By far, the topic that comes up most in our conversations with entrepreneurs and creatives is risk. We’ve had conversations about risks that worked out and risks that did not. We’ve seen eyes light eye sharing about career-trajectory changing risks as well as folks sigh about the risks they wish they had taken. Below, we’ve selected and shared some of those thoughtful conversations.

Carey Elizabeth Garneau | Artist

Every decision you make in life has some sort of risk involved, whether that be pursuing a degree in Fine Art, moving across the country, quitting a well-paid full-time job in search of something more fulfilling or just riding my moped with a 50% chance of rain. Life without risk is boring – given the opportunity, I choose to gamble every time. I have been lucky enough in my life that many of the risks I have taken reaped reward. Not always the instant gratification we hope for, the reward for me has appeared as personal growth, professional relationships, memorable experiences, creative inspiration and new opportunities. I am thankful for where my art career is today and will continue on the road less traveled. Read more>>

Dominique Franco | Dancer, Actor, & Artist

When I think about risks I think about the outcome of what may come from it. Taking risks is not always gonna end up with a bad outcome. If you don’t take the risk you’re going to be living a comfortable life and never branching out to meet new people, or seeing and traveling to different places. In my career it is all about risks. If I don’t branch out of the spot I’m comfortable in then I will never be able to move up. Taking a risk to audition for a role is scary, but there’s so many things that can happen from just taking that one step. Always remember risks are not always bad in the end. Read more>>

Annie Lim | Disney Blogger and Content Creator

I used to be afraid of taking risks, and would always stick to choices or situations that felt comfortable for me. However, to be honest, that gets boring! For me, taking risks is the best way to learn and it can be fun too. When I started The Unbirthday Party in 2018, it was mostly a photography account. I’d post photos from Disneyland… from food photos to park photos to merch photos. But aside from the holidays, Disneyland stays the same most of the year and there’s only so much a person who goes to Disney weekly can take pictures of. However, during the pandemic, we were all stuck at home, Disney was closed, and that’s when I decided to try Disneybounding. Read more>>

John Carvajal | Cartoonist & Baker

As with any business venture, there is always a risk that things might not work out. Of course, once you get past this mental hurdle that the simple task of starting a business, or following a creative path, in itself is one of the biggest risks you’ll take everything else will be weighed on this thought. When I started as a cartoonist I was unaware of all the things that came with starting out, the supplies, the marketing, the networking, the boredom. But never the less I took the risk and pushed through, with each project there was always a lingering thought of what if this was a mistake. Read more>>

Carolyn Jarecki | M.A. & Board Certified Life Coach

The idea to start my own business began as a need to fulfill my purpose of helping others. My thought was never, “Should I start my own business?” but rather, “People need this and I am just the person to help!” I would describe the decision as a fire in me that only burned hotter as I became a board-certified life coach. I have had my master’s in counseling since 1996, but coaching energized my desire to help more people. The global pandemic hit at about that same time, so the idea that I could coach people via an online business seemed like a perfect formula for people who could not get out due to COVID-19 or had no help due to the drain on traditional forms of mental health assistance. Read more>>

Pakko De La Torre | Chief Augmented Reality Officer, Gallery Arc

We’ve all heard the saying, “no risk, no reward.” But what does that really mean? And how do you know if a risk is worth taking? For me, taking risks has always been a major part of my life. As a teenager, I was always working on creative and technology projects that hadn’t been done before. It paid off, as I was able to stay ahead of the times in so many ways. Even when I was a teenager, I co-founded a company called eritmo.com, where it was possible to stream music legally and even build personalized playlists. Read more>>