Taking Risk is essential, but how much, when and why? Taking risks effectively is as much of an art as it is a science and we’ve asked some of the brightest folks in the community to tell us about how they think about risk taking.

mOody bLaCk | Certified Teaching Artist/Poet/Hip-Hop Artist

Risk taking is necessary! I would rather take the risk in regards to my dreams and goals. If you never take any risks, you’d never know how far you can advance. One day, I discovered that I had blood clots in both of my lungs: I had to spend four days in the hospital. Within those four days, I had a lot of soul searching. I realized how short life is: so, I took a leap of faith to start booking shows and work on building my brand. However, I tell people now to work on investing to start their own brand…to save to take the leap. Read more>>

Rebecca Layson | Ceramic Artist & Teacher

Honestly, I feel like my entire adult life has been me taking dumb risks over and over and over again but somehow everything working out okay in the end. Like I took forever, 7 years in reality, to get through college because I was constantly changing interests, majors, and even schools. Heck, I moved from Northwest Georgia to Atlanta 8 years ago all because I thought I wanted to study animation at SCAD. Clearly I didn’t follow through with that plan but that one giant leap into the unknown was the first really big risk I took and I did it on a whim which was SUPER risky now that I think about it. Since then, it seems like I just keep leaping into the unknown. Sometimes I think about the possible repercussions if stuff were to not work out but usually I just follow my gut, cross my fingers, close my eyes, jump, and somehow land on my feet. Read more>>

Madi | Music Producer

Risk taking is important in the music industry. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t just go for it. Being a female engineer, that’s almost a risk itself because you never know how the vibe in a session might be, people might not respond well to you being the engineer by just looking at you, but you have to be able to take that risk, and play your role, show the room you’ve got what it takes, and not be fearful of the outcome. I’ve gained respect from a lot of artists by making them feel comfortable enough to try something different. Young Thug worked with me, and that was a risk for both of us haha he had never heard of me but that risk played out so well. I got to record songs with him and I ended up meeting Turbo and Gunna through my relationship with Thug. Risks mean a lot to me because my mentor Seth Firkins took a risk with me and it changed my life. Read more>>

Anik Keuller | Floral & Event Designer

Risk taking is essential to business owners; Launching out to earn your own living, going on a limb in hope that your product or service will be a success, and will make a difference in people’s lives, It’s pretty scary. Some people thrive on taking risks. I think I do. Personally and professionally. But that’s only because at my core I feel confident that even if the project fails, I will not fail as a person. I also have confidence I am being held by something greater than myself. taking risks has been fun, it has stretched me, grown me and given me wings. Read more>>

Micaela Dee | Director, Producer, Writer & Life Coach

No matter what I choose to do in life, there is risk. I found myself realizing I would rather take risks in areas that truly matter to me instead of playing it safe. I left my stable sales career for the acting and film industry four years ago, and I haven’t looked back since. I quickly become a Director, then a Regional Director for American Immersion Theater, the second largest theater company in the U.S., where I am responsible for 80 local actors and a few hundred other actors across the country. While continuing to Direct for AIT, I took on the role of Director of Judging for Cinema Life, a collection of 8 Film Festivals, where I work closely with the Festival Director to create training programs for our judges and oversee that hundreds of projects are rated fairly. Read more>>

Mark Cruver | Certified Educational Planner & College Advisor

Often, risk greets fear. And fear, in its purest form, is the one thing that will prevent an idea, adventure, or plan from moving forward. Throughout my entire life, I have “played it safe.” But, when it came to advancing my career, launching a new business, and building my brand, taking a risk here and there was inevitable. Without a reasonable measure of risk, moving to the next level in life, career, and adventures are restricted. Read more>>

Yachi Battle | Entrepreneur

Hmmm…..what can I say about risks? Taking risks requires a great deal of courage because it’s like you’re stepping into the unknown. You are taking a leap of faith and that is the scariest thing in the world. Taking risks has always gotten me to the next level, whether it be in my career, my side business or my personal life. Though, the process was never easy and I never knew what lied ahead, in the end it was always worth it. They allowed me to make mistakes, learn from them and become better and better in my decision making and skill set. Read more>>

Anthony Green | Director & Content Creator

When talking about “risks”, the first thing that comes to my mind is management. Risk taking is a never-ending factor in life. You can either avoid it, face it, or manage it. Most people choose the latter. When it comes to success, taking risks will be an obstacle that you must face with a positive attitude. As a film director, content creator, and ultimately as a creative, risk-taking is a BIG part of my career. New concepts, ideas, and locations might not have been used to constantly create BETTER quality content for my clientele if I was scared to get uncomfortable, lose my cool if something goes wrong or someone tells me “no”. New locations, gear, treatments, software, ideas all come with the risk of not being what you want or expect. Read more>>

JK DeLapp

As a general rule of thumb – I’m a terrible gambler. I’m not good at cards. Haven’t hit more than a few bucks playing the Lotto. Never win in Vegas. But when it comes to betting on myself … I’ve never – EVER – lost. Taking risks and betting on myself, and its still terrifying, mind you – taking risks on myself has always gotten me ahead in life. I’ve learned lessons. Started businesses. Taken meaningful journeys and made friends I would have never otherwise met by having a little faith in myself and betting on me coming out on top. I’m a terrible at risk … unless the risk I’m taking is on myself. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I weren’t constantly listening to my gut and taking calculated risks that sometimes only I can see the outcome of. Read more>>

Barbara Byrd

Risk taking for me should very well be my middle name. I have always taken risk even when it looked as though I shouldn’t. Even as a child I took risk, it was usually something that got me into trouble but I did it anyway. Being the oldest child and grandchild, I felt as though there was a lot of pressure on me to be great, so because I really had no idea of what that looked like I figured the only way to find out was to try, and try I did often. My family did not always agree with my methods, in fact, often discouraged them. But as I learned and moved about in life, the risk I was willing to take became greater and greater. Moving from Gary, Indiana was a risk in the eyes of my family, even to this day some 25 years later, there are members of my family who are unhappy with my decision to relocate. But it was one of the best risk I could have ever taken. Read more>>

Stephen Nadeau | Colorist

I look at risk as making a bet on myself, and I’m not going to make a bet with bad cards. So when I do take risks, I make sure I have the best cards possible. What I mean by having the best cards is that I thoroughly understand the circumstances surrounding the risk. For example, when I decided to be a Colorist, it was a huge risk; or, as I see it, a huge bet. I knew I had a ton to learn. So I worked hard to know as much as I can about the craft and continue to do so. I knew there were incredibly talented Colorists that would be my competition. So I studied their work and figured out how to make working with me better than working with them. I knew being a Colorist was very hardware dependent. So I saved up enough to afford a color grading suite. Now, I’m a Colorist with clients all over the world. Read more>>

Marie Davis | Founder & CEO

Life is about taking risk sometimes. If you don’t take the risk, how will you know what the outcome will be. In the back of your mind, you will always wonder “what if.” When starting a business, there are a lot of risks involved especially if you’re doing it alone. Some people will try to discourage you, but you must realize you’re not doing it for them. You have to tune out the negativity, and remember it’s about you and your family. For myself, it wasn’t easy. I took a big risk with Ria’s Beauty Collection. With past businesses, I’ve always had business partners. It was different this time, stepping out alone in the beginning. I had a limited budget starting out, and I worked with what I had, There were lots of uncertainties. I had to learn a lot on my own. Read more>>

Ayanah Hanaya | Entrepreneur & Business Owner

I think that without taking risks, you never really give yourself a chance to see how far you can go in life and what you can accomplish under pressure. I believe risk are necessary to succeed in anything. Small or large. Every risk is worth the challenge because you either succeed or you learn. Read more>>

Ty Rae Carter | Filmmaker & Entrepreneur

Honestly, I think risk taking has been the biggest catch 22 of my life. As a parent, your child and your family come first. Often times, I’ve found myself putting my family’s financial security at risk just for a chance for us to reach that elusive “next step” in life. I’ve called off of new jobs to go to auditions. I’ve stopped working because I had to put all of my focus on finishing our film. I’m always looking for new investments to throw money into so that I can have something else pay my bills instead of job, and I can work on my craft without distractions. You get the point. Either way, many blessings have come from these risks. I’ve met amazing people and accomplished amazing things, but its been stressful along the way. Filmmaking is the only thing I have and I know I have to suffer for my art. Read more>>

Veronica Woodruff | CEO & Founder

I don’t think about things as a risk. I think about opportunities first, then I attack the effects of risks later. The reason is that I’m a natural problem-solver, so if things come up, I find a way to get to the solution. When deciding to start Travelsist, I didn’t know that starting a business would take so much time and effort. I thought that I could build the right company and team, plus raise money, but there are so many other components in order to make that happen. There is a whole community in the tech ecosystem. Pursuing a business, being a mom in addition to doing business in the travel and tourism sector during COVID is high risk. In pursuing business, there are a lot of risks, but I still do it. I know how big the opportunity is, so I’ll continue to seek it. My close family and friends would worry, but I end up accomplishing my goals. I have my mentors and advisors supporting me, and we’ve managed to get through it. Read more>>