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.

Kent Youngblood | Producer

Risk is a part of film and television production. It’s not a 9-5 manufacturing job where every day is the same. There are ebbs and flows for working… sometimes things are very busy, while other times work is slow. You have to embrace that uncertainty and keep moving forward with your business. Read more>>

Paula Teixeira | Muralist

When the subject is taking risks, my life could be a good example of it. Since I left Brazil, with no idea what I would face in the states, I face risks in a total different way now. I just knew one thing, I want to be able to work what I love. What’s going to take to be there, I didn’t/don’t know. I’ve been learning every single day, how the art world works, and one of the things I clearly know now, is that if I don’t try I’ll never know. And trying something knew out of you comfort zone is a risk that not everyone is willing to take. Read more>>

Natalie Atehortua | Aesthetician & Content creator

I like to consider myself a huge risk taker. I believe all the good things are on the other side of risk. Everything I’ve done has been because I took some type of risk and it led me exactly when I’m supposed to be. When I first decided to start my career in Aesthetics, I took a huge risk by not continuing with my bachelors. When I decided to open up my first business as a solo esthetician, I had absolutely no clients and no savings yet somehow my business grew more than I ever thought was even possible. Read more>>

Leslie Carter | Voiceover Artist, music producer, singer, video editor and Media specialist

Without taking risks, you’d never progress. It’s easy to stay where you’re comfortable and hard to step out of your comfort zone. If I’m in a comfort zone, that’s the time I spend planning or looking for my next adventure. I have reinvented myself many times over my career and each reinvention opened new doors. Read more>>

Leah Recor | Cognitive Marketing Strategist

Risk is so often associated with potential danger or loss. But what if we thought of risk as an opportunity to trust the process and know the outcome will always involve lessons and growth? I think of risk in terms of alignment. I assess the realities of my life and the risk laid out before me and lean hard into what feels right. If the positive potential weighs in heavier than the fear, then I back up to the edge and trust fall into the loving arms of the Universe. And you know what, it hasn’t failed me yet. Read more>>

Shota Gokyu | Hairstylist

Everybody are afraid of taking risks because we don’t want a fail however If I stay my comfort zone, I can not step up next stage. I would like to take the risks when I get very important moments in my life for my future. But I think the most important things are consistency. I need to try making good habits and routines. Because the chance doesn’t come to me many times so I want to prepare for the chance. Read more>>

Sandy Ceas | Artist, Educator and Culture agent

When I think about risk, I think about what innovative possibility can be discovered and seized during the risk taking adventure. The role of taking risks in my career delivered unique products, experiences and relationships. In my personal life, risk taking helped me to see the world and exposed me to diverse cultural visions and encounters. As an artist immersing myself into the unknown, generates a powerful creativity that has become critical to my success and my character. Read more>>

Jonathan Mayuga | Professional Breakdancer & Tour Operator

The word “Risk” itself will naturally instill fear in anyone’s decision-making, including mine. What I’ve learned is the more educated you are about what you are getting into, the fewer chances of it being perceived as a “Risky” endeavor. Although you just never know until you jump in and get your feet wet. At the end of the day, it’s “Now or Never”. I’ve been Breakdancing (Bboy) my whole life since I was 5 years old and Danced professionally for 15 plus years. Read more>>

Amy Braziller | Former English prof/Newly retired

There are a few key moments in my life when I took a risk, or perhaps it is more apt to say leapt into uncertainty. When I was 19, attending a small liberal arts college in the midwest, I found myself uninspired with academic life and yearning to do something else. One day, when in a laundromat strumming a guitar, I decided I would drop out, move to NYC, and play rock ‘n roll. When my parents, worried of course, asked how I would support myself, I replied “make sandwiches and philosophize.” And while that wasn’t quite how I supported myself, I did learn graphic arts and typesetting, paid my bills mostly, and played in a punk band for several years. Read more>>

Daniel Cutright | Podcaster & Sales Executive

I once heard someone say, “If you try and fall flat on your face, the worst you’ll do is break even…” Growing up, I was much more risk averse, which was really a product of just striving for the best grades possible, and following the system. As I grew older however, I realized that everyone following the system was getting similar results. As someone who wanted to experience more, I began slowly stepping more and more out of my comfort zone. Read more>>

Logan Fulcher | Multimedia Artist + NFT & Collectibles Industry Professional

Risk is everything to me. In addition to being in the web3/NFT industry professionally (in addition to doing art) – I have been homeless. After the 200/2009 Lehman Crisis, I was left injured on the job without insurance. That lead me to my first leap of faith. I threw away my belongings, stashed the money I had, and became homeless before my money ran out. I took that money along with some frequent flyer miles and emigrated to Japan under fuzzy legal circumstances, immigration-wise. Read more>>

Chad Moore | Brewery Owner and Engineering Operations Director

Risk taking is a complex topic to discuss because there are many levels to risk and variables that go into a given decision that may be considered risking or not. When I think about some of the significant risks I have chosen to take on throughout my career I have certainly seen my share of each end of the spectrum of outcomes however it is the ones that I did not have a favorable outcome that I learned some unforgettable lessons. Read more>>

Callie Skinner | Licensed Cosmetologist & Make Up Artist

The journey of my brand all began with a very large risk. We were looking for small town life as it suits our lifestyle and hobbies, and we landed on the beautiful town of Pagosa Springs, Colorado. At the time we owned a successful small business in Arizona and lived a comfortable life there surrounded by friends and family, however something was still missing. I grew up on a small ranch in Casa Grande, Arizona where I lived the rodeo life with my parents. Spending time with the horses, and riding with my father became what I lived for and brought me so much joy. Read more>>

Melissa Altamar | Entrepreneur

I feel that risk go hand in hand with development. Development in experience, in the practice of pushing through fear to make your dreams happen. I have realized that when I push myself to make those decisions to take a risk it’ is better than not trying at all. I have come out on the other end with a stronger sense of purpose and direction of where I want to go in my career. Read more>>

Alayna Brenchley | Fitness + Wellness Coach

Risks are not easy and can often be painful, but you learn invaluable lessons and you see what you’re capable of. Risks also teach you the power and importance of community. Location and career risks have flooded my entire adult life–everything from moving halfway across the world at 18 to pursue a career in ballet, to moving to a new city and career in my late 20s when an injury ended my ballet career, and now, in my early 30s to expanding my reach to more people by running a fully online fitness + wellness coaching business. Read more>>

Patrick Geil | Graphic Artist & Illustrator

I am a professional firefighter as well as an artist so risk taking is a large bit of who I am. My handle, Pen and Pompier, (French for firefighter) points to this. My public service career provides me with security to take risks as an artist, just as creating art balances me as a firefighter. This duality also informs my voice and perspective in both realms. Read more>>