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.

Ivan Montoya | Painter & Muralist

I’m going to sound cliché when I say this but to live is to take risk! To challenge oneself by fully embracing risk can result in new experiences, new lessons, and new outlooks. Risk is what enabled me to pursue art full time. If it wasn’t for my father taking risk head on, he wouldn’t have been able to bring my family and I to the United States, where the opportunities for artists are more accessible. If it wasn’t for my Mother leaving everything she knew to raise and support my sister and I in all our endeavors, I may not have seen art as an actual pursuit. For those risks taken, I too embrace risk and all it entails. I’ve learned through example, we can have a direct impact in our path of life by not living in fear of change and choosing to risk the convenience of the known, for the possibilities of the unknown. Often times, comfort can result in complacency and that’s definitely not something I want in my own life. We (humans) are not here for a long time, and I’d like to take on life and squeeze the juice out of it while I’m here! To take on an art career in itself is a big risk, but it’s one that encourages self-reliance, curiosity, and growth. Read more>>

Bridgette McDonald | Owner Roka Boutique

I love Risk it definitely keeps me on my toes. Risk is Frightening and exciting all at the same time! If you never risk anything you never achieve anything. You have to be bold enough to fight many odds and you have to be fearless in the drive to not fail. You must be able to overcome and handle any downfall or hurdle that comes your way. My motto when I started Roka always was and always will be if I fail at anything I will stand right back up and do it better the next time. Plus I never like to be told I can’t do something and definitely don’t like to be told no, haha. I don’t even mind having people not believe in me because it just drives me more! I’m thankful for risk and thankful my husband fully trusts my abilities with risk. Roka has given me my fair share of risk and I know more to come but our team and myself are always ready for it. Read more>>

Amber Fessette | Aesthetic Nurse Injector & Health Influencer

I think risks are necessary when pursuing the life of your dreams. You want to take calculated risks, weighing the benefits and the costs. Following your intuition to help guide you on which risks to take. Overcoming the fear of taking a risk is the first step towards a goal. Ultimately, risk taking can lead to exponential growth and development. Taking risks has played a central role in my life and career. It was a risk to leave my small northern town and move across the country when I was 18 years old. I had bigger dreams for myself and I knew that those dreams could not be accomplished if I stayed where I lived. It was a risk to pursue my passion for helping others and go into nursing. At the time I had just finished a bachelors degree in political science. Pursuing a second bachelors degree, with the ultimate goal to obtain a graduate degree and become a Nurse practitioner would have sounded daunting to many. I was just happy to have found a profession I truly love. Read more>>

Lisa McMann | New York Times Bestselling Author

Risk is huge in the writing business. For fiction, you must have a fully written manuscript to get started in this business, and for most authors, your first one doesn’t sell. So you have to have the passion and be willing to risk things going nowhere. For me, it was my third full manuscript that launched my career. My husband, kids, and I moved to a smaller house, got rid of a vehicle, and I gave up my day job–another risk, which I don’t recommend unless you have enough household income to go long term. And even though I have a career in fiction writing now, that doesn’t mean I will still have one in five years. So there is never a time where you can really sit back and relax. But I love what I do. Read more>>

Yeshua Flores | Photographer and Videographer

Risk taking is something you’re going to have to do to get anywhere in life I feel. Worst case they just tell you no, but you’ll never know unless you ask. It’s how I’ve landed 90% of my gigs. Read more>>

Tristyn Bustamante | Ceramic Artist

I deal a lot with risk in life and with my artwork. Sometimes it leads to success, other times it leads to loss or failure. No matter what though, I always learn from those moments if I’m honest with myself, which is not always easy. Risk often involves a change or shift of some kind. There’s usually at least some discomfort with it, which I believe can be an indicator of the potential for progress. I’ve been lucky to have had somewhat of broad range of experiences and opportunities that involved risk. Personally I feel that taking risks whether small or large, is not only exciting but important for inner growth and resilience. However, too much can lead to experiences unnecessarily difficult to recover from, though none-the-less a learning opportunity. Life and making art have definitely taught me that there are better and worse times for risk, and we can’t always predict the latter, but we can learn how to proceed with informed courage. I think it’s also important to find a balance between trusting your instincts and listening to the people who know you well and/ or seasoned professionals. Read more>>

Matt Beaty | Darkroom Printer, Gallery Owner.

Risk is the most essential part of entrepreneurship. It’s essential to understand, to accept, to manage. A business owner’s relationship with risk is one that’s always changing, but one that’s always there. I’d say my affinity for relatively high-risk undertakings is the main reason I’m able to make a career and life out of a creative profession. There is no certainty in creativity; instead there’s a whole lot of ups and downs, feasts and famines. Being able to not just accept that, but enjoy the process with a long-term vision for the business and myself personally, is what makes it all come together. From the day I bought the business to today, each year I have actively sought out one major risk to take. One that makes sense for the business, one that if it worked, would help us diversify, grow and learn new skills and offer new services. My first year, at the behest of a client, I built out a facility that would allow me to make some of the largest commercially available platinum/palladium prints in the world. Read more>>

Andrew | Clothing and Graphic Designer

Risk taking? Life’s a risk carnal! I’ve never been one to shy away from something on account of risk. There is a little bit of uncertainty in everything that you do. If you let uncertainty stifle your growth then you won’t grow for very long. Read more>>

Jodi Stokes | Concierge Fitness Professional

Taking risks, and they work out can lead to new capabilities you never saw before. If they don’t work out as imagined, lessons in growth and opportunity are inevitable. Either way, in the optimistic mind, its win/win. I speak from experience. In 2015, I opened a women’s preferred gym facility. Sole proprietor, investor, owner and CEO. Not only was the 2900 sq. ft. state-of-the-art full-service gym facility a niche’, but it was well received in the community for empowering and supporting women of all ages. I poured my heart, soul and recourses into the space, members and employees. However, after 4 short years, as the rent, upgrades in the property and bank interest rates continued to rise, I just could no longer keep it afloat. It broke my bank, my heart but not my soul. I knew that I had done well in the world for having a safe environment for women to workout. Build healthy relationships and pay employees. It was a dream of mine. I accomplished amazing things and am forever grateful for the experience. Read more>>