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.

Liz Dilley | Owner

I love this question. In my life, I have taken many risks… definite risk-taker here. I love Captain Ahab in Moab, I ski double black diamonds all day, I played international rugby, I lived abroad, I surf and the list goes on. I love a little adrenaline. I was an art teacher for 15 years, I mostly taught photography and graphic design to high school students. It was a great career with a steady income, benefits, and very fulfilling work. As a teacher, I graded student artwork and actually had a category that they were graded on called “Risk Taking.” As an artist, it is so important to get out of your comfort zone, so much so that I wanted to reward my students who took risks with a higher score…. even if that risk flopped. When I started my business I was thinking about leaving education. Read more>>

Dan Baumbach | Artist Photographer

There are times to take risks and times not to. I’ve made a living as a computer programmer for most of my life. I used to have my own business with a couple of employees, but at some point, I decided to opt for security and got a full time programming job. With my family’s needs taken care of I was able to pursue a side career as an artist. Being an artist is all about risk because there are no fixed ways of being creative. Being creative requires being internally quiet and experimenting and taking chances without knowing what the result will be. Now I’m retired and somewhat financially secure so I’m able to spend more time making art. But making art is still about taking chances and going to new places. It’s all about staying fresh. Read more>>

Arezou Zarafshan | Startup Coach and Advisor, Founder & CEO

Risk is the name of my second best friend; my first best friend is called grit! Joking aside, risk has been a constant companion of mine starting from the time I was 18 years old. I migrated to the US from Iran to go to the university and at that time, I knew next to nothing about life in the US and I barely spoke English. I have changed jobs, states, industries, companies, and career focus time and time again. Some of those risks paid off, some didn’t but the learnings and the experience were all worth it. When I am faced with an opportunity, I say “yes” first and then I figure out how to make it work instead of the other way around. Read more>>

DeEtta Jain | Vocalist, Mover & Performer

For me, risk is settling in to discomfort as well as settling in to the unknown. There was never really a time in my life when I craved conventionality. There are certain life markers such as college and marriage, etc. Constant change and access to new experiences is all I’ve ever wanted. Risk has allowed me to merge artistic mediums, learn new skills, and trust that I can bring to life whatever I see in my head. Risk also allowed me to move away from Colorado and be humbled by the unexpected. I’m grateful for the mere concept of risk taking! Read more>>

Isabel von Rittberg | Artistic Director

After graduating with highest honors and a degree in Latin American Studies and French, my life took a turn. My relentless desire to show the world the beauty of climbing left me restless. So I decided to combine my love for dance and climbing and founded the AscenDance Project. Though I had no experience or background in running a dance company, I knew I would find solutions along the way one step at a time. Yes, I took a risk by starting a project that could have failed. But the bigger risk for me was to ignore my strong passion and later in life regret not having followed my intuition and heart. And though my dance company has had successes, it has also presented many obstacles pushing me far outside of my comfort zone. Read more>>

Kacie McIntosh | Hair & Makeup Artist

Taking a leap of faith is the most important part in growing a business, This type of leap is more than risk, but a belief in yourself in unknown circumstances. I gave up a steady income, a guaranteed job, and clientele to start Beauty Mark by Kacie. At the time I necessarily wasn’t in the position to take that risk financially and was doubted by people in my personal life. When my business started to grow I was told by an old employer that I had to give up 50 percent of my income if I wanted to continue it. At that moment I had to take that leap that this was going to become something bigger than I thought. I knew the risk I was taking but also knew I would reap a much more fulfilling reward in starting something that I could call my own. Read more>>

Crystal Russell | Owner & CEO

I have always been known for touting the phrase “no toe-dipping,” and that mentality has been deeply relevant to my thoughts around risk. Historically, I’ve been what I would consider a risk addict. I used to joke to friends and family that where others may be adrenaline junkies, I’m a risk junkie. I love the thrill of jumping into something that may not work, where the possibility for failure is present, and the odds are more or less against me. To me, it always felt that much more rewarding to conquer the challenge. The last two years, though, we’ve experienced a lot of failures, and we have had to struggle through the consequences of making huge, risky moves and not having those things pan out successfully. It’s been incredibly trying for me as an individual and for us as a business. I’ve learned to balance my passion for risk and newness with the understanding of impulsiveness vs. planning and intent. Read more>>

Stine Hildre | Owner

I grew up in a small, sleepy town in the country side of Norway. Risky opportunities rarely presented themselves, and if they did, my small-town, modest mindset would turn the other way. It wasn’t until I moved to Denver with my now-husband and business partner, Jackson, that I started taking bigger risks. Moving from Norway to the US was a huge transition. The uproot and change made risks feel less intimidating, since my life was in a flux anyways. The call to start pursuing a full time career with my art became stronger, and the pull to use my creative talents in a job overwhelmed the want for stability and security. When the opportunity to buy a paint and sip studio presented itself, we took some time to consider all the risks of course. But at the end of the day I believe it would have been a bigger risk to let the opportunity go. Read more>>

Hannah Tidechild | Mosaic Artist

I am originally from North Carolina. My father was a teacher and my mother was a nurse. They worked HARD and, guess what? They were underpaid! Anyway, I was expected to get a job before I even had a license, so I was working at 15 and every year out from then. I didn’t quite fit into the university mold, so I took classes to earn my associates degree while continuing to work.  I’m not quite sure if my experience of “work” lead me in the direction of self employment, but, nonetheless, here I am. In saying so, I do not mean that necessarily 100% negatively or positively, as it worked in both ways. Read more>>

Stephanie O’Rourke | Boutique Owner

I believe in order to be successful, you absolutely have to take risks! Successful people are all a little crazy if you really look at it. If you don’t take big chances, the magic is never going to happen. I feel that my naturally rebellious nature has matured over the years. As a teenager and young adult, I was taking the wrong kind of risks that lead to trouble. However, I am grateful that risky and somewhat impulsive nature grew and lives inside me. I just had to figure out the right ways to use it. As I’ve aged and learned the power that risk taking can have, I’ve learned to drive it to help my dreams come true and find success and happiness. Before I opened my first boutique, I talked about the idea and would hear things from people like, “that’s too risky”, or “that’s not a good idea, you could go broke!” But my natural instinct to rebel drove me to take the chance. Read more>>

Dylan Burr | Photographer

The way I think in terms of risk is what am I willing to lose completely. What am I really risking for this? In terms of starting my own business and doing my own thing, I think it was rather low risk. I didn’t go into debt buying all the expensive gear I read you need. I started with what I had and as I developed my technique certain things made sense to buy cause I actually used them. I rented and tested before buying. I sell what I don’t use. All while only buying things I need and can afford at the time. Being debt free is a key. In the beginning I was only comfortable risking my time. I made some good money doing an architectural gig and was offered a spot in a very popular art gallery downtown that I had to pay for the space and materials. I had always wanted to get my work in a gallery and thought it was worth the risk to use the architectural gig money to pay to be in a gallery for a year. Did it pay off? No. Well, sort of. Read more>>

Jocelyn Laferriere | Witch, Healer, Empath, Yoga Instructor & Cacao Practitioner

Taking risks is crucial to taking huge strides. I was stuck for SO LONG. “I can’t do that!” “What if I fail?” “I have no idea what I’m doing, I’m going to make a fool of myself” Were all things I often said to myself. Flip that, “What if I crush it?!” “I have no idea what I’m doing, but who even does?!” That’s how you learn! How you grow! Flash forward to right now. I’ve come to realize through trial and error that taking risks is how you move forward. Getting out of your own way and tricking your brain to stop placing these limiting beliefs on what your are capable of is hard, but it’s the missing piece to the puzzle. Because quite frankly, the impossible is very much possible as long as you believe it to be. Taking risks is like investing in the divine Universe. The Universe will always have your back as long as you allow it to. So for anyone reading this who needs to hear it, JUMP. The net will show up. Read more>>

Taylor McGuigan | Hair Stylist

I risked everything to do what I’m doing currently. I quit a stable job in my career field and started working nights at a pizza shop so I am able to spend my days working on models, getting certifications, and talking with salons to find the best fit for the path I’m trying to take. But as a hair stylist I feel I have the power to truly help people feel their best and nothing brings me more joy than people who come to me saying the transformation I gave them boosted their confidence, since that was something I struggled with for a lot of my life. Read more>>