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.

Edmond Parrish | Influencer & Fashion Blogger

As crazy as it sounds, all of my decisions in life are risk based. I’m a natural born thrill seeker, and believe in living my life outside of the box. This is a mantra that I practice in my fashion choices and life decisions. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m very intentional and tactical, but I believe that life is too short to live inside of a comfort zone. I was born a creative, and worked a job that I hated for 4+ years. I always knew that my purpose on Earth was bigger than what I was settling for. I decided to take a risk on myself and I’ve been living (in what feels like) my prime every since. Read more>>

Jah Noiz Music | Music Producer & Mix Engineer

Taking risks is a vital part to leveling up in life. The well known phrase “closed mouths don’t get fed” could never be more true than when applied to entrepreneurship. At the heart of being an entrepreneur lies the responsibility of taking on the initial risks associated with bringing your business and dream to life! I believe that it’s a blessing to have a dream that you’re able to pursue in any way possible. I also think that it’s fulfilling as members of humanity to provide the world with the dreams of our heart. For me personally, taking risks so the advancement of my musical career has not always been easy but judging by where I am today, all the sacrifices were worth it. Growing up in the northeast Bronx for the majority of my life exposed me to a melting pot and different cultures. Read more>>

Jayson Alexander | Director & Editor

When it comes to taking risks, I can’t honestly sit here and say I was always a risk taker. The idea of risk was something that scared me because of the unknown backlash it can come with. It wasn’t until I left home for college where the urge to take risks developed. Being away from parental guidance gave me more of a realization of who I am and where I want to be. To this day, risk is what drives me; no risk means no reward and without it I wouldn’t have been able to experience the things that I have today. Often times people like to stick with what makes them comfortable and they lose the ability to gain new opportunities. I take pride in not being one of those people. With everything going on with a the pandemic, risk is surrounded by us all and I took huge leap September of 2020 by moving to Los Angeles, California. Read more>>

Shelley McKinley | Author & Educator

My book, From Wed to Widow, felt like a risk once I finished writing it. Part of resilience is to tell empowering stories so writing contributed to my healing process. When I finished, however, I had to decide if I was going to keep it to myself or share my thoughts with the world. Publishing a book felt risky because I did not know how it would be received. Luckily, I am usually overtaken by boldness during my birthday month. It was on my birthday that I decided to publish ‘From Wed to Widow’. I tend to take life changing steps in November each year, which come to fruition at various times over the course of a year. There is always something to look forward to. Read more>>

Ayline Contreras | Content Creator

When thinking about risks I see it as a now or never thing and never letting fear get in the way of doing so. Often I held back because of fear of rejection, failure to change, and fear of uncertainty. I’m the first of my family to step out of the “traditional” jobs coming from a Mexican culture. I took a risk and applied to nursing school with so much fear of not knowing whether or not I was going to make it & having my own family view me as “weak” and saying I wouldn’t make it because no one in our family had ever worked in the medical field. Had I allowed fear of any of the things I mentioned I wouldn’t be where I am at right now. I got accepted into many of the top Nursing programs in Texas one of them being from Baylor University. I accepted admissions to one of the best Nursing schools in Houston which is UTHealth Cizik school of Nursing a 15 month accelerated program. Now I am on my last semester 3 months away from graduating and obtaining my BSN along with taking my NCLEX and obtaining my license as a Registered Nurse. Read more>>

Brandough | Rap/Hip-Hop Artist

As it relates to my music practice, risk-taking is not at all a choice, but more a requirement. When I first started making music, I avoided taking any 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 own unique vision. Risk taking is for sure something that has taken a huge role in my life. Before I decided to take the leap and give myself the opportunity to focus more on being a music artist, I was working full time for a cooperate company. It made it difficult to balance both at once since so much of my time was being consumed during the week. Not to mention that all my actual focus was on my passion and work was becoming more of a chore. Read more>>

Justin “Jsleep” | President, Founder and Owner of Unofficial HustleGang x Measurements Of Excellence: A Black Bartending Experience

Risk is one of those things that can be viewed in the light of good AND bad. Throughout my time of being a business owner, risk has ACTUALLY elevated myself and my brand overall. it’s funny, but I started this entire company off something that I use to “just say”, which is “f**k it..YOLO” lol. that statement has a much more profound meaning to me now than ever. it’s LITERALLY saying “chances MAKE champions” Read more>>

Angelique Davis | Cake specialist | Baker | Dessert Creator

Honestly, risk plays a huge role in where I have gotten and where I am today. Being scared or nervous to fail, is completely normal and totally okay. But taking that risk, that jump into an unknown world is what boosted my confidence in the decisions I make as well as developing growth within my business. You won’t know the outcome if you never take the risk. Read more>>

Monique Pham | Baker & Accountant

I am generally risk-averse, non-confrontational, and go about life playing things on the safe side. I’m usually forced to take risks or some life event gives me no choice but to take a risk. When I think about how taking risks affected my life and career, I don’t regret the decisions or risks I’ve made. Even though the immediate consequence may not be favorable, I always learn something from that experience. I’m continuing to work on this. Having this side hustle and baking for people’s important events is a risk because it is someone’s special moment, and I am personally invested in not ruining it. I think about that a lot, and it both drives me to be better, but it is also a source of anxiety. One of the biggest risks I will eventually have to face will be taking the plunge and doing this full time. Read more>>