By far, the topic that comes up most in our conversations with entrepreneurs and creatives is risk. We’ve had conversations about risks that worked out and risks that did not. We’ve seen eyes light eye sharing about career-trajectory changing risks as well as folks sigh about the risks they wish they had taken. Below, we’ve selected and shared some of those thoughtful conversations.

Sean “Smitty” Smith | Talent Booking Agent

Nothing great will come as a entrepreneur without risk. Its like the Micheal Jordan quote ” I’ve failed over and over and over in life and that’s why I SUCCEED. Read more>>

Temika Brackins | Hair Loss Practitioner & Educator

I am so glad you asked! I am more of a Faith taker, believing in the things that are unseen is definitely a risk to me. My entire career and life has been to take risk and those risk has been successful. In 2019, I took a risk and shut all of my businesses down to relocate to Georgia. I moved to Georgia from Wisconsin with no family, no friends, no clients and went from Over Looked to Over Booked in 90 days. I would definitely encourage others to take risk if you have enough faith your risk will be well worth it in the end! Read more>>

Alex and Noemy Contreras (Alex) Alcauter (Noemy) | Marketing & Instructional Designers

We believe that with no risks, there’s no winning. When we first started several years ago, we didn’t have the resources we have now but were driven to help other small businesses within the community to get their product the attention they deserve. The more we helped others, the more we thought of leaving our nine-to-fives, to pursue our dream-having our own marketing agency. But taking the risk was definitely not an easy decision. After some time, we decided to take a leap of faith to make this project a full-time job and we haven’t looked back since. Read more>>

BFS Richie | Rapper/Professional Writer

Im a firm believer in you get what you give and taking a risk is usually the difference between success and failure. I have no fear of failure , in life is all about trial and error. Especially as a musician, I have to be willing to embrace the idea of taking risk, its the only way to experiment with newer sounds and different style. Read more>>

Jamila Surles-Walker | Serial Business Owner, Marketing and Media Strategist

I think that is important to take risk because you are not aware of your potential until you do things outside of your comfort zone. Me personally, I have struggled with public speaking but I chose to step out and become a media personality because of my awareness of the benefits that small and minority owned businesses gain when we can highlight their stories in the media. I also decided to start a delivery business, EpicFabulosity, for hair and beauty products because I knew that it could provide a way for the disabled community or those who lack transportation to maintain their self-care needs and provide convenience to those who need their products the same-day. As a result, we have seen growth in both of these endeavors because they fulfill the marketing needs for the companies that we service and partner with. Everybody wins in the situation and it truly makes me happy to know that we can be involved in such a positive way. Read more>>

Nakita Manigault | Braider & Hair Care Line owner

Risk taking is equivalent to character building. I would like to say that I’ve always been a risk taker. After fighting through my undergraduate studies and turning a 4 year college matriculation into an almost 8 year journey to becoming an educator (my life long dream), I made the ultimate decision to resign from my teaching position. It was a risk that no one could understand, and one I didn’t really care to explain or justify. I resigned with no job lined up and had no idea that that decision would have me in the happiest and most successful place in my life 3 years later. Read more>>

Mark Gasparro | Realtor®

In my experience, all of the most impactful life events I have tackled have involved a fair amount of risk. From moving to France right out of school in England when I was barely 21, to embark on a new life, new career in Real Estate, in a country where I did not speak the language, to starting all over again here in America a couple of years ago after getting married to an Atlanta resident. I find that most decisions we make involve some element of risk, but rather than avoid risk, the key is to anticipate it, prepare for it, and embrace it. I also find that the older I get my approach to managing risk has evolved. The carefree nature of my decision making when I first moved to France has been replaced with a more methodical approach, but I remain eager to move through risk and not let it keep me from embarking on the things I want to accomplish. Read more>>

Casey Krevinghaus | Entertainer

On the other side of uncertainty is opportunity. Actively choosing to not work a 9-5 has been a very rewarding experience for both me and my husband Levi. The idea that I would not have a promised paycheck at a certain time was scary to think about. Then I started to evaluate how I was spending my time. I was using my talents and resources for someone else’s business and success. And— they were very successful. Why couldn’t I take the talent and resources I was freely giving to someone else’s team, and put it back into my home team instead? Then I realized I could! When I reframed my focus, and gave myself a chance, opportunities became so abundant for us, and momentum has not let down. My husband has been paramount in encouraging this freeing and inspiring frame of mind and cultivating these opportunities. Taking this risk has allowed our success to flourish, and enable our passions to grow more than we could have imagined. Read more>>

Stony Sos | Rapstar

I believe risk taking is a must in order to get to where you want to be. Theres always a sacrifice for a major gain so i believe in taking risks because you never know what can come from it. Not all risks are a loss. Read more>>

THOMAS WILLIAMS | Professional Artist

I’ve never had a fear factor because failure is a part of success. I wasn’t moving art a the pace I thought I should in Chicago so, I decide to do shows on the road. This is risky because you have to be juried in, pay for the show and hotel. You would have invested at lest $600.00-$1000.00 before you have made a dime. And this isn’t counting buying a tent, framing art and investing in prints. Being successful at these shows allowed me to create my largest income earnings every year. Read more>>

Monique “Mo” Jefferson, CSCS, CPT | Fitness & Sports Performance Trainer

Risk taking is all that entrepreneurship is in essence. It’s you making up your mind to step out on faith and take that risk of not even knowing how everything will work out, but believing that it will. Risk taking has played a MAJOR part in my life/career because sometimes I’m just not sure of how things will work out, but I do know that I am going to grind to make it happen, so either way I’m winning! I wouldn’t be where I am today and making the strides that I am with my business if I hadn’t taken a risk… and that risk was believing that I was just as good as the next guy/girl if not better and that I possess something that the world needs. To know me you have to experience me! I love the impact I make on lives! Read more>>

Cassidy Bass | Serial Entrepreneur

If you are afraid to jump, you will never know if you can fly. Taking risks is just that. However, you don’t just jump into thin air. You have to know what’s on the other side or down below. This comes from researching and learning everything you can about the risk you are about to take. I’ve always been a risk taker. I go into every risk with the understanding of hey this may not work out so what is the impact if it doesn’t. If that impact is something that I can survive. I take the risk. Read more>>

Cirstie Bacote | Entrepreneur / Fashion Model

When I think about risk I think; no risk, no reward. I believe you have to take risk to see what you are really made of. In my life risks have made me more knowledgeable, adaptable and perceptive. By taking risk I have been able to successfully launch and steer my brand in a successful direction.. Read more>>

Ashna Malik | Artist

My entire career started off as a risk. I’m from India, where creative careers aren’t as encouraged as academic ones and here I was opting to go for the absolute opposite end of the spectrum and become a fine artist. The first person I told about this decision was my then art teacher, in high school, who after hearing this spent the next hour telling me how I didn’t have the drive, the passion, or the talent to take this route and that I should consider doing something else. I was absolutely beaten down but I knew that only I was had the knowledge of what I was capable of and I could not let someone else’s words shake that faith. My unconventional career path raised a lot of questions from relatives, friends, and strangers. Though my parents were supportive they also had questions about making money, getting a job, future possibilities, etc. But I took the first and biggest risk of my career and decided to move to the US to earn my BFA in Fine Arts. Read more>>

Nikki Petty | Owner of Women’s Boutique ‘Briightvibez’

Ever since I was a little girl I had never really been afraid of many things and I believe I carried that over into my adult years. I am originally from Cleveland Ohio and once I graduated college I decided “Hey, moving to Georgia is something I’ve always wanted and though I don’t have much family, I still want to go”. So when I started my women’s boutique ‘BriightVibez’ I had the same mindset. I barely had any money at the time so I decided to risk all that I had in order to follow my passion. All I kept remembering was how much I loved clothes and how much I’d be able to help women out there who didn’t really have a set idea on their style. Read more>>

Malik Khalid | Yoga Teacher & Creative

I think risks are necessary for growth, and often they’re the catalyst for change. January 2020 I quit my corporate job as a Regional Sales Manager for a Fortune 400 chemical company to pursue my dream of being a World Renowned Yoga Teacher. Two months later a global pandemic ensued, I vacated my 17th floor high-rise apartment, cleaned out my 401k, and moved in with my aunt to save money; teaching yoga in person would be put on an indefinite pause, and I would lose thousands in bookings. Saying no to that job landed me In a slew of national campaigns with brands like Glaad, Human Rights Campaign, Liforme, Wussy, and more. I leveraged my yoga platform to lead voter engagement initiatives for Raphael Warnock for U.S. Senate that helped him get elected as Georgia’s first Black United States Senator. If I didn’t take that risk I’m not sure I would’ve accomplished all the great things I dreamed of doing. Read more>>

Asia Allen | Entrepreneur, Creator

I personally feel like risk taking is very important if you’re wanting to start your own business. Not even just that but with anything your wanting to do or accomplish in life, it won’t happen until you take that risk to do it. No matter how you feel about it the outcome could always be better and I know that taking risk has helped me accomplish a lot in my life. I left my $20/hr job to focus on my business and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. A lot of people thought I was crazy but I accomplished so much more after taking that risk. I’ve never been scared to take risk because I believe in manifestation and speaking things into existence. I know that I can make things happen. Read more>>

Sapriyah Hancock | Clothing Line

My name is Sapriyah Hancock. When I think about risk taking I think of “this can be your chance to be in a better position then you are now” no matter what the positive or negative sacrifice is. Taking risk has played a big part in my business by significantly changing the way i think, move, and promote. For example, one risk I took as an entrepreneur was buying products to design by the bulk, this was a risk for me because of the financial position that buying a bulk would put me and my business in. Also, taking this risk would also leave me in question about making a profit off the big orders and either having a gain or fail. Read more>>

Kirsten Slocumb | Licensed Nail Technician and Certified Lash Technician

Starting my own business was a huge risk. In the beginning I was worried about being able to financially support myself. Now that I’ve been doing nails for a while, I realize that I can definitely support myself. I took my first risk in 2018, when I quit my retail job, and began doing nails full time. This motivated me to give doing nails my all because I had nothing else to fall back on. It just had to work. This year I took a risk by putting up the money and allocating more time to become a certified lash technician. So far everything is working out just fine. The saying “you have to spend money to make money” is true for sure. You also can’t be afraid to chase your dreams. Regret is harder for me to live with than failure. If I ever fail at something, I’ll be happy knowing I tried, and I gave it my all. Read more>>

Brittani Hebron | Master Cosmetology/Salon Owner

By definition, a “Risk” is the exposure to danger, harm, loss, or the possibility of something unpleasant or unwelcomed occurring. Since birth, I’ve always been the daredevil in my family of 4 girly girls, taking the lead from one of my older sisters. I arrived as a fourth unexpected surprise marching to the beat of my own drum. You would likely find me climbing a tree or catching a lizard where my other siblings played life on the clean side of caution. I, on the other hand, have always taken the opportunity to embrace every risk life has thrown me as a challenge by embracing the Law of Opposition which basically means that “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, for nothing grows without an opposing force.” In short, the only way to gain anything is to overcome something in your way, and in most cases ” the something or the unknown” is fear of failure or risk. Read more>>

STACI TU | Fashion Designer

Being an humble creative fashion designer from Louisiana . Also a mother off 3.A untimely and a unexpectedly marriage separation took a toll that left me with a mindset to take a risk in life and my career. I revisited a place that was familiar which is my fashion . I encourage myself to step out in a leap of faith and take a risk. There were people that complimented me to succeed. As well as those doubted me. As an risk taker I responded by participating in LAFW on Oct.02,2021 and became nominated for Best Custom Designer of the year @indie.fash on November 13,2021 , which takes place in Manhattan New York also being interviewed for Atlanta Shoutout Magazine . Thanks Read more>>

Elijah Lamar

“To be successful, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do conclusions” The moment I told myself to choose me over everything else is when I started to live my life, that’s when I found peace. I’ve always had a 9 to 5 because I was taught to believe that you have to work to live or you have to live the work and overtime i found myself watching everybody else do what I dreamed to do and I’m over here punching a clock for a 9 to 5 helping to make another person dreams successful instead of mine. One day I really just woke up and told myself that I have a great resume and I can always go back to the corporate world but I can’t always be successful In the career that makes me happy so from here on out I’m going to give 100% of my energy, time and attention into my dreams. Eversince I made that decision I been 100% happy and comfortable in my life and my career. Read more>>

Jewerl Stroman | CEO/Chef & Supply Chain Professional

I find risk to be the very thing that has pushed me to achieve so many things in my life. I was taught to never be scared of failure and never let fear stop you from trying. I have grown to learn that many things you want to do happen once you do one big thing you have been scared of doing. It’s like it’s the master key to so many doors when you thought it was only unlocking one. Taking risks are how you test your mental state in times of uncertainty. It’s what got me to junior Olympic a, college, China, Atlanta, and my own business. It’s also what has gotten me to tap into me. My true essence, power and impact. Read more>>