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.

Marshall Nichol | Movement Specialist, Health Coach, and Remote Programmer

Risk must be proportionate to the amount one stands to gain. In every decision, we leverage risk vs. reward. When the scales tip toward reward, I proceed. When the scales risk toward risk, I pull back and wait. All of the good things in my life have come because I took on some sort of risk. For example, I took the risk of getting my first unpaid internship. Working unpaid carries the risk of wasted time. In my case, however, the free labor that I provided to my now employer, Kinetikchain, paid tenfold in knowledge and experience that would have otherwise been impossible to gain. Read more>>

Kellie Conant | Co-Founder & Owner of Parlor’s Ice Creams

Being naturally risk-averse in nature, building this business has completely taken me out of my comfort zone. It’s impossible to be an entrepreneur and not take risks. I have had to deeply learn how to take leaps that, say, a few years ago, I would’ve never dreamed of taking. Everyday there is a new risky decision to make; is it okay to spend this much money on “x”? Should I do “x” or “y”? Will “x” bring me the results I’m trying for? Almost every decision is risky when you’re building a business, but if we didn’t take risks, we would not be where we are today. It is absolutely true what they say – if you’re not stepping out of your comfort zone, you’re not growing. Read more>>

Hope Wentz | Singer/Songwriter & Vocal Coach

I can still remember the ringing bell and the surprised faces of my counselors below, “How did she get up there so fast?” The man belaying hurriedly slid the rope between his hands to keep it taut. As a tiny 5 year old, I had scaled up a 30 foot climbing wall without reservation, joyously ringing the tower bell to declare my victory! Other memories include the heartbeat-like footsteps on the forest floor as I followed my own dad off highly treaded hiking trails and into the wilderness. Something inside of me has always ignited during risk and adventure, especially when tethered to something… or someone greater than my personal ambition. Risking for love requires a recipe of unwavering belief, steadfast endurance, and uncompromising authenticity. To risk well, we must face our fears. Our pride must come crumbling down to accomplish anything of worth. As a believer in the Holy Spirit, the voice of God has led me in every risk and adventure of adulthood. Some of these include moving to a new city apart from my family, starting a business, and completing an album. Read more>>

Carlos Moreno | Multimedia Artist

Risk-taking is a daily part of owning your own business. Fact, about half of all businesses don’t make it past the 5-year mark. I believe that you take a risk the minute people start a business. Doesn’t matter the industry, people take business loans, people invest in equipment, people buy inventory for their business. It doesn’t take long for your business to take in a significant amount of your resources, and it doesn’t take much for it to decline. I took my first business risk purchasing my first camera and other pieces of equipment. Had I not, I wouldn’t be where I am. I believe hard work and dedication, reduce that risk, but never eliminates it. There are many things to lower the risk, but even then there is still a risk. I think 2020 was a great example of that, as COVID took out many small businesses despite their planning and success. However, despite all the hardship, blood sweat, and tears, the risk proves to be worth it. I am proud to say that I’m glad I took the risk, and encourage those who are debating it, to take it. As long as people remain dedicated to doing what it takes to survive, you just might have a chance. Read more>>

David Hopkins | Construction/DIY Expert & Video Creator

Risk. It’s something we calculate everyday, sometimes regularly and and occasionally even when we don’t realize it. For me, I generally start with looking at how a given situation, or choice I need to make affects my trajectory. Meaning, how does that choice or situation affect me being able to reach my goals. Once I can understand whether or not I’m on the correct path, calculating the risks involved become much easier to some degree. Sometimes it may be something obvious or tangible i.e. risk of injury or pain – maybe the question is whether or not to start on a new fitness plan you’ve been thinking about, but you have mitigating health factors. Or maybe it’s more hidden from view, as can happen often with business decisions or life decisions (risk of losing customers or followers due to a change of creative direction). With building a brand / making content in the DIY and Construction space the risk a lot of times is losing credibility within my community. There are always going to be opportunities that do not align with your core beliefs or your goals, and you have to be mindful and stay vigilant in your pursuit. Read more>>

Tyler Truman Julian | Writer, Teacher, and Communicator

As a writer, I frequently work with the question of risk in mind. In fact, in my poetry collection, Wyoming: The Next Question to Ask (to Answer), risk becomes a central theme of the second half of the book. The speaker of the poems is wrestling with the risk of leaving home and what that’ll mean for him as an individual so rooted to his home. At one point, the speaker announces, “We risk differently / out here.” What does it mean to take a risk in a place like Wyoming where some winter days it’s risky just to get on the road and drive to work? This is a question I wrestled with before moving from Wyoming to New Mexico to further my education. That was a risk I had never encountered before. As someone who is trying to make a living through writing, I believe I have to take risks in order to put myself into the best possible position for success. I am not risk averse, but I also try to take “smart” risks. For example, going to New Mexico State University to receive my Master of Fine Arts Degree paid off because it furthered my goal. Read more>>

Marlene Faulkner | Chef and Caterer

In the past, the thought of doing something risky that would take me out of a comfort zone was always a scary concept. I can see where decisions I’ve made may have come close to an edge but were always kept within boundaries that would keep myself and my family out of any situation or circumstance that would take us out of our comfort zone. All this thinking really changed when my husband and I relocated to Texas from the NY Tristate area almost 5 years ago now. This decision, by far, was one of the most dramatic changes my husband and have ever done as it relates to career moves. Moving here broadened my perspective on wanting more out of my life and career than just working to live. As a result of this, the time spent growing my business was much more intentional and led me to being able to leave my corporate job, just recently, in order to continue growing my business full-time. Read more>>

Chris Baily | Owner/ Operator of Baily’s Hyperformance Factory

I believe that anyone who decides to go into business for themselves should know there are huge risks involved. Some risks are greater than others, but all are equally scary. I took a risk when I opened my performance shop in July of 2007. I was unaware of the economic situation that was unfolding, and I had just dropped out of college where I was majoring in business. I was learning how to run and keep a business in a failing economy and learning to survive at all cost. Due to the hardships that soon followed, I had to quickly adapt from my dream of being a performance shop to being a shop that did oil changes and vehicle maintenance just to stay afloat and keep the dream alive. The failing economy and hardships we went through as a company instilled a lot of fear in me but at the same time taught me and helped me grow. As things turned around, we were able to transition back into our original business plan. As my business started to improve, I was able to cease doing maintenance and oil changes. I started hiring more people, buying specialized equipment, and put my focus back to being a performance shop. Read more>>

Clint Chastain | Retired Veterinarian and Photographer

I am of the opinion that it is better to have reached for your dream; tried for it; and risked failure, rather than having stuck with the simple and safe options every time. Read more>>

Kurlisha Matlock | Hairstylist & CEO of lishabarbieshahairco

Risk are blessings! A risk will either make you or break you. It’s all about stepping out on faith. Taking risk in my life and buisness has played a major part in my world. It has allowed god to bless me tremendously! If I hadn’t taken risk I would still be where I was 6 years ago. Read more>>

Jenna Reeve | Charcuterie Business Owner

I love this question about taking a risk because to grow and have a major success you must take a risk. Without taking risks, I would have never started up my small charcuterie business, Graze with Jenna which has changed my life in a positive way. I will admit, I have always been the type to remain in a comfortable situation opposed to taking risks in fear of the “what ifs”, like failure. Like a lot of people in 2020, I was put in a situation of unexpected change which allowed me the time to reassess my future and what I genuinely want. I have always gotten the most pleasure out of interaction with people and making them happy. I am an extremely thoughtful person who thinks about the little things to make someone smile. I have been considered the go-to person when it comes to planning special events or travel arrangements because I always go above and beyond with the details. With the social distancing change in 2020, I had to think hard about how I could continue to keep smiles on people’s faces without the usual interaction in a celebratory gathering. Read more>>