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.

Austin Morales | Podcast Host, Painter, & Fire Fighter

I feel risk has been a necessity to my life and career. If you don’t take risks you will not progress in either. During the early days of the Inner Gamer we would go to Conventions (when that was a thing). We wanted to grab interviews with cosplayers and developers but no one knew who we were. We were not very confident in our interview skills as well. During our first PAX South the big game on the showroom floor was Dreadnaught. We thought to ourselves there was no way we would get an interview with a dev let alone play the game. The line was massive each day of the convention. On the last day of the convention we got the courage to ask a dev for an interview. To our surprise they were more than happy to take us back stage to play the game and grab an interview after. We took the risk of rejection that day. At the time it felt like a huge risk. We did not wanted to be rejected or look stupid for trying to get an interview since we were nobodies at the time. Read more>>

Adriana Nava | Eyelash Extensions Artist

I personally feel risks are a gamble in life. It’s something where you do not know the outcome, but you have to be willing to put everything into it and sometimes win, sometimes lose. In my career as an eyelash extension specialist, risk taking has opened many doors. In 2020 I made a big investment with a friend and founded “BVBYGIRL LASHEZ”. A brand of lash supplies, where I am able to supply lash artists & makeup artists with the essentials they need. This was a huge risk for me, as I already manage my schedule of clients, and now to manage packing, shipping orders and promoting a brand on social media has definitely been a lot of my plate! But the risk was well worth it. Read more>>

Gail Cronauer | Actor, Teacher, Creative, Activist, Life Learner

Making the choice to enter the arts is always a risk! “When are you going to get a real job?” Fortunately, my immediate family always supported me – which was probably a risk for them. I turned down a tenure position at SMU years ago when I had 2 small children and a husband who was an aspiring writer and struggling with health issues. I was confident that I would find income in some way – and I always did. I’ve often been faced with FOLLOW YOUR HEART OR YOUR HEAD decisions, in taking or turning down jobs and as well as when I’m in the middle of one . I live by the advice: DO WHAT SCARES YOU. For me it’s all about growing and discovering what it possible. Not that I always succeed. Sometimes I still “chicken out.” Putting myself back out there is risky but so is getting up in the morning! One of the riskiest things I do at this point in my life is take time to NOT do anything, or at least do things that don’t seem directly connected to work or accomplishments. Like studying Italian and German! Who knows where that may take me?. Read more>>

Taylor Ullrich | Guitar Building & Asthetic Supervisor

Guitar building in my opinion should always venture to the risky side, push boundaries. Never accept standards and always think outside the box. Read more>>

La’Kea Singer | Singer, Songwriter, Producer

If you had asked me this question 4 years ago I would probably say NO to risk taking. No! absolutely NOT. Fear has been a big factor in me not pursuing my passion/career fully. I always knew I was talented but never felt good enough, you know? Compassion is a real thing and can be paralyzing. I am a very eclectic person, but gospel music is my first love. As a kid I would often remix secular songs and change them to Gospel songs. When I turned 30, something happened! It’s like I was born again but this time as a dare devil. I decided I would pursue my career in full force. I started on a journey to becoming an independent gospel artist but with a secular r&b sound, risky huh? I know! I started referring to myself as the “planter”. In 1 corinthians 3:7 it talks about one man, planted the seed, another watered it and God gave the increase. I feel like my music will be the music that’s peaks the listeners interest (the planter). Read more>>

Stephanie Barnes | Verity Benefits Group, Founder

I think we all have potential in what we do, what we are faced with in our lives. But I don’t think we reach our true potential, our highest potential, unless we step outside of the comfort and routine of what we know. I’m ok stepping out of my comfort zone because I believe it has led me here. Without doing that, without risks, there’s little opportunity for change…to make things better for us and those around us. Read more>>

Dominique McCartha | Cosmetologist

I think risk taking for me is being able to trust someone. And for that matter I have struggled to trust people due to disappointments. But what I found is you have to learn to trust to take risk just to know if it’s gonna work for you. So now I just count my losses and hope to gain many wins in life. I think overall you have to be positive and set the tone to allow great things to Transpire. Read more>>

Malysa Le | Aerospace and Mechanical Engineer

If you don’t take the risk, you can risk everything. I’ve taken risk my entire life. I’ve risk leaving my comfort zone, my time and my sleep and people to get to where I am now. What I have come to learn is that risks don’t always have to be grand, they just have to be a stretch beyond your comfort zone. You have to bet on yourself and put your feet all in when it comes to being an entrepreneur– in the end, what risk you take somethings comes with bigger rewards. Read more>>

Sess Cannon | Salon Owner and Influencer

I have taken so many risks and every risk taken has led to a success in my business. Even if it did not succeed in initial task, it led to something else that ended up flourishing just from taking the risk to begin with. I have learned that nothing great ever happens in our comfort zones. If we always play it safe, then we aren’t truly ready for our business to reach the next level. I first moved to Texas in January of 2016 with my three kids and my husband. My husband and I decided to take a risk and leave home, Peoria Illinois and come to Texas. I felt led to come to Texas so I could expand my territory in business and we just had faith that the calling to come was the right move to make. It was a major risk leaving our families, leaving our jobs and leaving our security to come to a place of the unknown. But, I also knew it was what I had to do if I wanted to expand my territory and if we wanted our children to have a better opportunity for growth and education. Read more>>

Jalyn Gordon | Afrocentric Nonprofit Consultant & Coach

When I think about risk, I’m transported in time to 2017. I had just left graduate school and was sitting on a loveseat in my mom’s front living room that I’d recreated into a studio apartment (yup. *sigh* I know). I have a piece of paper in my hand with potential names for a burgeoning nonprofit consulting firm. Some names are more palatable to capitalists, others ambiguously describe the audience I plan to serve and one is just a down, right risk. Of course, I chose the riskiest option. It was a risky choice because I decided to do something I had never seen or couldn’t quite vividly conceptualize. I’d never read, heard of or seen a consulting company bridge the relationship between Afrocentricity, community engagement or Black Studies. Have you? But I knew an Afrocentric consulting firm was what the world needed and most importantly, what Black people craved. Read more>>

Qua Woodard | Salon Owner and Author

I feel taking risks, shows you what you are made of. If you don’t take risks you won’t know your limits. I feel the position I’m in today is because I took risks. Read more>>

Lucy Gebert | Model

Taking risks has played an important role in my life and as well as my career. Risk taking can be intimating to most people but to me risk taking comes naturally. I find I have more success when I stay true to who I am and not being afraid to be who I am. I took a risk by shaving my head and getting tattoos and not caring what others think about me. It takes a lot of courage to take risks in life in my opinion and no one should ever feel held back or afraid to a risk in life. Read more>>

Dominique Kirven | Entrepreneur & Business Owner

Taking risk is such a major key in my life. I strive to take risk because I believe in the reward of my business and life! No risk no reward is one of my fave mottos. Read more>>

Maggie Barton | Entrepreneur, Artist, & Investor

I run on risk! Big moves and big change require a big risk tolerance. There is a big difference between a calculated risk and throwing everything you know to the wind, though. So when I am making a risky decision, I first think about if I am grounded enough to make it. To be someone that makes risk work, you have to stay centered and know that your intuition is your most valuable resource. If you can harness it and take risks, you’ll be successful. That’s the game of life. Read more>>

Blake Shook | Beekeeper, Entrepreneur

Just starting, or running a business is a risk. On top of that, most of my businesses today revolve around food production and agriculture. The weather forecast and weather radar is my stock market. So, overall, I would say I am not risk adverse. I was fortunate to learn early on that in most cases, money must be spent, yet spent wisely, to make more money. I always focused on spending money on assets, or things which could be sold and I could recoup my money. That allowed for some fairly risky purchases, but I usually had, and have, a viable plan to reverse course if something goes wrong. Read more>>

Grayson Berry | Director/Producer/Actor

Risks are necessary to succeed, and your level of success grows in direct correlation with that degree of courage (paraphrasing a quote I’ve heard somewhere along the line). That said, everyone is different, and ‘calculated risks’ may be a good place to start. I knew early on with my love of acting/performing, that I wanted to feel and experience everything. This was/is a double edged sword, as I get to revel in my victories, but I also get an equal share of rejection and disappointment. My father’s passing continues to inform my “living.’ ‘It’s not how you start but how you finish’, was ironically, one of my father’s most frequent pieces of advice for me (and with good reason as I started well, but fizzled on many things in my youth). My father passed exactly a year after being diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer, but he fought every day, and seeing that spirit inspired me to ‘live” each day to the fullest. Read more>>

Azmina Pirani | Intuitive Tarot Reader and Witch

If you have had a conversation with me, you know that I am all about risks. I have no fear while making decisions. I truly feel that if you do not step out of your comfort zone, you won’t make it anywhere in your life. I have goals, and the only way I would ever get there is if I just try that crazy idea I had. Had I been scared about what people think of me as a Tarot Reader and working with herbs and crystals, I would have never met all the like minded people I know now. I really don’t care what others think about me, and I do what I want because I want to be an inspiration to those who still have fear. Reality is if you don’t make your move now, you never will. Read more>>

Thomas Rogers | Barber and Hairgician

When thinking of starting a career, “sky is the limit” right? Ok, to reach the sky you must first jump. Next you must fly. Metaphorically speaking, you have to jump off the edge to see “If” you can fly to reach the sky. I knew to become what I had the vision of, I had to risk going all in. I quit my job with none to maybe 1 client, and moved into a barber suite. I was given a month free, then it would be $175 a week. I would get up early at 4am and UBER until 8am to make at least $25 a day 7 days. I did this until the demand for haircuts were enough to cover the rent. I continued to get up at 4am and started going to the suite at 5am. Sometimes no clients, but I was there. Became very consistent at this routine and it’s been up every since. I had to cut ties with all things that wasn’t lining up with my purpose. I had to jump off the cliff to get to the sky I’ve been soaring through ever since. Read more>>

Alexa Jackson | Founder of Kəˈrizmə

Risk taking, to me, is like flipping a coin. You don’t know if it’s going to land on tails or heads, with risk you don’t know if you’ll see gains from taking the risk of if the risk is going to set you back. It can go either way! Risk plays an everyday role in my life/business. I can leave my house and go to the grocery store and not make it back home. I can ship clothing out to a customer and the postal service could possibly lose the package. In my opinion, there is no way to escape risk. People have to live 100% on faith and accept the risk that may come with living or running a business. Read more>>

Gary Daniels | Insurance Agency Principal

I don’t think anyone can be successful at anything without taking risks. We would never even walk if we were focused on the fact we may fall over and over again. Risk is always present but those who succeed are not afraid to try and realize its part of the journey. I simply would not be able to grow our business without a strong faith in God and my wonderful supportive wife. I like to look at risk as an opportunity to succeed rather than a path to fail. Read more>>

Belen Gomez | Hairstylist

What I think about risk , is something that you are not comfortable with and are scared of. In a good way. A role that played a big risk taking in my life was moving to California without a job, during a pandemic and leaving all my clientele and family to start fresh. In a new city new state with only knowing one person. Read more>>

Danniel Abuloc | Real Estate Agent

In my experience, it’s essential to take risks in your life. Without taking risks, how can we achieve the goals for the life we’ve always imagined. Many people are terrified to take risks, but the courageous ones will overcome any challenges that comes their way. And in doing so, I’ve found that you go far beyond what you thought were your limitations. I believe it’s crucial to challenge yourself to achieve growth. Read more>>

Jessica DeJohn | Bake Shop Owner

I think about the “no risk, no reward” saying. I think it’s true – starting Jessica’s Bake Shop in 2015 was a big risk! But look where I am now – I never thought I would be doing this full time. Taking risks has really helped me to get out of my comfort zone. While it can be uncomfortable or unfamiliar at times, there’s something exciting about it. I attribute most of my career successes to being open to risks, making a thoughtful decision, and going for it! Risk is also one of the best ways to learn. I’ve learned a lot just from experience and being presented with different opportunities. I try to look at new risks as an opportunity to grow. Whether it be a failure or a success – I want to make sure I am able to take something good away from it. Read more>>

Miss Marcy Rodsky | Band Leader/Founder, Songwriter, Vocalist For Miss Marcy & Her Texas SugarDaddy’s

Taking risks is the only way to access the next portion of your journey. These can be measured risks, where the possible outcomes are acceptable, or reckless risks where the outcomes are undesirable. But, you don’t know unless you try. Who knows, maybe you can hit that high note? Take a risk! Open your mouth and see what sounds come out. People will respect and appreciate you for trying, and you may spread a little joy along the way. In music, a risk is hiring a sub when a band member is not able to do the gig. Although this rarely occurs, it happens. In some cases, the sub was ok and the gig was ok. In other cases, the sub introduced a new angle to the sound that made the music even better! That risk pays off instantly and a fantastic show is put on. However, ya never know until those first few notes. Read more>>