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.

Leah Lane | Cowgirl, Entrepreneur, Optimist

I love risk, but I’m a gambler in many areas of my life, maybe it takes delusional optimism to sometimes take some big jumps. My big premise is having balance with time and money for every idea or dollar spent. I’m in constant awe of individuals historically who have built big things while maintaining cadence of personal/professional measure. Notably the people that stand out have been vulnerable to not only sharing a unique idea and then hours of work and monetary sacrifice to build it. In my life/career risk has allowed me to experience working for the world’s largest corporations when I worked in my previous field of Pharmaceuticals and livestock products sales. If I stayed at the first one I worked for out of college, I would have never left my comfort zone. I chose hard work and thoughtful approaches to each role I had. When the opportunity presented itself with a larger company or different title, I enjoyed the shift. I’d be bored to death doing the same thing each day. Read more>>

Idara Ogunsaju | Healthcare Administrator, Women’s health, Leadership and Literacy champion.

Risk implies that there is a degree of uncertainty about the outcome of a decision or action. In career, the risk may be of personal impact – such as making a career or industry change, or organizational – where the individual decision entails taking a risk on behalf of an organization.
In life, I prefer favorable odds – particularly when it comes to money. When it comes down to it, if I really want to do or try something and my heart is set on it, I will do it. After all, this is our one shot at life. Read more>>

Peter Paul Tinkasiimire | Photojournalist, Documentary photographer & Filmmaker

We tend to view risk-taking negatively, often regarding it as dangerous and even unwise. But while some risks certainly don’t pay off, it’s important to remember that some do. Re-framing risk as an opportunity to succeed rather than a path to failure is something that I ultimately believe. The biggest risk that I have taken in my life is career choice, as I grew up my family wanted me to either be an architect or engineer. However after my high school education, I decided that I will be a Photographer and Filmmaker. This was a huge turning point but its worth it. Read more>>

Andrea “Cherri” Dorsey | Designer, Swimsuitologist, and Creator “of Cherri.Cheeks Swim Attire

Risk taking has always been a fear of mine, the thought alone would scare me. I’ve always relied on the saying ‘”Better safe than sorry”. All my life, I’ve defaulted to a very structured mindset to ensure that there was always a steady income, food on the table and the bills paid to ensure my family never had to do without. I’ve now transitioned into a risk taker believing that I’d be sorry if I continued to just play it safe and not explore life and its possibilities. I believe age and experience both have played a big factor in my change of thought process; time is of the essence and waits for no one. Not even me! There is no doubt in my mind that if I hadn’t taken a leap of faith and chased what I love and desire out of life, I would have been haunted by the “What If’s” for the rest of my life. Now, when doubt crosses my path I simply default to “What’s the worst that could happen”? I can’t even fathom that I was on the path of letting my talent and dreams sit dormant and live with regret. Taking risk has been the most valuable part of my growth and success. Read more>>

Remy Neal | Musician and Design Consultant

Risk is a part of the fabric of my daily life. Without it, I would not be where I am. When I was 18, I moved to NYC with $500 in cash and my suitcase. At times it was tough, but ultimately it taught me many things and allowed for growth. Read more>>