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.

Sucoyia Love: Fashion Entrepreneur & Digital Content Creator

Nothing rewarding in life comes without risk, and my success is largely due to the risks I have taken throughout my career. I watched family and friends sacrifice their dreams simply because they were too scared to fail. In hindsight, I also had a safety net; I was a military wife who sacrificed my dreams for a comfortable lifestyle. For years, I felt like I would never be able to reach my dream to truly eat, live and breathe fashion because my husband and I were uprooted every few months at the military’s beck & call. Leaving the military meant that I would either need to divorce my husband or convince him to leave. That meant risking my comfortable lifestyle and even possibly becoming a single mother raising a newborn alone! Yet, I realized that I needed to do something drastic in order to achieve my dream to become a successful business owner and fashion blogger. Read more>>

Kimberly Tickle: Photographer

Taking risk will always be frightening but it’s necessary in order to reach different levels in your career. Last year, I took a huge risk by moving from Illinois to Georgia. Although my photography career was doing very well in Illinois, I knew the level that I was reaching for in my career, I wasn’t going to get to by staying there. So, I chose to leave my clientele and relocate to Georgia. I wanted to rebuild my clientele in beauty and high fashion so that I could eventually enter the beauty industry. This was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. My entire life was spent in Illinois but I knew in order to accomplish what I wanted in life, I had to take risk. Read more>>

Kerry Minter: Barber/Artist/Model/Writer/Actor

I don’t look at it as risk, I look at it as goals that has to get done! No matter how big it’s got to get done. One of the things that happens internally is if the goal is not done I feel like I let myself down and the desire to accomplish the goal never goes away. It stays there until I complete it then I feel the weight on my shoulders lift! So not risks but goals. Read more>>

Matthew Hayes: Identity Coach

I am originally from California and moved across the country to the east coast with my Mom as I was going from 7th to 8th grade. It’s the first week at my new school and as I’m getting off the school bus, an awkward teen who’d just been transplanted to a strange new world, a girl named Jasmine stopped me in my tracks. I was walking from the parking lot to the school where she was already standing. She stood directly in front of me, blocking the entrance, looked me up and down and said: “You’re different.” Her statement immediately made me start questioning everything because up to that point- I didn’t really consider myself ‘different’. In fact, I didn’t really consider myself anything. I was just being a kid. However, at that moment, this random middle schooler had shifted my entire life trajectory by making me stop, think, and make a decision on who I was going to be from that point forward. Read more>>

Jacob Beverly: Casting Director, Modeling Coach, Creative Director, Actor, Model, & Host

I think of risk as a MUST. It is something you must do in order to be the greater version of yourself. “If you don’t take a chance, you never had a chance. ”Risk taking is mandatory in my life. I ended up here in Atlanta because I didn’t wait on anyone, I simply took the risk. It was simple, not easy. There is a BIG difference. I also took the risk of quitting my 9-5 to pursue what I love to do in live which is becoming an actor. “Risk takers, take risk!” Read more>>


Some people hesitate to go after what they want because it leaves them vulnerable and exposed to hurt, disappointment, and even ridicule. You will likely find that you care less about what people think and about what could go wrong, which is a powerful shift in thinking. Even if you fall flat on your face, taking a risk is beneficial. From that, you’ll either get it right or it will give you the tools to regroup and try a different approach the next time. Read more>>

Natalie Sykes: Natalie J The Model

I think it’s important to take risks sometimes. We often hold back on big life decisions and career changes due to fear of failure, but fear is a road block that we must pass in order to continue towards success. Read more>>

&M’s Comfort Zone Megan & Amanda Brock: Comfort Food Restaurant in East Atlanta, Georgia

It’s ironic that our name is M&M’s Comfort Zone, when we’ve been pushed outside our comfort zone since we started this business. The decision to launch a pop-up to sell food and then advance to going full-time in the restaurant industry came from answering the simple question: “if not now, when?” Someone once said you miss 100 % of the shots you don’t take. If we’re too fearful (and actually call this being “careful”), we’ll grow older with dreams that grow wild in our imaginations. We daily take a risk to open the business and operate knowing we’re understaffed but we’re committed to continuing to make our imaginations our reality. Many people have lost everything in this last year–businesses that were much older and larger are gone now. We see the reports and closed buildings and chose to try again every day. Read more>>

Ydrate Nelson Nelson: Motivational Speaker, Education Consultant, Greatness Life Coach

Over the last decade I have worked in the education field. From University of Phoenix, to Grand Canyon University to a high school teacher and football coach. I have been compensated for my time and appreciate each opportunity as they all created stability and comfort for my family. However I felt there was more for me and my family to accomplish in the education space so I took a huge risk and as of the end of May, I will be working full time as an entrepreneurs servicing the education industry. This is a huge risk walking way from a stable job to pursue my dreams but I feel like it is now or never. Read more>>

Justina Olatunde Davis: Founder & CEO

Risk is such a loaded word. It almost immediately makes you think of what you might lose or have to give up to win or be successful. But at its core, the risk is about betting on yourself and your ability and capacity to see a goal through all the way. As entrepreneurs, we face tons of setbacks. You get started, so sure and confident your new idea or new approach is the answer. But, pretty quickly, you get knocked into reality by a customer or the multiple adjustments you have to make as you navigate your way to product-market fit. I believe in taking risks. I’m always curious to see where my idea can go and explore how the strategies I develop with my team will work or need to be adjusted. It’s fun and crazy but rewarding because if the plan works, you achieve the goals or success you’re searching for, and if it does not work, you learn the lesson and prepare for the next step or new strategy adjustment. You can’t lose if you keep trying and decide never to give up. So taking a risk or rather betting on myself has been my road map to success. Read more>>

Anthony Whiting: Published Event Photographer

When I think about risk, the first thing that comes to mind is emotions. How I feel usually dictates my decision-making. Especially when I know there’s a major risk at stake. If I’m in a positive state of mind or feeling optimistic, I’m going to speak life into the idea of that risk being the best decision I could make. On the flip side, in a mental state full of fear, there’s no way anyone could convince me to take that risk. When it comes to my personal life and career, I know for sure that I wouldn’t be where I am today without rolling the dice. More often than not, you find out after the fact that what you may have feared before taking a risk is all a facade. There were several times where I was unsatisfied with where I was in life but fear of failing held me back from elevating. It’s very important to listen to your intuition when taking risks. Read more>>

Isaiah Dorty: Wardrobe Stylist & Creative Director

Taking risks is what got me where I am today. Being comfortable doesn’t push growth but stepping outside your comfort zone and taking risks is what is going to teach you new things and give you new experiences to grow from. Read more>>

Amirah Ibrahim: Freelance Photographer, Creative Director, & Video Editor

I believe in the saying, “YOLO”. We all will eventually die, as negative as that sounds, it is the reality so you might as well live a life doing the things you love. I’ve always tried to go above and beyond in everything I put my mind to whether that be in or outside of school. Taking risks has always been a part of my life since a young age. Not a lot of people know this, but I spent my freshman year of high school living in Egypt with no friends or family. I went to Egypt to learn Arabic and take time off my studies before being assigned tons of classwork. I created my business at the age of 16 with no knowledge of how to run a business, informing others, how to meet potential clients, etc yet I decided to create it because of my love for photography. All I knew is I could create something big if I start now and that’s exactly what I did. Read more>>

Donnica Martin: CEO of Kingston Bay, Fashion Reseller & Entrepreneur

Ironically, I never considered myself to be a risk taker. I played it safe for the majority of my life. I went to college, got my bachelor’s degree, and worked in the education field for 11 years. I felt like I was content with my life, but deep down, I wasn’t happy and I felt extremely stagnant in my career and life. It wasn’t until the pandemic happened, in 2020, that I was forced to sit still at home and truly reflect on my life and where it was going. I had always consumed myself with work, that I was too busy to do some real soul searching and reflection for myself. It was then that I knew that I definitely needed to make a change. Unfortunately, reality hit me when I was forced to resign from teaching because I refused to do in person learning during the pandemic. Taking a risk in my career and life came much sooner than I expected. Read more>>

Tiffanie Smith: Business Owner

Risk taking has played a major role in the path of my life and overall career! A lot of individuals are afraid of taking risks for many reasons. However I feel risk taking is imperative if you want to fulfill your full true potential in life. I am a great example. July of last year was when I decided to take a leap of faith and start my marketing business – Tiffanie Mishelle & Co, LLC. Before then, I was working in the corporate world in the marketing field. I was not happy, felt like I was settling, living check to check along with getting passed over for a promotion. I moved on to what I thought was a “higher” position at another company until the pandemic hit, where I was then laid off and unemployed. During this time, the thought of launching a business entered my mind. It was something I had always wanted to do but was a huge “risk,” which is why it remained an idea. I decided to take that risk and ultimately it doing so has lead me to my success now. Your dreams are never too far away if you go after them. Read more>>

Bryce McAllister: Designer & Artist

I believe at least some amount of risk is intrinsic to anyone’s success in anything that they do . In my career, risk taking has proved fruitful plenty of times. A big moment in my career was when I was able to get a rapper Lil Keed in a jacket I made for him. There was risk in that it wasn’t guaranteed that I’d be able to give it to him, that it would fit him, that he would like it etc, but I did it anyway. It took me about two months in total to complete it fully because the time of the concert I met him at got pushed back, thankfully. I went backstage with a good friend of mine Zion who was on the media team, and met up with Keed that way. The risk was worth the reward in that he liked it and said he’d wear it in a music video (haven’t seen the video yet though lol), it was excellent promo for my personal brand having a celebrity with my clothing, and it shed light on the potential of what I’m capable of. Read more>>

Mila Symone: Fashion Designer

Risk taking is something I recommend for everyone to do if you feel it can lead to something bigger and better. Risk taking played a major role in my career in 2020 when I thought to go to NYC all by myself for NYFW. It turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. I was scared but I knew I would not regret taking that risk. All the early mornings and late nights that week working with Kim Shui paid off when I got to see all the models in designs walking on the runway. Read more>>

Sam Delos Reyes: Content Creator, Photographer, and Art Director

I think in a way, all of us who have chosen creative careers are risk-takers by nature. Risk taking is an essential part of survival for people who, like me, feel the need to break generational cycles of living up to the status-quo. I took a risk deciding to stay in Atlanta to plant my roots after dropping out of undergrad. I took risks to attend portfolio school the first year of my marriage (thank you Bryan). I took risks to explore what was an emerging industry (content creation) while in school, forging my own path somewhere between photography and art direction. And I take risks every day as a creative professional by putting my work out there as my authentic self, knowing full well that I’m not everyone’s cup of tea or shot of whiskey. Read more>>

Tricia Cardoso: Victim Advocate & Business Owner

When I decided to start Crowned Rentals, I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter, Ava. I had so many ideas while being home but didn’t know how to start especially in the middle of a pandemic. My daughter is now 6 months and looking back, I am so happy that I took that leap of faith. For some reason, I was excited for the new beginnings. I was getting ready to become a new mom and business owner. I wasn’t sure how I was going to balance it all while still working a 9-5 but I felt extremely optimistic. Luckily, my 9-5 decided to go temporarily remotely in March 2020, so I was able to be at home until March 2021, while we slowly transitioned back in the office for a few days a week. I migrated to the USA at the age of 9 from the Cape Verde Islands with my mother and sisters. We didn’t have much but I saw my mother work multiple jobs including overnight shifts to make sure we had everything we “needed”. Read more>>

Kyns (Marie Jenkins): Artist, Producer, & Songwriter

I always enjoy talking to people about this because most of my life has been a constant battle between wanting to feel super safe and comfortable in my routines, but also wanting to live a full life. I am such a creature of habit, always have been, and I have always liked maintaining a sense of control. And control leaves no room for risk taking. But now, I’d argue to say “control” is an illusion. We don’t really, truly have control over much at all. Rather, “maintaining control” has just been the story I’ve been telling myself to keep myself from feeling uncomfortable. I heard someone say that “you can never achieve something you’ve never had without doing things you’ve never done.” And once I realized this, once I realized I had spent all my time and energy my whole life just trying to avoid feeling uncomfortable, I decided to take that time and energy and put it into something I’m passionate about instead. Read more>>

Samantha Jackson: Author, Writer, business and career coach and public speaker

If there is no risk their is no success. I can admit that I have failed in several businesses before I found success. I have done so many trial business and realized they failed because I was surprise to help people and not just focus on what I was destined to do. I decided being a writer and a life coach was what I was surprise to do and that’s when success came along. When you walk into your destiny then you walk into success. Read more>>

Tamika Adams: Social Worker and Craftswoman

I think that taking risks (beneficial risks) are a very important part of one’e personal life as well as one’s business life. Without risks how would one know their full potential? As a small business owner, I’ve taken many, many, many risks… I’ve definitely taken many financial risks! I’ve purchased supplies when my creative genes kicked in, not knowing if my products would appeal to the public. I’ve won and I’ve lost… I’ve learned not to focus so much on my losses because my losses have produced patience, knowledge, and perseverance. One thing about me is that I will continue to take risks, create and invest in my business. I am a firm believer that if you do good then good will come to you. I do not stress over taking risks because I know that, in the end, my return will be greater than my risks! Read more>>

Phil Colvin: Tattoo artist, shop owner

If you don’t take a risk, how will you ever know if it was worth it? If I took no risks, I would not be where I am now. Read more>>

Waissa Lawson: Artist & Educator

Life is full of risks and gambles but the rewards are what we seek. Life is uncertainty so risk is living. For me life is all about constant change and our adaptability. I focus on making every move better than my last move so I can create the future I envision. In business, love, and life we are only gifted with the 20/20 hindsight so we must never stop grinding and pushing forward. If you’re going to bet on someone bet on yourself. If you’re going to make money for someone make it for yourself. Often people quit before they start. There is a fear of failure or embarrassment but if you move afraid you will never get the results you want. One of my favorite quotes from George Addair states: “Everything you’ve ever wanted is sitting on the other side of fear.” To get what you want, you just need to get past your fear. There are no big rewards without first taking big risks. We often regret the things we don’t say or do. So die with memories and not regrets. Read more>>

TaNikka Bradley: Crafter / Glitter and Craft Supply Retailer

Historically, I’ve never really been a risk taker. I approach situations and opportunities with caution, reading, studying, and researching almost to a fault. I’d like to blame anxiety, but I can talk myself out of taking any chances that are outside my comfort zone. I’ve always erred on the side of logic- if it didn’t make sense after my extensive (read: super intensive way overdone) research, then I run like the wind. Even in times where I thought I was “jumping”, I wasn’t fully leaping because I had to have a net. Then, one day a couple of years ago, my uncle and I were having a random conversation where he said something that replayed in my head constantly. He said, “You know, sometimes, you can’t wait for all the stars to align and everything to be perfectly lined up. Sometimes, you just have to jump.” Read more>>

Thomas Campbell: Architectural Designer

I think taking risk is a necessity in life to achieve your goals personally or professionally. Its not always easy to do, and sometimes you have to learn the hard way, but I have found by risk taking, the reward is usually always worth it. I have also found that by risk taking you are able to gain knowledge through experience, which is priceless. Taking risks has played a huge role throughout my education and career. Without taking risk, it would have never been possible to start my own business or get to where I am today. From approaching early job interviews differently to getting a foot in the door to taking an unusual design approach for a project, I have always been willing to take a risk. I would encourage anyone in there career to take a risk on what believe in and they wont regret it. Read more>>

Steve Iverson: Owner, CultTVman’s Hobbyshop

If you don’t take risks, you never have a chance to improve, do better, achieve more, and experience greater success. Whether it is a career move, personal growth, or starting a business, you start with risk. You have to choose to stay in your normal routine, or try something that will open the door to new opportunities in life. Every risk I have embraced in life has brought rewards. I’ve left my home town and moved across country for a new job opportunity. I’ve switched careers at the same time we were raising a family. I committed to growing and expanding my business at a time when my successful position at a large corporation was eliminated. But you don’t take risks without understanding what you could gain or loose. Know all the possible outcomes and make contingency plans. Don’t risk more than you can afford to lose. Nothing in life is a sure thing and life has a way disrupting your best plans. Know your challenges. Ask questions, Embrace mentors. These things will help minimize risk and create a level of support for all your life decisions. Read more>>

Jacobie D. Kelsey: Owner and Head Baker of Jacobie’s Bread Basket

How / What do I think about risk ….mmm, coming from someone who likes to play it safe 😊 I think risk taking is good, the more you take them, the more you discover who you are and unlock the potential that is within. When people hear the term Risk sometimes there’s a sense of fear attached to but I would like to think of Risk as endless possibilities. Since launching my business in July of 2020, I’ve been blessed with opportunities and connections that is putting on the path to greatness in every are of my life and career. Taking risk has allowed me to grow, learn and make mistakes …repeat.😊 “ Life is inherently risky, there is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is of doing nothing” -Denis Waitley. Read more>>

Jared Saavedra: Athlete Advocate & Entrepreneur

You must take calculated risks. No one does anything great by taking the safe route. When we open a business, we all risk. We risk financially, but we also risk losing our more precious commodity, our time, into something that is unknown. Risk, however, is a necessity in the formula of success. I’ve risked a lot of money, but if I didn’t have skin in the game, it may not have turned out like this. Read more>>

Adrian Rentz: Chef & Caterer

Some people say there are calculated risks and uncalculated risks. I feel a risk is a risk. You will never know the measure of your success unless there are some risks involved. I made a lot of decisions where I’ve could have lost, and with some of those decisions I did. However, if I did not take certain risks and make certain decisions, I would not be as far in my career as I am today. Read more>>

Amira Bryant: TWERKTASTIC Radio Host (Fleet DJ Host) & Engineer

I think risks force you to “grow up” and learn more about you and the world around you. A reminder, my show, The AMIRA Show! focuses on the empowerment of women, the LGBT+ community, sex and sex work. Also featuring a music segment titled, “TWERK TIME!”. Through through my goal is to bring representation to these identities and groups. With my show specifically, it was definitely something different from what I was going to school for, but I also wanted to create something that I was living instead of just conversing about on my episodes. With this, I’ve explored more of me and learned more of who I am and what I want to be, and that’s an openly sexual, bisexual/demisexual/Poly woman. And I present this visually (nudes, Only Fans, only interviewing women and members of the LGBT+ community, sex-positive content, etc.). Read more>>

Shauna Galligan: Stuntwoman

I believe risk taking is the first step to the higher phase of possibilities. My friend told me once when I was at the crossroads. Do I stick with my same career where I am safe or do I take a risk by moving to attempt my dream career that would be impossible to most people. He said, ” You have to go somewhere to get somewhere.” You can’t get anywhere with where you are. You have to take that chance. I took the risk, left my life as I new it and became a stuntwoman when my family said that it would be too big of a reach. I have worked on some of the biggest movies in the world and 12 years later I am stunt coordinating designing action for movies. All because I took a chance, I risked everything for that opportunity. I made it happen when opportunity knocked. When that door opens, you better be running through that open door because it may never open again. Read more>>

Sirdarius Rashod: Deputy B

Risks are something that is very necessary to become successful. But to me risk has some what of a negative approach. Instead of saying risk, I say taking a leap of faith. If you want to change your circumstance, if you want to change your living situation, or your career path, you have to learn how to take a leap of faith. You will never know if something will work until you try. Sometimes all it takes is to take a leap of faith. Trust in your abilities, in your talent, in your inner self and gifts and just go for it. It’s not going to be easy but it will be worth it in the end. When I decided to take a leap of faith and bet on myself, I was able to accomplish a lot that I never knew I could. I met so many celebrities, so many athletes, and people who inspired me while growing up all because I took a leap of faith. I trusted in God, trusted myself and my abilities, and trusted the process. Read more>>

Chris cCoates: vVisual Artist

I have, honestly, spent most of my adult life not taking many crazy risks. I’m pretty conservative when it comes to things like that. I, mean, i have definitely lived a life with not many regrets, but I also have tired to be a bit more responsible. I hear people say “You only live once” as some sort of justification for ruining that one life you get. With that said, I am currently stepping out and doing this really crazy thing. I am working on a pretty big art project that will be completed soon. A space for artists to create art while surrounded by art. A kind of gallery-slash-studio space for visual artists. it has taken a lot of my time and money during 2020. Read more>>

Luv Hankins: Community Leader & Pioneer of CLTRE. vgn jnt

Risk taking is vital to success, I feel. Every decision to elevate involves some sort of investment, whether it’s time, money, emotions, personal sacrifice, or the like. Risks have been a huge asset to my success. I’ve learned lessons beyond any school or book could ever give me. I’ve assessed and re-assessed in order to take new risks and gain more reward. Without risks, I may have not been able to accomplish the same level of insight and discernment about new opportunities that come my way. Take risks! Read more>>

Katherine Luzny: Photographer / Creator

I cannot stress enough about taking risks. You never know your true potential until the opportunity comes your way. 2020 definitely brought me a curve ball of not being able to book photo shoots and meet with clients. I had to shift gears to survive being furloughed from bartending as well. Started an Etsy shop to sell hand made masks, hot sauce and embroidery art! It’s in my nature to be creative and open to new things. Made well over 400 masks to sell in the 3 months at home. Having the time on my hands I would binge true crime podcast and sew to my hearts content. It was a good feeling to know I was helping someone some where protect themselves. Later in the spring I planted a hot pepper garden for my birthday. Had everything from Habanero, Ghost, Serrano and more.
Turn the fruits of my labor into hot sauce, meat rubs and canned. Think I had around 40 plants at one point! I really enjoy cooking at a hobby and it was fun to have friends and family try the creations. I eventually branded the sauce to Kat Got Your Tongue. A great friend of mine, Keith P Rein, made a labels for the bottles. Read more>>

Ilana Wayne: Creative Designer and Marketing Coordinator

Risk taking is crucial. I don’t like that “risk” is something we’ve labeled as negative. Taking risks is beautiful. It’s where you learn the most about yourself. We cannot expect to grow while remaining in our comfort zone. Growing is supposed to be uncomfortable and so is making mistakes, or even failing; it is the only way to change your perspective, and in turn, change your outcome. I was lucky enough to be raised by two amazing risk takers. My parents are both engineers and have built their careers on the mentality of taking the path less traveled. My dad was the first to receive a PhD in Geosynthetics. He saw an opportunity in a growing field and took a huge risk by choosing to specialize in a subject that no one had specialized in before. My mom is strong and passionate and had dreams beyond the traditional corporate engineering world. So she took a huge risk, with very little financial backing, and decided to start her own inspection company. She wanted to work for herself and was willing to do whatever it took. Her business grew to be very successful, and I see that as a direct result of the risk she took and the passion and motivation she had to make it work. Read more>>

Chiquita Zachery: Skincare

I believe that taking risk leads to success. Every person that has a success story speak about the risk they took for their business to succeed. Starting a skincare line in the middle of a pandemic was a big risk. Working in the airline industry that was hit hard during the pandemic scared me and forced me to bet on myself. I felt I was worth taking the risk and I’m happy I did! It forced me to test my limits and go beyond what I believed was possible. If you never take risks, you will never achieve your dreams. Read more>>

Sierra Blake: Writer | Photographer | Filmmaker

Risk taking is necessary to be successful. When I’m taking risk, I am scared; I am in an anxiety-filled state, because there are many uncertainties when I am entering new business deals or making moves in my personal life, but I choose to move forward despite the odds. I challenge myself not to ever become complacent. When I feel like I am in a dry state and I could be doing more, that’s when I have to shake things up a bit for myself. The risk taking process does not feel good, but I come out better every time. Risk taking is a huge part of my life and career. Again, I do not ever want to risk becoming complacent in my personal life or career. So, I am always finding ways to be better every day. Read more>>