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.

Carmen Jackson | CEO & Founder of Of A Higher Frequency and TTX Digital

I think about risks as taking a step outside of your comfort zone in the hopes of positive results. At 22 years old, I was working for a nonprofit doing a job that I absolutely loved but the environment was a threat to my mental health. In that moment I had to decide whether or not I was willing to sacrifice my mental health for the love of the job or choose myself and walk away knowing I would potentially lose everything. After months of deliberating, I finally decided to take the biggest risk of my life and walked away from the job. Walking away from that job gave me the space and opportunity to start my own business. Of A Higher Frequency was born two months later and has been a success ever since! A Higher Frequency is a custom apparel brand. Read more>>

Lucy Graves | Artist, Musician, Songwriter/Producer, Superhero & Creative

I think risk is a necessary step for growth. If we never do anything that scares us, we will always stay in our comfort zones and never excel. I’d say the biggest risks, or opportunities I’ve taken have led me to do some of the most amazing things in my life! I risked my comfort many times by saying yes to situations that I knew could help me grow and get closer to the things I wanted to do in life. I moved across the world at 18 from my home in New Zealand to Boston to go to college. Petrifying, not only because it was all brand new, but also the weather in Boston is brutal in winter! LOL I then moved to LA, not really knowing anyone, because I got given an opportunity to be in rooms writing and performing with incredible people. Read more>>

Stefán | The Model

As a teenager and when I first entered college, I was very reluctant to take a risk. I like to think that I have come a long way since then. A major part of what has gotten me to my current position in life is not being afraid to make a major change and step out of my comfort zone. Whether I succeeded or failed, I always managed to be in a new position from when I started. Risk Taking can be difficult and uncomfortable. I have found that I am my own biggest obstacle when it comes to risk. My insecurity sometimes take over and I find myself saying negative things like, “What am I doing?”, “Is this really for me?”, “ I can’t do this…”, “Success is not there”, and ”I am afraid”. While it is necessary to acknowledge fear, you must not allow it to define you and keep you stagnant. Read more>>

Liz Stubbs | Portrait Photographer & Creativity Amplifier

I see risk, or stepping out of a comfort zone, as an opportunity to grow, to discover aspects of my value that expand my services beyond the expected for my clients. A core example of risk as I began my portrait services was shifting beyond conventional headshots, personal branding and marketing to focus on amplifying the light I see in everyone in front of my lens. People often arrive with self-criticisms like: “I didn’t sleep well so can you erase the bags under my eyes?” or “Can you use the slimming filter?” And what I see, once they feel in a groove, even feel playful in front of my camera, that they take on an energy and a radiance that transforms how they see themselves. When we shift how we see ourselves, we show up differently in our lives, with a greater and lighter presence. It is my purpose and passion in making portraits–inviting people to step into their own light. Read more>>

Trinere Cole | Artist & Cosplayer

Risk taking is a journey of ambiguous feelings with a potential happy ending. Though taking a risk can be viewed as a double edge sword, the experience of taking the risk is valuable no matter the outcome. Taking risks has not only provided me with knowledge, but also created opportunities in my life to continue to learn and grow as a person. One of my biggest risks has been relocating to another state to pursue further education in Graphic Design and Illustration. I’ve spent most of my life in Florida, but wanted to give myself the option to move to an area that pertained to my career dream. The big risk was moving out to Atlanta without the help from any familiar faces of family and friends. Knowing that I would be alone without their immediate assistance was a frightening risk I had to weigh in on. Read more>>

Ashlee Lafavor | Home Health Care Owner & Founder

When it comes to risk taking I believe you have to let go of the fear ,doubt and thoughts in your mind if you will succeed in the risk your taking you truly have to step out your comfort level . For me in my career & life I have always been a risk taker in things I believe in I have that anxious ambition that I can accomplish any goal I put my time and effort in doing. Read more>>

Rita Workman | Bridal Designer

I believe that taking risks in my line of business, or any sort of business for that matter is crucial. Without taking risks, business owners will never be able to know the boundaries they are willing to cross in order to achieve a certain level of success. Starting a business in it of itself is taking a risk; there are so many factors with starting a business that leave entrepreneurs in the dark. From the day a business opens to the very end, the owners play a game of chance whether their marketing is persuasive enough, or whether they will gain clients in time to make a profit. I would not be where I am today if I would have stayed in my comfort zone and not taken a risk. Read more>>

Jamequa Harmon | Life Coach & Motivational Speaker

When I think about risk I think about seeing the bigger picture. When you’re willing to take the risk you’re willing to put everything aside to complete the ultimate goal. My favorite risk quote comes from Swami Vivekananda “Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.” Taking risks has played a major role in my life/career because it has helped me accept and embrace the ideas of setbacks in life, not to be afraid of the outcome and how to listen to my intuition. Read more>>