Taking Risk is essential, but how much, when and why? Taking risks effectively is as much of an art as it is a science and we’ve asked some of the brightest folks in the community to tell us about how they think about risk taking.

Lauri Koo | Visual Artist

For me, I think of risk taking as a catalyst for moving and growing and definitely being out of the comfort zone. I experienced a sense of this in childhood as I observed my surroundings from my own parents and their risk taking decisions. As a result of moving numerous times during childhood I think I adapted to different surroundings, people and events which allowed me to experience change on many levels without having a conscious choice. I believe it made me more adaptable and at the same time desiring to experience different directions, paths and careers of my own. At this time in my life, having had different career paths, I have come full circle back to the creative part of myself that I had always wanted to explore and hopefully, with more wisdom and experience. I think of the quote, “If it’s still in your mind it is worth taking the risk.” Paulo Coelho. Read more>>

Peter Schirripa | VP, Sales

Risk innately has a negative connotation; it infers that there is a chance you lose. I don’t think of risk as anything other than an opportunity. In order to progress – whether it be in relationships, financially speaking, or in your profession – you should aways be looking for opportunities to progress forward. When assessing an opportunity, I like taking an age-old approach (I actually call it “a George Washington list.” I take the opportunity (for example, switching roles within a company) and outline the pros and cons. In that example, a pro might be more money, but a con might be extensive training needed to succeed in the role. I fill out both sides of the list in its entirety, and simply take a high level look to see which side of the list is bigger (pros or cons). This has helped me throughout my life and career. When I can think about risk (opportunities) holistically, it allows me not only the ability to make the right decision, but to think through the total impact – good and bad. Read more>>

Alison Auditore | Visual Artist & Illustrator

It’s interesting that “risk” so often seems to be associated with an undertone of danger. Even now, when I hear the word I think about extremes, like going all in in a poker game, or jumping out of a plane! But for me risk has become an important part of my career and my artistic journey. I can’t count how many times I’ve sang to myself “Why not take a crazy chance?” I knew starting a business would be risky, I knew moving across the country would be risky, and I knew taking a step back from faster paced art work and investing a much larger bulk of my time and resources into one large project would be risky. At the turning point of each decision I weighed my options and moved forward because I knew I would rather have tried and failed than have not tried at all. An important part of that decision for me is that if I’ve failed, I’ve at least learned something, and that experience will help me move forward. Read more>>

Shannon McKenzie Perkins | Choreographer

I’ve definitely taken risks in my career. I like to think of them as learning adventures. The times that I’ve trusted my instincts have most often been beneficial. My career is built upon many leaps of faith that happened along my path as a performer. Each risk I’ve taken has had either a reward or a punishment, but there was a lesson in every outcome. I think the biggest lesson was authenticity. When I began to have a clear vision of myself as a person, I became more confident in the direction of my career. Read more>>

Monique Crouch | Blogger & Recipe Developer

“There’s no reward in life without risk”, you hear it often and it definitely holds true. Any small business owner has at some point taken that leap of faith, taking a risk on their business seeking that reward. Most bloggers are making an initial investment in themselves. An investment in a dream, an idea and a brand. Blogging is a long game. It’s not a get rich quick scheme and takes time, commitment and perseverance. With dedication eventually that initial risk will pay off. Personally I can see the reward at the end of the tunnel and will only continue to learn and dedicate my time and energy to building my dream. Read more>>

Quinn Miller | Wedding & Event Coordinator

The first major risk I took was moving to Tucson without a job after completing my bachelor’s degree. At first, I resisted leaving my comfortable, familiar life in Los Angeles behind. My then-boyfriend, now-husband, is earning his PhD at the University of Arizona and asked me to join him. I’m so glad that I took the chance to move here, as Tucson introduced me to the life I want to live. One that is more relaxed with less time spent in traffic and fewer financial stressors, since it’s quite affordable to live here! Starting my career in Tucson allowed me to grow within jobs and leadership roles valuable for a recent-grad. I’ve also been able to build connections and friendships through young professional groups that make this city feel like a tight-knit, interconnected community. For me, moving to Tucson five years ago was a risk. Yet, it’s one I appreciate for introducing me to a place, community, and lifestyle that I would never have found if I stayed within my comfort zone. Read more>>

Kelly Miller | Blogger & Small Business Owner

I used to think that I was not a risk taker and that it was always good to play it safe. Starting my own business has definitely been a risk and I couldn’t be happier that I made the decision to go for it! Creating a business that you are in complete control of is exciting and a little stressful at times. It’s great to get out of my comfort zone, take those risks and see what happens. The times I have taken the risks has allowed me to grow personally and professionally. Read more>>