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.

Elise Akin | Chief Donut at Bake and Skate

I like risky moves, especially in my business, because it shows that there’s something worth risking. We hear all the time that “being an entrepreneur is so risky”, but I think it’s quite the opposite: I think putting my career in the hands of someone else is so much riskier. I would never fire myself, and I have the freedom to change my trajectory any time I want. Especially during this whole pandemic shenanigan, it has made me realize how thankful I am to run my own business where I’M in control. Yes, there’s not a set salary with my business, there’s not a definite number of orders I’ll receive, there’s not a guarantee that people will want to order longboards at any given season, but I know this is what I want to do, and I absolutely love waking up each day and risking it. Read more>>

Nancy Joy Dozier | Speaker / Author / Personal Pastor

I equate risk to faith, they are synonymous in my world. I have come to understand that there is nothing worth having that won’t require I qualify for it by engaging in risk taking. My life and my journey as an entrepreneur is hallmarked by turning point moments that can only be described as faith in action. As a CEO, I believe that what I do as a Life Coach, Speaker, Author and Personal Pastor is God’s work. I believe that I was created for this. With that in mind, I know that God is obligated to fulfill His purpose in my life. He’s going to sit me at the right tables, connect me with the right people, and open wide the gates of opportunity. But what I am responsible for doing requires risk. It demands that I activate faith like Noah who built an ark, which had never been done, to anticipate something that the earth had never seen before; rain. Read more>>

Mary Campbell | Small Business Owner

I think risk is essential to growth. You cannot be afraid of failing if you want to achieve any kind of success. I’m an analytical person by nature and can obsess over an idea, a decision to be made, or a direction to take…but the freedom comes in taking the leap. It is both exhilarating and terrifying but that is what keeps things exciting and the more you take those leaps, the more you learn to trust yourself. As with anything in life, you cannot get stuck in the success or failure of an endeavor, you have to learn the lesson of the experience and move on to the next thing. Read more>>

Steve Nygren | Founder of Serenbe

I think risk-taking is vital to accomplishing any goal or dream, no matter what career path you’re on. When I first envisioned Serenbe as a new model of how to live, to develop with the environment rather than against it, I had a deep background in hospitality and was a very naive developer, so most people thought I was completely crazy. Because of my naivety I did not accept the rut practices that had settled into the residential development community over the past decades. If I had not ask the hard questions of why, Serenbe wouldn’t be the global model it is today – with over 30+ retail businesses, 4 restaurants, wellness services and over 750 residents and growing clustered on 30% of the land with easy access to the green space. We are a global model of how to build communities that sets people first; our values are to connect those people to nature and each other. Read more>>

Lee Herron Salter | Wife, Mom, Creative Strategist

When it comes to risk there’s a special group of people that understand that where there is no risk there is no growth. There’s a well-known quote that says something like ‘nothing grows in your comfort zone’ and it is so true. Unfortunately a lot of us have been raised to “play it safe” or “seek comfort”, but not realizing how nothing extraordinary happens playing it safe or seeking comfort. There are plenty of people that have dreams that they don’t have the actual faith to believe they can accomplish it. Risk is where the magic happens. The role taking risks played in my life and my career has been being a major confidence booster, especially during this time of quarantine and pandemic. This is a very unique time we have never seen before, yet so many have increased creatively and have grown in the things they have desired to pursue. Read more>>

Patrick Walker | Actor, Director, Writer

Risk has been one of the most important parts of my career! From my first major risk of leading my family moving from Jacksonville,Fl to Atlanta to pursue Acting, financial risks in spending the last $80 in my bank account to go and audition for POWER (and book the role), to the best risk and moving to Los Angeles to continue to pursue this dream! I am a firm believer in God so to me it is less risk, but more faith. Faith requires you to go places you’ve never gone and that is where true creativity and liberation lies in uncharted territory. It’s a testament to how much you believe in what you were created to do. Read more>>

Eric Bayliss | Chiropractor

With any great risk comes an ever greater reward. I truly think its impossible for me to fail at what I do. I care too much. I was fortunate to receive the knowledge and expertise needed to get started with Chiropractic. The level of vision I have for my personal life vision i have of serving our community is a recipe for success. We are 2.5 years into practice. By the 2 year marker our practice became larger than I ever thought it would be. In summary risk is great when you are holding the cards and truly believe you can win. Read more>>

Sean Fahie | Graphic Designer | Artist | Author

Risk taking is a double edge sword. You know you want to win and you know you might lose, and time only reveals the outcome. To answer your question, most of my art career has been based on risk taking (anything about a creative lifestyle is risk taking in general. But that is just life). And more honestly, I’ve been blessed with a different circle of friends. They are some of the best creatives I know. Read more>>

G. M. Lupo | Author and award-winning playwright

As has been said by others, with great risk can come great rewards. No one benefits by remaining in the comfort zone, always sticking to the tried and true. Sometimes one must jump in with both feet and see where the course leads. In my own life, I’ve never shied away from trying something new and different, despite the risk. Perhaps the best example of this was when I decided to move away from my hometown for the first time to pursue a Masters degree at New York University in 1989. I had no friends or contacts in town beyond the professors and administrators with whom I interacted and no idea where I’d live and no job prospects. NYU is an expensive private university well beyond my means, and New York can be a very unforgiving city for someone just getting started there. Read more>>

Hannah Dovnik | Co-Founder of Rutilant Productions

I have always been a risk taker, One of the biggest I’ve taken was packing my bags, moving 1,000 miles away, and without knowing anyone in the state of Georgia, I went to film school. That among many other calculated risks have always been worth the reward. This has led me to start my own production company, Rutilant Productions, with a couple friends of mine from film school. Is starting a production company during a pandemic while the film industry is shut down a risk? Yes. Will it be worth it? Absolutely. Read more>>

Deanna Sirlin | artist

The life and process of being an artist is foremost about risk; without risk, without leaping into the void, there is no art. Read more>>

Sue Snape | Chef Educator

If you ask me what my definition of RISK is, I will say it is the possibility that you may lose something or have to give something up with the potential of getting something better in return. More often, though, I think the word RISK has a negative connotation. There is uncertainty and a percentage of “danger” involved. I think about RISK in terms of a see-saw. If I can stand to lose whatever those things are that may be lost, then there is only positive to gain from the RISK. I took a huge RISK when I quit my first creative career of 16 years to attend Culinary School. That doesn’t seem that risky in itself, but when I tell you I was working full time with health benefits and my husband was a stay-at-home-dad at the time to our two young children, the amount of RISK seems much more “dangerous”, doesn’t it? But I quit my job that was no longer bringing me joy and walked away. There was a great potential for many negative things to happen. Read more>>

Darryl Padgett | Owner Of Atlanta’s Lit Ass Wings & Trap Wong Festival Creator

I really at a point where I’m so confident in what I do, I don’t think about the risk. So I’m comfortable with funding everything I do out of my personal pocket. Last year I took a risk with starting Trap Wing Festival, a mini Wing Festival/Day Party event that showcases some of our popular wing flavors while sticking to a Trap Music Theme. I think we had maybe 75 people come out but the feed back was amazing. Now we’re traveling all around the country doing Trap Wing Festival Events and every city has been a sold out event. Read more>>