We asked some brilliant folks from the community to talk to us about how they think about risk and the role risk has play in their lives and careers.

Annette Matthews | Photographer

I am generally a thrill seeker in life. Having my camera in hand to be able to film or document life’s moment or events that will make history is an honor as a photographer. I do not hesitate to “run into the fire”. Recently I assisted my friend in filming a documentary surrounding the homeless epidemic. We covered 5 cities in 6 weeks. During this time, the risk was going out at night and in underground tunnels with camera gear, into the dwellings of many homeless men and women. Expectations were nonexistent. The project showed me the type of photographer and person I am in my heart. Telling a story of someone’s journey is important to me, so having the opportunity to document their stories was enlightening. In addition, over the last few weeks I was fortunate enough to be on the front line and able to document the Black lIve Matter movements and protests here in Phoenix. Read more>>

Jonathan Ham | Internet Entrepreneur, Personal Trainer & Retired Collegiate Gymnast

I see taking risks as opportunity to learn and figure something out that might work down the road. Most of the times I have taken risks in my life I have ended up in a different place I sought out to go. Once you dive in to something you learn things you didn’t know before which causes you to make different decisions than you might have otherwise made. I think that taking risks and “Doing” is one essential components of success in anything. At some point you have to test your thesis out and the only way to do that is to take action and figure it out along the way. Read more>>

Shyla Collier | Owner, Marketing Expert & Amazon Best Selling Author

Everyone must take risks when you are a business owner. Business ownership is very risky and can be intimidating. You pay up front to make money in the long run. In many cases, owners are in the red for the first two years. However, I was never in the red. It was very scary to leave my corporate job and be completely on my own, though it was completely worth it. When thinking about taking a huge risk, you want to weigh out both the negative and positive for both sides. It is so rewarding being able to look at the empire you have created and have flexibility to still enjoy life. Read more>>

Fausto Fernandez | Multimedia and Site-Specific Public Art Artist

In thinking of the life that most artists live I think most of it as a risk, is not easy to try and make a living from art, the risk starts when anyone decides they like to become self employed in a market that is fickle, always changing and never constant. I think is a matter of questioning what motivates us, creating a degree of awareness, we each decide if the risk is worth taking, what opportunities and lifestyles are we willing to sacrifice. I didn’t plan to become an artist but the opportunities working at museums in the past and constantly surrounding myself with other artists inspired me. The amount of risks I’ve taken and continue to take is long but worth the effort, I am happy to follow my intuition to take a leap into following my passion. Read more>>

Dan Shelhamer | Serial Entrepreneur

Risk taking is one of my favorite matters to discuss, and also in my opinion, the most misunderstood. Everyone has their own risk tolerance, however, the people who I admire and study from have been able to push past their own tolerance to achieve incredible things. I can’t think of a single entrepreneur who hasn’t taken a risk on themselves or on an idea. I also believe that risk level goes down when you increase your preparation. For example, some people may look at real estate investing as very risky. They only see what could go wrong. Bad tenants, bad returns, having to fix toilets, and evictions (to name a few). However, if you do your due diligence, screen your potential renters, and have a handyman maintain the property those issues suddenly go away. By being prepared you take much of the uncertainty out of the equation, and therefore the risk decreases dramatically. Read more>>

Soraya Medina | Owner & Pastry Chef

We all heard that saying, No risk, No reward! We strongly believe in that and that’s exactly what we did to pursue our dream. We were both tired of working for other people in NYC and we knew our jobs weren’t going to be our career. So we decided to leave everything we know including our family and friends and move to Arizona. Without taking that risk we wouldn’t be where we are today. Read more>>

Mary Ann LaRoche | Artist, Creator & Founder

In life, it is imperative to take risks if anything is to get accomplished. We each have our own level of comfort, and trying new things, making decisions, choosing this or that, it all takes some degree of effort. Some people thrive on these things, while others struggle with change or choices. Anything new from an idea to conception is a risk, but how you participate in the process is what makes the “risk” easy or hard. I didn’t always find risk easy, it was a miserable, foreign, difficult process for me, that I have had to work on. It is all about your own mindset and who you surround yourself with. It starts with the idea, then you have to really decide, do you want to do the work to make it happen. Most things take effort, change, trial and error, discipline, and dedication. Read more>>

Hannah Friel | Abstract Artist

Risk is an essential part of life as well as in career. Calculated risk is needed for growth in both business and ones personal life as It teaches important lessons that Become an integral part of your experience and can steer you in a particular direction. You need take risks in order to differentiate yourself and find your niche. For me, risk helped me develop a process of artwork that is totally unique to me. It took years to develop, but only I know how to do it. It also helped me gain confidence in myself and in my abilities. Read more>>