We asked some brilliant folks from the community to talk to us about how they think about risk and the role risk has played in their lives and careers.

Roma Sur | Roma Sur I Filmmaker and Screenwriting Professor

I believe, if one has a vision, then risks need to be taken, in order to bring that vision to fruition. Every innovation has a risk element at its core. At the bottom of this, lies the quest for knowledge, so that the risks are backed by research. I am in the business of filmmaking. As a female filmmaker of color, it’s a constant rendezvous with risk. If we do not take these chances, many voices will remain unheard. Every film I have made, has been a risk project. My first feature project was a documentary, titled The Golden Hour. Read more>>

Karl Dakin | Professional Entrepreneur

Engaging in innovation requires an acceptance of risk. Changing anything presents the possibility that the effort may fail and that all of your investment of time, money and reputation will be negatively affected. Incremental change is the most difficult because any perceived benefit from the change is so small that people prefer to maintain the status quo. Change with significant impact and associated rewards is needed to overcome everyone’s preference for security. I generally see risk as a necessary component of making the world a better place. As an entrepreneur, I do not see the glass as half empty or half full, but the wrong size glass. Everything can be improved. My role is to facilitate that improvement. Read more>>

Michelle Mironova | RN, BSN

To me risk taking has a lot more to do than putting everything on the line. Its taking or doing something you love and doing whatever you can to keep doing it. Its investing into your passion in hopes that it grows instead of fails. I finished my two year nursing degree and started by BSN right away. In that process I worked as a bedside nurse as well as aesthetic nurse. shortly after finishing my BSN I felt that I wasn’t pursuing my passion for aesthetics. Read more>>

Alan Arnette | Mountaineer, Journalists, Climbing Coach, Alzheimer’s Advocate

I believe that if you live life avoiding death, you are already dead. Read more>>

Christopher Frydryck | Founder & Chairman of the Board @ Riive

I think risk is a tightrope we all need to walk a little and calculate the fall if we teeter or sway off course. Without risk, we are all living predictable lives that are mundane or unoriginal. Taking risks landed me in Colorado, got me in the tech industry in high school, helped me imagine the future of Riive and motivated me to embrace the unpredictable and try to change the world. Read more>>

Aurora Mai | CEO & Co-Founder of The Visionary House

Taking risks can be scary, no matter who you are. But I’m a firm believer that true growth lies outside of your comfort zone, so I’ve taken… a lot of risks in my career and in my life. Here’s how I see it: either you take a risk and succeed, or you take a risk and you “fail” — and that’s actually not so bad at all. Every failure pushes us closer to success, so long as we acknowledge the lessons learned while failing… If I had never learned to take calculated risks, I never would have quit my 9-5 and started my own marketing agency. Read more>>

Brittany Haas | Chief Adventure Officer for Alpenventures UNGUIDED

Risk-taking has played a vital role in my personal life and in my career. As an outdoor enthusiast, who loves technical activities such as rock climbing, I regularly experience tangible examples of the benefits that risk-taking brings into my life. In fact, my perspective around risk-taking has shifted in that I now see what most people would consider a “safe” decision to be a risk in and of itself. In fact, many people may consider staying away from outdoor sports as a safe decision, may live a more sedentary lifestyle and take on all the health risks that come with it. Read more>>

Tom Darrow | National leader in the Human Resources and Career Management professions

Life is full of risks. They stretch us. They help us reach higher heights. Sure, we’ll fail sometimes but that can be a positive in the long run too. As I’ve learned as an entrepreneur, failure is inevitable. The key though is to fail fast and fail forward. Usually failure evolves. The sooner one can self-correct, the less the failure will have a negative impact. It’s also critical to learn from the mistake and move forward in a more educated and determined manner. Read more>>

Assétou Xango | Healer. Poet. Witch.

My whole career has been one risk after another; at least, that’s how other people see it. I see it as this undeniable pull towards the things that light me up, fill me up, make me feel like I am living in my purpose. I have never understood that draw to play it safe. Maybe cause I always knew that playing it safe meant being miserable. Read more>>

Joey Coleman | Founder of KAI cbd

Risk taking is so engrained into the fabric of both who I am as a person and who we are as a company that it can be hard to differentiate between the two. I was led to cbd literally by risk gone wrong. In 2017 I was in a paragliding accident in Colombia that left me with a broken spine and unstable spinal cord. I was facing the very real possibility I may never walk again. I was unaware at the time, but as I came crashing down to earth from the Colombian sky, I was propelled onto a path that would would lead me back to my home state of Colorado, and into the cbd industry. Read more>>

Sabrina Dorman-Andrew | Executive Director of New Creation VA

I have heard people often say “No risk. No reward.” Which makes an awesome t-shirt but often can be complicated to live out. I do believe many times that saying is accurate though. I have been working in the anti-sex trafficking realm for right at 10 years now + some of the BIGGEST payoffs for our organization + business have many times required a blind faith jump to see if we can make it to the other side. Read more>>

Mary Nguyen | Restaurateur

When you talk to people about what it takes to be an “entrepreneur,” most people will say you need to be a risk taker. However, I have found that the way I have approached risk in my career has been more helpful to me. I like to think that I’m more of a risk avoider than a risk taker. I try to focus on maximizing my chances of success by minimizing the risks involved. Read more>>

Meredith Kasper | Language Instructor (English&Spanish) and Massage therapist(bodywork)

Many years ago I came across a quote in Spanish, which has continually encouraged me to take chances. El mayor riesgo es no arriesgar – Accion Poetica, which means, the biggest risk is not taking risks. Everyday we wake up and face risks, some more obvious than others. There is an illusion of safety that society feeds us, but the reality is, it’s all a risk of some sort. Read more>>

Susanne Mitchell | Artist/Educator

Calculated risk-taking is essential for change and growth. I have taken a fair number of risks in my life and have found that they often lead to profound experiences that positively impact my life and work. A few years ago, I was feeling a bit stuck with my art practice and teaching. So, I started to cold contact various organizations in South Africa to see about going there to live and work for a while. Read more>>

E. Garrett Bryant | Artist & Educator

As a former competitive whitewater kayaker, and someone with a high threshold for risk, I don’t spend much time thinking about risk in creative enterprises like making art. I’m not going to die if I make an experimental video, and I won’t lose my rent money either. It may never be shown publicly, and that’s fine with me. I don’t make art for money. Read more>>

Joe Gallucci | Certified Payments Professional

The definition of risk as a verb is: “to expose to hazard or danger.” Danger is bad. Danger can harm you. Warren Buffet says, “Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No. 1.” Most people would categorize me taking a lot of risks, but to me, I see myself as risk-averse. So it’s a matter of perspective. Risk is not fixed. It can be changed and controlled in most instances. In business, most times risk can be greatly diminished or eliminated with additional information, experience, capital, or contacts. It helps to see it from a different perspective. Read more>>