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.

Christine Smith | Detective & Content Creator

In 2003, I got laid off from my tech job of 8 years at the time. I was working full time and paying my way through college and commuting back and forth from Austin at Texas State University in San Marcos. When I lost my job, I decided to not halt going back to school and finishing my degree, which I was in my last 2 years of school taking upper level courses. So what did I do? I was 30 years old and attending class as an undergrad, non-traditional student with 18-19 year olds. It was crazy! Read more>>

Mildred J. Gallo | License Lash Artist

Me taking that leap to start my own business was very scary and questionable but it has been one of the best risk taking ideas I’ve ever had ! It has played a big role in my life I choose my own schedule I work for myself and most important I have time for my family Read more>>

Kari Willis | President & Co-Founder

All entrepreneurs are risk takers! We know that over thirty percent of startups fail within the first 2 years and only 40% of small business are profitable. With these stats imagine starting a business 9 and a half years ago – it was full of risk. What I know about risk and have learned throughout my career:
• Not every risk will pan out as you had hoped, but have the right mentality to learn from it you will be better than you were prior to taking that risk
• Growth is it what happens when you take risks! Read more>>

Stephanie Saunders | Realtor

I’m from Manchester, New Hampshire. I only applied for colleges in San Diego, California. Sight unseen. I wanted to move to California and since I had to pay for college myself, I figured I might as well go where every I wanted. My first day in San Diego was my first day of orientation at San Diego State at 18 years old. It was a culture shock! But I learned to love California, it was so completely different from life in New England, and I ended up staying there for 15 years. It took a few years to acclimate, but from that experience I realized if you take the risk, the reward is always more than you even could imagine. Read more>>

Simon Rangel | Cozi the Artist / Rapper / Singer / Songwriter

Always felt like you will never know unless you try. Sure life’s greatest accomplishments all come at an expense. Whether it is your time, money or relationships. Being an artist/creative is a career that most do not follow through with due to the risk factor, but I always felt like you can get anything you want out of life so long as you are willing to do whatever it takes. To get the things out of life I want I have to be 100% okay with the risk and losing people or money and my time. Read more>>

Shannon Jamail | Small Business Owner

I truly live by the adage that life is short, and we won’t regret the risks we took, but the ones we didn’t. I am a multiple business entrepreneur and I love it! From starting multiple new companies, to investing every penny I have, to moving across the country to make it happen- I don’t allow fear to be the deciding factor in business decisions. I operate purely on excitement, a desire to serve others and my determination to make it happen. This doesn’t mean I haven’t had obstacles or challenges along the way- quite the contrary. Read more>>