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.

Drew Bennett | Freelance Cinematographer & Photographer

I think most freelancers would argue that there’s a healthy amount of risk we have to partake in order to thrive and grow in our careers. For me, the whole notion of leaving the constant cash-flow of my previous job of bartending and entering into the creative economy was something that I saw not only as risky, but not financially viable. It wasn’t until COVID turned the economy upside down that I truly decided it was time to make a serious go at freelance photography and cinematography. Read more>>

Valerie Niemerg | Author, Cancer Survivor, Foster Mom & Retired Opera Singer

I’m a retired opera singer. I took a risk every time I opened my mouth and pushed air out in front of three thousand strangers. Singing is always a risk. Everytime you inhale! But you take that risk because you have faith in something beyond the possible humiliation. You have faith in yourself. Not in some vain “I’m better than other people” sort of way, but more like faith in your human nature. Faith that being a human is a good thing, and that even though we do things wrong, we are still striving to do things right. One of those thing is to make beauty. So we sing. Read more>>

Dylan Kober | Guitarist, Dobro Player, and Educator

I find risk taking to be an essential but difficult challenge in my life. While I often like to play things safe, making music with people is all about taking risks and putting yourself out there for other musicians and listeners. If you do not take a risk than there is no potential for improvement. However, taking risks can not always lead to success and I always try to view this as a learning experience. There have been times were I learned from risk taking situations and these have helped me to better my musicality and teaching skills. Read more>>

Ian and Jason Schimpfle and Roys | Miners & Business Owners

We started out as amateur prospectors, digging for crystals purely for the fun of it. As we gained more experience as hobbyist diggers, we began come to a better understanding of the intrinsic value they have. We started our business so that we could have a career doing something we love, and so we could be independent and not reliant on an employer to make money, but our business was born from a passion for minerals and the joy of finding them. Our industry allows us to enjoy traveling around the United States and the world. It is refreshing to be able to work out in nature, and to meet many wonderful people at the gem and mineral shows we attend. Read more>>

Shelly Redder | Photographer. Capturing memories forever.

I worked as a critical care RN before becoming a traveling critical care RN. As a traveling nurse, I became the product, I had to sell my skillset and bedside manner to the companies hiring me. That experience made the risk of starting my photography business easier. It is still my work ethic, my eye for composing a shot, my skillset with editing and my ability to connect with clients that sells my work! Read more>>

Buried in Lies | Metal Band

To us, risk is a natural part of being musicians. You see, our music is very personal, and putting it out there is an incredibly vulnerable position to be in. The way we look and sound isn’t normal to our scene here in Pueblo. It’s a lot of Thrash and Punk. We greatly appreciate the people that helped build this to what it is, but to be true to ourselves, we had to differentiate from that. Read more>>

Loren Sofía | 360 Fertility Wellness Specialist

One of the primary inspirations for my business is not only to help men and women put their best foot forward stepping into their pregnancy, but to create healthy future generations. Our health at the time of conception influences our future child’s health – and the health of their future children too. My goal is to empower parents-to-be to express the best version of themselves to help them get pregnant faster, reduce pregnancy complication risks, and have a resilient postpartum period that will have ripple effects into future generations to come. Read more>>

Al Jackson | Host of Daily Blast Live, Stand-Up comic, Author

Risk has played a substantial role in my career although it did not present itself initially. I was a single, childless, middle school teacher who was having the time of his in Miami, Florida and was quickly rising in the open mic comedy scene. Within a month of making the decision to leaving teaching and pursue my dreams of stand-up comedy I had a daughter on the way. It was then that risk made itself known. Before children, before baring the responsibility for someone’s experience on this planet- it’s all about you. I was used to being broke at different times in my life and found a way to pull a lot of humor out of it. With the impending arrival of the joy that would be my daughter- that all changed. Read more>>

Joanna Ashleigh | Transcultural Fusion Dancer & Teacher

For me, risks are simply new goals I haven’t achieved yet. The risk is in what will happen if I don’t meet that goal 100%. I almost always meet a percentage of my goals and I work towards building off of those small wins. The biggest risk I took was leaving my well paying job to go back to school for a degree in Dance. The biggest risk here was making the audition into the 10am Technique class which you needed multiple semesters of, in order to graduate. Being a non-traditional student whose dance background was not ballet or modern was a hindrance. Read more>>

Lance Boen | Artist- Leather Fish Sculptor

I knew I wanted to be an artist from the time I was in high school. In my youth I did not think about the risks involved in creating a life around the business of painting, sculpting, showing, marketing, and selling art. I stayed the course and completed college with a degree in fine arts with a focus on painting. I remained focused on becoming a full-time artist and pursued a Master of Fine Arts with a focus on sculpture. Many of my fellow students, who graduated with me, did not follow this risky path. Rather they incorporated their degrees into their lives as part-time careers and hobbies. Read more>>

Jen Moore | Homesteading Mom/Small business owner

Taking a risk is the first step! It’s definitely the foundation for literally anything you want to do in life. If you think about it, we have all been taking risks since before we could even walk. The beginning of our journey of creating our homestead, we were sitting at the table in our 2-story home on 15 (useless) acres with a mortgage payment, car payment, tractor payment- and we knew that if we truly wanted to live a sustainable life and earn an income from it that doing this, being tied to this much debt would just set us up for failure. We had to get away from all the payments, we had to start from scratch. Read more>>

Forrest Barton | Photographer, filmmaker, marketer, and athlete

Taking risk’s often leads to unforgettable experiences and life changing opportunities. In the context of everyday life, I enjoy mountain climbing, backcountry skiing, trail running, pack-rafting, and many other “risky” activities. Pushing through the fears that accompany these activities has helped me grow and afforded me opportunities that most people might never experience. I have rafted down remote rivers in Alaska, climbed and skied down epic volcanos in the Pacific Northwest, and jumped off 500 foot cliffs in Utah. All of these experiences would not have been nearly as unforgettable without the risk that is involved with all of them. Read more>>

Ryan A. Lee | Contemporary Western Artist and business owner.

Risk is essential if the decision to risk is thought through. Its funny how many humans will risk their safety, health, finances etc…w/so little sense of repercussion, and yet, when risk is necessary to make something positive happen, we are so scared to follow through. We risk easily when it comes to things that could go wrong, but very little bravery when RISK is for something that might change our lives positively. Read more>>

Mel Beach | Fiber Artist & Teacher

While I don’t consider myself a big risk taker, looking back at my art career, I see a pattern of taking risks to stretch as both an artist a professional. The first risk was making the leap from making quilts as a hobby/form of stress relief to pursuing teaching quilting professionally! Leading a mini class for my guild sparked such joy in both my students and myself! A few weeks later, another guild invited me to fly out to present a lecture/trunk show. These two experiences gave me the confidence to launch my business focused on quilt lecturing and teaching, which continues to grow year after year. Read more>>

Woo$kee | Artist

Risks are and will always be everything. You will never know what’s going to happen until you do it. No matter the consequences nor the circumstances should you ever back down from a risk in my opinion. I get it though, you can’t take EVERY risk, but at the same time if you feel it deep down there’s potential for you then there is nothing you SHOULDN’T take it for. All in all the risks I’ve taken have been up and down but to get to the point that I’m at (which isn’t anything crazy) have been worth it. Read more>>

Christa Estelle | Digital Creator

Risk is scary to most people, but I find it exhilarating. I’m one of those weird people who loves change. In order to take a risk, you need to make a change. To me, staying stagnant is the scariest thing. For example, I’m in the middle of moving from Chicago, IL to Charleston, SC because I need a change. It is a huge risk as I’m moving on my own, but at the same time, it is very exciting! When it comes to business and my personal life, I really try to say yes to things. Maybe it won’t work out, but that’s what creates great adventures and stories. Read more>>

Kerri Sewolt | Artist & Grownup Weird Kid

I enjoy taking risks! I either challenge my own capabilities and find pride in my success or I learn a valuable lesson. Because of my attitude towards taking risks, it has led me on some pretty amazing life experiences that I would not have normally had such as becoming a snow sculptor and being asked to help create the largest snow fort for Keystone Resort’s “Kidtopia”. Read more>>

Guillermo Puppo | Pastor of Ciudad de Dios Foursquare Church

As a local church pastor, there are always decisions to make. Those decisions may mean different things to different people. So, it is not easy to make everybody happy. Some may criticize the decisions for being too liberal, too conservative, too religious, or too mundane. In any case, taking an educated risk is always better than taking no risk or making no decision. When you choose an action or lack thereof, you choose the consequences of your choice. Read more>>