Shoot your shot? Take a chance? Society bombards us with messages, phrases, examples and stories of how taking risk is the key to success, but is anything ever that simple? We asked some of the brightest folks we know to tell us about how they think about risk. We’ve shared their responses below.

Leila Caldera | Founder of Trilogy Sanctuary, La Jolla

The idea of risk excites me. I love taking risks. All kinds of risks. I love things like rock climbing, being up high, doing things that really make your heart beat fast, giving you butterflies in your tummy. It is something that really makes me feel alive. I am very lucky to be a person that is not ruled by fear, I am the ultimate optimist, so no matter the risk, I always have this deep down gut feeling that everything is going to be okay. I trust, always. Initially when my husband and I had the idea to start the business, we envisioned something small. We were not business people, we didn’t have much starting capital, and it was our first attempt at a real business so we didn’t want to be in over our heads. Read more>>

Rachel Robinson | Music Instructor and Performer

In order to grow, risk-taking is necessary. Growth requires discomfort. If I’m not a little bit uncomfortable, I’m not growing. I have a natural tendency to approach risk taking in cycles. I’ll have a new idea for something I want to add to my studio or teaching. I’ll do a bunch of research and make a plan for how to implement the new element into my teaching. Then I realize – this is new and a little bit scary! What if it doesn’t work? But I’ve had the idea, and I believe that it will be a good thing for my students and my studio, so I’m compelled to move forward and put my plan into action. The first steps are exciting and the results are invigorating! Read more>>

Mallory Wehrung | Hairstylist & Education Director

I have always thought of myself at risk adverse when it comes to something that could physically harm me. I have tried so many extreme sports and early on always thought, I…better not. However, when it comes to my career and brand, I have always said “Yes” to any opportunity that comes my way. I have been a hairdresser for 15 years and I have had the opportunity to teach at beauty schools, salons and workshops for over 10 of those years. Anytime a student or stylist has asked my advice on being successful in our industry, I say the same thing. You have to say yes to everything when you start your career. Read more>>

Nicole Turner | Yoga Teacher, Entrepreneur, Change Maker

I believe risk taking is essential to growth, success and happiness… and the bigger the risks, typically the bigger the rewards! I have taken risks of various magnitudes over the course of my life to get to where I am today, but would say the two biggest ones so far are… 1) Buying a house, putting everything in storage and flying me and my dog to Australia for 5 years. Crazy, I know, but so much FUN and so many life changing experiences! 2) Deciding to leave a remote digital job during COVID to pursue my dream of teaching yoga, online course creation, international conservation retreats and entrepreneurship. Read more>>

Bodhi J.M.S Ryder | Author, World Builder, CEO

To be honest, I’ve never been particularly risk averse. We live in a world where in order to get anywhere, one must take a risk, and depending on the goal, that could be small or enormous, but it’s really unavoidable right? My name is Bodhi Ryder, and I am an author, story creator, and CEO of a small art studio known as the Four Lords. I would say one of my most prominent risks was that after six years of university, I ultimately decided to drop out to pursue my dream of being a writer. I mean, that wasn’t to say that I didn’t “consider” what the university system had to offer. Read more>>

Kelly Twichel | Social Impact Entrepreneur & Occupational Therapist

Risk taking has played a significant role in my life, especially in the past few years as an entrepreneur. I took a huge risk when I pursued starting a business in 2018. It was based on an invention from an OT (occupational therapy) school project that empowers people with physical disabilities to access the outdoors and recreation. I was working full time at my day job as a therapist and also starting the company from scratch. Read more>>

Will M. | Freelance Videographer

Risk is what makes life exciting. It’s about wagering on one path or choice while giving up another. I’ve taken many risks in life, like the decision to join the military right out of high school, the risk to pack up and move to San Diego for college, and taking the risk in publishing my videography to the world. Fortunately, all the risks I have taken have been amazing, life-changing, decisions. Read more>>

Xayn Nazerally (they/them) | Interdisciplinary Artist & Designer

Taking risks has had everything to do with where I am in my life & career, honestly. I was a queer (read: trans) kid who grew up in a relatively conservative interfaith (Muslim + Christian) household. My father is Indo-Kenyan, and my mother is Mexican. We moved to Kenya when I was very young. I had a lot of struggles with my mental health and eventually my mom and I came back to San Diego so we could find better treatment/healthcare for me. Read more>>

Julie Diaz | Educator

I had always considered myself to be someone who wanted to stay safe. Make the safe choices. Do what was expected. Keep to the middle of the road. Even as a younger adult I considered myself to NOT be a risk taker. Though as I look back at many of the choices I have made, I was indeed a risk taker. I have moved all over the country just because I wanted to, often without a job lined up. I have traveled to Europe alone, not knowing exactly where I was staying yet trusting that It would all work out. And of course I have started my own businesses with NO business experience. In each of those choices I felt a desire deep in my heart that gave me the nudge to trust that all would be well. Read more>>

Jennifer Delacruz | TV News Reporter

Telling someone you want to be on TV when you grow up is often met with the same attitude as saying you want to be an astronaut. People think it’s cute, but unrealistic. Every step toward a career in broadcasting involves a risk, but I’ve been lucky enough to have them pay off. I never had the big flashy internships that kick off most news careers. I spent my college years applying everywhere from big networks to local stations without interest from a single one. To this day I still have hundreds of “we’ve reviewed your application and have decided to move in another direction” emails to prove it. Maybe I wasn’t networking enough, or my resume just wasn’t cutting it, but without that first foot in the door it seemed like any career in broadcasting was just out of the question for me. Read more>>

Jessie Medina | FEMX Quarters Founder, Speaker, Podcaster, Business Mentor

It’s riskier to be stagnant than to take the leap. Sure, when we jump we don’t necessarily know what’s ahead, this is why we think it’s risky. However, if I’m already uncomfortable where I am, if I already know something needs to change, the real threat is staying in that position and missing out on the possibility of a better future. This is why I don’t believe that being stagnant is our comfort zone; if it were, we wouldn’t be considering jumping. This “comfort zone” is actually uncomfortable and usually a sign we’ve gotta make changes. Read more>>

MaJhane Dill | Executive Producer and Podcast Host

I think risk-taking is a part of the life experience if you want to live fully. When we color inside the lines, it leaves a pretty picture, but what does it say about the artist? That they know how to follow the rules? That they can tow the edge of the line without fear of crossing over? Sure. But what about the artist that decides to paint outside the lines or rewrite the lines entirely? I’m not saying that following the rules is bad or the wrong way to live; it’s just not very exciting. I want to live an exciting life. Read more>>

Titus Haug | Musician and Photographer

It’s always been apparent to me that risk is a necessary aspect of creativity. And with that, discipline and pain. These are often a part of “birthing” something new. In regards to my photography, I’ve found that pushing my own boundaries and creativity is the only space where I can approach something with a fresh perspective. It can be quite uncomfortable to lean into a head pace or even towards an action that is bleeding into the unknown. Read more>>

Heather Pederson | Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Early in my career, one of the best pieces of advice I received from a successful entrepreneur is to consider how much risk I can tolerate at each stage of my development. When I first started out and was dreaming of what my ideal business would look like, I was overwhelmed because I lacked the financial resources and experience it would take to do what I wanted to do. Read more>>

Negative Shawdy | Artist

I see taking risks as making opportunities, or opening doors. I remember early 2019, I was really starting to buckle down with my music career, I met up with my close friend (and someone I see as a musical mentor), Khofa. He was really the only person who has ever talked to me about taking risks & investing in myself. I will never forget him telling me the moment I that first leap & decide to invest in myself that everything else would kind of just fall into place. It wasn’t easy & at first I struggled with the confidence aspect of it all (trust me, there are levels to this ishh). Soon enough though, as I started to take more chances, many more opportunities have revealed themselves. Read more>>

Marshauna McGlothin | Life Coach

I always push myself to take risk more. Without taking risk you won’t be able to identify areas of opportunity. This lets you see what works best and what doesn’t. It allows you to see you’re growth as a person. Risk comes from many factors it comes from financial and social standpoints. If you stand for your brand and what you believe it you’re more guaranteed to inspire someone else to take that risk and want to do more with their life as far as development goes. Read more>>

Hannah Rae Block | Yoga Teacher, Holistic Eating Disorder Coach, & Massage Therapist

I used to think of myself as risk averse yet as I reflect, much of my adult life has been grounded in decisions that require close your eyes and jump moments. I was talking to a friend about this the other day. I put a lot of energy into the “ascent” to action. I run through all the scenarios, weigh the pros and cons, write out lists, journal, and talk it out with people close to me. Read more>>