Eileen Fisher on Starting Her Own Company
"If we listen to our instincts, our risks feel right to us. When I started the company, with my last $350, everyone (especially my mother) thought I was taking a huge risk, but it never felt that way to me. I had these pictures in my mind— a vision of simple shapes— and I followed the pictures until they became real. It's the little risks that shape our lives...stretching yourself a little each day." — Eileen Fisher


Maria Shriver on Parenting 
"Having kids—the responsibility of rearing good, kind, ethical, responsible human beings—the biggest job anyone can embark on. Like any risk, you have to take a leap of faith and ask lots of wonderful people for their help and guidance. I thank God everyday for giving me the opportunity to parent." — Maria Shriver


Terry McMillan on Her Marriage
"One of the biggest risks I've ever taken was marrying my husband, who is two decades younger than I am. Why was it so risky? Not for the obvious reasons, but to see if I really believed all the 'smack' I was advocating in terms of living and loving in the moment and not worrying about 20 years from now." — Terry McMillan


Renée Fleming At The Opera
"It was opening night at the Metropolitan Opera in 1995, and I was playing Desdemona in the season opening production of Othello with Placido Domingo. I had just given birth to my second daughter four and a half weeks before the opening. I was seriously concerned about whether I would have the energy and stamina to perform at a high enough level so soon after giving birth. This opportunity was extremely important to my career. I took the risk and happily, it became a major positive turning point for me." — Renée Fleming


Brenda Blethyn Success Story
"In retrospect, I suppose the biggest risk I ever took was giving up my good job in order to go to drama school at the age of 27. At the time I didn't regard it as a risk. It was simply something that I had to do, or I would spend the rest of my life wondering. Thinking about it now, I suppose I was more likely to fail than to succeed in this business, but whoever it was who said 'it's better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all' got it right." — Brenda Blethyn


No Ties for David Sedaris
"Leaving my teaching job at the Art Institute of Chicago and moving to New York was the biggest risk I ever took...I knew I'd never get a teaching job again...or any job where I'd have to wear a tie. The next job I got was as an elf at Macy's... . (Basically I went from a tie to tights.) And actually it was the best job I ever had—I made a fortune at that!" — David Sedaris


Ming-Na Wen At Last
"Last year, I invested a large portion of my retirement money and produced an Asian-American boys band named AT LAST, derived from Martin Luther King's speech, 'Free at Last'. There's a need for Asian representation in the music industry. I'm willing to take a risk to make a difference." — Ming-Na Wen


Susan Lucci on Broadway
"In December of 1999, I took a career risk as I made my Broadway debut in Annie Get Your Gun. It was a tremendous undertaking to prepare for the role and I studied with great people while receiving support from the entire cast. While others perceived my Broadway performance as a risk, I knew that I was born to be in the theater. I had the time of my life and made a lifelong dream come true." — Susan Lucci


Della Reese on Faith
"The biggest risk I ever took was not listening to God, figuring I could do it on my own and not clearing it with him first. You can imagine what the consequences were." — Della Reese