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.

Marie Verde | Model

Ive taken alot of risk in my day . Some good , some bad , some i could have been incarcerated or worse . But one thing ive learned through all of the risks ive taken , without risks there is no reward . The lessons ive from each risks ive taken has only made me smarter for the next moves . I learned to appreciate the lessons more and it has made me humble in SOME situations , others it was mine so i took it . Read more>>

Chelle Jones | Director of A&R at Artistry Records/A&R at Hey Young World

As an A&R in the music industry, we take risks daily. Risks and intuition are two words that are married when it comes to finding talent. I take risks on independent artists especially the ones I decide to pursue and it’s a feeling I have to get knowing I found a superstar. We risk our name, our credibility, and our jobs in some cases lol! My hustle in this game is to find the best talent, the dopest records, and know how to do some form of artist development. Read more>>

Shelby Hofer | Actor, Writer & Director

As an individual artist who wants meaning, relevancy, and sustainability, artistic risk is a huge factor in my development. It’s all about making mistakes. Bob Ross style. You have to make a ton of them to really get anywhere. But risk is also relevant in my business too. My partner and I run an organization that serves artists, PushPush Arts, and risk-taking is embedded in our mission and values. That doesn’t mean it is easy. It’s not. It’s hard. It requires failure, and it’s hard to fail. Who wants to fail?! But it’s the only way to get to the really good stuff. Read more>>

Jordan Countiss | Entrepreneur & Producer

I think risks are what get people where they ultimately want to be, in all aspects of life & career. Personally I have taken a lot of risks with traveling abroad alone, starting a business with no guidance and moving to a new state with no family. In starting a business there are many risks, especially when you have no idea where to start or what to do. While creating my natural skincare business called Imari Butters, I have learned so much about myself, business and really life in general. Read more>>

Jordan Lemoine | Creative Director & Owner at Dope Lengths and Salon Society

I’ve always told myself I never want to be one of those people who looks back on my life one day and questions “What if…?”. If the decisions you have to make don’t scare the hell out of you, then it wouldn’t be considered a risk. Bigger risks means greater rewards. But, even if you fail or have setbacks, it’s so much easier to walk away knowing at least you tried, and not everyone can say that. I’ve taken A LOT of risks starting both businesses and I’d be lying through my teeth if I said they all came with great rewards. I’ve messed up A LOT, and I’m probably going to continue to mess up, but getting through set-backs is part of taking risks. Read more>>

Kendra Currie | Salon Suite Owner

“No Risk, No Reward”, I’ve been living by this saying since the very beginning. I’m also a very curious person so either way I’ll have no choice but to take a risk to see what will happen. Starting with my decision to move from Memphis, TN, to Nashville, TN at age 17. I found myself coming to a new city for college, taking up Psychology, and hairstyling part time not even realizing that was the start of my career. Read more>>

Ramaya Thomas | Ramaya S. Thomas is currently an IB scholar attending Atlanta International School. She is the Co-founder of We Spark Change an organization promoting youth activism. She is involved in working with activism on police brutality, racial injustices, and systematic issues. She is a VOX journalist who writes about political issues and world news, while also still being an aspiring lawyer. She is passionate about political issues that concern the Black/African American community and lives by the motto “my voice as my power”.

When I think about risks I approach them with a mindset of “Why Not”. This is because oftentimes I realize I have no regrets and that different situations were simply lessons learned. I think risks are subtle decisions that can have grand impacts that can actually change our lives. Oftentimes when we don’t get the result we hoped for, we start to think we have failed, when in actuality there is greatness in failing forward. Read more>>

Sierra Pete | CEO of SiVi Tidy Co. & Tech Solutions Engineer

Risk is scary but I’ve found that anything in life worth having is worth fighting for and that’s typically scary. I was raised by extremely hard working parents but fear have kept them in careers and tax bracelets they could barely survive on. I knew I wanted more and it took me awhile to give myself permission to vocalize I wanted more without regret and fear. I decided to start my business because I had nothing to loose. Read more>>

Derek Ross | Branding & PR Strategist

I think about risk as a prerequisite to success. Risks are uncomfortable, nerve-racking, and scary, especially it’s your first time taking one. It’s like the first time taking a test in a new class. You go to class, do your homework, and study but you’re still nervous because you don’t know what’s going to be on the test. But once you take the test, you have a better grasp of what to expect the next time and it makes your next test a bit easier face even if the material on the test gets progressively harder. Read more>>

Dru Lane | Marketing & Graphic Designer

In the entrepreneurial world, failure is expected; the bounce back from that failure is what creates successful entrepreneurship.Every factor incorporated in building a business is accompanied by RISK and is usually neutralized with the knowledge of past failures. This is why risks are beneficial, they allow for creativity and innovation. They open up space for new ventures and ways to expand your initial business goal. Read more>>

Dj B-Love | Professional Dj & Content Creator

I believe risk are only opportunities that have a chance at not yielding the reward we want. Most times i think people look at risk as a negative or unachievable when reality all it means to me is that there will be some work involved just like everything else we want out of life. I think the real question is what is life without risk? I took a risk with quitting my 9-5 management job to pursue my Dj career full-time. It was by far one of the hardest decisions to make but with a little confidence and a lot of faith I feel I made the right decision. Anyone thinking of taking a “risk” in my opinion should do it! Plan, Prepare, Execute! Read more>>

LiL MC | MC/singer/producer/hip hop educator/ podcaster

All of the greatest successes in my life have come from taking risks. Essentially a risk is betting on yourself, if not done in an act of self sabotage. I’ll give you three examples: The first being the birth of my son. I was 20 years old when I found out I was pregnant. I had just gotten into a drunken car accident that was inches away from taking my life and as a result decided to get sober. When I discovered I was pregnant I took that as a sign and knew with such certainty I was meant to have this child despite the doubt that all my friends and family had at the time (and rightfully so). Read more>>

Jaila Holt | Clothing Line

Risk played a BIG role in my life. I was stuck in this hole full of fear, not knowing if people will like it or if they will buy it when really all i needed to do was continue to be myself and if they love me they’ll love my brand. Risk is only fear ! Once you get over your fear you can do whatever YOU put your mind to. Read more>>

Dilanegro | Artist & Innovator

Risk taking is an essential part of life. Risks are needed to evolve, because it requires being uncomfortable, and you cannot grow in comfort. Risks produce both success and failure, and both of these things allow personal growth and provide a better gauge on what you need to do moving forward. For myself, the biggest risk I took was dropping out of college. I’ve countlessly fallen since then, but each time I’ve gained wisdom & insight, as well as learned more about myself and surpassing my previous self limitations. Read more>>

Lyse Florvella | A Haitian Makeup Artist

I think of risk as giving it a try. Taking a risk has a huge toll on my life. I take risks daily. If you never try it how will you know? You have to take risk in life in order to grow. A major risk that I took was quitting my 9-5 job and Becoming a full time makeup artist. Was it scary? Yes! Was I doubtful? Yes! But So Far That decision alone has allowed me to grow in all aspects. Read more>>

Ducharme Holley | Creative and Founder of Charme Collective

The way I see it – you aren’t truly living if you aren’t taking risks. I’ve come to realize that we live in a perpetual state of the unknown, though, many of us live as though we know what’s to come next. We don’t – and to me, I learned to truly embrace that over the course of the last year, especially. I can’t say that I’ve always resonated with risk taking, but this version of me is all about it. Starting Charme Collective was surely a risk being that 1. It is my first business and 2. Read more>>

LaCresa Callaway Gretchen Butler | Co-Owners and Event Stylist

Risk taking has the ability to create a lot of anxiety. Leaving our careers was one of the single most scariest decisions either of us have had to make. The fear of not knowing if your decision was the best for your family’s future will have you questioning every aspect of it. There are days when you feel like it isn’t going to work and others when you are excited that you took that leap of faith. It’s literally a roller coaster of emotions you go through. Our faith and the support of our families are sometimes what allows us to continue our journey of risking it all to follow our dream. Read more>>

Miilo | Artist – Painter & Art Instructor

Everything in life has a risk factor! I believe it’s finding the risk worth taking a chance for, in my case, it was taking the leap of faith in pursuing my dream as an artist. Read more>>

Jordy Nasa | Rap Artist & Fashion Stylist

I think risk is neccesary to surviving as an artist. I feel that at this point in my life it would be a bigger risk to not follow my dreams. Ever since I was little I have always had this “All or Nothing” attitiude which puts me in a lot of “risky” situations but thats where I am comfortable, I feel anxious when something is too easy. Read more>>

Kat Platt | Founder + Designer

I know taking risks isn’t for everybody, but I love it! Growing up, my father was a serial entrepreneur. I had the benefit of watching him start and grow businesses through out my childhood. Some of which thrived and later sold, while others were shut down. It was during the latter where I learned not to fear risk. I remember one time in particular when my parents prepared me for the possibility of losing our home; fortunately, that didn’t end up happening. However, that experience taught me not to fear failure, that even if you’re at the bottom, you can always climb back up. Read more>>

Jahnova | Tattoo Artist and Painter

I’ve always been a firm believer that with risk comes reward-if executed properly. There is a certain thrill in risk that I don’t receive with conformity. So far, my most important successes in life and my career are due to risk. I first moved away from home, across the country to pursue higher education at a private university I couldn’t afford. After connecting with amazing people and opportunities, I moved across the country (alone) with no savings to begin my career in the arts. At first, things were not very good. It was difficult but I believe that with time, discipline dedication and practice- anything is achievable. Read more>>

Monica Nicole | Hairdresser,Colorist,& Educator

When I think about risk. The quote “no risk, no reward” comes to mind. I took a huge risk 4 years ago when I uprooted my life and career in California and relocated to Atlanta. I started completely over building my clientele and having to take a part time job to get to where I needed to be as a hairdresser. Risks are all about being temporarily uncomfortable to become a better version of yourself. Read more>>

Jason Hedden | Stand-up Comedian & Professor

Some people would consider a career in the arts riskier than a career in other fields. I don’t agree. I find it far riskier to dedicate your life and work to something that is “safer” but for which you have no passion. I know many people who have “good” jobs, but are miserable. However, I do believe there are practical considerations when it comes to earning a living that often come down to simple math. It costs money to live. I came to standup comedy in my early forties after years working as a college theatre professor and actor. Read more>>

Pax Paran | Singer-Songwriter

In my opinion, risk-taking is an essential part of growth. There is always the chance that the risk you’ve taken will blow up in your face – you might have a terrible first date and end up wasting your time – but the risk of the date going terribly is equal to the chance that you might meet the love of your life. So my philosophy on risk is to just go for it. You can’t win if you don’t give yourself the opportunity to. Read more>>