We asked some of the most interesting folks in the community to open up about how they think about taking chances and the role risk has played in their lives and careers. Risk is by far the topic folks talk to us most about and we hope the responses below will help shed light on many different perspectives.

Shonquinta McCray | Lavish Custom Wig Designer

WOW TAKING RISK…where do I start, When most people think about RISK TAKING, fear comes to mind, because when taking risk anything could happen. When I think about RISK TAKING I become FEARLESS, BOLD, ENCOURAGED, and ADVENTUROUS. In order to take on that RISK it’s important to have a daring mindset. I always knew I would have my own business I just never knew exactly what. I’ve always had a thing for fashion so I knew it would be something trendy, or along the lines of. Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, so there is always going to be someone out there doing the same thing you are doing right? Thats a risk within its self! I got my LLC a year ago but still had no idea of what was destined for me in that moment. Hair has always been my thing, and I don’t mind paying top dollar for it either, “its the quality for me”. Read more>>

A.M. Early Morning | Hiphip artist

Risk-taking is one of the biggest things to help my career over the years. I’ve spent numerous time and money in different cities and places sacrificing both time and money to risk a chance for an opportunity. The risk that you take Has to make sense And must be something that if you do fail it doesn’t destroy your whole business Putting all your eggs in one basket is a real thing LOL I’ve had to make sure the things that I wanted out of my music I had to clearly know what those things were before I ran and attempted to do some thing that was new and see if it’s worth it Read more>>

Melissa Dean | Dyslexia Therapist

Taking risks has been instrumental in every aspect of my career. As an educator, I have had to take huge leaps of faith to get to the next level. Even though I might not have seen the need for a change at the time, different things happened along the way to influence me to inspire changes in my career. The decision to become a dyslexia educator was, in a way, made for me; it was the only job that was available to me fresh out of college back in 2010. Even though my undergraduate studies were in elementary education, I knew nothing of how to help a child with dyslexia learn how to read. With a crash course in the basics of the instructional practice needed to teach the students, I took a job as a long-term substitute for a dyslexia teacher. Read more>>

Rolando Ordonez III | Artist & Music Producer

Taking risks is a huge part of why I’ve been able to achieve my dream of music production and working with many artists. Dropping out of college to pursue music was my biggest risk because it meant that i had no backup degree to fall down on, and to maintain supporting myself in this choice, I had to really give it my all. Taking risks comes in all shapes and sizes, your small risk is as big of a risk as your more scarier life changing risk. Read more>>

Marcus Jackson | Professional Culinary Chef

Well when I think about risk, I think about opportunities and of course with opportunities comes GREAT RISK. Speaking from experience, a little over a year ago, I decided to quit my full time salary job (BIG RISK) to go to a lower paying job so I can go to culinary school to follow my passion (GREAT OPPORTUNITY). Culinary has always been my passion since I could remember. When I was younger, I would sit in front of the TV for hours and watch The Food Network. I was always amazed at the methods that the chefs would use to cook and then I would go in the kitchen and mess up all the dishes and get in trouble. I knew one day that I would become a Professional Culinary Chef. Whether it was watching Emeril Lagasse or The Great Paula Deen, their cooking styles caught my eye. They were my mentors from the living room floor. Read more>>

Stanley Smith II | Dog Trainer

Risk taking is one of those things that keep alot of people from going to the next level. Risks are associated with failure the relationship with failure and how you view it makes taking the risk easier. In my personal journey into this dog world had to take alot of risk to get to where are are today. Taking a risk and believing in myself and my $100 dog has been the best decision we have ever made Taking a risk of going against the grain being the black sheep just took it one day at a time and put the effort in to making the dream of impacting the world in a positive manner through does was worth all the hard times worth all the times we failed was worth all the times no one else seemed to see the vision. Read more>>

Nicolle Ho | Photographer & Data Scientist

Two main concepts shape how I think about risk – firstly that “time in the market is better than timing the market”. To me, this means that while there may be an opportune time to start your business, learn some new skill, or travel, it is better to just get started and see what happens. Secondly, the idea that “life is as long as it is short”. This reminds me that while time is precious, there is enough time to recover from any mistakes made. Read more>>

Jacob Ruth | Photographer / Creative

For me, I think it is important to learn how to take risks and know when to not take them. Risks give you the option to either stay where you are in life, or they can take you on a journey with unexpected results that will ultimately grow you as a person. Sometimes we are in a place of life where we need to stay steady. Other times (and in my opinion most of the time) we are in a place where we need a bit of an adventure in life. Even though there is a high chance of failing, the reward will be so worth it. Read more>>

Stephanie Riley | Brand Strategist & Founder

Most entrepreneurs are risk-takers by design. If you have the guts to walk away from a stable job to start a business from scratch, you don’t mind a little risk. In fact, you may actual enjoy the thrill of it. For me, risk has provided me a great deal of happiness. It allowed me to chase after the things I wanted and never have to wonder “what if”. By combination of luck and street smarts, most all of the risks I’ve taken have paid off. They’ve all been steps that have led me to where I am today. When someone asks “how did you have the courage to quit your job and start a company,” I tell them what I thought about. I asked myself what the worst case scenario would be. If I start this business and it doesn’t succeed, I could downsize my house, get a job somewhere and be just fine. Maybe I don’t take a vacation. Maybe I can’t do certain things because my lifestyle has changed. But I would, hopefully, still have my health and my family. When I think about that being the worse case scenario, it makes taking the risk seem pretty easy. Read more>>

Taylor Ray | Spray Tanning & Teeth Whitening Artist

I am very fortunate to have been raised by awesome parents who have spent my whole life teaching me to find a balance between thinking through decisions but living a life without regret. I often find myself in a place where I want to make a decision out of fear and desire for comfort. I work very hard to avoid the easy way and live a life that I can’t look back on and say “I wish I had…”. I don’t think that means you should always choose the risky path but choose the one that excites you even if it also scares you. If I hadn’t done that I would still be working a corporate job that was pretty extremely comfortable but didn’t feed my passion. Read more>>

Chavez Pownell | Business owner & Entrepreneur

When I think of taking a risk I think of my younger self playing football. At times in a game you have to be poise and understand your opponent then at the right time you shoot your shot to make a play. After you shoot your shot you could be wrong or right but you narrow your chances of being wrong down by studying the opposition and putting yourself in the right position first. Taking risk has been something I have become accustomed to throughout my life. In my younger days, I excelled at football at the defensive back position, unknowingly at the time, I have been taking risk since then. Choosing the schools I would attend for high school and college were both planned decisions that were also shooting a shot and taking a risk for a better life. Both contributing to who I am today. Read more>>

Stephanie Sterling | The Authentic Stephanie Sterling

Growing up and experiencing a variety of obstacles, I have learned that you will not get anywhere when you are comfortable. I have experienced the greatest growth whenever I take a risk. Typically when you take a risk you are stepping outside of your comfort zone which catapults you to the next level of your journey. In taking these risks I have grown both personally and professionally. My mind is opened to new things and ideas that allow me to make good decisions in order for me to succeed in life. Honestly I am overall a better person for it. Read more>>