The Gig Economy - Lessons Learned from Uber Drivers

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I love using Uber, especially UberPOOL. Part of my love for Uber is that it allows me, someone who is a bit on the introverted side, to see how people actually interact. Truthfully, it allows me to people watch, which is a bit of a pastime of mine. Also, you would not believe how much work you can get done on a 20-minute commute!

Lesson 1 - You Do Not Need to Engage in Negativity

“If she dies crossing the street it’s your fault!” Snarkily snaps the other UberPOOL passenger after our driver calls our next pool member’s cell phone, and requests her to cross the street in front of Holt Renfrew. I cringe inside. However, our driver charmingly replies: “I think she is going to be okay, ‘Ma’am’”. His smile big and with not even a hint of irritation or sarcasm in his voice. Our new pool member joins us and the conversation quickly moves on as the driver says welcome and asks her about her day. Negativity completely averted.

Lesson 2 - You Always Have to Be Hustling 

“So, I’m a personal trainer who is building my own business. I drive for Uber to help with the bills. Do you mind if I practice some questions on you? I won’t try to sell you anything. I just need practice:” says my ridiculously buff Uber driver. 

Ironically, because he was so open with me I ended up giving him quite a bit of free marketing advice after his pitch. He didn’t know I was actually going to listen. But as I run a marketing agency, I’m in the practice of listening deeply. And what a reminder it was for me to always keep hustling. You just never know when you are going to be meeting your next customer!

Lesson 3 – Everyone will be in the Gig Economy

“Your car is lovely!” I remarked as I jumped into my Uber while racing to a meeting across town. I had planned to walk but had engaged in a client call and somehow lost 30 minutes of my day. My Uber ride was honestly the first time I had a few moments to sit and think. “Wow, this really is a nice car” I couldn’t help remark yet again. My rather young Uber driver replied to me “Ya, I’m on my way to work. So I’ll just be working for the hour.” I couldn’t help but engage with this charming millennial. “Hmmm what do you do?” I asked. And of course, I was absolutely charmed to hear how he worked at a bank mostly to keep his parents happy but he was really trying to figure out how to participate in the Gig Economy so that he didn’t have to keep a regular job. He regaled me with how he had two eCommerce sites running; a full-time job and did Uber driving before and after work.

And people think Millenials are lazy? I think we are all going to be in for a big shock. They might actually be foreseeing the future!

And for those of you who are Uber haters #uberhaters, I really don’t get it. There has to be room for lots of different commerce options. The lessons we all have to learn could come from anyone – Uber drivers included!

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Michelene Maguire is the Managing Partner of Maguire Marketing Group. A marketing agency that takes you where you want to grow. 2018 is the year of #passionprojects for her, and she happily admits to already having more fun. You can check her out at www.maguiremarketinggroup.com or join her in the next B2B Marketing Mastermind.