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.

Sherri Tilley | Award-Winning Journalist & Publisher of

One of the biggest risks in life is being yourself … your true, authentic, undeterred self. And although the concept may seem daunting, the payoff for navigating such a risk is extraordinarily beneficial. A collective expression of synergistic benevolence is the inevitable result of acknowledging that each one of us has been uniquely designed by our Creator to express kindness and goodness in an incalculable and ever-increasing variety of creative ways. In his book Wild at Heart, John Eldredge wrote, “Our strength is wild and fierce, and we are more than unsettled by what may happen if we let it arrive.” But he goes on to encourage us in this extremely worthy endeavor by saying, “Let people feel the weight of who you are and let them deal with it.” So we must cast off our fears, refuse to project a counterfeit version of ourselves, and avoid conforming to misguided societal norms which undermine confidence and damage self esteem. Read more>>

Michelle Nirumandrad | Professional Skydiver and Artist

For someone who has made their living by jumping out of planes, risk is inherent in my life. But experience has shown me that, often times, on the other side of risk lies reward. The larger the risk the larger the reward. It is not the average run-of-the-mill things in life that bring us our greatest sense of accomplishment, it is those moments of challenge where we are forced to step out of our comfort zone and take a risk. Whether it be as straight forward as putting a new idea out in the open to face public criticism or as complex as throwing yourself out of a moving aircraft, it is moving forward from these moments that we define and find the best pieces of our character and self. Read more>>

Bri Cain | Poet & Educator

For majority of my life, I’ve been intimidated by risks. I thought if I did everything “right” and followed the rules, everything was supposed to work out in my favor. Being silent and compliant made others comfortable while it made me miserable. Eventually I got tired of everyone around me being accommodated by my meekness. 2020 hit and I decided to change that. I let go of what I thought I should be doing and started focusing on what I want to do. I found my voice, started using it and haven’t looked back. For me, that changed everything. I welcome risks now. Believing in myself and taking chances is exactly what I needed to do in order to grow. Read more>>

Graciela Escareno | Makeup Hair & Nail Artist | Educator

Taking a risk defenetly plays a huge role in my career. It has been the step for me and my business to grow. My recent risk taking decision was opening my salon during a pandemic, and moving to a new city at the same time. It all seemed like a bad decision but it has been the best thing i could’ve done! And even if it had turned out bad, i would’ve learned a valuable lesson. That’s why I LOVE RISK TAKING. Read more>>

Imani Collins | Content Creator| Mental Health Coach

I believe you need risk-taking in your life to accumulate self growth. Without risks, I am quite certain, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Taking risks has taken me from point A to point B. It is in the driver seat of the vehicle, while I sit passenger. I am always excited to see where we go! When I decided to move to Dallas, Texas, it was exactly two weeks away from my moving date. Talk about anxiety?! I was so nervous and things were happening so fast. “Am I really going to do this?” “Ok, maybe this is a mistake.” I had constant negative thoughts about my decision. I wasn’t so sure it would be right for me. “What will little ole me do in a big city like Dallas?” I thought. I always lived at home, I always knew how to get around without navigation, and I always knew majority of the people in my community, so starting completely over was scary to me. Moving out of state was something I’ve ever done before, which was the exact reason why I was going to do it. Now it’s been 2 whole years since I’ve moved from Baltimore, Maryland to Dallas, Texas and if I could sum it up into one word, It would be “Grateful”. Read more>>

Jennifer Jones | Founder, Hagar’s Heart

I am a first born. Rule follower. See things black or white, rarely gray. Risk has never been in my vocabulary until 3 years ago. I took a risk, and it changed my life. I ended my 20-year teaching career, trusting blind faith, that there was something bigger. Fast forward to May 2020 and what did I do? Start a nonprofit in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Helping women see they were much bigger than the titles they carried. Bigger than the abuse they thought was okay. I founded Hagar’s Heart, a nonprofit that strives to help domestic violence victims recognize they are seen, valued, and loved more than they ever could have imagined. Planting the seed of hope, one I See You Box at a time. Every month, we deliver I See You boxes, filled with more than just the basics-items of ways to begin taking care of self. We fill the boxes with affirming and encouraging notes, to let the women know, they are not alone and we support them. Taking a risk changed my life. It put me where I am today: helping those who need it most. Read more>>

Kala Bennett | Fashion Designer/Owner of KALAELISE & Adjunct Professor

Taking risks is a smart move in life, when it’s done right. Meaning, don’t jump out of an airplane without making sure you have check all your safety measures first. You’re still taking a risk because.. hello, you are jumping out of a perfectly good plane. In my career I always had the mind set of say yes to every opportunity that benefits my career or life. Take small risks in everything I do not know how it’ll fully benefit me. The biggest risk I ever took was quitting my corporate job and starting my own business. As most entrepreneurs will tell you, you won’t know if it’ll work unless you try! The reason why it was my biggest risk was because for the first time in my life I didn’t have a plan B. I just knew working for other people in a corporate 9-5 setting was NOT for me, so I had to make this work! Luckily somehow I pulled it off, and still to this day I am so thankful for taking that risk of starting my own business. Read more>>

Heavenaboveall | Singer/Songwriter & Business Owner

I think risk is one of the most exciting things in existence. There’s a thrill to not knowing, if you knew everything then it would be boring. I think risk is also a necessary divide, it shows that a person is really dedicated to what ever they’re striving for and they’re willing to take a chance in order to make it work. It takes you to the next level mentally. Risk has played one of the biggest parts in my Career. I wake up every morning to the sun shining through my windows and reminisce on how i would not be here if it wasn’t for taking a chance on myself. There was a time I had about $600 to my name, but my intuition was telling me it was time to move forward, and take a chance. So, I moved out of my parents home, and went to a completely different state. I threw myself in the ocean and basically said swim. It wasn’t easy by any means, but the lessons i’ve learned have allowed a level of growth I don’t believe could have been achieved any other way. Another thing is to trust your intuition. Read more>>