About five months ago I started an adventure as a driver. Of all the platforms that are available I chose to start with Uber and Lyft. I enjoyed this adventure into free enterprise, and gladly began the transition into life beyond the employment paradox.
Nine months prior to this span I started using the service as a consumer. I took the time with drivers from cabs, Lyft, Uber and personal to interview people. Everyone had their own perspective on it and many were very, very similar. I took the opportunity to interview some open riders in a similar fashion. The response was similar. I learned that understanding elements of sales and interviewing come in handy even if you’re not the one doing the selling.
There was one rider I picked up who is also a driver. They warned me about the six month period and that something big happens to almost everyone in or around month six. After doing some research, I discovered that many peoples’ suspensions, brakes and other things go down afterwards. My research is from groups that come together online from different areas to discuss Uber and Lyft. Beyond the cynical tone that appeared to be common among independent contractor business, I discovered the insight into repairs.
Since this mystery driver left it as a secret, I chose to make my own meaning out of it. By showing up for five months I’m ready to apply what I learned in other ventures in free enterprise, in addition to this platform. By out-producing the problems that haven’t happened – but are likely to happen – I give myself the opportunity to apply eustress and create the head start that I thought I sacrificed nine years ago. That decision, and meaning, is honored in the actions that I take while continuing to serve on the platform.
The meaning making machine is a term from late David Schwartz, in his book The Magic of Thinking Big. Your mind is a meaning making machine and you may consciously choose a meaning, or let another decide it for you by passively agreeing.
There are plenty of useful insights in my personal story that can be attributed to the meaning we make for ourselves. Identifying them, like a poet analyzes the poems of another, can shed some light on the meaning. For the savvy, it can also shed some light on the gig economy.
Why are you still capable of doing things you can barely fathom as you are today? The answer to that question has to be a meaning that you make. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to answer the question – truthfully – for yourself.