Shoot your shot? Take a chance? Society bombards us with messages, phrases, examples and stories of how taking risk is the key to success, but is anything ever that simple? We asked some of the brightest folks we know to tell us about how they think about risk. We’ve shared their responses below.

Jayde Justyce | Drag Artist, Scholar, and Advocate

To be both multiracial and openly queer is a risk in itself. It’s a daily risk for me to enter a room or an environment in which I am not the hegemonic being and that forces a different outlook on life and specifically my art. When I enter a room chances are there are very few people who look like me, who share the same experiences as me or have the same ideologies that I do. Read more>>

Erica Mather | Author & Yoga Therapist

As a younger person, I don’t really think I thought much about risk. I was driven by passion, and at each phase of my professional life, somehow worked things out. I think there are a few factors that contributed to this. 1. Having an entrepreneurial spirit. 2. Coming from a family that encouraged creativity and inventiveness. 3. Having overall socio-economic stability. As I’ve matured, other factors and considerations have come into play. Read more>>

Magdalena Rodriguez | Creator & Performing Artist

“Risk” often comes with a negative connotation and I believe, the opposite, it is one of the most positive things you can do for yourself and expands our boundaries for what is possible. Looking back, I’ve taken many risks in my life: that to pursue musical theatre as a career in one of the most competitive markets (NYC) then to risk it all once again when, live theatre was paused at the start of the pandemic and I needed to transition to another more stable industry. I’d like to think that each risk led me down the path that I was meant for. Read more>>

Katie Trout | Photographer

Taking risks are a huge part about starting your own business. I was only 19 years old when I took a leap of faith and decided to go out of the norm and started my own photography business. I was scared that what I was doing would never be good enough compared to others in the same business field as I. Read more>>

Christine Francis | Owner, Carmen & Ginger Vintage Goods

I am not a natural risk taker. Before opening my own business I always had a traditional full time job with a paycheck. I believe that the financial crisis of 2008 helped me to consider taking a risk because it changed everything but showed me I could survive. I lost my job, as did my husband at the time. Read more>>

Kei Tyler | Co-Founder of Astrology In The Wild

I think taking risks is one of our most incredible opportunities in life, and it’s what gives a person the courage to see if they can push past the discomfort and enter a realm of great freedom and personal empowerment. Read more>>

Tim Grubbs | Community Advocate & Founder

I think all people everywhere tend to catastrophize and overestimate risks. This tendency has helped us survive physically and brought us to where we are, but it can also be very limiting. The better choice is to focus on opportunities and possibilities, while managing the risk in a concise way without ruminating on them. Read more>>

Carly Moon-Warnick | Professional Photographer, Traveler, and Hype Girl

It’s funny how perspective can change over the course of a lifetime. As a kid I was not a fan of getting in trouble or breaking rules. I grew up a shy, very insecure basketball-obsessed nerd in Kansas that enjoyed wasting film in my dad’s camera. Read more>>

Aja Villacres | Fine Art Photographer

I’ve always strived to live my life by the quote “life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all” by Helen Keller. I believe this quote goes hand in hand with the fact that you won’t get anywhere significant in life without taking big risks. I also believe taking risks is almost ALWAYS worth it. Read more>>

Alec Lincoln | Freelance Videographer and Photographer

I tend to live by the belief that without risk, you’ll never be able to achieve your fullest potential. We only have a short amount of time on Earth and it would be a shame to not see you attempt or become the man or woman you were put on Earth to become. How you take risks is the difference between failed and successful businesses. Read more>>

Kahuna Patterson | Music artist

The bigger the risk the more the reward sometimes u gotta take those big steps to see results! TAKE THEM YOLO Read more>>