Legend holds that Cornelius Vanderbilt had built a massive fortune in the steamboat shipping industry, but then realized the railroads were the way of the future and invested almost his entire net worth into railroads. The gamble paid off and made Vanderbilt one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs ever. But risks are inherently…risky. How do you think about risk and how has it affected your life and career? Some of our community favorites share their perspective below.

Olivia Hale | Travel Nurse, Outdoor Photographer, & Digital Creator of @hale.on.a.trail

To put it simply, the life I’m living now would be impossible without risk. After college and getting married, my husband Colton and I tried settling into what we thought would be the new normal of our adulthood. Truth be told, I chose nursing as my major and profession because I didn’t know what else to do. We moved into my late grandparent’s home on our family farm in Ohio because it’s all I’d ever known. It was only about a year into that life that I started to feel a craving for something more. Read more>>

Lauren Klinge | Photographer

Risks are absolutely terrifying, but when they work out…that feeling of excitement and success is so worth it. I don’t think I would be where I am today if I didn’t take risks constantly. It has given me some of my greatest opportunities! Read more>>

Ary Hernandez | Photographer

Risk is truly what births an entrepreneur. Consequently, there is no room to allow yourself to fail when making a risky decision or business venture & that’s the magic of it. But it is really not a ‘risk’ when you know that only entails a lot of hard work & more importantly to believe in yourself. Failure is inevitable — why choose to be fearful of it? I’d say risk is just a matter of embracing it. Risk is not about luck, its calculated and intentional decision-making. Read more>>

Duerk Brewer | Chief Operating Officer, Matthews Real Estate Investment Services

My feelings about risk and overall risk tolerance have changed throughout my life as I gain experiences, particularly failures. You might think that taking risks and experiencing failure might make you risk-averse, but it has done the opposite for me. I have never been one to take chances without upside, but as I have leaped into the unknown in my career, personal life, and investments, the outcome has not always been what I hoped for. Going through those situations, I’ve learned resiliency. I can recover and take away valuable lessons that put me in a better position for the future. Read more>>

Frank Bunevich | Licensed Massage Therapist

How do I think about risk? I think that risk is something that has a positive and negative side to it and interestingly risk and reward both start with “r”. In my philosophy of risk, the positive side of risk is of course gain, opportunity, living, taking a chance (especially on yourself). “If not now, when?” Risk on the negative side, definitively is the chance or hazard of loss. There is a degree of fear and apprehension to this action especially because there is no guarantee or security that you will achieve what you set out to accomplish. Read more>>

Steve Busch | Photographer

I feel that risk taking is an important part of growth and progress. Even if it is a calculated risk or low risk, I have never been able to move forward in life without some kind of risk. In 2016 when I decided to leave the corporate world and become a digital nomad, it was one of the largest risks I have ever taken. I had to learn a new way of working, a new way of living, it was very large risk. Read more>>

Karlie Place | Adventure Content Creator

The ability to change your life often hangs on the willingness to take risks. Any small-business owner can tell you that taking risks is a fundamental part of the job. There are levels to it. I’m going to break down the risks I took to get where I am now, running a profitable content business, keeping up with an engaged audience of over 3 million monthly viewers, and ultimately working on creative projects I’m passionate about under my own terms. Read more>>

Dilia Diaz | Makeup Artist

One of my life motto’s is “Nothing Ever worth having; is Easy” and I think risk is tool of success as an entrepreneur/ business owner. It allows you to get more opportunities and learn from your mistakes. It’s played a huge roll in my career, I moved across the country, alone in order purse my Makeup Career & I’m already seeing the rewards ! Read more>>

Kyndal Cheatham | Abstract Artist | Jewler

Anytime you start a business you’re taking a risk. One doesn’t grow without getting uncomfortable. By taking a risk and maneuvering around unfamiliar territory, you are rewarded. Read more>>

Arjaysoul | The artist your going to want know!

Risk taking is probably what has defined me as a artist up to this point. I learned the world doesn’t reward people who doesn’t take risk. It’s played a major role in my career so far cause it’s allowed me to learn more about myself as well as allowing me to put matters in my own hand. (Betting on myself). Read more>>

Skyler Thurber | Model & Singer/Songwriter

Taking risks can either make or break you. A main motto of mine is that you can’t knock it till you try it, and risk taking is absolutely essential to this! Although it may be scary and invoke change or challenge, it is the only thing that can put you on the path to success. My name is Skyler Thurber, otherwise known as S.K.Y, and I am not your ordinary woman. Risk taking has played a crucial role in not only my career as a model and a singer, but my entire life thus far. At the age of 15 I was a total tomboy, going through one of the worst fazes of my life and in the midst of being horribly bullied. Read more>>

Alejandra Platt-Torres | Photographer

I love to take risks on my photography career, is like a challenge to myself and the rest of the world. The risks for me is always trying to photograph the real Natural and Human World and I find out that the human world does not like to know the true about what is happening. I am always in trouble, whatever I say or whatever I photograph. In the social life to know the true is to risks everything you bilieve! Read more>>

Elizabeth Perry | Photographer

Taking risks has been a constant theme in my life. I have hiked 15,000 miles, biked across the US, spent hundreds of nights alone in the Grand Canyon off trail in remote areas and in various other backcountry settings throughout the US and beyond. I value adventure, risk and challenge and I seek it out whenever possible. As for my professional life, when I first started my own photography business I was able to call upon the lessons that I had learned during my outdoor adventures and apply them to my business by managing risk, embracing the unknown and not letting anything get in the way of what I believe was my right path. Read more>>

Mary Reed-Bryan | Mary Entrepurner

I feel as though risks are an necessity. A risk can come with a success or it can come with a lesson. Life is all about taking risk. Isn’t it? when we drive a car on a highway everyday. what are the odds? We can risk a crash right? But it is a rare possibility yet a daily risk built on blind faith not knowing the next move of others just the move of ourself I call that fate. And I feel we although we need to have that same risk of fate in our life and goals. Read more>>

Sarah Lee | Founder, Waypoint Vets

Risk is an exceptionally important part of life. It’s consistent and reliable, as it always yields either a reward or lesson. I don’t believe its purpose is to intimidate, but rather to serve as a powerful tool in gaining perspective and toward personal growth. I joined the Army National Guard at age 17, right out of high school. The Army’s Basic Combat Training is tailored toward doing dangerous things carefully and with precision. My drill sergeants introduced us to skill sets and mindsets that set the tone for how we view and manage risk. Military training pushes your mind and body to places that make you not only redefine your own perceived limitations, but question whether or not they ever existed. Read more>>

Mor Assouline | B2B SaaS Sales Trainer and Coach

I’ve studied about successful people in business, sports, music, etc and the one common denominator that kept surfacing was they all took risk. There are two types of risk. 1. Not Calculated: This is more like gambling. Typical behaviors of this are: Not hedging your bets, putting all your eggs in one basket, not coming up with a contingency plan, and not having backup plans. Read more>>

Justine Curran | Paper Weaver & Collage Artists

Have you ever had a project that just wasn’t turning out the way you saw it in your mind? You just want to tear it up and start over? Well, that is how I discovered my love for paper weaving. My evolution into woven painted paper and collage allowed me to mix my love of color, texture and fearless ability to chop up my work to make something new. This art form has allowed me to challenge the boundaries of art making knowing that something beautiful will always come from taking risks. Read more>>

Tiffany Shedd | Attorney, Small Business Owner, Farmer, Lifelong Arizonan, & Candidate for Attorney General

My whole career has been about risk. As I often say, nothing risked, nothing gained. I’ve started several business and run a multi-million dollar farm. There’s no more high-risk business than farming. When you’re risking your own finances and lifestyle to run a business controlled by factors outside of your control (i.e. Mother Nature), you have to think out of the box and be solution oriented. There is no manual. Over time, you gain confidence in your ability to come up with solutions. So far, I’ve been a pretty successful risk taker. Read more>>

Dylan Washkowiak | Music Artist & Marketing Specialist

Taking risks is something I had to learn to do actually. I was real passive growing up. It started in High School when I was moved from tight-end to the offensive line. I was hesitant being 5’11” 190 but it ended up paying off. I won All County & All Conference O-Line my last 2 years of High School. Being an offensive guard ended up being my favorite position in the game. Read more>>