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.

Autumn Edrington | Owner/Instructor

Financial risk has always been a little scary to me. I was afraid of certain types of risk. Ask me to jump out of a plane? I’m in. Confusing, I know. But that’s me. Growing up in a military family, things were always well planned out and scheduled. I followed the expected path of my family by going to college after high school and then directly to work in corporate America. When I looked at my life I knew something was always missing but I was afraid to find it. It took the market blowing up in 2008 and the loss of my corporate job to finally make me realize it was time for a change. It was time to take a (financial) risk. At that time I took everything I had and opened up Yogaspot. I had to convince myself over and over that everything would be ok… that I could do it. Teaching yoga wasn’t just something I loved to do. It was my passion. I wanted to take my passion and share it with my community. The initial risk of opening the business was scary and often stressful. Over time I steadily gained my footing and watched the studio grow. Read more>>

Angela Dunbar | Silversmith/Jewelry Maker

I’ve recently quit my full time job to jump head first into my creative endeavors. This decision has been one of the biggest risks I’ve taken- possibly in my entire life. I had worked most of my adult life towards a specific career goal that never quite panned out the way I thought it would. Jewelry making had always been a hobby/side-hustle that was slowly growing into something bigger and more difficult for me to balance with a full time job. I kept dreaming of quitting so that I could pursue jewelry making full time, but kept circling back around to “is this risk worth it”? After about a year of back and forth, I finally decided there was no way to answer that question until I actually DID it. I think that’s the biggest take away I’ve had so far as a small business. There are so many fears and uncertainties to navigate but there are also as many victories that we may not get to experience if not for taking that initial risky jump. Read more>>

Dr. Linda Khoshaba Khoshaba | Doctor & Board Certified in Naturopathic Endocrinology

Risk taking to me can feel like either excitement or fear and I have to really try to articulate the emotion. I think that risk taking plays an important part in success. It can be frightening when you don’t have any guarantees that it will work out. I believe you have to listen to your gut feeling and go with that. For myself, taking risks has allowed me to grow, learn and succeed in many avenues in life. For example, I have taken risks moving to different countries, learning new cultures and languages, changing careers, investing in education, and getting married! 😉 All of these are risks and have greatly resulted in reward and true happiness and had I not taken these steps in life, I am not sure where my path could have ended up. To me, risk taking can help you find your true self. Read more>>

John Costello | Founder, JC3 Media Music

Taking risks leads to new opportunities, some successful… some not so much. Throughout my life, I have enjoyed challenges and trying new things. From the young age of 5, I have been involved in music, studying piano and organ then expanding to percussion and drums in high school. I became an adept keyboard player and drummer which led to touring across the country with a variety of bands and even overseas for the USO. Music was and still is my passion. I started producing artists and composing original compositions in the late 80s which led to publishing music for film, television and all types of media. In 2015, along with my partner and beautiful wife, Jennifer, we launched JC3 Media Music. Starting a brand a new company in such a fierce, competitive industry was a huge risk. But we are thrilled to be part of it as we have become a trusted source and “go to” for a variety of clientele. Read more>>

Rebecca Pipkin | Visual Artist and Educator

I have always thought of risk as an inevitable aspect of pursuing a creative career. Even when we are unaware of risk, it is present in everything we do. As an artist, I have grown to become more comfortable with risk, accepting that it is a vital part of the creative/making process. There is great risk in moving beyond what I know or what I feel comfortable with. However when I am able to accept it, it often breeds better results. Read more>>

Saloua Ibaline | Digital Entrepreneur Coach

I am, without a doubt, a huge risk-taker and a non-conformist. From a very young age, I was curious about doing things differently. I think it comes from the challenging childhood I experienced. I’m not afraid to feel uncomfortable, quite the contrary. Going to that uncomfortable place allows me to see how far I can go and forces me to push my boundaries. I learn and grow from each experience, good or bad. I think that people who have paved the way or make changes in this world have to be risk-takers. Read more>>

Devon Herrera | Founder of The Social Muse

I’ve recently come to realize the cliche statement, that fortune favors the bold. Growing up, we’re taught to live in a limited mindset, even if our parents are perfect (I mean, is there such a thing?) – we see the ‘typical’ way of life through movies, television, our friends, teachers, etc. Consider picking a major, for instance. I had the most difficult time choosing just one thing, as I feared I would be stuck in a single career for the rest of time. Uhh, I love writing, physical health, fashion, performance, psychology, sociology… the list goes on. I ended up selecting Business with a minor in Communications, which pretty much covers everything, so I figured I’d be good to go. That said, I didn’t graduate – I could blame it on external circumstances – an ex-boyfriend that was less than ideal, or a proclivity for partying… but the truth is, I think I’ve always been scared to embrace everything I want out of life. Ever since I can remember, I wanted to “be famous” which sounds a bit gauche even typing out, but hey, if the shoe fits… I didn’t do much to dig further into what that meant or what was truly calling for me until my late-twenties, at which point I had an epiphany driving back home after watching an Oscar-nominated movie with my family. Read more>>