Shoot your shot? Take a chance? Society bombards us with messages, phrases, examples and stories of how taking risk is the key to success, but is anything ever that simple? We asked some of the brightest folks we know to tell us about how they think about risk. We’ve shared their responses below.

Leah Hernandez | Founder and CEO of Young Authors Publishing

I think my entire business has been one great risk. Starting the first cohort of Young Authors as a sophomore in college was something I never expected to do. However, I saw a need in my community that I knew I could fill. Taking the risk was merely me saying “Yes” to something I felt I was called to do. Not only that, but we continue taking risks each and every day. I have really ambitious goals for Young Authors Publishing, but that’s never stopped me before, and I don’t plan on it stopping me any time soon. Read more>>

Tawanda Sparks | Author

When it comes to taking risks, I am strong believer that it builds confidence. Taking risks definitely improves your chances of achieving the goals you desire. Read more>>

Jazz Kelley | Girl On Drums

Risk taking is something that I’ve always done, even as a kid. I was the kid that constantly heard don’t jump off that or don’t climb that high, or don’t go so fast! However, I believe as I’ve gotten older there was a period in my life where like any other human you adapt to your surroundings & pick up your environment’s fears of the outcome if you take certain risk. But, I’m so grateful for my team & support system, because they always keep me grounded. If you’re by nature a risk taker at some point when you stop taking risk it actually does something to you internally, because it’s in your DNA. In other words it’s only so long that you can pretend to be who you are not. So for me I got to a place of frustration that I allowed myself to get to due to me picking up other people’s fears & opinions on what I’m doing. Read more>>

Chris Hamer | Urbnpop

Life is all about taking risks, from choosing the road to drive down to picking a partner to deciding to follow your dreams.. It’s extremely scary most of the time but if what you chose is where your dreams and goals are then I personally have found it easier to navigate.. All I have ever wanted to do was draw and make art, and because I took that risk, I’m doing it and making a living doing so.. Taking that risk, put a lot at stake, but even though life has changed tremendously for me, I’m still consistently doing what I love and being rewarded for taking those initial risks. Read more>>

Syrithia McCladdie | Creative Director & Photographer

I’ve been a risk taker all of my life. If my mom were here, she would vouch for me (lol). I was 15 with my first car my mom purchased for me, and she had given me a strict curfew. In which, I would always test the water because my motto was, “I’m going to get in trouble anyways might as well”. And so I applied that to my life/career choices. As I stated in the last interview, I decided one day I was going to just move to Atlanta back in 2014. Where I came from there was so much talent. And not enough resources to prosper and become who I wanted to be. I had A crappy job working at Burger King. Dropped out of one college to apply to another. And $700 to my name, when I moved out of my apartment in Augusta. That there is a risk within itself. I knew people in Atlanta who knew people, so when I got the text with this great opportunity at Tyler Perry Studios, for Wardrobe Assistant I jumped at the chance. Read more>>

Mayah Dyson | R&B Artist/Songwriter/Vocal Producer/Background Vocalist

Risk has been a HUGE part of my career. Since the beginning of my career I’ve been taking risks. Leaving my hometown in Woodbridge, Va to go to school in Boston, MA at Berklee College of Music was the first big risk for my career! I moved to Boston at 18, by myself with no family or friends up there. I felt like I was starting all over, but in the end it was one of the best decisions for my life and my career. Read more>>

Dave Wright | Freelance Cinematographer | Content Creator

Risk is a necessity. I’ve always lived from that standpoint that without risk there is no reward. That’s essential in business, love and relationship, emotional stability and fundamental human balance… Everything I’ve created/achieved has been a risk. What if I fail? What if it doesn’t work? What if people see my failures? How will they feel? How will that affect my business? How will it affect my relationships? My kids? I can’t tell you how many risks I’ve taken and felt like I failed. I’m typically the type to jump out of the plane and learn how to fly on the way down (Thank my 20’s for that!) Now that I’m a little older, I respect risk more now. I understand that it’s a necessary part of every aspect of my life. The reward almost always quantifies the risk; it makes the risk validated! Read more>>

Lil Geek | Artist

Risk is something I take very seriously in my professional career. ‘Risk it for the biscuit” has been my go to catch phrase anytime I’m about to do something even remotely risky. I feel like life is fleeting, and moments like this play a key role in getting where I want to be in life. Ultimately our whole life just comes down to small choices like left or right, walk or run, or most importantly work or play. These small choices throughout the weeks and months that follow them end up being the very same choices that get us where we want want to be. The scarier the choice is, or the more fear and anxiety that comes with making a choice will show you its importance. An intimidating choice is one that could reap greater rewards or, to the same tune, a greater setback if you choose incorrectly. To put it simply I think risk taking means everything. Read more>>

Ron Elliot | Filmmaker

Risk-taking is what separates the men from the boys, the girls from the women. I always take risk whether it’s calculated or non-calculated risk. Risk taking has the ability to massively move you forward to your goals. I have realize that taking risk also builds up your faith and courage, because you will need them both to take any risk. Most people hesitate on taking a risk mostly because they focus on failing and what people will think when they fail and it creates an emotional state which becomes real to them and they quit the idea and play it safe. Read more>>

Katisha Sargeant | Actress

I think that risk taking has played a massive role in my life overall. Being in entertainment is already seen as a risky move and it’s something that I had to gradually work my way up to. What I mean by that is that initially I was going to “play it safe” based on a lot of advice I was getting from adults when I was around 16/17 years old. To give that choice some perspective, I was a bit more shy/reserved and I would always play by the rules and listen to what the adults said. Once I grew into the mindset of “I need to do what makes me happy with MY life” I then began to take more risk. Moving across the country alone wasn’t the first risk I’ve taken, but it was definitely the best one for my career. I think that acting is a very risky career. Read more>>

Tk Burtin | Whiskey Creator

I feel if you do not take risk, you could potentially miss out on bigger opportunities out there for you. No one has gotten ahead by simply limiting their risk. I am not one that is afraid to take risk, matter of fact some of my greatest risk have gotten me to where I am today. I took a chance by moving to Atlanta, I took another chance by quitting my job to take on a new career strictly for the experience, I took another chance by starting a business and deciding to fund without investors. The risk I have taken have molded me into the take charge, strong woman I am today. Read more>>

Ashley (Ash) McNamara (Mc) | Freelance Creative, Painter, Designer

Taking risks is a learning opportunity at the very least. Many of my creative commissions have been outside of my skill set, at that time, and taking risks has provided me with the ability to expand my horizons and sharpen my skills. If taking a risk results in failure that failure is just a lesson learned. I strive to only learn the same lessons once and the more I fail the more I learn. Keeping this mindset means taking risks can only result in success or learned lessons, never failure. Read more>>