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

Haleigh Burckley | Actor & Model

I think risk taking is an extremely important part of life. When I look back on my short 23 years, although I haven’t accomplished as much as I’d like up to this point, I’ve had experiences that I spent most of my childhood dreaming about, and I’m very fortunate for that. That being said, I don’t imagine I would’ve experienced a lot of these events if I hadn’t taken some immense risks. After I quit school and theatre, I feel into a really deep hole of anxiety and unsureness about the world around me. So eventually I quit performing altogether, and by the time I decided to pick up my craft again years later, I was such a nervous wreck that I couldn’t look through audition postings without getting sick to my stomach. But if I’ve learned anything from that period of my life, its that I only kicked the anxiety when doing the things that made me the most anxious, like taking the risks that gave me incredible opportunities. Read more>>

Jessica Guenther | Medical Esthetician & Permanent Makeup Artist

I take what would be a risk and find ways to turn them into absolutes. Starting my own business is a risk but I didn’t go into it blind. I got the education and training I needed, I researched the success of the industry and didn’t get in too deep with things that didn’t make me a profit. There will always be a risk factor in life-changing decisions, that’s why you should use all the tools around you to put the odds in your favor. Read more>>

Shauna Hylenski | LCC Founder, Program Director & Yoga Teacher

When you take the leap to open your own business you experience the potent mix of fear of failure and exhilaration of creating your own future. The reality is that it is always both and sometimes one more than the other. It comes down to the fact that you must fail, if you never fail you are constantly in fear of it. The risk of failure is worth the reward of living fully in your true life path. My husband Bryan and I have tried and failed at numerous endeavors and it only serves as fuel and experience to the fire of our next venture. When we opened The Longmont Climbing Collective we gathered all of the experiences and an amazing group of partners so we could take this leap together. We continue to take risks knowing the net to catch us continues to widen and strengthen. When COVID hit in March and we were faced with such uncertainty. We not only had each other to lean on, but the amazing community of members to reassure us that this was not our final chapter. Read more>>

Kaylyn Schmer | Designer

Risk is necessary. Risk can be terrifying. Risk can be empowering. I take calculated risks in my life and career. This means I am future focused, and strive to analyze all the factors and results that go into making a decision. From the outside looking in, this process can seem arduous and impractical. In my view, this process is essential to the risk taking process. Sometimes my risk factor and result analysis is right on, and sometimes it is off base- hello, global pandemic. No matter the outcome, I learn from the experience- that is the benefit of taking risks. You are pushing outside of your own knowledge and skills, and no matter what happens, you’re armed with more information and a deeper understanding. Risks are inherent to life. You take risks or you don’t, but either way, something is always at stake. Do you risk a big career move, and pursue that new passion? Read more>>

Cameron Douglas | Creative Director & Partner

What’s life without risks? I think taking risks or the lack thereof, defines who you become from a youth throughout adulthood. It’s about managing risk whether great or small and learning from any lesson that comes. I weigh risk levels against reward levels to calculate it; a daily practice of mine. Read more>>

Jenn Merz (Malkasian) | Artist & Insurance Agent/CSR

The way I think about risk taking has definitely changed over the last few years. Prior to our move from New Jersey in 2016, I always talked myself out of a new venture that seemed to uncertain of the outcome. When my husband and I decide to move to Colorado, we had no plan, no jobs. I decided to expedite the move I left my job to start packing and find a place for us to live. Within six weeks we moved still no jobs, no plans, just an apartment. This was by fair the riskyist thing I have ever done! The move here has drastically changed my life, I have started new careers, started my own art brand and have had multiple art exhibits in the Art District of Santa Fe. Read more>>

Victoria Kimble | Middle Grade & Young Adult Author

Letting other people read my writing is a risk. Especially when trying to get published. The truth is, most editors and agents will reject my writing. Personally, I’ve racked up over 60 rejections on several manuscripts so far. But all it takes is one yes. So when I think about the risk of someone saying no, I’ve decided to view that no as the one who wasn’t right for me and my project. And it’s beneficial to hear the no, so I can move on to the next person who might be the one yes that I”m looking for. Read more>>

Vanessa Renner | Blogger

I think of risk as being brave, as daring to show up just as we are, as taking a leap of faith and jumping into the unknown. Risk has played a very big role in my life, when moving 5 years ago to the U.S. from Mexico City with my family. This implied leaving our families and lives behind to start a new one. Starting from scratch in a new country, with a different language was no easy task. Starting a new business focused only on women meant a lot to me. I knew I had to embrace what being a woman entails, with its struggles and its wins. Read more>>

Jenn Cleary | Creator

I believe that risk taking is essential for growth and discovering our best stories. One of the main reasons I created The Wandering 1 is actually to inspire venturing out and taking more risks. Having before been in a well-paying job I wasn’t satisfied with, I decided to quit and take an unpaid internship. Not only was this a risk financially, but the internship was across the country, meaning I would uproot myself from my hometown, all the relationships I had grown with, and the feeling of security in living a stagnant daily routine. I knew no one or anything about the direction I was headed, but I had many goals in life, and knew that change was necessary for those goals to happen. I also realized that risk was necessary for change to happen. But I tend to be quite the over-thinker and will look back on decisions well after they’re made, so I knew there was still something more I needed in order to follow through with the risks: faith. Read more>>

Brooke Cole | Owner

If you were to ask me a few years ago about taking risks, I would have said something to the effect of ” nope I’m good”, or “I’m comfortable right where I’m at.” I would wait for the perfect opportunity to present itself. Previously, when I was faced with the option to take risks in business, I would respond in fear. It would paralyze me, and kept me stuck. I knew this about myself and knew I had work to do. In January 2020 I was invited to be in a mastermind group with like minded women who were entrepreneurs and followers of their dreams. I had a dream to have a shop one day, but it felt distant. I was challenged to focus on what it would take to make my dream a reality. I did the work! In late February I dove in head first to a charming historical space, in downtown, Greeley, Colorado, then Covid hit! Read more>>

Amy Hicks | Cannabis Consultant & Cultivator

I believe all successful people haven taken and continue to take risks, to lead them to where they are in life. For it’s the lessons we take away and the people we may encounter, from taking those risks, that can lead to opportunities we never envisioned. When we are willing to jump into the unknown, we are telling the universe that we are ready and open for our path to be revealed to us. For example, had I never left behind my familiar, secure life and moved to Colorado, I may have never discovered what truly sparks JOY in me… freedom and outdoor adventure. Had I let fear get in the way, I may have never gotten involved in the remarkable cannabis scene. Had I put myself out there, I may have never met the people who would end up coming back into my life, years later, for a bigger purpose. Had I never taken a blind chance in the industry of network marketing, I may have never broken free from corporate, and conformity, which was holding me back from my true potential. Read more>>

Neicy Wagner Geis | Plant Shop Owner

You have to take a chance. If you wait around for the perfect time or opportunity, it may never come. As a creative, sometimes it’s hard to choose the path you want to take. My husband used to say “You’re good as so many things…. pick one!!” Haha! I was so afraid to fail and scared I’d choose the wrong thing and regret it. Pursue things you’re passionate about and just start learning all you can about them, the path will become more clear. Take the leap and once you do, things start to fall into place. I’m so glad I did and wished I’d done it sooner! Read more>>

Tristan Bego | Owner & Curator

The risk assessment process for me is a double-edged sword. I can talk myself in or out of anything. I eliminated self-deception and I ask myself what are you willing to do for it? What are you willing to give up or take on to complete my goals? Affecting others in a good way is my idea of winning. Approaching risk has evolved for me due to my failures, my wins and overcoming traumatic situations. I understand that taking risk comes with the groundwork of perseverance. My vision was given to me, god gave ME THE Vision. It is a vision; it requires risk and work. So, I Bet on myself. I tackle risk by processing my strengths, I focus on what is in my control (myself and my work ethic). I eliminate fear but analyzing my wins and losses up front. That can either hurt or help the situation, but I do not regret anything in the end. Sometimes that means taking on a free job for the experience, which puts my worth at risk. Read more>>

Mary Nguyen | Owner

Risk is the acceptance of failure. Taking a risk is what started Milkroll Creamery. Everything was a blur at first. The idea of opening a rolled ice cream shop in Colorado all started as an alternative to my idea of opening a bakery on Colfax. I was considering that as my first business; however the amount of capital I had in hand was not capable of that dream. A family friend had suggested opening a rolled ice cream shop since it was a popular trend popping up everywhere on social media during the time. I did not know anything about rolled ice cream–from how it was made to where all the machinery came from–but took the risk. I researched and learned about this new concept as I started to plan out this business through Google and social media platforms. I actually did not see rolled ice cream with my very own eyes until four months prior to my grand opening on a family trip to Las Vegas. All of Milkroll was taking a risk hoping for a positive outcome; nothing big, but just enough to survive. Read more>>

Daphne Rose | Art Studio Owner

I think life in general is all about Risks. From the time that we are able to start making decisions, there are risks involved. I believe that taking risks shape and form us in one way or another. Risk and decision making go hand in hand. If you take risks without considering or contemplating the possible results, then that is something called being “Riskay”. I say this because there are consequences to every decision we make, rather good or bad. It’s important to take risks in life, not just the obvious ones. But ones that you truly do not know what the outcome will be, this is called “faith”. Taking the right risks in life and your career are equally important because most often one affects the other. I have taken a lot of risks in my life and honestly most were not smart, I put myself in vulnerable situations and sometimes I lost and sometimes I won. Read more>>

Sandra Williams | Streetwear Designer

Overtime I definitely had to change my view on taking risk , especially when it came to my business. I’m someone who is always thinking about every detail and all the what if’s. Which then started to limit my growth and opportunities. I always have to remind myself, to not get so caught up in all the details that I forget the bigger picture. I had to adopt the mindset of if I want to achieve new levels and continue to grow, then I have to be willing to take more risk. I think the more passion and the more you fall in love with your business/brand, the easier it is for you to put everything on the line and take risk. When you have that confidence and faith behind what you’re doing, it’s naturally motivating. Taking more risk and taking smarter risk has done nothing but bring something positive in return for me, from new opportunities and new learning experiences. Read more>>