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.

David Koontz | Filmmaker

Risk taking: how do you think about risk, what role has taking risks played in your life/career? Risk is unavoidable. The opposite of taking a risk is playing it safe which generally means not taking an action, but since you only control yourself and the rest of the world is continuing to change even doing nothing still means the circumstances around you will change over time. Every choice you make is a risk at some level because you’re always forgoing some other choice, the opportunity cost, so there’s not getting away from it. Read more>>

Tina Acedo | Certified Family Nurse Practitioner

How I think about risk is, without risk, there is no reward. All my life I have lived without apologies I know right from wrong, I have a good foundation and I’ve always been comfortable in my own skin. I grew up with a strong and loving mother and it made me who I am today. I’m blessed and grateful to be where I am and risk is something that we need in life to get through the hardest and the toughest times, it separates the strong from the weak. We take risks every day small or large and how we overcome each and every one brings some sort of reward. I opened my doors during Covid facing many obstacles but I am optimistic and have a positive attitude and I’m of the belief, if you build it they will come. I love what I do and it’s been my dream for over 20 years since I started in Dermatology. Taking risks does pay off. Read more>>

Rae Hoirup | Cosmetic Tattoo Artist

Risk is inevitable if your goal is to grow. Once you align yourself with and become comfortable with the uncomfortable, it’s easier to identify your limiting beliefs and be more willing to work through your fears and take that risk. Risk has played a huge role in my life this past year in particular. I try to be smart about taking risks, but this year has been a roller coaster. I had done everything by the book growing up. I got straight A’s in high school, joined clubs, and played sports. I paid my way through college and worked hard to graduate in 2 years. I never fully lived for myself or felt happy in my teen and young adult life. After graduating from college in 2019, I worked a stable 9-5 job and saved all my money. Read more>>

Chef Kal El | Pastry, Personal, & Private Chef

I feel risks are an important part of growth, especially with business. As a risk I relocated to Arizona for rebranding my business and myself. I usually take calculated risks, due to I had family and friends near; this move was more of just sporadic! Read more>>

Marra Avery-Drayton | Brand Designer & Photographer

I believe that with every risk that you take, there is a lesson to be learned. When taking a risk, you either fail or reach your goal. Although the chance of not reaching your goal will always be there, there is something relieving about the lesson learned that follows shortly after. So regardless of whether you win or lose, there is always something to gain from taking a risk. And more importantly, the possibility of what you could gain if you reach that goal is almost always worth it. Do the research, make an educated decision, and take that risk! You’ll thank yourself later! Read more>>

Kristen Hennke | Wedding Photographer

I’ve always looked at life and opportunity with an abundance mindset but I knew that didn’t come without risk. You know how they say theres plenty of room at the top? It’s absolutely true but that doesn’t mean the climb is without it’s struggles. Once you change your outlook on risk you start to see how they are essential to your growth. If they work out, thats great, but if they don’t you always learn a great lesson from them that ultimately just makes you more equipped in your field, no matter what it is. Read more>>

Steven and Ebony Anderson | Entrepreneurs

My husband and I are planners about everything lol. Being together for 16 years, we know each other pretty well. And the one thing that we always agree on is being careful with our resources. When Covid started to spread, specifically where we are native from (Detroit) it hit really hard and faster than anyone could ever anticipate. Within weeks from the mention of the pandemic, we found ourselves mourning family members sudden deaths, being isolated from everyone we loved, and being laid off from careers we held over 10 years. This sudden change in our lives, became the very training we needed to start looking at our personal and professional lives objectively. Read more>>

Lauren Edwards-Williams | Intellectual Property Consultant

I don’t believe reward can come without taking a risk. I’m a very optimistic person and my philosophy has always been try to have no regrets in life. When people would say to me “what if it doesn’t work out?” I’d reply “but what if it does?”. I took a risk and moved half way across the world in my early 20s (UK to USA). I took a risk leaving my steady income to open my own business. Taking a risk doesn’t always pay off – there has been learning curves and failures along the way in my life and career but the way I see it is: you become stagnant if you don’t take risk and becoming stagnant is, in some ways, worse than failure. Read more>>

Brittany Park | Hair Stylist

I came across this quote once that read, “Your current safe boundaries were once unknown frontiers.” Without risk, where do we find our reward? I’ve taken many risks in my life, one of the biggest would be jumping back into school after a 13 year hiatus. I had to leave the safe boundaries I had set of my (barely) comfortable paying job as a full-time bartender. Leave behind the life I had become comfortable, yet stagnant in. Get myself into debt which i had spent a decade plus staying away from. But this was the risk, the discomfort and the debt worth getting into. So I made a plan, went down to part-time work, found the school for me and in 2018 I started cosmetology school. Read more>>