Taking Risk is essential, but how much, when and why? Taking risks effectively is as much of an art as it is a science and we’ve asked some of the brightest folks in the community to tell us about how they think about risk taking.

Kathryn Akomah-Mordi | High-Class Wedding Photographer

My husband and I have this saying: “You gotta risk it to get the biscuit!”. It has become our constant motto and reminder that the things worth having don’t come without effort and often times risk. Whether you are talking about relationships, financial decisions, work, family, etc, there is always going to be some level of risk. Often times, the bigger the risk seems, the bigger the result if that risk proves successful. As I’ve grown my business from amateur portraiture to seasoned high-class weddings I have seen this manifest time and time again. When I put my neck on the line and take a risk, the successful endeavors have such a greater reward. Not all my attempts pan out, and sometimes the burn feels really personal. I just try to remind myself that I learned how NOT to run a business (or at least something that didn’t work for me personally). But even when the risk doesn’t prove beneficial, I have learned more than if I had taken NO RISK at all. Read more>>

Priyesh Patel | Owner | RAO Central Studios Photography

Think about it, everything you do on a daily basis is a risk to some degree… crossing the street, getting new equipment to work with, and to the extreme, starting a business. However, with preparation, whether that be through life experiences, common sense, or some form of training, you can mitigate it. The aim is to try and prepare as best you can, for those daily tasks, such as crossing the street it becomes second nature, for the rest, set your goal and go for it, just don’t give up if you don’t get your desired result right away…. Overcome that obstacle and move forward. Sometimes you have to slice up the bigger goals to make them more manageable, which is what I did when I started my business… cutting the big picture down to things like, how much money I needed to raise or deciding on which equipment I needed to invest in immediately. Read more>>

Amber Villanueva | Yoga Teacher & Owner

Every entrepreneur takes risks. For me, the biggest risk I took was quitting my full-time job to pursue my passion of sharing yoga with others and dedicating all my energy to building my own business. Most would not advise a single mom carrying debt and several financial responsibilities to quit their comfortable job with great benefits to chase their dreams. In fact, I was discouraged when I told my idea to some. There’s lots of unknowns and uncertainties when you’re self-employed (especially during a pandemic!) It takes grit to overcome challenges and not throw in the towel when uncomfortable. I look back at my company’s growth in the short time I’ve been open (4 years in January) and I smile. I’m not just reaching for the stars but realms beyond! That takes risk …and maybe a little bit of rebellion. Read more>>

Kathryn and David Seay | Co-Owners

Starting a business requires a considerable amount of risk. There is no steady paycheck, no guarantee that enough business will come in, no support system to fall back on if things get rocky. It’s interesting that we even took this route as we are fairly risk averse. In our view, it’s better to stick to the safer path even though greater risks yield greater rewards. Luckily, like the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race, and our business has been steady and successful for 21 years! Read more>>

Neelu Kharbanda | Art Instructor & Entrepreneur

Risk taking is a part of running a business and for that matter a part of living life. Comfort zone is good but for personal or professional growth stepping out & taking a leap is important. Risk taking in my professional life has helped me grow and accomplish. It does get uncomfortable or scary for a bit, but turns into accomplishment once achieved! Read more>>

Adrianne Argumaniz | Salon Owner & Entrepreneur

Let’s talk about Risk. When people think about risk taking in conjunction with owning a business, they usually think about all things money. What if I lose money? How much will I lose? Will I fail? Go bankrupt? How much savings? Life savings? What they don’t think about is risking ones self. Money is replaceable. Period. What you really risk when opening a business is your identity. Who will you become? Who will stand beside you? Support you? Who your friends will be? Who will remain when you tell them they don’t get a discount or you can’t sell or service them for free? Who will respect your boundaries? The ones necessary to be successful in business. Who will honor you when you can’t rub elbows in the community? You risk your family. Will your spouse stand beside you? Work long hours? Backbreaking labor? Hold you and lift you when you’re mentally and emotionally drained. Read more>>

Amy Berthelet | Beader & Small Business Owner

When it comes to being an entrepreneur, I think that taking some risks is necessary. For me it was mainly a financial risk when I decided to stay at home and work on my company, and that involved quite a few more of the same type – for example, when I decided to invest in a website design/email suite for my business, and recently the switch from that to an automated e-commerce site and marketing plan. I see it as an investment, a way to go forward to newer and better circumstances. Read more>>

Gayle Cotton | President

My whole career has been about the willingness to take risk. Early in my career during the nineties, I was asked by a training company in Geneva, Switzerland to move there to develop Management, Marketing, Presentation Skills and Cross-Cultural courses for The United Nations and international companies throughout Europe. This required a major life and career change and was certainly a financial risk. After considerable research and preparation, I decided to take the opportunity and move to Geneva. Although my background is in Humanities and Behavioral Science, with an emphasis on Cultural Science, I quickly discovered that corporate training, executive coaching, and even keynote speaking for global companies and international organizations has different challenges than for U.S. based companies. I learned I had 3 strikes against me. Read more>>