There is a wealth of academic research that suggests that differences in risk appetite are at the heart of differences in career and business trajectories. We wanted to go beyond the theory and ask real people from the community about their perspectives and experiences with risk and risk taking.

Kelly Stark | Forward Vision Marketing: Love Technology and Helping Companies Communicate their Innovations

What I love about marketing is that we can take risks and easily change course if the results aren’t what we expected. I am a risk-taker by nature, and I easily get excited about offering the latest marketing technology or going after new markets. My business partner balances me out. She asks the right questions to evaluate an initiative’s risk against its potential reward. My motto is to be brave and go for the risks, but be humble and admit when I make mistakes or need help. Read more>>

Patrick Cone | Filmmaker

People who know me well might laugh at my decision to answer this particular question. If you know about the Enneagram, I am a six, which generally means “risk averse”, among other cautious attributes. In my personal life, I am very cautious and suffer from anxiety. However, when I am in the field shooting, I generally tend to be fearless. “Doing anything for the shot” is cliché, but seems to be my guiding principle when shooting vérité documentary content. A mental health professional told me that when an anxious mind has a task to fixate on, the general anxiety tends to slip away. This would explain the high I get from shooting in the field – whether roaming freely in heavily gang controlled barrios in El Salvador. Read more>>

ShirJuanda “Bounce” Woodson | Professional Dancer/ Artist

When it comes to my company and my brand I have learned it all has come from risk taking. I can definitely say I am a risk taker. My whole life is about going the extra mile to make my dreams reality, and knowing that life and time doesn’t wait on anyone, so why wait on it. I laugh when I say it, but I am so serious when I say that I have lived in a new place every year since I graduated High School in 2011, and they all have been risk taking moves. From Dallas, to Oklahoma, New York, California, Nevada, and even eleven months on a ship with Royal Caribbean in Asia (China and Japan)…it’s all been worth it. Thank you to my parents and the exposure they gave me in traveling leisurely and in my career thaws truly opened my eyes to see there’s more to the world than what is right in front of you, you have to be willing o take risk and step out of your boundaries and comfort zone to see it. Read more>>

Sarah Zink | Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Competitive Ballroom Dancer and more

Risk taking is part of my formula for ‘fearless living’. If you think about it, too often we live our lives based on what we are afraid of, not on what we long for, love or want to create.   What are you afraid of? For me, that’s an easy answer: Spiders. I can speak to you with little fear, I can sing in front of hundreds of people, I can volunteer to teach a classroom of 2nd second graders, but if you put a spider into that equation, I’m toast. But beyond that – what am I afraid of? Well, I’m afraid of not being loved, of not being respected. I’m afraid of not being good enough, smart enough, or professional enough.   Back to you…. when you thoughtfully consider it, what are you afraid of? Are you afraid of speaking in front of a group or simply putting forward your ideas? Are you afraid of interviewing for that new position in your company or of asking for a raise or are you afraid of not being valuable enough? Read more>>

Denise Kendrick | Nonprofit Director & Mom

I was risk taker (verging on recklessly so)… until I held my first child in my arms. Being entrusted with the life of this tiny, helpless person brought every hazy, possible consequences into sharp focus. I became a neurotic about water safety. Gripped little hands excruciatingly tight in parking lots. Researched how small to cut the grapes I fed my toddler. The world seemed a more threatening place with this little life to protect. Somewhere down the road (and a couple kids later), I realized fear had become a driving force in my decision making. Not just in my personal life and family, but also in my career as the Director of a nonprofit ministry, Embrace. Fear of failure. Fear of making the wrong decision. Fear of vulnerability or embarrassment. Even, at times, fear of being TOO successful. The Bible is full of reminders that anxiety is fruitless and burdensome. Read more>>

SniperShot | Hip Hop Artist & Humanitarian

No Risk. No Reward. Simple. I haven’t traveled the world, had the amazing experiences I have had and met so many beautiful people without taking risk. Read more>>

Holly Tucker | Texas Country Music Artist & Entertainer

I think an artist career in the music business is all about risk – nothing is ever guaranteed. Whether talking about new ways of marketing, songwriting, the way you perform and connect with an audience, social media postings, etc, you can follow formulas and techniques you’ve learned along the way from others, and also come up with new ideas yourself, but since the variables of the business are literally always changing, it’s nearly impossible to predict what will or won’t be successful. In fact, often times, it’s the things you create and the ideas you use that are not quite so planned, but the ones that are shot in the dark on an instinct. Honestly, this can be kind of stressful for me personally because I’m a planner-type personality and I like to know what to expect going into things. However, the creative side of me is always motivated by new challenges and being able to forget about “predicting” success; I just go with my gut and I do a lot of praying about the decisions I make. Read more>>

Taylor Johnson | CEO and Owner

I think taking risk is a must when you own your own business. I was terrified to take the risk of starting Hazel and Olive but am so thankful that I took that risk! I was broke as could be and saved up $300 to start my business. At the time that was a huge amount of money to me so it felt very risky! To this day I continue to take risk to grow my business and feel that without taking those it would not be the multi million dollar company that it is now. Read more>>

Chris and Meredith Davis | Owners, Operators and Ice Cream Creators

We fully believe that in life, one should take risks. Nothing worth having ever seems to be easy, and most all things we now have took risk to get it. We truly agree with the old adage “No risk, no reward.” How will you ever know what will be, if you don’t try, if you don’t go for it, if you don’t take that risk? You will always wonder what could’ve been. We only get one life, so go for it. Even if you fail, you tried and that in itself is success. You just get up and try again. That takes courage and bravery. Taking risks is how we got were we are today, and we are so happy we did. We look forward to more risk taking in the future! Read more>>