We asked some of the brightest folks in the community to open up to us about the most important lesson their business or career has taught them. We’ve highlighted some of those responses below.

Jennifer Railey | Doctor of Chiropractic & Owner of Incline Chiropractic Colorado, LLC

Life should be full of risks. If we do not take risks we will never change, never grow, never succeed, and never fail. Failure is scary but failure is how we grow to become successful. Imagine life if we never took risks and were afraid of failure. We would have never learned to walk. Babies fail over and over until they have learned from each of their failures and finally take enough steps to make it across the room without falling. As adults we are so afraid of the fall we don’t attempt to stand. Risks take you places you would have never gone. For me I took a huge risk opening my practice right after graduating with my Doctor of Chiropractic degree. I graduated in December, received my license in January and opened my practice the very next day. Was it scary? Yes, Was I taking a risk having never owned my own business? Yes, Was it worth it? You better believe it. I have had so many failures in my business I don’t have enough fingers and toes to cover them all, but I did learn from each failure and I would have never made it past graduation without taking a huge risk. Read more>>

Kristin Jean Marie | Photographer & Fashion Designer

My personal view on risk taking as a Business Owner and Entrepreneur is that it is absolutely necessary. My whole life I took risks in order to follow my dreams and pursue my passions. Any goal you have generally involves a decision, sacrifice, or taking a risk of some sort, and I think that it’s important to realize in order to advance at anything you must be willing to get past your comfort zone at some point. I believe that being able to take risks and put myself out there and invest into my Dreams has been a crucial part of my growth and development as a person. I’ve always been a firm believer that you can only get out what you put into something. And let’s be honest- sometimes you have to risk it all, just to let the universe know that you’re serious. Read more>>

Yurima Crowley | Founder of I Love ME Gems

Risk for me is an opportunity to grow. It is challenging myself and trusting that I have the ability to achieve what I want. The risk makes the goals achieved much more pleasant. I am from Venezuela and one of the most important risks that I have taken in my life was to come to live in the United States with my son in 2015. To leave a whole life in my country to start a new one with only 2 suitcases of luggage. The confidence that everything would always be fine, even in critical moments, and the grateful attitude toward the generosity that we find in the people of Colorado, gave us the foundation to create the company that I now have. The universe is giving us signs that we are doing well along a path, unexpected opportunities open up that help me make decisions that involve a lot of risk, but internal conviction overrides the fear of the unknown. Read more>>

Kathryn Vinson | Sculptor , Working in Stone , Wood Metal and Now Recycled Plastics

You always take a risk by making art. There is the risk that you will never sell a piece or even have it seen by anyone , but its a risk that most of us are willing to take because to do otherwise is to always be wishing you had . Once you have the art bug you start to identify your self by the things you do. When you first start to become a full time working artist its a little like leaping off a cliff and finding your wings on the way down. Sometimes you fall and hit hard but you have to keep jumping or you stall out . Beginnings and endings are always risky , you risk not doing your idea or you risk it not being what you hoped it would be but its best to just move forward , finish the work and make another. Send your work out into the world and learn to grow a thick skin when you get public response to it . Your work will not be every ones cup of tea and taking constructive criticism is just as important as taking compliments to growing as an artist. Take risks and try new stuff new media new ideas. Read more>>

Nancy Smith | Aerial Dance Choreographer / Performer / Artistic Director

Risk taking is inherent in living and art. It was risky to start a non-profit aerial dance company 33 years ago when the genre wasn’t widely known or acknowledged as a dance art form. Dancing in the air has risk – anytime you are higher than you can jump and/or inverted you are at risk of injury. Training safely and thoroughly prevents the risk. Our youth-at-risk program, Kids Who Fly, is modeled on adventure based therapies that rely on participants overcoming fear with healthy safe risk-taking in our aerial classes. This replaces other risky behaviors (drugs, alcohol, etc.). Putting my art out into the world feels risky but necessary. Read more>>

Casey Poe | Brand Photographer

I can’t remember when or where I was when I first heard the quote, “I’d rather have a life of ‘oh wells’ than a life of ‘what ifs’” but that simple phrase has guided all of my risky decisions. Sometimes the risk was worth the reward, sometimes it ended up being a valuable learning experience. I look back at the “failures” with gratitude because I had the courage to take a risk. Read more>>

Nathan Hall | Composer and Artist

I think risk in my life and career has been largely tied to vulnerability. Usually the work that I’m most nervous to present–the work that’s closest to my heart, but also puts me in a vulnerable place to be ostracized–ends up being the most successful and rewarding in the end for myself and others too. I have a work where a pianist gets literally tied to the piano by a bondage artist, and it’s quite raw and intimate. Another collaborative work has three male nudes drawing a mural and I record the sounds their bodies make. These works have catapulted my thinking about how sound is intertwined with identity. But it’s a tough path along the way. Criticism stings all the more, and it’s hard to be vulnerable and have a tough skin at the same time. Read more>>

Chris Iacono | Multimedia Producer, Performer, & Public Speaker

I take risks all the time, ever since I was a kid. I think it was first grade, I had received on of those “101 magic tricks” kit’s and after spending a couple months learning all the illusions, I decided to bring it into school for Show and Tell and performed it in front the entire class. If my memory serves correctly, I messed up all but a few of the tricks. But my risk taking paid off and I got an extra star next to my name for jumping in front of the class and risking childhood embarrassment. I took the same types of risks when I began a career in performing, then radio, and eventually production. None of these paths have any clear direction or pre determined pay off. I just felt a calling and moved in that direction. Those decisions to risk my time, my money, and my future have paid off ten fold. I think many people are taught to be risk averse and they tend to settle for what they think will be a sure thing. Taking risks has taught me that stability is an illusion, even when you follow the beaten path. So why not take big risks. Read more>>