There is a wealth of academic research that suggests that differences in risk appetite are at the heart of differences in career and business trajectories. We wanted to go beyond the theory and ask real people from the community about their perspectives and experiences with risk and risk taking.

Whitney Thatcher | Owner and Lead Photographer

Sometimes doors open professionally for us at unexpected times. Over time, I have learned that truly exploring these opportunities and sometimes taking a leap of faith can lead to discovering a new passion and a wonderful business opportunity. If I would not have taken a leap of faith and walked through an open door, I wouldn’t have my school photography division. I adore kids and working with school administrators and staff, and had I not listened to my heart and taken the opportunity at the first school I worked for, I would not be serving my incredible schools with portraits every September and October. My advice to any entrepreneur: listen to your heart, explore all opportunities that come your way, and LEAP. Take that risk. Read more>>

Mariana McDonald | Influencer & E-commerce business owner

I am a firm believer that risk-taking is not only important but necessary both in life and in your career. I always say that if it scares you, it’s probably a good thing. Getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new, or unknown, is definitely hard, but I do believe that is one of the things that leads you to both success and personal growth. Taking risks, to me, comes with a reward no matter the outcome. You take risks, try new things, and even if you fail, you ALWAYS learn something, always. So I see it as a win-win. Read more>>

Kim Michelle | Fine Artist

Risk taking is an interesting thing to think about because as an artist it happens with every brushstroke. You have a chance to make a change every single time you add something to the canvas and it could make it or break it. One tiny dot could completely ruin the whole painting! And for me its all about intuition and feeling it out. I like to leave my mind out of the process of creating as much as possible. But that often leaves me unsure mentally if its going to work or not. Read more>>

Samira Zuabi García | Painter, photographer and writer

in Italian, we use to say “chi non risica, non rosica” that means “if you don’t risk, you get nothing. Fo me risk are unavoidable in life as in work. We risk every day with every single decision we take, no matter the “relevance” we think they have at the moment. I have been risking my entire life for to become an artist. Moving all over the world, working hard, sometimes without a real knowledge of what I had to do, but putting soul, heart and will into it. Read more>>

Melissa Acedo | Event Planner

Balloon Glamm started in my home on my son’s second birthday. Once I realized how much joy I received from creating my vision and bringing it to life for his birthday party, I knew party decorating was something I wanted to do for my family and friends to bring joy to their parties, so I started to help with parties whenever I could. From the first time I thought of Balloon Glamm as a full time business, I knew it would not be sustainable to work my current full time job, keep up with my toddler, and to continue event planning only on weekend. Read more>>

Dean LaBoyd | Owner of San Tan Tattoo/Tattoo Artist

I look at risk as a motivation factor. I look at it like a do or die kinda situation, if I fail then I lose. As of recently I have purchased a tattoo shop with my business partner, San Tan Tattoo. We are working towards giving the team we’ve built a top tier work environment, and a chance to really achieve their goals. So for me the risk with the purchasing the shop, I was looking at having my teams careers in my hands so I feel the severe cost of failure with this one was the most motivation. If I lose, my team loses and that’s just something I can’t allow to happen. I’ve worked side by side with these guys for years now, and I feel now I have a personal reasonability to ensure their success. Read more>>

Kristi Rauckis | Artist & Adventurist

When it comes to life, I think there to be so many gifts to be found in risk. That goes with every aspect of life, whether it’s in business or anything else. Even learning a new language, risk takes a huge part in actually having it be useful. You need to take the risk of feeling silly or awkward in conversation before you can become fluent. It’s the risk of making mistakes where genius is finally able to be honed. Read more>>

Aliya Little | Business Owner

I think it’s important to take risks. Sometimes it can be scary to take that risk because you’re afraid of it not working out in your favor but you have to look at everything as a learning experience and appreciate it, good or bad. I feel like I learned the most about myself by taking risks because it allowed me to develop myself as I went through these different experiences. Read more>>

Michelle Buyer | Financial Analyst, Health & Fitness Coach, and Content Creator

Between moving to Seattle barely knowing anyone, sharing my deepest insecurities on my blog (and Instagram), and starting a health and fitness business, most people would say I’ve taken my fair share risks in my career so far. However, the idea of “risk” never crosses my mind. Rather, I see each endeavor as as a new opportunity. Read more>>

Joseph Perez | Joseph Perez / Author and Inventor / Doctoral Candidate

Risk has had a significant impact on my personal life and career. I consider everything in life a risk. However, I was always someone that was scared, so facing my fear was something I felt like I always had to do to overcome these fears and obstacles. For me, the greatest risk was inaction. If I didn’t attempt to do something, if I didn’t pursue something I wanted, there was a 100% guarantee that I wouldn’t get it. It wasn’t until I left active-duty military in 2020 that I had the freedom to pursue my dreams. Read more>>

Sami McGuire | Owner of High Call Media / Professional Rodeo Breakaway Roper

Risk is essential. It is essential to my career, my life, and everything I do. I grew up in the rodeo world and it showed me calculated risks. It helped me get comfortable being uncomfortable. I could see the tangible benefits of risks. When you play it safe in the arena, you risk missing your opportunity to rope your calf. But when you take that risky shot, you might get it and you might not, but at least you tried. When that risky shot works, you win. Next time that shot comes around it won’t feel as risky, because you’ve tried it before. Read more>>

Randy Murray | Dad, Granddad, Husband, Business Owner, Storyteller.

I once heard that we like spicy food so much because the sting in our mouths tricks our body into thinking we are being poisoned. Whether it is jalapeños, rollercoasters or taking risks in business, thrill seeking is in our DNA. But more than just exciting, I think taking risk is a necessary business practice. That is why I have taken more risks over the years than I probably should have. Read more>>

Veda Monét | Singer/Songwriter

I believe all of life is risk. I never take for granted the chance to sit upright in my bed each morning, inhale & exhale, and give thanks for another moment in time to view the world with perspective and gratitude. The role that taking risks has played in my life have been designed parallel with fear. Overcoming fear has been my personal mantra living beyond a global pandemic. In order to overcome personal fears, I must take risks. In turn, I have gained strength and resilience in areas of my life. Read more>>