Becoming a rideshare driver taught me to be an entrepreneur. It's the been the best education for self employment I ever had. I was a cab driver but hated it. I started with SideCar in February 2012. Back then, there were no clients. So I drove the office staff around. I had a beat up 1997 Nissan Maxima, but it worked. I drove a cab full time, and did Sidecar on Weekends. In the fall of '12 things started picking up for SideCar. I dove off the deep end and went full time. I picked up another app, Exec a bit later. That kept me busy doing tasks after the morning rush. Early in '13, I got into Uber X. I bought a 2007 Escape and got busy. the rates were good, and I was making 1200 - 1500 a week. I did that all year, and was happy. In early 14, I added Lyft. So I was doing all three apps. Then they started with the rate cuts. I looked at that and said, what do I do? I decided to get a Black Car. I doubled down and bought a new SUV, and got into Uber Black/SUV. It was still open back then. Not any more, though. I got back into making good money. I would do Uber Black for early airports and morning rush, then switch to running all three apps after 10 a.m. I also built a website and started doing SEO and Social Media advertising. I started building a clientele. Then I contacted other airport service companies and started picking up their over flow. When I would get calls for stretch limos, I would sell other companies services and take commissions. I started writing a blog. My name got picked up by NPR after I blogged about making 10K (verified by therideshareguy.com) in one month last fall and got interviewed. When I knew I'd be on national radio, I hurriedly created my own blog and put links to driver referral promo codes on it and started getting referral commissions from the roughly 500 people a week that started reading the blog.
To recap: I make money by doing:
Uber Black and SUV calls for early airports and morning rush.
Lyft and Lyft Plus calls after morning rush. (Had a $115 Lyft Plus call from Mill Valley to OAK earlier this week)
SideCar calls after morning rush, including the occasional package and food delivery calls. ( I keep my multiplier at 2.5, so it pays well)
BlackLane, which is a Black Car app out of Germany. A lot of long runs from SFO to outlying suburbs, even up to Sacramento and the Napa Valley, also Carmel/ Monterey.
Driver Referrals Bonuses, which I get from internet marketing using Mail chimp and from my blog, theblackcarguy.com
Private clients from my website, smartripservices.com and from family, friends, and neighbors.
Consulting: I teach others how I do what I do, I charge only $50 per hour.
Selling stretch jobs for another limo company, at a 15% commission. A good wine tour nets about $600 - $800 dollars, so that's $90 to $120 in commission for one job.
I will come up with other ways to earn, I'm always learning, thinking, signing up for apps, keeping my mind open to possibilities. It's always curious to me when I see people complaining about these low x fares and that they are going broke, especially with so freaking much opportunity all around. When it's slow, ask yourself. What else can I do? It seems like food delivery is exploding right now. I see that Chewse is paying $35 - $75 per hour for catering setups, hell there's all kinds of stuff to do. Check out axle hire, they always are looking for folks and paying guaranteed wages of at least $20 per hour, no commission. Hustle, people, hustle!!!
Post Script, Added on July 13: A new report was just published ranking many of the largest on demand driving jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Many of these jobs have operations in other major cities as well. Jobs were ranked on money, flexibility, and opportunity to advance to benefitted employee status. Check it out here