Legend holds that Cornelius Vanderbilt had built a massive fortune in the steamboat shipping industry, but then realized the railroads were the way of the future and invested almost his entire net worth into railroads. The gamble paid off and made Vanderbilt one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs ever. But risks are inherently…risky. How do you think about risk and how has it affected your life and career? Some of our community favorites share their perspective below.

Ruth Jones | Author, Speaker & Founder of Ruth Jones Inspires

It was Helen Keller who said, “Life is either a daring adventure, or it is nothing at all.” I’ve always enjoyed a sense of adventure and risk-taking from a young age. I have gone skydiving several times, swam in shark-filled waters on vacation, and have wanted to be a storm-chaser since I was a kid. While my adventurous side shows up easily and quickly in my leisure pursuits, I didn’t always embrace risk in my professional life. I tended to lean into what was comfortable and familiar in a job or relationship rather and was a little slow to admit when it was time to move on. I had to learn to believe in myself and realize that playing small and avoiding stepping out was a surer guarantee of failure than the “big thing” I was pursuing. So I began to push myself to go for it in big and small ways! I started a side hustle launching a marketing firm on the side and began successfully serving small to medium-size businesses. Then, I started a second business launching an indie-publishing company. I left a position I had been in for more than a decade and moved across the country to Dallas, where I I didn’t know a soul. I began intentionally pursuing corporate roles I didn’t feel qualified for and got them! I began asking for the big raise and raising my hand for the risky project at work with the large upside if successful. Small risks that I said yes to in the present prepared me for greater risks that would come. It was like a muscle that once exercised, made me stronger and braver with each undertaking. And eventually I took the big leap, leaving a thriving six-figure job at a dream company to launch out on. my own as an entrepreneur starting Ruth Jones Inspires, a company whose mission is to help women have the kind of impact that they are capable of having in the world. Today, I have the privilege of creating content, courses, and community to empower others to rise up, overcome self-doubt, and create a no-regret life they love. Read more>>

Michael Campbell | Founder of Smile I Stutter & Professional Golfer

Here’s what I don’t want: I don’t want to be on my death bed, surrounded by all the risks I should have gone for and learning what could have been. I personally feel that my God gives us all gifts, gifts that if nurtured and refined could develop into something beautiful. Risks are scary, but what if’s are even scarier! Read more>>

Sydne McDade, CPA | CPA & Real Estate Investor

I believe big rewards come from taking big risks. My career wouldn’t be as rewarding as it is if I didn’t take risk. It started with changing my major. I was originally a business management major in college when my Accounting 1 professor suggested I change my major while handing in my final. I was hesitant until I got my first “big girl” paycheck and noticed how much taxes were taken out. I was furious and ultimately curios how to avoid taxes for the rest of my life. I added accounting as a major that same semester which was risky because I was well into my Management classes and now had to take more hours while balancing my other extracurricular activities. Read more>>

Treylieus Curry | Spoken Word Artist

When it comes down to risk, it’s tough because it all depends on where you’re looking to go and what God is telling you. If you feel it’s right and worth it, I say don’t overthink it, pray about it, go for it and ask God to lead you in the right direction. Sometimes you may fail sometimes it may work out but as long as you gain something from the whole thing then I say it was worth it. Read more>>

Amy Brewer | Founder Elizabeth’s Voice

When I was in third grade – my family had gone to see a friend participate in a track meet. There was an event that required men and women to compete in a different way – making it easier for the women. I was a mad 8 year old girl – arguing with my dad about how in the world they could treat women so poorly. The discussion ended when I screamed at my dad “you know there was a time when women couldn’t vote???!!” Read more>>

Devang Soni | Drive Growth | Ventures – Angel / Startup Investor and Advisor, Board Member, Digital & Transformation Executive

With over two decades of experience in business and technology transformation, I have had a great career in helping & guiding Fortune 500 organizations toward digital & technology innovation and growth. I have an extensive background in technology, including Cloud, Data & AI. I recently served as the Managing Director at Accenture LLP, where I led major transformation programs for clients and the Application Modernization and Migration Practice in the US SOUTH Region. Before that, served as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and advisor to the board at Computer Data Source, Inc., where I was responsible for driving the technology vision and growth of the business and leading large-scale global service delivery. Read more>>