Legend holds that Cornelius Vanderbilt had built a massive fortune in the steamboat shipping industry, but then realized the railroads were the way of the future and invested almost his entire net worth into railroads.  The gamble paid off and made Vanderbilt one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs ever.  But risks are inherently…risky.  How do you think about risk and how has it affected your life and career?  Some of our community favorites share their perspective below.

Andrea de Leon | Sculptor, Metals Instructor & Custom Knife Maker

In a certain sense I thrive off of risk. Perhaps unconsciously in constant pursuit of it at this point. To be more specific, there are two kinds of risk I deal with: the risk dependent on rationality – the choices that guide my lifestyle and career – and the risk due to the inherent danger of the processes of what I do. Admittedly, I love the thrill of using dangerous techniques or tools. I realize it’s somewhat of a paradoxical interest but I simply tend to gravitate to certain challenges. Situations that could ultimately be detrimental in one way or another in a blink of an eye – to yourself or to your project – demand your utmost and absolute attention. You have to be fully aware of all your surroundings and completely present in the moment, not to mention simultaneously being several steps ahead in the process. In other words, you have to know what you’re doing and know where you’re going. It engages my brain in a way nothing else does. Everything else phases out – the success of your project depends on it (as well as your own well-being). Read more>>

Sumthing Beddar | Artist & Entrepreneur

I sincerely believe risk taking is the best thing anybody can adapt to, it knocked off my fear of falling, failing, and increased my resilience 10 fold. No risk not reward, life ain’t safe, why play by the rules. Make your own. Read more>>

Franco Galvan | Filmmaker & Advertising Rep.

You have to have a feel for what’s going to pay off personally. I feel I have talent. I feel strong about the way I communicate through my talent. I’m a filmmaker, therefore I feel that a large investment in my self will pay off. And my signature brand of creativity will come through. That wage is risk in one light but the way I see it it’s just confidence and career trajectory. You’re betting on how much work you’re willing to put into something and how much you trust yourself. Read more>>

Ebony Stewart | A Teachers Full Time Artist Dream

I remember when I first had the idea to become a full-time artist. In the fall of 2014, I was still working as a 6th-7th grade sexual health educator. I already had an agent; at the time I was with BE Colleges. Rewind: The year before this though, I had asked my agent Hilary what she thought about me becoming a full-time artist. And she was so matter-of-fact wit it, saying, “No, I don’t think you’re ready yet. If you can do both, do both… for as long as you can.” Fast Forward: That really stuck with me. I had no idea how I’d know if I was ready, what that looked like, and how long I could do both. I simply felt unsure of my abilities. I remember feeling so afraid, but clear that I wanted to be a full-time artist (paying all my bills with my art). Professor Cohen at Texas State had told me that I actually wasn’t a good writer and never had clear or consecutive thoughts. So, maybe he was right. Maybe this is more of a hobby than a career. And so, I continued doing both. Read more>>