Shoot your shot? Take a chance? Society bombards us with messages, phrases, examples and stories of how taking risk is the key to success, but is anything ever that simple? We asked some of the brightest folks we know to tell us about how they think about risk. We’ve shared their responses below.

JD Shipley | Strength Coach and Owner of Starting Strength Houston

My base reaction to risk is to perceive it as being greater than it likely is. I often have to remind myself that people will tend to overestimate a risk and underestimate their likelihood of success in mitigating it or benefiting from it. Forcing one’s self out of a comfort zone is imperative in order to grow. Have a plan and be weary but know that it will probably change along the way; the only way to experience this is to start. Read more>>

Kasey Bass | American Ninja Warrior, vegan single mom of 5, professor, artist, & model

As a ninja competitor, skydiver, & circus aerialist, what I love most has clear risks. After having cancer in my twenties, my thoughts about risk changed. Risk is unavoidable, but embracing it and thriving in the face of it is an amazing opportunity. It allows you to learn to trust yourself and surround yourself with brilliant people you would have never met otherwise. I make personal and professional goals now not asking what the safest course is, but what doors I need to open and who can help me open them. Read more>>

Lovely Kissies | Chef/Radio Personality

I believe risk should be taken every day. I have taken risk by thinking outside the box. I am a personal chef and radio personality. Read more>>

Nick Cooper | Drummer and Producer

On stage, Free Radicals is usually pumping up the crowd with instrumental music, but on our recordings, we take strong stands against racism, war, and injustice. Other musicians might try to lay low on controversial issues so as not to alienate potential audiences and listeners, but that’s never been our path. Even when we talk about political issues like racism, we’ve chosen not to just make safe, ‘racism is bad, ‘ type statements, but to explicitly denounce white supremacy. Read more>>

Aric Gray | Retired Special Forces Senior Enlisted Advisor & CEO

I believe that risk-taking can be minimized with proper planning and training. Many take an unnecessary risk based on multiple factors, i.e., inappropriate activity, lack of information, lack of funding, and the cost at which many companies sell their services. Take a celebrity or family office who uses their friends, or only take the word of mouth of another. Does that individual or team have the proper training, have they been tested or tried, and experience. As we say in Special Operations, you can be trained but not certified, certified, but not experienced. Read more>>

Stephanie D. Delgado | Wedding Planner

I think risks give us learning experiences that we wouldn’t of had otherwise. They also tell you big things about yourself. I had to choose to pursue my creative business over a warm a fuzzy stable 9 to 5 because it’s what makes me smile at the end of the day and it’s what gives me a tiny sense of purpose. Read more>>

Franchesca Saunders | Yoga Teacher & Marketing Strategist

Risk has played a huge role in my life and career! If nothing in life is guaranteed, then we take risks every single day. I started a wellness business centered around yoga in a very religious society having grown up in The Bahamas from the age of 5. Many people thought yoga was a form of “devil worshipping” and certain poses “awakened demons”; all of which are not true. I applied my knowledge and belief in the practice to be apart of the influence and shift in such a conservative and self-righteous community. Read more>>

Susanna Fontenot | Friend, Writer, Educator, Twin Mom, Global Citizen

I came across a quote recently that resonates with me: “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Though often attributed to Mark Twain, the origin of the quote is complex. To me it represents the desire I have to take risks in my life and career. Read more>>

Julia “Jewlz” Noriega | Licensed Esthetician

Jewlz N’ Glow was established September 2020 right when things were slowly starting to open up from quarantine. I knew the timing was a bit risky, but I was also fixed on this mindset of “what better time to open a business that in the middle of a pandemic!” I thankfully had the opportunity to grow my clientele while in school. I promoted constantly online which helped me tremendously; along with other clients referrals I had around 2 to 3 clients a day. Anything worth achieving in this life is usually risky, but whenever you succeed it makes it that much more fulfilling. Read more>>