Taking Risk is essential, but how much, when and why? Taking risks effectively is as much of an art as it is a science and we’ve asked some of the brightest folks in the community to tell us about how they think about risk taking.

Nick Evans | Author and Recipe Developer

I’m a huge fan of taking moonshots. There are times in your business life when you will have opportunities that almost certainly will fail but if they do pay off, they can be huge. This could be something like applying for a TV show, pitching a book, or other big wins. Sometimes people are afraid of these opportunities because they think they will fail. And 90% of the time, that is true. But, if you can hit just a few of these throughout your career, it can completely change your business and your trajectory. Read more>>

Miki Ratsula | Musician

Risk taking for me means to exist as my authentic trans non-binary self. By just existing and challenging the gender binary I’m taking a risk. By openly talking about my trans identity I’m taking a risk. My main goal is to be the artist that I needed growing up. I’m super passionate about sharing my experiences as a trans person in order to spread awareness and advocacy and change. I’m proud to be trans non-binary and I dedicate my entire music career to queer people who don’t have a voice and who deserve to feel seen and valid. Read more>>

Sophie Fabyan | Wedding Photographer

As a notorious over-thinker, taking risks hasn’t always been easy for me. I’m the kind of person who likes to know the possible outcomes of every decision before I make it. But what graduating college and beginning my photography business during the pandemic taught me, is that there isn’t necessarily a “right” or “wrong” choice when you’re trying to decide which direction to go in your career. What I mean by that, is that no matter what direction you choose to go in, things will sort themselves out accordingly. It’s a much more calming way to look at making life choices than spiraling over the “what if’s” like I used to. You don’t need to be fearless, you really just need to use the fear to your advantage and to do the thing anyway! Read more>>

Allison Scherrer | Portrait Photographer

I certainly do not see myself as a risk taker. I very much like to analyze every situation from worst case to best case scenario. I am most comfortable when enough of the “knowns” are present and it is hard for me to move forward when they’re not. When you are an entrepreneur, it is unquestionably an internal conflict to not want to take a risk, but also know that you have to in order to build something successful. For me personally, one of the biggest risks I take as a creative business owner is the risk of rejection. Read more>>

David Bernot | Saxophonist & Composer

It’s important to take certain risks as a small business. Even when you have a clear vision for your product or your mission, sometimes stepping a little out of your comfort zone can be very valuable. It’s also important to consider which risks will give you benefits right away, and which ones may take time to pay off. As a freelance musician there are times when you may be presented an opportunity to play music that is a little off from your brand or what you’ve prepared most. Read more>>

Meirav Cidor | Pilates and Yoga teacher, owner of Move With Meirav

I believe that being ok with everything breaking is necessary for growth. To the point that you might be the one breaking things down. And that is a risk. When everything is broken down to pieces, how will it come back together? will it be worse than what it was? Looking back in my life, I seek to find a balance between building and breaking what I built. When it happens, when I destroy what I build, it feels like there is no other choice. Looking back now I see how risky it is. But if I wouldn’t have done it, time and time again, I would never grow.
I started with a home studio in Jerusalem. Read more>>

Sarah Groh | Professional Singer, Teacher, Business Owner, and Real Estate Appraiser Trainee

Risk plays a big role in my professional life and decision making. Rather than understanding risk as a situation involving exposure to danger, I see risk as a way to get what I need and want in the progression of my career. I tell students in my music studio and college class to take any action in the face of fear to get into what you want. That action can be as small as opening a chemistry book while scared to do chemistry homework of asking for a promotion at work. Read more>>

David, Kirk Zamkov, Benson | Co-Founders and Co-Owners

(David’s Perspective) When I think about risk it is usually through the lens of inherent danger alongside perceived risk for all involved. My risk tolerance is pretty high when it comes to taking a chance when it will only impact me, but if anybody else is on the line I am much more averse to taking chances. This applies both in my personal life and for The Cult. For example, skateboarding is a passion of mine and an individual sport – nobody can get hurt when I ride but me, so I take lots of chances. Read more>>

Morgan Bayer | Entrepreneur

Everything in life is a risk, even by not taking a risk you are risking what could have been. One of my favorite quotes is ” you can’t fall if you don’t climb. but theres no joy in living your life on the ground”. I believe that risk taking is the only way to truly LIVE and not just ~exist~ in this world. Read more>>

Michelle Pietrafitta | Drummer & Booking Coach

To me, the only true risk is not taking any risks. It always comes back to remembering the fragility of life. In the grand scheme, most of the looming things that bring us fear don’t really mean much. When you really break it down, the majority of our fears are based around what people will think of us if and when we fall on our face. When you look at the whole scope of your life, and you consider not pursuing your passion because of what people will think, it turns on its head. Read more>>

Shawn McDonald | Artist & Filmmaker

Everything is a risk somehow, with fear of failure screaming loudly, and triumph whispering excitedly ‘yeah, but what if?’. As filmmakers, that optimistic wonder, paired with constant film study and setting your team up with careful planning can make the whole experience possible. We admire someone who has the guts to take risks in movies, that’s inspiring. Read more>>

Mitch Santos | Creative Photographer

I think of risk as a pathway to a door of opportunity, whether it opens more doors to connect with others or it gives you guidance in what you actually enjoy doing. Personally, I have taken the risk of dropping out of college, and moving into a new environment where it brought me to better opportunities in advancing my life career. Read more>>

Kelsey Barnes | Advertising Professional & Content Creator

Risk taking has been an inherent part of my life and career path. I was a figure skater for most of my life, which required daily risks – always pushing the limits of your body as an athlete and always at the risk of a bad fall. As I moved into my career in the advertising industry, I learned that risk taking plays a huge roll, especially in decision making. Great work comes about when people are willing to ask unconventional questions and risk sounding stupid. It gets everyone to think differently and pushes the work outside of the box. Read more>>

Rachel Miles Bree Schlegel | C0-Owners The Bison Bar

Why not take a risk on a dream? The worst thing that can happen is you fail. So what! Pick yourself back up and try again. What happens if you don’t fail? You never know unless you TAKE A RISK. Starting a business during a crazy pandemic was a GIANT risk. Many businesses were depleting, struggling, and closing. But the passion and faith we have for our business is what drove us to succeed. We both believe wholeheartedly that we will be the difference in bar services and truly, nothing is easy. You have to fail, learn, and adapt to succeed. Read more>>

Haley Downing | Owner & Maker of Artisan Bodycare

The ultimate risk for me has always been; believing in myself. It is far too easy to fall into the snares of comparison and self doubt in a loud digital world. That is where I have to continually find my anchor of how my business began, and re-believe in that vision over and over again. Every single moment, decision, or invention as a business owner is a risk. Knowing that none of the testimonies, success, or fulfillment would be there without those risks and believing in what I can do, makes every single one worth it. Read more>>

Silvia Minguzzi | Hatton Gallery & Digital Performance Space Director, Department of Art and Art History | Digital Media Artivist | Capoeirista

I can say that rick taking is one the key word ruling my way of working. I moved to the U.S. in 2005, and started working for a theater production company in NY, WET – Women Expressive Theater (https://wetproductions.org/) as Art Director. As a got the job I went back home and google what exactly an Art Director does. we just loved each other and they hired me almost on the spot. Rick Takers was the name one of WET’s most successful program. Read more>>

Mackenzi Bell-Nugent | Teacher, Dancer, Yoga Instructor, 2 time cancer survivor

Risk can be scary for sure! Most people know the saying of “Big Risk, Big Reward” and I do believe that is true. My biggest risk to date has been packing up my life and moving to Thailand! I got my TEFL [Teaching English as a Foreign Language] certification in June of 2019 and left the US in October! It was a wild choice to make but I knew that I wanted something different and to really live comfortably. I’m forever grateful for taking the risk and living here throughout the pandemic. When you take a deep breathe and make a leap of faith, it all can really end up working out in your favor. Read more>>

Linda Benson | Full time mom | photographer

Taking risks can mean a lot of things; what your fears or insecurities are, how much you’re willing to fail and try again, even how you’re family dealt with mistakes can impact your willingness to take risks. Personally, I struggled with what I call, “I should have known” syndrome. Any mistake I made In the past was experienced with profuse apologies, an urgency to change what I could Immediately, and emphasized with shame. Read more>>