How do you think about risk? What role has taking risks played in your life/career? Check out responses from hidden gems from our community below.

Jeff Urbahn | Commercial Photographer, Director, DoP

Risk is an inevitable and essential part of running your own business. Equally essential is the confidence to face those risks head on. Without taking risks, most people would never be able to start a their own business, much less take the necessary steps to scale that business. On the flip side, without having an unwavering belief that you will be successful, few people would ever have the confidence to take those necessary risks. Read more>>

Raya Lash | Nail Addict • Hair Therapist • Lash Artist

I look at risk from every perspective, especially when it comes to my career and my business. I graduated high school here in Grand Junction, Colorado a semester early at the age of 17. From there I didn’t know exactly what career I wanted to pursue, but I sure was excited to get a head start! I knew my passion for creating art in the beauty industry was my number one priority and I ran with it. I started my journey at The Salon Professional Academy two weeks after graduating high school. I thought to myself while sitting in that classroom, did I make the right choice? Should I have taken a break? What if I wanted to continue my education in the medical field? All of these questions picked at my mind but my drive to make people feel beautiful was so powerful I knew I made the right choice. Read more>>

Jonathan Nicholas | Photographer

I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to have had more than one successful business. I spent the majority of my 20s focusing more on my accounting career than my art, and it wasn’t until 2017 when I left working for Big 4 firms and started my own practice that I was finally able to put my photography business back on the front burner. There was huge risk involved: leaving a very stable salary with good benefits while having a wife and 2 young kids at home to start a whole new venture – unsure of the results and income it would produce. Read more>>

Ramon Marquez | Tattoo Artist

For me risk taking has been essential in my growth. I believe you cannot grow in a comfortable environment and or situation. Personally in order for me to take my tattooing to the next level, I felt I had to change my entire environment. Moving my family and I from Wichita to Colorado 7 years ago, selling everything with no real back up plan. I believe that to be a big part in the growth, knowing that there is no other option but to succeed. Read more>>

Analiese Shepherd | Be You Hair Extension & Color Specialist

I am a mom of three and when I started into this industry I knew what I wanna do it I was excited! But I felt lost and that I needed to work at a salon. But I found out that that wasn’t ideal. They owns your time, schedule, and whether you could take a vacation. I wanted more. So I JUMPED. I went out on my own and took the biggest risk of my life and let me tell you it has done nothing but pay off. I can work when I want to , I can be there for my kids school plays and for vacation with my family. 3 months after being open covid hit and shut me down. Again fear and panic and unsure if I had done the right thing. My business was has doubled since then even though it took everything in me not to quit I remembered WHY I took the risk. I am SO glad I jumped even when I was scared. Read more>>

Anne Reuss | Personal Trainer & That Funny Coach

As someone who turned in their two week notice, took off to Europe, and landed in Denver afterwards: I say risk is pretty groovy. Is it reckless? Not if your heart is in the right place. You’ve got to have wild passion for what you intend to accomplish, and be comfortable it may not be go in a linear direction. For instance, I never imagined as a Deaf person that I would be able to coach CrossFit, classes of up to 15 people, in Denver, but that was part of my journey and it added flair to my coaching no one else can match. Then during the pandemic, I took a risk by putting out a funny Instagram video. I slid into a cheetah print dress, took a steak outside to hold in my mouth, and painted my nose with an eyeliner to make a cat-like nose. (The video intent was to coach animal flow form). Read more>>

Jordan Pederson | Realtor & Fashion Blogger

Risk scares me. I’m an introvert, perfectly happy in my daily routine, with my immediate family and friends and the comfort of my normal ‘bubble.’ If you asked those that knew me if I’d ever be the first to take a risk and skydive, or move to a place I’ve never been- they’d probably laugh at you for even asking. However last year at the beginning of the pandemic, like many, my mindset shifted with things such as the importance of taking risk. For 5 years I was a manager at Nordstrom and I loved it. Fashion and helping others feel confident and beautiful with their fashion choices has always been a passion of mine. Read more>>

Mary Guthrie | Equestrian Coach and Trainer

Risk is a tricky subject because how you view risk depends on your relationship with failure. Seeing failure as a tool or a chance to find your short comings and grow helps ease the fear of taking a risk because you’re no longer negatively entangled with failure. Taking risks directly involves facing the fear of uncertainty. You have no idea what’s going to happen when you start to share yourself with the world, because to take risk is to truly be vulnerable, to be open, and to be seen. Taking risks is living at the edge of our capabilities and understanding and accepting that no matter how it turns out we gain something valuable, even if we “fail”. Read more>>

Amy Robin | Photographer, Film Maker and Hiking Enthusiast

I believe risk taking plays an important role in all aspects of life. If you are sitting in your comfortable bubble day in and day out then you probably are not growing much. If you are not growing much then your career is probably not growing much either. I’m not saying it’s easy, in fact it’s usually down right scary, but fear is what holds you back in life. You have to weigh out the pros and cons of the risk of course. Don’t bight off more then you can chew. More then your healthy life can handle. Having a healthy life is the number one goal and that is why you are taking risks after all. Read more>>

Philippe Marquis | Olympian & Ski Club Vail Freestyle Head Coach

Growing up with older siblings, it wasn’t long before I embarked in a “risk seeking journey” in order to simply keep up with them. In my youth, I felt like I had to prove myself and show that even with our age difference, and my small stature, that I could always tag along for the ride… sometime with the help of my mother who would raise her voice in the background: “include your little brother in your games”! Read more>>

Christi Reece | REALTOR, Team Leader, CEO of The Christi Reece Group, a Refreshing Real Estate Company, and Originator of The Circle Fund

I think risk taking is essential in differentiating yourself. I grew up with a family that never put any limits on me, and when other people tried to, I made it my mission to show them I could do anything I put my mind to. I backpacked around the world, I flew hang gliders, I climbed mountains. When I really started to build my business, I knew I could outperform other people in my industry and in my town, and was an early adopter of new tech and platforms. When I started my own company, I had been taking calculated risks for so long, it wasn’t that much of a stretch. Having the support of my whole team definitely helped me feel comfortable about the risk as well. Read more>>

Spencer McKee | Media strategist, journalist, adventure athlete

Without taking risks, it’s easy to grow stagnant in life, caught in some sort of comfort zone. While taking a risk can be a bit terrifying, maybe even irresponsible in some cases, I’ve always viewed taking risks as a means of pushing me closer to the future self I ultimately want to become. I think something that comes along with taking risks is learning valuable information about oneself and one’s true potential. Risks can’t be taken without sometimes leading to mistakes or failure, but I think taking risks helps me grow as a person and I think that tends to outweigh the negative consequences faced along the way. Read more>>

Matthew Meloney | Photographer, Musician, and Corporate Operations Professional

Risk is a tough topic for me. I’d say if anything I’m more risk averse than I am a risk taker, but I always wished I could be comfortable in taking on more risk. In any case, I think that how much risk you are willing to take is important to evaluate in all areas of life, especially when starting a business. I have a full time day job. My photography business was started from a passion for the outdoors, creating landscape images during backpacking trips. When that eventually evolved into paid photoshoots for people, pets, and events, it was still a side business that supplemented my income and helped paid for a growing expensive hobby/business venture. Read more>>

Jon Skubis | Founder of Sierra Whiskey Co.

Risk is something that a lot of people do not think deeply on. Typically, people want to avoid risk at all costs and with good reason, they associate it with negative consequences; however, the upside is the better place to look. When a person fails to look at the potential upside they leave the best possibilities on the table, the fruits are left only to those daring enough to venture outside of the norm. What many may consider safe, a steady job, a quiet neighborhood, a retirement fund, etc. are not immune to loss and tragedy. Read more>>