I'm a busy entrepreneur who is always looking for new ways to make some extra income while I build my own business. Flexibility and stability are two of the most important factors to me, as I don't always have both of those together with my own business.
I've been on my own for 3 years now, and over that period of time, I have tried all kinds of different side jobs, hoping to find something that could truly help me feel financially stable, yet also be something I didn't have to make a lot of commitments to.
I had heard a lot about Uber over the past few years, but I didn't sign up to drive until a year ago. Looking back, I'm sure glad I did, because it has become a total game changer! From my consistent weekly income levels, to my overall decrease in stress levels, everything has changed exponentially for the better.
Since it's the season of giving, I wanted to give back to Uber by writing a little gratitude post about them to show my appreciation. I'm also hoping to help get the word out there to others who might be looking for a good way to make some extra income, whether it's a side gig or a full-time job.
Without further adieu, here are 5 ways Uber helped me build my own business!
*Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.
1. Uber Allows for a Very Flexible Schedule!
With Uber, I can work any time I want, 24/7.
There's no schedule I have to follow, I can sign on and off whenever I want (sometimes I just want to drive for a quick 15 minutes!) and there's no minimum or maximum amount of hours I have to work a week.
If I'm planning to work a lot of hours, I make sure to take a break every few hours, I make sure I eat and I definitely make sure I get enough sleep... for my own safety as well as the safety of others!
In order to stay active, I do need to give at least one ride every 90 days (or something like that) or else my account will be deactivated. Since Uber seems to always be pretty busy, that's not hard to do at all and it's never been an issue for me, personally (they do, however, give a heads up if you're getting close to a potential deactivation).
2. I Make $20/Hr. on Average but Sometimes a Lot More When There's Surge Pricing!
Even after all the Uber fees are taken out, I still average about $20/hr, which is an amount I can use to figure out how many hours I can expect to have to work in order to make the amount I need.
However, if I want to work smarter instead of harder, I will make sure to work during the times when there is surge pricing applied (which is shown as a colored hot spot on the map in the app.) This happens when the demand for rides is higher than the amount of drivers available, and can be higher or lower in different parts of the neighborhood, all relatively speaking.
3. I Earn Hundreds of Dollars Just for Referring a New Driver
When I signed up to drive, Uber gave me my own personal referral code (UBER94UND) that I could use as a double-sided incentive for helping others sign up to drive as well.
How this double-sided incentive worked:
- If I helped Uber find new drivers, they rewarded me with a driver referral reward
- Whoever signed up to drive through my referral code would also receive a referral reward once they completed a certain amount of trips within a specific amount of time
In addition to this, I could also give this referral code to anyone who wanted to try out Uber for getting rides, offering new riders a chance to try Uber out at a special rate.
Their referral program has truly been a great way to earn some extra cash when I need it the most!
If you are interested in becoming a driver and using your own referral code to make some extra cash, here are a few things you can do to promote Uber:
- Use the word-of-mouth method and tell your friends and family about Uber and how it's been helping you out.
- Go to concerts, farmers markets, fairs and other social events and hand out cards with your referral code on it.
- Take Lyft rides and tell the drivers how great Uber is (this is basically how I got hooked up with Uber... you can read my rideshare story here.)
4. I Get Paid Every Week, Which Gives Me a Sense of Financial Stability!
Sometimes my design clients don't pay me on time, sometimes a project takes longer than expected, or sometimes unexpected expenses come up.
The Uber platform has given me the kind of financial support I need whenever I find myself in a tight spot and need some extra cash.
Since I know I will get paid on the same day every week, I can schedule in some time on the road whenever I feel the need to. Their app even keeps a tally of how much I've made after each trip, as well as my week in total (with the Uber fees already taken out, so I don't have to do any extra math guesswork, yay!)
I know exactly what I'll be bringing in in each direct deposit, which has taken a GINORMOUS amount of stress off of me, and has allowed me to continue working for myself, as opposed to going back to a 9-5 job, just for the stability.
I can now pay my bills on time AND still have the time freedom and the flexibility of making my own schedule. It's a win win win all around. 🙂
5. I Have Scored New Clients for My Business!
I personally don't believe in being "sales-y" or "aggressively pushy," so I try to never sound like I'm trying to sell something. However, the nice thing about driving is that I get to meet a lot of people, and 99% of the time the passengers in my car will hold a conversation with me about something.
One frequent question that tends to come up naturally is, "So, do you do anything else besides driving or do you do this full-time?" Which is when I tell them what else I do, like "I'm a brand + website designer for female entrepreneurs."
I've learned if they are interested in what I do, they will ask more questions, but if they're not, they won't and I'll leave it at that. No need to push anything in their face.
I always make sure to have some businesses cards on me, yet I usually keep them hidden away because, again, I don't want to seem too pushy, eager or in their face.
When the ones who are interested ask more questions, I casually talk to them a little bit about it during the ride and then I make sure to give them a business card before they get out of the car.
I've scored a handful of new clients this way over the past few years, many who have used me for more than one project or have even referred me to others! Sometimes, it's that personal, face-to-face marketing aspect that people prefer, rather than just trusting some random person hiding behind a computer screen. 😉
So there you have it, the 5 ways Uber helped me grow my own business!
I am so, so grateful for the Uber driver who got me started, the company itself, and all the people who have signed up to drive through my referral code! They have all worked together to help me create my dreams of being a self-sufficient entrepreneur and I honestly don't know where I'd be if they weren't an option in my life.
I really think Uber is a great concept all around, especially if you're trying to grow your own business, simply because of the flexibility. It's also a perfect side job for those who are going to school, trying to pay off loans, or just looking for some kind of way to have some extra spending money so they can do more of what they love more often. 🙂
Want to get started driving? Just click here to begin the application process.
Remember to always use my referral code UBER94UND for anything you're trying to get a referral bonus from, so you can be sure to get your reward!
Also, when you go to the sign-up page, you will probably see the following:
"Earn at least $575, Guaranteed* Tara invited you to drive with Uber. Sign up to drive and earn at least $575 guaranteed for your first 100 trips taken in San Diego within 90 days of sign up. If you sign up in a different city, your guaranteed amount and minimum trip requirements may vary. Terms apply."
I recommend that you check with your local Uber support team to see what the current promotion is in your city so you know how many rides you have to complete before you receive your bonus (now called a "Driver Sign-Up Guarantee").
You can also use this code for a discounted ride if it's your first time trying Uber!
Oh, and if you do end up signing up to drive and are looking for some more tips on how to optimize your time on the road, feel free to check out my Rideshare Blog!