There is a wealth of academic research that suggests that differences in risk appetite are at the heart of differences in career and business trajectories. We wanted to go beyond the theory and ask real people from the community about their perspectives and experiences with risk and risk taking.

Chad Rea | Artist

Transformation and personal growth can only happen when you get out of your comfort zone, become vulnerable, and experience new, often scary things. In advertising, where I spent most of my career as a copywriter and Creative Director, I lived by the mantra “If it’s been done before, don’t do it.” That way of thinking raises the bar when it comes to taking a risk. As a student of improv comedy, I learned to only focus on taking that first step onto the stage and let the rest of the story write itself. That’s where all your learnings and muscle memory kicks in. And, lastly, as someone who is on a constant quest for personal growth, I’ve learned that the best things in life. Read more>>

Erika Alonso | Contemporary Artist

As it relates to my artistic practice, risk-taking is not a choice, but rather a necessity. When I first started making art, I avoided taking risks out of fear that I would fail, fear of rejection. But eventually, I realized that without risk there is no chance of success, either, and that’s when I started to relentlessly pursue my. Read more>>

Crissy Baumann | Owner and Founder of

I believe personal growth comes only when you take calculated risks. My definition of risk is taking on a new challenge without necessarily knowing the outcome but having the tools to succeed. When I started my blog, I essentially opened a virtual magazine without knowing if anyone would buy it. However, I combined my passions and skill set with a perceived demand for the content. I also forgave myself for making many rookie mistakes and chalked it up to “experience.” The challenge with starting a blog is also putting yourself out there for public consumption. For someone like me who values privacy, it takes courage to feel vulnerable to critics. However, I’ve found that there are many more cheerleaders and friends to support risk-taking than there are naysayers. If you’re willing to take a risk to pursue something you love, I believe the rest will fall into place with a little drive and determination. Read more>>

Natalia Jones | Photographer & Content Creator

I believe taking risks is crucial to growing In all aspects. The feeling of uncertainty has taken the fear of failure away which has allowed me to put myself in many uncomfortable situations. I am a very compulsive person which has led me to make many compulsive decisions such as leaving jobs and my stability to travel and explore different countries with no fallback plans. I started investing in my business very early on and since then have jumped into different facets of photography, one being newborn photography that resulted in creating my own in home studio that has opened multiple doors for my freelance business. Regardless of the outcome I have always walked away with more experience and more knowledge leading me to further success and most importantly, confidence. Read more>>

Toni Toscano | Artist & Landscape Designer

I don’t think risk exists without a fear of failure. Therefore, I have never been much of a risk taker because I really don’t like failing. But over the last few years I’ve learned just how necessary it is to take risks and how failing is actually one of the most important things you can do. I’ve had to do a lot of work on reframing on how I think about risk. First I started with the goals I set each quarter. I used to make a lofty list of all the things dreamed of achieving. Now make a list of 25 “risks” – these are specific actions I will take that push me out of my comfort zone and, if they go as planned, push me towards one of my larger goals. They don’t always go as planned, but that is the point, you have to fail a lot in order to succeed well. I still feel like I’m in the trial and error stage of my career but I am learning so much and growing every day. Read more>>

Bjanca Prudhomme | Certified Personal Trainer & Health Coach

Everything in life is risky. The question is always, is the reward worth the risk? And what is the worse case scenario? I think complacency for me is always worse-case scenario. I am pretty good at talking myself out of the easy route. I feel most successful when I challenge myself, and a lot of that stems from my fear of complacency and my willingness to take risks. Read more>>

Nina Garcia | Drama Therapist & Empowerment Coach

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” That pretty much sums up my view of risks! I practice taking risks daily: small ones. Manageable ones! Calculated ones. I almost have a secret, maybe not-so-secret recipe and here it is: most risks follow relatively the same formula. 1) Am I willing to make this choice of my own accord? 2) What are the consequences of this choice for myself and others? 3) Am I willing and able to deal with the consequences? Small. Manageable. Calculated. Here’s an example: maybe you’re a Traditional Cheesecake person – but one day you see a Mixed Berry Cobbler and you think, “That’s different! Small risk that I won’t like it? Sounds manageable to me! And I’m having a pretty good day, so it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle if I’m disappointed with this.” Look at you taking risks! Now here’s a bigger, real life one from me. When I first started Houston Creative Arts Therapy. Read more>>

Clinton Elliott | Mixed Media Artist

It’s pivotal for your development as an artist to take risks; however great the risk may be. Since moving to Brooklyn, risk taking has become inevitable for me. I find joy in leaving the comfort zone and discovering something greater about yourself and your art. Why must you be afraid to fail? There’s no fun in that! As a young artist, taking risks is quite intimidating and I understand. Let go of expectations and believe in your capabilities. Tap into your intuition. You’ll be surprised by what you can achieve. Read more>>

Heather Cook | Entrepreneur, Mommy & Purdue Global Law Student

Today, a lot of children grow up in fear. Their parents teach them that the world is a scary and dangerous place and it is most important to be safe. I grew up learning that if you want something, you work hard and you go get it. Risks were not often stumbling blocks to achieving. I remember being 10 years old and entering a poetry reading contest. I had won the contest the year before by reciting Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. This particular year, I had written my own poem. I knew the rules were that you had to perform a published piece to win. I recited my poem anyway. I did not win the contest that year, but I felt like I had achieved something great. I got to perform my own piece in front of an entire auditorium of my peers, their families and my entire school administrators. Read more>>