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.

Chris Dowling | Writer/Director

I am an independent filmmaker with a wife, family and all that jazz. Every year has been a risk where there are long droughts of no work and then you take advantage of the peaks when you can get there. The truth is most of my life is lived in between — the rise. Working towards that next peak, but knowing 7 times out of 10, that film is going to fall apart before it ever makes it to the big screen. So, I have lived my life open-handed and living by the immortal words of Steve Windwood. “when you see a chance, take it.” Read more>>

Elizabeth Phan | REALTOR®

I believe that if you want to continue to grow as a person, you need to take risks. Risks are meant to challenge us and bring us out of our comfort zone. When we take those necessary risks, we’re opening doors to change, progression and success. It definitely can be scary but the reward should trump fear which is how I felt meeting my husband and going into my real estate career. My husband was actually who encouraged me to go into the industry! We met at a mutual friend’s gathering and at the time he was visiting from another state. I didn’t know many people and he was sitting in front of me. Read more>>

Rick Potter | Professional/Freelance Musician/Multi-Instrumentalist

In my life I would substitute the word,  “risk” with “faith”. I take “risks” on the basis of my faith and what I feel God had placed on my path or where I’m feeling lead at the time. I feel “risk”, too often has a negative connotation attached to it. Risk’s role in my life hasn’t always played out in the way I thought it should have, although I often find those early risks paid dividends in the present. Read more>>

Katiana Serrano | Event Decor Stylist

Risk is a part of life. If we don’t take risks we won’t ever grow or learn. I changed the word risk to investment. The word risk feels scary and dreadful. The word investment is empowering. What is most important to understand is that failure is a part of winning. In order to become successful, we must take a chance on ourselves. I’ve invested years into my mindset, my business, and myself. Learning, failing, winning, and taking risks all the time. I rather take all the “risks” and slowly move forward than stay in the same place. Read more>>

Justin & Christian Maxwell | E-Commerce Marketing Strategists

Chrisitan: Risk is necessary! It’s an important part of the entrepreneurial journey. Justin: Risk is required in order for you to fulfill your destiny. Extraordinary lives don’t exist without it. Christian: Risk is a catalyst for me. It pushes me and provokes true innovation which then births increased rates of success. Justin: Most of the disappointments in life have come from “playing it safe”. I’ve learned through experience that sitting on the sidelines is more painful than going after a goal and missing the mark. Read more>>

Meg Parker Wilson | Playwright & Storyteller

When you work in and decide you want to be successful in a creative field, “risk” is unavoidable. Putting your product into the world for audiences will always be frightening. Telling stories like “Boy on Billboard” is especially risky because of how personal they are in nature. With so much time, emotional energy, and finances invested, the risk seems scarier when it comes to feedback. Will they respond well to the work I’ve spent years creating? Will my voice be rejected? And, the more practical question, “Will they pay for it and ask for more?” Read more>>

Charisma Ebling | Nurse Injector

Risk has played a huge roll in opening our own business. Aesthetic business becomes a risk if you don’t have a bunch of investors backing you up. When I started in the aesthetic industry I worked for other companies for six years before deciding to open my own business. Medical alone is a big risk, you put your skills to the test with patients who trust you and Expect outcomes sometimes can not be reach. You then add in the products that cost thousand of dollars, and them the lasers that cost hundred thousand dollars. Read more>>

Sam Perez | Deviate from Denial” Author & Multi-Skilled Journalist”

When it comes to calculated risk, I have seen positive results time and time again. At my core, I am a planner. I’m the textbook definition of a Type A personality: I love schedules, planning, organization, and routine. I think it’s easy to let this side of myself tempt me to be risk-adverse, yet when it comes down to it I think some of the best decisions I’ve made have been the riskier option and I’ve seen this reflected in other people’s lives. Read more>>

Rebeca Valle | Entrepreneur & real estate agent

Years ago I would not be able to say that I was a risk taker, it wasn’t until I changed my mindset where I told myself if it’s not now then when? Whether personally or in my career, if I had not taken those risks I would not have done many things in my life including my real estate career. In my personal life I had many times where I had to choose whether to stay in my comfort zone and live a life where I was not happy or to take the risk. When I finally faced my fears that’s truly when I started to live. There’s always the what ifs but how will you ever know if you’re not willing to take that risk? Ultimately taking risks has paid off in my life on many levels. Read more>>

Maria Farley Illia Tumanov | Owners and founders of IMSpaces

Several years ago Illia and I took our risks, to move from our native countries Ukraine and Russia, to the US. We didn’t have any friends or relatives here. It was overwhelming but engaging. New places, new people, language, culture, food – everything. But new is always better if we are not talking about whiskey. We both were happy to find any job and work hard, learn something new. Some people spend years only planning, we prefer accomplishing. Without taking risks we would never meet each other and would never decide to build IMSpaces. Read more>>

Aaliyah Muhammad | Actress, Acting Coach, Founder of AIM High Productions

I think taking risks is something very important when it comes to building a brand, business or even creating relationships. You have to put yourself out there and have faith that all your hard work will pay off. Read more>>

Melody Yanez | Licensed Esthetician/Spa Owner

Regarding life’s risk, for me, I follow my gut. If you believe in yourself and what you are doing you can make it happen. But don’t think it will be without trips and falls before you reach your goals. You have to be cleared-headed and have that support at home to get up and keep moving. Read more>>

Anthony Watkins | Photographer

Risk is the single factor that separates those who are average from those who are great. Every time you decide to do something new and put your brand on the line, you’re taking a risk. However, I believe that risk should be calculated, and one should take risks according to their level of expertise. Honestly, I think there’s a misconception that risks have to be extreme, “go big or go home.” I don’t necessarily agree with that. I think you are setting yourself up for failure if you haven’t begun to get comfortable with the small things. Read more>>

Haggai Goudeau | Nail Techian & Entrepreneur

Honestly my business has a ton of risk if the clients don’t show or stop coming. I don’t take risk as a bad thing I take it as a part of life there is risk in everything. My mother always told me to just take a chance a then keep rolling with whatever happens after that no matter how many risks I must make. So, I always found it to be a motivation a thrill to have a risky career/life it kept me on my toes. Read more>>

Raven Roberts | Content Creator & Celebrity Fashion Stylist

Risk taking has been a huge part of my career. I like to call them leaps of faith though. I took a leap of faith by starting my styling career when I was laid off instead of getting a traditional job. I took another leap of faith when I moved to NYC to continue my career as a Celebrity Fashion Stylist. And yet another leap of faith when I moved to Dallas to focus on Influencing. Read more>>

Haiya Eliza | Founder of HERcurls

Over the past few years, I have learned the importance of taking risks. Something that I have learned and has helped me push myself in areas that I would not have before, is to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. I am the risk taker lol Read more>>

Kourtney Lampkin | Ballet Instructor & Prima Ballerina

Risk taking can be a scary word and rightfully so. To me risk taking means absolutely believing in yourself with trusting you will succeed. You will come up against challenges but it’s how you handle them and keep moving forward. Risk taking has played a major role in my life, it forced me to trust God and have confidence in myself. I took the risk of opening Royalty Ballet Company because classical ballet is my passion. Read more>>

Angelyn Horrell | Social Media Manager & Copywriter

It’s funny, because there is no one in my life who would say, Angelyn is bold, brave, or adventurous. In fact, I would even have to call myself “risk adverse” in most areas of my life. Risk involves uncertainty which brings up all our insecurities of safety – financially and emotionally. Risk requires you to rely on yourself to be a safe space no matter the outcome. It involves unshakeable faith that you can handle anything. Plan B? heck Plan Z. You need to be willing to try them all. Read more>>