Shoot your shot? Take a chance? Society bombards us with messages, phrases, examples and stories of how taking risk is the key to success, but is anything ever that simple? We asked some of the brightest folks we know to tell us about how they think about risk. We’ve shared their responses below.

Stephanie Ramsey | Photographer & YouTuber

I was a full-time bartender for almost 12 years. During that time, I started my photography business and occasionally acquired paying work. I didn’t put much effort into growing the business because I was fairly complacent bartending. However, I slowly began to loathe bartending. I needed an exit strategy and photography was it. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to run a business. After a solid 6 years of half-hearted effort, my dream seemed impossible. Read more>>

Rex Dsouza | Singer performer entertainer

I think not taking a risk in life is the biggest risk..Risk is something that makes or breaks your life..I used to work in a call Centre collecting credit card bills,had a decent salary I took home but wasn’t enough,I took the risk of taking my singing as a full time carrier and gave audition in a reality show and came out as a runner up of the show,this changed my life completely..I made more money than I ever imagined I would make.. Read more>>

Monica LaBiche Brown | Humanitarian and Founder of Africa Development Promise

My father was a huge risk taker and sometimes to the point of being reckless, but he was fearless when he wanted to do something. His risk-taking and need to always be on the move led our family to journey from Seychelles to Uganda and later to the United States. When I was younger, I thought of myself as risk-averse. All I wanted was peace, security, and a sense of normalcy, but that reality often evaded me. But I later realized that growing up with uncertainty strengthened my resolve – I survived, adapted, and grew through the process. It is through this lens that I approach risk, and I have taken many. Read more>>

Jice Johnson | Visionary

I see risk-taking as necessary to success. However, you can be reckless when taking risks by not doing your homework and becoming familiar with the pathway you’re looking to take in order to achieve yourdesired outcome. I believe that you mitigate your risk when you approach it from an informed perspective. I also believe that you must grow your tolerance for risk over time. That means being okay with the idea that things may not work out as you hope and accepting that growth and success come with loss and with trial and errors. Read more>>

Emily Wright | Market Leader – Smart City Denver

Risk-taking has fueled my career path from the very beginning, starting with Smart City. After graduating college, I accepted a 100% commission sales role in Multi-Family Real Estate as an apartment locator. Even though the risks were abundant–I didn’t have any savings or financial support from my family to fall back on–I made the move from small-town Arkansas to Dallas, Texas with only a gut instinct that the rewards were greater than the risks and an insatiable motivation to succeed. Read more>>

Drew Etherton | Visual Storyteller

I can’t imagine anyone has ever done something special or unique without taking on risk. Risk can come in many forms and levels. I have come to find that all risk comes with some form of sacrifice. For me one of the biggest risks I have taken, was letting go of a business I started at age 19 to pursue a career in one of my biggest passions at age 28. Travel and Videography. The sacrifice I chose, was to walk away from something I had spent years building. Read more>>