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.

Laura Rock | Philanthropist

When I take risks I take them on individual people. I choose to trust my intuition when I meet a person who is trying to move their organization in a specific direction when I decide to support them. This has not always worked out for me! More than once I have put my time, energy and funds behind someone who has not been trustworthy. I find that believing my instincts about the person leading the charge is imperative to my mission. I’ve also learned that knowing when and how to exit is just as important. Read more>>

Kyt Lyn Walken | Mantracking Expert, Instructor and Representative for Hull’s Tracking School (Virginia)

A big one indeed. When I started running Mantracking classes I considered all the risks to bring such a primitive Art back in style. In the end, I was quite surprised and amazed by the positive response I received, from L.E. Officers to Search and Rescue Volunteers, from Army Personnel to civilians. Read more>>

Carrie Grace | Executive Director of Freedom Shield Foundation

Taking risks plays a huge part in my career, As the Executive Director of an Anti-Trafficking organization, risk is always involved in our work. I used to be someone who was completely risk-averse. I did not like the potential for failure when risk was involved. I preferred to “play it safe” and watch others first to see how things worked out for them. When I began working with survivors of human trafficking, I saw the risks they took just to survive and have the courage to leave their traffickers. They had to risk everything to even get in a vehicle with our team and trust that we were actually going to help them. They had to risk starting all over. If they are willing to risk all of that, I better be willing to risk as well. Read more>>

Sarah O’Neal | Photographer

Taking a leap definitely got me on my way to my career in photography. I was originally a science major, switched to journalism, fell in love with photography as more than a hobby, and jumped into managing a portrait studio at 21. I took a second leap to go out on my own and go full-time freelance several years ago. I wanted the chance to use more creativity and have more variety in what I was able to shoot. Variety is what I strive for in all aspects of my life, and my career is no different. Read more>>

Allison Hocking | Senior Account Executive, LKCM Radio Group

Risk taking is the only way we grow. While I was living in California and selling horse trailers, we had a new model come in that was sponsored by Clinton Anderson, an Australian Horse Trainer. I started watching his program on RFD TV, and started using his methods on my horses. They worked beautifully. I decided that’s what I wanted to do, so I traveled to his tour stops across the Nation until he hired me on his program. I had to take a big risk and agree to be an unpaid apprentice for 6 months in Ohio. I decided to go for it, moved across the country and eventually down to Texas. Read more>>

Faizon Burns | Portrait/Lifestyle Photographer

Risk taking actually makes me learn exactly what to do and what not to do. Taking risk has made me learn way faster in my career as a photographer with me being the introvert I am it makes things exciting. Read more>>

Ta’Quartney (TK) Jordan | Clothing Brand Owner (ANYWEAR BRAND)

I believe that risks are leaps of faith. If you KNOW in your mind that you’re supposed to be doing something that will broaden your experience and sharpen your skillset towards ANY goal you establish, faith will manifest your vision, and that leap will come to pass! I was born and raised in a small town called Lexington, NC, and I graduated from UNC-Charlotte in 2019. After I graduated from undergrad, I had a job offer in Texas, but the company did not offer a relocation package. I had to decide immediately on the job offer and find a person to sublet my apartment in Charlotte before moving. Read more>>

Mario Wooden | Entrepreneur

Risk taking has played an incredible role in my life. I have worked in Corporate America for the past 15-20 years, and to transition into a 100% entrepreneur is a huge risk. Some would say the greater the risk, the greater reward. It takes a special type of individual along with the faith in God and yourself to achieve individual goals let along a career. Read more>>

Bryant Ochoa | Detailer & entrepreneur

Taking risks, I feel like to be successful you have to take risks, we never know how far we can go if we never take Risk in life … to be uncomfortable in something but still managing to pull through with your business is called “Taking Risks” and it’s all worth it in the long run… taking risks has took me further in my business than just being comfortable has I was mobile detailing out of my Truck, until I bought me a detail van & then finally opened up our warehouse to detail in investments are risky but you have to spend money to make money, you can’t make big money/ Steady money in a business if you don’t invest in purchases those are all risks especially when your spending 1k-5k in equipment make that big move and watch yourself grow Read more>>

Adam Tutor | Spiritual Guide &. Leader of Men

This question is very timely for me, and the word it brings up in my heart is “surrender”. Ten days ago from this writing I cleaned out my home of 7 years, gave away or sold nearly all of my belongings, and left the city I’ve called home for the past 15 years. I didn’t have a home picked out, or a “job” to report to, there was no schedule or agenda or deadlines to meet. I consciously chose to leave behind a beautiful career in the nonprofit world to pursue my soul calling as a spiritual guide and leader of men. Read more>>

Melissa Sneed | CEO/ Founder

Risk Taking, Interesting Question. When COVID First hit, my employer cut my hours to 25 hours a week and said figure the rest out yourself with no regards to bills within my household. At that time i filled for unemployment to make up the difference in my pay and at that time i was gonna given an extra 300 per week in unemployment benefits , i took that extra money once my bills were paid, i started JustBlazefashion. All Bets Were On Me! Read more>>

Cal Calaway | Co-Owner of Silver Eye Apparel

Risks are probably one of the most important decisions you will make. They can make or break your business. If you take calculated risks; however, they can be the catalyst that launches you to where you want to be with your business. Read more>>