Feeling inspired is an understatement really…
Let me start by saying this is a whole new topic for me. I usually restrict myself to Accounting, Tax and Cashflow improvement as my bread and butter when it comes to writing. I leave the attempts to Inspire the world to those who believe life coaching is a real job. However, the Uber driver that got me home safely after lunch today had a story that I found incredibly motivating.
This is one for those of us who cry about first world problems. They have two degrees but can’t find a job paying 6 figures or they’re running a business that isn’t making them a millionaire as quickly as it should but they only want to work 3 days a week…we all know them, admit it!
The Uber driver, (let’s call him Bob to protect his real name) was a Bosnian gentleman who moved his wife and 2 small children to Australia in the late 90’s after losing his business and everything he owned in the war. He arrived in Australia with a young family to feed and $300 in his wallet. Australian businesses didn’t recognise any of his qualifications and he had neither the time nor the money to look into further education. He needed to get paid or his family would starve.
While it probably seems cliché he found a job driving a taxi and he drove it almost constantly. 16-18 hours a day to provide for his family and save up enough money to buy a car so he could work for himself. After 12 months he purchased a vehicle and once again became his own boss.
He drove that car for as many hours a day as he could. Things were going well until 4 years later when he was in a huge car accident. The vehicle was written off and he needed surgery to recover. For many Australian’s this would be the point at which they take a few years off on the insurance company’s dime. Not Bob, the moment he could walk again he used what money he had to open a restaurant and went back to working 7 days a week. The restaurant was quite successful and his family were able to enjoy a lifestyle even he couldn’t have imagined for them. Good schools, comfortable living and international holidays.
Why is he driving Uber now? After years of constant standing in the restaurant he now needs knee replacements and has to earn income sitting down. He sold the restaurant and is back driving a Taxi as well as Uber.
What has he achieved?
I know it’s easy to look at Bob’s story with the eyes of a new generation and come to the conclusion that he’s crazy. “All he ever did was work” or even better “He should have worked smart, not hard” (blah blah blah).
Right now Bob owns his large family home with a pool in the backyard. The car he drives his Uber customers around in is a Mercedes Benz and so is his wife’s car. His now adult children wanted for nothing, are well educated and have good jobs. As a family they have had a great life in Australia and love this country. None of this would have been possible if Bob allowed the victim mentality to control his life. He was a well-educated man but moving to Australia meant his qualifications were useless. He adapted and achieved what he came here to do, despite multiple setbacks.
What Can We Learn?
I think the lesson is very simple, if you want it badly enough then suck it up and work. Stop telling everyone that you’re just on government benefits because your marketing degree wasn’t quite enough to get that job with Google. You didn’t choose to live at home with your parents because the pay rates the market is offering are not worth “getting out of bed for”, you are just lazy. If you want something in life you can have it, but no one is going to hand it to you.
Today is the day, get up and start…