We asked some of the most interesting folks in the community to open up about how they think about taking chances and the role risk has played in their lives and careers. Risk is by far the topic folks talk to us most about and we hope the responses below will help shed light on many different perspectives.

Chan C. Smith | Director, DP, and Photographer

Taking risks has been a huge part of my career. Since the very beginning of my career, I started as a freelance videographer doing videos for friends. I was working a food service job at that time, and it got to the point where I had to leave. Unfortunately, I didn’t have another job lined up afterwards so I put all of my faith towards my business. Read more>>

Jose Villalpando Gomez | President/Program Director

Every following second, minute, hour is a risk in a sense. We as human beings do not know nor can predict exactly what is coming or when. In that sense I have admired children of all ages as my job has been to develop and teach them this beautiful game of soccer and how to navigate within it. Children are the bravest humans I know. They don’t know much about anything initially, even how to speak or walk at the first stages. They plow through regardless, eager to absorb like a soaking sponge. Read more>>

Gabrielle Ripka | Tattoo Artist & Studio Owner

I generally consider myself a cautious person. I suppose that comes with having anxiety, but I think I’ve always been pretty cognizant of risks- where they are, how big, how likely. I like to plan, so I’m big on Pros & Cons lists. What’s the best possible outcome? What’s the worst that could happen? What can I do to mitigate the risks that I can’t eliminate? Read more>>

Amaya J | Actress

I believe that everything we do in life is a risk. Playing it safe is a risk just like following a different path is a risk. I’ve always said ” If I’m going to bet on anything it’s going to be myself.” My entire life/career after high school has been a risk or a “step on faith” with me moving to Los Angeles to pursue entertainment. Not everyone has what it takes to believe in their plan A to actually follow it. Read more>>

Kurtney Noonan | Luxury Real Estate Specialist | Lifestyle Connoisseur

Everything in life is built on taking risks, it is what creates greatness, fuels industry leaders, and is where growth is discovered. If you are doing things like everyone else then you just float around in a sea of average. I believe in being bold, not living in fear, and pushing yourself beyond what you think you can do…trust me you can do it! Breaking out of the comfort zone is what will differentiate you from the masses and lead you towards your highest goals. Read more>>

Teresa Graves | Dog Trainer, Behaviorist, Owner, Operator

I believe taking risks is a big part of life, because becoming the best version of yourself requires multiple leaps of faith. Starting Legacy K9 Training was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done but I’m so grateful and proud of myself for not letting my fear of failing cripple me. There are so many people connected to my purpose that needed me to move in the necessary courage required to acknowledge my fears but not give them any authority to make important decisions. Read more>>

Frida Coronado | Small Bites Caterer

Starting a Business takes a leap of faith that is quite scary when you take the time to process and analyze all the details. Which is why i truly didn’t let myself over think it. I had an idea and I followed it through within a week of hyper fixating on it. It may not be the best strategy but in the moment it worked for me. My father is an Entrepreneur, I have seen him win and lose money, he has started businesses that completely failed and left him discouraged, but he always rose above and didn’t give up. Read more>>

Jeff Valenzuela | Photographer, Activist & Educator

Taking risks has been central to, not only my career but in my life, in general, these past 5 years, even though, for most of my life, I never considered myself a risk-taker. Even the decision to leave Los Angeles, the place where I was born and raised, was because the job I had at the time, relocated to San Diego. So, for me, there weren’t a lot of risks involved in that decision. Read more>>

Wesley Lopez | Musician & Student

Life is all about calculated risks. I think that everything you do is a calculated risk. Every decision I’ve made in regard to Bunch of Heathens has been a risk that I had to weigh out the pros and cons on if I should make that decision. Sometimes that decision/risk didn’t plan out how I wanted it to, but I figured out a way to make it work. Read more>>

Tami Waters | Interior Designer/Co. Owner The Tipping Pointe

I would say I’m definitely the risky dreamer while my husband is the logical, bring me back down to earth one. With that being said risks have absolutely helped us get to where we are now with the business. We purchased the historic & sadly run-down victorian home we now call The Tipping Pointe right before covid hit. Which means we had a choice to make whether to keep pushing forward in creating this wedding venue when no one was getting married let alone gathering with anyone or walk away. I couldn’t walk away…… Which ended up being a blessing in so many facets. Read more>>

Bree Brooks | Artist

I think for me risk taking is 100% the most important thing in my life. I am someone who is highly motivated when things are new and different and when I see opportunities for growth. If my life feels or becomes stagnant my art can also become stale. For me if something scares you or makes you nervous you should always move in that direction because there is where you will most often find the biggest growth. Read more>>

Aaron Williams | Artist & Entrepreneur

I look at risk as a necessary evil . I don’t mean evil as in risk are a wicked thing. But we all can relate to the strong pull of resistance when it comes to taking risk. But the truth is a lot of the times taking risk gets us out of our comfort zone and THATS where the magic happens. Every time I stepped out and took a major risk I always benefitted in some way even if it wasn’t the outcome I was seeking, There are always lessons to be learned and you never know what you are truly capable of until you put yourself out there. You have to take that chance and bet on yourself or how could you possibly expect that of others right? Read more>>

9ichardo | Artist

It makes it more enjoyable. By taking risks, you can also discover something new.  learned that by taking risks, you have to go about it with confidence. Read more>>

Severina Thom | Brand Designer & Visual Strategist

Of course, there are tons of risks when starting your own business. But in all honesty…I think it’s more “risky” to NOT chase your dreams. What’s the worst that could happen?! Either you succeed at something new or you “fail” and go back to what you were doing before you took that leap of faith. Read more>>

Shawn Moore | Entrepreneur

I am not afraid of risk. You will not gain anything if you’re not a risk taker. There’s always a learning curve to every risk you take. Whether you win or lose, there’s always something to learn. You just have to not be afraid, learn from it and move on. Read more>>

SXO Boutique | Owned by Arantxa Ramirez Sanchez & Mariel Mauricio

When opportunities present themselves you have to just go for it! And with that comes a risk; Risks that are full of unknowns, what’s-if’s, and even the possibility of failing. That’s the was risk we were willing to take. When you have a passion for something and are willing to work for it, we believe it is worth the risk of finding out the successes we can achieve. This leads us to our larger life and career goals. Read more>>