Pivoting Away from Uber as a Side Hustle
“While driving for Uber was fun, I have decided to pivot away from it as a side hustle.”
-Peerless Money Mentor
Have you ever considered driving for Uber to earn some extra income? If so, you are definitely not alone. A lot of people mention driving for Uber as a way to supplement their income in the blogosphere.
I have written two posts here informing you of all the fascinating things you will learn from your Uber passengers, but I never explained why I chose Uber as my side hustle.
Well, time to change that! In this post I will walk you through my mindset signing up, explain the pros and cons of my decision, and why I ultimately decided to pivot away from this “ultimate side hustle”.
Why Drive for Uber?
When Uber first came out, I thought about becoming a driver for a nanosecond. But then I thought about all of the terrible things that could go wrong. Would someone kidnap me? What if I end up in an unsafe neighborhood late at night? Those concerns prevented me from taking advantage of the opportunity.
So why did I change my mind? Well, it all started with a catchy ad on Swagbucks. While I cannot remember the ad exactly, let me paraphrase it. It went something like this, “Sign up to drive for Uber an earn $10. After you pick up your first passenger, we will give you $90!”
Who couldn’t resist that ad, right? So, I signed up, forgetting about all my safety concerns. To be candid, my plan was to sign up and then have one of my friends be the first passenger. Logic being (ethics aside), that I would immediately quit after my first pickup.
But that didn’t happen…I signed up and did a couple of rides and got hooked (seems to be a common theme in my writing). My mindset shifted to thinking of Uber as a way to take an adventure in my own city. The cool thing about it was the fact that I had no idea where I was going, until I picked the passenger up.
Obsession With Uber
Along with documenting my journey from broke to financially woke here, Uber became my new obsession. My friends have pointed out to me that I have a tendency to take things to the extreme, and driving for Uber was no exception.
When I first started, sometimes I would find myself driving until 3:00 in the morning on a weekday. I’d come into my full-time job at 9:00 feeling exhausted. In my mind, however, this is what front loading the sacrificed looked like. If I worked all the time, I could pay off my car loan and personal loans faster.
No one could tell me anything. Although my mother and girlfriend at the time had their concerns, I told them to chill. “I got this!” I said to myself. “They should not stay up late at night worrying about me.” I continued doing things the peerless way. Let me paint a picture of what that looked like…
Picture Me Rolling in the Peerless Mobile
After working a 9-6 shift, I would pull out of the work parking lot with my Uber app turned on feeling like a boss. My Uber playlist would be turned up loud. The words coming out of the speaker are, “I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord And I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord…”
With my music and Uber app turned on, I was ready to get to work! What happened next is that I would usually get a pickup notification, and I would head to my destination. After dropping the passenger off, I would head to the Baton Rouge airport.
I would talk to some of the other drivers while waiting to get a pickup notification. They would willingly share with me how much they earned for the day. For example, this lady we will call Emma, would tell me that she made $300 for the day.
“I have been driving for 12 hours today, and I feel exhausted.” she would tell me “The tips have been amazing today. I had a couple trips to New Orleans.”
When I was not entertaining the other drivers, I would park off in a corner by myself and listen to one of the 7 podcasts I recommended. One day I remember hearing ESI Money on Choose FI speaking about career hacking.
That’s when it hit me. I immediately thought to myself, “If I would have focused more on my main career, I would not have to drive for Uber.” My closest friends in my inner circle weren’t out there hustling all day. They were enjoying their evenings.
This caused me to doubt whether driving for Uber was worth it. That along with my girlfriend at the time breaking up with me because I spent very little time with her.
Was Driving for Uber Worth It?
While driving for Uber, I got a chance to meet people from all over the world. People from Egypt, Dubai, India. I also got a chance to learn some fascinating things. But at the end of the day, driving for Uber was not helping me build in demand skills.
In my last post I mentioned helping others as one of my main reasons for creating this blog. That is true but I also created the blog to improve my talent stack. The plan was to learn in demand skills such as copywriting, content marketing, SEO, and WordPress.
I have learned a lot studying those things, but I feel like I could have made more progress if my focus was not scattered. So, I have decided to pivot and focus on learning more so I can grow my income.
*If you would like to take a look at the numbers, I wrote a cost/benefit analysis for Winning Personal Finance that may help you decide whether driving for Uber is worth it.”
Pivoting Away from Uber as a Side Hustle
Pivoting away from Uber is a difficult decision for me because I am giving up guaranteed money. However, after driving for 30,000 miles, I am starting to have some car problems. I know they say that correlation does not necessarily equal causation, but I attribute my car problems to my driving for Uber.
At the end of the day, I believe pivoting is the best decision for me. To be honest, now that gas is $1.60 here I am beginning to have a second thoughts. I gotta stay strong and remind myself of my ultimate goal of achieving financial freedom.
Which means maximizing my income, so I won’t have to spend so much of my time working. My time on this earth is limited and I want to spend it doing the things I love. I don’t want to have to push family and friends aside because of work.
- What does front loading the sacrifice mean to you?
- Have you driven for Uber before? If so, what was your experience like?
- How do you plan on improving your talent stack this year?
Jerry is a Business Insider Contributing Writer who is obsessed with personal finance. He believes you can improve your financial situation by applying principles taught by the financial independence community to your financial life.
If you are having trouble saving, he recommends that you join the SaverLife Savings program where you can get a $60 reward after six months (no income requirement). All you have to do is put a minimum of $20 a month into a savings account. Easy, right?
For a fun read, check out his article 10 Signs You’re a Personal Finance Addict to see if you are a personal finance nerd.
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