In our experience, most folks, including ourselves don’t have enough of an understanding of risk and the role it plays in our lives and careers and so we have made a concerted effort as a team to have conversations about risk with our interviewees. We’ve shared some highlights below.

Greg Nickens | Business Owner

I live by the principal of making a decision and making a decision right. The only risk is not taking action. Read more>>

Nick Shekerjian | Architect

When I think of risk taking, I think in more specific terms that are obvious interpretations of architecture; the relationship of “ars” (the generation of hypotheses) and “techne” (to test). I think because of this, I look for the right questions as much as I do answers. I think this has lead to work, in large part due to upbringing, that are both skeptical and loving of things aesthetically “stringently-functional” and also deprived of a designer’s hand, a bit empty and absent. There’s the other aspect of risk taking, which is engaging in these things in different contexts, through social opportunities, or new processes which excite you for reasons unknown. You know when you get an itch on a part of you you can’t see, and you scratch it even though you’re unsure if it’s misplaced hair or an infection? Read more>>

Dawn Hopkins | Founder & President of Inspiritus Yoga Wholistic Wellness & Training

My entire journey as an entrepreneur has been about taking risks. I left my marketing career in 2001 to become an entrepreneur and opened a women’s fitness franchise with a former co-worker and friend. This was a risk that worked out very well and led me further down the path of health and wellness. It was during that time that I discovered my passion for yoga and mindful eating, and became a yoga teacher and mindful eating facilitator and coach. My partner and I made the tough decision to close our gym in 2009 after the market crashed and we were unable to sell it, Rather than playing it safe and going back to corporate marketing, I decided to pursue yoga and wellness full time. I stepped out in faith, and founded The Living Well Retreats where I facilitated yoga and wellness classes, workshops, and retreats and trained yoga instructors. Read more>>

Danielle Wood | Visual Artist

Being in the arts I think there is an element of risk because many of us grow up hearing to have a career in the arts is risky financially. So, in choosing to be an artist there is an element of risk. I think the career of being an artist is becoming much more practical, there are many more avenues an individual can pursue in being in the arts field. So, there has to be an element of faith in one’s self and the belief in one’s passion for the arts, and their commitment to their craft and role as an artist. I think an artist also has to be comfortable with taking risks in one’s work too. I had this discussion with a friend once in grad school and they would say you have to make a lot of undesirable work to eventually make appealing work. Read more>>

Kim Johnson Nechtman | International award winning artist, and instructor

Producing art is a risky business. I take a risk every time I paint, by exposing my inner self, or when I teach, and when I exhibit my art to the public. Doing a demo/ teaching in front of a group of people can be extremely risky! The question is “what if my painting doesn’t turn out?” In watercolor it’s important to understand it will take a long time and many risks to be good at the medium, therefore, there will be many failures and this is what makes a successful painting so very rewarding. Painting takes persistence, tenacity, and a whole lot of risks! Read more>>

Jane Barton | Artist and Educator

I think the word “fear” goes along with the idea of risk, and I think that in my career taking a leap-from graphic design to painting, for instance-has been an integral part of my career journey. I think that change is a good thing and if you don’t take chances you won’t grow and just as scary to me, you won’t enjoy your work for very long. One way to mitigate risk, of course, is to find good teachers and do the work. My heart has pounded in my chest more times than I can count: at client meetings, art shows, in front of students. But when I know I’ve prepared well and take the plunge it’s always been rewarding. Read more>>