How do you think about risk? What role has taking risks played in your life/career? Check out responses from hidden gems from our community below.

Sienna Verdult | Insurance Advisor

Like it or not, risks are a part of life. Most of our decision-making involves asking ourselves how much risk we are comfortable with. That very question and answer are what risk mitigation is all about. Risk-taking was a major factor in the early stages of starting my own company. Prior to opening Verdult Insurance, I had been working as a personal assistant in real estate. Stepping out on my own was initially an incredibly scary prospect. I spent a lot of hours ruminating over the decision and assessing the risks. The benefits far outweighed the fears and concerns I had. Read more>>

William Zakrajshek | OutAt Inc. – President

I wouldn’t be sitting here today if I didn’t have some faith in taking risks. From moving away from MN to college to South Dakota or dropping life when an opportunity came to move to San Diego, CA to pursue my dreams. Coming “out” in South Dakota was a real eye opener to the lack of equality in the world, I was still the person they knew the day before but the way they looked at me changed. I couldn’t understand it, so from that day in my college dorm I swore I would make the world a better place for our community. Little did I know what the journey would encompass and is just getting started. Whether it’s moving across the country, telling the world who you are, or starting a new business to spread equality, life isn’t worth living without a little risk. Read more>>

Laura Cain | Podcaster/Traffic Reporter/On-Air Personality

It is a must in business and in life. You just can’t live a successful and fulfilling life without some sort of risk. I took a risk starting my own podcast two years ago. It was scary doing Laura Cain After Dark at first because I thought, “WHO is going to listen and HOW are they going to listen.” In two years, podcasts in general have gained much popularity and they are more accessible than ever. We (Laura Cain After Dark) are now at 150,000 downloads and our reach is worldwide. Read more>>

Larry Lewis Jr | Holistic mobile personal training

How do I think about risk? I feel it is absolutely necessary to do if you’re going to succeed at anything you desire. Whether you fail sometimes or not you will have opened the door of I can. I’ve found failure and risk go hand and hand with success. Let me clarify that; failure compels you to make essential modifications to accomplish the goal. Risk challenges you to confront yourself so much so that you are willing to gamble everything I mean everything because you believe in your product or service so much. I have always been a risk-taker I feel if someone else can do it I can too. It didn’t matter what it was I always felt I could do it but differently than anyone else. Read more>>

Manuela Fernández Bañados | Agroecologist & Beekeeper

Taking risks was always one of my weaknesses. My life was calm and balanced before I decided to leave my native country, Chile, and come to Barcelona to invent my way. I think that what prompted me to take the risk of total failure was just that, to put myself to the test; The thrill of reinventing myself or making a difference in the world I live in. Starting a business is not easy, especially if you lack networks, but like almost everything in life, it can be trained and improved. Something that I have learned that can be controversial is that taking risks is not for everyone. It is not a basic requirement for success and it does not always work out well. What I can assure you is that life becomes exciting, vibrant and full of spaces in which to pour imagination and creativity. Read more>>

Victoria Kennedy | Owner of Kennedy Contemporary

Everything in life is a wager between risk and safety. Growing up, I was cautious and tended to prefer the path of predictability and comfort. I naively assumed that risk equated to brash and uneducated decisions. However, throughout my professional life, I’ve found that taking educated risks is one of the best ways to advance your career. It is so easy to favor comfort rather than push yourself to do something hard. I found the hardest part of opening the gallery was getting into the mindset that I was able to actually accomplish the goal. Read more>>

Dustin Conlon | Realtor

Risk is a funny thing. More often than not, it tends to govern our lives in more ways than we can imagine, and factors in to practically every decision we make as human beings on a daily basis. In almost every aspect of our lives, whether it be the food we eat, the activities we engage in, the relationships we have with others, or our career choices, the calculation of risk within our advanced human minds is an ongoing back and forth game of ping-pong. This internal and everlasting calculation of the risks we are confronted with in life is usually beneficial to us, and helps us stay out of trouble, keep from getting injured, or ending up financially ruined from a bad investment or business decision. On the contrary however, it’s also a mechanism which inherently limits us in our capabilities of living life to the fullest, chasing our dreams, falling in love, pursuing “true happiness”, or achieving the level of success we are capable of. Read more>>

Kira Schaubeck | Photographer & Filmmaker, Singer/Songwriter, Poet & Digital Artist

Throughout my life and career I’ve always taken risks. Ever since I could remember, I found myself trying new things. With many hobbies and side hustles, I’ve never been afraid to put myself out there, but then again I guess that’s what comes with growing up in an unconventional family. I have lesbian mothers and I am adopted from China. I’ve always been “different” so I’ve never been afraid to express myself openly, and take leaps of faith. For example, during quarantine of 2020, having never acted before in my life, I submitted an online audition for a main role in a short film, and in May 2021 I was flown out to Colorado to shoot for a week! Read more>>

Julie Pauly | Baker and Owner

I am naturally risk averse, so being an “entrepreneur” was never an appealing proposition.. When you’re worried about risk, you make fewer decisions from your gut, and rely more on facts staring you in the face. I made a series of small steps instead of big ones. Growth felt like a foregone conclusion instead of a launch into the abyss. Read more>>