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.

Jarman Brown | Motivational Speaker and Instructor

Risk is a huge factor when it comes to entrepreneurship. There are days when you get only a little of sleep. Risk comes with sacrifices. Sacrificing daily activities that you once did, to now not doing them anymore. When taking risk you have to constantly prepare and change your mindset. The risk came with struggles. But the struggles turned into positive outcomes. Read more>>

Mar Scott | Songwriter/Community Spokesman

Honestly! Taking Risk Play A Major Part Of Decision Making In Life As A Whole.Far As Taking Risk In Your Career I feel Can Be Your Stepping Stone To Take A Rewarding Chance. The Bigger The Risk The Bigger The Reward!. Read more>>

Ashley Garth | Social Media Agency Owner

Starting my own business seemed like the only option for me. I felt like I was hitting a wall in my career and I wasn’t happy. I’ve often fantasized about what it would feel like to work for myself, I just didn’t know how to start. I reached a point in my career when I realized that I had nothing to lose. I could continue to conform to the ideas of the corporate world, or I could take a risk and figure it out. I chose to figure it out and it was one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made. Now don’t get me wrong, I was SUPER broke the first few years. I remember when I could barely pay my rent. I was simply surviving. I even gave in and applied to a few marketing jobs, but I never found the right fit. It didn’t excite me. At times I thought that I had made a mistake when things got tough. After my third year of full-time entrepreneurship, I realized that the risk was worth the reward. I scaled to a six-figure business during a pandemic. Read more>>

Tonya Barbee | Author, Inspirational Speaker, Coach

I see risks as challenging, but cannot be avoided if you want to progress in life. I had to make decisions to stay or move on? If I stay, things will undoubtedly be the same, however, if I chose to move on, what then? Sometimes that “what then?” is worth taking the risk for. Risks are part of life and I’ve witnessed many advantages resulting from risks. Read more>>

Shalicia Thomas | Teacher of The Year | Founder, Kids’ Choice, Inc.

We all must take risks: why not try? Taking risks breaks up the everyday routine of our lives. Risk is all about not knowing, but going for it anyway: a Leap of Faith in One’s Self and One’s Dreams. We risk either believing in ourselves and our calling, or we risk forever wondering, “What If?” In 2017, I took a risk in creating Kids’ Choice, Inc. — a Google Nonprofit digital platform where kids design and share educational resources to save money for college. Most people wonder why I would envision a platform for kids to create educational content for other students. Adults know best, right? But as a Gifted Educator and current Teacher of the Year at Manchester Elementary in Douglasville, I witness firsthand the necessity of risk-taking in education. Not only do I challenge my students to have the courage to test new ideas, I also believe that we as educators must take the risk of staying open to trying new things, open to growing ourselves, as educators, and giving our students freedom. Read more>>

Nate Dyer | Owner/CEO of NateTV & 1/2 Host of Kickin’ Up Dust

Risk for me has been what keeps me from being stagnant. Everything in life has risks, down to starting your car, or pumping gas, or getting mail at night time. In my life and career path, risk is everywhere without a lot of structure of how to get to where you want to go. In the entertainment industry where I currently work, there is no manual on how to get a foot in the door, how to do business, what to look out for in contracts, agreements, certain jargon, and most importantly ownership. A lot of people that came before me figured things out through trial and error, which takes great risk. Sales is also a part of my business, there’s great risk because your bottom line depends on how good you are at convincing the consumer to come and do business with you. In my life, i’ve been on my own my entire adult life. I left home at 18, changed cities at 22, and started a business at 25. All self funded, and I started my business after being fired from my very secure and stable job. Read more>>

Margeaux Davis | Jazz, Soul Vocalist

I’m originally from Minneapolis MN and took the biggest risk of my life into moving to New York City to further my music career. If we never take risks, we never take chances. if you have a dollar and a dream to your name, you MUST step out on faith. Sometimes money literally makes us handicapped because why? We never seem to have enough right? But if you’re constantly thinking that, your thoughts become your action.. I just knew I needed to put a product out prior before moving to the big apple. I made sure I finished my EP titled “Won’t Do It Again” (which is on ALL digital platforms)I knew prior to moving that I needed to have something in my hand to show forth. Read more>>

Amanda McCreight | Creative Director & Artist

Taking risks has been a pivotal player in guiding me through my life and career. There are 2 kinds of risks. Blind risk…which is throwing all your eggs in one basket and hoping for the best. And there is calculated risk: taking a chance on yourself when the timing and opportunities present themselves. I’ve made all of the important decisions in my life based on calculated risk. To give you the cliff notes version of my calculated risks: – Decided to take a “1 year leave of absence” from Grad School at the Jefferson University Physician Assistant program to pursue my creativity & entrepreneurial endeavors. Instead of straight up dropping out, I kindly asked my program if they’d hold my spot for a year while I pushed forward with my start-up. Everyone thought I was insane for wanting to leave this competitive program for fear that I would fall behind, but I knew that I needed to follow this pull I had towards entrepreneurship. When they. said yes, it was a win-win. I got to continue with my project and explore for a year and if it all else fails, I got to return the program the following year. Read more>>

Jessica Fernandez | Entreperneu

I think taking risks is one of the best ways to know what you are capable of and how far you can go. Staying in the comfort zone will never bring new experiences or learnings. Read more>>

Jermere Nickerson | Creative Director and CEO

The term high risk high rewards is a term I was introduced to at a young age and continued to be a them in my life. It motivated me to move out of my comfort zone. Not just with owning my own business, but with my work life, and being a student athlete as well . Applying this way of taken me to places I never thought I would be. It has taught me patience and perseverance, very key tools to being a small business owner. Read more>>

Calister Bengall | Minister Spiritual Reader & Practitioner

I’m a firm believer in taking chances weighing my options. In order to be successful you have to let go of fear and even if you don’t let go of it don’t let it stop you. When you take risk and fail it teaches you how to do it better the next time. When you take risk and succeed it gives you the confidence to do it again setting higher goals. Making you more fearless!. Read more>>

Christy Holmes | Mixed Media Artist

I am not a risk taker by nature at all – however as I have started my art business I have found myself reframing my thoughts on risk and have tried to embrace it as an opportunity to grow rather than a possibility of failure. We have a phrase in our family to “get in the game” which means you can’t win if you don’t play. So when I am presented with a chance to show my work or try something new in the studio I am not afraid to try – even if I make a mistake or a show/gallery is not a right fit, I always learn something. When I look back at the last year – some things have worked, some haven’t but I’ve progressed – taking risks, making mistakes and even failing is all part of growing. I have learned that waiting for things to be perfect will mean you will never “get in the game” and that’s worse than never trying at all. Read more>>

Meliss Jakubovic | Organic Online Marketing Strategist and Business Growth Expert to Coaches and Healers

When it comes to business, I love taking risks. I believe it’s the only way to stretch yourself beyond your limits and make massive shifts. Ironically, this is not something I practice in my personal life as I am adverse to adventure. But when it comes to growing and scaling my business, I invest in things that I know will bring me to the next level. If I didn’t take risks in my business, I would continue to play small and I wouldn’t be as far along as I am today. As entrepreneurs, we are the innovators and creators in the world so by definition, everything we do is out-side-of-the-box, creative, and new. Without risk-takers like us, everything would stay stagnant and we wouldn’t progress as a society. I teach my clients to take chances, follow their intuition, and strive for greatness so we can set the bar high and make an lasting impact in the world. Read more>>

Jarrett Holbrook | Artist and Musician

For me, risk taking is about pushing yourself to achieve the things you’ve always wanted or felt a calling to pursue. I have always felt a calling to pursue art and music and trying to develop a successful career in either of those fields is not easy. Getting a degree in music was something that I had to really push myself for, with no great prospects of finding work after graduating, which was really difficult to deal with mentally as I was going through college. About halfway through my degree I found my way back to painting and started really getting back into it, accepting commissions and developing some personal works as well. This is what really pushed me to finish out school, so I could finally have the time to pursue both of my interests fully. Read more>>

Eric “KoolKard” Hawkins | Actor/Talk Show Host

I think without risk a person’s opportunities are limited and you short change your full potential. Most things in life that are worth having usually require certain sacrifices and risks in order to achieve them. My biggest risk was picking up and moving to NYC with my living quarters up in the air. I hadn’t quite yet solidified a place to live when I took a leap of faith and boarded the plane and told myself that God will have it figured out by the time I land. That decision changed the trajectory of my life. I have learned and experienced some amazing things and met people along my journey that have acted as conduits to where I am today. Moving to NYC was a risk that has paid off in many ways. Read more>>

Veronica Bell | Jewelry Artisan & Operations Associate

Risk taking is a part of being a entrepreneur. Small risks, small rewards. Big risks, big rewards. It’s important to make smart, substantial risks. I have to step out on faith to try something different to keep my customers interested also hoping to atrract new potential customers. Read more>>

Steve Lu | Podcaster / Média Personality/ Talent Managemer

There’s always a risk when starting a business. I’ve definitely taken my share of calculated risks in life. Off of those risks I’ve won some and lost some but I always learned from those experiences. Read more>>

Emanuel Edwards | Good Vault – Owner & Curator

I feel that risk taking is a requirement in order to lay claims to success. Risk taking has played a central role in my life and career. Only through taking risks am I able to learn more about myself and who I really am. When I reflect on my life and the places I’ve been, the people I have met, and the experiences I cherish most, it was only possible through taking risks. Risk taking is something that still challenges me and it proves to be difficult at times, but it is necessary. Here are some questions I asked myself when faced with taking a risk or not. Read more>>

Simone Elliott | Digital Marketer & Entrepreneur

Taking risks has gotten me to where I am today in my career and my life. When I graduated from South Carolina State University in 2011 with a degree in Marketing, the economy was still recovering from the Great Recession. So, finding an entry level job in Marketing was nearly impossible. I took a management job in retail to earn some money while I was searching for the right opportunity to jumpstart my career. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) got a job opportunity in New York City and casually mentioned me moving with him. I had no family or friends there, but I truly had nothing to lose and everything to gain (a career). So, I decided to visit him for a week to try and find a job in Marketing before making the move. I managed to squeeze in a few interviews before I had to go back home to Atlanta. The day after I got home, I got a phone call about a paid Marketing internship I interviewed for – they wanted me to start in 2 weeks! I put in my notice at work, packed my bags, and left!. Read more>>

Liv Averie | Singer & Songwriter

You have got to show up for your blessings. There is no easy way through anything. Sometimes it’s not necessarily a hard risk physically, but it can be hard mentally if you aren’t looking at the blessing correctly. Read more>>

Liz Savage Allen | Founder of Fruitful Foundations

Risk has become a closer friend of mine in the past few years and especially in 2020. This past year specifically I’ve made some of the riskiest moves of my life. I’ve been purposely trying to integrate risk into my life more and more in recent years and it has changed my life for the better! It’s actually not the people you risk and fail the least that are successful but those who are willing to risk and fail the most. There are 5 major risks I’ve taken in the past few years that have played a major role in the design of my life. 1. Leaving a stable job for a really risky position in a startup. It was less pay, no benefits, no security. But it gave me the skills and confidence to do what I do now. It’s why I understand what’s needed to start a business. Read more>>

Carey Fountain | Multidisciplinary Artist/Musician, Artrepreneur and Visionary

I believe that if you’re not taking risks then you’re surviving instead of living. Life is unpredictable, short and any day can be your last so essentially day to day life is a risk. I think when you get anxious or uncomfortable about something it is a sign that you MUST pursue it, so essentially the urge to take risks are affirmations that you are on the right path for your purpose. My life/career has been all about risks. I immersed myself head first into the art world without any basis other than faith and the willingness to learn. Being 100% self-taught as an artist, I had to learn everything with only my curiosity as instruction. This made me comfortable with risks. So long as I can calculate my capacity, I can determine the feasibility of each risk. Our society makes it so easy for us to forget how infinite we all are and by taking risks, we remind ourselves of our limitless potential. The hardest part is showing up!. Read more>>

Daja Jones | Mental Health Therapist

Risks are inevitable to those wishing to grow. Often times risks are viewed as a negative thing, but I believe it to be necessary for success. I have learned to embrace the idea of risks despite the fear of failure, or the unknown. Taking that leap of faith, and trusting that no matter the outcome there is an opportunity for growth. Throughout my life I’ve been the “quiet”, “nice”, or “good” one. As I’ve come into adulthood, I’ve learned that it never gets old being the “good” one, but being good doesn’t mean being content or maneuvering through life without risks. As a mental health professional, I understand that success is a continuous effort. It is a lifestyle, and not a destination. As I continue to write my story I know that I have to maintain the act of investing into myself, and what I want out of life. Taking risks can be anxiety provoking, scary, and uncertain, but taking risks has also benefited me in ways where I’ve shown myself that I am capable of more than I think I am. I honestly can’t see success without risks. Read more>>

Mary Kathryn Lavallee | Professional Organizer

Risk taking is something that often comes up when I tell people I started my business right after graduating my master program in a field that has seemingly very little to do with my background. I cannot count the amount of times people have said “wow, what a huge risk” to me, and for a long time I would play it down because I never know how to act with a lot of attention and praise. However, I picked this question because I think risk taking is a huge factor into my success today, and I look at it differently because of an earlier life event. When I was in the 9th grade my grandpa told me “you can only fail if you don’t try. If you try, no matter what the outcome is, you will learn something valuable”. He told me this as I applied to a very academically challenging private school as a dyslexic student. And this story doesn’t have the happy end many people will think. I did get into the school, however, one semester later with close to failing grades, no self-confidence, and on the verge of depression I asked my parent if I could leave the school half-way through the year. Read more>>

Solita Roberts-Goodwin | Image Coach + Personal Stylist

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” I think risk is a catalyst of being alive; as much as we all would like to avoid it, certain events in life force us to take risks- big or small. As an entrepreneur, making the decision to swim out to a new horizon, not sure what’s ahead or what’s going to happen, is the second biggest risk I’ve taken in the last two years. I knew that when I decided to officially pivot into starting my Imaging coach and personal styling agency, I was responsible for the direction of my life from that point. I no longer had the “false” sense of security of a paycheck or having my career trajectory left up to someone else. Knowing that I am responsible for my growth is life-changing and scary at times, but I truly believe if you swim, the shore will appear. Read more>>

Azari Jackson | Entrepreneur | Plus Model | Modelprenuer

Having faith and taking risks go hand and hand. I’m a very intuitive person, and throughout my life I’ve learned to follow my spirit. I had to learn that not all of my obstacles will have a safe and logical solution. This is where taking risks has played a role in my life and career. As a full time entrepreneur, I take risks daily. I’ve gotten comfortable with being uncomfortable. The unknown (how many sells will I make this month, will I get new clients, etc.) no longer worries me. I know that in order to progress and reach my goals I cannot always play it safe. I may have to risk temporary discomfort in order to get where I’m destined to go. So at the end of the day, I take risks and have faith that everything is working toward my highest good, whether the immediate outcome is favorable or not. Read more>>

Pearl Fils-Aime | Model, Entertainer & Leadership Coach

You have to take risks to grow. Playing it safe, and staying in your comfort zone, will not get you far. From the outside looking in, many would say I have taken a lot of risks. One in particular is leaving a 6-figure job to start my own company. I left my job, in the middle of the 2009 financial crisis. My mentors thought I was crazy, and questioned why I would leave a secure position in the middle of a crisis. Yet, my intuition (my gut) was telling me to leave. It was telling me, there was something more for me in life. When it comes to taking risks in life, you have to trust your gut, its your compass and inner wisdom. I am more fulfilled living the life I have lived with the risks I have taken. It’s a road less traveled, but the rewards are abundant. Read more>>

Lionel B | Celebrity YouTuber, Rapper & Reality Show Producer

Risk played a major part in my life and career. It was a risk to jump on a platform that can often be filled with extreme negativity that can often consume people if you’re not careful. When I started my YouTube journey I had to have thick skin and learn to block out the negativity. With me being able to not zone into those things, it was a huge reward on the other end for me and my family. Approaching 90 million views in less than 3 years is more than I could have ever imagined happening for me, until I took that risk and decided to go for it. Even doing my first video I was a little bit skeptical, but I kept pressing forward and my following just starting growing from 0 to currently 353,000 followers on YouTube. Read more>>

Zac & Wes | Eternal Strength Experiential Therapeutic Youth Center

Risk is everything…..we were born risk takers, on this earth to push, learn, grow and ultimately take risks. Zac and I believe that everything in life is inherently risky and this is where people misconstrue the idea of “risk taking”. People tend to believe that taking a risk is only when you do something spontaneous or dangerous, however, playing it safe and not changing comes with massive risks as well. Zac and I have chosen to use risk to grow, learn and push our limits to ultimately see what we are capable of in our lives. My good friend John always said “we all die in this bitch” and we use that to fuel our overall mission while on earth. We are all going to die and therefore the risks we take while alive should be in alignment with our core heart values and our true life’s purpose. Read more>>

Creyauna Willis | Visual Artist & Painter

I had to become very comfortable with being uncomfortable. Of all the trials Ive faced in life, they were only training grounds. Each trial was extremely uncomfortable but after while, discomfort began to feel normal to me, As if that’s what God was using to build and grow what was inside of me. Like a seed, needing both sunshine and rain. Light and darkness. I grew. Just as I am growing today in every risk that I take. Growth is not comfortable. Taking a risk is scary. But how would I ever know? If I had never painted for people like T.I, Monica, Kings of Comedy, such as George Lopez or Charlie Murphy or Cedric the Entertainer, etc. I had NO idea if I would actually even get to meet these people or even be in the same room. But each time, my gift spoke for me. My gift made room for me and truly brought me before great men, as it is currently doing. But I had to do the work first, with no guarantee that it would even bring about these present results. Read more>>

Lillie Young | Entrepreneur

Risk for me is when I put all my fear aside and jump right in for my business knowing what the Naysayers have said…risking my money, time and mind. I knew it would be all worth it. Just do it, dive right into the risk of one day having pure freedom. If I haven’t taken the risk and write my first book I would have 4 books and many other brands. It started it all for me. Read more>>

Martell Hardy | Photographer & Filmmaker

Risk taking? For any artist, risk taking is key to becoming closer to success. That doesn’t mean finding something you like and just dropping everything to do it. You have to LOVE it! Life advice from Vince Camuto, “if you’re not happy get out of what you’re doing…find your passion and love it not force it.” I dropped out of college my sophomore year because I knew exactly what I wanted to do with photography. That was the biggest risk I took to further my career. My mom didn’t understand it at first. She was like “now what?” I just kept telling her to trust me. In my head I have no plan b, I know being an artist is exactly what I want to be. Theres a lot of people nowadays who want to be an artist for clout or the instagram likes. That sh*t never mattered to me, I create for myself. It’s a learning experience most of the time. Recently I became a film photographer in 2020. Which means I only shoot with analog photography cameras. I took that year off. Read more>>

Destinie White | Content Creator & Media Host

I’ve always heard, “some of the biggest decisions that you will ever make, you will have to make scared.” That statement is so true. We as people love the feeling of comfort. We get used to having a routine and being in control of our plans. However, growth becomes very limited with comfort. Taking a leap of faith is much easier said than done. Being a risk taker is very scary because you don’t know what’s waiting on the other side. Taking risks and being afraid has truly molded me into a brave young woman. A few years ago, I would’ve been afraid to put myself out there and become a creator or a podcast host. The ride has been fun, scary, overwhelming at times, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Read more>>

Joey Johnson | Video Production & Stunts

Deep down I believe I am a play-it-safe kind of person that understands the importance of taking risks. Without risk, there is no growth. In order to grow as a person or a business you need to explore the unknown or uncertain. I like to have back up plans and a safety line to mitigate the damage from whatever risk I take. For example, when I was getting my degree in film, which some may label as risky, I also minored in CIS and gave myself a technology background in case my film career didn’t work out. While building my business, I maintained a steady income to support myself until my business showed enough growth. Currently, I am in the early stages of my stunt career, yet I continue to build on my experience behind the camera and in post production. I encourage others to take risks to pursue their passions, while also creating a back up plan not only to minimize the risk involved, but also open up new opportunities within their passion or field. Read more>>

Kecia J | Empowerment Maven/Author/Logistics Mogul

When I think about my life and the foundation it stands on, I immediately think of the word “RISK”. When we understand the basis of the definition it states, ” a situation involving one to harm or loss”. To be honest, I had to learn that on that ladder of success, you are going to fail, fall and loose in order to build character. From taking the risks that I have taken over the years, I have learned so much about myself as woman. Most of which I have been able to apply to my many business ventures and successes. If it were not for me falling while combating through the many obstacles and loses that life has thrown my way, I would not have had the courage to write my first book, or start my own business. The reason for taking risks is to go against the unknown! It’s a way to fight past any fear you may be facing and push toward your purpose. We must learn that we take risks everyday. In what we eat, from the relationships we enter into whether business or personal; they all boil down to you taking risks. Read more>>

Christopher Sims | Author

Life is all about risk. I believe everyone should take risk. The only way you’re going to be successful if you take risk. I’ve taken risk all my life and that’s how I’ve gotten to where i am Today. I’m a go getter and I’ll do anything i have To do to flourish myself to the next level. Read more>>

Eryk Leone | Musical Artist

Risk taking for me has built so much character and gave me experience on my journey to creative fulfillment. Being a creative has never been as easy as it may look to others, there are so many let downs, mistakes and inevitable lessons along the way. Practicing risk taking is a desire that has steered me right into the rooms that helped open other doors and provided me bigger opportunities. Risk taking is almost similar to the “closed mouths don’t get fed” theory; If you never take those risks based on fear of failing how would you ever know what type of gratitude is waiting for you on the other side?. Read more>>

Arshaad Norwood | Visual Artist & Art Educator

On January 19th, I decided to risk it all and walked away from my 11 year art education career to pursue my art business full time. All APS teachers were forced to go back to face to face instruction without vaccination regardless of telework requests, rising cases, teacher deaths, and preexisting conditions but I couldn’t put my family’ health at risk so I had no choice but to take unpaid leave. The decision to refocus on my art career was extremely difficult due to my wife being laid off work during the pandemic with me being the sole breadwinner for our two children but it has dramatically changed our lives for the better. Since then, I’ve taken advantage of every opportunity to push my art business to the next level. I have produced Murals, live paintings, portraits paintings, graphic art commissions, paint parties & paint party kits. I am also currently in the process of developing my own Virtual Art Program that targets disenfranchised student populations that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Read more>>