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.

Nikki Stansfield | Career & Life Clarification Coach

Personally, I think we need to reconsider how we label or describe situations where an individual decides to take a step in a new direction or engage in life in a new and unfamiliar way. By definition, a “risk” is “a situation involving exposure to danger”. If an individual is engaging in life with that definition, they may be terrified to embrace change or explore new possibilities. Viewing a possible new experience through the lens of “potential harm or danger” carries a very negative energy or vibration. Where and how we put our focus is how we engage and experience life. If I believe that taking action poses a real threat, I am more likely to put my energy and focus onto what I don’t want to happen versus the positive response(s) that I do want to manifest. When I work with clients, we spend a lot of time re-working negative thoughts about change and engaging in new experiences. A phrase that I prefer is “intentional exploration”. When we explore possibilities and change from a lens of curiosity and excitement about the unknown. Read more>>

Louie and Regan Colburn | Owners

We believe that the more you have to put out on the line, the more rewarding the payoff can be. We only have so much energy to expend, and in order to realize any worthy gains, there needs to be an unwavering focus on your project. In our case, it meant quitting our jobs and risking our livelihood in order to create room to focus on starting and running our own business. We lost our sources of income by quitting our jobs at the time in order to birth a business from scratch, with no investors. Yes, to do what we did was risky, and no amount of business planning can eliminate the cost of taking the risk. But, we believed that in order for our venture to flourish, we needed to be fully committed and focused. This is almost as to say to the universe, “Hey, we are serious about doing this!” When we stopped thinking and changed gears into DOING, many things started to line up and solutions appeared. Read more>>

Dr. Jen Perez | Foot Specialist and Educator

I believe taking risks is absolutely necessary for growth in both life and career. In my life, it was when I jumped in and did what terrified me that I have grown the most. I signed up to volunteer in the Dominican Republic for 5 weeks when I was a freshman in college not knowing anyone and it was the most incredible and enriching experience which has completely shaped who I am today. In business, you have to take risks–big or small- if you want to stand out. For me this started with posting exercise videos on instagram even though I was camera shy and didn’t want keyboard warriors to tear me down. Now I am part owner of a global virtual education business centered around an instagram following of almost 100k people. Our business, Gait Happens, stands in contrast to most conventional interventions for foot and leg pain, this in itself is a risk because we go against the status quo. But having a different perspective is what has given us the opportunity to grow, to prove ourselves, and in turn why people. Read more>>

Garrien Johnson | Real Estate Lender, Agent ,Investor, & Photographer

Risk taking is a huge part of life that presents itself to everyone at some point. We all face risk on the regular, some small and some big, but what truly separates us as people is how we react to the risk presented to us. I personally think of risk like that saying “you’re coming to a fork in the road”. At this fork I choose to listen closely for direction from God, and sometimes he asks us to go the way most people would say is crazy. Some of my biggest success I’ve had has come from taking risk that everyone around me has cautioned me on taking, but I choose to follow God and not let fear stop me from taking that particular risk. I personally believe we get one life to live so why live it in fear and play everything safe. Also when it comes to risk taking I love to use the saying “take a calculated risk”. Meaning you have done your research and your confident this risk can pay off if taken at the right time and scenario. Read more>>

Courtney Drake-McDonough | Website Publisher, Writer, and Editor

If you asked some of my family-members, they’d say I’m not a risk taker. That’s not really true. I’m not a “danger” taker! I don’t get a thrill out of doing something that’s morally-, legally-, or life-threatening. In fact, I avoid those things at all costs. But taking some risks that don’t fall under those three categories are what advance your life forward. And I do take a lot of those in a variety of ways. I’ve taken risks with meeting people to make friends or connect in business. Shy by nature, I’m taking a risk of being rejected every time I reach out. But 9 times out of 10, that risk is well-received and ends up being really rewarding. In my career, every day I take risks in so many ways – approaching people for work, to advertise with me, to be responsible for other people’s hard work as I publish their articles, and as I interview them for podcasts, knowing they are putting themselves out there with me (their risk) so that I can deliver a podcast that helps them introduce themselves to the world. Read more>>

Casey Lloyd | Actor & Producer

My friend Tyler and I questioned if we should enter our short film into festivals this year. Was 2020 going to be a year where film festivals existed, what would a festival look like, and would people even show up? We didn’t want the hard work we poured into our first film together to go to waste. I’m deeply grateful that we took the risk and entered our film Submission Tape into festivals this year. I realized it doesn’t matter if the film gets shown to overflowing screening halls. What I appreciate from this experience the most is that we went ahead anyways. There are encyclopedias of excuses we could make for ourselves on a daily basis as to why a choice is wrong. I think it’s riskier but more rewarding to convince oneself of why a decision is the right choice. I am excited to announce that Submission Tape was recently accepted to its first festival! We will be debuting the film at the Santa Fe Film Festivals 21st anniversary celebration. This will take place February 17-21st of 2021. Read more>>

Jenny Verrochi | Co-founder of Wild Barn Coffee

I love taking risks, it’s how you grow. I think the more you step outside your comfort zone the more you learn and the more possibilities open up for you. Everyday is a risk, and that’s exciting to me. Read more>>

Anna Redman | Administrative Assistant & Photographer

I’ve always been a fairly safe person. I tend to gravitate toward the familiar. As a child, I remember hiding behind my mom at the first sign of risk, hoping she could shield me from whatever strange unknown lied ahead. As I’ve grown older, I’ve begun to recognize the correlation between major risk, and great, fulfilling things in my life. Most of my best career moves, relationships, and general life choices have involved some level of risk. I can’t say the risks have always been fun or exciting, but they’ve always scared me just a little. I think that’s how you gauge whether or not a risk is worth it — if it scares you a little, it might be worth chasing. Starting my photo business was terrifying for me. My business is young, and I’m still figuring it all out (most days, I have no idea what I’m doing), but I continue to ride that same, terrifying high on a regular basis. Fear can be incredibly motivating, and while I still sometimes struggle to allow it to actually push me, it’s extremely gratifying to recognize that it can when I let it. Read more>>

Ashley McClanahan | Lifestyle Photographer

That’s a tough thought process for me and I bounce back and forth between claiming to be a risk-taker. When presented with an idea that seems to be risky, I always work out the pros and cons. First and foremost – what is my chance of dying? (usually very slim, I mean, come on, I’m a photographer not Evil Knievel.) Then, would this risk hurt anyone else around me? What are the benefits of this risk? After those questions, I’m typically on board for going through with the idea. But never have I been someone to just DO without THINKING FIRST. I would argue that quitting corporate America with a steady paycheck to work full-time with my photography business was risky. Did that just happen one day? Hell no. I waxed and waned on this idea for years. Then finally I snapped and quit my desk job. It felt so insane, but so right. Read more>>

Cindy Koder | Holistic Stylist and Owner of Dew Salon

Risk taking is having the belief and courage to know you have something unique. The notion to be willing to take a chance and stand for a concept that has not fully been mainstream. As a seasoned stylist of 25 years, I have used various haircare and haircolor products. I have always known that the beauty industry contributes to its fair share of toxicity to the environment and ones personal health. They say “its not the .5% of lead in one Christian Dior lipstick that going to make you sick, its the accumulation of every thing we put in and on our bodies” So with that being said, as a stylist that works with color chemicals and hair care daily, I have to be mindful of my health, my stylist and clients. Out of conscious integrity, I choose products and color that is cleaner and more mindful of integrity of ingredients, sustainability, and toxicity. In light of being a risk taker, I have choose to do business and represent a color line called Original Minerals (O&M) that are non toxic green technology. Read more>>

Timothy Diaz | Owner & Creator

When I think of taking risks in a business or investment setting, I think of them as a win win. If you succeed then obviously that’s a great accomplishment but if you lose you have the opportunity to learn from the journey and there’s always something to learn. Read more>>

Evan Simmons | Panoramic Pro Painting- Owner

Great question! Risk is definitely a two-prong dilemma and has played quite a role in my life and my new journey as an entrepreneur. It is abundantly clear that anything worth striving for takes a great deal of hard work, sacrifice and dedication. However, from my journey its become apparent that it also takes a great deal of risk! Inherently, I have always looked at “Risk” as a form of gambling to an extent. It’s that cliche “catch-22” that you have to leverage something of value, whether it be your career, livelihood, or feeling of being comfortable in exchange for something else that may or may not turn out like you envisioned, or could turn out to be better than your wildest dreams. As a kid, and over the early years of my career I always felt that I was more of an risk adverse person. Unless I knew it was a for-sure thing, I’d shy away from it. Read more>>

Skye Barker Maa | Arts collective owner of a Music, Theatre, Fashion Design and Film school.

I’m probably overly comfortable with risk. One of the first things you learn in small business is that A LOT of your ideas will not work out and some will be disasterous. Others will work but not in the way that you intended which starts an uncomfortable evolutionary process. The more comfortable you become with failure the more comfortable you are with taking the next risk. I’m always surprised by what works and what doesn’t. If someone on my staff introduces an idea I am often willing to give it a shot even if I think it might fail because, “what if?” I think the lessons that you learn through failure and through flirting with risk are the path to more successful ideas. Read more>>

Becca Davidson | Interior Designer & Florist

Risk taking is an essential component to success. If you aren’t pushing yourself to move out of a comfort zone and into a learning zone, personal and professional growth can be difficult to achieve. I truly believe that growth can be a product of discomfort, and that living a purpose-filled life involves taking big risks. I also recognize that we all have different life stories and realities, and so our collective risk taking will vary greatly among people. For me in my story, I had to quit a steady job without a plan of what I was going to do next, in order to get where I am today. Many people aren’t comfortable with that kind of risk, yet it was essential to my growth. Without taking calculated yet courageous risks, I would still be in an old profession that wasn’t bringing me joy. Read more>>

Jaquita Straw | Jackie & The Racket

Risk/Reward has always been a motivating factor for me in my musical career. My largest inspiration, Dolly Parton said, “You’ll never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try.” I fully believe that the only limitation I have is me, getting in the way of my self. So, I started looking at risk as opportunities to rise to the occasion of my dreams. I am also an extremely determined human being and thriving in a risky situation, as Jerry Garcia would say, gets me off. Read more>>

Laura DePorter | Business Manager of Mountain Ridge Dentistry, Founder of NoCo Video Group, and DocuDent Direct

A life without risk would feel stale. I was lucky to learn early in life that risks open doors and teach us valuable lessons. Enough of these important lessons will transform your life and bring your dreams to fruition. Don’t shy away from calculated risks, especially when it comes to investing in yourself. I believe betting on ourselves is always the best risk we can take. I find myself chasing the next ‘risk’ all the time, betting on myself to meet the challenge every time. When my husband and I opened our startup dental practice, we immediately felt fearful of the huge risk (and debt) we were had taken. We even talked about what we would do if we lost everything we had worked for in life. We persevered by learning, working, and doing whatever it took to decrease our risk. Read more>>

Patrick Murphy | Entrepreneur & CEO

Risk and fear always go hand in hand. It’s really important for me to sit with the fear and evaluate how it feels in my body and in my gut. It generally falls into one of two categories: risk that concerns survival and risk that concerns vulnerability. More often that not I’m dealing with the latter, and what’s bubbling up is fear of rejection, fear of judgment, or fear of the unknown. Any time I find myself uneasy or stagnant, it’s usually due to a lack of risk taking or challenging myself. The risks I’ve taken in my life and career have led to my greatest successes and biggest periods of growth. Moving from NYC to Colorado with no job and barely knowing anyone here is one example. Leaving my career in advertising sales to start Inlet is another good one. Each time I’ve been met with exactly what I needed once I “jumped off the cliff,” but the universe wasn’t going to show me head of time. I had to take action first. Read more>>

Heather Reed | Realtor, Broker Associate

When someone is dreaming about starting their own business, there can be so much fear over the unknown. What if my business fails? What if no one buys my product? What if I don’t make money? The “what ifs” can drive us into a dark corner of fear, where we don’t venture out to try something new. Life is risk. If we play small, we will accomplish small things. We have to take the risk of moving from “dreaming” to diving in and “doing”! When I started my own business there was huge risk. I was doing something I’d never done before. I risked our family’s finances and start up expenses. I risked failure. If we do the same thing we’ve always done, we can expect the same results we’ve always gotten. But there is incredible joy and satisfaction in being bold and trying something new. Read more>>