Risk is the most common topic that comes up in our conversations with entrepreneurs and so each week we ask entrepreneurs to talk to us on the record about how they think about risk.

Jeneka Jenae | Actress, Writer and Director

I think risk is apart of life. You have to be willing to do things that scare you in order to get to where you want to be. The saying “Go big or go home” is something I try my best to not only incorporate it in my acting career but as well as my personal life. If it doesn’t scare me then I am doing something wrong. Read more>>

Butta B-Rocka | International Recording Artist & Author

I think you have to take risk to succeed! Often people play it safe and stay in their comfort zone, but that keeps you stagnant and leaves no room for growth. I have personally risked it all and always dive into the deep end. Do I get scared of course, but had I not jumped in and learned how to pivot along the way. Many doors got closed along the way and I could have let their opinion of me stop me in my tracks, instead I had to realize you can’t let someone else view of you determine your life. Once I start taking control of my own fate, opportunities and different doors opened. I was one dimensional for a while, I only wanted to sing, now that I opened myself up to grow, I’m not only an international recording touring artist. But also am now an Amazon Best Selling Author, Playwright, Editor n Chief of a magazine and my radio show has just been picked up by a major Italian radio station and I have an iheart radio station! Read more>>

Daisha Peeks | Actor & Business Owner

Taking risks has played a huge part in my life! I have learned to open up more and get out of my comfort zone. I have seen major improvements in my career by simply stepping out of my comfort zone. It is so easy to stay in your box, but you will never get anywhere without risk. We want to do what we know because it is familiar and you do not have to worry about the unknown. Fear holds us back from achieving and experience everything life has for us. I have taken my hobbies and passions and turned them into paid skills thanks to risks. I look at things so much differently now and have noticed a boost in my confidence. Others will notice as well and will want to take part whether it’s supporting your business or just simply being around you. Things that used to seem intimidating now excite me! I know by taking risks I will learn lessons and gain experience that I can then apply to my work and life. Read more>>

Kathy DeLuca | Producer, Founder of Bermuda House Culture Records

To me, risk taking has always played an important role in my life. I have always been one to push limits and expectations to keep the originality factor behind my brand and my music. For example, 3 years ago I took on a musical project so different that I felt like I was almost taking a mental risk by doing so. I was uncomfortable during that time because I was being challenged on the daily. But doing it helped me become a better musician and in the end, I actually learned more than I thought I would. So the point is, if you always stay within your comfort box you can not grow at all as a musician. You need to take mental risks in order to move along in your growth process. Read more>>

Bryan Tan | Writer, Director

As a filmmaker, every creative endeavor is a risk. When I am not working on set, I am generally in some phase of writing or planning my next film. I hope that what I make isn’t mimetic of other films, or just reactive to the moment. I try to tap into the ideas within myself that can’t be turned into mere words or images alone, but are best expressed through story. With such an approach, there is always the risk that I shall be misunderstood, or that I shall fail to effectively communicate my intent. Of course, I have a vision also for where I would like that film to go, but the journey there is nebulous, and there are simply no guarantees that my work shall seen or understood by anyone. The statistical realities paint an even dimmer picture than that, so risk factors into every single decision I make. Read more>>

Paul-Ann Gray | All Things Party Specialist

I am a jump person. I say that because I am always game for new things, new ideas. I am a learning junkie, I will spend hours learning new things, I think that is a passion of mine. Don’t put me in a box, I am not big on limitations. When I decide to do something new I pray about it, seek God first then move according to the Spirit. If the answer is yes to move forward I create a plan, identify what the worst-case scenario would be. I find at least two solutions to my worst-case scenario, then proceed with my plans. Because I have implemented this plan in my business I have not had any trouble taking risks. Read more>>

Devante Johnson | Voice Actor

I think taking risks is vital for any creative career but also for life in general. It’s easy to settle in our comfort zone and have a happy ground that we can feel relaxed in but in doing so, we can often fail to truly grow or evolve. This isn’t to say that you should do things haphazardly however, just rushing into things and taking needless risks. But you definitely shouldn’t be afraid to leave that comfort zone to pursue what you want. It can be terrifying but the sense of growth and achievement, regardless if you’re successful in the endeavor, makes it very much worth it. Read more>>

Bianca Danielle | Restaurant Owner, Author, Speaker & Non-Profit Founder

Risk are common in my life. I believe in the no risk no reward phenomena.My mom always said I was a rebel and I took it as a compliment because that meant I wasn’t afraid to go against the grain and fall in a lane on my own. I felt that comfortability was just not a place for someone like me. Living on the edge of the unknown always seemed more my speed. As a new restaurant owner of The Chill Spud in Buckhead (Opening Soon). Many raised their eye brow asking what possessed me to open a restaurant during COVID. My common response is ” Why Not”. I have already seen what being comfortable looks like and even then I got tired of failing. In that same notion I learned alot about what I was “Built” to do. I learned that even playing it safe has it’s repercussions, so why not just go for it! Read more>>

Aubrey Logan-Holland | CEO/EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN/Co-Founder- Blue Dream Industries LLC COO/Co-Founder Clamorgan Holdings, LLC Founder Vallot International Holdings, LLC

Blue Dream Industries, LLC is one of the few 100% Minority Owned companies in the Cannabis Industry and we have moved into the position of acquiring other companies in the space through strategic partnerships. Clamorgan Holdings, LLC is a 100% Minority Owned company as well, using a similar strategy the Clamorgan Property Management division has acquired 140 acres of land throughout the SouthWest United States in July of 2020. Read more>>

Brandon Ford | Photographer/Director: Gumbo Sampson Visuals, LLC

Business is all about risk and risk assessment. You first have to know yourself and what you want out of your business/life. I also had to understand my level. Photography is a business where we do have to take on some amount of pro Bono work to get your name out, just make sure the opportunity is in the direction that you want to go, and you put your best foot forward to actually gain success. DON’T TREAT FREE GIGS AS LESS THAN. Read more>>

Shawn Crystal | Artist

I think Risk taking is Essential. I’ve learned to always invest in myself and always bet on myself. If I’m offered a project with a “work for hire” offer, I usually turn it down. I am more interested in projects where I can be invested as a part of the team and share in the profits of the project. For me, that’s been a HUGE change and has changed my financial life. This way, I care more about the project, I feel more valued as a team member, and I give it my all. And in the end, it usually pays off a lot more than a work for hire rate while allowing me to shine and grow my business. Read more>>

Seven Chan | Co Owner of Poke Burri, Lifting Noodles Ramen and KSP Restaurant Group

Life is short so risk is everything. We never know what will happen and theres no life worth living without risk. Even taking a conventional path comes with risks but maybe just not the same potential rewards. I moved here to Atlanta after selling my last company because destiny told me too, I had no idea what I would be doing with myself. My partner Ken left his career of over 15 years to go into business for himself. We met shortly after in real estate class thinking we would be real estate partners and an opportunity came up to open a restaurant seemingly out of thin air. We both were food people and liked the idea of starting poke but never really had the direct experience of working in it. We decided the risk was high but the potential was worthwhile. The potential was more than just have a successful business but it could be the start of an empire, a chance to have an impact on our city, and a chance to work toward our own definitions of happiness. Read more>>

Matthew Crews | Emergency Medical Services Instructor, CEO

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Business owners must be risk takers by nature. I have had plenty of time to think that maybe I should have kept my good job, eventually retired, and maybe started a business in my golden years. A lot of the people who I worked with back in my steady job years, did retire. But a lot of them died shortly thereafter. Things are not always as they seem. Read more>>

Nazeera Dawood | CEO & Co Founder, Vendorship Inc.

From the very beginning as a child, I have questioned the status quo. I questioned why things were done in a certain way or why norms existed that only provided opportunities to a few, privileged. As I questioned, I also found solutions while taking risk and changed the norms. I am the first professional graduate doctor among a community that did not promote women education beyond middle school. I took the risk to cross the obstacles to graduate. I realize that I have taken risks in both personal and professional life. Just recently, a friend remarked that many consider me as the pioneer since I initiate routes that others choose not to take. Taking risks also helped me in applying and expanding my skill, for example in local government as the Chief of Staff at the Chairman of the Board of Commissioner’s office. Read more>>

Raymond Wood | Director

In the day-to-day, taking risks is a very important part of working in a creative field, but the key is creating an environment and a structure in which you and your team feel empowered to take those risks. Being in a position where you have the ability to take risks is a privilege, and especially when you’re leading a team or running a business, failing without having a safety net in place can negatively affect the lives of many, many people. Instead of letting that force me to play it safe in my work, I factor a “risk-taking contingency” into my budgets and schedules the same way I factor in lunch or camera equipment or any other essential element in the process. We also always have a plan in place that is thorough but not rigid, and that gives everyone the confidence to know we’re going to have what we need while also creating a sense of freedom to explore, try things, and fail without any unnecessary pressure. Read more>>

Sylvester Barzey | Horror & Fantasy Author

Risk taking can play a big role in anyone’s life. Everyone dreams but only a few people are willing to take that leap for their dreams and risk it all. I think as a creator of color I have a lot to risk. Not only do I have the normal worries of writing like; will anyone read this, am I wasting my time, is my ROI worth it? But as a black man I also wonder if I’m representing my culture enough or if what I’m doing may cause people to see my race in a different light than I want. There is a lot of risk when it comes to chasing a dream but I feel not chasing it and just letting it die inside your heart is really the worst kind of risk, it’s wasting the life you were given. Read more>>