Legend holds that Cornelius Vanderbilt had built a massive fortune in the steamboat shipping industry, but then realized the railroads were the way of the future and invested almost his entire net worth into railroads.  The gamble paid off and made Vanderbilt one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs ever.  But risks are inherently…risky.  How do you think about risk and how has it affected your life and career?  Some of our community favorites share their perspective below.

Adele Etheridge | Woodson: Composer for Film & TV

I’ve never really been a risk taker…it’s scary! Doing anything without an unknown outcome makes my type A brain freak out. But by choosing to be a musician, and a freelance once at that, is a risk in itself. And I face my fears of failing and not being good enough every day. But I continue to make music because that is what I love! I believe I was meant to do music. And by taking that risk, I am able to bring art and tell stories to people. Without risk, there is no reward; sometimes we will fail, but other times, we will succeed! Being a musician is learning how to balance that — and I am still learning that every day. Read more>>

Tisha Marie Pelletier | Chief Experience Officer | President, Tisha Marie Enterprises, LLC

I most definitely consider myself to be a risktaker. When you’re an entrepreneur coming up with all sorts of ideas, it’s hard to keep those ideas cooped up inside my head. I’ve always been a “say and do” kind of girl. If I wasn’t, I’d live a life of regrets for not actually starting what my mind came up with. Taking risks, believing in me and putting ideas into motion is what has gotten me to where I am in life. It’s about being fearless. Not being afraid to fail or fall. Giving it your best shot. Investing in your success even though the outcome isn’t clear yet and seeing where it takes you. Read more>>

Melissa Kim Corter | Author, Speaker, and Mentor

Risk-taking is a part of my everyday life as an entrepreneur. Risk is weaved into my decisions, as well as where I allocate my time and energy and how I spend it. Sometimes it is a financial decision, yet the majority of the time it is about focus, dedication, and remembering why I do what I do. When you have a mission, a deep sense of purpose in what you are crafting with your life and business, risk-taking becomes a necessary ingredient for innovation, success, and reward. Every great decision I have made or been forced to make through life circumstances involved a risk. Read more>>

Amber Neubauer | Speech Language Pathologist & Business Owner

I have been told in the past that I am a big risk taker. I have never thought of myself in that way. When I reflect on that, I do realize that I have been a risk taker, however, I like to say that they are calculated risks. I think through what the pros and cons are and if I’m willing to accept the cons, then I make the decision to move forward. This has allowed me to start my business, add new contracts, run for the Board of Directors of our cooperative, etc. Ultimately, if it feels right, then it is right. If I didn’t follow my gut and take these “risks”, I would not be where I am today, and neither would my business. Read more>>

Daga Kawalec | Furniture Designer/Entrepreneur

Risk is fundamental in business and to grow we need to get out of our comfort zone. Most of my life has been taking risks starting with moving to the United States alone at just 22 years old without a job. I believe in quality above all and I also believe that everyone deserves it. My business is my heart and soul. I love where I am today with my company but it costed me many sacrifices. Someone said “If it would be easy everyone would do it.” I did listen to my intuition, guidance from above and persuaded my dream. Quitting is easy but doesn’t take me to the place that I want to be. Read more>>