There is a wealth of academic research that examines the impact perspectives on risk have on people’s lives and career. While the academic inquires are interesting and provide some value, in our view hearing directly from people about how their views on risk taking have affected their own lives is very enlightening. We’ve shared some of those responses below.

Melissa Ebling | Online Fitness and Mindset Coach

I think calculated risk is necessary. It will always be scary but oftentimes fear can be used as our guide: whatever we’re afraid of is exactly what we should be doing! I’ve taken plenty of risks throughout my life/career, including my decision against taking the bar exam after graduating from law school to instead pursue building my own business. That’s definitely the biggest “risk” I’ve taken from an outsider’s perspective but I never doubted my ability to make it work. Read more>>

Linda Schwartz | Writer, Stand-Up Comedian, Podcast Host, MOMMY to Huxley

Up until now, assessing “risk” has been more of an afterthought, rather than something that I do before I set out to accomplish something. As I got older, I got wiser – especially about taking risks because I have more at stake now. The first big life-changing risk I ever took was when I was sixteen years old. I “Self-emancipated”, or as my mom would argue. I “ran away from home”, but that’s a matter of perspective. I did so out of sheer determination and to prove her wrong – that I COULD make it out there on my own and that I didn’t need her to survive. Read more>>

Elise Borelli | Personal Trainer & Online Fitness & Nutrition Coach

If you want to grow in any area of your life you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone, bet on yourself, and take risks. Prior to starting my own personal training and online coaching business, I worked at the front desk of a Marriott hotel. I remember feeling completely unfilled but also being completely terrified to put in my 2 weeks and leave. I was afraid of losing my 401K, my health insurance, and a steady income. But more than anything else, I was afraid of staying the same, letting the years go by without pursuing my dreams, and not living up to my full potential. Read more>>

Kimlien Le | Maker

I think about risk as something that occurs both internally and externally. Neither is more prominent than the other; they affect us in both environments whether we like it or not. However, it is necessary for risks to happen in order to become a different version of ourselves… Not better, not worst… just different, vulnerable, open-for-improvement, evolving, stronger version of ourselves each time around. Taking risks has played many roles in my life and career, positively and negatively – and I wouldn’t change any of it. Read more>>

Lindsay Troncone |  Graphic Designer & Photography (& Mama)

Risk. Stepping outside of your comfort zone. Let’s be real….it’s scary. I truly believe if your dreams don’t scare you, challenge you, make you feel dumb sometimes, then they aren’t big enough. My business partner and I started our graphic design/stationery company two years ago. I was working 9-5 in marketing and I couldn’t stand it. I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life however taking the leap of faith and stepping out on my own almost paralyzed me to even think about. Read more>>

Jessica Burton | Content Creator, Photographer and Interior Designer

Everyday you’re making decisions. From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. Risk is making those decisions by stepping out of your comfort zone and into the unknown. It’s taking a leap of faith, it’s believing in something so much you can’t stop thinking about. It’s saying yes when you could have said no. It’s paving the path for others to follow. I bet you can think of one thing right now you’ve been wanting to accomplish in your life, whether it’s moving to a new city, traveling to a new destination, maybe it’s starting your own company. Read more>>

Taylor Fields | Founder of Nostalgia Coffee

I view risk as one of the most fundamental elements needed to achieve progress, knowledge and a successful life and career. I have certainly never been a stranger to taking risks as I learned early on that the true risk in life is not taking any risks at all! Without taking risks, my growth would be limited, and my life would be much less fulfilling than it currently is! That’s not to say that I blindly take all risks and ignore the consequences or underestimate the potential downside. Read more>>

Alayna Gocke | Lifeguard, Coach, Safety Technician and Student

Taking risks is essential to growth as an individual. Without risk, you cannot make the mistakes that will make you a better and stronger person or meet people who can change your life. I started taking more risks during my freshman year of college and since then, I have become a stronger, more confident person who is owns her life (flaws, mistakes, triumphs, and successes). This has opened the doors for me to meet new people and learn so much more about life through conversation with these people. Read more>>

Heather Rosso | Silversmith & Occupational Therapist

I strongly believe that taking risks plays a big role in mapping out one’s life and career paths. Taking risks is what makes us grow. It pushes us out of our comfort zone and forces us to rise to the occasion. My first big risk was moving 3,000 miles away from my small hometown to start a life in San Diego where I did not know a soul! It set the stage for my career path, and eventually lead me to my passions of silversmithing and travel. In my career, I entered a field in which I had no experience. Read more>>

LeAnn Mendoza | Photo + Video Creator

Risk taking is like standing at the edge of the diving board for the first time; without taking the plunge you will never know if you’ll absolutely hate it and vow never to climb up the ladder again or maybe you’ll love the rush of adrenaline and feeling of your body cutting through the air. You must allow yourself to try and fail or try and prevail – you really won’t know unless you take that risk. Personally and creatively, I will always allow myself to jump in or if I am more hesitant, get my feet wet. This is what brought me to all the good decisions in my life. Read more>>

Franziska Pohl | Travel Agent

I always tell myself that if I don’t take any risks then I can’t expect things to change. Taking risks makes life more exciting and if things go well it’s very satisfying. Of course there is a possibility for a negative outcome but if you see it as a lesson learned it is worth it regardless. If I wouldn’t have taken any risks, I wouldn’t have started my business in a different country and would have stayed back in Germany. I’d be safe but with a job that wouldn’t fulfill me. I took the risk and created something I am extremely proud of. Read more>>

Nicole Speaker | Barber – mobile

Omg risk taking is the scariest thing you can do with your career! HOWEVER, it is the most freeing thing you can do for yourself. You will be at a “loss” for a year or so buuuut only financially.. every other way will encourage you to grow and work to build yourself, there is something about it that is far better than financial success. Success to me is living life as you want: taking trips, buying a house or land, being happy and being able to save. I’m not about the money, as much as I am about creating a fun and encouraging environment for everyone involved. Read more>>

Arianne Behbahani | Food Truck Owner

I think life and risk go hand in hand. From the time we are young, we are taught to assess risk before action, to think about how each decision will reflect on our future selves. Many people take that to mean valuing safety and comfort and staying within those parameters. This can stifle growth. Personally, I have always been one to dive in without checking the temperature, to go for something and deal with any fallout or consequence later. While this has been helpful at times, it has also caused setbacks. Read more>>

Tiffany Cooley, L.Ac. | Acupuncturist & Integrative Medicine

I have always been a risk taker. Life is so beautiful, and I only get this 1 chance in this body to live it. I would hate to live an ordinary life just because I was too afraid of taking risks. I also see life as a ‘choose your own adventure’ book, where no choice is the wrong choice, and I strongly believe in following my intuition. It took me 3 years after I became an Acupuncturist to start my own business. I didn’t have the confidence to take that risk at 1st. Read more>>

Tanzania Akia | Plus Size Model & actress

Risk taking for me has proven to be great in my career thus far. When thinking of taking risk(s) or stepping out of your comfort zone, one must really think about what it is they are taking a risk on, weighing the pros and cons of taking the risk, and their approach to taking the risk. I feel like I have fully accepted that to be where I want to be in life, risks must be taken. Read more>>

Erica Rodriguez | Licensed Esthetician & Lash Artist

Risk is taking the chance to expose yourself to do something you enjoy to achieve abundance but alsomay experience some type of loss. Weather it’s running a business or enjoying an extreme experience like racing. Risk has revolved in every aspect of my business – Starting off by leaving my Fulltime secured job as a medical assistant at one of the best women’s hospital in SD. I knew that if I did not take the risk of leaving what made me feel financially secure for freedom – I would have never done it. Read more>>

Narvie Madison | Digital Content Creator & Pig Mom

I think taking risks is extremely essential to success in your personal and professional life. Without risk taking, you become complacent. Not a whole lot will change for you personally or professionally. Many people are afraid of what others may think. This is ridiculous and is the reason why so many people never chase thier dreams. I also feel that in order to grow and develop, you have to put yourself in uncomfortable situations. Read more>>

Ali Vongsathian | Founder & Visionary of Lift Squad Apparel

Risk is one of the scariest but rewarding decision you can make in life or in your career. I know everyone wants to play it safe through life, but there’s challenge to grow because you’re ok with your situation but that’s okay, in business you don’t want to just continually keep growing your numbers but also your mental and physical well being all play a vital role. When I think about risk when it comes to business, I think about past experience how has this color scheme, design, quantity or quality of material compare to what we expect to project. Read more>>

Christina Romano | Makeup Artist & Esthetician

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Pablo Picasso Taking risks both personally and professionally can be scary, but I’ve always felt that it was the best way to achieve growth. Accepting new opportunities and stepping outside your comfort zone not only provide you with new skills, but can also expose you to networking circles that can benefit your future goals. Professional risks do not always turn out exactly the way they were planned but there is always a lesson to be learned and sometimes it’s what NOT to do in certain situations. Read more>>

Teressa Wickham | Film Producer & Writer

I absolutely love risk. I truly believe that there’s no point in doing something if there isn’t a little bit of risk involved. Playing it safe is boring – there’s no opportunity for growth or reward that way. In both my personal life and my professional life, I have always looked for opportunities that others would shy away from and that scare me a little bit. I think I am further along in my career than I ever would have been because of my willingness to jump in and bet on myself. Read more>>

Tricia Battani | Singer & Songwriter

Taking risks means you are on the right path. Even if you make a fool of yourself, you’re better off. You always learn something and can apply it to the next situation. I started taking risks in elementary school when I asked the choir teacher if I could sing at the school assemblies. I’d never seen anyone do it, but I was told yes. I performed all the time at them. Then, in high school, I heard on 96.7 KIIS FM that they were auditioning hip hop dancers to rep the station at events. I dropped everything and drove to the dance studio, and I got it. Read more>>

Stephanie Xelowski | Realtor

Risk has always been a big part of my life, even when I may have not realized it at the time. Seven years ago, I moved from my home state of Arizona, leaving my job, friends and family to create a new life here in San Diego. Then, four years ago I took an even bigger risk; I quit my marketing job to start my own business. I KNEW that was a risky decision at the time, but I also knew it could be the best one yet, and so far that has been true. I’ve always been a dreamer – dreaming of doing work I love and living a full life with no regrets. Read more>>

Cynthia Winters | Artist

Well, it’s all about risk-taking, isn’t it? Anything meaningful involves taking a risk, especially if you are a creative who decides to put your work out into the public. It’s scary, letting your precious little creations fly out on their own into the great big world of scrutiny and criticism, but that’s also where acceptance, commiseration and appreciation comes from. Creative work is a form of communication, and it has to be seen or heard or experienced to complete its journey. Read more>>

Kayla Patterson | Jiu-Jitsu Athlete, Instructor, & Entrepreneur

You can’t have reward without risk. Calculated risk, though. You have to be willing to fail, willing to put it all on the line for what you want to achieve, whether that be in the fitness world, the business world, or whatever world you want to be a part of. You have to dive in full force. That’s how see it, anyway. Read more>>