Risk is the most common topic that comes up in our conversations with entrepreneurs and so each week we ask entrepreneurs to talk to us on the record about how they think about risk.

Judy Pearson | Published Author

There is nothing more frightening than writing something and sending it off to an editor, agent or publisher in hopes it will make it into print. You gave birth to it. You nurtured it. And now the world will have a chance to tear it apart. But without taking that risk, none of the world’s wonderful books would have ever been written. Each one has a place in someone’s heart. And if you’re lucky, your book might find a place in many hearts. When facing risk, I’ve always asked myself: What’s the worst that could happen? Could I be harmed? Could I harm someone else. So often it isn’t failure we fear, but how we think we’ll FEEL when we fail. It’s usually not nearly as bad as we think it will be. And often it’s not failure; rather the universe is telling us this just isn’t the time. In truth, risk can be exhilarating! Read more>>

Jamie Lyon | Fashion Designer

Risk-taking is essential for both personal and professional growth. I am a firm believer in stepping outside of your comfort zone and embracing change, challenges and never losing faith. I took a risk after graduating from fashion school by moving to New York without a job and living with roommates I had met through Craiglist. I knew I needed to move there in order to have opportunities in the fashion industry, so I took the leap! The two years I spent in NY was inspiring, rewarding, challenging, and overall transformational. I was able to start out working retail, then work my way up to being an intern, then getting hired on as a technical designer for a fashion company in Brooklyn. Read more>>

Blanca Mondragon | Floral Designer

The one who doesn’t take a risk doesn’t win. My thought behind every risks is, what’s the worse that can happen. It’s not always easy and no one said it would be, but it’s worth taking the chance. Many times we fear fear, but to me fear is like a trampoline that pushes us to do our best. It launches us to give it our all and even though we may come back down, we can be launched back up, with new ideas to improve from the last time. Thanks to the risks that I took 13 years ago, I can be here today, standing tall and with more vision than ever for my business. Read more>>

Kristine Godinez | Licensed Professional Counselor

I’ve always been a square peg and I don’t fit in round holes, so I’ve always bucked convention my entire life. I love adventure and that is how I think of “risks” they are just adventures to be experienced and savored. That goes in my professional life and in my personal life as well. Read more>>

Britta Moberg | Owner

Learning to take risks has been a challenge for me in my adult life. I didn’t grow up with a traditional family that I could fall back on for support if I failed, so I always took the extra cautious route. But several years in a job – and in a career field – that I had no passion for was the catalyst that drove me to take a risk. It was really difficult for me to give up a steady paycheck and health insurance in exchange for working crazy hours as a small business owner, but it was 100% the right decision. I have made a million mistakes and failed multiple times, but overall it’s been a success and the most exciting time of my life. While I still instinctually cringe at the thought of taking risk, now that I know what I can achieve – and the high that comes along with it – I have more confidence than ever before. Read more>>

Christian Chambliss | Speaker, Leader & Content Creator

Risk is an inevitable part of accomplishing a dream…. When starting something from the ground up there are a lot of unknowns. From the very beginning you have to come to terms with the fact that what you are doing might fail.. and be okay with it. The road to victory is paved with failure. At the end of the day, I’d rather lay my head down in bed knowing that I took a risk and failed, rather than letting fear keep me from moving. I am also a Christian, so risk is in the DNA of my belief system. In the Christian world however, risk goes by a different name – faith. The whole premise of faith is the idea of, I may not see the end result, but I’m going to move forward and trust I’ll be okay whatever the outcome. So when I look at risk assessment, the same rules apply… I’m going to jump.. if I fail that’s okay, but I know I will eventually win. Risk is an inevitable part of accomplishing a dream. Read more>>

Kaitlyn Conley | Phoenix Suns Dancers Coach, Dance Choreographer & Instructor

Taking risks are sometimes necessary to expand your resume. It can be scary, but also fun and exciting! I’ve taken alot of risks in my dance career that have given me opportunities I never thought I would have. I’ve never been afraid to jump into an unfamiliar area just because I have never done it before. I use my knowledge and experience to help me in these cases. Read more>>

Michael Zimmerlich | President

My business is all about risk. Sometimes our efforts go well and sometimes they don’t. In the music business only 10-20% of releases are considered successful. So it comes down to the question of how do you mitigate that?. My mother has always taught me of asking this one simple question, “what’s the worst that can happen?”. Because most of the time, whatever the consequences might be, are usually not bad. And the rewards are far greater. Read more>>

Shanntel Hobbensiefken | Baker

Having the courage to take risks is the only way you can achieve your goals. We took many risks leaving our home in California to pursue a new life here in Arizona. With 3 young kids it was a big decision for us to not only move, but to change careers. Our goal was to open a business together and turn it into a place that was a part of this community. In July, Cinnaholic Gilbert celebrated our one year anniversary. We can proudly look back on many fond memories with customers in the shop and at local events. Taking risks may not be for everyone, but it is what gave us the opportunity to achieve our goals. Read more>>

Julie Euber | President

When we talk about risk, it’s rarely a decision between no risk and 100% risk. Instead, there’s a gradient, and we often are left to consider where a particular action lands on the scale. To complicate things further, “no risk” is not always the best course of action. In fact, I’d argue it’s rarely what gets things done and brings positive change to organizations and broader communities. I believe I am at my best as a leader when I enable others to be comfortable taking risks. Being comfortable with risks allows you to engage with more stretch projects and dare to do things that seemed a little too out of reach otherwise. It allows for growth and a greater feeling of ownership. Read more>>

Lisa Fischer | Licensed and Board Certified Clinical Psychologist

I often tell my patients that change cannot happen without taking a risk. Research in psychology has found that there is an optimal level of discomfort when taking a risk without being overwhelmed or underwhelmed. We need to be slightly uncomfortable when trying new things or new behaviors. It is learning how to be comfortable with discomfort that we can grow and move forward. I have taken few risks in my life and career, and have initially felt the discomfort that came with the territory. I have not regretted the risks I have made because I have benefited from them. The risks I have made in my career range from small ones to large ones such as making the change from working at a behavioral health agency to my own private practice. Read more>>

Justin Haines | Life Coach

I believe the biggest risk is not reaching within to develop ones deepest gifts and bring them to the world. We all have genius locked up inside of us, and to not explore that robs the world of our fullest expression, the regret of this seems to me the biggest risk of a life not fulfilled. Read more>>

Terri Weisz

I have always been a risk taker. I believe that’s what sets me apart from others. I’m the one that colors outside the lines. 31 years ago I was the sole parent of a one year old and a three year old. Scottsdale was still the west’s most western town. there were two kitchen stores in my area. I had been in catering before and I loved to entertain but could not find the products I Liked and with 2 small children I needed a job that I could also be able to attend all their school programs and sports and dance and the list goes on….so I Took the jump and opened two plates full having never been a retailer I wined a lot of it…. Took a lot of risks throughout the years….I started out as a kitchen store but of course as all the big name stores… crate and barrel etc .started moving in I knew I had to take the risk and change my whole store up. from kitchen to what I call functional art, gifts and accessories… Read more>>

Kyra Sacdalan & Justin W. Coffey | Multi-Media Content Creators

Our entire business is based around taking risk. We ride motorcycles, chase off-road races, travel to 3rd world countries for the sake of creating content. And that’s just the physical aspect of the job. Being an entrepreneur comes with endless obstacles, all of which rely on your skills, experience and intuition to overcome (as unscathed as possible). But without risk, there isn’t really reward, and so no matter how challenging or terrifying those were that we’ve taken, most of the time, our efforts and wagers paid off. In hindsight, this might be a pretty generic statement, but it can be applied to so many things! Read more>>