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.

Msanii | Artist & Songwriter

I know its cliché, but without risk there truly isn’t a reward. I’ve learned that you have to embrace being uncomfortable and step out of your shell to open the door to a world of opportunities. Often times, taking risk has taught me not to fear the outcome but appreciate the experience, that’s where the true lesson is. Read more>>

Jay Roeder | Hand Lettering Illustrator, Author & Creative Director

Taking risk and stepping outside of your comfort zone can unlock some of life’s greatest achievements. They can also teach us a lot—in both failure and success. One risk I took early on in my career was making the decision to resign from my position at a marketing agency to pursue my passion of hand lettering illustration while also working with marketing agencies on a freelance basis. I felt stagnant and uninspired, so I decided to jump. I saved up six months of living expenses, and took a risk. I’ve been on my own ever since, freelancing with agencies and building my hand lettering brand and have not looked back at my comfortable and uninspired past life. Read more>>

John Hughes | Bullworker Fitness: Research and Development

I believe you need to chase your passion and chase opportunities. On the business front, I have taken risks that panned out and some that did not. A growing business is exciting, but there are plenty of battles along the way. Who to hire, how to market, how to create budgets, how to make smart financial decisions and many other facets that make the entrepreneurial journey thrilling. I did not always make the best decisions and sometimes those financial consequences were significant. Although, I learned valuable lessons that have helped me throughout my personal and professional life. Read more>>

John Carpino | Singer/songwriter

Well, performing live music was always my “second job” – 2 or 3 nights a week. I knew becoming a full time performing musician would be a risk. I feel blessed to have found a wonderful outdoor venue in Northern Arizona which has live music 7 nights a week (plus lunches). I have performed all over Arizona and beyond – primarily as a solo/acoustic act – and this venue is most definitely my favorite. I meet people from all over the world, courtesy of the Grand Canyon, and I am proud to say that I have sold CD’s to six continents and 40+ countries! I’ve learned to say “Thank you” and “Welcome” in 10 or 11 languages. Read more>>

John Bonner Jr | Gnarwhal Jrz Vocalist & Guitarist

You gotta risk it, for the biscuit. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” YOLO No one ever got to where they wanted to be without taking risks. At least not the people that you may admire in your profession. They had to take the risks and put themselves out there to achieve their goals. When you put yourself in an uncomfortable situation, there is where you can find who you really are. Read more>>

Paul Angerami | Family Man, Business Owner, Developer

I think everyone takes risks everyday. It is the level of ones risk at what reward level they want. If all your risk everyday is getting up and driving to work then how are you going to better yourself. People need to do somethings get them uncomfortable. Not physical but get out of your comfort zone in life. I measure my risks in business and take them very all the time. Once you have confidence in yourself and you do your homework risk of a large loss in minimal. I have failed many times but I have succeeded many more times. If you don’t risk in business, life, and love you are just going thought the motions of surviving not LIVING. Read more>>

Will Brunner | Co-founder Devereux Golf

Risk for any entrepreneur is a necessary action you must accept. There is always the fear of the unknown. Taking a risk while recognizing the possible consequences helps tremendously when those fears become a reality. I received a plaque after graduating from college that says, “what would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail.” This saying has always pushed me to pursue my goals whether in business or life in general. Read more>>