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.

Sydney Alexis | Photographer, Social Media Manager & Graphic Designer

Risk has taken me to the best and worst places of my life, and without it, I would not be who I am today nor have the life I have now. Risk isn’t the tricky part in my opinion- Fear and doubt go hand-in-hand with the risk you are taking. It’s up to you to believe in yourself while taking those jumps and trust the process. We are our worst enemies and our biggest cheerleaders. I’ve had the cards stacked against me more than they were for me plenty of times. If it weren’t for my close circle and my perseverance, my fear of failure would have gotten in the way and who knows where that would have taken me. Throughout my process, I knew if I didn’t take action on certain opportunities I potentially would never reach my end goal. Read more>>

Sammy Maximin | Music Artist

I’ve always viewed risk as a choice. I could either choose the easy way or the way that challenges me, yet brings me the biggest reward. The reward isn’t always instant, in fact I don’t think i’ve fully seen the reward to the risks I took in my career. I’ve seen it in my personal life – I chose to get married to the love of my life. We were only 23 but it was a risk we saw worth it. The reward has been a beautiful baby boy, a handsome puppy, and a life filled with love. In my career – I left my hometown, I went against getting a comfy job after graduating college and pursued what was in my heart. Music was always the goal. It was always the thing that gave me purpose. Everyone knows it. And I knew to get where I wanted, I had to risk it all. I had to go all in. I had to create everyday and dedicate myself to improving my art. It took time. It took patience. Read more>>

Athena Solan | Artist

I think of risk, in the context of my work and life, as a way to gain perspective and develop myself. Taking risks over the years has brought me closer to my authentic self and more aligned with purpose. Anxiety is one of the most difficult burdens that I have carried the for the longest time. When you live with fear of losing just about anything, taking risks can either help you to develop courage or it can confirm your fears. In this state of ‘either’ ‘or’ I go through periods of time that I am so addicted to taking risks and making change that I have a hard time seeing how far I’ve come. The anxiety itself becomes the energy that sustains the change. My work is honestly a way to see that journey; a snapshot of those developments are layered through the work. In some areas of my life I have achieved more than I thought possible due to the risks I have taken. Read more>>

Diane Hope | Audio and Podcast Producer, Sound Recordist & Sound Designer

I’ve had three major career changes (so far!) so I’m not averse to risk. I plan for a change in circumstances as much as possible – but I’m always governed by where my heart lies. If your heart is not in a venture, I don’t see how you can ever be truly successful – and enjoy the ride. If you’re not enjoying the majority of what you’re doing … why bother? Following my instincts in this way has not necessarily financially lucrative, but its led to wonderful experiences – and I’ve always managed to pay the bills! My most recent career move (2006) saw me leaving an established career as an environmental research scientist & assistant professor at a big university – to enter the world of sound recording and audio production. It seemed like a ‘lemming leap’ at the time. Read more>>

Ebonni Davis | Custom Cake & Dessert Maker

What I think about risk is that it forces you to grow in areas that you were once uncomfortable in. I feel that taking a risk to be self employed played a tremendous role in my life when I walking away from my corporate job. Being a single mother of two boys and solely depending on my income from the company I worked for that was the scariest thing I have ever done. I knew that if I continued to live out someone else’s dream, mine was sure to die. Once I took the leap of faith to do Eb’s Delites full time, I felt the heaviest weight drop off of me. On my journey thus far it has truly had its ups and down but nothing beats living out my dreams and striving to reach my goals set. Read more>>

Timothy Lee | President & Founder

You have to look at Risk and Reward together as one. There is always risk in virtually everything you do in life and starting a new business is no different. You plan for success and you take a risk in order to achieve that success. When I started Special Ops Clean Team I knew there was a need for our service, so to me the risk verses reward was a very easy decision, but for some people their vision isn’t big enough to take that risk. If you can dream it you can achieve it. Read more>>

Heather Weller | Fine Artist & Painter

Taking risks has always been the heart of my career as an artist. It is my belief that artists (whether painters, writers, or musicians) should be a little afraid of their pursuits. Fear validates the importance of the craft and signifies the willingness of the artist to put everything on the line for improvement. I am always afraid to take risks but that does not stop me from making them because I know risk taking is potential growth. If we stay in our comfort zones forever, we can only define ourselves by those limitations. Yes, painting a landscape is comfortable, safe even, but where will that take me? What am I contributing to the genre of painting? I am interested in expanding my ideas and pushing my own boundaries as an artist. So, I start ambitious projects, use new materials, and look for subject matter that presents a challenge. Read more>>

Richard Allison | Creative Director

Taking risk in life and with my career is something that I have always been motivated to push myself to. Staying creative and not following trends. You can pull inspiration from everywhere, for me I find it in Architect art, cuisine, and even lyrics. At the end of the day if you don’t take a chance or a risk you simply are failing yourself and being just comfortable is something I’m not looking for. I want to continue to always learn within myself and see how it evolves. Read more>>

Ines Piquet | Portrait Photographer

I believe risk-taking is necessary in order to grow and set new standards for yourself. If you don’t step out of your comfort zone you will never know how much you can grow of how far you can go. I have taken many risks in my life, from moving Countries twice, to saying yes to opportunities that scared me at first, to trying something new like starting my own business or starting from scratch at the age of 50. When you don’t take risks you give into fear and when you give into fear you get stuck. You deny yourself of chances and new experiences. Risk-taking requires faith, requires courage, but it also requires a little common sense. What it is you are risking exactly? What do you really have to lose and it is worth the loss? But also be honest with yourself and think of all that fear has cost you up to this point in your life. Read more>>

Shelley Whiting | Painter

My work revolves around mental health and religious themes which some people are uncomfortable with. I had a show at the Burton Barr library. I was unsure how to approach my show statement. I said “ thework has some bipolar and religious elements.” My brother who is a community arts muralist based in Utah told me to write about that. I was like “Are you sure?” He said “The show is about yourself. Bring it all out.” Many local artists have complimented that I am not scared about letting it all out. I wouldn’t make art unless it was about my life and my complicated opinions about the issues in my life. My integrity is the most important. There are several times when I am doing a work about religion I wonder am I approaching the sacreligious? I am LDS.I usually think people who make sacrilegious art have a hateful vibe. Read more>>

Slator Blacc | Musician, Creative Director & Filmer

I believe it’s simple. There is no reward without the risk. It’s like trying to get on a skateboard and thinking you’re land a kick flip on your first try. It just doesn’t work like that. You’re gonna fall at least 100 times before you can even get two feet on the bolts. I’ve sacrificed so much just to be able to be in the position I’m in today and I’m still mashing. The grass is greener when you truly believe it is, not because someone said it was. I think that’s a journey you have to travel yourself to see and experience. Fear is merely a illusion in our existence. Read more>>

Crystal Wheeler | Candle Maker & Personal Trainer

There is no reward without risk. The catalyst to the most impactful decisions in my life has occurred due to me stepping outside of my comfort zone and doing something completely foreign to me. Whether it be starting my candle business out of scratch and learning a completely different skillset or bombing down a mountain teaching myself how to snowboard at the age of 32; a little bit of fear and risk helps you to grow and push through uncomfortable times. Read more>>

Zack Deus | Freelance Creative Director, Designer & Photographer

“No risk, no reward” as it goes. Had I never taken the risks that I did, I believe that I would be a completely different person on all levels. Risk management is important, but sometimes you need to trust your gut feeling and lean on some good advice from others. Read more>>

Angelique Jones | Social Media Content Creator

“I don’t think anyone is ever ready , but when someone makes you feel alive again it’s worth the risk” – Nikki Rowe Flash back to 2015 I have to admit one the biggest risks I took was becoming a mom at the young age of 19! After suddenly loosing my mother in 2012 I felt very lost without her. My mom was my rock and my everything. Soon after her passing I turned 18 and it all spiraled downhill from there. I felt like I was constantly running. From what you may ask? Healing/ coping with her passing. I just didn’t realize it at that time. You see my mother and I were best friends no one could ever come between our bond. Even though I was adopted at birth I only ever considered her my mother not by blood but by choice. Although others did not. Once I became pregnant with my son I was absolutely terrified. Read more>>

Michael Seward | Art Instructor & Life Coach

I’m all about taking risks, I’ve quit two different day jobs with little or no money, so I could go home & paint. One of those times, I liquidated everything I owned, in order to paint for a few months. The second time I did it, I survived for 8 months on donated, expired food from a church. I believe working a job I don’t like, affects the way I paint. Currently I am taking another big risk. I believe it will pay off soon. My whole life has been about taking risks. It’s not always worked in the way I intend it, but it’s always worked out somehow. I feel that every time I’ve made some type of sacrifice, I’ve grown from the experience in a powerful way. I could never see myself living life by playing it safe. Without my pain or sacrificing something, I would have nothing. Read more>>

Margaret Stillwell | Artist of Mixed Media Oil Paintings

I have always liked a challenge. My dad gets the credit for always encouraging me to try, and to not be afraid. He gave me the confidence that has carried me through a lifetime of ups and downs. I also had a fair amount of curiosity and drive to just see how far I could get with something. I would just start and keep going. I didn’t see it as a risk, per se, it was like seeing if you could reach the top of the mountain. Even if you didn’t, the view and experience expanded your life. Read more>>