Are you a risk taker? Do you think you have a stronger appetite for risk relative to your friends and family? We asked some folks from the community about their approaches to risk and have shared their thoughts below.

Sabreen Sudan-Jolley | Author-Poet-Educator

When we think of risks, we often associate them with the more creative or unorthodox path in life. However, regardless of whether your path is most “safe” or not, it is all a risk. If you are working within a field that you are impassive about, you are risking happiness and the possibilities on the opposite side of your comfortability. If you take the road less traveled (following your heart) you are also taking a risk. While comfortability may seem more appealing and conducive to life, I believe it is important that we take the risks that are in alignment with our gifts. “Your gift is the thing you do the best, with the least amount of effort.” I believe whatever risk you take, it should always lead you to your gift. If it doesn’t, I truly don’t understand the purpose of life beyond that idea. Read more>>

Jennifer Jackson | Professional Makeup Artist and Photographer

Coming from a working-class family, the thought of taking risks was not the norm. I was raised to get an education, get a job, build your career, and retire. However, that was not the case with me. I am a natural-born risk-taker. Growing up, I took many risks and drove my mother crazy! I remember taking a risk by begging my mother to switch me and attend a high school to enroll in their cosmetology program, beginning in my junior high school year. My mother had my plan mapped out, but I did not want to go to the school she had initially planned for me to attend. However, I chickened out and did not enroll in cosmetology – to this day, I still regret it. I’ve always wanted to achieve my dreams. I remember quitting my job just months after signing a lease to an apartment in Downtown Cleveland to my most significant risk, dropping everything and moving to Atlanta. Read more>>

Briana Reid | Supermodel & Writer

For me taking risk is on the same wave as my curiosity. Always wondering what’s on the other side. As I went through college my risk taking and curiosity grew on a much larger spectrum. I discovered the purpose of my life and the happiness I could have with it. During that time of my life I spent more time thinking about the bad things that could happen and less of the great. I was afraid of the possibilities. Risk taking became mandatory once I became aware of it and the benefits behind it. I had come to realize without some sort of risk there would be no progress. The hunger to make my dreams a reality became inflamed. I decided to make the good and bad the fuel to my fire. No matter what happened, my flames were always being fed. Taking risk became a friend of mine. Read more>>

Azjah Fagan | Atlanta Model and Environmentalist

Great question! Instead of saying “risk” I say “courage and faith”. Within the past year, I dedicated myself to having more faith and courage in God. I believe they are essential when working in the modeling industry and life in general. After applying courage and faith to my life/career, I have seen a difference. It has forced me to get out of my comfort zone so I focus on the craft. As a result, it reflects in the work you create because you’re solely focusing on approval within yourself and how you perceive your work. Read more>>

Taryn Anchrum | CEO/A&R/Playlist Curator/Creative

Risks and I have always battled each other. There was a part of myself that once thought risks were terrifying; Staying safe was the only way to stay afloat and free from issues or hardships. I didn’t learn that I needed risks for growth and transcendence until I got to college and I saw my peers doing what they loved broke, doing what loved while taking 18 credit hours, doing what they loved while working two jobs, etc. Hardships were always going to be lingering. Taking risks taught me how to prioritize my time, energy, and effort. I thought that going class was enough. Getting my degree was only one part of the college experience and it took me all of my freshman and part of my sophomore year to learn that. Read more>>

Ebony Jenae | Singer/Songwriter and Actress

I used to be that person that always played it safe. Financially, I made stability and security my top priorities and I miserable as a result. Why? Because in most cases, playing things safe in order to achieve stability and security requires some sort of mundane routine, such as a 9-5, and forces you settle for the bare minimum. In college, I worked 3 jobs while going to school full time. I was on auto pilot. School, work, sleep, repeat. Yes; all of my bills were paid and I wasn’t worried about surviving, but I was exhausted. In reality, I was clocking in to multiple jobs that I hated to maintain a lifestyle I never had a chance to enjoy because the majority of my time was spent at work. In my personal experience, playing it safe always gave me just enough. I never had an abundance of anything. Read more>>

Quinn Xavier Hernandez | Playwright, Director, Dramaturg

Risk is absolutely essential to life in the arts and entertainment industry. “Safe” or “easy” choices are often a matter of staying in your comfort zone; the risky choices––the ones that excite you as much as they make your skin crawl––are often the much more interesting, rewarding, and ultimately necessary options. As I learned from Mike Sablone, the Artistic Director of the Warehouse Theatre in Greenville, South Carolina, the easiest risk to take is to ask for what you want. The worst thing that can happen in that situation is that someone tells you “no.” Sure, a “no” can sting like anything else, but at least you have an answer, which is always better than missing your chance because you were left wondering. Read more>>

Symphony Thompson | Event/OnScreen Host & Content Creator

I think of risk as doors – it’s scary because you don’t know what’s on the other side but still exciting because you have the opportunity to enter into a new room of life. Let me break down my formal…. it takes courage to turn the doorknob, perseverance to push the door open, and faith to walk through the doorway. Now once you’re in, you might as well ride the waves because going back makes no sense right? Right! I mean if I’m being honest, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t take a risk…actually let’s make that plural, risks. The first risk I can remember on this journey was quitting my job, where I was doing very well, picking up my things, and moving to Georgia. I was comfortable, surrounded by great friends, and did I mention I only lived ten minutes from the beach? I mean life was good… from the outside that is. But internally I wasn’t fulfilled so I had to do what I felt was best and I am happy to say that I have turned back since. Read more>>

Prince Carter | The Voice of a Generation

Taking risks is all apart of the journey. It’s what actually make the journey so unique because its truly that of your own. You just can’t possibly expect to see or experience any real type of success without taking a risk. Risks are so necessary in life. For me taking risks is what my entire life have always been about. I’ve failed and I’ve succeeded at some. Risks challenge your growth as a person. That risky idea came to you for a reason, far more greater then you ever can imagine. More importantly I believe that its God’s little message to you that your on the right track. “Now the reality is, sometimes you lose. Your never too good to lose, your never too big to lose, your never too smart to lose. It happens when it needs to happen. You just have to embrace those moments.” – Beyonce I remember the conversation like it was yesterday when I told both of my parents that I was packing up and heading to Atlanta. Read more>>

Cat Carter | Musician, Songwriter & Producer

If there isn’t risk in what you’re doing, then you’re far too comfortable to succeed. When you love your career, you take risks for it, you’ll do anything for it, put anything on the line for it. In my career, I’ve taken many risks. I started producing my own music, which has been quite scary because I never know if I’m good enough. In order to be risky in a smart way, one must overcome fear. That is slowly something I am learning to do, I’m learning to trust myself through the process. Risks are healthy, without struggle we can’t grow stronger. Without struggle, we never learn to trust ourselves. Read more>>

Sylvester Silver III | [AWWS] Videographer & Photographer

I believe that taking risk separates you from your peers, its one if not the most important aspects when it comes to being a creative. there will come a time where you need to make a decision that may benefit you in the long run even though the odds seem stacked against you. Ive been able to become a full time videographer/photographer due to taking risk. Read more>>

HADIBOYYYY | Music Artist & Entrepreneur

I look at risk as taking a leap of faith. Risk are needed to get to the other levels in life anyone( (including myself) needs to get to. The role risk have played in my life is a good one. Every time I take a risk it proves to myself how much I want to make it or my hunger/motivation for what I do. Read more>>

Sali Ouattara | Designer /Business

For Taking a risk is very important in life / career and Business The path to success presents many challenges that can only be met by taking a risk. Risks are scary but staying in your comfort zone and regretting lost opportunities Will not help you It’s the risk you don’t take that can be the major failure in your life. Risk help us to learn even if we lose it’s a new way to learn again . Taking a risk help to open my first shop and see how my brand will goes Taking a risk help me to go out of my country to open a shop Taking a risk help me to open my first shop in America as an immigrant Read more>>

Joanie McElroy | Founder and Producing Artistic Director, Merely Players Presents

Risk sure sounds like a scary word! And often it is! Sometimes it’s just that first step that is the scariest but it sure helps to have a team of talented, knowledge people around you who believe in that risk or in you personally. I have been very lucky that way. For whatever reason, the universe has sent me the right technical people, a kick-ass director of development, a tireless leader in our writing development. When you are surrounded with a great team and leverage their strengths, the risk becomes less scary and more of a reality. Another thing about risk is that often it comes from a place where someone approaches you with an idea and says “hey I was thinking I would like to do XYZ…” and for me, if I am in a place to say “yes I can help you with that” is a real privilege because if you can support someone in their dream the same way someone has supported you, that is a great feeling and opportunity. Read more>>