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.

Andrea Steponaitis | Private Fitness Studio Owner & Online Network Marketer

I view risk as an uncomfortable and unknown opportunity. Not all risks are created equal. Some will yield invaluable results and other may become failures. The question in starting and reinventing my fitness business several times was always this: What would be the best possible outcome if I succeed and worst outcome if I fail? If you are able to pick yourself up with the worst outcome then you better start finding a way towards that risk. I’ve always been the person to jump in right when I wasn’t sure If I was ready- sort of like jumping out of an airplane for the first time. You learn and grow as you go. You get into the mess, fail forward and celebrate each small success. This is how I’ve been able to start a successful brick and mortar womens fitness studio. Scared out of my mind but hopeful for the future. This is also how I made the difficult decision for myself and growing family to shut down my successful studio and reinvent myself as a private in home studio owner and online fitness network marketer. Read more>>

Shardae Jefferson | Boutique Owner

We all know the saying “no risk, no reward,” and that’s truly something I live by. You can only get so far playing it safe, and every risk I’ve taken has ended in success or got me closer to where I’m working toward. In my work I take risks by pouring money into marketing, inventory, photography spaces, etc. I could play it safe and buy cheaper items, or only shoot outside so it doesn’t cost. However when you live in scarcity, you grow in scarcity. You have to invest in your business all the time for you to grow. In life I take risks by never being afraid of change. When I was planning to move to Dallas, so many people would tell me it was a bad idea because I had stability and a network in Michigan. But that didn’t deter me, it just motivated me to work harder. Read more>>

Maggie Wells | Birth Doula & Placenta Encapsulation Specialist

You can’t grow if you don’t take risks. Change will come slowly over time if you don’t take the leap when given the chance. I was working as a full-time nanny (48hrs+ a week) and trying to juggle my Doula business. It wasn’t fair to me and it wasn’t fair to my clients. I went back and forth for years. I was too afraid to not have the safety net of nannying. When I really thought about “What’s the worst that could happen?”, it wasn’t that bad, I could always find another second job. I took the leap in November 2020 and fully committed to my dreams of solely focusing on my business. I now have more free time and more Doula clients. I’ve created relationships with midwives and birth centers across the metroplex. My only regret is that I didn’t take the risk to commit to myself. Read more>>

Terrance Williams | Small Business Owner and Designer

Being a risk taker is one of the most important traits of a small business owner. I took a HUGE risk when I left my jobs and moved halfway across the country from Pennsylvania to Texas to do my business full time. It was a huge risk because I was starting all over and because I didn’t have the financial safety net of my jobs, but running my business full time was always my dream and to make it a reality I had to take that risk and it has definitely paid off. I’m running my business full time! Even when it comes to launching new items, especially during the pandemic, there’s always a risk of things not selling well, but I take it anyway because I truly believe in the clothing and accessories I make and sell. Read more>>

Thulasiram Govinda Chettiyar | Yoga Instructor & Independent Artist

I strongly believe that risk is but an opportunity in disguise, and a well-calculated risk always puts us on a pedestal that not only pushes us to do better in our chosen field of interest but also shows us a whole new dimension of ourselves that we never knew existed in the first place. The very foundation of my present life was based on a huge risk I decided to take at an important point in my career. I was working a white-collar 9-to-5 job in a major software company in India when an opportunity to teach yoga in Vietnam came knocking on my door from an old friend with whom I used to practice yoga growing up. As luck would have it, I had been keeping up with my practices and had all the required certificates in place. Although the idea to build a career in yoga and performance arts was something that has been sitting in my head for a good few years before I got this opportunity, the road ahead, I knew, was going to be a challenging and extremely difficult path to travel. Read more>>

Erica Sails | Family Medicine Physician

Risks are a necessary part of life. I realized early on that if I was to become a physician, I would have to risk going against the grain. Historically, the field of medicine was wholly dominated by men. Although there are many female physicians now, it is still a male dominated profession. African-Americans, in a 2019 survey made up only 2.6% of the nation’s doctors. As an African-American female in medicine I knew it would be risky to even try. I accepted the risks and challenges and met them with a fortitude, tenacity and discipline that I didn’t know I had and presevered. Read more>>

Brandonn “B10” Tinner | Creative Designer, Photographer, Videographer

I believe taking risk are very important when going through the journey of success. It’s actually funny because i found one of my favorite quotes on a Taco Bell sauce package which reads ” If you never do, you’ll never know.” Throughout my career i had to take a-lot of risk to learn and push my self to heights i was scared or nervous to reach but taking risk definitely made me stronger. Read more>>

Kara Barker | Author of Hallelujahs and Hiccups 100 Day Devotional Journal,

Every day you are presented with choices to either adhere, adjust, respond or even reject. Taking a risk to achieve a goal requires tremendous courage, faith and a “little grit”. As a new Christian author, influencer and leader, there has been numerous times in which I had to bet on myself. Before 2020, I considered myself slightly risk adverse and one who was comfortable with coloring within lines. But God, had a bigger purpose and plan for my life. 2020 was a transformational year for me, in which, I fully accepted and “owned my space in the world” and wrote and published my first book called, Hallelujahs and Hiccups 100 Day Devotional Journal. Hallelujahs and Hiccups, invites the readers to experience 100 days of opportunities to pray, reflect and journal. The daily devotional journal is filled with personal life lessons, scriptures and prayer prompts. Within the book, I share various career and life stories that required me to be vulnerable and transparent which was a personal risk. Read more>>

Rita Louise | Naturopath & Medical Intuitive

Life is all about risk. If we are unwilling to risk our comfort we would never move forward in life. From starting a new relationship to ending an unfulfilling job, each of these involves risk. For most people, they are afraid to take a risk. They fear the unknown and are uncomfortable moving in direction where they do not have a clear understanding of where they are heading. This has not been the case for me. In many areas of my life and throughout the years, I have embraced risk. I moved to California when I was 19 years old to go to college. I did not know anyone in the state and did not have a place to live when I arrived. I just packed my bags, got on an airplane and trusted that it would all be okay. Many people thought I was crazy or that I would fail and within a few short months return home. That never happened. Instead, I found a place to live, got a job and never looked back. Many years later I quit my high paying “day job” to pursue running my own business. Read more>>

Chandler Thomas | Baker/Creative

Risks being present, whether you take them or they present themselves on they’re own, build character! I feel that there is a great reward in taking any risk that is why I welcome them. My belief is that with any risk you take, there is a consequence which could be a good or bad one. . Obviously there may be a good outcome from taking that risk, but even if it ends up not working out, you’ve at least allowed yourself to learn from it. What I always say is “If you don’t go, you won’t know”. Which to me means : if you don’t show up for yourself and take risks, you won’t ever reach your fullest potential. Give yourself 1,000 chances, and never give up! I’m my life, I’ve tried to learn from the risks I’ve taken that didn’t work out so the next time around, I don’t make the same mistake. But making those mistakes has surely helped me to even build my confidence in my career. I’ve noticed that I’ve gained a greater understanding from taking those risks. Read more>>

Katherine Plummer | Abstract Artist

I am definitely a risk taker. I enjoy trying new things even if they seem scary. Throughout starting my art business there have been many risks I’ve taken. Just putting yourself out there for people to see your work and being vulnerable with people is often times very intimidating. Read more>>

Terria Nichols | Certified Fitness Coach

Every part of life involves risk. You either take the risks that come along with following your dreams or you risk living in regret. Every decision that I’ve made in my life until now involved some level of risk. When I left my corporate position for the second time in March 2020, the country was quarantined a week later. Instead of looking at this as a setback I used it to my advantage and pivoted my business to what it is today. Not only am I offering in-person training packages but I also offer virtual and online options, two risks I might not have taken had it not been for quarantine. Read more>>

Rob Howe | Entrepreneur and Person With Diabetes

I recently took a quiz on a financial app that was supposed to gauge your risk tolerance. I scored a 10 out of 10 on the scale of comfort with risk, which I think is probably right. When you start a business and don’t have the luxury of seed funding or outside investors, you have to get comfortable with the idea of risk. In a services business, you often are working on good faith that the work you do will get you paid, but especially in the beginning there’s a lot of uncertainty around that. In moments like those, for me, I try to imagine the worst possible scenario. If everything went terribly, and I experienced the worst possible outcome, what would that look like? I think it was Balzac who said “Our greatest fears lie in anticipation.” So if you force yourself to really imagine what the worst possible scenario looks like, often it’s not so bad! So my risk when starting Recreation and Diabetics Doing Things was “Well, if these fail, I can go get a job somewhere and be fine.” Read more>>

Jansen Klefeker | Realtor & Founder at J.Klefeker Real Estate Group

I had a conversation with my personal hero, my dad, at the end of 2020 about how my business has grown and he said one thing that I’ve thought about ever since. First he said he was proud of me, which means the world to me, then he said something to the tune of “You’re definitely a risk taker, and you’re quick to take big risks, and the best part is you have a wife that encourages you to take those risks”. I know that as my wife and I move forward in life and our collateral for risks becomes greater, I might take my foot off the gas and risk less, but I know without a doubt right now, being able to risk it all is my best advantage. I see it like this: Risk is like stepping up to the plate in a baseball game, its the bottom of the 9th, bases are loaded, and we’re down by 4 runs. I have to do everything in my power to hit a home run to win this game (metaphor isn’t perfect, but work with me). Everything I do in my business is this scenario to me and all I’m doing is swinging the bat, the only difference is I’m swinging for the fences. Read more>>

Alycia Trotter | A Joyful Mess Art Studio Owner

I think that taking risks in life are a good thing! Only when you step outside of your comfort zone is when you can truly achieve your dreams. Now I do think it’s important to have a plan before taking a risk and making sure you are looking at all the angles as much as you can. But in that uncomfortable butterflies in your stomach feeling is where you also feel immense excitement and joy. It’s where you feel ALIVE! If I hadn’t taken a risk, if my family hadn’t taken a risk, I wouldn’t be where I am today with my studio. Read more>>

Christian Serrano | Entrepreneur & Engineer

I believe life is all about risk taking. If you don’t take risks, you will continue to live in comfort. Of course, that is not to say that that is not some peoples happiness, it is. However, that is not mine. I like to wake up and challenge myself in everything I can. When I stop being challenged, I stop growing and the thought of looking back a year from now and still be in the same spot, terrifies me. There is a quote about risk taking that I always think about, “if you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” This is the exact reason why I am a risk tasker. I don’t want to be ordinary, I don’t want to settle, I want to continue to take risks and grow. Being an immigrant, I could have gone the safe route and continued to work minimum wage with my dad in construction and I am sure I would find happiness in that. Read more>>

Kristen Gonzalez | Unicorn at Arieyl

Risk taking is 100% essential for growth. I preach on this because I’ve seen where it can take not only me, but so many around me that are brave enough to take the plunge. Let me start by saying, my parents were not big risk takers. Nothing wrong with that,to each their own. But I felt I was wired different. In college, when they told me to “work a comfortable summer job” with a set hourly pay, the rebellious side of me said “no, I’m going door to door selling kids books.” Not everyone understood the “ifcome”. They thought I should be making an “income”. Commission based pay wasn’t familiar to them. I took the risk my junior year of college, moved to a different state, lived with girls from school I barely knew, in a host families house (that I knocked on doors to find) and knocked 80 hours a week selling educational books to families in their home. That internship set the stage for my risk taking. I made $15,000 that summer. I saw what I was capable of. I took the risk to move from Florida to Texas with no job, only knowing my (now) husband. Read more>>

Othashia Harris | Professional Make up Arist & Candle Maker

Taking risk to me is a factor of life. Risk is what has helped and guided me start up and pursue myself as a business owner. When taking risk, you really have to have a go getter attitude. Itdoes make you feel uncomfortable at times but you just have to believe in yourself and value as well. Taking risk has guided me in so many things and taught me so much about myself than I can ever imagine. Taking risk has played a huge part/ role in my life and business as well. Read more>>

Angel Radcliffe | Financial Educator & Business Strategist

When I think about taking risks, whether personally or professionally, I believe we all can say it’s one of those ‘scary’ conversations. The first time you want to defy societal standards or the standards friends or family have for you, just the thought process can be a burden. I’ve done both, stepping outside of your comfort zone and taking risks can be exhilarating and I encourage everyone to do so at one point or another in their life. Once you face the risk and take a chance, you lower your anxiety and empower yourself to try new things. One of the biggest risks I’ve taken in my life was quitting my job with no backup plan and only a few months of expenses saved, my goal was to build my brand and business out which turned out great but there were definitely bumps in the road and times where I felt as though I made the wrong decision. One of the best things about taking risks is the reward, and the next time someone calls you a ‘risktaker, correct them and say no ‘I’m a changemaker”. Signed xoxo A Fellow Changemaker. Read more>>

Chastity Escalante | Meal Prep Specialist

Risk can be tricky because as a new business owner, there are some risks that seem to have a high potential for gain. I try to remind myself that while I’m looking to benefit and grow as much as possible, not all risks are worth it especially if they include compromising my personal time and self care. I firmly believe that your business is as healthy you are, so it’s important to seriously weigh what risks you are taking and ensure that they don’t demote who you are personally, even if briefly. Read more>>

Christina Bernhard | FB Ads and Funnels Agency Owner

There isn’t anything I’ve really accomplished that I am proud of that didn’t include taking a big risk. I often get asked, “How do I know if the risk is worth it?” And the answer is you don’t. Returns and results are never guaranteed, but you set yourself up for loss of so much if you’re not willing to lose some. Read more>>

BTF Drippy | Artist

Risk taking is very important went it comes to the music industry. I personally still take risks in order to get to a higher level. Doing music with a different sound or approach is a high risk because you’re not sure what the audience would like or if they’ll rock with the new wave. But that’s a risk worth taking because eventually you would find the right audience and overtime that unusual sound would become familiar all with that risk. Read more>>

Angela Ficken | Psychotherapist and Online Educator

I see taking risks as part of the job description of being an entrepreneur. There is no manual when choosing the self-employed route and that means you are paving your own way, therefore taking risks is one of the major strategies needed if you want to build and grow. Without taking risks in my life, my brand would not be where it is today. Taking risks for me means I am embracing potential failure, but without failing there is no opportunity for growth. How could I learn without making mistakes? How could I learn about myself and what feels right for me in my business without making flubs and missing the mark? It’s also about saying yes to opportunity. Not just in the financial arena but in personal development. Some risks can feel smaller, like starting a newsletter and others can feel more. Read more>>

Lauren Scott | Brand Consultant + Art Director

It is not my nature to take risks but looking back at my life and career, all of my greatest successes were the result of some level of risk. Donald Miller says that successful leaders must be relentlessly optimistic – if only 10% of our ideas work, we are guaranteed success, as long as we are willing to experience up to 9 failures. When I left my job to start Coeur, I felt like I was jumping off a cliff. I didn’t have a thorough business plan written out yet. I didn’t have a clear one, five or ten year goal in mind. I was a brand new mom who wanted to experience my son’s first year of life. I had felt like the question that so many women face of whether to return to work or to stay home is too dichotomous, too black and white. I was wildly determined to set out to find the right shade of gray for my family and my future. I was also confident that I had value to offer my clients, decent business acumen, a calling to raise up a team and enough passion to go around. Read more>>

Trip G | Musician

I think at some point you will have to take a risk to get what you truly want. If I didn’t take any risks, i wouldn’t be where I am at now. Honestly, I feel there were moments when I should’ve risked more, but that is something you learn with experience. Read more>>

Aaron Kelley | Music Producer

I think that risk taking is essential for growth and success. We are naturally adverse to discomfort which keeps us from taking risks. However, staying comfortable is an anchor is the worst possible way. It’s when we do take the risks that lead us into discomfort that we can effect change in our lives whether personal or professional. Any time I feel stuck in my career I ask myself what chance can I take, or in what way can I embrace discomfort in order to grow. Currently that means setting aside time to work on things that do not immediately provide revenue, but could in the long term lead to the greatest gains. Seeking out new relationships is another somewhat risky venture that leads to growth. It’s easy to fall into the trap of staying in a bubble that we know so that we can’t be rejected. Often our bubble is less of a support structure and more of a box that keeps us isolated and in stasis. Even if a new work relationship proves fruitless, at very least it provides momentum in a new direction and the experience of seeing that rejection is not the end of the world. Read more>>

Bria Rogers | Vintage and Holistic Entrepreneur

I think frisk is essential in anything successful in life. Playing it safe has never led to extraordinary results. Here’s my thought process on it…Life is short, the time will pass anyways, so why not put all you have into what you love? Chances are if you put the energy into something you love, the positivity of it all will lead to something great contrary to the latter. So, spend your savings, reach out to that celebrity or influencer on social media because that could be the action that catapults your business or success. We can’t take our savings with us if tomorrow isn’t promised and the worst thing a person can say to you is, “No.” Sometimes, a “no” could also be your motivational to push harder. Bottom line is, TAKE ALL THE RISKS for what you love, that way you’ll never life with regret. I’ve had tremendous success in taking risks and it has taught me a lot along the way. Risk taking has grown my business and has grown me as a person. Read more>>

Omolara Adedeji | Owner & Nail Slayer

In my opinion, risk is a necessary key to living a fulfilling life. I used to fear the unknown because I wanted to be in control to avoid pain, and if I’m being honest, I still want to be in the driver seat at times. But, I’m persuaded that the best things in life we can experience are on the other side of fear and most importantly, when we relinquish control. Though pain is inevitable, no pain is wasted and always manifests into something greater. That lesson is learned after you take a risk. How do I know? I’m living it. For me, from only applying to one school for undergrad, getting into Penn State then going against my Nigerian culture’s norm to pursue a beauty career, to moving to London for 5 months, then moving to Dallas knowing no one, and starting my business during a pandemic—taking risks is apart of my life. I’ve learned so much about who I am, why I am the way I am, how faithful God is, and what I’m capable of—all of which gives me clarity of my purpose and equips me to live it out. Read more>>

Gerhard Maale | Mastiff Breeder & Dog Trainer

I have always been a risk taker. I grew up participating in many extreme sports and I have always been drawn to high risk activities. From a business standpoint more risk equals more reward. The dog breeding industry is a very high risk business that requires a very large amount of upfront investment with little to no return for years. When you buy a dog that you intend to breed there is all kinds of things that can go wrong between the time of purchase and the age that they are breedable. Read more>>

Odunze Oguguo | Youtuber and Manga/Comic Creator

There were definitely risks taken at the beginning of my career. Creating comics today is not as secure occupation as a few others but I can down to me not wanting any regrets in life. I’ve always loved to be creative and I felt like I wouldn’t be satisfied in life if I didn’t pursue art and storytelling in some way, risk or not. Read more>>

LaShawna Hayes- Martin | Jewelry Designer

When you are a person who deals with anxiety taking any risk can be very frightening. I was always overthinking each step that I had to take before I made the decision to start my jewelry business. All of the “what ifs” played over and over in my head. I will honestly say that losing my job due to Covid gave me the push and time to take the leap! I call it a leap because jumping over those hurdles felt really good! I am now in my comfort zone making jewelry pieces and empowering other women like me. It is the greatest feeling. Making jewelry calms my anxiety and makes me happy to know my DAINTY CO. ladies are feeling like the 10 that they are!. Read more>>

Brianda Summers | Intuitive Henna and Jagua Artist / Creative Director

Risk-taking has proved to me that whatever I might have imagined being the outcome was so far-fetched from what actually might happen. Risk has empowered me to be more grounded in believing in myself and having faith. Risk is a chance to grow and show up for yourself on another level. Without risks, I would still be working as a server. Living with a limited mind state. Dreading having to get up and go to a job that didn’t value who I am. Being drained day after day. Without me taking that risk I wouldn’t be living my truth now. Read more>>

Kevin T. Robertson (KTR) Kevin T. Robertson (KTR) | CEO at Speakerfocus.com & International Keynote Speaker

Trailblazers, mavericks & pioneers are all extreme risk takers and I’m no different. Most people are risk averse and let fear demolish their ambitions, control their desires and crush their dreams. I don’t like being controlled by anything and I’m ultra competitive. “My attitude towards risk is f%ck it, I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain’. All I have to do is keep working through the pain of sacrifice, getting better at my craft and the payoff is going to be huge. At the very least, I feel like the learning lessons from each risk I take have made me stronger to deal with the next one. Having more courage stored up for each battle in business is very necessary. You will be challenged each step of the way. I make it a habit to stay prepared and research my investment opportunities and business ventures to prevent unnecessary losses. Human resources are your biggest asset. Read more>>

Nacari Mosley | Self published Author & YouTube Podcaster

I will say risk is definitely a big Challenge you have to invest in yourself to really make it far , if you aren’t willing to do that then the road will definitely be hard . Investing in yourself is more a belief, you put everything on the line because you believe in yourself enough to make it back and more after that , it is such a huge risk because you never know sometimes you fail that doesn’t mean give up , challenges will always be there . When I first started I took risk and it didn’t work out for me , but I never quit and eventually My risk of investing and believing in myself took off. Read more>>

Stefanie Haas | Home Baker

I’m definitely a risk taker. I believe that life is too short to not risk something every once in a while. I listen to my feelings and follow what I feel is right. Sometimes it’s scary and takes me a bit to actually take the leap, but with starting my business it was something I just decided to do. I’ve been making the family birthday cakes for years, and after making a unicorn cake for one of my niece’s birthday parties I received such praise that I figured “Why not”. When taking risks, I’m a huge fan of the Pros/Cons list. I typically do it in my head fairly quickly but if it needs more research, then I’ll use a spreadsheet. With starting a home bakery, the Cons were pretty minimal so it seemed like a no-brainer. If I’m faced with a choice that gets me out of my comfort zone, then it’s not going to feel good at first but that’s only because I’m growing. Growing doesn’t usually feel good, that’s why they’re called growing pains. And most people don’t like pain; our bodies are literally designed to avoid it. Read more>>

Brittany Stephenson | Online Business Manager | Business Strategist

One Wednesday last year, I scheduled an impromptu skydiving adventure during my lunch break. That morning, I researched the company, booked my solo ticket for a 2PM jump, drove to the location, enjoyed the jump and was back in front of my computer by the early afternoon to finish the day. It was my first time experiencing something like that and as I completed the necessary paperwork, I noted the numerous times the following phrase was listed: “Skydiving involves jumping out of an aircraft and using a parachute to land. There is inherent risk that comes with this experience.” Duly noted. I decided to jump anyway. That’s essentially how I think about risks. No matter what you are doing in life, there are constraints and possible roadblocks that may deter or scare you. But you will never experience the free fall of an opportunity if you never take the risk and jump. Read more>>