Legend holds that Cornelius Vanderbilt had built a massive fortune in the steamboat shipping industry, but then realized the railroads were the way of the future and invested almost his entire net worth into railroads. The gamble paid off and made Vanderbilt one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs ever. But risks are inherently…risky. How do you think about risk and how has it affected your life and career? Some of our community favorites share their perspective below.

Brian Olivarez Portes | CEO of Sole Seriouss

I think of risk taking as a necessary evil, in my career and life alike. Regarding my career, I realized early on that taking risks was going to the be the way I would grow the company. It’s always nice to stay comfortable and safe, but the reality is that the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. Read more>>

Hannah Dorsher | Licensed Professional Counselor

I have a love/hate relationship with risk, mostly love, but there is definitely some dislike. As I’ve gotten older I’ve become a more cautious and perhaps more anxious, so for me taking risks comes with a side of worry, sometimes even short-lived panic. However, I think I can honestly say, I do not regret a single risk I’ve taken—even the ones that didn’t go as I’d hoped. Read more>>

Daniel Powell | Audio Engineer & Storyteller

Risk?… The biggest risk in this life is being trapped in a career that you don’t love! Right!? Now, there are some people that say those words in a way of forever chasing that “greener grass” on the other side of the hill. Not to mention those words can also be uttered in an effort to avoid the difficult work that lies before you on your chosen path. But I say it from getting a first hand glimpse ‘behind the curtain.’ My parents knew the value of loving the work that you do. Read more>>

Kim Bell | Cafe owner

Risk is all about assessing, navigating, intuition, vision, setting goals, accomplishing and making mistakes – always learning, always growing – Many beautiful things can transpire, and many hardships can also occur during the process of having and building a business. If you want to make it work, you need to be 100% engaged on how to navigate through many waters and storms, valley and rivers. Read more>>

Charlie Crouse | Business Development and Strategy

I encourage risk both in my personal life and professional life, as it is the foundation for innovation and finding more effective ways of getting things done. There is a balance between being reckless and taking smart risks, and I think getting smart on the latter is huge for personal and professional development. Read more>> 

Cherry Li | Food Photographer and Director

I was very risk averse as a child of immigrant parents. I remember in middle school I even wrote an essay about assessing all risks and making decisions only if I know for absolutely certain that I wouldn’t regret them. It all changed when I started taking theater class in high school. From improv practice in class to competing at state-wide thespian festivals, theater gave me a safe container to take more and more risk without me realizing. Read more>>

Tymbre | Tattoo Artist

Without risk there is no true action. Remaining stagnant can happen very easily, especially if sitting in certain comforts too long. One can ponder and think about something all day but until that thought or notion is acted on or risk taken, you will never truly know the outcome of a desired affirmation or goal. Read more>>

Logan Dayton | Artist

Risk for me is going against the norm. Making stuff other people aren’t used to, and putting my own input into the genre I focus on. Read more>>

Sarah (& Kris) Mashue | Cabin Rental Business Owner & Manager

VI love a calculated risk. Understanding the possible outcomes of a decision is the first step. Gathering the information about what “could happen” is key. Weigh what life would look like if the risk you are about to take on doesn’t pan out. Are you willing to take the chance? Can you survive it if it is a total loss? Also think if you are willing to live without knowing what you are capable of accomplishing? Read more>>