7 min read

    7 min read

    Like with any job, there are times when you may not want to go to work or may feel down and out about your job.  But today, RSG contributor, Scott Van Maldegiam, takes a look at why and how that can happen.  And he also provides some tips to help you get back on your feet and remember why you started doing this in the first place.

    As with any job or career, we have our good days and our bad.  And sometimes, we can have a string of bad days.  It is the luck of the draw and it’s bound to happen to most drivers at some point.  This can lead to some drivers to throwing in the towel, some quitting and others just needing a little time off.  Some will just keep heading out but with a bad attitude.

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    I think most of us started driving, excited about the opportunity to make a few extra bucks and the adventure of meeting new people. When or if we lose our rideshare mojo, how do we get it back?

    Review why you think you lost your mojo

    Sometimes just reviewing where you are and how you got to your current bad attitude is enough snap you out of your funk.  This doesn’t just apply to rideshare driving, but to many things in life.  Here are a few things that can mess with your mojo:

    • Mess – Someone making a mess in your car slows you down and is frustrating to deal with.  How many incident free rides have you given prior to this one rider that made a mess?
    • Rude – Getting a string of rude people can make you just want to stop driving for the day/night.  A change of location can be a big help to change your luck.
    • Dangerous – I always try and focus on the over 99 percent of riders that are perfectly safe and nice rather than focus on the one percent.  In dealing with the one percent, either complete the ride and just forget about it or retell the story to riders.  Everyone likes a story about a crazy rider so relish in your bad experiences by retelling the story.
    • Bad $$ Night – Sometimes you go out and there just aren’t many rides or you get lots of minimum fares.  The luck of the draw isn’t always in your favor and it can get frustrating to have a bad night or even a bad week.

    Focus on why you became a rideshare driver

    Most of us drive for a lot of the same reasons.  Taking a step back and reviewing those reasons can help revive the mojo.

    Common reasons people decide to drive

    Whenever I get asked by people “Should I become a driver?”, I ask them about the following criteria:

    • Like to drive – You will be driving for long periods of time.  If you don’t like to drive, this will be a miserable existence.
    • Like meeting new people – This is the fun part of rideshare driving. Most passengers are fun and nice people.
    • Enjoy drunk people… or at least tolerate drunk people – Some of the most fun rides are with people who have tossed back a few.  The other people that aren’t as enjoyable leave you with the best stories.

    Reminiscing about some of your best stories or remembering what it felt like when you started driving can help revive your mojo.

    Unique reasons people decide to drive

    My reasons to drive have changed since I started a year and a half ago.  Here are some of the reasons why people like to drive:

    • Networking – Many people who are driving are looking for their next opportunity.  What better way to network than to be put into a situation where your are forced to talk to someone you have never met?  I have met some amazing people while driving and have found people to connect with in order to find a new job.
    • Sell – Do you have a product or service that you sell?  If you sell to consumers, every person that sits in your car is a potential sale.  Even if you sell a product or service to businesses, there is still opportunity.  I have sold health insurance policies to people I have driven and I just started a new position as an Energy Advisor, selling lighting retrofits to businesses for energy savings (using utility incentives to help pay for the projects).  I already have one prospect from driving.
    • Explore – I have found many places that I want to visit as a result of driving people to these locations.  The places that come to mind are breweries.  From Two Brothers out in the western suburbs to Lagunitas in Chicago, there are many breweries in Chicago that are worth visiting as tourist destinations.  Driving also gives me the opportunity to explore and discover areas of prospective lighting retrofit clients.
    • Money – While no one would drive if we didn’t get paid, I contest that most people won’t drive long-term if this is their primary reason for driving.  In the short-term, if you have something specific you are saving for, this can provide great motivation.  Whether it is a vacation or a new car, a monetary goal to gain something you really want can make you happy to go out and drive.
    • Superstition – This one may be unique to me.  On Monday, I decided to drive because every time I did during the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Chicago Blackhawks won.  So, Chicago, because I drove during game 6 on Monday, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup.
    • Flexibility – This is a big one for a lot of drivers but if you value the flexibility that comes with rideshare driving remember there is not a single other job on the planet with this type of flexibility.  Even if you’re making minimum wage at McDonald’s you don’t get to show up whenever you want and work as little or as much as you want.

    Having goals such as these can give you the motivation and the mojo to continue to drive or to get back to driving.

    Just drive and have fun

    Sometimes as drivers, we get a little too focused on the details of how to make more money and how to minimize expenses.  Here are some ways to mix-it-up:

    • Go where the wind takes you – Don’t focus on where the surge is or all the activity is.  Just let riders decide where you go and where you end up.  Start your shift in a new area.  While sometimes this can mean some downtime, it can also provide a ride request from a new rideshare rider in an area that is generally under served.  You might even find a new hot spot that other drivers don’t know about yet.  I have found a few hot spots in the suburbs by using this strategy.
    • Unique question you ask every passenger – This is something I do all the time.  The questions are always fun and non-controversial but make people think a bit.  Passengers really seem to enjoy this and always make for a fun ride.  See what people are saying on our Facebook page about this one.
    • Activities – When I was on vacation as a kid, we used to try and find license plates from all the states.  Now, my daughter always plays Slug-Bug whether I am playing or not.  Pitting rider against rider in a friendly contest of trivia or observation is always fun.  Providing a very small prize to the winner will allow the winner to have bragging rights for the rest of the night.

    The main idea here is to have fun.

    Have you ever lost your rideshare mojo?  What did you do to get it back?  Please share why you lost your mojo and what you did to get it back with fellow drivers.

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    -Scott @ RSG

    Scott Van Maldegiam

    Scott Van Maldegiam

    I'm Scott, a full time health benefits consultant and rideshare driver. I spent 11 years working for Motorola and Tellabs using my EE degree and MBA before transitioning into the mortgage industry where I spent 6 years. I then spent 5 years in the cycling industry before transitioning into health insurance.

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