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.

Yung Kendro | Recording Artist

The bigger the risk the bigger the reward.. Everybody takes risks, rather they realize it or not. I feel that as long as you know what you are “risking” and the potential gains or losses that comes with it then go all in. From reaching out to artists, getting no sleep, and skipping school to record sessions, it’s been a lot of situations where i had to risk taking a L or gaining something out of it. Definitely played a big part in my career. Read more>>

Oni The Africanpinupgirl | Comedian & Host

I’ve had always been a risk taker. I know that with great risk comes greater reward, and my life has been a testament to that. I’ve been in Atlanta 4 years, but prior to that I lived in NJ. Had a safe government job making good money. Yet, I wasn’t happy. The cubicle walls were closing in, and I took a risk. A huge one. I decided to quit that job, which I had held for about 15 years and move here to Atlanta. Taking such a great risk, came with the responsibility that I had to chase my dreams like a kid chasing an ice cream truck in the Summer heat. It had to be an ACTIVE chase. That’s what I’ve been doing ever since, and I am started to reap those rewards. Risk taking has played a major role in my life. In fact, I wouldn’t know any other way to pursue my dreams. Read more>>

Justin Torrence | Actor, Producer, Stunt Performer

Some of us risk to pursue a dream– some risk to pursue stability. Risk is especially present in my field. There is this constant battle between the “commonplace” and the “dream”. Ultimately, you have to know what you want — even moreso — what you can’t live without. If your readers feel peace with pursuing something more substantive than a career in acting/film, something more easily attained (like any number of 9-5’s)— then that is likely optimal for them. No risk, no reward. I can best sum this up with a brief recount of one of my largest bookings to-date: I had just moved back from Hawaii— where I had trained as an actor and was currently involved in a tremendous entertainment franchise start-up as the Director of Communications. I was traveling the islands, head-hunting projects that we could help fund and launch. In the middle of that success, I just kept feeling this deep need to get back in front of the camera. So, I left. I packed everything up and flew here, to Atlanta. I had family here and knew I could get in some great acting classes (every professional actor needs to keep training) and was hoping to land an agent. Read more>>

Keziah Felak | Stationery + Brand Designer & Motivator

Risk, I feel like, is often deemed a negative word – one that most people shy away from. But for me, risk has to be the number one factor that has lead me to where I am today. Taking risks are scary, I get it! But choosing to taking the risk is also an incredibly powerful feeling. Almost four years ago, I took a risk in starting a small stationery business that only offered invitations such as birthdays and bridal showers. I say risk, because I had no background in owning a business – or running a business. I actually always told myself that I would never start and own my own business because I didn’t think I had what it took to be successful. I did it anyway. I risked failing, never growing, overwhelming myself with two jobs. Fast forward to June 2020. I took another risk when I quit my “dream job” to go full time with my business that had taken off. Starting my business was a risk in itself – but going full time I knew was an even bigger risk. Every time I start to doubt myself and wonder “should I do this? Should I take the risk? What if, what if, what if?” I quickly remind myself and ask “But what if you don’t? What are you going to potentially miss out on?” So yes, risks are scary. The unknown is terrifying. But missing out on my purpose in life is even scarier. So take the risk. Read more>>

T C | Hairstylist

I believe that when you take risks you’re betting on yourself. When taking risk there’s only two options failure or success or Loss or gain. I’m taking risk you are believing in the unknown in hopes it works out in your favor. I think that risks are apart of everyone’s journey especially entrepreneurs and business women/men. Risk has always been apart of my career since the very beginning. I took a risk by leaving undergrad without anyone knowledge in a quest to change my career path to become a cosmetologist. I took risk early on with faith always in my back pocket. I am reaping so many of the benefits from the risks that I wasn’t afraid to take. The risks I took hasn’t always been successful but even when the outcome wasn’t what I expected looking back they were always beneficial as they taught me what not to do and how to handle situations. Overall knowing what risk to take are important as it’s essential to both your growth and success. I will always bet on myself. Read more>>

Xania Jackson | Costume Buyer For TV & Film

I like to think of risks as necessary decisions that can only propel you forward. Whatever risk you decide to take will either bring you closer to achieving your goals or it will teach you a valuable lesson that can be applied to future situations. Taking risks has played a BIG part in my career! Upon graduating college, I took a risk and moved 800 miles away from home to New York City. Once I got there, I would only accept jobs or gigs that I felt aligned with my passion for fashion and being creative. I consider myself a strategical risk taker who intentionally thinks about all possible outcomes before taking risks. But, when it’s time for me to jump I’m ALL in. That approach has lead me to some amazing opportunities, such as pursuing my dream career in costumes for TV & Film. I even recently relocated back to Georgia and although this is my home state, it was risky for me to leave everything I had built over the last three years in NYC and start fresh here. Read more>>

Alvin G | Independent Artist & Electrician

I believe risks are vital to take! Amazing feats and stories come from those who took risks! No matter how small or big. There’s always chance of a great reward when risks are successfully taken. Chances make Champions. One time i risked my job by leaving unauthorized to go stake out J. Cole as he prepared to host the ROTD3 sessions! High risk, high reward! Unfortunately, it didn’t go as i dreamed, ironically! You’d think the huncho of Dreamville would give me a shot at my dreams lol, but he sent me home packing. Luckily, i still got to Kee my day job. Read more>>

Vivian L. King | Author, Speaker, Communications Expert & Connector

A chief human resources officer once told me during an interview of a Zen quote, “Leap and the net will catch you.” It was during a series of interviews that ultimately led to my leaving my 18-year TV journalism career for an offer I couldn’t refuse as the public affairs director of a grocery chain. The move put me on a different track within the communications field. I later became the vice president of community relations of a large health care system when I essentially knew nothing at the time about the health care industry. Fast forward five years later in the midst of a merger, and I was presented with the opportunity to either rebuild the new entity’s community relations department or leave to pursue other endeavors. This was my chance to begin something I had only dreamed of before. I recently had asked God to give me some time with means to allow me to write a book without worrying about my bills, and here was that chance. I jumped, and the net that caught me resulted in a published, award-nominated book in a year-and-a-half and the beginning of my new business, Vivian L. King Connections, LLC. When I reflect on my life, I realize that I have made decisions that many may consider risks. Read more>

Lizz McKay | Director of Sales & Marketing / Managing Partner

Risk taking is an interesting concept. When you are young it seems easy to leap into new things without much thought only to realize later they may have been risky. My husband Chris and I have always thought of risks as new opportunities. When we decided to take over Venture nearly a decade ago it was a risk. Venture was deep in debt and it was during the market downturn post 2008 not a winning combination on paper for sure. We started with a 5000 square foot rented space and turned it into 16,600 square feet of our own space. We turned a 2 person team into an 11 person team. We turned a stagnant business into a thriving industry leader. Perspective is everything, risk seems scary when opportunity seems encouraging. It all depends on your mindset. Read more>>

Savannah Edmondson | Portrait and Fashion Photographer

My relationship with risk comes down to comfortability. How comfortable am I with being uncomfortable? At this point, I feel like I’m almost too familiar with that feeling of unease. From moving abroad for six months after never having left the East Coast before, to deciding to spend a summer learning Russian just to try something knew, I take risks because they allow me to unlock a different side of myself and risks expose me to more of the unknown. Read more>>

Anna Leckie | Fine Artist & Small Business Owner

There has always needed to be some level of risk taking in my career, regardless of how comfortable I was with it. I grew up knowing that I was a creative minded person. I gravitated towards creative hobbies and interests and knew that I would be the happiest in a creative field. I received my bachelors degree in Theatre at The University of Georgia and originally planned on doing the “move off to a big city and starve until you make it big” life plan. However, I got sideswiped by life and my plan dissolved. I didn’t want to have to force myself into a cubicle job, seemingly wasting my talents and my vision. If the life I want for myself is to be joyful, triumphant and filled with satisfaction and inspiration, I have to be: vulnerable. The vulnerability of starting my own business with my art was intimidating at first because it was putting something personal of myself on display every-time I create something. This risk however, is exactly why it is so rewarding and healing. The risk of not being where you imagined you would be in your career as a small business owning artist is present as well. I have to make myself stop and smell the roses and see how far I’ve come in my career in such a short amount of time. Read more>>

KJ Cash | Manager and Owner of C&C Mgnt

I look at risk taking as apart of life, we all take risks in our everyday lives. When we get out of the bed we’re taking risk, when we walk out the house we’re taking a risk. Risk taking gives us experiences. Whether they are good or bad experiences, it’s life and it builds us into the people who we are. I took a risk when I decided to jump into the entertainment world, I had no clue what I was getting into. I just knew I wanted to help people. Even when I was in college I took risks. From choosing my major, to studying law to telling my Dean I didn’t want to be a lawyer. Risk taking is a necessary part of life, risking taking is walking out on faith and believing you’re going to succeed. Read more>>

Babe Animal | Recording Artist

I embrace taking risks because when you create your own identity you cant afford to rely on blending in. When you look at successful artists, legends or brands that we grew up with, they all took risks to be leaders and innovators creating your own lane and brand. As an independent Artist that created my own sound “Trap-Rock” I had no choice but to take a risk. This played such a major role in my life because my music does not fit into any 1 specific genre. Trap Rock crosses all genres and sometimes that can be a risk when you don’t fit into a box. Read more>>

Annette Campbell | CEO & Founder of The Tax Experience

Life is about risks. I think risks played a significant role in my success because I didn’t take the risk and walk my 2020 faith walk. I wouldn’t even be in this article right now. Let me take you on a journey. Three years ago, I lost everything. I worked in banking for five years, lost my job, and the diminished effect happened, leading me not to buy out my current lease leading me to walking and getting on the bus again. My lease to my apartment was up, so instead of trying to find a job with little time. I made a tough decision to move back in with my family. I was devasted because I worked so hard to achieve so much in life, and I felt like everything I worked so hard for was stripped away from me. Mom and I didn’t have the most wonderful relationship. I was the first one out of my brothers and me to move out, so the feeling of having to go back home was nauseating, lol. I asked her and a few other close family members, and they told me no. So I ended up going to live with my grandma. I was able to start to rebuild my foundation but getting a new car and job; but during that time, I did go through a mini depression, but I always reminded myself you have to keep going. Moving in with my grandma didn’t end well. She was still using drugs, which I was aware of. Read more>>

Artimio Blackburn | Photographer

I think risk taking is essential to success. Being strategic about what risks you take is also essential to success. Putting yourself out there presents opportunities that would have come if I had not taken a risk or gone out of my comfort zone. In failures I’ve learned what to do correct for the next time. All in all risks are the only way to grow. Read more>>

Sidney Vincent | CEO of iconitaclothing

Risk taking played a big factor in my life. I’m not sure where would I be if I didn’t take that risk honestly. I just trusted my vision and I trusted God & thankfully it’s all working out in my favor. Read more>>

Janelle Hawkins | Makeup Artist/Influencer

When I googled the definition of “Risk” several negative definitions associated with that word. I’m here to tell you that it’s complete false! Yes, you can possibly make a bad choice that can result in danger talking a risk but in business how can you not want to take that leap of faith. When I first started my business the risks scared me. Fear of the unknown, not knowing if my business would be successful and to top it off being labeled as a failure. My perspective now on risks is completely different. Risks challenge you, push you outside of your comfort zone. Risks help mold you into the creative genius we are all destined to be. Taking risks has played a major role in my career. If I didn’t take any risks then there would be no MAKEUPJUNKIEJAY. The risks of leaving my 9-5, learning how to build clientele, networking and the list goes on… I wouldn’t be successful without the risks I decided to take. Read more>>

Ben Dover | Musician, Story Teller, Artist.

Taking risks has been a necessary part of my life. Getting outside the standard conformity of what is comfortable has been the best way to learn. In my own experience, leaving my hometown to move halfway around the world was one of the biggest risks I’ve taken. Looking back, I wouldn’t be the same person at all with out this step in my life. Being exposed to other cultures, and different ways of thinking/living has humbled me over the years. It has also given me an understanding of the true meaning of diversity, Also, how happiness and success can be relative to other things besides western-centric ideas of fame/fortune. In creative spaces, taking risks is how you do it.. One thing I would recommend is taking small risks at first. Buy a camera, take a week off to chase your dreams. Like anything unknown risk taking can have negative impacts on your life, if you are in the wrong place to gamble. Make sure you start small unless you have a back up plan. Otherwise, go off the rails, do that thing that seems nearly impossible. Write that polka rock opera that you’ve been talking about. You only die once. Read more>>

Na’Shay Chamberlain | Custom Shoe Designer

I’ve been in business for 2 1/2 years and one thing I can say about taking risks is that it gets you out of your comfort zone. It gives you a challenge which contributes to growth! Being in business, it’s important that we take risks to push ourselves beyond our limits. You will never know what you are capable of if you stay inside your bubble in which you are already familiar with. Growth comes from risk taking. Read more>>