We asked some of the most interesting folks in the community to open up about how they think about taking chances and the role risk has played in their lives and careers. Risk is by far the topic folks talk to us most about and we hope the responses below will help shed light on many different perspectives.

Jack Willard | Action sports athlete and content creator

Risk is built into almost everything I like to do. Skating, park skiing, and freestyle mountain biking all have a wrap for being a good way to break your collar bone. But for me, that’s the environment I thrive in. I have pretty severe adhd and it can get overwhelming when my brain is just a string of intrusive thoughts. I’ve found that by forcing myself into high risk situations I experience clarity. Everything slows down and my focus is finally on the task at hand. It’s an incredible feeling that I don’t get from anything else. Action sports have changed the way I look at risks I feel like a much more competent human because of it. Read more>>

Kelly Haugen | Co-founder

Owning a startup is inherently risky. As an entrepreneur you have to acknowledge the risks and carefully consider how much you’re willing to accept at every milestone. Ultimately, there’s no reward without taking on some sort of risk. When it comes to our lives and careers for both Erica (my business partner) and myself, the most important thing we’ve learned over the years is that managing risk requires constant attention and communication. Read more>>

Santino Castellanos | Owner of OuttaBounds Media / Father / Husband / Bowhunter

Risk-taking is something that has been in my blood since I was born. I was diagnosed with meningitis and incubated for a few months when I was born. At the age of four, doctors told my mother that I had a bad case of asthma, and she was advised to keep me away from sports. I overcame health risks by looking at RISK as what I had to gain rather than lose. Taking that RISK for me to enroll me in a soccer club was the first rush of 1000 that I have taken in my life. I started my first business at the age of 11, landscaping and hiring other kids who had their driver’s licenses to expand. Read more>>

Logan Karl | Entrepreneur, Content Creator & Health and Wellness Coach

Taking risk is something I do every day. I decided from a young age that if I want to be successful in any area I must take risks. I am not afraid to take risks because I believe that if I am giving 100% at whatever I am doing, If I fail I know that God didn’t intend for me to be successful in that pursuit. It has been impossible for me to succeed without failing first. Read more>>

Andy Hitch | ATV / Jeep Rental Company CEO

Although I calculate risk to the best of my ability, I’m never afraid of it. Taking a risk is the only way to accomplish anything noteworthy. I see it as an opportunity to challenge myself. Read more>>

Dwight DeBroux | Owner Gold Hill General Store & Pub / Espresso Forge

For starters, I enjoy a good challenge because the reward feels so much better. And a good challenge typically involves a healthy amount of risk, so I like to settle in and get comfortable being uncomfortable. When I decide to take a risk on something I initially start by clearly visualizing what my end goal is. Then I think through how to get there in many different ways and the possible outcomes. What’s the worst-case scenario? Realistically, it’s typically not that bad and debunking the unknown makes the risk less scary. Read more>>

Aliya Rea,es | Graphic Designer

Risk is essential to success. I think there’s a huge emphasis on comfort and contentment in this society, which for me, directly translates to complacency. If you’re not trying new things (even ones that scare you), you are missing out on opportunities to learn, to grow, as well as new experiences that can make you a more well-rounded person. Read more>>

Emily Straw | Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate and Addictions Counselor Candidate (or LPCC, ADCC)

The concept of risk is crucial in the field of mental health care. The vast majority of clients seek therapy because their coping skills for their current situation haven’t worked for them. Most of them have tried to figure things out on their own, but they keep falling into the same relational and behavioral patterns, and experiencing the same results. In therapy, clients take the risk of being vulnerable with another person about the most intimate parts of their lives, usually parts that make them feel a lot of shame. Read more>>

Tanya Cash | Boutique Owner

Risk, or lack thereof, is such a huge factor in what paths our life will follow. I graduated with a degree in accounting and spent a lot of time afterwards working as a CPA at real estate and consulting companies. It was a low risk path. A good paying career with lots of upward mobility, but not much room for creativity. As I continued down this path it started to feel more risky to stay on the safe path and never take a shot at doing something that I truly loved. I felt a strong need to know what else I could do, Read more>>

Kaylyn Lewis | Singer/Songwriter, Licensed Esthetician & Business Owner

After I became a mom and continued to mature over the years, I’ve realized that you have to take risks in order to make any sort of changes in your life. I used to work a 9-5 job as a front desk receptionist for years and I never felt fully satisfied. I always knew that I wanted to be a singer/song writer along with opening my own businesses including my own spa that would eventually branch out one day. I’ve had many people tell me that I need to go to school to get a degree in order to become successful, Read more>>

Tania M González | Illustrator & Artist

Risk is a very fun word because it’s levels change so abruptly from person to person and it’s variations can say so much about a person’s economic, political and moral values, that talking about risks with strangers is not something I’d recommend. Yet here we are. I think it’s been easier for me to think that Ive taken risks in my life instead of my career. One affects the other, but in terms of decision making, that first leap, has always been a “putting life in front to take the bullet” move. Anyways, for me taking risks has been crucial in everything. Read more>>

Strutting Phoenix | Artist

Risks are part of life that we always have to live by and take them when we can. I did not know what I wanted to do with art but I knew that I wanted to create it, it was a risk I was willing to take. There is always a chance of failure but that risk can lead to success. So far 7 years of taking a risk and following a career in art has been successful to me. Read more>>

Filipe Oliveira | Co-Founder of PoBo Lifestyle

Risk is always linked to how far you are willing to take your life/business. Throughout my carrier both as an employee and entrepreneur, I came across many challenges where I had to make a decision that could drastically change my future. Those decisions always come with a certain level of intrinsic risk. Should I keep the ball lower, or should I take the leap to the uncertain? Well, it varies a lot. Social studies say it’s influenced by your own nature as a human being, your personality. In my case, risk-taking was always pondered. Mostly considering different scenarios. Read more>>

Thom LaFond | Song-Writer, Producer, & Multi-Instrumentalist

I believe that risk is the seed for anything worth doing. Trusting that the risks you take, and putting in the work is the only way to get further in the path you are on. In the beginning of the pandemic I spent my savings on a cine-camera and a pair of microphones. My friends thought I was crazy, but I ended up making hundreds of music related videos, and finding side work that kept me going through a tough time. Read more>>

Rodney Hooks | Photographer, Videographer, and Cosplayer

“Failure is a part of the process.” As an anxious, ex-perfectionist and recovering people pleaser, I’ve used that phrase to inch my way towards becoming a better friend, coworker, and artist. There is something calming and even invigorating about acknowledging that failure is not a waste nor a mistake, but a necessary path towards progress. I realized that my “sudden” growth as a content creator was due to embracing a more positive and healthy relationship with risk. Read more>>

Matthew Taylor | Actor, Author, Master Storyteller, Coach

I think there is a big difference between Risk and Calculated Risk. Risk scares me and I don’t like to be scared. Calculated Risk excites me and I love to be excited. I’m a big believer that you learn by doing, by taking action. Of course human nature makes us want to plan every detail, make everything perfect before we do it, so we often, very rationally, talk ourselves out of taking the risk, which I believe is a huge mistake. Read more>>

Chip Thomas | Fine Art Landscape/Nature Photographer

I have to laugh a little, I never even thought of the risks before starting my photography business. It was more of jump with both feet into the deep end and then figure everything out after that. But even as I write this, I still remember thinking back about all of the money I putting into this little project (and I still am) trying to make this work. Of course there are risks involved, we take risks just pulling out of the driveway in the morning. There are risks with everything you do. Read more>>