Legend holds that Cornelius Vanderbilt had built a massive fortune in the steamboat shipping industry, but then realized the railroads were the way of the future and invested almost his entire net worth into railroads. The gamble paid off and made Vanderbilt one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs ever. But risks are inherently…risky. How do you think about risk and how has it affected your life and career? Some of our community favorites share their perspective below.

Kimberly Hills | Master Prop Designer

Risk, risk, risk. Taking risks created the beast that I am today! I strive to not be anything like the next person. I want to create the difference. I love it when my clients allow me to take chances and go outside the box. I have to admit it comes with its downfalls, but its how you learn what works for you. Luckily, I have the best support team to let me know whats good and whats is not. No matter the outcome, either way, we grow through the process and become more resilient and confident. Read more>>

Ray Kelso | Musician

I believe risk is one major essential of growth. You won’t ever elevate or continue to progress in life if you aren’t willing to take risks. I personally weigh certain opportunities on the “risk-reward ratio” and map out how it can turn out for me. A time where I took a risk with my furthering my career was last September at P. Diddy’s “Revolt Summit”. A friend of mine was working the event and she called the night after the first event and told me how great it was & how I should’ve been there. The tickets were already sold out but I insisted on trying to be there that next day. She told me that they had volunteer positions so I went to the event early the next morning and tried to become a volunteer. The lady at the desk told me that all the positions were filled but I knew I still had to find a way to get in. Read more>>

Christopher Manza | Production Sound Mixer & Classical Singer

Risk taking is incredibly important. Every aspect of working as a freelancer in film is risk taking. There are no guarantees when it comes to your success or income, it depends entirely on your own ability to network and do your job well. That in and of itself is risk because it’s instability by choice. Risk taking has built my life and built my career. It isn’t blind risk taking though. Every step of the way, you have to keep an open mind and analyze the risks. Sometimes that’s budgeting and crunching numbers, sometimes that’s following your gut instinct for what gig or decision you should or shouldn’t take/make. But risk? It is a necessity. Read more>>

Olivia Smith | Attorney & Partner of SR Law Group

I would have said that I generally lean more toward playing in safe. However, being fed up with working for others and deciding to open my own law firm changed all of that. Deciding to quit my job and step out on my own is one of the only times I can remember jumping without a carefully laid out plan. I obviously understand the value in planning and preparation as my law firm does estate planning for seniors and helps them plan for their next stage in life. But now I understand that sometimes you have to make up your mind about something, jump, and figure it out as you go. If I had waited until I thought I had everything planned out I would not be an entrepreneur today and would not be one half of SR Law Group. The saying goes no risk no reward. Read more>>

JP Engineerin | Audio Engineer/Studio Owner

The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. It is as simple as that. The first big risk I took in this industry was signing a lease for my first two commercial studio spaces in Atlanta with my partner. Not knowing how quick we were going to build a solid clientele to afford our space was scary at first but we went over and beyond our goal. After that, I see risks as just another milestone test to see if you are truly ready for the next step in your career or life. The only way to find out is to take the leap of faith. If you lose take the “L” as a lesson, reevaluate, then try again. Read more>>

Jaron Payne | Hip hop Artist

I think about risks as opportunities to grow one way or another. Taking risks in my life/ career has been vital to me becoming the person I am today. For example, I’ve invested a lot of money into my own music career, even when I didn’t have much and even when I wasn’t seeing necessarily the results I’d hoped for early on. However, I continued to take risks, and it’s brought me to where I’m at today, and I couldn’t be happier. Read more>>