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.

Rob Greene | Photographer & Educator

In the past, I thought it worked like this: Risk = Scary. Risk = Fear. Risk = Potential Failure. Over the past few years, I’ve come to realize that Risk = Opportuntiy. Risk = Adventure. Risk = Potential Success. Stepping into a full-time photography career was risky, but it’s led to opportunities, adventures, and successes I could have only dreamed of before making the leap. Sure, there are hard lessons learned, lumps taken, and failures experienced. But those things teach and guide and equip us to hopefully make a better choice the next time if we’ll let them. The idea of risk has come up huge this year. When COVID-19 shut down the city where I live back in March, I could’ve chosen to shrivel up and be depressed and frustrated. Instead, I decided to take a risk. Read more>>

Ashlie Woods | Retreat Leader + Coach

It’s my wholehearted belief that there’s a life that wants to be lived THROUGH you and the deepest desires of your heart will light up the path to your most fulfilling, creative and self-expressed life. But no one gets to live that kind of life without taking risks. I’m not talking about financial risks although there might be some of those. And I’m not simply talking about trying new things and risking failure even though that is inevitably part of the journey. I’m referring to the risk involved when we let go of old stories about who we are and how life works and we step into the wild unknown where ANYTHING is possible. It’s the scariest, most worthwhile risk we’ll ever take. Read more>>

Joe Manco | Filmmaker

Taking risks is a big part of working in entertainment. In just the span of a month I had four very influential people tell me that in order to succeed you have to take risks. That life is miniscule without doing so. I took that as me having to keep things hot and fresh in order to keep the ball rolling. Keep people including myself entertained at every turn. And not to mention, these four peoples of influence all work in entertainment in some way or another. I clearly took that as a sign of things to come. And honestly, a lot of good things have come from going out on a limb and taking risks. Even in the projects I really didn’t want to do. Read more>>

Geno Young | Musician, Tastemaker & Fine Arts Advocate

I love risk. I think as a creative, risk is necessary. There’s nothing that inspires me more than pushing boundaries and watching fellow creatives do the same. In my career, risk has been really impactful. From career decisions, to pushing boundaries in the music I create, there’s rarely reward without risk. Read more>>

Matthew Norton | Urban Portrait Photographer & Content Creator

Life is nothing without risks. If one does not take a risk, the reward is almost certain to be minimal. People often think of risks as large opportunities made for oneself where success doesn’t seem highly probable. I think of risks as opportunities that continually enter my mind as possible outcomes. If I choose not to take them, I am doing myself a disservice. Why wait 15 years to ask myself, “What if?” All I need to do now is be willing to endure embarrassment and heartache. Both of which are repeatedly endured by people throughout life anyway. My advice is to take that opportunity, pitch your concept to that company, contact that agency, book that flight. Let your risks be the answer to your “what ifs”. Read more>>

Aja Nunn | Self-Taught Seamstress

When I was in high school, I used to view risk as a scary unknown territory. A territory that would lead to failure rather than success 9 times out of 10. However, as I matured, the way I thought about taking risks changed drastically. Taking risks are the stepping stones to major change in your life. You find out how you can adapt to new circumstances and even if you don’t have 100% success in taking risks (whatever your objective is), you’re always left with a new understanding that pushes you on the path that you are meant to be on. I took a huge risk going to college in a state where I had no family or friends. I ended up finding people that will be with me for life and discovered what truly makes me happy. I took a huge risk deciding to move cross country to go to law school where I wasn’t sure if I would be successful or drop out after my first semester. Read more>>

Lee The Myth | Artist, Writer & Musician

Sentient existence is risk personified. Life is a very fragile and fleeting experience that is constantly surrounded by danger and uncertainty no matter what one exists as. Risk is the name of the game especially when it concerns ones dreams so as an artist I have made myself very risk tolerant and welcome any opportunity to be exactly that. Investing in my manga was a risk which cost me thousands, hustling to acquire the funds was a risk that cost me peace of mind, and having to chose my dreams over other peoples wants and desires was a risk that I took knowing i would lose people along the way. However because I rolled the dice and betted on myself I am now reaping the rewards. Risk teaches you to believe in yourself and in your ideas in ways that most things can’t. Read more>>

Danny Joe Rose III | Artist

I’ve always viewed risk as a friend. A complex one, but a friend none the less. Throughout my career and my practice I have taken countless risks, all in an effort to see my work through to the next phase. One of the riskiest moments of my life was taking a leap and moving across the world to Indonesia for a teaching position. I was twenty-four and fresh out of college, I knew an adventure would be had, but I didn’t realize it would connect me so deeply to my creative and spiritual self. After a year abroad and countless experiments with painting and sculpture, I began to see connections in my work like never before. Being isolated from everything I knew forced me to look inward and pushed my art into new territories. I returned to the states with a fresh perspective on life and my art practice. These days, risk appears in my work in a more direct way. Read more>>

Wes Keyes | Executive Director

Risk taking is, generally speaking, a clear and consistent trademark of a good leader. Rarely have I experienced a strong leader who is risk averse. As I began my career as the Executive Director of Brother Bill’s, I knew that, in order to be successful, I needed to take some risks. It was scary, it rubbed some the wrong way, not everyone bought in, but at the end of the day, our work has grown in ways that no one was expecting. We went from serving 1 zip code to serving 65, we increased our counseling services 100%, and we will have served nearly double the amount of food to needy residents this year as opposed to last year, and all of this during a pandemic. I truly believed that we needed this growth and that we had the capacity to expand; however, a belief is not enough. Read more>>

SAL | Contemporary Artist

The way I think about risk is….the greater the risk, the greater the reward. I didn’t pursue being a full time contemporary artist to just be “average”. I entered into this arena to be THE BEST to have ever lived. That means multiple years of homelessness, sleeping on park benches in Dallas to subway trains in New York City, eating maybe once a day… and that was a good day. Whatever it took to attain this dream I will go down the dark alleys. Thus, the things that scare and make others uncomfortable are the things I embrace, and most of those things are RISK. Read more>>

Beth Fields | Artist

I find it valuable to listen to that whisper of fear when a risk presents itself. I had a terrific yoga teacher who talked about the journey from fear to curiosity to freedom. Risks that I have taken – putting myself out there as an artist, setting up my home studio, prioritizing my art over my career that I had built over 20 years – all began from a place of fear that gradually shifted when I asked myself “what if…?” Allowing myself to explore that shift from fearful to curious has been incredibly fruitful. Opportunities that ripple with a bit of fearfulness show me that there’s something in that risk that is calling to something deeper in me. Swallowing hard and taking the leap leads to such an incredible sense of flying. I say all of this knowing that I have an incredibly supportive husband, family, and network of friends that celebrate my successes with me and help me stay grounded in both my day to day work and my flights of fancy. Read more>>

Matt Kramer | Arts and Media Director

I believe risk is an essential part of the life you are called to live. Just about anything worthwhile starts with a little risk, whether in relationships, in careers, in life decisions, in faith. It is largely because of risk that I’m doing what I’m doing. The kind of work I do is not something that might read well on paper, or sound successful in a discussion. It’s taken a lot of guts just to step out. I am the director of a faith-based performing arts and media company, producing live theatre, film, video, and more. As a faith-based organization, we are in a rather specialized niche, and often it has simply been a matter of stepping out. not always having the answers, and having to just wait and see if it works. While there’s certainly room for practicality (risk should never be confused with irresponsibility), without that element of risk there is no innovation, no creation, no progress. Read more>>

Filip Kostov Kostov | Makeup Artist

Risk taking is always a great perspective if the risk worth it. My position and experience when u take risks is first to find your center and to clear your thoughts,so u can see it from every angle before u do it. Read more>>

Stephanie Padilla | Dallas native & Cake decorator

Growing up I was a very safe kid, never got in trouble always wanted to be perfect in everyone’s eyes. When I got to high school, I began to bake cookies and I would sell them to my friends. I fell in love with baking and the biggest risk I took was going against what my family thought was the perfect career. I took the risk and applied for culinary school and I moved 4 hours away from my family to follow my dreams. Now I’m a Culinary Institute of America Alumna with my own cake business. Read more>>

Kelly Gray | Director of Operations, Cane Rosso Rescue

Risk is a funny thing. It has so many meanings. Are you risking your life? Career? Financial stability? My career has taken two very distinct paths, neither without their own versions of risk. I was hired right out of college in a marketing role for a Fortune 500 company, that owned and managed a large portfolio of brands. Over the years I transitioned through many different roles within marketing, and eventually transitioned into field sales, and then into sales management. After living on the gulf coast during Katrina, my family decided to relocate to Dallas in 2005. This is when I was hired by CitiBank into a role where I was the liaison between the sales and marketing. Over the next 13 years, through the market crash and various other banking disasters, I transitioned to a couple other large fortune 100 institutions with roles ranging from Director of Sales Operations, to AVP of Sales & Marketing. Read more>>

Loreen Silva | Proprietor /Safe Haven Provider

I guess it started when I was a young child with my mother who with her legacy gave me many many gifts but being fearful and afraid in certain areas of her life gave me fuel to take risks. That has always resonated with me. As I have went through life I remembered that and used it as something I did NOT want to do. I have always knew what I wanted in life but had to be patient and bide my time.I made ALOT of pro and con lists and worked with like minded people in goal setting which essentially helped me to make calculated risks. That combined with heavily relying on God made it almost a no brainer to take the risk because I always believe the risk is bigger than the reward. The role of risk taking has made me feel powerful. Read more>>