Brandon Helm is a native of the Midwest and has spent the last 18 years living in Colorado Springs managing Community Associations. Brandon currently manages a large-scale community with more than 2,000 homes. Brandon has a wife of 18 years, Kelly and a 14 year old daughter and 12 year old son
Drawn to driving part time for Uber as a way to earn some extra income quickly turned into more than that for Brandon. It fed his desire to serve people and gave him a place to use his curiosity to create connections. During this episode we talk about how patience is a central part of his life and how going with the flow is something he’s perfected. Brandon shares his lessons about the true goodness and unique weirdness of people.
Stephen Christopher 0:00
Everyone to another edition of the exciting unknown podcast. I'm Laura Sanchez and with me today is my amazing co host, Stephen Christopher. What's up everybody? Hey, guys, you know, I am gonna say I'm gonna use Stephens line. He always says, we have an amazing one of the best human being to the entire world on as a guest today, but I'm going to give a little bit of a background of how we got to bringing this guest on. So Stephen was having lunch, I think with a mutual friend, I wasn't there. And they were talking about our podcasts and they were talking about living a life in the unknown. And they got to talk about what kind of professions what kind of jobs do people put themselves in an environment where they don't know what's going to happen from moment to moment day to day, you know, you kind of walk in and it's like, gosh, what am I going to do, and in doing that, they came up with The list of some different types of professionals or people that they thought would be interested in. So Stephen and I were like, Okay, well, who do we know? Well, that's how we got this guest on the show. He's a native of the Midwest but spent the last 18 years living in Colorado Springs with his wife, Kelly. He's got a daughter who's 14 and a son that is 12. And he really does live a life in I'm going to call it the exciting unknown. We'll see if he thinks it's exciting or not. he happens to be a part time Uber driver. He also manages a 2400 home master plan community, which I'm sure there's amazing stories there. And he is a father of a daughter who has a some chronic illnesses, and that brings a lot of unknown to his life as well. So Welcome, Brandon helm. Thank you for
Unknown Speaker 2:02
coming on. You bet. Thanks for having me.
Stephen Christopher 2:05
Absolutely. You know, the one thing that I was thinking about as I was writing your bio and doing all of that is like, even given those situations somehow you managed to do that all with what appears to be ease patience, and certainly a sense of humor.
Unknown Speaker 2:23
Yeah, it's become a new normal for us. You know, you mentioned that my daughter has a chronic illness has battled kidney disease since she was three and she started her freshman year of high school yesterday she's 14 and so I'm 11 years with a with a child with chronic illness and and a transplanted kidney nine years ago it just it it. It's not as big a deal to us anymore because it's just been our normal for so long now. That the craziness of work and home and it's just what we do, and that's okay.
Stephen Christopher 2:59
Wow. No, I don't think many people can say that. I mean, I know just so little from some of your Facebook posts and your wife fake Facebook posts of trips to the emergency room with her, or changes in vacations or changes in Wait a minute, I thought I was going here and instead we're doing this. Well, how does that affect your family?
Unknown Speaker 3:21
Well, it, it certainly has made us it's just made us aware of the fact that until we are doing something planned or unplanned, it's it may or may not happen. And that we just go with the flow. And that's been that's been tough and is still tough. I don't know that you ever get good at doing that or that you ever perfect doing that. But we have we have changed courses so many times throughout our life, whether it be on a short term, you know, what we're going to do today Or what trip we're going to take next fall. That it's just, it's just become something we've just had, you know, had to be integrated into our lives. We, I should mention we have a son, who's 12, and has dyslexia. And, and the challenge with him is that he is an extreme planner. His dyslexia requires him to, to have a plan. Basically the night before, he kind of plans out what looks what his day looks like the next day. And I'll tell you that I have a daughter who may be sitting on the edge of a cliff with with a fever and a son who's trying to plan out the next day and generally gets ahead of himself and he's about three days ahead in his planning in his brain. That's a fun juggling act as well so I
Stephen Christopher 4:51
can only imagine prior to children were you a kind of fly by the seat of your pants. Let's not Make a lot of plans I can go with the flow would you have described yourself that way?
Unknown Speaker 5:04
Um, a little bit because it took us over three years to conceive Macy, our daughter who's 14. So we had pretty extreme fertility issues leading up to the concert conception and then my wife was on bedrest, the entire trimester. And then labor was 30 hours with this emergency c section. So, you know, by the time he was three and got diagnosed with the kidney disease, we had been through so many challenges, just trying to bring her into this world. Um, that I don't know. I don't think we were terribly. I mean, it was a shocking moment, but you look back on it, and it's like, Why were we Why are we surprised about that? Because nothing had gone by the book at that point. Anyway, so Right,
Stephen Christopher 5:50
right. So that's an interesting way into one of my questions to you was going to be okay, so how did you end up deciding you were going to Do driving for Uber part time?
Unknown Speaker 6:03
Well, you know, I looked back on it and and friends around me say, you know, you didn't have any spare time on your hands what in the world were you thinking? or Why did you add some something else to your plate that was already you know, overflowing with things. I'm,
Unknown Speaker 6:23
I'm a night owl.
Unknown Speaker 6:26
And so, being up late at night did not bother me. I think I was intrigued with with the whole idea of randomness and you know, just constant change with not knowing where you're going or what you're getting yourself into. And as long as it was a safe environment and I maintained a safe environment, then I wasn't overly worried about all of the unknowns. I think that what drives some people absolutely crazy or as a writer, It drives them crazy because they have to do it on a very infrequent basis. But they say how can you do that for four or five or eight hours at a time? But I've had a I've had a blast doing it, it's it's certainly been a rush.
Stephen Christopher 7:15
When you when you're getting ready to go out for the night, do you have a? Is there kind of a mindset that you get into? Is there anything you do to prepare yourself or make you know that you're not going to ever be prepared for what's going to happen, who you're going to experience? But is there any kind of routine or ritual that you do?
Unknown Speaker 7:33
Well, I'm, I'm, I'm kind of a neat freak in the sense that I always start with the clean vehicle, because I've written in enough Ubers that do not have that as one of their priorities, we should say maybe, and I'm just like, wow, I got into this car that's just really disgusting. And I never wanted that to be in discussion or or feedback on any Am I right? So I've always I've always gone to the carwash ran through even though it probably looked clean. did a quick back in Weissman things down, made sure that I was starting with, you know, a fresh slate, a charged iPod a hotspots on so that I can stream whatever I need to stream just just kind of ready to go. And then a lot of times I'll just I'll start at home. And because I live in a neighborhood that's just a massive area of residential on this into town. Usually there's no reason for me to drive somewhere before I get started for the night. So a lot of times I'll turn it on, and we'll kind of go from there. And I've literally had pickups within a block away from my house to start the night. So they'd say, Wow, you got here really quick.
Unknown Speaker 8:55
like yeah, it was around the quarter.
Unknown Speaker 8:56
Yeah, I was just around the corner.
Stephen Christopher 8:58
So nothing In terms of your mind, nothing in terms of kind of like getting into real headspace so to speak.
Unknown Speaker 9:05
Well, you know, I will, I will I remember that first night that I went out I remember the first cried I remember why I picked him up I remember where I took them. And then I told them after we got there that they had just been my first that might have been my first virgin Uber experience as a driver. But the the rush of waiting for that first ride I will never forget because that that's kind of that's kind of scary. It was at first anyways, you know, there's a, there's a specific tone we get when we get a ride and, and I didn't know it, I learned it real quick. But the rush that you kind of get when you've got a ride and you go to accept it and then it tells you where you're going and what your mission is. And so I I don't as much anymore because I'm a lot more comfortable. With it, but I remember those first few times. You know, it's kind of a deep breath and just Yeah, kind of preparing yourself mentally for, for for what you don't know, you know you're preparing for for something that you don't know what to prepare for you just you know the premise but you don't know any of the details. And And so yeah, I remember those first few times it was a little nerve wracking but like anything you get used to it and and it's not so bad.
Stephen Christopher 10:34
So I know that I've read some of your blog on Facebook. Now for our audience. Brandon has a blog called the Uber Chronicles so if you search on face, book ratto you will get it. He is an extremely talented writer. He brings a great amount of humor, self reflection into that but in bringing some of those branded You have a favorite experience that you might want to share?
Unknown Speaker 11:04
Yeah, so I never thought that. I mean, there was never a plan to write about this stuff when I signed up to become an Uber driver. Um,
Stephen Christopher 11:14
because you had lots of extra time again. Oh,
Unknown Speaker 11:16
right. Exactly. And, and let's face it writing and writing Well, is it takes a lot of time. And so, I got through a couple, I don't know, I wasn't very many nights into this when I thought, Man, I could probably tell a few stories out of that night. And so I sat down and wrote, and then I went out a few nights later, and I thought, well, there's a couple more and so then I started I started taking notes throughout the night on my phone, so that I could remind myself of all the the interesting rides that had taken place that night and so then I'd come back to my computer the next day and, and kind of read through my notes and read flecked on which ones I wanted to write about maybe which ones weren't so funny anymore, or which ones maybe had gotten trumped and taken out of the mix, and didn't make the cut. I think, you know, and it's funny, because a lot of writers get in and say, what's your craziest story? And for a while, you know, until you've been driving for a little bit, you know, your craziest story may not sound all that crazy, but after you've driven a few new year's Eves, and after you've driven a few Halloweens and you know some of those fun holidays, where you've just got a surge of riders, you do start to accumulate a pretty good library of stories. I think my favorite was a group that I had picked up in an area where there was a lot of bars and clubs and what have you in Colorado Springs on a New Year's Eve. It was about three degrees outside that New Year's Eve It was really cold and for for Those listening that are from outside of Colorado, Colorado is not the tundra that you think it is, or may perceive that it is from Christmas movies that you may watch that are filled up in the high country. That's just not what
Stephen Christopher 13:12
we're going to do not tell people that we do not
Unknown Speaker 13:14
want anybody else to help here. We do have plenty of people here. It's extremely overcrowded, so I wouldn't recommend you, you consider reloading. But you know, that's, that's pretty darn cold for for here three degrees. And it was it was brutal. And so I picked this group up, there was more of them than I had seat belts for which was irritating to me. And looking back. I wish I would have just told them that they're gonna have to split up, didn't realize it really totally were already kind of headed down the street. They quickly admitted that they were not from around there and had come into town for the holiday and had a VR Bo. In an area of town. I was actually very familiar Because it was close to where I lived. And so I knew where we were headed. It was a it was a long drive, we were going from one end of town to the other. And they got in. And I had I had two of them puking by the time we got to the interstate. I rolled down the window at three degrees, and I'm sure some of them in the back had frostbite by the time we got there, we got to around about that was less than three minutes away from their VR Bo and they argued with me about which exit to take out of the roundabout. The problem was that this roundabout was on was in an area where the first exit went to their neighborhood. The second exit went completely opposite direction, into what is known as Black Forest, which is a very, very rural area. That's very high. heavily wooded. I knew for a fact that their VR Bo was not in Black Forest, but they insisted that we needed to take the second exit out of the roundabout. This is a good time to explain that I'll go wherever a writer wants to go because I get paid based on time and mileage combined. So if we're going out of the way, because they want to stop somewhere, or need to grab something to eat, I'm all down. Because there's no problem for me as far as the next trip is concerned. And so I thought, well, if you think you know better than I do, and you all have been drinking, and we've got to sick people. I'm just going to take your direction. And so we did. And we ended up about 25 minutes longer of a trip. In the middle of absolutely nowhere. I knew exactly where we were the entire time. As soon as we got into the forest and it got pitch black and you couldn't see anything on either side of the road, one of the more sober individuals in the vehicle decided they'd better get their phone out and figure out where we were supposed to go. Now I knew the whole time because guess what, I have an Uber app that tells me GPS where I'm supposed to be driving to, and it was yelling at me in my ear the entire time that we were off course and drifting further and further away from their from their place. And so we we made a gigantic circle we got back to the infamous roundabout and I slowed down because it was the middle of the night there was no one there and I said which exit Do you think we ought to take out of the round about this? They agreed with me that we should go to the first one. And lo and behold, we pulled right into the driveway their place within a few blocks so joke was on them. And, you know, your Uber driver generally knows better directions and you do, especially if you're not from around town and you've been drinking all night, so
Stephen Christopher 17:08
that's hilarious. That's really funny. What? What so what what was your takeaway from that? What do you what do you think you learned? Or maybe you didn't learn anything and they learn a lot?
Unknown Speaker 17:20
Yeah, I don't know. I was glad I did what I did, because there's certain times where you just have to pick your battles and and decide whether you're gonna argue with someone. And I knew I was right. Um, but it didn't harm me to go along with with the direction that they wanted to go. And so in order to, you know, to try to be the the peacemaker, I guess, I just decided to let them direct the course. And they probably ended up taking away with a little bit more than I did.
Unknown Speaker 17:56
But they may not do that again.
Stephen Christopher 18:00
And I think for all of us, you know, there are times when we believe that we know we are right, and we know, but being able to say, you know what, I don't have to prove that I'm right in this case, because there's no harm in allowing the other person or the situation to evolve. And ultimately, it will turn out the way it's supposed to, but I don't have to necessarily control at all.
Unknown Speaker 18:25
Yeah, you know, and I mentioned I, you know, people get in and they, they ask if we can make a stop, and then I'm usually extremely willing to do that. And a lot of times they're very surprised. And then we'll get into a, you know, McDonald's drive thru at one o'clock in the morning. And there's 30 other people that are in line there too, and they profusely apologize that this is taking so long. And I say it's no big deal. You're paying you know, you their pain, and I'm getting paid and I don't have another ride. in the queue, so, you know, we're fine. I know you want to be home. But because food was a priority for you, I'm fine with where we're at. It's not that big a deal. So they always think that they're just inconveniencing me, but
Stephen Christopher 19:16
how many times do they then offer to buy you food?
Unknown Speaker 19:19
Um, yeah, on a pretty decent occasion. You know, there's, we all know, there's all sorts of, there's all sorts of types of intoxicated individuals. And so we have some that are very, very generous drunks. And so you know, you get a few of those every once in a while and you know, sometimes I am hungry so sometimes it works out for me. Other times, they're just ready to get through drive thru. And if they're also generous, but yet of noxious drunk, it's like, I just want to get through drive thru and get them.
Stephen Christopher 19:50
Yeah, like yeah, don't make that don't make it any longer than it has to be right. What um, anything else that You think your experiences driving Uber have taught you about people in general or the world or life as we know it on the planet Earth?
Unknown Speaker 20:12
Yeah, several things. You know, I think that it's taught me that. And this is gonna sound extremely cliche, but everyone's unique. But everyone's unique in the sense that we all have our oddities, right? We all have our uniquenesses that are, that are kind of quirky or that are kind of weird. And they're not weird to us or our family, because that's how we live life. But then when you interact with other people or other family units or other groups, and you kind of think, Wow, maybe the things I do are weird, or the things they did were weird. In the at the end of the day in the grand scheme of things, we're all weird because we all have uniquenesses that make us satisfied apart from each other and and they may not be weird to us. But they just are different ways of doing life and so it's been fun to interact with people on very, very different levels you get the people that are out to go to a party, you get the people who have come into town I love the summer because you get the tourists, the tourists, where you pick up and drop off at hotels, to me are some of the most fun people because I will I will get done and have 10 riders from different parts of the United States all in one night. And and it's fun to listen and you don't realize as someone that lives in a city that that you don't have any reason to know the the the tourists you know the people come in and go and that are tourists but in this profession you start to realize the those people do exist and what brought them here. You know what, you're from Alabama. Why did you choose to come to this city? Oh, well, we came here because we'd never been here. We came here because someone had come here that we know from from back home that came last summer and said it was awful. I mean, you got to come to these things or we have family close by so we saw them on the way here. And so the are you you run into people here on a business trip. You run into people here who came into town for a football game. I transported the team doctor for the Fresno State football team that was here to play the Air Force Academy last fall. And we picked him up him and his family. at a restaurant here in town on the night before the game they had gone out to eat but he needed to go to a drugstore or grocery store before he got back to the hotel, because he had guys that were sick. And so I had to find him and we're in a town area town where there just wasn't grocery stores or wasn't a drugstore. So had to kind of do some quick thinking because between his restaurant in the hotel, there was no options and so we went a little off the beaten path and took him to a grocery store where he could came out with a pretty good bag of over the counter. Drugs. So he was equipped for the following day and we headed back to the hotel. So
Stephen Christopher 23:06
I do have to ask ya on that game.
Unknown Speaker 23:10
Ah, I don't remember.
Stephen Christopher 23:13
I didn't he were too sick and the Falcons runner.
Unknown Speaker 23:16
He said he you know, it's funny because he said that he they had been there for a day already. And he had had issues from the time that they boarded the plane to the time they got here there was guys with all sorts of things going on. And then that environment I'm sure that things just spread like a wildfire. When one when one guy got something, you know, it just it just spread. The funny thing for me in that conversation was trying to figure out who he was. Why did we need to go to a drugstore? Like because there was a group, you know, he had his family with them and a couple of friends and so I'm trying to figure out who this guy is, you know, it's just weird that the old man got in and said we got to go to the drugstore. I need to get a bunch of over the counter meds. And so while he was in there, we kind of, they kind of started talking and I started asking questions. And then I said, Wait a second, who are you?
Unknown Speaker 24:12
What are you doing here?
Stephen Christopher 24:13
It sounds like you have certainly developed a kind of a curiosity that allows you to like really interact with your writers and and try and get to know why are they doing it? Why are they here? What's really going on in the world? which certainly probably makes it more entertaining.
Unknown Speaker 24:36
Yeah, you can usually pick up pretty quickly when someone's not from around here. Because they may not know their way around or they ask you questions about places and it's very obvious that you know that they're not familiar with their surroundings. And then that kind of gets your curiosity up. Well, why are you here? Who are you here with? You know, do I have two guys that work together back home and came back? out for a conference and just decided to grab dinner and some beers after, you know, their last class of the day, and they're headed back Saturday morning, you know, to enjoy their weekend? Or is it a family here on vacation? Or you know, what are the circumstances? And it's kind of fun to try to. Sometimes you figure it out. And sometimes you just have to be forward with them and say, I don't understand what oh, tell me where you're from. let you do this. Yeah, this isn't making sense to me. So
Stephen Christopher 25:28
does that has that curiosity extended into other parts of your life, for instance, your job in you know, your full time job as the Community Association world. does it translate over or not?
Unknown Speaker 25:42
Well, you know, in the in the Community Association, world level is, you know, people mistakenly refer to us as property managers. And I say, we're not property managers. We're in the people business. And so, as an Uber driver, you're in the people business. I think we've all had Uber drivers. We're terribly disengaging didn't have or weren't able or didn't want to carry on a conversation. We're just, you know, just weren't fun. And and you know, and there's certainly been nights where you pick up on people that get in and you know, you don't have a conversation with everybody, but you're in the people business and so if you don't have a personality or the ability or the skills to lend you to having conversations, engaging with people and learning about them, and they, they want to know about you, where did you come from? Are you from around here? How long have you lived here? Oh, I grew up there too. Where are you? You know, how many kids do you have type of thing and so there's certainly a lot of crossover between my daytime and nighttime jobs that that because it involves people,
Stephen Christopher 26:52
you know, that that that kind of reminded me of that you don't like say Oh, if you identify as I am a people person and one of my streaks that one of my unique qualities is I like to interact with people, you can be fulfilled in many different jobs. Something as different as a Community Association manager and an Uber driver, because of that commonality.
Unknown Speaker 27:16
Sure. Yeah, I think, um, I think it's a, it's something you ought to put on your resume if you have the skill to be able to, you know, to engage with people. Not everyone wants to do that. Not everyone likes to do it. Some people are good at it, even though they don't like to. Most of the time, we're good at things we like, but some people fake it well too. But there's just there's just some that are not cut out for it. And that's okay. There's not a problem with that. But I think it's a it's a fun skill set to have.
Stephen Christopher 27:52
Tell me about. I'm sure there have been some scary times, driving and it is the How do you keep it together? What have you done? Is there some self talk that goes into it? When you find yourself maybe in a place you don't know, right? Or an environment where you're like, you know, the hairs on the back of your neck are standing up? What What goes through your head? How do you handle that?
Unknown Speaker 28:19
Lots of looking around, lots of knowing where you're at. Lots of checking your mirrors. I have a, I have a pretty strong but small LED flashlight that I carry in the door of my vehicle because believe it or not, people order an Uber driver and then they don't turn the front porch light on so you can't see house numbers, and you don't know where you're supposed to be going. And so oftentimes I use that just to figure out where I'm supposed to be. But I've, I've been in a number of situations where you get you get an order For a pickup in a residential area that's in the middle of the night and no house lights are on in the unit that you're supposed to be coming to. I don't know how people do it, but they do accidentally order rides. It just baffles me because you know, it's not a one click sort of process to order an Uber ride. confirm this confirm that what kind of vehicle do you want? Where are you at type of thing, you know? And, and, you know, I'll sit there for a little bit but if there's, if I'm on a block where there's not a lot of lights on, or it's not an area town I'm particularly crazy about. I don't give a lot of time before I just cut the cord and say, I'm going to move on and if they truly didn't order it by accident, then they'll order it again somebody.
Stephen Christopher 29:50
So it sounds like you certainly have a lot of awareness, physical awareness of your environment. Yeah. What would you say that you have Kind of intuition sometimes that kicks in of like, Yeah, I don't really want to complete this pickup.
Unknown Speaker 30:06
Yeah, um, you know, there's different types of situations where you're willing to wait longer for somebody to come out, especially if you're hearing from them, or they're waiting on somebody or whatnot, but depends on what time of day depends on what area of town you're in depends, you know, depends on the surroundings. Are you at a business? Are you picking them up at a house? Are you picking them up at a, you know, a club where you're downtown and there's a million people around and there's, you know, police everywhere for security and just those types of things versus, you know, the back of a house in the dark alley that doesn't have good access and doesn't look like anybody's around. We, you know, here in Colorado Springs, we have four military installations. And that's a interesting Very unique perspective and piece of the puzzle. Because getting on and off of those installations, depending on whether you have a writer or not, is is very different. If you have a writer, it's very easy to get on. If you don't have a writer, it's very cumbersome to get on, and most won't do it. And so, but then once you do get on, you're pretty well guaranteed a ride to get off because the volume of rides to the volume of available drivers is usually pretty lopsided. But but the military installations have been a unique experience. I'd never been on three of our military installations here in town, even though I've lived here for 18 years, and I've been on all of them one of them more than I ever dreamed of. I know my way around pretty well.
Stephen Christopher 31:50
You're on a first name basis, right?
Unknown Speaker 31:53
Not quite and I don't know that I ever want to be on a first
Stephen Christopher 32:00
Hey, Steven, any questions that come to mind for you at this point? Oh, I have all kinds of questions. Sitting there percolating. Yeah, I do actually have a couple questions. Let's start here. Did you did you start driving for Uber? For money and that type of reason? Is that why you really initially started or did you or was it really more about the Curiosity piece?
We broke him. Oh, I'll probably come back in a second.
Unknown Speaker 32:36
Stephen Christopher 32:41
at least he froze with a decent expression on his face. Might when mine freezes. It's like I'm in the middle of like going or my eyes are closed or Yeah. he froze. froze.
Unknown Speaker 32:55
he froze. froze.
Stephen Christopher 32:58
All right. I got the time of it. Alright, so while we wait, maybe we can cut this in. Yeah. Or would you ever drive for Uber? Oh, yeah, I would. You would? Yeah. Why? Just out of curiosity? Yeah, I think it would be I think it'd be fun just to kind of see what happens and have some different experiences. Okay, would you? I don't know. I don't know that I'm, I'm really not that curious about it. Like for me, I think I think all the things that he's getting from this, that I also like to get, I feel like I would get them. I would find I would have a different avenue to get those same things that he's getting. Ah, gotcha. So yeah, so similar experiences similar like desires for experience around curiosity and meeting people and being a people person. But Uber would be pretty far down my list of ways away. Same thing
Unknown Speaker 33:59
places to get Yeah,
Stephen Christopher 34:00
yeah, like I would rather just go to I'd rather go somewhere in the world like a hotel or something like that and then have those same experiences or Brandon, what's up, man? Welcome back. Hey, sir. No worries, okay. We're just chit chatting in between. I just asked Laura, if she would ever drive for Uber. And she said, Yes. And so she was saying, Would you and I said it would be low on my list of things to do to get the same experiences that you get from it, because I like a lot of those same experiences. But I wouldn't choose Uber. Like, actually, if I was ever going to do anything, I would be a car salesman. I've always had that. Come on, I would go sell cars, and I have no clue why it's just, I think I'm just so curious about the process. And there's so many terrible ones out there, kind of like you were saying, Brandon, like, there's so many terrible Uber drivers. Like it doesn't take that big, that much of a skill or an effort to be exponentially greater in that industry. And so and I love cars,
Unknown Speaker 34:57
it's true. You know, we were talking about that blog. girlier that I write on and I found myself writing about experiences as an Uber writer as well go on vacation and have these experiences in them like look at my wife and say you know, these people don't know they're gonna get written about tonight on a little you know, because we've had some where you can't talk with them because they don't know English or you get in the car and Ah, this I felt like this lady had been driving for days in her car without going home and showering you know, type of thing and, and we've we've had all sorts of fun experiences as writers so I've found myself writing about some of those as well.
Stephen Christopher 35:40
I love it awesome. So the question I'd had right before zoom decided to cut out which is happening a lot lately.
Unknown Speaker 35:49
Yeah, hate relationship
Stephen Christopher 35:50
was completely so when you did you start doing Uber was it? Was it purely financial at first that caused you to say, Hey, you know what I'm gonna do desire a little bit more money or something like that, and then that's what caused you to go out? Or did you really go out and say, Hey, this sounds interesting, I'm going to do it. And then like the money and whatever else was a byproduct?
Unknown Speaker 36:10
Yeah, I think the money was the primary motivator. But there was also a level of it was something my wife had encouraged me to do once I brought her the idea. And she kind of got through processing that a little bit. I think at first she thought she thought I was a little crazy, and a little bit, not serious. And then once she realized that, maybe I was serious about it, and realize that it'd be something I'd probably be pretty good at. Then she was pretty encouraging to the process. But yeah, financial was the was the primary motivator. There was this level of curiosity, too, but then once I got into it, that the the money and the experience We're kind of both equal drivers after a while, no pun intended, but they, they were both the kind of the exciting piece. Yeah, I was making some some good money on good weekends. But people are funny as hell. And that also is there, there's an entertainment value as a driver you, you're in, you're in your own comfort zone because it's your vehicle. But yet you've got this stage of actors that continually changes. And it's it's like a, it's like a rotating stage at a nightclub with a bunch of comedians on it. And sometimes they didn't know they were going to be funny, but to you, they get out after the ride, and you're like, that was that was awesome. Those people were hilarious, and they didn't even know it. You know? That's fantastic,
Stephen Christopher 37:45
dude. I love that. And it and I have another question, which is, you know, your level of patience is extremely high. Right. And I think we could have an entire show just talking about how to cultivate patience, and have you were you born with that Is it something that that came over time. But one of the things that I pulled out of this is that. So let's use the example of like when the drivers tell you to go a different way, right? And they're like, nope, you got to go this way. And you know, based on all of your experience, that there's a better way, right? Or that there's, there's a more direct way just based on all of your experiences, but you are very patient and open to going a different route. So when you've done that, whether it's Uber, any job or anywhere in life, has that patient's ever paid off in a different way meaning that like, they actually took you a different way. And since you were so patient and open, you actually learn something new or you found out like wow, like my my thought was actually not correct. Like, has it ever turned into anything kind of exciting, or where you look back and say, Man, I'm actually glad that I didn't push my my beliefs in that situation or
Unknown Speaker 39:01
I don't know that anything comes to mind there. But I guess the piece with regard to patience is that I've never regretted being patient. It's it's never patience doesn't ever burn you. Sometimes, patients turns into procrastination, and that will burn you. But I've never regretted being patient. And there's times where I've tried to talk them out of it. Because let's face it, I've been at the end of a night I've been to most of the corners of our town. And I know where things aren't flowing well from traffic perspective. I know which streets to get in and out of downtown on that are quicker because there's less congestion of foot traffic. I know where the colleges are to avoid kids that are walking to and from the downtown area. There's just a lot of things traffic wise that I know as a driver, that somebody that's taken a ride home or go to home or from home isn't aware of, but yet they, there's people that always think they have a better route to get there. And while that route may have been the right way, during the day, it may be the wrong way at that time of of night. And so I'll try to say, you know, I'll go whichever way you want to go. But, but I was going to go this way, because I know we can get there faster, or I was just down there. And I don't want to Well, there's a wreck on that interstate at that exit. We're gonna avoid that. Oh, you know, then they realize, oh, maybe this guy's onto something. Maybe he does know a little bit more than I do, because he's been driving for the last three hours, you know, and they're just leaving home for the first time today. So
Stephen Christopher 40:57
I love that you give a because like, hey, let's go this way because Because or I know this because and I think with with Uber, at least my experiences, the level of the trust that I've built with the driver will determine how open and willing I am to take their advice other than their app, or, you know, my wife, when she gets in an Uber, she always has her own app open for directions. And I know it's always, it's always entertaining for me to watch the whole thing unfold. But if I have some some level of trust built, where I feel like Oh, hey, this guy actually knows what he's talking about, then I'm more likely to be accepting of that. And then if it's just like, we should go this way. I'm like, ah, I don't really know. Like, you've given me no reason to trust you. So that's, well, super cool.
Unknown Speaker 41:43
You know, we talked earlier that we're in the people that I'm in the people business, but I'm also in the service business. And so as an Uber driver, not only I'm not getting paid to connect with people, does that work out at the end of the day for a better tip and a better ride and a greater conversation and more fun experience? Well, absolutely all the above. But at the same time, at the end of the day, they hired me to take them from point A to point B, and that's the service. And if I can get them there quicker and more efficiently, then I've provided the service at a higher level, the, if they would like to get from point A to point B, in a different route, going a different route, I'm all yours. And if I am not in if I'm indifferent to that other route, then let's do it. If that makes you happier as the as the recipient of the service. I'm here to provide and if that's what you want to do, then let's do it. But if I have a, if I have a good reason as to why we want to get from point A to point B in a different manner, I think you're right. There's a there's a a an instant level of trust to say, this writer or excuse me, this drivers looking out for me, because the driver could have very easily just followed the directions that the app told him to take. That would have been the easy way out, that would have been the most, the greatest avoidance of any conflict that you know, it just would have been easy way to do it. But if we're truly trying to get the person to the destination, the most efficient manner, then we may know better than the app. And I may know circumstances more than the than the rider that just got in the car. The other piece to that is, I'm ready to as soon as I get a ride, and I start a ride, I am eligible to receive the next ride. And if it's a busy night, sometimes there's there's nights where you spend most of the night with a with a rider in the queue because you're on your way somewhere and you get a ride and then the next person's waiting because there's a wait for a driver And if Why wouldn't I want to get them there faster and more efficiently cuz I'm ready to get on to the next ride. The way that Uber pays out, you know, you get a base rate and then you get a rate for time and you get a rate for mileage. Well, I want to keep things moving. But I want to make the current person happier at the same time. So I agree with you if I have a better reason or or a reason to do something better, then why not tell them? why not share that with them?
Stephen Christopher 44:31
Love it. Okay, Brandon, anything else you want to share with our listeners as we wrap things up?
Unknown Speaker 44:39
Here's one thing that that struck me. I've been I've been driving for Uber for about two years now. And with the exception of of not driving since March, when this whole pandemic thing started. Truly before I took that break, it's something started to click with me in this country. concept. Good people exist everywhere in a town, you can have areas of a town that are maybe on the news more frequently because they may have higher rates of crime. They may be in an area that is known for for undesirable activities or they're near businesses that attract people that you may not want to be around. I have picked up. I picked up writers that have been some of the most courteous and most respectful and had some of the greatest conversations with that I've picked up in some of the crappiest areas of our city. And that is that's an admitted bias. That's tough. When you get a pick up and your phone I have to go where because I I have to accept a certain number of rides or I start getting phone calls from Uber going havior right acceptance rate is you know, becoming unacceptable. And and so not accepting a ride is is not okay for a driver. But sometimes I cringe when I realized where I have to go. And I've started to get better about telling myself that you know what, just because you're going to an area of town you wouldn't have gone to yourself doesn't mean that that area is all full of bad people. And so that that's something that I've struggled with but I'm starting to to do better with it convincing myself and and remembering that good people exist everywhere.
Stephen Christopher 46:42
I love that Brandon and I think that that's so powerful, particularly in today's world, right and the things we have going on is to embrace that in to check ourselves and say, wait a minute, do I have a bias that's going on here and is that bias founded? And being willing to have experiences that challenge that to figure out Okay, wait a minute, maybe I am off base here. So
Unknown Speaker 47:08
to further to further that I've also taken some really some really undesirable writers to some really nice areas of town. So it goes both ways goes both
Stephen Christopher 47:19
ways. Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, this has been wonderful. I've learned a lot about you your desire for curiosity, your level of patience. So thank you so so very much for coming on and sharing it with us today. Is there a place I mentioned your log on Uber Chronicles, Colorado, your place that people can reach you other than Facebook, if somebody wants to contact you personally,
Unknown Speaker 47:47
that's probably the easiest way. You know, I do message those people through that Facebook page. And that's been a place where I've tried to post as frequently as possible and I'm in a driving Wait a minute, at a time of year where I'm driving. I haven't driven for almost six months and it's been kind of painful.
Stephen Christopher 48:09
You're home starting to itch, like, Okay, it's time I told
Unknown Speaker 48:11
my wife a few times. I'm like, man, I miss Ooh, brain and she kind of looks at me and I go, you know, it's fun. Um, I also don't mind going to bed at a reasonable hour on a Friday or Saturday night either. So that's been kind of nice. But
Unknown Speaker 48:25
yeah, I can understand that.
Unknown Speaker 48:27
Okay, great. Uber Chronicles, Colorado.
Stephen Christopher 48:29
Sounds awesome. Steven, do you want to jump in and maybe share a couple of takeaways from our episode today? Yeah, let's do it. So I got a lot of stuff. There's this overarching theme around patience. At least that's what I'm pulling out is just even just being aware of places that we can be more patient. That's one of my big things that I'm really pulling away from today's episode because it leads to all kinds of really cool things that maybe we wouldn't thought of before. So just remembering like just being patient In a moment being present in a moment can lead to some really really cool stuff that ties into go with the flow. Just Just remember like, the world is a really cool interesting place and there's this natural flow to it. And when we when we go with the flow a lot cooler things tend to happen then when we consistently fight against it, so maybe that resonates a little bit more some people as far as our instead of patience, going with the flow because that's how really, really cool things happen. I pulled this out, being open to being a beginner, I think as we get older, we tend to be a little bit more closed off to being open to being a beginner, right because it can be a little bit scary. You know how Brandon mentioned like he had never heard that little sound that came from his phone. But he quickly realized and the different emotions that he experienced when he was waiting for that first ride and then giving the first ride and then telling the people that They were his first ride and then the next couple ones. And I think as we get a little bit older, we tend to lean away from those experiences, or that feeling of being a beginner, especially when we're leading a company, when we're leading people, when we're an entrepreneur, we're so used to now being the leader at the front of the room, that we probably miss out on a lot of opportunities by not being willing to be a beginner. So be willing to be that beginner take that nervous energy and turn it into excitement and curiosity energy and and go with the flow. Everyone is unique. We're all a little bit weird, right? And that was such a cool point to just remember that the things that I do, you know, maybe in my home or in my friend circles that seemed very normal. Somebody else looking in is is probably looking at me going What in the hell are you doing? Where on earth did you pick that up from? And so just being being more curious when we get around other people like those things that they're doing? are completely normal to them, even though they might be weird to us. And so just being curious about hey, why why do you do that? Or you know what's exciting about that to you? So just yeah, just being curious. Brandon said I never regretted being patient. So just ties back into this overarching theme I keep keep getting at with patients is a never regretted being patient. I think that's such a great statement. Such a great takeaway. And then lastly, is what he kind of ended with about good people live everywhere, just be open, like, especially right now in a pandemic, right, like, a lot of people are kind of closed off we, we narrow our focus. We're all freaked out about these little things like oh my gosh, like, was that hurt? Did they wash their hands? Did they use hand sanitizer? are they wearing a mask? Why aren't they wearing a mask, like just just remembering that good people live everywhere, and I'm a firm believer that a huge majority of the people that we run into every single day are good people and they All have intentions of living a happy more fulfilled life. It's just some people don't understand or they don't see the, the way to do that. So they can be more closed off and they can maybe not show up in the world as we would like them to be. But ultimately, people in the world are really really good in don't jump to conclusions too quickly based on external circumstances that we're creating as judgments. And that's what I got today. Those were fabulous. Um, it's so interesting when you are the person interviewing as opposed to the person who gets to sit back and listen there. It's amazing the takeaways, the the bigger picture items. So thank you so much, Stephen for that insight. And thanks again, Brandon for joining us.
Unknown Speaker 52:47
You bet. Thanks for having me. been fun guys.
Stephen Christopher 52:50
We will be Steven and I will do a connect the dots episode on Thursday of this week in which we will dive into a little bit more detail. tail, some of our takeaways from Brandon some things that maybe we've tried in our life that are similar to this so we hope you join us for that. And until then, embrace the exciting unknown.