cubillo | Author and Social Entrepreneur

If success were a pie, risk is the main ingredient. It is the key that unlocks doors. I firmly believe that we miss 100 percent of the shots we don’t take so it is crucial that we take calculated risks. Risk-taking has been my game-changing quality. It is what has separated me from those with more money, more degrees, and more work experience. I remember when people told me I had no chance of becoming the Student Body President of my university. I took a risk and won. I remember when people told me I was too young to become a United States Diplomat. I took a risk and was representing the United States in Guatemala within two years when I was only 26 years old. Read more>>

Gilbert Tellez | Licensed Hair & Makeup Artist

I never considered myself a risk taker and have pretty much lead my life pretty vanilla. I graduated high school and worked at the mall for a while. During this time met my wife and started our family. Had career change and started working for the Superior Court. I enjoyed working here and saw me making another career change, I wanted go to law school after several year of working behind a desk and serving the public I needed more and wanted more. Read more>>

Jacque Shipman | Wedding & Elopement Photographer

I believe that risk taking is absolutely necessary if you want to be successful and if you want to grow. For the longest time, I was so afraid to make “risky” decisions for so many different reasons, occasionally because of opinions of others, sometimes because of time restraints, but most often because of money or just flat out… fear. I went through a horrible relationship and once out of that relationship, I hit a wall. I faced myself for the first time in my whole life. I decided I really wanted to live up to my potential, and I wanted to take risks because I have been taught to always play on the safe side of the street and it hadn’t gotten me as far. Read more>>

Madison Kopsa | Wife, Mother & Glass Artist

Either I take a risk and get what I want, or it doesn’t go as planned, and I come away with a learned experience. There is no failure. For me, taking risks always seems to open up some new portal that is always been there, just waiting to be tapped into, but you’ll never know if you don’t take that risk. When I was pregnant, I realized that my dreams weren’t just going to fall into my lap; I had to go out and search for them, work hard and get them. Read more>>

Kerry Feirman | On Camera Host & Digital Media Producer + (as of late) Realestate Developer

One of my biggest fears in life is mediocracy, or becoming complacent in a life that is subpar to that of which I aspire to without at least giving it my best shot. As a result, risk has been a major player in my life, particularly in my career. While I was in college at UCSB I would commute back and forth to LA for auditions, or skip school every now and again if I booked something. Between my sophomore and Junior year summer I booked a movie that required me to take a quarter off school. My parents were less than thrilled, but I decided to do so and take the part. Read more>>

Adam W Carter | Founder + CEO / Producer

I chose to view risk as opportunity defined by: 1) Being able to recognize opportunities, 2) Positioning oneself to be able to say yes and 3) can I live with myself if I never found out if I would have succeeded or failed? In life, taking risks or rather recognizing and accepting opportunities has produced situations allowing me to meet, exceed or occasionally fail my own expectations. Every opportunity opens up a space of vulnerability, to face your own success or failure, to face your true self and hopefully grow from it. None of this is easy in practice however a continued belief in the process has produced incredible results. Read more>>

Ally Dell’Amico | Yoga Instructor & Saule Yoga Studio Owner

Taking risks is the most important key to success. Without risk there is no room to advance, learn, improve, and grow. Too often we do not take risks out of fear of failure. We find ourselves stuck in our comfort zone, content with the way things are or afraid we might fall; not realizing life could be even better. Running a business has always piqued my interest and when the opportunity of opening a yoga studio presented itself, I was scared. That little voice in the back of my head kept popping up, “Will you have the time?… Will you have the capability?… What happens if this fails?…” Taking a risk is never easy but I was fortunate enough to recognize that my life was just comfortable and I decided to have the courage to take the risk and live out my dream. Risking failure is the only way to experience true growth. With the right attitude you can learn from it and thrive! Read more>>

Jim Phan | Creative

I believe life is all about taking risk. Whether it’s calculated, a feeling, or on the go. Those that take risk tend to succeed more than fail in my opinion. For example, in my own life risk has played a huge factor. I packed my bags and drove all the way to the other side of the country to experience something I thought would help enhance my mental, physical, and emotional health. I was living in an area that ultimately was not where I wanted to be. So I decided to change that by relocating. And so far that risk payed off! Read more>>

Markisha Masters | Certified Loctition and Scalp Specialist

Taking the risks that has been presented to me, has been the greatest thing I’ve ever experienced. Even without knowing the outcome I had to follow my intuition and trust myself and that I was doing the right thing. If you don’t take risk you won’t grow. I look at risk as opportunities. Those moments trying to figure out if I’m making the best or worse decision of my life is the moments I’m most grateful for to this day. Read more>>

Thomas James Metaxotos | Owner and Founder of Demigod Professional Cleaning Services LLC

I find risk taking to be an essential part of growth and development. When you take a risk and step out of your comfort zone you are forcing yourself to learn and grow through whatever endeavor you are pursuing. You won’t always necessarily obtain the reward you were seeking, but you will certainly always learn some type of lesson that you can apply towards your future operations. Learning what not to do is just as important as learning what to do. As long as you don’t repeat the same mistake and learn from your mistake, each of your failures will serve as a piece of knowledge that you can apply in similar situations. Like they say, where there’s no risk, there is no reward. Risk is the epitome of growth. Read more>>

Dana Suorsa | Entrepreneur | Co-owner of Source of Coffee

Is there a difference between taking a risk and taking a calculated risk? My wife would say I take risks. I feel like I calculate my risks. Just as a stunt man doesn’t just jump off a building without research, planning, plenty of safeguards, knowledge and experience, I try to do the same with my business decisions. Willcox, AZ. was a town in need of a gathering place for locals and passers through. The question was asked time and again on Facebook “what does Willcox need?”. Resounding answers back were “a coffeehouse”. I had already the building. Situations in our real estate business from Covid-19 made us have to make decisions that pushed us in unexpected directions. Read more>>

Candace Weir | Memories by Candace Photographer

Most entrepreneurs have to be risk takers to run a successful business. My husband has owned his business for several years and he is definitely a risk taker. I am not. I am the opposite. I like to play it safe. I have been a photographer for 16 years. But never a full time photographer. I always had other photography jobs working for other companies. When you take those kind of jobs, the pay isn’t the greatest, but they were safe jobs. They were guaranteed hours and guaranteed income. Read more>>