There is a wealth of academic research that suggests that differences in risk appetite are at the heart of differences in career and business trajectories. We wanted to go beyond the theory and ask real people from the community about their perspectives and experiences with risk and risk taking.

Benkerda Abdelkader Merouane | Photographer & videographer and electornics student

I spend all my life risk to grow that’s is it. Read more>>

Andrea Paniagua | Real Estate Professional

I considered myself a risk-averse person for most of my life. I had a 5-year plan and a 10-year plan since I was in high school. I look at the menu of the restaurant before I go so that I know what I’m going to order. I prepare detailed PowerPoint presentations for every vacation I go on. So taking risks was not what I was known for. But that changed a few years ago when I found myself very unhappy with my career choice. Read more>>

Thomas Martin (TJ) | Actor

From moving down to live here in Atlanta, GA post graduating A&T State University to pursue my acting career is a risk in itself. Here I am, almost 2 years later have the most opportunities happen to me within that time frame that I could ever imagine. Music videos, New York academy award winning short films, to live theatre shows and future bookings. Please to risk, being uncomfortable is what should drive you daily. Read more>>

Savanna Smith | Model, Makeup Artist, Registered Nurse

Perfect examples of risk taking in my life/career that went right: moving to Atlanta, attending my first model agency casting, and deciding to start my own makeup business. My advice is to just do it- take the risks. The worst that can happen is you learn from the experience of it doesn’t go as planned. It is better to know you tried than to always wonder how something might have turned out. Read more>>

Deidra McDowell | Realtor, IT Professional, Entrepreneur

Taking risks has played a significant role in my life. I have taken several risks in my adult life, and if I never stepped out on faith, then I would have missed out on many things. I encourage anyone who is considering taking a risk or leap of faith and just go for it! You can either sink or swim, and if you sink, you can always try again until you get it right. Read more>>

Jae Martin | Visual Manipulator (visual artist)

I think this question is perfect for this time in my life. I honestly have always played it safe when it came to my art career. Unfortunately it took my mom becoming terminally ill for me to decide that life is too short and I need to take a chance on me and my art. Risking the safety net of a consistent pay check for a career that is not 100% consistent is definitely a big risk, but I use to that “being scared” factor as a driving force for continuing to spread love the Jae Martin way. Read more>>

Campbell Harrison | Folk-Americana Musician

I think it’s important to acknowledge that everything is a risk when you get down to it. Whether you’re driving your car, going to the mall, or just sitting on your couch, there’s a calculated risk inherent in the act of living. Read more>>

Semi Beatz | Music Producer

No risk, no reward. life is about taking that risk in life and betting on yourself. not all risks are necessary but when the situation feels right and you know how hard you’ve worked to get to this choice, u gotta take that risk. Read more>>

Raven Thompson | Owner of Bird I Transport/ Community mentor

No Risk, No Reward. It’s a clique statement but one that I find to be true. Without risk I wouldn’t be here today talking about my business and brand. You cannot be afraid to risk it all for a better life. There is nothing to lose when you’re at the bottom and you only have up to go. Read more>>

Tiffany D | Loctician & Educator

I view risks as taking an opportunity to grow, build and enhance your life. Taking risks has played a major role in my life. My business literally wouldn’t exist if I had not taken a risk. I took the risk of leaving my full time teaching career to create my business, Lavish Locs. Read more>>

Dan Matha | Physical & Mental Preparation Coach | Actor | Entrepreneur |

In retrospect all of the things I’ve been interested in and pursued have all been “high risk’. From being a professional football player, a WWE Superstar, Skydiver, Actor, and Entrepreneur, it all would be considered “risky”. Read more>>

HotBoy Spook | Rapper

I think if there is no risk there’s no reward. Risk taking made me who I am. If you don’t take the risk you’ll always wonder “what if” Read more>>

Sam Allen | Executive Pastry Chef & Owner of Wentworth & Fenn

Risk taking is everything when you start a business. Plus, navigating that business after you’ve started it. Read more>>

Dempsey Bolton | Artist / Producer

The way I see it, my whole career has kind of been defined by risk; I started producing music when I was in school studying Astrophysics and the University of Alberta. By the end of my degree I realized that I needed to pursue a career in music if I wanted to be happy. Read more>>

Maurice Porcher | Writer, Filmmaker, Series host, Globetrotting Poet.

I think about risk the same way I think about eating food. It is an essential part of my life, therefore I have to take risks in order to grow and succeed in anything I set my sights on. Risk taking has had a profound impact on my life. Read more>>

Qate & Mike Bean & Butler | Puppetry & Magic

Every Bean&Bear Show has been a delightful risk. There has to be risk for growth and discovery. As a performance duo we began based in improv, which is all risk. None of our shows have ever been scripted, and we’ve done a lot of shows. There’s been lots of “this could be fun” sometimes to a self indulgent degree. Read more>>

Maat Petrova | Feminine Holistic Coach

To grow in business or life risk must be taken. Eat makes a risk chancy is the unpredictability of it. However, if you want to expand or scale your business there’s going to be uncharted territory that which requires a leap of faith to get to the next level. Risk are how I grew my 7 figure Brand organically in 4 years. There’s no higher plateau of success with it. Read more>>

DJ Dem Ones | Artist DJ & Creative Director

Risk taking has played a big role in my life & career. I had never DJ’d a day in my life before saying yes to becoming an artist DJ. I wasn’t performing in front of large crowds and to be honest i wasn’t even sure what DJing for an artist really meant in the grand scheme of things. Read more>>

William Johnston | Executive Director

Oh one of my mantras is that you don’t have to be an expert to create change. I live by this because I do want to see a better world and when I hit a point in my life nine years ago where I followed what society told me to go get and be and then realizing one day I was so dissatisfied and disconnected from who I was that it was time for a change. Read more>>

Autumn Scott | Chef

Risk is inevitable. Everyday you wake up, you risk the chance of failure or success. I believe it is the “unknown” that creates fear and anxieties. However, I’ve changed my perspective to embrace the fun and joy in taking risks. As a business owner, taking risk is required for success and I’ve developed the essentials to have discernment in taking risk. Read more>>

Jay “Art God” Coreano | Creative Director, Art Instructor, Muralist

I’ve always embraced risk taking with open arms. There’s nothing wrong with being GOOD. But if you want to be GREAT, you have to take risks. From an artist’s perspective, my life is based on a risk I took after graduating high school. I could’ve stayed in college and eventually pursued a career in business/marketing, but I decided to leave that behind and chase my dreams to become an artist. Read more>>