In our experience, most folks, including ourselves don’t have enough of an understanding of risk and the role it plays in our lives and careers and so we have made a concerted effort as a team to have conversations about risk with our interviewees. We’ve shared some highlights below.

SEYDOU MAIGA | Fashion Designer, Entertainer, & Entrepreneur

Risk-taking is everything when you choose a career out of society’s understandings. The usual is to get a degree and find a job to work for, for the rest of your life. I decided at a young age that I wanted change to be a constant thing in my life. I see my clothing brand as a start to that change. Creating a business is very risky and adventurous, and you have to have the drive to never let failures determine if you’re good enough or not. When I started the brand, there were ups and downs just like any other career, but you get past them in order to get to the good days. From my perspective, life without risk is a life lived sitting on the bench instead of on the court playing with the big guys. When is the last time you saw your role model not take a risk on dreams they intended to pursue? Never. Like my clothing brand’s pursuit, dreams only happen when an idea is drawn out and created to form the risks needed for those dreams to become a reality. Read more>>

Aaron Carter | Fashion Creative

Risk is required in order to succeed. Everyone who is successful has taken some type of risk in order to get to the position where they are at. Taking risks has played a significant role in my life and creative career. I would not have been able to accomplish all of my achievements without taking a risk. I am a person who is big on “you will never know unless you try” and that has been the key to my success. I take risks simply for the benefit of myself and not other people. So many opportunities have presented themselves to me due to me taking risks. I would feel complacent and stagnant if I did not take risks. I feel as though that I have not taken enough risks yet, though. I know that my potential is endless and if I continue to be a risk-taker the sky is the limit for me. Having a great support system has also only motivated me more to take risks that will be necessary for my personal growth in all areas of my life. Read more>>

Raven Barrett | CreatHER of Cocoiv

Prior to becoming a business owner, taking risks were not my forte. I usually considered all possibilities that I could happen before I make a decision. I would think of the good, the bad, and before you know it I would work up my anxiety (i.e. why it also takes me forever to decide on a place to eat as well, but I digress) . My approach to taking risks now has done a complete 180. It’s not to say that I don’t still calculate some costs that may be associated with such said risks, but I am less apprehensive about making a decision. Read more>>

Montravious White | Visual Artist

Man I’ve took some many risks dealing with the business. From dropping out of college to move to a completely new city to cutting off friends and family who don’t see the same vision you see. After i graduated college I packed my car up and moved over a thousand miles away from home. I mean when my folks found out I was moving I was already halfway thru Kansas. No I wasn’t running from or after anything, but I was running to a new opportunity. Read more>>

DJ HercOnDaBeat | DJ & A&R

In the words of DJ Fresh “ In order to get something you never got, you got to do something you never had to do”. Simply meaning taking a risk can make you or break you, if you’re passionate about something and dedicated to do whatever it takes to get where you want to be you have to take risks. For me I took a big risk by leaving college and building my DJ career from the ground up. I had to put in my mind that I was going to be the outlet to help put artists and producers in my area on a bigger platform to get noticed and recognition. It hasn’t been easy at all but my hard work is definitely is starting to pay off. Read more>>

Fabiola Flores | Lifestyle Portrait Photographer

“Risk” is a word that I think we can all agree we are hearing more and more lately with the come up of so many small businesses. For most of my life, I felt like I always played it safe because there was a guaranteed outcome at the end of it. The “if you do this, like this, this will happen” kind of mentality. Little by little I have learned (and I am still learning) that risk is okay! If you take a risk and win, great. Do it again. If you take a risk and lose, also great. You learn from it and move on! Once I realized that taking risks are opportunities to grow and learn, that opened doors for me. When I got my camera I had no intention of starting a business. One day an old friend said “hey can you take my maternity pictures?” and I hesitated to reply. I had zero experience in doing a shoot and I was still learning what heck shutter speed, ISO, and aperture were. But she insisted, and I went for it. I thought I would just do these pictures and that would be the end of it, and now here I am with a whole small business! Take the risk. Just go for it. Losing and failing is a part of life, but what you learn from it is valuable. Read more>>

Rita Nicole Leslie | Writer. Storyteller. Creative Director

I’ve taken so many professional and creative risks throughout my career and in my life. I can say that it gets easier, once you see that it’s less about the actual outcome and more about the fact that you tried something that scared you and you didn’t die and the world didn’t end– you can relax your shoulders a bit and unclench your jaw. You realize it’s going to be fine, you put one foot in front of the other and you keep going. Run your own race, it doesn’t matter what the next person is doing. It’s about having the courage to be a novice, to potentially fail and not be as great as you’d hoped. So fail hard, it’s a great way to learn what you’re good at because everything changes once you learn to define success for yourself. Determine what that looks like for you. Read more>>

Dustin Miller | Guitarist/Songwriter

When I was around the age of thirteen, word had gotten around my school that I was a guitar player. I hadn’t been for very long at the time. I had maybe two years experience. Nevertheless, I received an invitation to the middle school talent show. There were a couple of other boys who played guitar, and we all had this idea that we’d participate together. An “I’ll do it if you do it” sort of thing. Well, the week of the show finally came around and I discovered they had backed out on me! I elected not to join them. I had been practicing diligently for a long time, and I wasn’t going to let my nerves get the best of me. Being the angsty little metal head that I was, I lugged my Marshall half-stack onto the stage, plugged in my Fender, and gave my best rendition of Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train that I could give. Lo and behold it didn’t suck all that bad. Read more>>

Remy Zimmerman | Artist & Entrepreneur

The art of taking a risk, in the hopes for a specific outcome, can be challenging and uncertain, however all the more fulfilling when that leap works in your favor – but also all the more devastating when things do not unravel your way. These extremes are what make risk taking so thrilling and tricky, satisfying and disastrous. However, you never know until you take that leap of faith. I took a leap of faith with my business, Remy Joy Art. I moved to Denver, Colorado, with my art being my only form of income. I am grateful that this leap of faith is working in my favor, however with this leap comes taking a new risk every day. I enjoy the thrill of being an artist, and from the outside, it seems quite simple – with an inside look, others would see that my day to day is quite precarious in nature. Read more>>

Daralynn Walker | Daralynn Walker Founder | President BWP Literary Services

I think we are always told to “take the leap” when reaching toward our goals, but I believe that you have to continuously take that leap over and over and over again to reach some long-term goals. It’s the small decisions that get you to your goals and most of the time your taking a risk. Whether, its with taking time away from your family, quitting your full-time job, or investing a large amount into your business, it’s necessary. I have made and continue to take calculated risks. sometimes they work, but sometimes they don’t. The times they don’t work, you learn from. The times they do work, you learn from as well. Read more>>

Ezekial Morgan | The ID Architect TV Host and Lifestyle Expert

I strongly suggest # 1 – Discover your who and what : Knowing who you are and what you can bring to the table is success. This needs to be identified before ever taking a risk. # 2 – Just leap. We all are equipped with tools to build the life we want. By leaping, we are pushing pass the fear and choosing to activate our true power. # 3 – Teach others on how to leap. Use your experience as a testimony. My risk taking journey never seems to stop. It gives me opportunities to build and customize the life I want. It’s actually parallel to building a house. When I identified who I was and what I could bring to the table, ( land in which I want to build ), I was ready to take a risk and start building my new life ( the construction and development phase ) Next, I had to do something after the leap, I had to present myself publicly ( similar to an open house ) to people that were waiting on me. Read more>>

Hattie Inese | Founder/Creative Director of Creative Purpose Productions an Arts Non Profit

I am a firm believer in doing something you have a passion for scared. The saying “we miss 100% of the chances we don’t take” is real. Taking risk plays a major role in majority of the wonderful opportunities and experiences I have been blessed to have. Meeting and working with people I never thought I would ever have the pleasure of working with. Taking risk is not easy, anytime I took a risk it was never easy. I use discernment, if I feel strongly in my spirit about it I make the move while scared/afraid. Uncertainty is apart of life, I believe I am here for a reason. If I allow fear to keep me from what sets my soul on fire I could never forgive myself. My purpose is bigger than me. Which means I in return have to go over myself and be what I am meant to be. Read more>>

Bridger Trent | Actor / Model / Entrepreneur

Risk taking begins with the dissatisfaction caused by the lack of courage to get up and fail. Without risk we find our beds to be our best friends, and instead of Netflix as a reward it becomes our identity. I’m currently reading Frank Hubert’s Dune and he says it best, “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” With fear comes the lack of risk, and without risk comes ordinary. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be extraordinary, or at the very least unordinary any day of the week. Read more>>

Shandrè Brown | Crafter and Founder of MadexLove Creative D

For me, taking risk has made it real. My biggest risk was stepping out of my comfort zone and showing my creative side which turned in to me creating my own business. Taking a risk to start my own business lead to a domino of perseverance. MadexLove allows me to share my creative talents in whatever capacity I choose. I am also able to show customers how I relate crafts to life. Read more>>

Tiara Bree | Cosplayer, Actress & Model

Risks are required for growth. I feel like every decision involves some sort of risk, so I look at it as a challenge I plan to tackle. Taking risks have played a big part in my growth in all endeavors. I moved to Atlanta on a whim, with no job, not knowing where I was going to live, if I was going to “make it” or what all I’d achieve, but it was well worth the risk. I knew that somehow, some way I’d land on my feet so the risk was necessary. In my cosplay career, every move I make is a risk because it’s such a niche market, each decision in regard to what I choose to do is a gamble. There’s several risks in acting as well. I feel taking risks propels you to the next level because you’re presented with two choices when you take them; role with the punches and succeed, or dwell in the uncertainty and fail. I choose to succeed. Read more>>

Carrington Kelso | Singer Songwriter, Producer, & Creative Director

Risk has been one of the greatest teachers for me and my artistic career. I risked moving away from home , family, and friends in 2010 to go to a college that many hadn’t heard of. It ended up being one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I joined an amazing show choir, taught myself guitar, and fell in love with performing. In 2018, I risked a job I was making 5 figures at to see my idol perform at a legendary music festival; that festival was BEYCHELLA. I ended up losing my job, but that festival reminded me of what I wanted to do for the rest of my life…perform. As I’ve continued to traverse the music industry, I’ve seen time and time again that when I take risks, and bet on myself, I always come out on the other side better than I was before. I know that to sit amongst the greats I have to take risks, no matter how terrifying. I trust myself and my gifts to carry me through the doors I need to walk though, risks and all. Read more>>

Lindsey Anderson | Executive Director of Vision Driven 757 & Motivational Speaker

Risks are necessary for life. I always have and will always bet on myself. Taking the first step is a risk; deciding not to give up no matter what is a risk, choosing to follow your heart is a risk. Every one of my accomplishments results from taking a chance and knowing that I will be able to bounce back no matter the outcome. I’m fully aware of what could go wrong, but I wouldn’t be able to live with the “what if” if I didn’t at least try. Stepping out on faith has yet to fail me, so I will continue to take risks in my life and business. Read more>>

TOMEKA & TRAZ TILLER | Founders of Tillervision Productions LLC

We think that risk taking is very important. I mean, how would you know if something is going to work if you don’t jump out there and take the risk. Risk taking is what has helped us move forward with our company. People often tell us that our productions are risky. We have one that we call “HO” and it has a very powerful message in it. Some people think its offensive but you can’t judge a book by its cover. You literally have to see the play to know the meaning behind it. We also believe in presenting our productions in a very raw and real way. If this is how it happen in the streets, this is how it will go down in the productions. We like to bring real life to the stage. HO has what we call ladies in the night in it. They dress the part, They act the part. HO has been called raunchy and a few people walked out, but those that stayed threw the whole thing “got it”! Read more>>

Keren Granados | Entrepreneur & International Business Expert

Overall, any decisions you take will impact your life or career the same also goes for the decisions you do not take. The more centered you are about who you are, the better your assessment on what risk you afford. I can now say, that by taking an early career risk, it helped me to learn valuable lessons, get more experience, and help me to move ahead quickly. One time while living in California, I remember having the choice between continue to working as full-time employee, or placing all my chips on getting my MBA. This was a choice I had faced, so I asked my boss for his point of view and recommendations to pursue my advanced education. The conversation with my boss was the tipping point of my career, not only help me to pay for half of my MBA cost, but in the long term, the knowledge gained, also lead to my move to Atlanta where I currently operate all of my businesses. My life is the result of TAKING THAT ONE RISK. Read more>>

Dan Fisher | Owner and Chief Operating Officer

For my entire career, I had been a company man, working in agency support to some of the largest brands in the world. It was fun and it was very safe – I contributed to my 401(k) like clockwork and had a comfortable life. When my role was downsized in corporate America, I was at a crossroads deciding between the safety of seeking another corporate position or looking into entrepreneurship. Starting a business was an enormous risk for me – commercial real estate generally requires a personal guarantee for the space that we are leasing which entitles the owners to be able to seize my assets should we not be able to pay rent. With a young family at home, I risk losing my house should my business fail. I believed in my business plan and thought that the reward of working for myself would outweigh that risk. We opened our business on January 10, 2020 and had to close our doors for the pandemic on March 23, 2020. You can imagine the stress that situation created. Read more>>

Tom Stockman | Multi-Media Artist

I think making art and putting it out in the world and tying it to your identity like we here are all doing has a certain element of risk to it. It takes time, energy, money and over the course of years you’ll see a different kind of life for you emerge. The artists watch doors close, the money dwindles. Even if art is strictly a hobby for you, something on the side, it takes so much of your time, the pursuit of excellence in the work of art demands so much from you. I mean just dumb material things, like I just spent my entire stimulus check on art making tools. I’m like broke, you know? But I’m looking around and taking stock and I’m telling myself well I’ve dedicated my life to the arts and it’s not going to pay off period if I don’t pour more into it than I can necessarily afford to. I feel like I’m risking a part of my life in a serious way just striving to see my work look better. Read more>>

Caleb “SoulSoundz” McLean | Music Producer

Risk is an omnipresent part of the music business. You’ll never escape it. When I came to Atlanta in 2016 I took a leap of faith – moving to a city I’d never seen, with only an internship offer and a chance to prove myself. You have to be calculated and make your decisions work for for you – mitigating the risk yourself. Diving headfirst into the Atlanta music industry was the best decision I could’ve ever made at the time. That “risky decision” literally lead me to all of the relationships and opportunities that I have today. Read more>>

Christian/Jack/ Alex Gerner-Smidt/Reed/Morrison | Guitarist & Singer/Bassist & Singer/Drummer & Singer

I think in any artistic pursuit you have to be willing to assume a certain degree of risk: whether your art will be received well and whether your expression comes across honestly. For me personally, I have always taken a lot of risks almost haphazardly. Between only applying to one place for college (having never seen it or known anything about the school) to working at a startup company during the day and to starting new bands, it’s something that’s always followed me. Still, I think it’s impossible to achieve anything worth having without assuming some risk. Getting outside your comfort zone and trying new things is essential to personal growth and that’s definitely something we’re currently seeing in our music. While our back catalogue is very straightforward rock music, we’re in the middle of writing a new series of conceptual EPs that musically are a big departure from anything we’ve done. It’s more edgy, more diverse, more out of left field, and definitely more intricate. And it feels very right for us. Read more>>

Zander Krenger | Actor/Magician

Every audition is a risk for a performer. I feel butterflies every time that I audition for or play a role, share a new magic trick, or sing on stage. As an actor, I have had to befriend stepping out of my comfort zone on a regular basis and learn to embrace risk. Perhaps the biggest risks that I have taken in my career have been geographical ones. First, I worked as an intern at Disneyworld and stayed on to work there full-time when the program ended. I was hundreds of miles from my family but I was doing what I loved. Then, (FOUR?) years ago, when the film industry was blooming in Georgia, I took another risk and moved from my familiar environment to a place where I did not know anyone except my significant other. Since that time, I have been on stage in Marietta, worked as an actor at Six Flags and Netherworld, have worked in multiple states with American Immersion Theatre, have had a role in a major film, have worked lighting and sound for productions, and most recently host my own magic show (as well as working on other productions) with Role Call Theatre in Atlanta. Read more>>

Sarah Kim | Co-Owner of Our Bar ATL

I owe a lot of my success to risk because it always comes accompanied by opportunity. So much of my life has been a series of risky decisions that more often than not turned out okay. As I’ve gotten older, the stakes have definitely gotten higher. But I still move based on my gut instinct rather than calculations. That’s just the kind of person I am. I believe all the small good actions you do build up karma and that karmic wealth eventually translates to material success. Read more>>

Nigil Crawford | Photographer & Producer

Taking risks is something that isn’t for everyone. When I think about a decision, I ask myself, “Am I doing it for me? Or am I doing it so that other people can have a certain opinion about me?” The most successful risks have come from me making my own decisions. In freelance, it’s so many different opportunities to leverage yourself. Part of risk taking is learning it’s okay to say “no” to a few things. I found myself turning down a lot of opportunities more now either because their budgets weren’t big enough or it wasn’t beneficial for me. No matter the profession or where you work, YOU are your own brand. It’s important to know that that you don’t owe anyone anything. If someone invests in you, it’s because they see something in you that can (in most cases) benefit you both. Read more>>

Cameron Wolf | Fashion Artist

I like to believe, life is all about the risks you take. Taking risks actually plays a very huge part of my life and career. I love to say, ” if you’re not taking risks, you’re not living life to the max “. How can you expect the best joys in the world by playing it safe; playing it safe is actually a risk in itself because you risk missing out on something that could perhaps be of better quality for your life. Not taking risks, in my opinion also limits your growth. You get comfy in your environment and the capabilities that you currently have but reaching for new experiences, new goals and new challenges opens up new problems/situations that you’ll have to overcome, but once you do, you’ll learn that you’re a better version of yourself because of that risk you took. Taking risks never ends in a lost; it’s either educational or super rewarding $$$. #lonewolfmafia. Read more>>

Yasir Waqaar | No Risk No Reward

Low risks low reward, high risk high reward comes to mind. Risks are always calculated. That could be simple math or calculus. I size up the situation and choose the path. It’s either an immediate response or a slower planned methodical process. With family and business, risks are part of daily life. In business, I travel for trade shows and events. On some occasions, I am paid. For the unpaid travel, it’s an investment in education and networking opportunities. I gain knowledge and information that will benefit the business. Read more>>

Litaa Allen | Loc Magician & Life Coach

I could honestly write a book. I think about risk in segments. I have anxiety so i try not to do anything that would potentially trigger me or stress me out to be completely honest. With that being said, i am a risk taker. HairTherapyVI was a risk. Becoming a life coach was also a risk, but they were risks i was willing to take. Risks that i don’t regret taking. I am a firm believer in doing the things you love & not things you feel you have to do. I grew up watching people work at the same company, in the same position for years, with the goal of collecting a check once they retired. I get it, but i don’t want that. I rather take risks. God is definitely in control of my life & he has an almost annoying sense of humor sometimes. Waking up & deciding to be an entrepreneur is a risk i take every day, but i love it here!. Read more>>

Keonna Shauntae | Nail Artist

Risk…… Lets just say that I am a risk taker by nature. I love to try new things even if it might not come out the way I expect it too. Me personally I feel like life is a risk. The unknown is what makes it interesting. Life is beautiful, even the ups and downs teaches lessons. You just have to understand the lesson it taught you in order to learn from them. I believe in only one life to live. Question is what will you do with yours? Fear will never take you far in life it keeps you in a circle. Don’t be afraid to leave that circle because greater could just be on the outside of the it. Read more>>


We take risk everyday when we leave our homes not knowing if we will return home safe and sound. I took a huge risk when I relocated from Buffalo, NY to Atlanta Georgia. I was an actress performing in the Theater but I knew I could do more and I wanted to do more. Read more>>

Matt Fowler | Actor

Fortune favors the bold, right? I’m a firm believer in that statement. I think the thing about risk is a lot of people only see one side, the risk. But if you’re going to make risk-taking a part of your life you also need the vision to see the possible rewards. Another thing about taking risks (or perceived risks) is that the more you do it, the easier it gets. Also knowing the difference between a risk and some thing that you just haven’t done before is important. There are actual risks in life and business, but a lot of the things that people are afraid of aren’t risky at all, they’re just new! Once I started thinking that way it helped me be a lot more bold which led me to some great and unforeseen rewards. Read more>>

Kimberly Gordon | Cosmetologist/Entrepreneur

Risk taking is very necessary in starting or running a business. Playing it safe is always smart, however if you don’t take risk you’ll always think about what would’ve happened if you just took that risk. I’ve always been a person to say “What the hell” I’m just gonna try it. My entire career has been based on taking risk and doing something that I’m actually terrified to do. Of course everything didn’t always work out how I planned, however it’s a lesson learned and I’m not constantly thinking “what if”. I’m a firm believer in jumping out there and taking the leap of faith. Read more>>

Lovely Vibez | Holistic Healer & Yoga Instructor

I truly believe the greater the risk the greater the reward but it’s about calculated risk. Faith without works is dead, so with faith ANYTHING is possible. Just have to be willing to bet on yourself at ALL times. Read more>>

Jaron Smalls | Singer/Songwriter & Producer

Taking a risk is similar to jumping off of a cliff, believing undoubtedly that there is some type of cushion already in place to brace your fall whenever you land. Risks create moments in our lives that allow us to outgrow the comfort of our own complacency. If I would have never taken the risks I had taken in life or in music, it would be impossible for me to be the man and or artist I am today. Although I had the opportunity to grow up around musicians and vocalists, pursuing music as a career full time created such a heavy anxiety for me, because of all the unknown factors that come with thriving in the music industry. Taking risks for myself meant missing a few meals for a few days, sleeping in the car some nights, going two years without a place to stay, getting taken advantage of by labels, saying goodbye to certain relationships, losing money on gilded opportunities, etc. However, these experiences created an indescribable drive in me. Read more>>

Jamie Dortch | Self Taught Nail Technician

I view risk taking as an opportunity to learn. For a while I was afraid to even start because I did not want to fail. Once I realized that failing is an important part of learning, I did away with the fear of failing and now I am always willing to take risks when it comes to my business because it is the only way I will know how it feels to learn from a failure and succeed. When it comes to my personal life, I was in the same mental space with taking risks, fearful. I am not a fan of the unknown so at one point in time, I preferred to play it safe. But I have learned recently, that I won’t know unless I try. Every decision I make will effect my life at some point and if I can deal with the outcome- good or bad- I make the decision that I feel will be best for me. Everyone won’t always agree with everything I do, but I have to live my life for me. I make sure to keep God first, and consult with Him before I make any major life decisons because if it is not in His plan for my life, no matter how hard I try it just won’t work. Read more>>


I am a firm believer: no risk, no reward. Everything about being a successful entrepreneur requires taking risks. I believe you must be willing to give up everything you have for what you want. Read more>>