Think making a good living driving for Uber, Lyft or delivery companies is impossible? Think again! Kyle was a new gig worker but, with some strategies he learned on the job, he went from making around $1000/week to $2500-3000/week. Senior RSG contributor Sergio Avedian shares how you can use Kyle’s tips to earn more and get ahead.
How often have you heard the saying ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’? Personally speaking, I quit making assumptions a long time ago.Interested in a new gig job? Check out our list of the top gig jobs here!
For the past three months that I have been doing the Show me the money club (SMTMC) live streams on YouTube, I have been privileged to meet amazing drivers from all over the country. This platform allows me to interact with hundreds of drivers a week. For everything I try to teach them, they come back with stories of their own that blow my mind – like Kyle.
Kyle is a very successful Los Angeles driver who I am proud to call a friend now. He is a man with a Plan B, but he is more than that. He is the ultimate gig warrior, zigging every time the gig companies zag.
Kyle figured out how to be a very profitable driver all on his own, so I can’t take much credit for his success. Here’s what you can learn from him.
Kyle from LA with his Tesla
Getting Started as an Uber Driver: Kyle’s Background
Kyle is another energizer bunny like Roxie, who I wrote about in another article. He works extremely hard, he hustles, and he grinds when he has to. He is an honorary member of SMTMC. His results have been and continue to be nothing short of extraordinary, considering how Uber has cut incentives over the past few months.
As Kyle shares,
“I have always been an entrepreneur, so the idea of me being my own boss has always appealed to me. I have had several different jobs over the years, such as being an executive producer for a MMO RPG games, marketing director for an automotive spray booth, owner and operator of a self-serve yogurt retail restaurant, a professional poker player, and lastly, I was a real estate agent before deciding on becoming an Uber driver.
Overall, I really enjoy new challenges, and because I am so competitive in whatever I do, I always try to figure out how I could win or be successful. I was a real estate agent for several years. I realized that I really did not like the sales part of the business, I loved the transactional part, meeting new people, marketing and researching properties.”
Kyle started driving in January of 2022 and was a quick study. His background in video gaming may have helped with all the success he is having, since all the gamification of the gig economy can overwhelm a lot of new drivers.
What Type of Car Does Kyle Drive?
We know what kind of car a driver drives can significantly affect expenses. While Kyle did decide to buy a new Tesla Model Y in July of 2021 with $800 a month payments, he actually bought that vehicle because of his real estate career. It benefited him with no gas costs and very little maintenance!
“When I bought this car originally in July 2021, I was doing real estate and was not thinking about doing any rideshare in it. The fact that Uber would be sending me paying passengers, I had an epiphany. I didn’t have to deal with sales, it really appealed to me as something that I may want to try.
So, like many others, I started doing some research on YouTube, and I found all kinds of videos about how one can make over $2000 a week driving for Uber, so I said that is pretty good and I decided to give it a shot. Originally when I got started, my thought was if this gig worked out, I would pay the Tesla off in 2022.
So, I started driving on January 17, 2022. I remember that first week, with all my research, I was taken all over LA, Orange and San Bernardino Counties and barely made $1000. I told myself there is no way these guys are making $2000 a week driving for Uber.
But I was not going to quit, I worked about 40 hours that first week. Second week I was still driving all over the place and drove for over 50 hours and only made $1250. I was getting discouraged and was convinced that there was no future in driving.”
For the first few months, he was shown the money by Uber. Massive Quests as well as hefty Boost+. Many of us experienced the same thing – it’s almost like the gig companies want to reward us and get us hooked, then take away those juicy bonuses.
Can’t get enough Tesla content? Read all of our Tesla-related coverage here:
- Uberin’ with a Tesla Model 3
- Taking a Tesla as a passenger
- What it’s like renting a Tesla to drive for Uber through Hertz
- Cost analysis of renting a Tesla through Hertz to drive for Uber
- I sold my Tesla?! Here’s why
Rubber Meets the Road: Kyle Could Quit or Pivot
At this point, Kyle could have become discouraged and quit, returning to his real estate career. However, given what we know about Kyle and his competitive spirit, you already know that’s not what he did!
So what did he do? With a specific strategy in mind, he started knocking out juicy Quest after Quest, working 50-60 hours a week. He also had his car approved for Lyft Lux, a much higher-paying platform than UberX, Comfort, XL, etc.
His Tesla Model Y also qualifies for the $1 per ride EV credit and Uber Comfort Electric. With all these choices, he also did not forget about Uber Eats, and he would use deliveries as fillers to finish his Quests.
Kyle really is the perfect example of a multi-apping gig worker. Have a lot of tools at your disposal and try to make the most amount of money in the shortest period of time.
“After a couple of weeks, I started to hit my goals, and I adjusted my strategies, I was learning every day on the job, and my results were improving weekly. When I first started driving, promos were great, and surge was plentiful. The honeymoon ended after a few great months when Uber decided to slash the incentives.
Sure enough, the summer slowdown kicked in. I had to adjust again. Unfortunately, due to inflation, drivers were coming out of the woodwork to earn some extra cash as a side hustle. I had no choice but to go with a No surge-No ride attitude, quality over quantity.”
Kyle’s Results: How Much Did He Earn?!
Kyle’s results are nothing short of extraordinary. Look at these screenshots, and take note of the weekly improvement. How did he accomplish all this? He studied the game, and he learned from his mistakes.
I wish every driver continuously educated themselves like Kyle. I have always said that what you put into this gig is what you get out of it.
Don’t forget about his Lyft Lux trips on top of the weekly Uber earnings. He was grossing about $2500-$3000 week after week. WOW!
In addition to earning more than the average driver, Kyle was also saving a ton of money on gas and maintenance. Yes, he put on 43,000 miles on his Tesla since January but so far, all he has done for maintenance is purchase a set of new tires – no oil changes, no tune up, no other cost.
When gas hit $6 a gallon in CA, he was laughing all the way to the bank. As a reminder, on each trip, he receives the $1 EV credit as well as the 55-cent fuel surcharge.
Kyle’s Plan B
Rideshare or delivery is not a full-time career. While there are a few who have been at it a long time, it is best to keep the bigger picture in mind. From meeting him in person, I can tell Kyle has his priorities straight. He has already accomplished his goal of paying off the Tesla in July of this year, beating his estimates.
What does Kyle do next? He ordered another Model Y, expected to arrive in October.
I do not doubt that whatever he sets his mind to, he will accomplish it. Again, many will come out and say that he lives in his car; I have become good friends with him, and nothing could be further from the truth – he lives a very balanced life.
“So, what does my rideshare future look like? There are many days I tell myself I do not feel like going out, but I find that after a few rides, I am back in the groove and enjoy picking up strangers.
My wife and I plan to retire at 55 or whenever we pay off our rental property and do what we like most: travel. Specifically, I would like to live in Korea and China for six months at a time, so I can learn both languages in an immersive environment. One of my biggest regrets in my life is forgetting my Korean, but I hope to rectify that when I am retired.
I’d also like to accumulate a fleet of Teslas and rent them out for passive income on platforms like Turo or Hyrecar. Perhaps an opportunity will arise from the same passengers I drive around daily? That is what is so interesting about this gig. You can meet NEW people daily, listen to their stories, and learn from them.
Some interesting facts about my thousands of trips:
- I have 5.0 rating on both Uber and Lyft (Platinum on Lyft and Diamond on Uber)
- Most trips I have done in one week is 197
- Most money I have made in one week is $3,492 (81 hours online, 60 active)
- My largest single trip was $240 on Lyft Lux (2-hour drive)
- My highest paid trip per mile was $67 on a 1.1-mile trip to the airport”
Takeaways for Drivers
What else can I say? Through SMTMC, I now understand that the gig economy is not all bad. It provides a lot of drivers an opportunity to reach their goals and work towards their Plan B.
Are Uber/Lyft/ Doordash perfect? Far from it, but the upside is that there are people like Kyle who are smart, resourceful, entrepreneurial, and who clearly have an exit strategy.
I am proud to call Kyle a friend now. Hopefully, I will get an invitation when he is in Korea, brushing up on his language skills. From the short time I have known him, I am certain that his grit and tenacity will take him far!
What do you think about Kyle’s story? Do you have a similar story of pivoting and making the gig economy work for you? Let me know!
-Sergio @ RSG