Adventures in Rideshare Driving

I was looking for a way to pick up some extra cash to get me through a rough spot, and as the Universe does, it began presenting me with some information over and over until I finally paid attention. In this case, it was Lyft ads showing up in my online feeds. I never fancied myself a taxi driver, but when I saw the ad for about the seventh time, I thought Maybe there’s a message here. So I bit.

I began driving for Lyft in mid July. On my second day of driving one of my passengers asked if I also drove for Uber. “No,” I said, “You have to pick just one.” “No. You can drive for both. Lots of people do.” Huh.

So now I drive for both Lyft and Uber. This means I keep both apps up and online on my phone and then when one service pops up with a ride request I accept it and then toggle over to the other app and go offline. It definitely keeps me busier to drive for both, and I find it interesting that in different parts of town he rides are more Uber or more Lyft.

Rideshare driving is definitely an interesting gig. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I do. I figured it would be much like commuting to work. Aggravating. But somehow it’s different. I get excited every time a ride request pops up. I quickly tap it and can’t wait to see who I’m picking up and where we’re going. Sometimes the destinations are a bit further out than I’d like, but that’s just part of the deal.

And I love the flexibility of it. I can pop online any time I feel like it, drive for a little while or a long while and shut down when I decide I’ve had enough. Nobody to check in with. Nobody keeping track of how long I’m working or not working. It’s the most flexible gig out there that I know of!

The money? It’s okay. Not the $25-$35 an hour they’d like you to believe you’ll make. Maybe in some markets you can do $1,000 a week or more, but Nashville is not one of those markets. And I think you have to do quite a bit of referrals to hit those numbers, even in the bigger markets. But if you want to make $300-$400 a week in extra cash consistently, you can do that in Nashville. You’ll drive a lot of hours to get there, but you can do it.

The riders are mostly nice, friendly people. I haven’t had any crazies yet and hope I never do, but I know the longer I do this the better the chances I’ll run into that. I do have some funny and sometimes charming stories though, and I’ll share them in future posts. For now, let’s just say that this has turned out to be a pretty fun sideline for me and I’m going to enjoy it for as long as I can!

If you are interested in becoming a rideshare rider or driver, click any of the links below to claim some bonuses!

Lyft New Rider Bonus

Lyft Driver Sign-up Bonus

Uber Driver Sign-up Bonus

Sending Out Negative Vibrations: Lesson Learned

Originally Posted June  30 2012:

I was reminded recently of the power of the law of attraction – the idea that you receive into your life things which are of a similar energy vibration to that which you send out into the world.

It happened just last week. As many of us do, I sometimes find memes and pictures on Facebook that I think are funny, and occasionally I repost them. Well last Tuesday evening, I stumbled across a meme by someecards.com. It was of a woman with a wine glass. I had seen the same drawing before with another saying on it. The saying on this one was “Your dumb shit is what makes me want to get tanked at 11 am.”

I’m not gonna lie…it made me chuckle. And while there wasn’t anyone in particular who came to mind at that moment, I could think of several people who had the potential to cause me that level of frustration from time to time. So, even though it’s against my rule to post negative messages, I decided to share it.

Moving along…Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. I had a training event scheduled, which I was to lead. I bet you can’t guess what happened? Yep – it blew up! The manager in attendance derailed it, challenged me in front of my team and completely undermined my authority to speak on my topic. Nice.

I spent the next several days recovering from that incident, first getting over my anger with the manager and then forgiving me for allowing myself to get so worked up about it, and finally, forgiving me for allowing myself to fall into that particular situation. There were, after all, things I could have done differently that might have prevented or at least minimized the negative response of the manager. His negative response is a given and I should always be more prepared to receive it than I had been that day.

It was last night that I remembered my posting of the ecard on Facebook. Coincidence?

Make Money From Home…Not!

I recently stumbled upon an online ad that sent me back in time. It said, “Make Money Stuffing Envelopes.” You know where I saw it? CareerBuilder.com. Come on. You do realize this is a con, right? I mean, if you fall for this one, you deserve what you get.

I know. I fell for it when I was young and gullible. It was 20+ years ago, shortly after giving birth to my twin daughters at the ripe old age of 21. At that time I was determined to be a stay-at-home mom – at least until my girls started school.

The ad I fell for promised I could make $200-$300 a week stuffing envelopes. I was stoked! I filled out the order form, wrote out my $10.00 check and then excitedly checked the mail slot every day, anxious for my “kit” to arrive so that I could start pulling my financial weight at home.

When my package arrived, I was dismayed to find that it was nothing more than a poorly printed booklet containing lists of agencies and types of businesses I could contact who may need envelope stuffing and other clerical services. The other option that was suggested was that I could recreate the booklet and market it as my own. I read the booklet from cover to cover and briefly considered whether it really would be possible for me to build a business in that manner and decided…no. It wasn’t for me. I tossed the thing in the trash – lesson learned. Nine months later I was back in an office job.

The ad I saw on CareerBuilder.com last week claimed I could make $1,000 a week stuffing envelopes. Well, the pretend paycheck has gone up, as has the “initial investment” amount, but other than that, I’m sure things haven’t changed. Even if this were real, I can’t even imagine how many envelopes a person would have to stuff in order to earn $1,000 in a single week. It just doesn’t seem possible. There are so many obvious problems with that idea I can’t even justify listing them. It brings to mind the Seinfeld episode where George Costanza’s fiance dies from licking the envelope glue on their wedding invitations.

But you know what really chaps me? These ads are EVERYWHERE! Including legitimate employment sites. I did a search on Careerbuilder.com for “Work at Home” and got 160 pages of results! Beyond.com gave me 10 pages. Indeed.com…I don’t know how many…I stopped scrolling at 30.

While some of these jobs may be legitimate, I’m pretty sure they’re not the kinds of jobs you would feel good about having. For example, my search resulted in a slue of listings for “Call Center Agent.” I think there was one for every possible city/state combination. You know what that job is, right? It’s answering inbound calls and processing orders from those infomercials you see on tv. Glamorous!

There’s also a “Diet Gum Company” claiming you can make $1,500 per week processing orders at home. Even better – there’s a “Diet Company” that is going to pay you $6,000 a week for taking orders on your home computer. If these jobs were legitimate, first, instead of “Diet Gum Company” you’d see the real name of the company, and second, everyone would be working from home!

While the “Call Center Agent” job may be real, I have to ask this…Does anybody out there know anybody who has really made the money stated in those other ads?

These types of ads prey on people who have to make decisions like, “Do I go to the dentist to have my abscessed tooth pulled or do I feed my family?” They are desperate. If you’ve ever responded to one of these ads I’m guessing you didn’t do it because you were financially independent and just needed something to pass the time. You responded because you really needed the money and were fresh out of ideas for getting it any other way (legally).

I’m think I’m going to take some time and explore some of these listings over the next few weeks. I’ll report back on what I find.