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.

Linds McAlpine | Ad Lib Goddess

I opened Reverence Brewing Company in 2021 with my partner Nate after nine years of traveling throughout the United States + Canada pursuing this dream of opening our own brewery. We took risk after risk, moving our family from place to place, gaining the skills that we needed to open Reverence. Admittedly, the brewing industry pays low wages for its brewery employees so while I was staying at home raising our babies, it was challenging to make ends meet financially. However, having the perspective of abundance is helpful with risk taking. Read more>>

Ursala Hudson | Indigenous Artist & Fashion Designer

Being raised at home by a pair of full-time artists, I was conditioned into taking risks on a regular basis. Risk-taking is the foundational practice of all creatives — being scared and moving forward anyway. Because I was homeschooled during my most formative years, the environment was very safe and conducive for risk-taking, which is a rare privilege. I could experiment with new art materials or contribute to my parents’ large-scale sculpture projects without significant social repercussions when I “failed”. I became practiced at failing, refining my process, trying again, and eventually succeeding. Read more>>

Cassandra Guerra | Wedding Photographer

From the outside, I probably come off as a risk taker. In recent years, I’ve really shaken things up. Does being risky mean being unprepared for the outcome? I’d like to think the answer is “no” in my case. I’m an over-thinker by nature and seeing the punch line coming is what I’m good at. Over-thinking doesn’t always mean over-complicating things. For instance, when you see a problem with your situation, knowing the solution is the easy part. Read more>>

Paige and Trey Swager | Photographer and Videographer

Risk is a huge part of life and we consider ourselves to be walking hand in hand with it! To take a chance is the only way to plunge into opportunity! Being open, willing, and even inviting to the unknown, and possible undoing, is our approach to creating a life worth living. Both Trey and I have taken many risks in life including becoming entrepreneurs, creating and running a small business, and traveling across the country in our skoolie to serve our clients in our favorite places. We have learned so many skills along the way which only bolsters our will and grit to continue living as unconstrained a life as we can and the results are that we are more fulfilled, more joyful, more challenged, and ultimately more motivated to deliver the highest quality service to our clients. Read more>>

Jennifer Baker | Glass Artist

In terms of risks, I believe I need to take them to keep pushing myself in terms of my artwork. Glass is such an amazing medium and there are so many things that can be done with it. I am constantly exploring ways to manipulate. Outside of a few basic safety principles, there is no reason not to try something. I never understood why art teachers say “You can’t do that” – I guess I’ve always been the person to not accept that, question and then try it anyway! Read more>>

Darren Garvey | Multi-instrumentalist, cross-pollinator, songwriter, producer

Risk is everything, but the hardest part is committing to trying something new and actually taking some risk. I have reinvented myself so many times while remaining true to who I believe myself to be as a musician and as a creative. Every dead-end happens for a reason and every path contributes to where you end up as an artist and as a person. I have found that the fear of failure is easier to overcome than leaving unanswered questions about “what if” so I tend to jump off the ledge and then reach for my parachute. These experiences are what shape me. Read more>>

Lyzrd | Hip Hop Artist

For myself, risk has been the deciding factor in my journey. A 17 year old Lyzrd was a failing student, depressed, and developing a serious pill habit. I made the decision to leave high school halfway through Junior year. I risked my future to drop out and enroll in a trade school for media… And get my g.e.d. I saw a future in learning to design products and developing the technical acumen to improve the quality of my music. This paid me back tenfold. Read more>>

Noelle Bertram | Travel Writer & Restaurant Owner

Throughout my life & career, I believe that the willingness to take risks has helped me transition out of, what I might call, a more “conventional” life ~ into one that has taken me places I never imagined I’d be. Many years ago, I left the family restaurant business ~ & left a lot of money & stability behind. But I was no longer happy, & even though I was terrified to leave: I knew I had to. And that decision, that risk: led to a life in Oregon, & the start-up of a new business there…in the fitness industry. It led to meeting so many new people, & falling in love with a new state & a more easygoing lifestyle. Read more>>

Bobby Parker | Musician & Producer, Guitar/Vocals in Salem’s Bend

For me, I think its all about taking a calculated risk. I don’t like to jump headlong into something without considering all the options first, but I also think that sometimes you have to take a chance based on your gut instinct. Taking risks is important, especially as a musician- music is all about trying something new and different and showing that to your audience and seeing if they like it or connect with it. There’s an excitement that’s inherent with taking risks musically, especially in the live scenario, and I think that excitement is transferred to the audience and makes for a more memorable event. Read more>>

Alexa Kirkland | Esthetician- brow artist

For myself, my whole journey in esthetics and my business is based off of risk taking. It’s huge and really helped me to get me to where I am today. My journey began in 2015 when becoming pregnant with my son. My skin started changing and a new found love for skincare shifted my focus. It was there that I stopped taking college courses and took a risk of what a “stable path” was at the time. I started working and managing a local medical spa. Read more>>

Rachel Kling | Real Estate Agent

I have never been a huge risk taker when it comes to my work life. My parents always encouraged me to get a job with benefits and a good retirement plan. I take a HUGE risk when I left my 9-5 job working at a real estate brokerage to joining a new brokerage and going right to selling full time. There was a very special person who enlightened me to risk taking in my career and she is the reason I made the jump without a lot of preparation. Taking this risk has been the best thing for me and my life. I feel free and get the benefits of living the life I want to live while working at a job I truly enjoy. Read more>>

Jay Freeman | Creative and Instructor

No risk no reward. I was very fortune to discover Jim Rohn at a earlier age and I will always remember his speech about risk. He speaks about the perception of risk in our society, and finishes a legendary quite with “wait until they hand you the bill for NOT taking any risk.” Playing is safe in your comfort zone is never the winning mentality. Read more>>

Nina Tichava | Painter

I believe that taking chances and calculated risks are essential to advancing your career. For myself, I constantly take risks trying new processes and materials in my paintings (you never know when you’ll make something incredible or produce a total mess!). I also am open to new opportunities when they enter my sphere, whether that’s a new gallery that connects with my work and asks to represent me, or exploring new technologies like NFTS. If you have the resources and support to gamble on your creativity, it’s usually a good bet if you aren’t afraid of working hard—that’s been my personal experience. Read more>>

Elisha Niebuhr | Home Design, Staging, and Furniture Store Business Owner

If you don’t like the thought of leaping off a cliff without knowing exactly how the landing will go, don’t become an entrepreneur. I feel like I take leaps into the unknown on a daily basis. Deciding to hire someone and committing to that salary expense, launching a new service offering and figuring out the short comings as I go, expanding into another branch of business, like retail, which is what we are currently working on, and hoping I made the right choice; they all require a commitment to spend money and do the work after the jump has been made. Read more>>

Gina Scarpa | Voice Actor, Coach, and Professor of Voice Acting

It’s funny to have chosen this question to talk about because in my personal life, I’m not a big risk taker at all. I’m afraid of just about everything and no one who knows me would call me adventurous! But in my professional life, I have taken many risks and never been afraid to change careers, create new connections with people, or adapt to situations – especially something as massive as the pandemic. From becoming a radio DJ at 19, to an Editor-In-Chief and podcast host in my 20s and 30s, to a full-time voice actor in my 40s, I’m not afraid to go after what I want and give everything I have to be successful at it. Read more>>

Megan Ramirez | Small Business Owner

Taking a risk in my personal life that had a major positive impact, and essentially allowed me to “find myself,” has given me the confidence to take risks when it comes to business. When I was in my 3rd year of college, I thought I had it all planned out. I was going to move to LA. I had connections through my professors. I was ready to apply for jobs and start a career. This was when a friend of mine came along who had planned to take a year off and backpack through South America. Read more>>

Zach Guy | Lead Avalanche Forecaster for the Crested Butte Avalanche Center

Thinking about risk is my job in a nutshell. As an avalanche forecaster, my morning routine is to assess avalanche hazards and describe them to the public so that they can adequately manage risk. Then I head out into the field and make constant risk management decisions with my partners as we navigate through the mountains under dynamic conditions. I think about risk in its most basic form: likelihood and consequences. I feel far more comfortable skiing a steep slope that has a high likelihood but low consequence chance of avalanche versus the opposite. Another concept I consider is confidence. How sure am I about my assessments? If my confidence is low, I reduce my exposure even further. Read more>>

Queen JuJu | Co-founder & Artist of Furballs NFT

When I was in my 20s, taking big risks in life lead to my happiest moments. Whether I was hopping off a bus in a new country and didn’t know where I was going to sleep that night, or ditching all plans to hitchhike across country with a few acrobats, I was seeking a risk-taking thrill. Now, a more mature human, I crave that risk in business. I dropped a career as a graphic designer that I had spent years building clients and creating the life that I wanted at the drop of a dime to enter the NFT space. Its a volatile market for anyone to enter, but I wanted to bring these Furballs to life. I wanted to create a game that was genuinely my vision and brought a community together for the fun of it. Read more>>

Bergen Baucom | Head Honcho at BB CASA

‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’ has long been my motto. I’m blessed with parents who have always encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone– be it through participating in local theater productions as a child, starting an advertising business in high school, devoting my twenties to chasing a career in journalism, or recently–resigning from the most lucrative job I’d ever held to start my own company and go back to school full-time. I think a lot of people are terrified of trying something new and failing. Read more>>

Desi and Angelina Butler | Brand Development Specialists

Risk is not only a great board game, it is the very foundation from which our business was established. In the beginning of August 2019, we were waking up every weekday, making the dreaded Denver morning commute to our corporate office, and doing the same, mundane tasks. Do you remember being a child and the exhilarating excitement you felt thinking about what you were going to be when you grew up? Whether you were going to soar among the stars as an astronaut or sing your way into the hearts of millions, you just knew you were destined for greatness. Read more>>

Peter J Weinberg | Psychologist, Chief Operations Officer for Direct Access Mental Health Care, Executive Coach & Litigation Consultant

Risk is also about trust. It is a creative way to opening new chapters in life’s horizon. It is a process of rebirth and shedding light on new paths and directions. Risk is also about letting go. Certainly, risk does not guarantee a positive conclusion, what it does guarantee is learning. Without risk, our lives end up meaningless, where wonder is lost. The initial reaction about the word risk tends to be exposure to danger. Even in business, the idea of a risk implies inherent danger, loss, and harm. Read more>>

Krystina Mitchell | Massage Therapist

I feel like life is all about taking risks, you never know how it will play out until y or try. For years I was nervous about venturing out on my own and starting a massage business. I’ve always made other risks throughout my life, but being on my own scared me because I didn’t know what the outcome would be. It was something I’ve always dreamed of I just had to muster up the courage and do it. I spent years bouncing around from job to job because the work environment was too toxic. I knew the only way to break the cycle was to either make a risk and start my own business or quit entirely. Read more>>

Colin Mudd | Cannabis activist, Founder and Principal Consultant for Konopé Compliance

I’ve been in the cannabis industry for almost 13 years. Risk is always at the forefront of everything we do. There would be no industry without risk, whether it’s navigating complex compliance regulations, or betting the farm on the next harvest. Every license holder, employee, and ancillary business owes everything to the pioneers from the ’50s and ’60s that created a culture around this plant. Back then, the stakes were much higher than they are today. We know that cannabis has been utilized by humans for thousands of years in ancient civilizations, from Egypt to China and India, and beyond. We’re certainly not the first, but thankfully we will not be the last. Read more>>

Karen McPhail-Bell, PhD | Artist, researcher, evaluator, public health consultant

Risk-taking is part of what makes life an adventure. By its nature, risk-taking requires letting go of the known path with a willingness to be bad at something. In retrospect, my greatest memories or relationships in life all involved an element of risk, grounded in my values. The trick is in deciding which risks are worth it. For me, risk-taking is just as important as the approach to risk – sizing it up, getting perspective, and understanding its potential impacts. The approach is what can empower us in decision-making, which to me is essentially about tradeoffs that are informed by values. Read more>>

Beauty | Artist| Influencer

I think that taking risk is a good thing to do as long as it makes sense. If you have a plan to back you up, taking risk that seem out of the ordinary could be very beneficial to your success. Risk taking has played a valuable role in my career. For example marketing is a major step that needs to be taken in my music career so I can grow a large fan base and grow my brand. With marketing once you spend your money on promotion for another company to promote you or once you pay for ads, you don’t get your money back. Read more>>