In our experience, most folks, including ourselves don’t have enough of an understanding of risk and the role it plays in our lives and careers and so we have made a concerted effort as a team to have conversations about risk with our interviewees. We’ve shared some highlights below.

Whitney Allison | Co-Founder

Our business Bike Sports is comprised of my husband, Zack Allison and me, Whitney Allison. I’m a recovering perfectionist and he’s more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants person by nature. We’re both professional cyclists as well, so we’re VERY used to taking risks/experimenting in races to go for the win. Business is no different. You have to fail, you have to take risks in order to ultimately find success. Our risk taking for our businesses has ultimately settled in the middle. We have made it through hustle and a solid network and have chosen to take on minimal investment. We choose risks to take on but have awareness of the potential worst-case outcome and are okay if it happened. Maybe we could grow quicker with an investment, but we also like being able to steer the ship and not owe anyone anything financially. Read more>>

Sarah Lindsay | Business Owner & Professional Portrait Photographer

You cannot be an entrepreneur without risk. It goes hand in hand. That being said, before I started my business, I was not a risk taker at all. In fact, taking risks scared me. I was comfortable inside my “box”. It wasn’t until I graduated college and was thrown out into the real world that I realized I had no direction with my life. I was floundering – hopping from one job to another, trying to find my “calling”. At the time, I hadn’t even considered the possibility of becoming a professional photographer. It wasn’t until my friend sent me an application for a wedding photography internship that I even thought I could make a career out of something I loved. Keep in mind, I had never photographed people before, let alone weddings! It was in that moment that I took my first risk and applied for the internship. Read more>>

Adrienne Coffey | Entrepreneur & Event Planner

Risk to me is not a scary or intimidating thing. Risk is only a step into the unknown. But in life, all next steps and ‘tomorrows’ are unknown so therefore, doing anything different than what you are doing in that exact moment is a risk. Even staying put and not changing is a risk. This fear of the unknown and risk is what binds some people to stagnation which provides an even more negative effect than a perceived negative outcome of taking a risk. Anytime I think about taking risks in my personal life or career, I look at them as opportunities. Along with support from friends, family and my husband, I take the time to think about all possible options whether positive or negative, think through the outcomes of each of those, and lastly, about the steps it would take to achieve the desired result of the opportunity. After that, I choose the option that I believe is best and commit to doing everything I can to make it successful. Read more>>

Aimee Palifroni | Wedding and Event Planner

You’ll never know if you don’t try, right?! There’s always a tower of risk standing between you and a dream. All the “what if’s” coming flooding in and convincing you you’ll fail. The risk is the first step to moving in any direction. I was on a successful career path with a growing national hotel company based in my hometown. As I continued moving towards solidifying a long-term career with this company and in hospitality, I slowly began to realize that I may not ever be able to give the level of service I really wanted to. I had always dreamed of having my own wedding and event planning company, being the boss, and doing things “my way”, but it seemed impossible at that time in my life. After seeing a celebrity wedding planner (I was mildly obsessed with!) speak at an event, a strike of lightning lit the fire underneath me to take that first step. I walked out of that hotel for the last time, called my husband, and asked him to trust me. Read more>>

Yelena Dent | Hairstylist, Salon Owner, Life Coach & Energy Healing Practitioner

Without taking actions with risk we don’t grow or we don’t grow as much. Because the comfort zone doesn’t takes us outside the box and only outside the comfort zone we are risking, stepping into the unknown, taking more responsibilities that maybe risky. Risk also takes us quickly to embody our life, to get to know ourselves maybe for the first time and step into the potential of polishing and expressing our Best Self. There are virtues like fearlessness, courage and faith that must be practiced if we are on a sturdy road of self-discovery and increasing our quality of life. Take actions – take risks! Read more>>

Ellie Davis | Marketing & Website Virtual Assistant

I’m typically a very risk-adverse person. It is not innate to my personality to take big risks. When it comes to business, however, I have a totally different personality that comes out. I see no limits and no bounds to where my business can go and all the work it will take to get there. For me, the word of the year as it relates to risk is “PIVOT”. Instead of backing away and running from difficult times in your business, I suggest my clients lean into the fear and the risk of pushing forward and just pivot their way of thinking and doing business. Haphazardly taking blind risks with no thought doesn’t have a place in a successful business. However, looking at a risk worth taking, combined with an executable plan and concrete goals in place, is A-Okay in my book. Read more>>

Alima Blackwell | Family, Newborn & Senior Photographer

I am not a huge risk-taker in general; However when it has come to decisions regarding love and my career, I was guided by the thought that I would rather regret a decision I made, than not do it all and always wonder “what if”… In both instances, I got lucky. Not only did I pursue (fell in love with and married) the right man, but I also find a career with the flexibility to have a good family/work balance, but also something that fulfills my creative side, connects me with other people, and brings joy to others. Read more>>

Dana Rodriguez | Chef & Owner

Well I went to school for engineer computers in Mexico and move to the states, start as a dishwasher, feel in love with food and work hard to created a restaurant. now im owner and partner of 3. the biggest risk is that nothing is guaranteed in life we learn in this pandemic that all the work from 22 years can be gano in 6 months, and the stress of caring on your shoulder some many lives, as you employees and their families, the community, your own family, society, economy, I mean the risk is absolute huge, but is a challenge to shift this and make shit work and always make it happen. very risky and entertaining. Read more>>

Suzanne Blons | YouTuber, Educator & Writer

“Come to the edge,” he said. “We can’t, we’re afraid!” they responded. “Come to the edge,” he said. “We can’t, We will fall!” they responded. “Come to the edge,” he said. And so they came. And he pushed them. And they flew.” ― Guillaume Apollinaire The times when I am the happiest, the most alive, the most present, is when I’m standing on the edge. I’ve lost as much as I’ve won in the game of risk taking, but always it is worth it. If I lose, then I learn from what has transpired. If I win, then I grow my risk taking muscle for the next hurdle. Having your own business and being in the media is, in my opinion, one big fat juicy risk. Will I be ridiculed? If I am true to myself, will my tribe agree with me and follow me? Will I go broke putting money and effort into a pipe-dream, when playing it safe is, well, safer? In the end, I go back to a vision I have of my future life. I’m living in Europe walking briskly down a freshly rained on cobblestone street, and have a black back-back for my computer and notes. Read more>>

Tamara Banks | Freelance News Correspondent & Producer

When it comes to thinking about risk I focus on what is my passion. Why am I on this planet? When I answer questions like that it is easy for me to go in to conflict zones and war torn countries to report and tell stories that other media are ignoring. I am also very clear that I have to be “prayed up” before I put myself in harms way. I would not be here today if I didn’t have family, friends, even strangers praying for me. I’m in full (spiritual) battle gear before I set foot in a danger zone. Read more>>

Maddie Danielson | Artist & Entrepreneur

Risk taking has been the life-blood of my artistic career, although because of my personality, sometimes I think it is more of a knee-jerk reaction and less of a well thought out decision. In my experience, every one of my biggest successes came out of a perceived risk in the beginning. I think of it as synonymous with opportunity! I have found that the most important thing about risk taking is going into it with an open attitude and mind. I think it’s very easy to talk yourself into a big risk, execute, and then immediately panic at what you just did. But in my experience when I have been able to keep my mind open and thoughtful, something grand always ends up following that leap of faith. Read more>>

Sierra Anderson | Husband and Wife Photography Duo

Risks can be difficult, but they can also be rewarding. If you feel strongly about it and it brings you joy daydreaming about, then it’s 100% a risk that your intutition (or gut feeling) is telling you to take. I have taken so many risks throughout my career, from starting my business, to emailing potential clients just saying “Hi, I’d love to work with you!” and all the way back to what felt like starting my business all over again when I brought my husband, Brandan, into the business. When Brandan left his job to join me in documenting the moments, it literally felt as if the business was starting over. We had new procedures to implement, new ideas on how to best serve our clients and a whole new approach as we tackled each and every project together. Read more>>

Bryonna Williams | Owner & Baker

Taking a risk is what launched my business on the path of success. I started my business March 2019 and signed up for one of the largest farmers markets in Denver, which also came with a pretty hefty fee. I discussed it with my family, took a leap of faith, and used all of my savings to pay for the farmers markets. My business took off and a year later I was able to quit my job and become a full-time baker and business owner. Had I second-guessed myself and not believed in my potential, I truly believe that my business would not be where it is today. Read more>>

Beth Bedingfield | Owner & Founder

I think in order to be a successful entrepreneur you cannot be risk averse. There are a million things that could go wrong when starting a business and if you spend your time thinking about everything that goes wrong, those things will go wrong. I spend more of my time thinking about everything that is going to go right, and if a hiccup comes in my path I problem solve, pivot and figure out a way to fix it. Hiccups are inevitable, but if you are obsessing about them constantly your business will never thrive. Every entrepreneur has experienced some type of hiccup. Read more>>

Jeni Summer | Destination Wedding & Fashion Editorial Photographer

A lot of people call me “Brave” or a risk taker, as I have decided to do things a little differently in my life. After college, I decided to move to Australia and backpack around the coast for a year. Then, I decided to pick up my life again and move to New Zealand. Traveling and change are two of my favorite things. When I decided to make photography my full-time job, leaving my 9-5 was definitely not the wisest thing to do… especially in 2020! Even though it’s hard, I’ve never regretted my decision. I have this vision of how my life could be, and I work daily to achieve that. Without taking risks, you miss out on the possibility of something actually working out. Read more>>

Emma Reese | Model

Risks are all around us, each and every day. In order to push yourself to become a stronger and more successful individual you need to step outside of your comfort zone and take those risks. Without risk taking you would be stuck in the same position forever. In my career, risk taking is a big factor towards success. A big risk I have taken as a model is being able to push myself harder and harder every day. No matter if I am nervous or scared of the outcome, I push myself to become better. Personally, I have struggled with anxiety all my life and I used to hate being the center of attention, but as I have pushed myself in my career and opened myself up to more opportunities, I know I am worth a lot more than being held back because of fear. Continue to push yourself and the outcome will surprise you. Read more>>

Elizabeth Triplett | Massage Clinic Owner & Massage Therapist

I believe in taking calculated risks. In my years as a business owner I have learned that I thrive on change and challenges, and I enjoy doing one big thing a year that pushes me way outside of my comfort zone. I truly believe this is the best way to grow: professionally and personally. In fact, at this time I am in the middle of my yearly “risk”, or uncomfortable growth stage. I am in the process of moving my business into our brand new spa in Fort Collins. It’s been a seven year dream of mine to have my own beautiful massage clinic and we are just about there! I recognize it’s funny timing to be expanding so drastically as we’re still experiencing a pandemic and I’m six months pregnant, however this incredible opportunity fell into my lap and I’m going with it! Read more>>

Megan Elisabeth Kelly | Actress, Singer, Musician & Entrepreneur

Any decision can feel risky if you think too hard about it. Risk-taking is what makes life worth living. If I was too afraid of what the outcomes would be then I would not be present or truly living my life. At my core, I favor stability and consistency but I fight that craving every day with the work that I do because I know the right risks can, and will eventually bring great rewards. Playing it “safe” has never got a dreamer anywhere before. Read more>>

Heather Harrington | Co-Founder & Instructor

I’m a 6 on the enneagram personality scale…which means I’m severely risk adverse. Like…I would rather do anything else besides take a risk–I would rather be cuddled up under a warm blanket waiting for my life coach (that I don’t have) to make my next move for me…and whatever missteps are made–I can blame on said Life Coach. But I’m also a business mind–which means I understand I have to take risks in order to get where I want to be in life. So…I have to give myself serious pep talks when making big choices and be talked off ledges by my business partner. Jillian Keaveny and I opened Compass Fitness 2 1/2 years ago and Compass Wellness and Compass Online during the pandemic (because we signed the lease months before Covid hit) — and now here we are! Read more>>

Mariana Parma | Dancer & Actor


Nancy Phoenix | Serial Entrepreneur, Designer & Consultant

Risk can be bad or good. One of the biggest risks I took was to quit my first 9-5 jobs right out of college. At the time I didn’t even know what I wanted to do, I just knew for me working a 9-5 inside a cubicle for someone else was the equivalent to being in jail. That risk did not come without its downfall. I struggled to find jobs to keep me afloat so I took on every job I could take. In turn, it took its toll on my personal relationships and resulted in me moving back home with my parents. I became a graduate cliché. Taking this turn in life was difficult and sometimes embarrassing however, it forced me to figure out what I wanted to do. What truly would made me happy. It led me to start my business. Which sounds cool, but starting your own business has a completely new set of risks. Read more>>

Axel Geittmann | Sales, Marketing Agency Owner & Muralist

Risk at it’s core is learning to navigate the unknown. The best way to mitigate risk is to build experience. And the best way to build experience is to take risks. Learning your customer’s risk limits is very important when you are approaching them with new concepts and products. I like to look at risk from a consumer point of view and work backwards to breakdown the pain points of a purchase. If the pain points are manageable, the risk is manageable and worth considering. Personally, if I’m not dealing with risk daily in business, it means I’m not getting enough opportunities. The very definition of entrepreneurial is “to take financial risks, in the hope of profit,” so viewing risk as an opportunity, is core to building anything new in my opinion. Read more>>

Amy Drayer | Author

As a writer my biggest risk taking is emotional. What if I never evolve to become “good enough?” What if I’m as honest as I can be, and that’s still not good story telling – what if I put it all on the line and it falls flat? What if I fail others, or worst of all, myself? Taking risks, personally and professionally, is vital to thriving in this human experiment, Obviously they should be rational and researched, and obviously the scope will be different for everyone depending on resources and the safety net you have available, But in almost any circumstance some risk, some choice to do something new and innovative that day will be present in some capacity. The very act of taking that step off the cliff, large or small, builds your sense of adventure – and when you fail, your resilience. Do something everyday that scares you, right? That’s taking a risk and there’s nothing more important. Read more>>

Caylynn Lewis | Spin & Lagree Instructor

Risk – such a terrifying and liberating word. Risk-taking gives you the opportunity to go outside of your comfort zone, get uncomfortable, and strive for change. Often, a risk is taken to progress towards a goal or even achieve something that at one time seemed impossible. Growing up, my biggest dream was to be a teacher. So, I did that. I spent the first 9 years of my adult life as an educator – teacher, coach, administrator. I have always been an active person and fitness has always played a role in my life. Throughout highschool and college, I worked at gyms. Post college, I became a boutique fitness studio junkie.When I wasn’t teaching, I was at a gym moving my body. Movement became my release and my happy place. I fell in love with indoor cycling and four years ago found Shift Cycle + Fitness. I started riding there several times a week and eventually became an instructor. My passion for fitness was constantly growing and I began dreaming about creating a life centered around this. Read more>>

Tina Mazin | Certified Laser Tech & Body Sculpting Specialist

I believe risk taking is a major part of self growth! When you’re the most uncomfortable is when big changes and growth are in process. I took a risk and here I am today! And I couldn’t be more happy with my decision Read more>>