Shoot your shot? Take a chance? Society bombards us with messages, phrases, examples and stories of how taking risk is the key to success, but is anything ever that simple? We asked some of the brightest folks we know to tell us about how they think about risk. We’ve shared their responses below.

Debrah Jones | Wedding Venue Co-Owner and Manager

I feel that much of the time we allow our anxieties and fears to convince us that taking risks in life and in our careers is just not worth it. Anxiety and fear are liars! Some of the most beautiful moments in our lives occur outside of our comfort zone. It would have been very easy for me to stay in my comfort zone, which was working for “the man” (corporations) that provided a decent salary, benefits, their idea of success, and so many rules that kept me in their box. It was restricting, but it was comforting. Letting others conform me to their idea of what I was suppose to be became “normal”….just what we do, or so I thought. Read more>>

Emily Vinyard-Walker | Wedding & Family Photographer

If I hadn’t taken risks, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Period. You have to take the big risks to make the big moves. A year ago, I was a depressed restaurant manager trying to find time for the things that made me happy. Once I realized I didn’t have to live my life that way, I jumped full-time into my business and started to see real growth. Now I’m taking on more work than I thought possible doing things that truly make me happy. Read more>>

Stephany Uc | Doctor of Chiropractic

A potential loss, at anything, can be a scary thought. No one likes to work hard at something and risk losing it all. But I don’t think that risks should be something to be looked at negatively. I do think that in certain cases, they are necessary for growth. To not take a risk is a risk in itself; it’s a lost opportunity to flourish. Read more>>

HARTMANNI | Singer-Songwriter, Guitarist, Producer

Risk is everything! Anything worthwhile involves some risk. It just so happens that a career in entertainment is probably one of the riskiest careers to chose because your income and value is largely based on what other people think of you. I embrace risk because I know it’s a necessity. The risks I take are calculated to some degree and not just a “fly by the seat of my pants” scenario. My greatest risk was moving from a comfortable life, my family, and friends in Dallas, TX to Los Angeles to further my music career. Read more>>

Alexis Monét | Film Director, Screenwriter, Producer

When I first embarked on this journey behind the lens, in 2016, I was afraid of risks. I was terrified to fail and have to start over and over again. I found myself having to readjust to all the changes that come with this industry. Truthfully, it was hard. Well, it’s still pretty tough to grasp the idea of being in a line of work that is constantly evolving and pushing you to step outside the box and try new things. Read more>>

Chris Leal | Teacher and Candidate for TX State House District 114

I always tell my students: anything worth really doing in life is going to be hard, and it will take risk. The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. The bigger the challenge, the more rewarding and fulfilling the achievement. The risk-reward tradeoff is a rule in finance and economics but it’s also true in our everyday lives. You create the most value by doing the things other people think are too hard or impossible. Embracing risk has defined my life and my career. I always strive to get out of my comfort zone. Read more>>

Israel Isas | Filmmaker & Motion Designer

Taking on a creative career is a risk in itself haha. Nothing but long hours and sacrifices in hopes to get seen, rewarded, and valued. If you don’t have the drive and passion for it then you’re really just wasting your time. I have no regrets being in the video/film field. I’ve taken many risks but they’ve all worked for the best. Either I gained a new experience, learned something new, or started a new relationship. What drives me is to create and I’ve chosen video and filmmaking as my way to communicate that. I am a man of faith and I am a firm believer that God will always take care of me. Read more>>

Jason Santino | Interview question J.santino

There has been a multitude of risks that I have taken for my life and career. In some ways, my entire career path is a risk. I think risks are essential to becoming who you are and getting to where you want to be. Back in 2019, I was homeless and I took my last 86 dollars on a square space website just to have a chance to be presentable for motor city pride (Michigan’s largest pride). I didn’t even know how to create a website and I was past the application deadline. Read more>>

Mike Smith | Musician

Risk taking has played a major part in my life. I dropped out of college and had no plan B. I knew i wanted to be a touring musician and have music be my full time job. So in my mind i decided to put all my effort into making that happen. I feel that if you prepare to fail and put 50 percent into your dream and the other 50 into a back up plan, then you’re just setting yourself up to fail. I kind of used the fact of not having a back up plan or a safety net as motivation to make sure i succeeded. In a nut shell i feel that life is too short to not take chances. I would much rather try and fail then not try and wish i had. Read more>>

Cameron Pruitt | Credit & Business Consultant

Risks are everywhere. Anything you do involves some form of risk based on your perception. Some may say leaving a job to pursue entrepreneurship is a risk due to potentially having a lack of financial stability. But what is the difference if I stay at a job that can lay me off at anytime? I think when that happened to me back when covid came I realized that risk is everywhere and If i am going to be around it I might as well choose the risks I want to take. Read more>>