Risk is the most common topic that comes up in our conversations with entrepreneurs and so each week we ask entrepreneurs to talk to us on the record about how they think about risk.

Jessica Nicolls | Interior Designer & Owner

When we first started our business back in 2012 it felt like every decision we made was high risk. I had just had a baby, we were starting a brand new business in a town that neither of us were from and it was our first time being our own bosses. There was no one to ask for a day off or if we could have a raise. We have both been really good at assessing the risk of our major decisions and we have come to realize that most of the major growth in our business has come from taking risks. We had a home office when we started which meant lower overhead so when we made the leap to get an office/small shop it felt like a major leap. After about six months we realized we had already outgrown our space so we took another risk and expanded into the space next door. Now that our business is established (and we are older and wiser) it has become much easier to make decisions on what risks to take and which ones to skip. Read more>>

Shiloh Caffrey | Owner & Founder

Personally, I do not believe success is obtainable without confronting risk… often. Whether it be in your personal life, in relationships, in business or even in routine daily decisions, there is some level of uncertainty on the road to reaching a worthwhile accomplishment. After all, if we knew what the future held, then there would be no risk, and we would simply make decisions accordingly to the desired outcome. I don’t know why the world works this way, but I have seen time and time again how the most rewarding achievements require the most risk taking. For me personally, risk has been a consistent theme of my adult life. My family of four has moved abroad with no knowledge or experience of the foreign country, we have made financial decisions with no safety nets and we have broken the mold on the “white picket fence” American dream in search of something more. Read more>>

Breesa Everett

I think anyone starting their own business is a natural risk taker. As I kid, I probably should have gotten more stitches and broken bones than I did because I was always pushing myself – I mean, what 12 year old doesn’t love bombing a super steep hill on rollerblades with no pads and no brakes? I got lucky with how little injuries I received. Starting a business and setting out on your own is a similar rush and risk but I don’t think there is luck involved with the success of it and I’ve only come to realize that in the past few months. I grew up in a family where everyone worked in the family business in some capacity but I knew early on that was definitely not my path. So far, I’m currently the only one with an established career that differs from the family business. Just diverting from that path after high school was a risk but it just was of no interest to me. I started in my love of the floral and event industry at 18 or 19 years old and steadily worked my way through different aspects of the industry. Read more>>

Carly Beardshear | Personal Chef & Founder

I believe that taking risks is extremely important in being an entrepreneur. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t take the initial risk of quitting my job and pursuing my dream of becoming a chef. That was probably the biggest risk I’ve taken but there are smaller risks that I’ve taken that have contributed to the success of my business. I think the scariest part of taking risks is the impact it may have on my financial situation. But, when I’m evaluating a risk, I think of it as a new opportunity for my business and the positive financial impact it could have rather than the negative. Positive thinking and believing the decisions I make will benefit me and my business has truly fueled its success. Taking risks is an integral part of entrepreneurship because unless you’re comfortable with where your business currently stands, you’ll never see growth or development. Read more>>

Kasi Munoz | Landscape Designer

I’m all for taking risks. I have yet to take the paved road in building my career, so I feel like everything I have done to get here has been risky. Going to grad school and assuming major loans, was a big risk. Gravitating towards a niche within my industry was a risk. The very act of building a business is a risk. I feel like the way I approach projects and how I am learning to build a business has benefited from being a risk taker, because I bring a creative, solutions oriented mindset. I feel like I continually strategize, and have learned that putting strategy into practice takes time and it also takes a understanding in knowing where ore support is needed. On the flip side, taking risks has been financially costly. I did not start with a high paying corporate career and then decide I want to develop my own practice. Read more>>

Samantha Saad | Account Director

I have always thrived outside of my comfort zone, so naturally I’m drawn to opportunities & circumstances that are far from safe or comfortable. Not only does taking risks lead to much larger rewards, but it also enables a different side of creativity. This momentum motivates myself and my team to push our events to the next level and creatively hinge into new spectrums of our ever changing industry. Taking creative risks has always led me to some of my most memorable experiences both in my personal and professional life. Read more>>

Courtney Preis | Singer-Songwriter

I think it’s safe to say that without taking risks, I would still be writing songs for myself in my bedroom. Taking risks has been a crucial part of growing in my music career. Stepping into pursuing music full time is scary– it’s not your typical 9 to 5 job and you have to love it. The pay off when pursuing music full time is a very non traditional reward system and the only aspect that is clear, IS the uncertainty. However, with all this uncertainty, I would have never found the writing team that I am currently on. All the highs and lows were worth it to get where I am now. I am on a team based in North Hollywood, LA. We write music and lyrics for numerous advertisements, TV shows, films and other artists. It is a dream job and total blast. If I had never quite my day job and took every lousy, bar gig, I would have never been led to the connections and people that are now in my life. Read more>>

Ryan Landinguin | CEO & Speech Language Pathologist

When I made the decision to leave my secure position as a Speech Language Pathologist in a school district, I knew I was taking a huge risk. What I didn’t know was that I was embarking on a career of professional risk taking. In the early years of the business, I didn’t know I was actually good at taking risks. In fact, I had little confidence in my business decision making skills. It wasn’t until three years later when I looked at what I had created. I was surrounded by almost 50 therapists, a small administrative team, and a payroll obligation that I could have never imagined. I was able to grow the business through risk taking because I never paused to think about what might happen if it didn’t go as planned. Read more>>

Thea Tochihara | Artist & Musician

I’m actually a very spiritual person. Any big choice or risk usually gets sent through my spiritual assembly line for it’s due processing. Then I trust my gut and trust in God, and hope that they are having the same conversation! I think that approach gives me the confidence to not give up the second it doesn’t go my way, or question the decision I made or a risk I took, and allow it to lead me to the next one. Perseverance! Aside from that, I guess the risks I’ve taken make me a little more interesting to the average non-risk taker. Read more>>

Janet Kim | Ceramicist

In my past life, I was a TV News Anchor/Reporter. The risks I took were tangible in my storytelling: covering severe weather, chasing criminal suspects, to covering riots and social unrest. Transitioning from a high-intensity career to ceramics was a huge risk I took, both professionally and personally. Working with clay is unpredictable at times, especially since it’s a process that tests your patience!  I’d like to think learning a new craft as a new career was a big leap of faith: my ceramic journey has been steeped in learning, creating, and reaching goals! Immersing myself in a new craft has allowed me to explore my creative potential: in addition to handmade ceramics, I have been working on a patent-pending line of dinnerware for nearly a year now that challenges the way we use and stack our dishes. I hope to share it with you, soon! Read more>>

Amanda Renzi | Sexual Health Educator & Party Planner

There are two things I live by when it comes to my business; one, always find the beauty in every situation that is thrown my way and two, without risk there is no reward. Risk is a mindset, too many people see risky challenges as something to avoid like the plague but for others like myself, risk is an opportunity to grow, learn and make connections. 3 years ago I was in a new state, with no friends or family around, and I longed for a sense of purpose outside of being a military wife and mom. I searched for jobs in the area but due to my husband’s schedule and our child only being in daycare half the day, I struggled to find something that fit. Then I was given an opportunity to start my own business! I knew it was a risk, that my success in this opportunity would be entirely up to me. Read more>>