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7 min read

    7 min read

    In our last YouTube Live, we asked viewers what’s the best gift for rideshare drivers. The overwhelming consensus: a dash cam! Now, it’s your turn to enter and win one of three Owl Dash Cams from Owl Cameras – check out our review and enter the giveaway here! 

    As rideshare drivers, we spend a lot of time in our cars. And while it could be easy to veg out and listen to music, senior RSG contributor Jay Cradeur wants to challenge you to look at your drive time as an opportunity to improve. Here, he outlines all the ways rideshare driving can make us better.

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    At this point in my rideshare driving career, I have come to value so many aspects of the experience.  I realized it is short sighted to see driving as only a way to make money.

    Unfortunately, this is how most drivers experience their job.  Today I drive.  I earn.  Tomorrow I drive.  I earn.  However, as someone who has been driving since January 2016, I feel there are several skill sets one can develop while driving which are extremely valuable in one’s life.  The purpose of this article is to look at some things you can be doing in your car to squeeze a bit more satisfaction out of your day.

    Watch: 4 Hidden Opportunities for Rideshare Drivers

    Ongoing Education

    We are living in a very exciting time in which new and valuable information is coming to public attention at a remarkable rate.  The podcast phenomenon provides everyone with multiple topics of interest: The Paleo Diet, Hunting for Elk, Optimal Workout Techniques, Lives of Comedians, Artificial Intelligence, Current Affairs, Rideshare Driving and Marketing.

    Here are logos of a few of my favorite podcasts:

    Most people in the world are too busy to take advantage of the wealth of information that is now available in the world.  Not so for rideshare drivers such and you and me.  While passengers are in my car, I am playing jazz or one of my mixes on Spotify.  Once that passenger leaves the car, I switch over to a podcast to listen and learn.

    Just before the next passenger enters the car, I switch back to the music.  If you do 20 rides in a day, with an average of five minutes in between rides, that is an extra hour and a half of knowledge we can be absorbing.  Wow!  I invite you to check out the podcasts above.  You will laugh, you will learn and you may even get excited about a new idea you manifest.

    Discipline

    Discipline is a key to a productive life.  Learning how to put in the time for the long term result or reward is an essential component of a satisfied life. Many aspects of life have a component of delayed gratification.

    If you plan to retire at 65, you will need to put money aside each month for that future.  If you plan to drop 15 pounds, you will have to stop eating those refined carbs now (put that Doughnut down!).

    As Rideshare Drivers, we don’t have a boss telling us what to do.  We are self-starting and we use daily self-discipline to get the job done.  It is valuable to use that skill set in other aspects of our lives.

    The Art of Conversation

    As I am nearing 21,000 rides, I marvel at how many people have gone in and out of the back seat of my 2013 Toyota Prius. We as drivers have more daily interactions with a variety of people than most any other professions.  We can take the opportunity to learn what to say to get a specific response. Further, we can learn how to respond to what a passenger says, as well as what a passenger’s body language is telling us.

    Jay and his Prius

    For example, I start virtually every conversation with “Hi __________, How ya doin today?”  The whole nature of our conversation will result from how the passenger answers this question. If I get a demure “good” then I know to slow it down and not say too much.  If, on the other hand, I get an enthusiastic “Great, how is your day going?” then I know that we will have more of a robust conversation.

    On longer rides, there is an opportunity for a more in-depth chat.  It is good to be prepared.  If you have been driving for a while, you already have an arsenal of stories and jokes that you know will always work to get your passenger laughing.

    Here is one that always kills because it is a bit edgy, but also clean.

    A sex therapist is leading a seminar.  She says “I’d like to get a feel for the room, so let me ask you a few questions, who here has sex three times a week?”  A few people raise their hands.  “Great, and how many of you have sex one time per week?”  A few more people raise their hands.  “Great, how about once per month?”  A few more raise their hands.  Finally, she says, “Does anyone here only have sex once per year?”  A man in the back starts enthusiastically waving his arms.  He says “Me, Me, That’s Me!”  The sex therapist says to him: “Well, for someone who has sex only once per year, you sure seem very excited!”  The man replies: “That’s because Tonight’s the Night!”

    It is wonderful to get your passengers laughing.  Nothing gets you a good tip like laughter.

    Here is another tip: I have found it wise to always turn the conversation back to the passenger.  Give the passenger the opportunity to share, to express his or herself.  Remember, people prefer to be heard, than to hear.  You can provide a wonderful environment in which someone who has something to say can actually say it.

    Editors Note: If you ever wanna take a break or recharge from the passengers that are a bit too much, you can always switch over to deliver food for a company like Caviar.

    Listening

    I have written about this in the past, but I feel it is worth restating.  If you want to improve your rating, stop talking and do more listening.

    This is the most sure fire way to jack up your rating and get it to 5.0:  Become a good listener.

    This strategy was made popular in the now classic movie, Glengarry Glen Ross.  Al Pacino, a real estate salesman, just lost a sale because his Sales Manager said something that scared away the prospect.  Al’s character berates the Sales Manager for his ignorance, and then states one of the fundamental laws of sales: “You don’t open your mouth until you hear the shot.”

    In other words, don’t say anything that your prospect could use against you.  In our rideshare scenario, this means don’t say anything that could insult or alarm your passenger.  It is better to be silent.  I have found this advice to be pertinent in so many areas of life.  And as drivers, we have the opportunity to practice it each day.

    Another excellent resource for improving your listening and communication skills Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.

    Everyday is a New Opportunity

    Driving isn’t just driving.  Each day is a new adventure with new information, new opportunities to learn, and new connections to make with passengers.

    Listen to podcasts.  Fine-tune your self-discipline.  Cultivate the fine art of conversation.  Master the ability to be a good listener for others in your life.  You will be bring joy to many, each and every day.  That’s not a bad way to live.

    Readers, what do you do while rideshare driving to improve yourself? Do you have a favorite podcast or audiobook you like to listen to?

    -Jay @ RSG

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    Read next: How Uber drivers are making more money (hundreds of extra dollars per month)

    Jay Cradeur

    Jay Cradeur

    Jay Cradeur, a graduate of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, is a full-time driver with over 26,000 rides. Jay has a driver-focused podcast: Rideshare Dojo with Jay Cradeur. When Jay isn’t writing articles or making videos, he is traveling the world. You can see what Jay is up to at www.nomadjay.com.