In our experience, most folks, including ourselves don’t have enough of an understanding of risk and the role it plays in our lives and careers and so we have made a concerted effort as a team to have conversations about risk with our interviewees. We’ve shared some highlights below.

Matt Picon | Visual Artist, Exhibition Designer & Fabricator

I have always viewed risk-taking as an essential part of life. From a personal point of view, it has helped define my identity, my relationships, how I respond to adverse situations, and most specifically, my artistic and professional careers. Everyday we are faced with choices, some are easier and mundane enough where the risk-taking produces very little consequences – trying a different spaghetti sauce is not going to drastically change your life. Then we are faced with those choices that are either dangerous or have dramatic impacts on you or those around you, and to me those risk-taking moments have been quintessential to my being. In the beginning, those risk-taking scenarios were more reckless and less thought out, and sometimes the outcomes didn’t work out in my favor. But nonetheless, I learned, grew, and adapted. Having made it through those years I became capable and confident, and it prepared me for the many decisions that define me. Read more>>

Brendan Quigley | Wine Importer & Wine Merchant

Risk taking was not something that came easily or naturally to me as I tend to be a creature of habit. However later in my life, at around 35 years old I took some risks in my personal life and my professional life that turned out to be the best moves of my life , in both cases. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone is never easy however it truly forces you to grow, to learn and experience new ideas and perspectives. I believe that you rise to your full potential when taking risks as it activates parts of your brain that don’t get much action when you are stuck in a routine. Read more>>

Greg Schaefer | Artist

Risk is apart of everyday life, and life is a contact sport. I’m always thinking about minimizing my risk and that of others from the decisions I make. My life has often been put in harms way; being a Marine as a younger man. From those lessons I try to incorporate the logical and the bizarre which I pass on to my art today. Its experimental, and I’m always having to engineer the forms and solve problems. I probably always will, and I like that. Read more>>

Gloria Negrete | Executive Director

I see risk as a vital factor in individual growth and realization. You need to be skilled in suspending your own sense of doubt and disbelief to take a leap of faith. Whether you fail or succeed, you walk away changed by the experience. Growing up very humbly in an immigrant family exposed me to constant risk, and those early experiences altered my perception and showed me that risk is sometimes necessary. As a family, we encountered many hurdles and that gave me a taste for living with uncertainty. Instead of hindering me, this empowered me to be a more open person willing to take risks. That openness helped me create opportunities for myself where they did not exist and allowed me to experience more of the world than I might have otherwise. I run an incubator for startups, and risk-taking is the mantra for our aspiring entrepreneurs. Without risk many of the inventions, technologies and products that many of us can’t live without would not exist today. The life of an entrepreneur is paved in risk but can absolutely lead to high reward. Read more>>

Maryfrances Carter | Ceramic Artist & Maker of Blue and White

Ceramics involves risk daily as an art form. Once a piece is created it must endure multiple firings before a piece can be ensured it is complete. For me, not knowing helps me paint each piece with a renewed vigor and when each piece does finish its run through the fire it is a joy to see the final work come to life. Read more>>

Karine Pereda | Artist

Taking risks to me is essential in creating art. When creating a subject for a piece you are expressing your inner self in a way that may expose a side of yourself that other people may not know or understand. This can be intimidating for someone who is self conscious about expressing deeper feelings. You have to be willing to make art with only your self expression in mind and without catering your ideas to what you assume people want to see or what will sell. In a business sense you have to constantly take risks in order to get your art and ideas out there to the public. You have to be willing to talk to people, organize, and express your ideas in order to get the true meaning of your art across to people whom it may appeal to. With art there is not really a steady income and you always have to find new avenues and creative ways to find a market for what you are selling. Read more>>

Charlene Mosley | Artist-Traveler

Risk taking, that is probably my middle name. Charlene Risk Taking Mosley, haha. I believe, being a woman, a lot of times you get talked out of risk taking because you are not a man and so many negative things could happen. I am the kind- of person that always has to go against the grain. As an artist, starting your own business and creating a successful art career is a challenge. There are opportunities everywhere but many times we think we have to go into only one field and stay there, for example, becoming a fine artist that only produces work for gallery exhibition or an illustrator who only illustrates or a digital artist that only works in digital art. I believe being an artist means you have many art paths you can mix and match and acquire new skills from. Of course, it requires countless hours of submissions to artist calls that are mostly rejected, and a lot of effort in searching for those opportunities. I have learned so many things in my development as an artist and it is definitely connected to having the courage to overcome the inner introvert- voice in my head, calling me back to my “safe place” and taking a risk to go out and push for more. Read more>>

Elaine Marquez McHugh | Naturopathic Medical Doctor

I usually don’t take risks. I’m a pretty safe person, and I like my security. However, when I thought my career was going one way and it didn’t end up happening to go that route, I had to take risks. It was necessary. Very much like the risk I took to turn away from conventional, Western medicine and towards naturopathic medicine. It was necessary to stick to my values and practice medicine I identified with, and it was necessary to be vulnerable and put myself out there for my career and for my family’s livelihood. My decision to take a risk and email Annemarie Alf of Olympus Movement Performance played a defining moment in my career. OMP wasn’t exactly hiring for a Naturopathic Doctor. I just took a leap and presented myself in a way that showed my value in the medical world and to their integrative wellness team. It paid off taking these risks. Without which, my business, Rise Medicine – which was just a thought – would not have come to fruition. Read more>>

Raven Herschel | Professional Makeup Artist & Glam Creator

To me, risk taking is a must for anything you want in life and will determine the outcome of many “make-or-break” moments in any career we choose. I would not be here today without the risk I took to go to makeup school as a new mom or not saying “yes” to the opportunities that scared me. When I am working on a client, my most favorite work ever, is when I do something I normally wouldn’t do… when I break out of the normal colors or techniques I find my style and skill really grows in those moments of what-if’s and the conscious choice to trust in my capabilities. I also feel that risk-taking is an act of self-love and self-empowerment. Read more>>

Melissa Boleslawski | Photographer & Content Creator

I love risk taking and I am a huge advocate for it! Risk taking has played a major role in the evolution of my career over the past 11 years. I would not be where I am today without the risks I’ve personally taken…and they weren’t just any risks. They were high risk, high reward type of situations like moving across the country with only $200 to your name kind of risks! I believe as humans we are meant to take those uncertain risks. They show up in our lives and serve as roadmaps to where we’re meant to evolve in life. I feel the only reason risk taking scares many is due to conditioned fear of uncertainty. As cliche as it may sound, the magic truly does happen outside of our comfort zones. Risk is the doorway to becoming who we need to be in order to make the dreams we have an actual reality. Read more>>

Peter Lorimer | Owner & Founder

Life is all a risk so what not strive for the highest peak possible. I admire Richard Branson and live by his phrase of “screw it let’s do it”. I have never been risk-averse, in fact, quite the contrary, I like to run toward burning buildings. If I believed in my own self-doubt, which I have plenty of, just like anyone else, I would not have attempted to be a record producer which I was, and had approx 30 #1’s in the billboard dance charts. I left that biz and joined real estate on the bottom rung and again did not let my insecurities overpower me. Let me be honest here, I have massive insecurity just like anyone, BUT insecurity and self-doubt are bullies and if you ignore them they go away (eventually). People don’t take the risk because of toxic insecurity that poisons their self-belief such as “what if I fail” “it might be a waste of time” “what will people think” etc etc. My mantra is run at all ideas with 200% commitment and at 1000mph not because it’s cool to say that but because if I am going to fail I want to find out quickly rather than have a slow painful death of mediocrity. Read more>>

Hannah Mac | Performance Artist & Painter

Risk taking is a huge part of forwardness as an artist and business woman. I went through a time period of life, long story short, where I was homeless and I didn’t have a car or a job. During this season, everything felt like a cliff jump. Every day. It taught me a lot about dreams, creative endeavors, and ambition. Now, I have learned and am continuing to learn, that risk is a dance. It’s not every day going for the gold, but little chisels of showing up and putting in the work. It is all about timing, the cliff jumps at opportune moments with the right people and never how you expect. This is where decisions have to be made and the next level comes, but you’re ready for the jump because you have been showing up every day in the unseen places…. bottom line, risk taking is the dance, the knowing when to make big moves and knowing when to work it out in blood, sweat, and tears. Read more>>

Fakri Zubek | Mortgage and Real Estate Broker

Risk taking is an integral part of business, at start-up and every day I remain in business. With risk comes the potential for reward. While I don’t plunge headlong into any venture that comes along, there are instances where I can clearly see potential and have something to contribute. I say potential because nothing comes on a silver platter. I know there will be hard work ahead, the question is will it be the kind where I can learn and eventually succeed. When I started out I wanted to take my chances because I didn’t feel I had much to lose. So I tried my hand at a number of different things. Eventually, I came to realize that there were some common threads to all the different things I had done. I also realized that while I had been able to make quite a bit of money working in some areas, the work itself was dull. However, each job/venture had provided some insight. When the internet became a thing, I was able to see for myself that even done half-right, it worked. Read more>>

Cory Clarke | Business Owner

Starting a business is risky. Business requires your personal money and your personal time. You are risking the money you have saved. That money could be earning investment interest, therefore, you are also risking the interest you could be earning. You are also risking the time it takes to start a business. But these risks are worth the possible reward. The possibility of creating a successful business is satisfying and could be financially lucrative. I started FilterShine and it is now a successfully business. I’m glad I took the risk and I would do it again. Without risks, your reward will be limited, I suggest taking risks in all aspects of life and enjoying those rewards. Read more>>

Billy Yarbrough | Photographer

I think about risk all the time, How has it shaped me as a creative and how necessary it can be. Earlier this year I left a great job working In-House for a massive group of global brands and decided it was time to go out on my own in the middle of a pandemic. It sounds really dumb but it was a calculated risk. I think just the action of doing that open something up for me that lead to new things. I got off the call with my former boss and within the hour I received two freelance jobs and felt so relieved and supported that I made the right decision. Risk can also be in the actual making of art as well. Artists and creatives are inherently risk takers in that they dare to put their ideas out there with the risk of failure. That failure is to be seen as an opportunity to grow and learn from those mistakes and thus lead to even more successful work. Read more>>