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.

Risa Kostis | Wardrobe Stylist & Entrepreneur

Becoming an entrepreneur has been all about risk for me. From the moment I decided to leave college to pursue a career in hair, makeup and fashion, I knew I would be taking a gamble by choosing a non-traditional path. My belief is that without risk, there’s no chance to push yourself beyond whatever limitations you may believe are there, thus no opportunity to see if there could ultimately be a great reward. I took a risk by leaving college, moving out of Maine to Boston, moving across the country to San Francisco, then back again when I moved to New York City for a job I had no formal experience in. This all happened at a time when leaving a four-year school was very taboo, so I took a big leap toward the unknown. The beautiful thing, however, about making risky moves and spontaneous decisions is that you end realizing that business is all about those types of decisions no matter what. Read more>>

Brock Barnhart | President & Chief Executive Officer

Risk on the surface sounds extremely scary, uncertain and not secure, but there is something about the word that also lures you in and makes you think adventure and thrill. My whole life, I have taken risks. I have tried hard not to think of those extremely scary things about it, instead, I look for the end result and reward after taking it. It all started for me growing up in Montana. I made a decision, against my late father’s advice, to move away from a place that has great people, beauty and comfort to pursue my dreams playing baseball. Taking that risk, although difficult to leave family and friends behind, I still to this day, feeling that I betrayed my father. The risk thank goodness has paid its dividends. Not all risks I have taken have paid off but they have been valuable to me in a different sense. They have taught me life lessons. Read more>>

Jillian Ringwood | Business Owner & Licensed Esthetician

Taking risks is how we grow both professionally and independently. If it was t for taking risks I wouldn’t be where I am At today. I have always known that I wanted to open my Own business one day I just didn’t know what that road looked like. Once I took the risk to move to AZ form NY I knew I was going to go to aesthetic school. It was here that I said I’m giving myself 3 years to build my clientele and I did exactly that. Once my clientele was built I took the risk and went out on my own and 4 years later I’m Making a big move again and expanding. If it wasn’t for these risks I would still Be stuck working for someone else not building the life that I always dreamed of. Read more>>

Linga TheBoss | Artist, Speaker & Influencer

To me, risks are the first step towards success! Risks are the currency of accomplishment– I have seen evidence in my life time after time that the greatest adventures and the greatest dreams are only realized on the other side of a risk! I’m no longer afraid of stepping out– I know when I step out there is a chance I may fail, but there’s also a chance that I’ll accomplish everything I set out to do! I’m actually more afraid to have lived a comfortable life where I never invested anything costly to see my dreams come to life. I would rather risk everything and fail knowing I at least tried, than go my entire life never trying, and never seeing what could have been. Becoming a christian female rapper in a world where most rappers are men and very few christian rappers have a mainstream influence– especially female christian rappers– was a huge risk for me to take! Read more>>

Maggie Norris | Owner & Chef Instructor

I love this question because I have never been afraid of taking risks. I make decisions quickly with very little information and go from there. I believe that if you stay in your comfort zone you don’t give yourself the opportunity to see what you are truly capable of. I think fear of failure keeps people from taking risks. The chance of failing has never scared me. This is absolutely not because I think I can’t fail. It is because I am more afraid of the regret of not trying than I am of actually failing. Every step that has gotten me to where I am has been some sort of risk. From enrolling in culinary school within weeks of my first cooking class to leaving a six figure salary to take on Whisked Away full time. If it had not worked out, I could never say I didn’t try. Read more>>

Josie Hernandez | Hairstylist

I believe in taking risks to achieve your dream goals, without taking them you will always stay in one place. We took a huge risk without knowing when we started Moonflower Hair Co. We had just opened up our salon doors in the first week of March 2020, uncertain of what was ahead of us. Covid had a huge impact in our business, in result we were forced to shut our doors the third week of March for 2 months. It has been challenging to navigate through this pandemic, with that being said it has been quite an experience to open up a business when the world felt as if it was falling apart. We’re so thankful for the community for their continuous support. Read more>>

Denise Nelson | Photographer

I associate risk with fear. A lot of people allow fear to stop them, to control them, to dictate whether they “can’ or “can’t” do something. Fear is simply a feeling, a thought. We are not our thoughts. That fear is there to protect you from the possibility of failing or getting hurt. I say “thank you fear, for trying to protect me…but I’m going to go for it.” I chase the fear. I was terrified when I had to make the decision to take photography full time. I went out and got multiple job interviews. Before going to one, I was sitting at my desk and thinking about WHY I got these interviews…it was out of fear. I didn’t believe that I could do it, that God would provide or be faithful. So. I cancelled all the interviews and decided to go for it. I would rather fail at this and know I gave it my all then to never try. I think taking risks is crucial. Playing it safe doesn’t cause growth. You will never know what you’re made of if you’re always playing it safe. Read more>>

Stephanie Nault | Makeup Artist

With taking risks you need to be all in, taking the leap of faith and wholeheartedly making a decision. Risk can reap reward if you are willing to go for what sets your soul in motion. Set your sights on what you want and GO FOR IT! There will so many reasons not to take the risk, but you have to dig deep and find out how much you want it. Risk has played a large role in my life and career. Making the decision to move on from a job that may have been stable, but did not fuel my passion for makeup was a risk but has paid off. Making further decisions in my business to invest into aspects of creating structure and marketing was a gamble. I feel all business shifts in 2020 have been risky but with the dedication to your craft and believing you are capable it can quickly become a reward. Read more>>

Christina Goldsmith | Small Business Owner

I firmly believe you have to take risks if you want a bigger reward. That’s not to say you have to risk it all, but even small risks can reap big rewards if you’re strategic. Risk taking has played a huge role in my life/career because it has taught me how to pivot if things don’t go exactly as planned (and let’s be honest, how often do things really go as planned?!). It has taught me how to be strategic in decisions (i.e. weighing whether or not the risk is worth the potential reward), and it has taught me that falling is OK as long as I learn from my mistakes, get back up and come back stronger and more determined. Read more>>

Carlos Vazquez | Tattoo Artist

I choose to think of risk as an opportunity to learn, grow, and experience life. I think about the options that I have and if I am willing to live with the consequences, whether that be negative or positive. I believe that the risks I took with less thought put me in the best possible positions in my life/career. When I was 15 and decided to spend my entire savings on a sketchy website to buy a tattoo kit, that was pretty risky. I could have lost all my money, or the day that the tattoo kit arrived and I ditched school to tattoo my friends. I could have seriously hurt someone or gotten in trouble with the law but I took the risk and the outcome years later has now grown to become a career. Read more>>