Taking Risk is essential, but how much, when and why?  Takings 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.

Ali Tso | Photographer

Life is full of risks! I think to achieve any goal or dream requires us to have the courage to take a risk. But I think what makes risk taking so scary is the fear of uncertainty. I grew up doing gymnastics for most of my life and I think that really shaped who I am. We would practice, practice, practice all year long just for a few months of intense competition. We would train our bodies as well as our minds to handle high pressure situations. Plus the sport itself is very risky! Read more>>

Laura Briscoe | Founder and Executive Chef, Laura’s Gourmet Granola

If one thinks about risk as RISK, it’s highly possible that very few would ever take one. If one thinks about risk as OPPORTUNITY, that changes the game. When I left the East coast to live in AZ, it didn’t feel risky moving away from all my friends and family. Instead, it felt like an opportunity to experience a different part of the country, enhance my sales path at work, and start a family. If I hadn’t moved, I would never have worked for some great companies, and more importantly, have the amazing friends and relationships I have now. Read more>> 

Danny Adelman | Founder, Creative Director

Risk taking and risk management have huge roles in many facets of life. I’ve learned that a lot of risks, if thought through carefully and backup plans get put in place to mitigate loss from a risky situation, the loss and or fear of taking the risk are actually not as bad as you think. I wish I started taking larger risks earlier in life, so I recommend that to anyone in their early 20’s. There are other things in life where investing in yourself or your business seems like a risk because you can “lose” a lot of money, but I’ve learned that in reality, you’re just trading the money for a different kind of return that isn’t financial, and the return is usually is in the form of experience. Whether that experience is good or bad, most likely you’ll learn from, grow, and become better as a result. Read more>>

Paula Beougher | Doctor of Pharmacy

I read a Nelson Mandela quote not too long ago and it truly captured my state of mind regarding risk. Nelson Mandela said “I never lose. I either win or learn.” For me I take risks because I am not scared of failure or losing. In fact I view never taking the risk as the only failure or loss. Of course, as a pharmacist, I cannot take a risk with people’s health or safety. That is of most importance. The risk comes into play with my career choices. I decided lo go in a different direction and take the risk of opening my own pharmacy. Read more>>

Dr. Amy Munoz

There is a solace in playing it safe, because you understand the outcome. It feels better, your heart beats consistently and there is a complacent sense of calm that cossets you in its predictable arms. I understand the need for “safe” and conversely, I understand the need for risk. Risk is something as simple as saying “hello” to a stranger when your eyes would otherwise dart to the ground to stray from connecting. Risk is something as complex as writing a song that shines the light on a naked and vulnerable part of your psyche or even something as brave as using your privilege to help another who is disenfranchised. Read more>>

Kelly and Matt Megyese | Illuminate You Fitness Co-Founders

We tend to approach risk as an opportunity – whether that be to grow, change, or enhance something. The right support can help minimize the risk, but regardless we’ve learned that while jumping into something could be a mistake – it may also prove accurate instincts. We balance our decisions, knowing that the direction we take may change in the future. Not trying is the biggest risk and we feel it is a chance for regret. Read more>>

Laura Solt | Registered Dietitian, Admin Assistant, & Missionary

If someone were to look at my life and what I’ve done, I’m pretty sure they’d call me a risk-taker but I’m not sure I define it as taking risks. My life has been uniquely marked by stepping out in faith to do something which may seem crazy and bold in the eyes of many. Over the past two years, I have transitioned in and out of jobs and in and out of the country. From getting laid off to living in Germany, to returning to Arizona and starting my own nutrition business, to coordinating my first ever fundraiser within 4-weeks, to leaving my nutrition career to be a missionary in Africa, to now being back in the US and working as an Admin Assistant for a mission agency, my life has been full of taking steps of faith knowing that God is with me. Read more>>

Colleen Quinn | Designer and Stylist

Risk has always been a factor within my life and career that I have learned to embrace. After graduating college in 2015, I knew that the only way to excel and be successful within my career was to take necessary risks to get me to the next level. In contrast to many of my fellow graduates, I did not take the easy route career choice out of college and decided to work for a small start-up company in Phoenix. The office was literally out of a house but that was exactly the type of environment I wanted to be in! I knew, even 5 years ago, that I was meant to be an entrepreneur and that is why I chose to work for the small start up, to learn the ins and outs and the dos and don’ts. Read more>>

Sandra Luehrsen | Artist

I’ve never thought of myself as a risk taker. I’m a fraidy cat — not a bungee jumper or deep-sea diver. But I took a whopper of a risk when I left a well-paying position as an assistant dean at Arizona State University to make ceramic art for a living. I like to think my risk was calculated. Truth be told, I followed my heart more than my head. At the time, I was reading books like “Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow” by Marsha Sinetar. I also listened to audio tapes by Joseph Campbell, a professor of at Sarah Lawrence College. Campbell researched mythologies and religions of the world. Read more>>

Suzanne Whitaker | Mural Artist, Decorative Finisher, Illustrator

I’m feeling very philosophical approaching this question, especially as I near my sixth decade. I’m sure everyone defines “risk taking” differently depending on their circumstances and how much choice and responsibility have been a part of their lives. And, taking risks doesn’t mean one doesn’t take precaution or do some research before leaping. It just means, we don’t know the eventual outcome (none of us do) but we are willing to put ourselves out there, be courageous for the larger cause, whatever that is for you. And, my personal risk taking list of activities may be very different than yours and require a different level of bravery. Read more>>

Bree Lopez | Owner + Chief Glow Dealer

I think risks are scary things that can at times cause some serious anxiety; but at the same time I truly believe those risks could potentially unveil your full potential and major success. I think without taking risks, you’ll always stay stagnant whether it be in life or business. Risks are really what has allowed me to build my business. If I never took the risk to quit my full time job, never took the risk of moving to Phoenix – I would never be where I am today. Read more>>

Zen Berk | Photographer

Risk is necessary to be successful in this career. I think risk is what helps define your limitations. As an artist I am always afraid of what people might think of my work, but I don’t let that stop me from doing what I love and pushing the limits. I’ve taken photos for friends, work, personal use, and even for competitions. There is definitely pressure knowing that my work could reflect someone in a negative light, so although it’s important to take risks and get the cool, new photo, it is equally important to communicate with the client and provide them what they want. Risk is how I have learned what I am comfortable with, what my clients/friends are comfortable with. Read more>>

Christina Valles | Author

I believe risk taking has given me everything I have now and brought me exactly where I was meant to be. Writing has always been something I held a passion for, since a young age. The idea of taking an artistic career path is one that I know many are scared of doing. Any artistic route is known as a risky career choice on its own when it comes to financial stability. When I was 18 and attending college, I found myself feeling as if I was not where I was supposed to be in life. I wanted to have all my time dedicated towards writing poetry and novels. When I made the decision to leave my university and pursue a writing career, I was scared beyond measure. Read more>>

Kyle Brathwaite | Photographer more know as “Kaito”

I’d have to say risk taking makes a HUGE difference in what you can capture. Being at certain venues, events, clubs, etc most of the time organizers hold you back from being able to shoot in certain areas that can take your picture to the next level. Most times I’ve had to sneak around & go around barriers to get the look I’m going for in the moment. Now I’m not saying to be ignorant about doing it but to be passionate about your craft & never take no for answer even if it means breaking a few rules but do it respectfully. Taking risk have brought me to where I’m at now in Phoenix coming from Florida knowing not one soul & placing myself in different positions to network & find my way around. Read more>>

Diego Perez | Artist

There have been two important risks in my life and, therefore, my career. The first one was when I decided to move to the US. It was a big risk because I almost made this decision in the spur of the moment. I was living in Mexico City, and even I had scheduled several exhibitions at the time, the sales weren’t so good. The art market it’s difficult in Mexico. So, when I was invited to participate in a show for the Mexican Consulate in Phoenix, I started to make connections and I just decided to stay. The assimilation process into a new culture and a new market weren’t easy, but if I haven’t made the decision, I wouldn’t be able to build my career. Read more>>

Lynda Dickens | Beauty & Wellness Advocate

Risk-taking is a necessary evil that serves a higher purpose in life. If you never take a risk, or as I like to refer to it as “stepping out on faith” you’ll never know how far you can go or the level of success you could obtain. If there is no risk taken, you stay in your comfort zone, accepting what is familiar until a significant life-changing event happens without your permission. I’ve taken some considerable risks in life, both personally and professionally. But some risks will impact both, at the same time, including your present and future. Read more>>