How do you think about risk? What role has taking risks played in your life/career? Check out responses from hidden gems from our community below.

Rocky Collins | Founder/CEO of CALI HNDSME Skincare & Grooming

I think taking risks are necessary in almost every aspect of life – professionally, personally, romantically, etc. Nothing is ever a guarantee, but we pursue the things that we are drawn to in hopes that we’ll find the experiences we’re looking for. In my life and career, I’ve taken risks that were calculated, and I’ve also taken some risks that purely came from a gut feeling. More often than not, going in the direction that I felt compelled towards has worked out pretty damn well. I don’t like regrets. I don’t like to hold back. If anything – my life and all the success to date is a testament to staring risks in the face, giving it the middle finger, and then doing what I felt urged to do anyway. I don’t think I’d have half as much of the success that I have now if I didn’t take risks. To this day, it’s still 10000% scary as hell! But what’s the alternative? Never having the life of my dreams? F* that. Read more>>

Saryna Cedillo | Lifestyle Photographer

The fear of failure is ever present, all the time. The possibility of failing is non existent if you never try. But so is the possibly of being successful. Ive learned that even if I fail – it was an incredible opportunity to learn more than I had before. Its never about the fact that you fell – what matters most if when and how you get back up that builds the most character. Taking risks is exactly what got me here today, I will always tell someone to follow their dreams and do what they love. Read more>>

Henny Baeb | Artist & Social media manager

As a female artist taking risks has played a major role in my life and career. I started making music in 2013, so everyone wasn’t as accepting as now in 2021. It was hard enough to be gay but to also make music was pushing everyone the wrong way. No one, besides the people I was closed to, believed in my dream so I had to make them. I had to make them want to believe in me with no studio, no support, and no money. And I did, I never gave up, I kept pushing forward no matter the feedback I was still there. By taking those risks and refusing to give up on myself I have came closer than I have ever been to top artists and other huge opportunities. I chose to take that risk but back then I had no idea it would turn out like this. If you’re reading this NEVER give up on yourself, always be your OWN #1 fan, and take that risk no matter what anyone else says. It will all pay out in the end. Read more>>

Donesha Brown | Owner and Creator of D. Desiree Designs

I feel that we are natural born risk takers, but as we get older we are taught to become more risk adverse. The youngest of children have no fear and constantly take risk. They will try to touch a hot stove. If they think they are Spider-Man they will try to climb walls. Kids become acrobats at the playground. I literally watched a young boy climb to the top of the play set in my neighborhood with no fear of falling well over ten feet. Each time a child takes a risk we as parents caution them and they eventually learn to analyze how much the reward is really worth in taking a risk. Learning to be strategic in your risk taking is a good thing, but sometimes we can over analyze a risk to and that can lead to being overly risk adverse. While I have always wanted start a small business that allowed me to be creative I spent a lot of time over analyzing the risk of doing so. Read more>>

Mallory Woods | Photographer, Artist, Entrepreneur, & Educator

When people hear the word “risk,” their brain tends to go straight towards “danger.” When I think about taking risks, I see it as, “it might be more dangerous NOT to take this risk.” I am a goal getter. I set goals and I chase them every chance I get. Life here on Earth is short, and if I only get one shot to take that “risk” then I’m going to chance it! I took a risk when I started my photography business. I took a risk when I started a YouTube Channel. I took a risk when I bought a new camera, lens, and launched my website. When you start a business from scratch, you’re taking a huge risk. Is anyone going to like my product? Am I going to be any good at this? Will a fail? These are all questions that I asked myself before starting my business. These are also questions that I still ask myself today. I am constantly trying new things and trying to better myself as a business owner and as an artist. But, if it wasn’t for these risks, I wouldn’t be writing this to tell you that it was worth it. My business has taken off, and I am thriving. I get to do what I love every day. Read more>>

Hannah Gibson | Photographer & Writer

Risk is complex! It’s both daunting and exciting, confusing and clarifying; it lives out on the skinny branches where both fear and self obligation pull and hang over your inner dialogue until you decide to ease back into the safe zone or take the first little faithful leap toward the quiet dream of, “let’s do it.” When reflecting on how risk taking factored into my transition from corporate copywriter and content editor to full-time photographer, I think some of the biggest, most game-changing moments have happened where I’ve been able to humble and remove myself—as my own greatest obstacle—from the equation. That is, minimizing the pesky, and often blinding, emotion of self-doubt to then examine what all I’ve got left from a more objective lens. Read more>>

Daniel Markham | Musician

I feel like I’m operating in one of the riskiest businesses in the world. I play rock and roll music. After a year of not being able to do that I’ve had to reassess my whole life. Just making a full-length album of songs is a risky venture these days. I can see the attraction of only releasing singles. Attention spans are super short. My whole job is to make you like me from the first beat. I enjoy that kind of risk. Read more>>

Jacob Utter | Live Musician and Songwriter

Honestly most of my life is comprised of avoiding risks at all costs. I grew up in a very sheltered and controlling Christian home, so I believed to the core of my being that there are certain limitations to my ability that are pretty much impossible to overcome. As a kid who grew up with P.T.S.D because of losing my sister at a young age, It took me along time to realize that my mind is my most powerful asset. My mind was always my enemy, because of my inability to overcome my panic attacks, I just felt pretty small I guess. So when I decided to be a musician, (after some heavy convincing from my wife) I hadn’t considered it as a career due to my pretty intense performance anxiety and my hatred of failure. But through taking some huge risks in playing music live and putting myself out there by writing music honestly and vulnerably, I see the value in taking as many risks as necessary to get where you want to be. Read more>>

Marquise Stephens | Master Barber

Smaller the risk, means the smaller the reward. The bigger the risk, means the bigger the reward. In both elements you get what you put in it. Risk are vital to the progression of any craft. You have to sacrifice alot internally to really feel growth. And with taking risk you have nothing to gage your elevation. Thats my own personal theory. Read more>>

Natalia Borja | Actor/Improviser

Risk has taken my life and career to the highest of highs and lowest of lows. There are times where I feel I didn’t take the right amount of risks and achieve things by a certain point; however, looking back, I see that the risks I took helped me gain more life experience which in turn has helped me be a better actor. I took risks in moving and putting myself in new surroundings – that, in turn, has given me such a rich experience here in Dallas. I have enjoyed working on so many unique and wonderful works that hold a special place in my heart. I met my husband here in Dallas. He has taught me so much more about taking risks, being open and vulnerable. Risk is a necessary ally in this industry. I took a big risk by just sending off my materials last year to agencies and I heard back from one, and you couldn’t believe my excitement. I had become a signed actor and that for me was enough to keep me going for the next few weeks. Read more>>

Melissa McGowan | Photographer

Every day I challenge myself to be uncomfortable, to push past the apathy and anxiety, and never let other people’s perceptions define me or my journey. That’s risk-taking, truly believing in yourself, and not allowing negative energy in your space. I’m most proud of investing in myself and understanding my value. We all have the confidence in ourselves to take risks, but we must all find the confidence within ourselves to succeed. Read more>>

Aidan Cushing | Technical Game Designer

As any game developer could tell you, committing any more than a hobbyist level of investment into making games is an incredibly risky procedure, especially as a solo developer. The essential skillset from farm to market with games requires us to wear a number of hats from development itself to marketing and outreach, quality assurance, accounting and more. I took a leap of faith when I began making games; what started out as a hobby eventually became a fascination, and I found myself devoting more and more time to the craft. I recently graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in ITI specializing in game design in the hopes that having any other skill set may mitigate some of my career worries and maybe create a safety net, but I’m unbelievably lucky to say that I have not needed that net quite yet. Games have always been my real passion, and I can say wholeheartedly that I do not regret the endless 10 hour work days, frustration and past failures that have led me to where I am today. Games are what I know, and sometimes it feels like they’re all I know, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Read more>>

Sean & Ashley Green | Owners, Clean Juice West Frisco & Clean Juice Starwood Frisco

When my husband, Sean, and I first sought out to venture into business together we felt confident we both brought strengths to the table that collectively would make us a successful team. As it specifically relates to risk, Sean is more comfortable taking risks and because I trust his judgement I have been pushed outside my comfort zone to follow his lead both in life and business over the 17 years we have been together. We have taken risks that have panned out amazing. Fourteen years ago we packed up a moving truck and moved from Rochester, NY to Dallas, TX fairly abruptly with jobs secured but no family or friends anywhere close. As it turns out this decision would bless us with careers, friends, a place to raise our family and ultimately this risk would bring us to Frisco where we call home. Read more>>

Bernard Markowicz | Fine Art Gallery Owner

Bernard Markowicz, owner of Markowicz Fine Art Gallery: “All my life was about taking risks. My zodiac sign is Aries, which means I tend to go with my instincts. Starting my own IT company back in the 80s was a risk. Selling my company 15 years later was also a risk. Deciding to move with my family to the United States was a risk. Not all of them paid off, but at the end of the day, I look back on everything with positivity.” Read more>>

Jeremias Jimenez | Producer, Song Writer, and Artist

Taking a risk is extremely important especially if the risk aligns with your end goals. My goal is to build a loyal fanbase while owning the masters to all of my work. By trying to do so I am taking a big risk because I will have to say no to tempting offers. Read more>>

Katie Montes & Cody Reed | Tattoo artists & Gallery Owners

back up. Cody Reed has worked with me for about 6 years. He originally left the studio we were both at to come work for me. During the pandemic, our loan process was haulted. He saw my struggle while we were out of work, and stepped up immediately to help finance this project. I would not have come this far without him and therefore want to include him in this interview for taking just as much risk believing in my dream as I did in trusting him for financial backing. The two of us both took risks right from the beginning in our tattoo careers. When we went against our family’s wishes to pursue a career in art, neither one of us truly expected it would pay off as big as it did. All we knew was we wanted to tattoo and create art every day. Read more>>

Lisa J | Serial Entrepreneur, Writer & Director

Taking risks has been a crucial part of my journey. I had been accustomed to going with the regular daily programming. Clock in and out. After work is leisure time to be social and just wait to retire and pray that I have enough money to live off of. After I decided that my life was much more valuable than that I risked everything and even somethings that I didn’t have. Read more>>

Richard Hammons III | Artist/Producer/Engineer aka known as Filth, 1/2 of prodcuer group, FxE

Over time, I view risk taking in a unique way. Risk taking is usually held with a uneasy connotation, but with my experience, a risk taken is a new possibility. With each risk you take, I feel is a new chance, beginning, or result. In the arts I work, everything is a risk because of how raw the creation is, each word, note played, ad lib, chant, is a risk. We don’t know the outcome but we believe in the music/art so who’s to say if the world will take it in when it’s out there, that alone, in my opinion is a risk. It’s a driving role in the creation all the way through. Read more>>

Kelsey Lawrence | CEO + Founder

I believe we can attribute some of the most incredible and valued aspects of our lives to risk. The launch of my company, Nine Supply, was a major risk taking moment in my life. Leaving behind a Marketing Director position to launch my own marketing agency meant leaving behind the stability that comes from a salary, 401k, and even guaranteed health insurance. To make things even more risky, I started my agency with a team, and the company we came from was our first client. The pressure to acquire new clients so my team could feel stability (and get paid) from the start was huge. But today, we work with many brands and clients across all industries, our team has doubled, and we’re able to operate from a culture of creativity and work/life balance. Read more>>

Jessica Pree | Owner of Glo Juice Bar

If you would have asked me this question just 2 years ago I would have told you that i am not a risk taker and that i always play by the rules. Now, if there’s no risk involved, I probably will look the other way. Over these past few months i have seen many success come from taking risks and doing things unconventionally. I usually will tell myself “no risk, no reward”. I also believe that in order to succeed at something you have to fail in order to learn and grow. Failure is one of my best teachers because it allows to me learn better practices and to avoid those things that didn’t work. Taking risk is usually uncomfortable. I try to do at least 1 uncomfortable thing each day. When I am uncomfortable it is because I am trying something new or forcing myself to get over hurdles that make me uncomfortable. I believe that if it were not for me taking risk and putting myself in uncomfortable situations, i wouldn’t have been able to accomplish some of the goals that i have set for myself. Read more>>

John Ramaine | Actor, Screenwriter

The moment you mention you’re diving into show business, or even possessing the very thought of it, spells RISK in large, capital letters.  No one who understands risk will simply make an informed decision, as one who would fancy a particular pair of shoes.  It demands attention and response.  If you have loved ones who discover your passion for acting, filmmaking or dance, the first thing they will do is try to talk you out of it, explaining the risk involved.  They will read to you the percentages on success or even making a living.  They will begin to fear for your life all because your passion has dictated risk. I have for many years given up the concern people have over my decision to be in show business.  There was never a sense that a debate or detour in possessing a fall back position would have influence over me.  It’s this or bust.  Risk also defines my work.  I just completed two particular projects that in themselves possess a risk in storytelling.  As artists, we strive to influence a culture. Read more>>

Sandra Diaz | Illustrator Founder of Fearless Yaya

Throughout my career, I have had many leaps of faith that seem to take me to the next level in my craft and in my personal life. Being the first generation in my family to graduate from an Art College. From interning in NYC for Artist Representative Richard Solomon my junior of college without a cent to my name. To leaving my business card at a Chanel boutique and getting a call back to collaborate on a Life-Style Sketching Exclusive event. After living in Miami for 30 years I decided to take on a job as a Visual Designer at Amazon and leave my little pond. The biggest risk I have taken was filling my LLC founding my company FEARLESS YAYA and transition into a full-time business owner. Fearless Yaya is a Latina-owned business redefines simple stationery by empowering and celebrating authenticity within Latinx communities. I have been called Fearless by my friends and family and it’s a pillar of my brand to take the risk no matter how scared I might feel. Because Failure is simply redirection and a learning experience. Read more>>

Brenda Ciardiello | Visual Artist & Poet

I have ever thought of myself as a risk-taker consciously, but I am. I have never been afraid to try new things – or make leaps into the unknown. It’s probably part of why I love being an artist – the unpredictable sky is the limit at all times. Taking risks is a great source of joy and excitement for me and and that has directly impacted my life and career in very big ways, starting with one of the biggest, and earliest, risks I took. At the age of 17 I chose to move abroad for school. Despite already being an immigrant myself – my family moved to the U.S. when I was 4 from Mexico City – I chose to leave my family and home to study in the north of Italy for two years before college as part of the UWC (United World College) movement. From there, I did return to the U.S. for college but shortly thereafter left again to live in the UK, and then the UAE. These experiences have fundamentally formed me and inform how I see the world. After seeing and experiencing so many other wonderful places on this earth, I will never stop wanting to travel and see new things. Read more>>

Kylie Mills | Director of Content & Strategy at the Bogle Agency

I think many people spend so much time trying to avoid risks that they miss out on many great opportunities. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of these decisions and try to mitigate where you can, but risk doesn’t always need to be linked to uncertainty.Risks have surrounded my entire life and career. I spent the first few years of my career in politics and since then have been in the advertising and PR world. Two career paths riddled with risks. While I worked to avoid any heartache, I have to be honest and say that some of those risks, both professionally and personally, didn’t work out. But, for every one chance that didn’t work in my favor, I’ve had three that have. All in all, I don’t regret any of the risks that I have taken. For those that didn’t work out or failed, I learned from those and applied those experiences to my next venture or project. Read more>>

Crystal Culpepper | Cake Queen

Without Risk there is no Reward. Starting Your own business is a true dedication within yourself. Taking risks proves that you believe in yourself, your vision, your end goal. Most importantly your Faith in God has to be more significant. Taking risk has afforded me to be in the position I am in now. I took a Risk going off to college, away from family and friends (1st time ever).
I took a risk with career choice and my decision making remains the sm. Read more>>