Carole from Austin has been driving with Lyft since June of 2014. “Since the days of the furry pink mustache,” she says with a chuckle.
The job was a good fit from the start. She didn’t experience the nervousness about sharing her car with strangers that some new drivers report. “I have this bodacious Texan personality,” she says. “See, I don’t just meet strangers — I extend my hand and make them feel welcome.”
Carole loves the excitement (and fares) of driving with Lyft during Austin events like the annual South by Southwest festival, and she’s happy to act as a cultural ambassador for her city, pointing out landmarks and recommending her favorite spots to visitors.
There are only a few things Carole wishes she did differently when she was starting out.
Her first tip? Be strategic about stops and plan ahead. Austin may be famous for its barbecue and breakfast tacos, but dining on the road literally eats into your profits. “I don’t spend a lot of money at restaurants when I’m out driving,” she says. “I pack a little ice chest so that I always have healthy snacks.”
She also recommends new drivers take the plunge and attend local Lyft driver meetups. “I didn’t do the group events for over a year, because I thought they’d be cheesy,” she says. “But it wasn’t cheesy at all! I met like-minded people, I got good information, and I made some lifelong friends.”
Nowadays, she incorporates visits with the Lyft friends she’s made at group events into her workday. “We arrange to meet up at picnic tables, swap some stories, and then hit the road again,’ says Carole. “It’s like a game when we’re all waiting to see who gets pinged first.”
What do you wish you knew when you started driving? Tell us at lyft.com/stories.