The Franchise King®

Here Are 68 Quotes About Risk Taking. Many Of Them Are Quite Inspiring.

take a risk quotes image of melanie curtis on a daring adventure flying with parachute
(Sharing quotes about risk taking wouldn’t be legit if it didn’t include Melanie Curtis, a woman who’s obviously not afraid of taking risks.)

Watching Melanie Curtis fly was what got me thinking about writing a post featuring the top quotes on risk-taking. As in business risk-taking.

That, and the fact that people who buy franchises are, themselves, risk-takers. Let’s dig in…

Quotes About Risk Taking: The Definition Of Risk

First, the definition of risk:

A situation involving exposure to danger. The possibility that something unpleasant or unwelcome will happen.”

Got it?

So, how do you feel about risk…about risk taking?

Are there certain things you consider risky?

For example, do you consider it risky to go into business for yourself? I do. But I did it anyway.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy).

As a matter of fact, I just celebrated my 21st anniversary of going into business. (Yay!)

In addition, I regularly write articles and produce videos on taking business risks…like becoming a franchise owner.* So, I’m pretty-much knee-deep in risk-related stuff all the time.

*It can be risky to buy a franchise, but doing great research can lower it.

Of course there’s risk…and there’s risk. Watch: (With speakers on!)


(Who the heck came up with that idea???)

The Best Quotes About Taking Risks

What follows are the best inspirational quotes on risk taking. Maybe they’ll inspire you to take a few more risks.

Important! I’m not suggesting that you take dangerous, life-threatening risks.

I just want you (if you’re ready) to think about taking a couple of risks. And you can start small. Okay?

A List Of Inspirational Quotes About Taking Risks In Business

The quotes below are divided into two sections.

The first section of quotes are from places like BrainyQuote and Goodreads.

In contrast, the second section of quotes on risk come from small business owners, experts, entrepreneurs, attorney’s and more. In other words, the quotes in this section are more about business-related risk-taking.

The bottom line?

If you’re about to take a risk, maybe one of the quotes below will help put things in perspective for you.

quotes about business risk-taking

You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.”

– Paulo Coelho

My parents taught me honesty, truth, compassion, kindness and how to care for people. Also, they encouraged me to take risks, to boldly go. They taught me that the greatest danger in life is not taking the adventure.”

– Brian Blessed

A General’s Take A Risk Quote

The time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. That’s the time to listen to every fear you can imagine! When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead!”

– General George S. Patton

Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.”

– Denis Waitley

The ground beneath you is shifting, and either you get sucked in by holding on to old ways, or you take a giant step forward by taking some risks and seeing what happens.”

– Bonnie Hammer

Muhammad Ali

He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.“

Muhammad Ali

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.”

― Helen Keller


quotes-about-safety-vs.-risk border=

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.

― John A. Shedd

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

– T.S. Eliot

I really like this quote on risk:

If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”

– Jim Rohn

The biggest risk a person can take is to do nothing.”

– Robert Kiyosaki

When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.”

— Ellen DeGeneres

Living with fear stops us taking risks, and if you don’t go out on the branch, you’re never going to get the best fruit.”

– Sarah Parish

Update! Melanie Curtis (see the 1st image in this post) Just Did This

(Courtesy of ABC News)

“You can’t be successful in business without taking risks. It’s really that simple.”

– Adena Friedman

We cannot guarantee success, but we can guarantee failure merely by choosing not to try at all. Choosing to take a risk, however, small, can have far-reaching implications in the course of human life.”

– John Izzo, PhD

You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”

– William Faulkner

I think risktaking is a great adventure. And life should be full of adventures.”

– Herbie Hancock

I think it’s really great when you stand up for something that you really believe, even if you get heat for it.”

– Christina Aguilera

More Quotes About Taking Risks

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”

– Theodore Roosevelt


quotes about business risk

When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.”

– Patrick Overton

“To live, to TRULY live, we must be willing to RISK. To be nothing in order to find everything. To leap before we look.”

– Mandy Hale

Being safe doesn’t mean you won’t be sorry.”

– Katerina Stoykova Klemer

If you don’t take risks, you’ll have a wasted soul.”

– Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore headshot by David Shankbone

All choices are fraught with peril, but inaction is the most perilous of all.”

– Frewin Jones

The world will never know you because you were not bold and did not take a risk

– Sunday Adelaja



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Almost everything worthwhile carries with it some sort of risk, whether it’s starting a new business you love, whether it’s leaving home, whether it’s getting married, or whether it’s flying in space.”

– Chris Hadfield

quote on risk from Chris Hadfield

Risk: no full life occurs without it.”

– Gina Greenlee

And then there is the most dangerous risk of all – the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.”

– Randy Komisar

Risk may bring pain, but risk also brings freedom and reward.”

– Shandel Slaten

sistine chapel

If no one ever took risks, Michaelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor.”

– Neil Simon

I feel like the fools who dream and who take risks are the ones who change the world.”

– Jimmy Gomez

“A life lesson for me is, how do you muster the courage to take on a new risk? Whether it’s starting up a business or taking on a new project or expedition. I think the risks that we take are all relative to the risk-taker.”

– Ann Bancroft

Check Out My Scientific Risk Calculator!

But we also believe in taking risks, because that’s how you move things along.”

– Melinda Gates

To win big, you sometimes have to take big risks.”

– Bill Gates

Bill Gates 2013

By establishing milestones, gates, and questions along the way, you’re ensuring that you’re being smart about the risks you’re taking. And as hard as it is, you’ve got to be ready to say, “We are stoppin.”

– Ina Kamenz, former CIO of Eli Lilly and Company

In any business opportunity, you’d be looking, probably, primarily at the risk and return. Some business can be very risky with a low return; what you want is the lowest risk with the biggest return.”

– John Caudwell

It’s important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable.”

– Sara Blakely, Founder of Spanx

Most women I know who have been successful in business, it’s because they’ve been willing to take on the risky challenge that other people would say, ‘Oh, I’m not sure I want to do that.”

– Sandra E. Peterson

Optimistic people play a disproportionate role in shaping our lives. Their decisions make a difference; they are inventors, entrepreneurs, political and military leaders – not average people. They got to where they are by seeking challenges and taking risks.“

– Daniel Kahneman

The thing about taking risks is, if it’s really a risk, you really can fail. It’s only a pretend risk if you really can’t fail.

– Connie Britton

Connie Britton at PaleyFest 2013 (cropped)

I talk a lot about taking risks, and then I follow that up very quickly by saying, ‘Take prudent risks.’”

– Irene Rosenfeld

There is no greater country on Earth for entrepreneurship than America. In every category, from the high-tech world of Silicon Valley, where I live, to University R&D labs, to countless Main Street small business owners, Americans are taking risks, embracing new ideas and – most importantly – creating jobs.”

– Eric Ries

The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety.”

– Goethe

I won’t touch on risky, because that’s subjective. People are just afraid of things too much. Afraid of things that don’t necessarily merit fear.”

– Frank Ocean

risk takers starting a business
(Image courtesy of Surf Kayak Gear Ltd.)

Quotes About Business Risk Taking From Entrepreneurs And Small Business Experts

If you can’t live with risk, don’t be starting a business. Take care, keep your antennae up, plan carefully, review, revise, and be careful, to minimize risk. You manage risk. But you can’t start a business without it.”

– Tim Berry, LivePlan

ttim berry business plan expert

It may seem scary, but it’s important for business owners to get out of their comfort zones. Sure, being in your comfort zone makes you feel safe and secure and there’s not a lot of risk there. But, to discover, to explore, to innovate, to grow, you’ve got to take risks (big and small) to get where you want to go.”

– Rieva Lesonsky, Small Biz Daily

small business news

I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.”

– Marissa Mayer, former president and CEO of Yahoo!

Deep personal growth and healing is the most courageous pursuit there is.”

– Melanie Curtis, Author of “How to Fly

Without risk, there is no growth. Taking the right risks at the right time can be the greatest proponent to success. Be fearless. Start with the mindset that you’re going in for an attempt and be ready to test, adjust, rinse, repeat.”

– Sacha Brant, Brandscrubbers

small business branding

The amount you believe in yourself and your convictions is directly proportional to the amount you are willing to risk.”

– Brian Moran

risk quote from brian moran

“You have to take risks. If you don’t take any risk, you won’t get any reward.”

– Barbara Weltman

small business tax experts

Only take on risk when it is greatly outweighed by the potential reward. It may sound simple, but far too many people don’t do a risk/reward calculation and take risks that generate poor outcomes.”

– Carol Roth

When your gut tells you it’s right-research all facts-then go for it! Your gut could be having a bad day.”

– Rhonda Sanderson

rhonda sanderson on taking a risk

It’s perfectly okay to not take a risk.”
– The Franchise King®, Joel Libava

Risks are not about taking big leaps. They’re about taking interim steps and learning from your actions along the way

– Barry Moltz, Small Business Expert

scottsdale small business expert

95% of my ideas fail. The other 5%? They feed my family. Risk is everything for an entrepreneur.”

– Jim Kukral, Unskippable


It is funny that so many people are conditioned to believe having a job is the risk free way to live. But employees have less control over what happens to their income than entrepreneurs. Simon Cowell said he started businesses because he didn’t want to live in fear. I see working for yourself as a way to have more freedom and control.”

-Gail Gardner

small business gail gardner

“Risk is one of the key ingredients to a successful business. How you manage it determines your level of success.”

– Charles Internicola

charles internacola franchising law

I believe that business owners must take and accept certain calculated risks. And sure, I have worked with my fair share of business owners who leap first and worry about the consequences later. But generally the most successful business owners have a plan or a system that they know or have proven will work. They may have invested capital, which could be considered risky to some, but almost always those business owners knew they could expect a return from that investment. It wasn’t just a shot in the dark.”

-Rush Nigut, Attorney

iowa franchise lawyers

Successful people take successful risks. They plan, balance options, and then take massive action. When they fail, they learn from their results and don’t make the same mistake twice. That’s what makes their risks successful. After all, not taking calculated risks in business in life is simply succeeding in comfortable inaction, and good things rarely come from doing nothing.”

– Mitch Jackson

mitch jackson on risk

People give up their dreams for the safety net. But there is no net. We are all always flying without a net. There’s not a house that can’t burn down, a stock that can’t fall–you don’t even know if you’ll be alive tomorrow. So you might as well do what you want!”

– Chellie Campbell

chellie campbell financial guru

Risk is the ability to leave any fear at the back door to achieve results.”

– Laurel Delaney, founder of Globe Trade.com and President of Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global™

laurel delaney

More Great Quotes From Smart Business Experts

If it weren’t risky, then everyone would be doing it.”

– Gene Marks

gene marks quotes on risk-taking in small business

There’s stupid risk- build it and they will come- and informed risk-I’ve done the math, looked at potential upsides and brutally honest downsides and can hold both the good and bad and see opportunities. That’s the only risk worth taking.”

– Bob Phibbs, The Retail Doctor

the retail doctor

Leaving behind the safety of a steady paycheck for entrepreneurship was the scariest and riskiest – yet most rewarding – decision I’ve ever made. Risk isn’t for sissies!”

– Kate Paine

kate paine

Risk works a lot better when you take smaller risks often that don’t necessarily cost you the farm if they don’t pay off. A lot of my moves in business have been experimental branches off the primary business function. To take too big a risk is to potentially lose too much to recover and/or shield the people who count on you from as many consequences as possible.”

– Chris Brogan, business advisor and author

If you’re not willing to take some measure of risk, you’re limiting yourself. Having said that always measure HOW MUCH risk you can tolerate. Losing your home? Losing sleep? Not being at your child’s basketball game? Missing dinner with your spouse? Your risk level is going to be different than mine. But the ONLY way to succeed is by taking SOME measure of RISK!”

– Ramon Ray

ramon ray quotes on risk-taking

The only appropriate risk to assume is Calculated Risk.”

– Jeffery Kitzberger, Certified Financial Planner

jeffery kitzberger

I hope you enjoyed this collection of quotes on risk taking!

Finally, here’s how I feel about risk, and you can “quote” me:

I believe in taking risks…but not extreme risks. I like the kind of risks that I have a reasonable chance of recovering from if something goes wrong.”

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joel libava

I'm The Franchise King®, Joel Libava. I help prospective franchise owners avoid bank account emptying mistakes.
For 23 years, I’ve been showing people how to make smart, informed decisions on franchises to buy, and I can help you, too!
P.S. I'm not a franchise consultant/broker.

Joel is Highly Principled
There are many people in the franchise business who claim to to be experts in the field. Unfortunately many of them lack both knowledge and integrity. Joel, however, is without question one of the most qualified and principled people I know, in or out of his industry."
- Greg Reynolds, Retired Outplacement Counselor
"Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it."
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