This is a transcript of Episode 46: Why Mindset Matters Most For New Uber Drivers (Transcript). You can find show notes, comments and more by clicking here. You can also listen to the podcast in iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.
Announcer: Welcome to the Rideshare Guy podcast, the site that’s dedicated to helping drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder. So whether you drive for Lyft, Uber, Sidecar or anything in between, we’ve got you covered. And now here’s your host, Harry Campbell.
Harry: What’s going on, everybody? Harry here and welcome to another episode of the Rideshare Guy podcast, episode number 46, Why Mindset Matters Most For New Uber Drivers. So hopefully your guys’ summer went well and, you know, it’s coming to a close. I think we’re here in the last weekend of September.
And for me, had a good summer. Didn’t do a whole lot, celebrated a two-year anniversary with my wife just a couple of months ago, so that was definitely cool. Made it two years. And if you guys have been listening with me all the way from the beginning, you probably remember me talking about actually getting married. I think I probably got married in episode one or two or three of the podcast, so thanks to everyone who sort of followed along that journey with me. I wanted to give you guys a quick update on that and I’ve made it.
But we’re now at the end of summer and I actually am attending a cool conference this week called FinCon, which is a personal finance bloggers conference. And although I’m not directly related in this space, that’s sort of how I got my start blogging and I know a ton of people and I know even some Rideshare Guy listeners will be there. I think Tyler tweeted me and said that he would be there, so Tyler, looking forward to seeing you there and meeting you. And actually Melissa, who helps out with some of my podcasts and who’s actually listening right now and doing some of the editing work, she’ll be there, so I’m excited to meet her. [Editor’s note: yay!]
But other than that, summer’s coming to an end. So feel free to reach out to me, let me know on Twitter or Facebook what you guys have been up to. I always love to hear from you. And on today’s episode, let’s get right into it, right?
We’re talking with Bobby Marchesso, and Bobby’s a driver who is based out of Los Angeles. He’s driving on Uber Select and he’s a relatively new driver. He reached out to me though because he really brings a different and sort of fresh and new perspective to rideshare.
I’m always trying to really highlight different perspectives, whether for Uber or against Uber, and I really try to provide different perspectives so that you guys can go out there and sort of make the judgment for yourself.
If you’ve noticed in a lot of my writing and a lot of my podcasts and interviews, I’m never telling people, “Hey, this is great. You should go do this. You should sign up.” My strategy has always been more, “If you wanna do this, here’s how you do it to the best of your capability.”
I think when Bobby emailed me and reached out to me about coming on to the podcast, a lot of what he was talking about really resonated with me and I think that you guys are really gonna enjoy this interview. It’s definitely more focused on the positives and we’re gonna highlight a lot more of the good parts about driving for Uber, the benefits, how you can leverage it, why you should leverage it, and things like that.
But I think Bobby also brings some great points. So just kinda keep that in mind, go in with an open mind. It’s a little bit more positive and, you know, kind of just basically praising what it’s like to be an Uber driver. He’s trying lots of new stuff and, speaking of that, I think you guys will definitely enjoy it, but I want to mention today’s episode is actually brought to you by DoorDash. If you haven’t heard of them before, I suggest that you check them out because they’re growing rapidly and in need of lots more drivers.
They can also increase your driving income. I’m not just telling you guys to sign up for them because they’re a cool company, and they’ll make me some money because they’re sponsoring my show, but I actually believe that they can help you as a driver, whether it’s diversifying your income or just providing a new perspective.
One of the things that I really like best about DoorDash and their Dashers is that they make a lot of money in tips. DoorDash has actually built a feature into their app to strongly encourage tipping, so guys, I placed a ton of orders on DoorDash because I try all these apps out from the customer side, and when you place an order with DoorDash, the tip is preset amount, right? So you literally have to change the amount and opt out of the tip. So you can imagine that most people actually tip because of that. It’s built into the app so you can see that default tip amount. Drivers also keep 100% of the tips so that’s cool.
On top of that, they earn a delivery fee each time they deliver. And I got a cool stat from DoorDash, which I double-checked and is actually sort of believable when you start dashing, because 97% of customers actually tip. So on every order, your chances of getting a tip are 97%. So that means you actually get tipped and obviously tips make up a large percentage of your order. With some of the Dashers I’ve talked to, it’s up to half of their total earnings. So definitely check that out.
Of course if you guys are out there driving for Uber, you now know that, hey, you’re probably not that likely to get a tip, but now you can for delivering that Chipotle burrito to them. So hopefully you guys will check out DoorDash. I’ve got a link in the show notes or you can just go to therideshareguy.com/dasher and check that out and sign up.
Other than that, I kinda wanna get moving on to the show. This episode and show notes can be found at therideshareguy.com/episode46. And definitely stay tuned to the end because Bobby’s actually going to share some advice that he’ll give to anyone who’s out there considering driving for Uber or who’s on the fence or really just any decision in general, I think Bobby provides a lot of perspective there. So hopefully you guys enjoy this interview and without further ado, let’s hear from Bobby.
Interview with Bobby Marchesso
All right, Bobby, how are you doing today?
Bobby: I’m good. How are you, sir?
Harry: Doing well. Just getting my day started and ready to record this interview. Are you ready to rock this interview?
Bobby: I’m ready. Let’s do it.
Harry: All right. And so for my audience who probably doesn’t know you, why don’t you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.
Bobby: Well, my name’s Bobby Marchesso and I’m originally from Colorado but I moved out here to California to kind of expand my acting career and spokesperson career. I did a television morning show for NBC and I ended up moving out here to California, like I said, just to kinda become more of an actor type. I still do a lot of spokesperson commercials and hosting and things like that. But when I’m not Ubering, that’s what I do. Sometimes it’s a couple of weeks in between gigs, you know, and I wanted something to keep me busy and to let my wife know I’m not at home playing video games in my underwear. So this kinda keeps me out and about. She knows I have a somewhat steady job.
Harry: Cool. So you’re an Uber driver and actor based out of L.A. There aren’t too many of those, huh?
Bobby: Correct. No, I think as far as I know, I’m the only one. But yeah, there might be one other.
Harry: Oh, really? I was thinking… I think there are a lot of Uber drivers and actors in L.A.
Bobby: Yeah, I think so, too. I think Uber is what being a waiter to the actor used to be. You know, how actors would wait tables and stuff, I think this has kinda replaced that and [it’s] much better. Much better than waiting tables.
Harry: Cool, awesome. Well, let’s take a step back. So we know you’re an Uber driver, you have kind of a cool…well, you may actually be the most famous person we ever had on the Rideshare Guy podcast if you’re on TV, or if you’ve been on TV.
Harry: So that’s a win. Maybe I’ll try to find, maybe you can send me a YouTube clip and we’ll link to it in the show notes for the audience.
Bobby: And you can hang my picture up in your podcast room or something, like they do in the cleaners. You know, they have the picture and they have an autograph, “This show rocks.”
Harry: We’ll see how the interview goes and then we’ll talk about that.
Bobby: Okay. Yeah, let’s wait until it goes first and then we can decide.
Harry: Right on. So let’s get into it, right? I wanna rewind the clock a little bit and, you know, one of the reasons I wanted to bring you on is because what you emailed to me and sort of your story I think really resonated with me and it’s something that I’ve done, not only through Uber but a lot of the projects and a lot of the gigs I’ve tried out in my life. So why don’t you tell us, when did you first hear about Uber?
Bobby: I don’t remember. I would think probably last year, late last year sometime is when I first heard about the concept. And I get surprised today when I talk to Uber drivers and ask them, you know, “How long have you been doing this,” and they’ll tell me two or three years and I’m like, “Oh, goodness,” you know? So I was just way behind the times, I think. But I had first started hearing about that and then hearing about driving for Uber and it was a casual conversation between my wife and I as far as, “Oh, you should do that,” or, “Maybe that’s something we’ll look into.”
And I thought about it and I remember, I didn’t have a great car at the time so I was gonna borrow my wife’s. And so as I was kinda mulling it over, I said, “If I do this, I might have to use your car,” and she was becoming okay with that, but then I ended up buying the car that I have now and it worked out really well. So I’ve actually only been driving with Uber for, well, actually it’s been five months to the day. I looked it up this morning because I wanted to see how long it’s been, so since April.
Harry: Cool, awesome. And so talk to me about when you first signed up, I mean, what were you reading, what were you hearing, what were you seeing about Uber, kind of what were your initial impressions?
Bobby: Well, it was all on my own. So I didn’t talk to anybody about their experiences or anything like that. I had just thought, “Okay, I’m gonna do this.” And I got online, saw what it took to sign up. For me, I don’t wait. I like to get things done, you know, immediately. So my wife and I were out, we came home, I immediately went to one of their little substations and they’re just, you know, tables set up underneath the tent where they just inspect your car and things like that. I went down, they immediately signed me in and told me it would probably take a week or so for background checks and things like that to come through.
I knew one of the other major priorities, even though I’ve never done this before, I guess just common sense told me that I would be making airport runs. And so I wanted to quickly get into that status as well, not just regular Uber driver but somebody who’s also qualified to go to the airport. That didn’t show if you didn’t take the test and everything. So I took the test, I passed that and then it really only took like two days for my background check to come through, so it was incredibly fast.
And so then meanwhile I’m reading up on this, I’m Googling, I’m trying to find out tips of what, you know, other Uber drivers had to say and what the best areas are and what the best times and yada, yada. And of course, yours was the very first that I had come across and I watched several of your podcasts having to do with surges and having to do with how to pick up riders, tips for…
Harry: These are the YouTube videos or you listen to the podcasts?
Bobby: All of them, all of them. There was just so much information there and I loved it because fellow driver and just you seemed very down to earth and just presented everything in just a no-nonsense way, which is exactly how I like.
Bobby: And so I knew that there would be, you just have to keep in mind to work smarter, not harder. And so learning about as much as I could about getting on the road, how to get five stars, and what to do, like when to come on and what areas work and stuff like that, I just knew had to be a priority. And so I think there was a little bit, and I know we’re gonna get into this, but a little bit of a learning curve of waiting to see how all of this was gonna transpire.
Harry: Yeah, and I mean, so it sounds like you actually didn’t do your research though until after you’d already signed up, right? You heard about it and you decided, “Hey, I’m gonna do this,” got signed up and then decided to look into it.
Bobby: Yeah. Yeah, because I figured, what is it? It’s driving, it’s picking people up, taking them to the destination, no cash involved. I mean, that’s really all you had to know. I guess I figured that there was plenty of opportunity here in Orange County to be able to pick up people. And so I guess it’s just something that I knew. So no, I didn’t look at it to see how busy I would be or anything like that. I just somehow kinda knew that it would be busy, you know, and that’s before I’d even looked at the Select option. So I drive an Uber Select.
Bobby: And I knew I could do both, you know what I mean? So I could go back and do regular Uber X and then I can also do Uber Select. And I guess I had planned on just doing Uber X, you know, with once in a while getting Select calls. And I was very fortunate I actually ended up not having to do that.
Harry: Yeah. And I mean, I think kinda the big thing, too, is that sort of your experience was the ideal, I guess you would say. You signed up, within a couple of days, it sounds like you were approved to drive. I usually tell people, “Hey, you can actually be approved to drive for Uber within just a few days in an ideal scenario.”
Bobby: Yeah, right.
Harry: There’s definitely some times where it takes longer and problems do happen with some people’s applications, but I think that’s the other thing that a lot of people may not realize is that, for me, just trying… not every opportunity that presents itself is this easy to get into, right? That really if you already own a car and if you already have a smartphone and can pass a background check, that’s really all you need.
In a lot of other lines of work, and I’m sure that you have experience with other things, you might need, like with your acting, you might need headshots and you might need to know someone and know the right people and get an agent and all this stuff, there’s these huge barriers to entry and people still do it. But I guess the good and the bad about Uber is that there’s pretty little barrier to entry, would you agree?
Bobby: I would agree. Yeah, it was very easy to get in. And like I say, depending on the background check and whatever comes through, your driving record, your car’s in good condition, none of that I had to worry about, you know what I mean? So I don’t have a criminal record and things like that and my car is practically brand new, so there was just so much I didn’t need to worry about.
Harry: Yeah, okay. So you’re signed up to drive and it sounds like you’re doing some research. I mean, what’s your go to spot, what was your go to spot for research? Where did you go to learn? Was it just Googling, YouTube, podcasts? How did you do your research for this gig in those couple days before you started driving?
Bobby: It was Googling, it was your podcasts and videos. A couple of other people, you know, several different things come up on the searches, don’t they, and so you just kinda click on one, see what everybody has to say…and I know again, we’ll get into this…but you’re reading all the negative comments. I don’t wanna know about negative comments.
I want to know about my experience and what to expect practically. How much am I gonna make an hour? What’s feasible? What kinds of fees does Uber take? How much of the rides am I gonna, you know, I was calculating the distance between my place and the airport to see how many miles it was. I would get a fare estimate, you know, I’d get the regular Uber app and I would do fare estimates, “Oh, it takes this much to go out to LAX, it costs this much to go to Burbank, so I can probably expect to get maybe 60% of that,” you know what I mean?
I was just trying to see how much and I found a site that had listed out what’s feasible, taking care of your car, gas on your car, car washes, yada, yada, how much Uber takes and by the end it was all done, it was probably about 60% and I thought that was brilliant. I’m like, “I can live with that, you know.” So it was basically again trying to get an idea, a ballpark of what I could make in a week, when the best times it was to work?
Obviously, the first things you hear are weekends, weekend nights, the bar hours. But I’m very fortunate, I’m very successful at my other job and so I haven’t needed to go out and work the bar hours. But I know I can if I really needed to, you know what I mean? So that’s why my experience is a bit different anyway.
I don’t want to say it’s inspiring, but to anybody who’s starting out, know that you don’t need to be afraid if you can’t work some of these hours that people are telling you to work because I do very well just getting up early in the morning, doing airport runs, clocking out around 10:00 in the morning after, you know, kind of the mad dash is over. And then I’ll clock back in for another couple of hours around 3 or 4, you know, when things start to pick up again.
It’s knowing the area that you’re working, knowing the type of people that you’re getting in your car. In other words, business people, people who are going to work. Is it just people who are wandering around? What type of people are you getting inside your car? And that’ll teach you again when you need to work.
And so I don’t work the bar hours, so you don’t have to do that. I don’t work the events, which I could certainly. You know, there’s a way to go about it. If you know there’s a Dodger game, go put yourself in areas where, you know, people are gonna want to ride to the stadium. If you don’t want to hang out waiting for a ride at the stadium, park yourself outside of the stadium quite a bit. You know what I mean? So there’s just so many different ways to work it, and I don’t work any of those and I do very well.
Harry: Yeah. And that’s definitely one of the reasons kind of why I wanted to bring you on, to really highlight that, you know, the experiences you read about and that you see about, I think it’s sort of good you wanna do your due diligence and you wanna do your research, which it sounds like you did. But one thing you said that sort of stood out to me is that you were reading, you didn’t want to read any of the negative opinions. You didn’t want to read any of the negatives. What did you mean by that?
Bobby: Well, if you ever worked in an office building and somebody will come up to you, it’s your first day or second day and somebody says, “Oh, you see that girl over there. Stay away from her. She’s a bitch. She’s mean to everybody.” And the next thing you know, you and her actually get along quite well, you know what I mean? So that’s your experience with that person. She’s not horrible at all. It’s just maybe she’s got a problem with this other person.
I know myself well enough that I have enough of my own personal experiences with things that I want to work from that, not from some of the downers that other people have about this. And they get crazy. They talk about, I mean, you take such a…What really just impressed me with Uber specifically and that’s because I hadn’t compared Lyft or done anything else with any of the other ride share programs, so Uber was really it for me. And what I really loved is how supportive they were, how they were wanting you to succeed, they would send you dates and events and tell you what was going on and to help you out.
You take such a wonderful opportunity to drive your own car, set your own hours, and there’s still people who want to try to control that, who will talk about what a downer it is and why it’s not successful and this is how they mistreat their employees, and, “They work for us, we don’t work for them.” And it’s just like, “What?” That’s so crazy. They’re providing you with this incredible opportunity and you’re badmouthing them and saying that, you know, they work for you. Come on. It’s just ridiculous, you know what I mean? “They should pay us this much,” and, “This should be this,” and stuff. And those are just people who are probably discontented anyway, you know what I mean, in other areas of their lives.
Harry: Yeah, interesting. So I mean it sounds like kind of based off your, I guess work history and just personal experience in general, you’ve kind of come to really just ignore kind of the haters, ignore the Negative Nancys and figure things out for yourself. I mean, this could have potentially been something that you tried and hated. And I guess it didn’t turn out that way, but I mean, I think it sounds like you sort of base your opinion of things more off your personal experience than other people.
Bobby: Absolutely. And that’s the way I prefer to do it. Like you said, I was gonna jump in with both feet. If it was a horrible experience, so be it, that’s fine. But I know it was horrible for me. And even if I were to talk to somebody else, they’d say, “What do you think about driving for Uber,” I’d never want to go, “Don’t do it, man, because they’re like this.” It’s like here’s my experience and here’s what I went through.
Maybe it will be different for you. Give it a shot because you’re never gonna know until you try it, you know what I mean? So I’m always open-ended like that. I never tell anybody, “This is the way it’s going to be.” Again there’s always gonna be people who are going to try to change things, fix it, move it around to suit them better.
I think this is an amazing opportunity, again, to set your own hours and just the freedom of all of this. And then I get, you know, obviously when you get riders, you hear about their previous Uber experiences and it’s no wonder that I come out five stars. Because if that’s what you’re comparing me to, that’s no competition because of some of the stories I’ve heard from riders about Uber drivers. I mean, it’s crazy.
I don’t understand where they get off feeling like they can talk to a customer that way. So when you talk to a client…and we can go over tips and things like that later and stuff…but it’s not difficult to get five stars. It just really is not. I don’t worry about my ratings any longer, but when I first started out, I think I had to get close to 105 rides…I had more rides but 105 people who had actually rated and every single one of them was 5 stars. I hit 106 before I got my first 4-star.
Bobby: But again it’s not difficult to do. It’s just common sense, you know.
Advice for New Drivers
Harry: Yeah, and I mean, so I guess talking about those negative experiences, why do you think people are having those negative experiences? A lot of what you’re saying is sort of resonating with me because that’s kind of how I treat my business. I never tell people that they should or shouldn’t drive for Uber. I sort of highlight the positives and the negatives, I mean…and we’ll definitely, remind me to talk about some of the downsides, too, because I don’t wanna make it all one-sided but…
Bobby: No. Right.
Harry: Right now that sounds like probably the best…everyone who’s listening is probably signing up as we speak. But hey, hold off until at least the end of the show. And, you know, one thing that always resonated with me is that I kind of look at it like, I’m not a babysitter, right? I’m not gonna tell people, everyone’s an adult that’s reading my blog and listening to my podcasts.
All of my listeners, I trust to make adult decisions and I’m not going to tell them, “Hey, you should do this,” or, “You shouldn’t do that.” I’m gonna say, “Here’s what my experience was like. If you wanna do this job, here’s how you do it really well. Here’s some problems I’m having with this job,” right, to kind of educate and help other people and I guess for me, that’s always been the strategy that I’ve taken. I’ve never been a fan of telling people, “You can’t do this,” or, “You shouldn’t do this,” because it’s not enough money for me because everyone’s situation is really different, you know what I mean?
Bobby: Exactly, exactly.
Harry: And kind of thinking along the lines of that, you’re in a pretty good situation, right? It seems like your acting career is doing well. You have this side gig with Uber that not only keeps you busy and keeps your wife happy because you’re not playing video games, but you’re also making some money.
Do you think that you’re unique in that sense, that most drivers aren’t that fortunate? Or what are you thinking about your specific position, relative to other drivers? Do you think that has a big impact on why you’ve had such a positive experience with Uber?
Bobby: Well, there’s two things about that. One, you’re gonna ask people that will look at this particular situation and go, “Yeah, well, it’s different. He’s lucky. He gets to drive Select. He has all this going for him,” right?
Anybody who looks at somebody who’s being successful looks at it like that person was special or did something certain or got it handed to them because they’re not in that position and they’re always gonna compare themselves where they’re at to where you’re at and that’s already skewed.
The second part of that is that you create your own situation, you create your own experience. And so in other words, the only reason I’m successful as I am is because I have worked at becoming successful in my life in general and that’s why I know I have different experiences than somebody else. If you tell me, “Yeah, that lady in the office is a real bitch. Don’t mess with her,” I know I’m gonna have a different experience and I’ll purposely make friends with her and see for myself, do you see what I mean? I won’t just avoid and see how it turns out.
So I don’t think it’s unique. I think it’s very down to earth and I think that anybody can do what I have done. There’s no reason why anybody could not be successful at this. And so no, it’s not unique at all. I think that’s one of the things that really inspires me to talk about this is because I like to let people know, I’m not telling you from the state of mind of, “Hey, do this Uber thing because it’s this and it’s that,” and like I say, I’m a professional spokesperson so it may sound like that, but I’m not getting any money.
Harry: You have a good spokesperson voice.
Bobby: Why, thank you. But I’m not getting any money. It’s not a pyramid scheme. It’s not like I’m trying to get you on my team. I’m excited about it because it’s so easy, do you see what I mean?
And you’re right, there are some bad things to it, too. We just don’t focus on those. We bring these up and say, “Here’s part of the thing, so we don’t know if you’re going to experience that or not, but this is what could happen and here’s some of the negatives I’ve seen about it that maybe could change or that I would like to be better.”
But then that’s it and then you put those aside and you go back to focusing on the positive. So I’ve had only 1 person…I’m probably over 300 and some rides now…and I’ve only had 1 person I’ve ever given 1 star to. But again that’s my experience because everybody in my car is so great, you know what I mean? And again I don’t work the bar hours so I don’t have people throwing up in my car or anything like that, but even if they do, Uber takes care of you, don’t they? So what?
Harry: Yeah. And you know, really what’s standing out to me, it seems like it’s more of a mindset than anything with you. I mean, kind of talking about, “Hey, when I meet someone and someone else says that, ‘I don’t like her,’ I’m gonna go and make a purpose, make it kind of my mission to talk to her and see if my experience is the same or different,” and kind of the same thing with Uber, right? You hear other people saying that they don’t like this and you’re more thinking about it like, “Hey, how can I go do this and make it work for me, as opposed to the other way around?”
Bobby: Absolutely. And again that’s just a mindset that I’ve worked all my life to develop, you know what I mean? Not being in such a victim state of mind, waiting to see what Uber can do for me.
It’s riding the wave of this opportunity that Uber has provided and you can make yourself successful. It’s no joke when they talk about, “Hey, earn $1,400 a week,” or whatever. It’s no joke. You totally can, depending on how you work it.
Harry: Yeah. So what would you say to…I’m gonna kinda put you on the hot spot here and then I’ll let it cool down afterwards but…
Bobby: Dun dun dun.
Harry: What would you say to someone, “All right, I’m a driver, I’m working 40, 50, 60 hours a week and just kind of struggling to pay the bills and get by. How do I get into the position you’re in? Is it, I need to start thinking about it in the mindset way? Is there something I physically should be doing?
What if I’m really kind of…not necessarily struggling but I’m working, busting my ass to kind of drive for Uber?” And anytime you do something 5, 10, 20 hours a week, it’s a lot more enjoyable than when you’re doing it 40, 50, 60 hours a week, I think we’d probably both agree on that. So how do I get into that mindset or how do I get myself from where I am now to your state of mind or your kind of physical situation?
Bobby: The biggest thing to start off with is just relax. Stop hustling people around, stop trying to go pick up somebody, race to their destination, dump ’em off, try to pick up somebody else.
You’re looking at the Uber app, you see all these drivers around you, so you got to hurry and race, you know, away from them to get over here and then you got to try to work this searches…it’s too much. Most people who need money can’t relax from it, you see what I mean? So when you’re pushing against it, trying too hard to get all of that money because you’re trying to make a living because you got rents that’s due, it’s totally understandable that you would want to make this happen. But you can’t make it happen. It’s already happening.
Uber exists, the vibration, the current exists already for being successful. But if you’re trying to push that, it’s like a car engine. It’s already running. But if you stick your hand down in it to try to make it run faster, you’re gonna come out with a mangled hand. So you can’t force anything. Just relax about it.
And when you’re in a place, you know you’re gonna get rides. You’re gonna log in, you know the areas to work, you know the times to work, and you know you’re gonna get rides. And then it’s almost…it’s not magical thinking but it appears to be that…but all of a sudden, you’re getting more airport rides, you’re getting more longer rides.
Now you’re making 15 and 20 bucks a ride rather than just 3 bucks up the street. Because if that shows your attitude, I guarantee you, you’re gonna get more of the $3 rides just up the street. But again, you have to change all of that and expect to get longer rides.
Again it’s a whole philosophy of life really that just applies to Uber. It’s not that you get this from Uber. You have to change your mindset and not push against it so hard. But it’s tough to do. Like I say, I’ve been there. I know when you need money, you’re trying to make it happen, but you can’t make this happen.
Harry: Yeah. Yeah, it seems like you’re sort of trying to force something that just can’t be forced. And I guess I would say if I’m in that position, you know, where I do need money or I do need to kind of force it, kind of continually being in that position is obviously not a good place to be in. What are the specific kind of actionable steps you think someone like that could take? Is it just kind of relaxing and things will go well or are there…
Actionable Tips for Uber Drivers
Bobby: Well, yeah, it really is just about relaxing. The minute that you log on, take a look and again, see the drivers that are around you. Know what areas to log on in.
When I wake up, I wake up sometimes at 4:00 in the morning because I know airport rides are gonna come then and you could either go park down the street from a hotel. You can park in the middle of a residential that you know is gonna take rides to the airport. And you just relax and it will come.
Again, forcing anything to happen makes you too stressed. The more that you’re trying to get a ride or trying to get a longer ride, the more that you’re not and then that reflects in how you treat customers as well. And then your star ratings go down, then you’re not making as much, and then you say, “You know what? Screw this. Uber doesn’t work.” And I just think that’s crap, you know what I mean?
Harry: So it’s sort of like kind of taking a step, you know, to me it sounds like you really have to kind of take a step back, right? And think about, “Hey, if I’m constantly running on this hamster wheel, I’m never gonna be able to really get ahead. But if I can step back, take a higher, you know, 10,000 foot view of things, hey, what are the strategies that I could potentially do that are gonna increase my income, as opposed to just trying to pound out as many rides as possible in an hour?”
Bobby: Exactly, because if that’s what you’re doing and it hasn’t worked so far, don’t keep doing it, right? The definition of insanity. Something doesn’t work, so you keep doing the same thing over and over again, thinking that works and it does not. So try something different.
Just take a couple of days. I know you’re all stressed because you need that paycheck coming in, but unless you do, you’re just gonna continue to be stressed and it’s not gonna work out. So I would take a look. If you’re not making money, take responsibility for that. Why not? What are you doing that’s not making you money? And so then you take a look at your whole strategy again.
Harry: Yeah. And I think the other big part about getting into anything, especially with Uber driving, is setting realistic expectations when you first start. I usually tell most drivers, “In your first two, three, even four weeks, you really shouldn’t be focusing just on the money and how much you’re making. It’s more about learning kind of what you’re doing and learning how to do it really well.”
There is, you know, just like with any other job, there’s a bit of a learning curve. I’d say the big difference with Uber is that there are drivers, the better driver you are the more money you’ll make. Unlike a traditional job where everyone’s learning and you’re gonna get paid the same when you start, three months later when you’re good, kind of with Uber, there is this bit of a learning curve and as you get better, ideally you make more money, too. Did you experience that when you were first starting? Or how’d you handle that?
Bobby: Absolutely. Like, my first week, I didn’t do that great but I didn’t expect to do great. So you say go forward maybe with different expectations and maybe you just go forward without any expectations at all.
Maybe you just get to know what it’s like for a couple of weeks. What are Mondays like? What are Tuesdays like? Wednesdays? Thursdays? Fridays? Early mornings? Saturdays? Sundays? You have to get up in those hours, see what your busiest day is. The next week, compare what it was like last week, right? And then the following week, compare that.
Okay, it looks like Mondays at the beginning of the month are always more popular or whatever, Tuesdays or the day after Labor Day, whenever, you know? And then again, you kinda collect all of the data to put in. There are still learning curves, even five months later, because it’s busier starting to pick up now than it was, you know what I mean? Like, there was a lull in the summertime and now it’s starting to pick back up again.
And so you still have to go back. Just the other day, I went back to basics because I’d been out of town and so I went back to basics. I looked back at my high earnings back in May and saw what times and what locations I had picked up most of my riders. So I collect all that, I put it in my own little data thing and I look at that and then it’s picked up the past couple of days for me.
Bobby: So don’t have any expectations. Just go forward. If you pay more attention to customer service…again I’ve heard some of the naysayers, when the rider gets in, they always apologize to me for the short ride. I’m like, “Don’t. That’s what makes Uber so fantastic.” And they said, “Yeah, but my last driver gave me a lecture because he only had to take me, you know, like three blocks up the road,” or whatever and I’m like, “See, that’s ridiculous.”
Focus on customer service. I focus not on spending more time in traffic trying to get more money in the thing. I bought, I invested on my own the fast pass, the fast track, because that’s what people expect. If I’m gonna stay there in traffic just trying to get more money, that doesn’t do anybody any good. I just think that’s ridiculous.
Get the person where they need to go because that’s what Uber is about. It’s convenience, it’s getting people to their destination without the hassle of parking their own car or because it’s too busy in downtown so they are just going out for a nice evening. Get them where they need to go in the shortest time and the most hassle-free way possible. Not because you’re trying to extract every dollar from them by taking a longer route or getting stuck in traffic or what have you.
Again, when you pay attention to some of these basics, that is a different mindset. Take care of the customer stuff first and then you’ll be taken care of money-wise.
Harry: Definitely. And one thing, too, that you mentioned that is a good example of sort of that bigger picture is you were talking about the hustling for every ride and trying to do more and more rides and make that money, kind of being on the hamster wheel. You told me something really, you kind of casually brushed over it but I think it’s super-simple and super-important, is that you went back and looked at your earnings and what weeks and what places did you get the most profitable rides and then tried to replicate that and recreate that, right? That’s a very basic concept.
Bobby: And it’s so easy, too. Obviously there’s no guarantee it’ll work, but it makes sense, right? You’re thinking, “Hey, I made a lot of money here before during these times, these places. Let’s go try that again and see if it works.” And most likely it will.
Bobby: Right. And then you deduce, is it just because I’m slow this week or is it because I’m not doing something right? So I wanna make sure that I take out some of the old tools, employ them and see then, okay, maybe it’s just a slow time of year. I mean you had, you know, Wilt Chamberlain was talking about how he won the big game and they said, “What was going through your mind in that final hoop?” And he’s like, “Honestly it was dribble, one, two, dribble, three, four, dribble, one, two,” back to basics.
It’s just go back and look, if you’re not making the type of money that you don’t think you should be making, why? It’s you, it’s not Uber. Take responsibility for it. Put yourself in different locations, think about what it is that you’re doing, go back and see your earnings. When was it higher? When was it lower? Yeah, all these simple, simple things. Again, because the stream is there with Uber. And if you’re not making the money you need to, it’s probably your fault, not Uber’s.
Harry: Yeah. So I’m curious, too, have you surrounded yourself with a lot of other or do you surround yourself with a lot of like-minded people, you know, people who think like yourself, other drivers who think like yourself? Because I can imagine that if I’m a new driver and I’m looking around for information, I do see a lot of negative information, maybe some positive, maybe it seems like maybe more negative. You know, so if you’re a new driver, what do you think? Who are you surrounding yourself with? What type of people?
Bobby: I don’t actually. You know, my friends is basically it. It’s just my lifestyle. But I don’t talk…you know, there’s been opportunities with some different apps that you can purchase, you know, or monthly installments or whatever to help you with your driving, right? And I looked those up as well to try to make the most of everything and there’s always these communities and things like that. I just prefer to stay out of it because…
Bobby: Again, I’ve got my own mojo going and I’ve seen a couple of the other drivers in my area and they remind me of old cab drivers or limo type drivers because they’re trying to hustle. You’re parked in one place and they inch up and park just a block down the street from you and just stupid crap like that. And so I just kinda keep to myself and do it in my own way. I mean, if I see him and we’re driving by each other, obviously I’ll wave hi and stuff but it’s not a community-based thing for me. It very much can be though.
There’s so many options available if that’s what you want, to be in kind of an Uber community like that, there’s so many different options that you can join and absolutely it could be beneficial to anybody who joined them.
Harry: Gotcha. So it sounds like it’s more a personal choice, that you kind of have your own good thing going and really don’t need anyone else and kinda just keep the good times rolling.
Bobby: Pretty much, yeah.
Struggles as a New Uber Driver
Harry: Okay, cool. And then so as far as, you know, we talked a lot about the good. What struggles have you had as a driver? Have you had any struggles or has it been pretty much all positive?
Bobby: I sometimes have to really look at those because like I say, if there was a struggle, I tend to forget them very easily because I’m not focused on that.
Harry: I know, I was almost scared to ask you because I feel like you have this mindset where if something bad does happen, you kinda forget it quickly which I think is great. I didn’t wanna bring up any bad memories.
Bobby: Yeah, great. And now for the next two months, I’m not gonna make any money because I’ll be like, “Damn it, I can’t focus on anything now.”
I don’t recall honestly any super-bad experiences. There’s been some uncomfortable rides. Everybody has those, I’m sure. Some awkward moments. But again, if you’re customer-oriented and tuned into your client, you know when to chat, when not to chat.
You know what kind of a mood they’re in and not to push it and be all, “Hey, how’s your day going,” when they obviously are practically in tears. So again, it’s all just kinda common sense but I have not had really anything that I can say was the limit, you know, that I’m just like, “Oh my God. This is what they’re talking about.” And like I say, I’ve got close to 400 drives. It’s over 300, it’s probably about 350, 360 drives under my belt now and I just can’t say I’ve had any really awful experiences.
I think customer support Uber-wise could be a little bit better but they keep sending out emails saying it is getting better now, more help is available and easier. But really I haven’t needed to, because of blogs like yours and videos again that you put out, I haven’t really needed to go to Uber too terribly much, you know what I mean?
So no, again it’s just been a fantastic experience. And like I said, I know that I’m just the basic, it’s not because I’m lucky, it’s not because this is a unique experience. That’s what revs me up is to let the other person, regular person, know you can do this, too. It’s just what make of it. Anything is whatever you make of it, you know?
Harry: Yeah, definitely. So this has been great. I’ve learned a lot. I really like kinda the mindset. I’m big into just the philosophical nature of, you know, it’s kinda funny talking about the philosophical nature of driving for Uber, but also how it can apply to other aspects of your life because there are a lot of Uber drivers out there that are doing other things and have bigger goals and higher hopes.
So kind of wrapping up here, for my last question I wanna ask you like, what advice would you have or what would you tell someone who’s sort of considering Uber or just getting started? Like, what do they need to know and like what do you think will help them most, not only kind of with their Uber driving and all that, but also just in general kind of transitioning into whatever else they have going on in their life personally and professionally?
Bobby: Gosh, well, that’s a big, “Let’s wrap up and you’ve got 15 seconds, go.” The Zen of Uber, I guess, it’s kind of what we…if we were to encapsulate everything that we just talked about, it would be literally that: Just focus on you, where, again, driving smarter, getting to know your area and the busy times and slow times.
There is no reason, even if I didn’t drive Select vehicle and I drove regular UberX, when I switch over to X, I am busy. Boom, boom, boom, boom. And that’s not during surges. It’s other than that. So I have no doubt that you can make a good living by doing UberX.
You again just need to know when to drive, where to drive, and focus on customer service. Those three things will get you started in such a way and then it’ll really just create the momentum from there.
It’s the same way in your personal life, just bring everything home. Stop blaming the world, stop being a victim. Stop trying to force things to happen in your life. Get back to the basics, get back to the home base and then you start creating things that actually come to you rather than you having to go out and get everything in your life. It’s starting to get tiring now.
Harry: Yeah, definitely. Well, perfect. I love that advice and Bobby, thank you for coming on. If drivers might wanna get a hold of you or anything like that, is there a good way they can chat with you? Maybe we can leave a little Twitter or something like that in the show notes. We can talk about it later if you’re interested.
Bobby: Yeah, you can just do my email address, I guess. It would be the easiest way to get a hold of me. So yeah, they’re more than welcome. If you’re gonna put that in the show notes then I don’t need to tell you.
Harry: Awesome, sounds good. Well, I’ll leave all that in the show notes, therideshareguy.com/episode46. You guys can all check it out. And thanks for coming on, Bobby, I really appreciate it and I look forward to hearing more about your experience in the future.
Bobby: Great. Thanks, Harry.
Harry: All right, thanks again to Bobby Marchesso for coming on the podcast and spending some time talking about mindset. Now we obviously talked a lot about mindset on this podcast, but I think it’s an important skill for being not only a good Uber driver, but just a good person and human and entrepreneur in general, right?
Whatever you’re trying to achieve in your life, I think that mindset really has a lot to do with it and it won’t get you all the way there, but it does definitely make up a big part in my mind. And I think really what it is is just continually putting yourself in the right position to succeed, right?
And what I mean by that is, if you follow all these steps and everything we talked about and go apply it to your next job or your next driving job or gig or whatever it might be, you might not see immediate success. But if you’re continually applying those strategies and that line of thinking, I think that without a doubt you’re eventually gonna hit the jackpot or you’re eventually gonna get what you need and achieve your success or whatever you might be, whatever your goals might be.
And I really like Bobby’s approach for driving. He looked into it, he did some research, he did some due diligence. But then he said, “Hey, let’s do this,” right? “Let’s go for it.” And I think a lot of people struggle with that step, getting over that hump. And it’s whether they’re scared or they don’t think it’ll work out or they don’t think they’ll have the time, right? But I can tell you, I’ve always had a million things going on in my life and if something’s important to me, I make time for it. I prioritize the things that are most important to me. So if it’s important, you make time.
For me personally, a lot of what Bobby was saying resonated because when I first started driving for Uber a few years ago, I was working full-time as an aerospace engineer and a lot of my friends and a lot of my co-workers and other people just in general were saying, “Hey, why are you doing this? You have a good job, you work 40 hours a week. You can go home and watch TV and play around on the couch for all weekend if you want. Why would you go out and spend Friday, Saturday nights driving a bunch of junk people around?”
And for me, well, first of all, there was the money. I was making 20 or 30 bucks an hour or sometimes even more on holidays and the pay was great. And obviously the pay has come down a little bit since but that was a big reason for me. But more than anything, it was just trying this opportunity, right? It seemed like an interesting and cool opportunity.
I didn’t know what would come of it. I didn’t know that I’d eventually be able to build this huge business that would allow me to quit my job and would allow me to hire people for my business and allow me to really be very, very content and very, just happy with my life and kind of my career arc.
But it’s sort of about putting myself in that position because I did many things before becoming an Uber driver that were similar, whether it was trying out freelance writing, but it was all that kind of mindset of doing things on top of my day job on the side, right? I was always looking for those opportunities and then this one worked out the best.
So I think that’s sort of the big lesson for me here. In general, I think experience always trumps sort of that theory or sort of that research, right? You can read about something all you want, but at the end of the day, everyone’s experience is gonna be a lot different and not everyone is as honest and open as I am, right? I mean, I’m sure that a lot of people, when they’re first researching what it’s like to be an Uber driver, you have articles that talk all about how amazing it is and how much money you can make and then they plop their referral link down at the bottom encouraging you to sign up, right? A little bit of a conflict of interest there.
And then you have people who just hate Uber and just want to highlight all the negatives. And if you read that experience, you probably think that Uber is the worst job in the world. And then you have people like me and who I think are honestly in the minority who really try to highlight the positives and negatives, right? “Hey, if you wanna do this job, here’s how you do it best.” And so I think that, you know, that’s sort of the big lesson.
Another big lesson for me is just going out there and figuring these things out for yourself. Because if you’re reading about some driver only making $10 an hour, who says that you’re gonna have the same experience as them? Maybe they’re just a really crappy driver. Maybe not. Maybe you go out and make $10 an hour, too, and you’re like, “Wow, Harry, that guy is a total jackass. He told me to go drive for Uber and then look, I made the same amount of money as him,” or, “I didn’t make that much,” but at the end of the day, it’s your experience and you’re the one not relying on anyone else.
Basically you’re relying on yourself, and I think that’s the real important thing to note and that’s the big takeaway for me is kind of that mindset, all about that attitude. So hopefully you guys enjoyed this interview with Bobby. I know I did, for sure. Obviously you can check out the show notes to read a little bit more about some of the links we mentioned and even maybe get in contact with Bobby if you have any questions for him.
I also want to mention once again, this episode is brought to you by DoorDash. DoorDash is expanding rapidly and in need of delivery drivers just like you. So if you’re interested in diversifying your income, getting some tips, and maybe even taking a break from those drunk Friday night, Saturday night Uber rideshare passengers, you can sign up to deliver at therideshareguy.com/dasher, D-A-S-H-E-R, or you can head to the show notes page for more info and that’s at therideshareguy.com/episode46. Four six.
Definitely check that out. If you guys have any questions, feel free to reach out to me. You can always subscribe to the show on iTunes, wherever you get your podcasts. Hit up the email list, make sure you’re registered for that so you get all the posts about our new posts, new podcasts, new videos, everything. And then of course, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. I still respond to each and every single email. So even if you just wanna test me, even if you just wanna say hi, shoot me an email, make sure that I’m still responding, firstname.lastname@example.org. All right, take care, guys.
This is a transcript of Episode 46: Why Mindset Matters Most For New Uber Drivers (Transcript). You can find show notes, comments and more by clicking here. You can also listen to the podcast in iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.
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