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.

Racquel Lewis | Creator, Owner, Rug Dealer

To me risks mean opportunity. You will never know your true potential if you are afraid to get out of your comfort zone and do the things that make you fearful. I have taken many risks in my life in regards, to my personal life, my work-life, just in general and they all have been worth it in some way. Of course, not all risks lead to success or some big rainbow, but they all have one thing in common and that is that they all teach you a little bit more about yourself. This is interesting as well because you don’t always learn the lesson immediately after the risk. A lot of times it takes reflection and growing to understand the outcome of what happened with that risk that you took so long ago. Read more>>

Ieshea Hollins | Chief Information Security Officers (CISO)/Sr Lead Program Manager

Most people view risk as something that is inherently bad but I’ve always known risks are both good and bad and that life is nothing without it! My name is Ieshea Hollins, founder & vCISO of Direnzic Technology & Consulting, LLC and I believe my view of risks is a rather refreshing one. A bit about myself is that I am a technology consultant in a male dominated industry and I started a business where the business model is built around risk. Direnzic Technology is an issues management consulting firm that specializes in providing solutions to technology issues faced by organizations. We help people develop strategic plans to address cybersecurity breaches and disaster recovery plans in the event of a disaster as well as facilitate executive table top exercises that expose risks faced by the organization in the event of those disasters. Read more>>

Aryel Phillips | Pre-Vet Student & Personal Skincare Creator

I believe a successful career cant come without risk. You never know your full potential until you put yourself out there and take risks. I am all for risk within reason whether that’s trying to create a new formula or introducing myself to a new sponsor. Sometimes the product I have in my head doesn’t always come out how I want or I might get told no from a sponsor but all that does is motivate me to keep pushing a trying new things. I think sometimes people think success comes with ease and it does not. I’ve gotten told no multiple times and yes it can hurt sometimes but that 1 yes can be everything you need to launch you in a new direction. Taking risks can elevate you and I would rather live knowing I tried than to live looking back and wishing I did things differently. In my personal life I’m a little more of a dare devil whether that trying aerial trapeze or trying a new food. My family might not try it with me but they support me as they watch from the sideline. Read more>>

Aubrey Price | Founder of Above The Klouds & All Out Price

I am not a person that believes in the word Risk. What is a Risk? The definition of a Risk is a situation involving exposure to danger. I am an individual that is not really scared of many things and I don’t feel danger in the avenues I seek and strive for. In my opinion a risk is a leap. Something that may be difficult but not impossible. You have to live with the mindset nothing is impossible. You might fail at your task however you will learn what you need to do in order to succeed for the next time. If I listened to the non believers and non risk takers I wouldn’t have started my own clothing line or sales company. Taking risks have put me in a position to change the trajectory of my life. This will also change my families life also so I grind and I grind hard. Read more>>

Tammy Whitehurst | Motivational Speaker at

As a full time motivational speaker now, risks are a part of what I do. I say one-liners that might make an audience roar or worst case scenerio–snore. It’s all about hooking them in, bringing them to a risky point of gut punching and then leaving then soaring on wings as eagles feeling like they can accomplish the dream that has been waiting in their heart. You have to be risky in the approach and the delivery. I began as a middle school teacher in my twenties. Twelve year olds were my first audience. I learned then if I could make people laugh they could learn anything. Let’s just say I taught one lesson about the Texas Revolution that involved stinky catfish bait. (That was the smell of Sam Houston and the other soldiers because they did not bathe on a regular basis.) My principal always said, ” You can risk it. If it works I will back you. If it doesn’t you are on your own.” The lesson worked so well, he had me teach it at conferences regarding how to bring history alive. Read more>>

Johnnie Judah | DJ & Media Curator

I have always been somewhat of a conservative guy in business so risk was kind of an extreme to me. I preferred comfortable and risk shakes up comfort. However, at this point in my life risk is necessary for forward movement. For the majority of my DJ career I had been timid and afraid of risk, specifically the unknowns involved with it, and as a result it kept me in a stagnant state business-wise and limiting my ability to reach the masses. Here recently, after coming to the realization that I have more sand at the bottom of my hourglass than the top, I have decided to take more risks and although I have suffered my share of setbacks It pales in comparison to my progression as a DJ and business owner. Read more>>

Aston Floyd | Trading instructor

I believe risk taking is the key to success, forging a new/better future rarely happens without risks. If I couldn’t handle risk I would have never entered the risky stock market game. The success also didn’t happen overnight, I lost money in the beginning over the timeline of the learning process. Over that time, I learned from each mistake and formulated a plan that I teach others today. You have to risk failure if you ever want to win. Read more>>

Hao Tran | Culinary Adventurer

When I was younger and much more idealistic, I had life planned out in my head. But nothing really went according to plan. I realized life isn’t always picture perfect and there are circumstances out of your control. Once life experience after another and 30 years had passed and hadn’t done what all I wanted to do in life. So I slowly took more risks, planned less and let things organically play itself out. Stress was actually alleviated. But taking risk takes work, if you are passionate about something you have to work for it and of course there is no guarantee, hence the risk. I took a life risk with my cooking. I put my culturally inspired food out there, put my heart into it and shared it. The support from the community has been the most warming experience. The positive response outweigh the criticism. Read more>>

Anne Lakusta | Bestselling author, business coach, real estate leader, entrepreneur.

I believe that risk taking is a necessary part of growth and development. You cannot change your results until you first change something about what you are doing. Stated more directly – you cannot improve your results until you first do something different – and that is where risk taking must occur. I find that a focus on constant learning is a part of getting comfortable with growth and risk taking. The best results I believe come after some reading, some conversation, some research and then a leap of faith. The truth is that staying the same is an even bigger risk in many ways than taking a step forward, but we rarely realize that until opportunity has passed us by. In my own life, I learned that asking for what I really want to happen is a risk – and also the only way you can actually make it happen. And Plan B and Plan C have turned out to be fun and exciting many different times in my life!. Read more>>

Christopher Moore-Odum | Seamster/creative

Everything has its risks. I just choose to be on the “riskier” side of things. There’s not a lot of men that sew, so yes it would seem risky cause you just don’t see it. I took a risk moving to Dallas but it was the best decision I could have made for my life because of the exposure to things I’ve never seen. Read more>>

Amy Baylor | Direct Sales & Hiit Instructor

I think risk is necessary for you to build the life you want. I was in a position where I still worked at my full time corporate job, but was happier doing my side gig. I had to take a risk and leave the better paying full time job to focus all my energy on my other business. It paid off bring time not only in growing my business, but also for my mental health. As long as you have your priorities straight, know your desired outcome, and have good systems in place something positive can come from taking risks. I listened to a good podcast episode and they stated “the payoff is in the experience vs. the monetary outcome.” I love that because that’s been my mindset when I first said yes to the business and when I decided to leave the corporate world. Read more>>

Lexi Monique | Style Coach

Risk is the only way you will get to the next level. Playing it safe will never teach you the lessons that you will need to overcome. In June 2018 I decide that I wanted to move to Dallas, Texas, not knowing anyone or what the city really had in store for me.I started to plan for my big move and come October 2018 I was officially a Texas resident. Taking this risk I knew that I had to not only survive but thrive. I made it a mission to change my mindset and go after what I wanted to accomplish in Dallas, which was growing My styling business (XMStyling), creating a home for my son and I, and build an environment where I had a healthy mindset. Without taking that huge risk in life for myself personally and for my business I wouldn’t have accomplish nearly as much as I have. Read more>>

Brooke Carter | Baker, Business Owner, & Floured Teacher

I’ve always fancied the approach T.S Eliot had on risk, which is the same philosophy that my dad has taught me throughout my adult life- that “only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go”. In my early twenties I (like so many others) found myself too nervous to take risks, even the ones I so desperately wanted, because I had no control over the outcome. I think there’s a lot of safety in concretely knowing how something will turn out or simply just staying stagnant. We as a society tend to fall into comfortability. The thing is, without risk, we truly don’t know our limits and what we’re capable of. My life and career completely changed the moment I fully gave in to risk. I was 24 when I started my first farmers market, but it wasn’t until I was 26 and on a plane headed to France that I realized the depth of importance that taking chances has in life. Read more>>

Edora Butler | CJV Compliance Professional & Executive Director

I am a risk taker, or so I believe I am. Allow me to explain and if you will, walk with me through some of my risks. We might term taking a risk as exposure to harm, or a threat with the probability of loss. Who would willingly expose themselves to loss? That depends on what’s at stake and the potential not for loss, but for gain. Gary Ryan Blain said, “Creative risk-taking is essential to success in any goal where the stakes are high.” The stakes were high when I decided and moved to the Dallas Fort-Worth area at the age of 21 with $700. I lived with friends for three months and then moved into an apartment on my own. Coming from a small city and trying to establish myself in DFW, that was a risk. What I had in the back of my mind was I would get a job and go to school. I soon found out much of my time was focused on working and providing for myself with no time for school. Read more>>

Chierra Williams | Music Curator and Podcast Host

When I think about what prevents many people from taking risks one thing comes to mind. Fear. Fear also known as ‘False Evidence Appearing Real’ leads to ‘What Ifs’ and dreaming up situations that may never come to fruition. However, I’ve learned to reframe these thoughts to think of it in a positive light. What if this works out? What if people do listen and share? What if this brings forth new opportunities? What if this is the start of a new journey? There is so much to gain on the other side of a risk. So give it some thought and weigh your options, but don’t allow fear to hold you back because within that risk lies your reward. For me, the risk of starting my music curation page led to the launch of my podcast. If I didn’t take the first step towards embracing my passions some of the things that have brought me so much joy would never have happened. Read more>>