We asked some of the brightest folks in the community to open up to us about the most important lesson their business or career has taught them. We’ve highlighted some of those responses below.

Benjamin Krause | Composer & Pianist

As a musician, I’ve become used to a certain level of year-to-year uncertainty. Taking on and committing to the next project always involves a measure of risk, since we can never really know where it will lead (if it leads anywhere) and what the final result might be. I would even say that composing music is insanely risky. Creating art, putting yourself out there, it involves some kind of boldness and a form of bravery. When thinking about risk as related to my own experience, I think particularly to a time when my current job was set to expire and I had no immediate prospects for the following year. My wife and I were just planning to move to Chicago and try to make it work as freelance musicians. In a way, we were “forced” into taking this risk – I also threw myself into every opportunity I could find as a composer, applying for residencies, fellowships, and other creative opportunities. The sense of not having secure footing or a real “backup” plan was incredibly emboldening, and it ended up turning into one of my best couple of years as a composer. Read more>>

Ashley Juge | Founder of Muscle Pirate, Mental Performance Coach and Former Texas’ Strongest Woman

The truth is that with *intelligent* risk comes great reward. Throwing your resources into any and every idea you have isn’t smart or calculated – you need to assess your current situation, have a clear and specific picture of the results you desire for your life and business and then take a closer look at the options or ideas that actually have the potential to get you there. Understanding the results that you want will help you figure out where you need to take those intelligent risks. And most importantly, as soon as you commit to a risk, take ENORMOUS action. Your business will not work unless you do and “hoping to be noticed” is a quick and efficient way to kill your momentum and waste your resources. As Julius Caesar famously demonstrated – If you want to take the island, burn the ships! There is no choice but to move forward and conquer! Personally, thinking about risk in this way has absolutely lead me to where I am today. More recently, I was VP and facilitated the sale of an international golf club designing and manufacturing company last Spring during the pandemic. Read more>>

Robin Tardy | Yoga and Embodiment Teacher & Integrative Holistic Coach

Taking risks is riding tandem with courage and fear. As an embodiment facilitator, I’m dialed into what feels right and what doesn’t. My body gives me clues, and I can either listen or ignore. I’ve learned that ignoring clues from the body is a recipe for disaster. When it comes to taking risks, I rely on both logic and intuition. Our mind is the center of analysis, of critical thinking and risk assessment. It’s highly valuable, but it will also create stories about every possible thing that could go wrong. In the words of one of my teachers, if the caterpillar had a human mind then it would never become a butterfly. Risk-taking induces some fear. The key is to feel the fear, and have the courage to do it anyway, as if to befriend your fears. This is my philosophy in both life and work. Read more>>

Sabrina Holder | Photographer & Co-Founder of Medium Creative Agency

I treat risk as God’s way of building my character, and faith. Which are two very important things to have when on the road to success. Risk is not meant to be comfortable, or safe. Taking risks has shaped my life and career tremendously. When I went to Old Dominion University, I was studying to be an Arabic translator for the government/international relations. In 2011, that all changed. I was introduced to the music & entertainment industry. I then took a risk and changed my major from International Relations to Communication. I began working at Sirius XM Satellite Radio, as a board operator than promoted to producer for talk & programming. Then I decided to take another risk. Between 2013 and 2017, my photography business was growing. I also spoke to my husband, Quinelle “Coach Q” Holder, who I co-founded our agency (Medium Creative Agency) with, and shared with him that it was time for us to really go in full force with our agency. And he agreed that me quitting a 9-5 in radio was the next risk to take. Read more>>

Rachel Gibler | 3x Business Owner — The Lash Lounge & Rachel Gibler Enterprises

Risk taking is the backbone of my entire entrepreneurial journey. At each phase of my business, even before beginning, risk was at the forefront of each decision that I made. I took a risk when I left my comfy corporate job to pursue entrepreneurship. I took a risk when investing in The Lash Lounge franchise, and building out two locations in Houston, TX. I took a risk when I chose to document my entrepreneurial journey online, and eventually dive in to helping other women leave corporate America and pursue their purpose through the power of mindset, energetics, and manifestation. In each phase of my career, risks have been paramount to my success. If we choose to stay comfortable, we end up repeating the same patterns that lead us to unhappiness. When we choose the familiar path, rather than deliberately creating our life on purpose, we end up unfulfilled. The only way to realize your desires is to step out of your comfort zone into unfamiliar territory. With this, risk is going to be inherent in nearly every decision you make. Read more>>

Kaelyn Provost | Visual Artist

I know failure can be terrifying, but honestly, success doesn’t happen without failure. We learn from failing to navigate through what is and isn’t meant for us, so that we get closer to our goal. As an artist who has a genuine love for art, I had no choice but to jump right in with investing in my craft financially and academically. Doing so was scary since being a full time artist was frowned upon growing up, and art was only seen as a class people needed credit for. Now, I have so much support from people all over! The fact people share and buy my art still blows my mind because that means I’ve made a positive influence in some way. I get to expand my craft in ways that I’ve imagined doing as a kid. If you needed a sign to jump into that thing you’re passionate about, this is it. Read more>>