We asked some of the most interesting folks in the community to open up about how they think about taking chances and the role risk has played in their lives and careers. Risk is by far the topic folks talk to us most about and we hope the responses below will help shed light on many different perspectives.

Tatiana Thomas | Visual Artist

Risk taking can easily be one of the scariest parts of life. It’s built on fear of the unknown. How we react to it or plan for it determines how we survive it. For me, it’s a bit of both – reacting and planning. Controlling and being controlled. Life doesn’t exist without risk, so I try to expect the unexpected as much as possible. As an artist, risk has a front seat to my life and my career. It’s incredibly risky being a creative. I color outside the lines and I create paths often where none exist. My entire existence as an artist challenges the boundaries set for what society considers normal. Read more>>

Taye Hov | Rehab Counselor, Clothing Brand Owner, Music Manager

I feel like taking risk set you away from the norm. I feel like you can’t be as successful without taking risk. But you have to know what risk are worth it. I’ve been a risk taker my whole life and most times I’ve ended up on the positive side from my risk. I step outside the box and I’m not afraid of being different and not following trends. It’s a harder journey but the reward is bigger. Read more>>

Lisa Medley | ICF Certified Executive and Leadership Coach

My ex-husband walked out on me and our five children when our youngest daughter was just days old. He came home, told me another woman was pregnant, packed his clothes in trash bags, and walked out. Almost every decision I made, from that point on, involved risk. A year after he left, I went back to school to earn my Bachelor’s degree. That decision involved all sorts of risks. There was a financial risk, I had to leave my children by themselves way more than I was comfortable with, and there’s always the risk of failure. But I did it! Read more>>

Melissa Jaroensuk | Artist & Fashion model

In my life, risk plays a significant role. Taking a risk is making a decision that could lead to either a negative or a positive outcome. Taking risk is like you’re blinding yourself with the blindfold. The vision is blurry, and you have no idea what will happen next. Many times, I’ve been put in a position where I feel like there’s nothing to lose, so bring it on. What could possibly go wrong? Sometimes I didn’t take risks because fear got in the way. And I feel terrible afterwards, thinking about the possibilities if I just take those risks. But there’s nothing to be afraid of. I invigorate myself by looking on the bright side of things. Anxiety is described as “excitement without breath.” So, if you breathe through it, it turns into excitement! Read more>>

Promise Bennett | Creator & Strategist

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something, you’ve never done.” I believe that this Thomas Jefferson quote answers how I feel about risk. I believe that you only start to truly live when you begin taking risks. We’ve all had some idea planted in our minds of what life and career paths should look like. These beliefs are often placed on us by others: parents, family, society. These are what I call safe bets, paths that have already been traveled by others and have the minimum level of risk of failure. True risk only comes when we think about what we want without the influence of outside sources. It’s when we reach deep down and find out what crazy idea or dream we have that’s unconventional. The idea or dream that belongs to only us. Once we find it and we act on it, then we are truly entertaining risk. Read more>>

Kirsten Stingle | Narrative Sculptor

As a child I would never have thought of myself as a risk-taker, but I have learned that following your chasing your dreams is all about taking risks. I left my job as a welfare policy analyst in New York City after 9/11 to pursue my creative passion. I let go of the expectations, a steady salary, and security in order to find my true voice in a creative field. I have been a narrative sculptor and tell my stories through ceramics and mixed media for 18 years now. Each day in the studio is about pushing my narrative voice through different materials, making it stronger and more distinct. The very act of sharing my stories and promoting my work requires courage and a strong belief in my work. I place a dot on the lip of each figure to remind myself to be a courageous storyteller. Read more>>

Tyler Roach | Personal Trainer

Growing up I was always scared to take risks. Going into my last job I kind of settled and just told myself I’d take it as far as I could take it bc I was told I had a good future there. 4 1/2 years later I got tired of dealing with the company – I worked two jobs – the main one I was doing HVAC & the other was personal training. It wasn’t until February that I decided that I was going to take a risk and do what I love for a living. I took a temporary pay cut, and my hours got longer because I want to spend as much time as I can building my brand. Through the struggling to make ends meet, the long hours – I still love doing what I do & can’t wait to see where it puts me 6 months from now Read more>>

T.C. Barrera | Filmmaker

This is a funny question to me. At the risk of sounding too pretentious, risk taking and the pursuit of art go hand-in-hand by default. I’ve essentially built my entire life/career on unbelievable risk and the hope and the prayer that it would pay off. Most days, it feels like I’m still waiting for all these risks to pay off. I think so many artists feel the same way. When I started in film and television, I was a teenager in Los Angeles working on small time jobs and shooting videos for friends. When I turned eighteen, I was looking down the barrel of choosing between film school, an internship at a studio, or traveling across the country to work on an independent film in a place where I’d never been and had no friends. I chose the latter because the risk seemed exciting and I was dumb and eighteen. Flash forward to the end of that film and I’m back in Los Angeles. Read more>>

LaShayla Lanier | Entrepreneur & Real Estate Investor

I think that risk-taking is essential in my journey as an entrepreneur. Because I took a leap of faith I was able to resign from my job and pursue multiple business ventures. It wasn’t easy but my thought process was ‘the greater the risk, the greater reward’. Within four months I was able to generate over six figures in revenue from opening my first business. Had I not taken the risk, I would not have realized my true potential to excel as a business woman. I knew that it was only up from there. Read more>>

Jasmine Fairley | Business Owner & Influencer

Risk taking is a part of who I am. I love taking risks in life because I feel like you’re either going to “barbeque or mildew” meaning either you choose to go after what you want in life, or you lay down and just let life just pass on by. I took a huge risk moving to Atlanta from my hometown of Tupelo, MS. I’ve always been the “small- town girl with big dreams”. So, I knew I needed to leave home and everything that I knew to put myself in position and go after the life I want for myself. People were scared for me, some even doubted if I could last in the city, but I’ve always been a risk taker (dare devil if you will), be unique, and ride my own wave. I moved to Atlanta to finish my bachelor’s degree at Clark Atlanta University where I graduated with a Mass Communications Degree. I was in a city where I knew no one so I had to rely on my people skills and personality to network. Read more>>

Bernezia Floyd | Master Cosmetologist. Co-owner of Redefined Beauty Hair Salon. Owner of Amorys Essentials

From the moment we wake up, we take risks. Every successful person became successful by taking a risk. I often ask myself “will i make enough money to support my family?” “Am i good enough?” Honestly, I’m willing to risk it all to find out, even if i fail. Read more>>

Jalen Wilhite | CEO of JALENOGRAPHY, LLC

I started to really launch my company at nineteen years old. I was a floor supervisor at Zara while also pursuing a double major degree in undergrad. I When I decided to quit my full-time job to pursue managing my company, it was extremely risky. I knew that the decision would affect my my everyday life, but I always believed in the vision. Sometimes, you just have to trust your own instincts. If you have a vision, you must properly plan, invest, and EXECUTE. Without risks, I would have probably never launched my company. Without risks, how will you truly know that you can accomplish the goals you have set for yourself? Read more>>

Freeport Jackson | Rapper, Singer, Songwriter, Producer & Artist Developer,

Life is all about taking risk. We all have the same ending and that’s the coffin or urn. The one thing I DON’T want is to be laying on my death bed wishing I had done this and tried that, or what if that road took me there. Back in 2013, I quit my job as a Medical Assistant and decided to move from Atlanta to Houston. Everybody said I was crazy and I was going to fail. Im glad I didn’t listen. That is where Freeport Jackson was born. Living in Houston was the FIRST time I actually experienced life as ME. I was able to learn EXACTLY who I was and I was also able to become more confident in my musical abilities. Taking that ONE risk opened a lot of doors for me, I attended HCC for audio engineering and met Composer Jeffery Walton, Read more>>

Jewelianna Ramos-Ortiz | Stunt Actress

The art of risk. I think risk is the single most important variable in making your dreams come true. All the greatest moments of my life have been after I took a calculated risk. I saved enough money to allow me to live without any income for 6 months and then moved out 4 hours away the day of my high school graduation. I worked endlessly for months at 2 things, my full time job and my dream hustle, missed out on a lot of “fun” stuff to keep going hard at both until my dream hustle was substantial enough to do it full time. What people see is, “she just dropped everything and did it, she’s so lucky.” Read more>>

Brian Rice | Music artist & Entrepreneur

Risks has done alot for me in mylife, Without taking risks you wouldn’t know how far you may go. I have taken alot of risks in my life because I had no choice, So risks play a major road in mylife. Read more>>

Shenasia | Model & Actor

I think without risks, your possibilities are limited. Without risks, you get to play it safe, stay in your comfort zone, and you stunt your growth. What fun is that? I took a risk and moved 8 hours away from my family and friends to really level up my career in modeling and acting. That alone has put me in a position to be able to do what I’m truly passionate about on a more consistent basis. I get to work, network and learn from people that inspire me, people that are really making things happen. But risk-taking is not for the weak. There are some slow days, lonely days, exhausting days, broke days, but if you have faith in yourself and faith in God, that’s what’s going to get you through. Read more>>

Sharon Motley | Recruiter

Honestly, when it comes to risk taking, I really don’t think about it. I just take them and see what happens. I have taken risk in applying to roles or positions in Recruiting, after I have successfully received an offer, this is one of those at-risk moments. I would counteroffer for another salary range instead of the one offered to me to see if it gets approved. They could come back and say, we changed our mind, we no longer want to consider you for this role, or they can come t0 a resolution and you both agree on a ballpark figure. Being a recruiter, I know that this process is doable, and what to expect when these types of situations arise, Luckily, it has always worked out in my favor. Read more>>

Ryan Bolling | Behavior Analyst & CEO

I love taking risks. I would not be where I am professionally if I had not taken risks. I left a secure job with benefits to start my own business. It was definitely a huge risk, and I had to struggle and work hard to build my company and to build the life I want. Looking back, I am happy that I chose to take that risk. I have no regrets. Read more>>

Maía E. Bush | Brand Strategist + Webdesigner for Lifestyle and D2C E-commerce Brands

I believe the risk is one of the foundations of change. Taking risks is healthy and necessary for life or a career to evolve. Whether you want to make a lifestyle change that dramatically changes the quality of your life for taking the business opportunity that could change the trajectory of your growth or global presence, it all comes down to making the decision, and what we do after we take the risk. I believe where the resistance creeps in, is when we associate risk with failure and the fear of the unknown. This resistance can be tied to a not-so-positive previous experience or doing something totally new/left field. Read more>>

Austin Ricks | CEO of Kreate Clothing Company, LLC.

I try to approach risk from a different perspective, from the perspective of what if the risk you’re scared of taking turns out exactly how you envisioned or better. Risk taking is a touchy area for a lot of people and we encourage our customers to take risks. You will never know how great something can play out until you decide you’re going to start playing. Risk taking has personally allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and also forced me to face many fears. I believe chances make champions and if there is no risk, there is no story. Read more>>

Douglas Pioneer Lacey | Artist/Actor/Musician/Motivator Lacey | A entertaining passion that is always forwarding those gazing upon or around me.

Risk taking is like food, it’s like clothes, risk taking is a necessity. I’ve found in my life when I play it safe or “all figured out” it leads to some unhappy gaps and unfulfilling streams of moments. Risk taking is the reason I am constantly pushing to get better in my entertainment career. Always being extraordinary takes forwarding risk! Read more>>

Lyrical Chris | Hip Hop’s Grandchild

Risk taking is something you have to be very strategic about. I’m risk adverse, but I understand that risks have to be taken. For me, having a plan for when the risks works and when the risks doesn’t work is the best method. Taking risks has allowed me to accept the challenges of being unique in the music community. I could have sounded like what’s trending, but I took the risk to be different and have a plan for it to pay off in the long run. Read more>>

Fox Gradin | Artist

When I think about the alternative to taking a risk, things seem to fade from full color to black and white. Things lose value, definition, excitement, and realness. With risk comes continuous shift and a change of scenery. I can’t imagine a life where I’m safe and unchallenged. I can’t imagine a life where I’m certain of the next step. John A Shedd said, ““A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for” With risk comes reward and sometimes loss. but the gamble is where real life happens. The struggle to make things materialize is where I’m most creative and intelligent. The rush of uncertainty giving way to clarity is when I feel most alive. Read more>>

Landyn Robinson | Hairstylist

The way I feel about risk are to simply take them. I am new to Georgia . I’ve only been in Atlanta for now a year and 7 months and I could honestly say that fear and risk taking has been the best thing I’ve ever done. Upon moving here I had just had a baby and my mother passed. So I was nervous I didn’t know what this new life had in store for me. I down played my career as well as myself because of fear. As a child I’ve had this dream to move to atlanta and be a hairstylist. I knew it was my time to live my dream and walk in my truth. I worked at The original Hotdog factory for 6 months my first year here. While working I did the foot work with no business cards just my word of mouth. Read more>>

Antonio Miller | Artist Manager/Entrepreneur

When it comes to taking risk I truly feel as though it’s inevitable. I believe that everyday we walk this earth we are taking a risk, The idea of not knowing if today’s you’re last motivates me to want to live life to my fullest potentials. Over the course of my life I have taken many risk calculated and uncalculated risk. I took my first leap of faith in 2010 when I left my hometown and decided to relocate to Dallas,TX after graduating Jackson State University. Being a recent college grad this was a difficult move for me because I had no job and no resources, It was this move that made me realize I could conquer anything I put my mind to. After 2 years I decided to that my time in Dallas had came to an end and decided to relocate to Atlanta,GA. Read more>>

Jordan Solomon | Freelance Artist

Taking the right risk for me has really helped out my career in art. You have to give up something to get something that you want or need. Risk is a good thing because it’s takes you out your comfort zone and pushes you to become to best version of yourself. I have took a lot of risk in my career. For example, doing different art show and taking on bigger projects. Taking risk is a number one reason I’m a full time freelance artist. I want to show my style and my point of view to everyone. The biggest role that taking risk has done for me is teach me to continue to evolve and never stay in your comfort zone for to long or it will kill you. Take a good risk today and watch how your life and mind will chance. Read more>>

Jennifer Perez | CEO

I tend to go with my intuition and gut and it has not failed me for the most part. The biggest I can recall was renting Bowlmor for a NYCC after party I threw. I needed to ensure the tab was at least 10k which 7 years ago was a lot to gamble with. It was the biggest NYCC after party and featured on TIMEOUT! Read more>>

Kelis Kennedy | Owner of A Vixens Closet

Risk are necessary evils. You know.. the things you MUST do to be great. I believe that they help you grow, even if you fail at least you took the chance. Risk taking in my life and business have led me to the water… Without “jumping off the porch” I would have still been STILL, wondering “what if”, or “only if I could..” and that’s not how I want to go out… It’s helped in my career tremendously because God always has me. Going into situations with good faith plus work you’ll never go out sad. Chances make champions Read more>>

Joshua “Ridock King” Keller | Entrepreneur/Investor/Creative

I view risks as potential opportunities. There is something about the unknown that intrigues me. I never see any moves as risky I view them as an opportunity or a lesson. I thrive on healthy risk taking, it challenges me to constantly step my game up. Read more>>