Are you a risk taker? Do you think you have a stronger appetite for risk relative to your friends and family? We asked some folks from the community about their approaches to risk and have shared their thoughts below.

Ginny Turner | Fitness Studio Owner and Operator, Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, Corrective Exercise Specialist

I believe that you must take risks in life, to grow, to succeed, and to learn. As a business owner if I didn’t go out on a limb every once in a while I wouldn’t have grown like I have. I started CORE training people in the parks around town in 2011. I had been a mobile personal trainer in Southern California for 10 years before then so it wasn’t a stretch for me to run a business without a space. Then a space kind of fell into my lap to rent. It was a no brainer, even though I didn’t have any numbers to back me up I knew that in order to grow my business I needed a brick and mortar studio. This was in 2014 when online training was just coming around and most people still wanted to be face to face and with a group. At that point the business model was me training and teaching classes and running the backend of the studio. Read more>>

Justin Dirickson | Construction & Epoxy Specialist – Owner

I consider risks a natural part of life. From the people you hire to the jobs that you do, it’s all a risk. You try and calculate that risk to best minimize the posability for a negative outcome. Have faith and do your best. Without risk, I’d have a retirement by now, maybe two. But I wouldn’t be here, not where I am today. I wouldn’t be enjoying my work, with the same excitement I had in my first job. I wouldn’t be able to pass down, or teach the trades to the guys and girls coming up behind me. Without risk, can you really have passion for anything? Read more>>

Aidan Hicks | Photographer & Videographer

Risk-taking to me isn’t an option but the foundation of who I am from my work to simple everyday tasks. Being diagnosed with Autism, my normals the feeling of having to work 10x harder to be on par with everyone else, even when people don’t notice. Everyday thoughtless things like casually meeting people or independently sorting business weigh heavily on me. Getting into my head if others notice it or if I can handle this especially stands out when sudden inconveniences or times of stress arise where you wish life can be simpler. Despite that, I believe risk taking is what got me to this point I’m at now. From when I started shooting, photography put me into environments I’d never associate myself with yet find balance in getting to connect with people yet find isolation in getting that perfect shot. Read more>>

Arrika Bales | Marketing Extraordinaire & Yoga Instructor

When it comes to risk and taking big leaps in my own life and career, I always come back to asking myself “Are you going forward with fear or love?”. Fear tends to guide us in life and we anchor into ideas and beliefs that maybe aren’t ours, but once we see that fear shouldn’t be our biggest motivator, rather we should be more inspired by love, we can move more freely into what’s ours. Fear can keep you in your comfort zone, love takes you places you could have never imagined, Read more>>

Kendra “Kenny” Reed | Writer and Content Creator

Learning to take risks changed my life for the better and I recommend it with all of my heart! I had a sheltered childhood, but my dreams were massive, like most children. In high school, I had my future mapped out and I thought I had some idea of what I wanted to do with my life. And then there was my Freshman year of college– trauma, pain, and fear washed all of those big dreams away. The only thing I wanted after escaping that situation was to feel safe, and that was my only goal for years. Fear made me forget who I wanted to be, who I was deep down. Read more>>

Lauren Maier | Nature Photographer

Risk and reward go hand-in-hand, you can’t have one without the other. For me, as a photographer, my life and career are more entwined than some, and therefore the risks can sometimes feel much riskier. One of the biggest risks I’ve taken in recent years was the decision to leave behind a life I’d been building in Oregon, a choice that included turning down a job that would have offered me stability and career momentum, to move to the other side of the world and bum about in a van. I moved to New Zealand with little more than the beauty of the country on my mind and it turned into a life-changing year that started me on my current semi-nomadic life. Read more>>

Wendy Deacon | Chief Inspiration Officer & Adventure Concierge

I think calculated risks are important and that playing it safe pretty much means you’re destined to always play small. That really considering the risk and comparing it to your priorities and your desires is already difficult. Many people don’t know what they want and that is a critical step before you can even take a risk. Then, if you decide to proceed, you still have to deal with internal questioning and potential nay sayers. I believe my parents instilled a desire to always strive to move forward and go for what I want and it’s served me well, professionally and personally. I had a wonderful corporate career and was successful in taking risks to then reap really great rewards, achievements and impact. I had to defend or support my vision before getting volunteers or staff taking the steps in that direction but I believe that with each success, I gained more confidence to risk again and again. Read more>>

Josh Bourgeois | Videographer & Photographer

Much of my life has been marked by taking risks. Originally from Louisiana, I took a ministry job that brought our family to Northwest Montana. While we loved the surrounding beauty, that moved proved to be a little extreme for various reasons. We now find ourselves in Colorado Springs and My wife and I have jumped full time in what has been a part time job for me till this point. As a professional videographer and photographer, building a new business in a new state, I have certainly stepped in to new challenges and risks. Read more>>

Autumn Hawes | Small Business Owner & Dog Enthusiast

For most of my life risk has been something that I avoided at all costs. Long story short I was too comfortable with being comfortable. I dreaded stepping out of my comfort zone or doing anything that could result in negative consequences. But then something drastic happened and it changed my whole perspective on risk. November 8, 2018. That was the day the Camp Fire in California started. It was an extremely devastating fire, and unfortunately I happened to be affected by it. I lost almost everything in that fire. That whole experience forever changed my perspective on risk. Read more>>

Rebekah Lavender | Photographer, Content Creator, & Scientific Sales Rep

As a former mathematics major who spent many hours calculating probabilities and risk, to the person I am now who has moved twice in 3 years to places I’ve never even visited, risk is an interesting word. I think that most people live their lives not taking enough risks. However, I’d say also not all things are worth risking or taking a risk for. Read more>>

Savannah Nelson | Writer and Content Creator

I’ve never really considered myself a risk taker—I’m more of the rigorous planning and detailed execution-type person. Once I create a plan, it’s hard for me to stray from it. There are countless examples: I married my high school sweetheart, I mapped out a journalism-to-public relations-pipeline to use my English Writing degree, I found us a home post-college on Colorado’s western slope, we’re raising our dream dog after years of research and preparation; each of these were the result of unwavering planning and goal setting. Read more>>

Ryan Rakers | Property Manager & Photographer

I think that most people fail their future selves, simply because they are afraid to fail now. After a change in mindset, I am under the belief that risk is always prevalent. You’re either risking failing a step or two while creating the life that you want, or risking never having the life that you want and always having the “what if”. Read more>>

Brandon Huttenlocher | Photographer

Life is a constant battle of risk vs reward. I’ve always been a risk taker when it comes to my career. I left the corn fields of Illinois at 18 and moved across the country to Lake Tahoe to pursue creating snowboard movies without knowing anyone or having any real plan. A couple years later after taking the general education and business classes at the community college there, I knew I needed a change as if I continued down that path I would always wonder “what if.” It was this quote from Ian Ruhter that helped fully convince me I was making the right decision to go to Brooks Institute of Photography. “There’s a point in every person’s life, the must choose to follow their dreams, or be stuck in the life they fear.” Read more>>

Tonya Alonzo | Owner barre3 Colorado Springs

This past year I decided to leave a corporate career in leadership after 15 years in the financial industry to purchase a barre3 fitness studio. Not only was I a client of the studio but needed this for balance and mental health. Over the last couple of years on hard days taking an hour for myself had become more important to me than I ever realized. When the opportunity came to me I realized that it was time for a change, a scary change as the financial support would not be there for my family but I would be. I could be an example for my kids that money and career don’t have to be all they ever know. As a parent through the pandemic not being able to support how I needed to because work took over it was hard on all of us. I took the risk, the risk to put my family, myself, and community first. Read more>>

Jessica Amity | Documentary Adventure Photographer

How I think about risk has evolved very much over the years. When I was younger I would always rather play it safe than put myself out there. As a result I learned the hard way that that was not how I wanted to lead my life. To cry was to risk appearing weak, to express emotions or love was to risk rejection, to place my dreams before a crowd was to risk ridicule and to go forward in the face of overwhelming odds was to risk failure. Who would want that? However, I now believe that risk and in particular taking risks means to have courage and venture into the unknown. Instead of running away from it, I take the steps in it’s direction. Read more>>

Nicole DeGeorge | Hiker & Amateur Photographer

I truly believe taking risks is so important. I have a motto: “I’d rather try and know, than ask myself ‘what if?’ “. In July 2020 I took a huge risk to move from New Jersey to Colorado to create a better life for myself, and it’s been the best thing I’ve ever done! If I never took the jump, I’d still be wondering about it. Read more>>

Tommy Nigro | Hotelier & Student

I believe that taking calculated risks is directly related to achieving and maintaining happiness. It’s easy to become stagnant, particularly as we age and become set in our ways, and I think it’s easy to ignore the damage that inaction can do. There’s an opportunity cost associated with sticking to the status quo and I try to be conscious of that. Read more>>

Barruch Ben-Zekry | Founder, Out&Back Outdoor

I think of risk in terms of nesting odds and options. What is the chance that something happens and what are the options that stem from it should it come to pass? Thinking of risk in this way is a constant exercise for me and something that I apply to my everyday decision making. I’m not exactly a risk-taker but I’m not exactly not a risk taker, either… I’m calculated not reckless. In general, I don’t take risks which I don’t understand and I’m very analytical so running through all the scenarios that could transpire and trying to work out probabilities against those is a common practice for me. Read more>>

Jodi Burnett | Suspense Thriller Author

We are all capable of so much more that we believe. Often, we fear taking steps toward our dreams. We fear failure and judgment along with more tangible concerns, such as income. Unfortunately, we must face our fears and take calculated risks to realize our best goals and dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Dreams live on the other side of fear. I am an indie-published author. Pushing the final button to publish my first novel was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. Read more>>

Isaac Rosenbaum | Travel Photographer in the United States

Being a travel photographer is always a gamble. Every long drive or hike always comes with questions as to whether or not it will be worth it. Sometimes the weather won’t work out the way I hope it will, and in the winter, roads and trails might be closed or inaccessible. Travel photography always comes with a level of uncertainty. Every once in a while, I’ll come out on the other end of a long drive and hike, the sky will clear up just in time for sunset, revealing beautiful hues of red and blue in the sky with a pink alpenglow on the mountains, and all that uncertainty is all of a sudden worth. It’s these moments I chase after, despite the risks. It’s the moments where I’m sitting at the edge of a viewpoint with my camera, reaping the reward of the journey, where I realise all the flat tires, bad weather, or scrambles up the sides of mountains were worth it. Read more>>

David Lyon | Musician

If you don’t take risks, you can spend the rest of your life living in regret, or worse, a dull, stagnant life. Taking risks have played a huge part in my life. I left my hometown when I was 24 and moved to a state that was full of uncertainty. Leaving behind my fiancé, my friends, and family. I didn’t know what to expect but what I did know is that if I stayed in Southern California, I’d end up miserable like the rest of the people living in that god forsaken city. Read more>>

Kerensa DeMars | Flamenco Dancer, Choreographer, Educator

I think of risk taking as a necessary part of growth whether that growth is in a creative practice, relationships or your personal evolution. At some point early on I realized that I was only truly accountable to myself and that if I didn’t give it my best shot, and embrace the risks involved, I wasn’t being true to myself. There have been people at different times and in different places that told me my dreams were impossible. I’m so glad I didn’t listen to them! Read more>>

Klara Maisch | Visual Artist & Skier

As someone who spends a lot of time outside in remote areas, I often think about risk in terms of physical and group safety. I often invite risk by choosing to ski in avalanche terrain, but I mitigate this exposure by paying attention to weather, terrain, group dynamics, and digging snow pits to see and feel the interactions between different layers of snow. Sometimes these observations mean I turn around or choose to ski a more mellow line. Read more>>

Joe Funck | Tattoo Artist

I believe if you take a risk you must be willing to fully accept the outcome. For me, I had a career as a fireman in the USAF for 10 years and after I began my apprenticeship I knew that I wanted to leave that job behind and go for it with tattooing. It was a huge risk for me to take, but I was determined to do this for the rest of my life. Today I am so thankful to have the opportunity to live this amazing life doing something that I love. Read more>>

Ellie Rich | Full name; Eleonora Richardson. Art Director, Photographer, Model, Designer, Troubleshooter, Content Creator.

I think that it all depends on the perception and level of expertise. It is always safer to take a risk if you have relevant knowledge and a proper understanding of the situation you are in and you are about to put yourself into. Information, knowledge and expertise are tremendously important if your goal is to consciously succeed instead of gambling on luck. Also, it is important to remember that risks and dangers are real and sometimes inevitable while fear is a matter of choice. It is up to us to manage our emotions and to know our potential. Read more>>

Ryan Woodland | Entrepreneur

There is risk in almost every activity we do in life. Measuring and taking a calculated risk in business is mandatory in my opinion to make significant strides. You don’t have to know every facet of an endeavor to pursue it. I try to surround myself with the most talented people I can find to create a powerful team that helps limit risk. I always ask myself what is the worst case scenario? If that scenario does not cause hardship to my family or place us in a leveraged position its worth a shot. Read more>>

Leslie Gardner | Co Founder & CMO

Risk is part of our DNA. Our success today is a result of taking risks. A new future is just a decision away. Taking a risk means going beyond your comfort zone in order to grow. It is your brain’s job to convince you to play it safe. There is a chance that you will be told you’ll never succeed or that trying something new is a waste of time. Read more>>

Katie Garrison | Landscape Artist

Over the last 6+ years running my own art business, I’ve learned that you can’t have success without risk. As my husband so eloquently put it, “If you’re not failing, you’re not trying.” Risk is necessary. Failure is necessary—and inevitable. They’re both stepping stones to successes—big and small. I took a risk starting this business in 2015. I took a risk when I completely shifted my focus and rebranded this year. I took a risk when my little family relocated from Virginia to Colorado in 2020. All these things felt risky and scary. Read more>>