Legend holds that Cornelius Vanderbilt had built a massive fortune in the steamboat shipping industry, but then realized the railroads were the way of the future and invested almost his entire net worth into railroads. The gamble paid off and made Vanderbilt one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs ever. But risks are inherently…risky. How do you think about risk and how has it affected your life and career? Some of our community favorites share their perspective below.

Kat Dukes | Tattoo Artist

I have benefited much more from taking risks then playing it safe. My business wouldn’t be where it’s at today unless I made the leap into making tattooing my full-time job. That meant leaving my cushy, 40 hours a week consistent pay job (in the midst of a pandemic) for self employment. I’m so grateful that I invested the time and energy it took to start my small business. If you have a passion for something you’ll never know how far you can take it if you give yourself limitations. Risk is worth it for something you love. Read more>>

Ayush Vats | Realtor + Small Business Owner

The best lesson I ever learned about risk was that it isn’t a binary question. What I mean by that is that while we may correctly estimate the risk involved in taking an action or making a decision, we’re generally poor at assessing the risk involved in passivity. Not taking risks is a risk in and of itself and I find there is often the most danger in inaction — and the inevitable “what ifs” that follow. To me, doing nothing is, often, a non-option. A few years ago, I found myself at a crossroads in deciding whether I wanted to continue my corporate career or forge a new path. Read more>>

Allison & Mike McCurdy | Real Estate Marketing Manager + Real Estate Agent

Our entire life has incorporated risk. We are both self-employed (by choice), owned and sold a successful franchise that we opened during the worst recession in modern history, and designed our life around not sitting in an office. We perceive risk as opportunities that we may have missed if we hadn’t stopped to take a closer look. For instance, Mike took the risk of switching career industries in his late twenties and it brought us from Denver to San Diego where we have thrived ever since. Read more>>

Alejandra Isabel Rosado | Architect & Fashion Blogger

I have always had the life-belief that I rather try out something than regret to never having tried. Risk is defined as “the possibility that something bad or unpleasant could happen.” I think in life we have two choices: either play it safe or take risks. Let us think about people who have made an impact in this world. They all have taken risks. They would not have an impact without taking risks. Without the capability to take risks, they would have not gotten anywhere. I want to be clear that risk taking is not jumping off a cliff believing that somehow you will spread your wings and fly, attempting to survive. Read more>>