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.

Allison | Owner / Mobile Oil Change Technician

Interestingly enough my risk tolerance has changed significantly over the years. I used to be incredibly risk averse, staying away from anything that was non-traditional or didn’t have a well-established path to success. At a certain point, I realized that many of these paths were not only unsatisfying, but would never help me achieve the real change and value I wanted to bring to my career and clients. Read more>>

Micah Harold | Tattooer, Business Owner, Artist, and Entrepreneur

If there’s anything involved in paving your path to success, it’s two things in particular in my own anecdotal experience and the first one is risk. The year was 2014 and my bosses had just informed us they were closing the shop. With nowhere to go and only about 1500 bucks in my pocket, I borrowed 2000 dollars from my brother, filed the LLC for my new business, Red Handed Tattoo. I soon took over the lease and in a stroke of good luck, it was already set up to operate. Read more>>

Tim Wolf | Ed Tech Business Owner, Advisor & Investor

Often, you will hear people say that you have to take risks to get rewards, and while that’s true in many cases, just doing risky things hoping for a bigger payout is a recipe for disaster and becoming broke. Believe me, I took a lot of risks. For example, I left a job and decided I was never going to work for anyone but myself ever again even though I had no savings at the time. Read more>>

Sarah Lisle | Lifestyle and Brand Photographer

To me, taking a risk is all about having self-confidence. It’s not trying to chase the next big thing before someone else, or come up with the newest idea before anyone else. Instead, I believe risk is daring to do what you want, what’s best for you, or what you believe in, despite what anyone else around you is doing or thinking. It’s taking the risk to be genuine to yourself, rather than following someone else or a crowd. Read more>>

Jean Walton | Founder of Everyday Girl Adventures

As long as I’ve been an adult, I have always taken risks for the chance to have an adventure. But I don’t even remember how it all started, because when I was younger, I was always worried about what could go wrong and how I might look to others. This very self-conscious mentality held me back from having those crazy sneaking-out-after-the-parents-go-to-bed stories that most people have at that age. Read more>>

Senja Foster | Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified EMDR Therapist, & Certified Clinical Anxiety Professional

Risk is such an interesting topic to consider….for some, risk may be defined as a scary, uncontrollable, and forced life-decision. My experiences in my education, personal life, and career have led me to appreciate and consider risk as an opportunity to build resiliency as well as flexibility in one’s thinking and actions. Read more>>

Amber Johnson | Maker and Entrepreneur

I look at risk as a necessary factor to get to my goals in life and business. What drives the risks I choose to take, is envisioning the end goal and the strong desire to be on the other side of that goal in achievement. That is really the strongest motivating factor for me and while I can sometimes be reluctant to changes, I am willing to do what I need to do in order to advance my goals and dreams. Read more>>