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.

Austin & Sydney Angeleri | Artists/Musicians

In our lives, risk has often been synonymous with faith, which we define as the thought that whatever happens is happening for the best purpose or reason. It is happening for us, rather than to us. With this perspective, risk is simply the catalyst for change. Without risk and change, there is no growth and development, and your experience and journey are limited. When you take that leap into the unknown, there is something that happens to your body. Physically, there are all kinds of chemicals being released, but your spiritual body is responding as well. Read more>>

Megan Holt | Health & Wellness Blogger | Shopkeeper | Content Creator

Risk taking can look a number of ways: moving out of your small town, throwing your life savings towards a passion project, trying something that you think might fail, but it all comes back to doing something that makes you feel excited yet uncomfortable. When we step out of our comfort zone we are inviting opportunity for growth. It’s within these moments that we are able to go deeper within ourselves and discover something new. Whether the risk leads to “success” or “failure,” it’s all a learning experience that happened for you. My most pivotal moments have come from the times I have taken risks. I may not have always understood the outcome in those moments, but they have always been my greatest teachers. Read more>>

Brittany Staker | Small Business Owner & Motivational Speaker

Have you ever seen the movie, “Along came Polly”? One of the actors(Reuben Feffer) plays a risk analyst for life insurance company. He is aware of the many risks that you inherit in all situations that he is unable to risk anything. Sound familiar? It’s sounds all to familiar to me. I was the modern day Reuben. I am not a huge risk taker, but I am trying to embrace it more in my life and in my small business. I have always heard you have to take risks to be able to see the future reward. Read more>>

Raul Berrios | Architect, Photographer, Soon to be writer

We are taught to believe that your life and career will follow a hiperbolic curve, but that is rarely the case. If you learn to accept detours, maintain your curiosity and trust that you’re guided, opportunities and ideas you never imagined will come up. The willingness to embrace those opportunities, and take a first step, requires being brave. I guess that believing that I’m being presented with a chance to be brave, versus thinking that I’m taking a “risk”, has opened doors for me and taken me places I could never have imagined earlier in my career. Read more>>

Chef Sherri Mitchell | Helping make mealtimes easy, healthy, and delicious

I believe life is meant to be explored. And, sometimes, exploring means taking risks. I love adventure; I love learning new things; I love challenging myself in new ways; and I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge or task because I’m scared (within reason, of course). I attribute a lot of it to my upbringing. As the daughter of a military man, we moved 7 times in my first 11 years of life; that’ll make you resilient! While it definitely had its detractions, one thing it instilled in me was knowing I had the ability to start over and try again. I’ve leaned on that believe and courage countless times in my life, including when I decided to move across the country, knowing no one in Colorado, to pursue my heart’s desire to live here and launch a culinary-focused business. Read more>>

Joumana Ismail | 2D animator & animation director

My career has always been one risk-taking decision after the other. It is usually a flood of emotions accompanied by any new project I take on, fear of being unqualified for the job or feeling that my skills are not on par with the other team members and the project’s requirements especially if it’s an animation job. I have completely shifted my career from graphic design to 2D animation two years ago on my 30th birthday. Naturally, the feeling of inferiority gushes in when a studio or a director approaches me for animation services. Read more>>

Brandon Benzel | All Access Kickss Co-founder

I think there’s a couple ways one can view risk. Running across the street when there’s cars coming is risky. Eating food a day after it’s expiration date is risky. Most of the “risks” we take in life are really just easy decisions tainted by a speck of doubt from “what if?” scenarios we make up in our minds. True risk is different. True risk is a decision to make that has no easy answer or outcome. A decision that, given 100 lives, you’d only make in 30 of them. Its something most will only experience a handful of times in their lifetime. Read more>>

David Haynes | Owner/Operator

I’ve never been one to shy away from the risk of starting a new business. I love to work as long as I’m seeing some type of growth. I enjoy the challenge of building a business; either new or existing, and the learning part is always the payoff! During Covid lock downs, it was difficult, but you figure out a way. I focused on my online store. When the lock down was lifted, I had a decent online presence and a Brick & Mortar shop. Having both is crucial.
Of coarse, living in our small tourist town is a challenge during the winter. It’s a little light on the tourists and when the snow fall is weak, it can be devastating. All the businesses work together. We are quite a nice little niche. Read more>>

Heather Berry | Yoga Studio Owner & Veterinary Nurse

I believe life is all about taking risk. What do you have to loose? You will never truly never know if something is going to work out unless you try. Taking a risk though, also comes with being able to handle failure. If you are afraid of failure then don’t take the risk. I would rather live my life knowing I have tried everything I have wanted to and failed rather than not trying anything. Read more>>

Kimme Seufert | Tattoo Artist

Everything changed for me when I realized the only difference between me and the people living the life I want to live is that they went and did it. The risk of living an non-fulfilling life weighed heavier than the risk of pursuing a life that fills my cup every day. I found the energy it took for me to worry about the “What ifs” took away from my momentum to make things happen. There are few things a little hard work can’t resolve. But elbow grease aside, I whole heartedly believe anything you feel passionate about will lay out a path for you and what’s meant for you will not miss you. Read more>>

Jordan Craft | DJ and Producer; Tech Manager

I look at it two ways; either is handed to you or you have to go take it for yourself. Everything in life is a risk. It’s a risk getting in your car, it’s a risk going to the store now. Taking risks has been the only way I’ve been able to create any level of success for myself. As a Black male, making up only 6% of the state’s population, everything is a risk. And it’s one I have to take Read more>>

Cat Lee | Cat Lee, CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP, ABCDT

I am a huge risk taker and have been my entire life! To me, life is all about compiling stories and checking off your lifetime to do list that adds to your end of life journal! Without I doubt I feel taking risks weaves incredible excitement into life and, no matter the outcome, you end up with some of the best stories to tell as you travel through this adventure called life! Read more>>

Jesse Todd | Director & Cinematographer

I was raised by risk-takers, and that has led to the best and worst moments in my life. From literally breaking my neck in a dirt bike crash when I was 19, to building my own career path in a field that I am passionate about; none of it would have been possible without taking risks. And that’s why I will tell anyone that risk is essential, and the best growth is just beyond some of the biggest risks, but there is such a thing as effective risk-taking. The way that you go about planning risk can change the outcome as well as the future of you and your well-being. Read more>>

Iris Delany | Artist & Photographer

I believe that risk is necessary for growth. I wouldn’t be the creative, open minded and vulnerable person I am today if I didn’t believe in myself outside of my comfort zone. I take risks everyday in my career as a photographer. I wouldn’t have half the opportunities I’ve had without taking a risk to introduce myself, reach out to respected models / brands and even moving halfway across the country. Taking risks means believing in myself and my ability to make the best out of any situation. Read more>>

Jason Thompson | Tattoo Artist

From a young age I’ve always taken the risks. Hey…….what doesn’t kill ya, makes you stronger! I firmly believe the no risk, no reward motto. Take for instance, when I moved to Durango CO I didn’t know a soul and I had to build my clientele from scratch. Which meant taking on a second job to make ends meet. One month I only made $500 bucks. It was rough. With a strong work ethic, determination, and producing many beautiful pieces my name started flying around! My calendar started filling up and I haven’t had much time since, hahaha! Believe in yourself, work hard, and push yourself to never give up. Failing is part of life. Learning from the failure, getting up, and doing it again until one succeeds is a choice. Read more>>

Stephanie Simon | Tattoo Artist & Business Owner

Risk taking has been a huge theme in terms of my career. I’ve suffered from social/general anxiety since I was a child; in fact, I always rejected the idea of becoming a tattoo artist because the idea of such an intimate exchange with another human being was a nightmare to me. When you consider that you’re sitting with a person you usually don’t know for hours on end, that’s a terrifiying thought -at least to me it was. Somehow I managed to put that fear in the back of my mind and gave tattooing a chance, but the next biggest risk I took that I feel did a lot for my career, as well as my character and growth in general, was to begin traveling and doing guest spots. Read more>>

Shaina Paulson | Makeup Artist in the Film Industry

I believe it’s great to take healthy risks and take a chance on yourself. If you always have had something you’ve wanted to do or become, go for it! If I never took huge risks in my life I wouldn’t be where am I today with a wonderful and fulfilling career where I get to do what I love everyday. I took a huge risk of quitting my business/marketing job in DC to book a one way ticket to LA with no job and no place to stay and only knew one person there. I saved up money and just followed my passion to be a Makeup/SFX Makeup Artist in the Film Industry. Read more>>

Sarah Lustig | Holistic Coach + Spiritual Guide

Risk is something we engage in every single day, though we don’t always realize it. It is a risk to eat certain foods, or start something new. To some degree we have to take these risks in order to know if something is good or safe for us. Risk is a natural part of life, but for many it is terrifying. When people have a tendency to overthink, they generally take less risk, because they consider everything that could go wrong. But we also have the inverse; everything that could go right! Which we often fail to consider. Read more>>

Emily Brown | Dog Hiker & Outdoor Enthusiast.

I think there is inherently a certain amount of risk in life, especially when starting your own business. I made a solo move across the country when I was younger so I could live and spend time in a beautiful place. Even though I was taking a risk, and it was definitely hard at times to make ends meet, I never thought of it as anything but worthwhile. Honestly, to be living and building a life that I am proud of, and that I absolutely love, has always negated the risk. Read more>>

Mariah Fisher | Graphic designer

I think taking risks is worth it in the end as long as it’s good for you. I graduated college a couple years ago and I tried to build my brand on my own for a year. After trying to do this on my own I felt I wasn’t really going anywhere. At this point I was following another graphic designer for this whole year I was trying to do things on my own and I thought about reaching out multiple times but never did because I was scared of being turned down. It took encouragement from a friend but eventually I decided to take the risk and said screw it I’m going to reach out and ask for help on how to build my brand and business. Once I reached out it was the best risk I’ve ever taken in my life! At this moment I am getting ready to launch my brand and I have never felt more confident or prepared. Risks are worth taking even if you have self doubts! Read more>>

Keon Kim | Chef

Risk is absolutely necessary and is a part of every day life- from the little decisions to the big decisions. Knowing that, I don’t believe anyone is exempt from living their lives without taking risks. It all boils down to: does the risk outweigh the potential benefits or vice versa? Even if you’re a child, you could sneak a few cookies before dinner time. You risk getting caught, getting punished, getting an upset stomach. But is that all worth it for those few moments of sweet delight or is it not? Read more>>

Riley Clinton | Director & Documentary Filmmaker

Risk taking has been one of the more important factors of my career, and it has presented itself in a variety of ways. In 2019, I started a full-time position with the Colorado Rapids as the Digital Content Manager, and was responsible for all things video related. On my first day the head of video took me out to lunch and told me he was resigning, and was handing everything off to me. He told me about a documentary idea they began shooting, but didn’t really have a clear direction for, about legendary soccer player Tim Howard. With my documentary background he believed I could take the project on, so after a few weeks of thinking I took my first risk with the Rapids. Read more>>