Saturday, March 11, 2017

Breaking Out of the Safe Space

Over the years, I knew what breaking out of the comfort zone was because I was married to a risk-taker kind-of-guy. Some risks paid off and some didn’t, but it was the two of us, so it made an "It Takes Two" mindset for stepping out and going for it. We were big thinkers and bet-the-farm risk takers. That was then; this is now. I’ve become much more guarded as a single – not venturing too far outside of my comfort zone in some ways, especially when it comes to protecting my #1 asset…ME! So, when my granddaughter asked me to go roller-blading with her, I didn’t hesitate to say “Once upon a time, I’d take on that risk, but now, I value my body parts way too much to go there!” LOL!

And, I’m certainly not as free as a couple of my single girl friends who belong to a Travel Club where they travel all over the world and stay with folks they’ve never met before and are obliged to those people’s itineraries, meals and sleeping accommodations. But, yesterday, I did break out of my safe space when it came to using Uber. I’ve heard about Uber for some time now because I know many who use their transportation services and I’ve also heard the worth of Uber is in billions of dollars – another one of those genius ideas. Uber is an app-based transportation company that operates in hundreds of cities and over 60 countries. Using the app is easy: just type in your current location, where you want to go, and hit request. From there, Uber uses its app to receive its ride requests, sending them out to drivers who transport customers to their final destination.

For those like me who never tried to use Uber, let me share my experience. Because my kids had a much later flight out from Orlando to Dallas than me, I decided to give Uber a try. Larry gave me a quick tutorial, I downloaded the app, and I commenced to book my 30 minute travel to Orlando Airport at the time I needed it yesterday morning. I was still uncomfortable about this service where random (but pre-qualified) people use their own vehicle to move people about. I booked for 6:20 am which meant the drive had a window of 15 minutes to pick me up (6:20 – 6:35). At 6:10, I started receiving notices on a map that “Philip” in a Hyundai would pick me up in 11 minutes. BTW, I chose the most economical vehicle with an expected end cost of $21 to $28. A taxi ride was estimated at $62+, depending on traffic. The app showed me, virtually, Phillip getting closer to me by the minute. A very kind and considerate “Philip” arrived promptly at 6:31 in his very neat and clean Hyundai. He loaded up my bags and we were on our way. I asked Philip, who is retired, a lot of questions:

Me: “How long have you been working for Uber?”
Philip: “Five weeks. My daughter, who is a teacher, recommended it to me because she knows I like to drive and since it’s been a good add-on income producer to her teacher’s salary, she thought I might enjoy doing it too! Now she’s no longer having to borrow money from me anymore. And once I did several pick-ups, she received a bonus of $100 for referring me.”
Me: “How does it work? How are you paid? Do you just get tips?”
Philip: “No. We receive 75% of the charges; Uber gets 25%. And we get tips that are calculated when a customer books the ride.”
Me: “Is this a car you had or did you buy it just for Uber purposes?”
Philip: “I bought this car just for my Uber use because it gets about 37 mpg, and I had to buy an iPhone for the GPS usage. (He had it on a mount where the riders could see the route he takes.)

Philip was a cautious, safe driver and said he does a 4 am to 10 am shift where he’ll take people to work, to the airport, to doctor appointments, etc. At the end of a trip, he’ll press “Trip End” and the next pick up from Uber will show up. When he picked me up at 6:30 am, I was his 5th passenger that morning.

Me: Have you ever felt unsafe or concerned about anyone you picked up?
Philip: “No, because all passengers’ info is with Uber when they sign up for an Uber ride and they already know the range they will be paying for the ride. You can get an Uber ride by credit or debit card, PayPal or e-card. And the same is true for the drivers. You can feel safe because all our information is with Uber.”

Bottom line, not only did I have a great first experience with Uber, but “first timers” get at least $10 off their fare. So what would have been a $26 ride, was $16. Oh yes, I’ll do this again and perhaps, I just might use it instead of tackling Dallas traffic. By the way, if you’d like to try Uber (I found out when you refer a friend to Uber, you get a free ride and your friend gets a free first ride.) So, I'm referring my's my invite code -- use it when you want to try out Uber -- you and I will both get free rides. Here's my referral code for your first free ride! By the way, I gave Philip a 5-Star rating and I expect he gave me a 5-star rating. That's part of the security of Uber -- you can grade your driver and he can grade you!

So, there you go….and there I go. Saving when I can and enjoying the ride as I go. Once again, this widow, mom and nana has got game! I’m in it to win it – that is – this life…no excuses….no holds barred! Just like at the Disney parks with my family -- I rode every ride – crazy fast, spinning, dropping, push and pull of gravity of the Rockin’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Space Mountain and Test Drive…..and even went in for repeats. Like I’ve said before “I’m not giving up until I’m taken up and once I’m up….arrived at my heavenly destination, I’m sure I’ll be yelling at the top of my lungs “Wow!! What a ride!!!”

Maybe your concerns aren’t about an Uber ride, but maybe today, you’re doubting yourself, or even stepping out of your safe space -- on a job interview, speaking up at a meeting, asking that cutie for a date, or some other area that may cause you anxiety. Every time we step out in faith and resist fear, we grow a little stronger, experience more thrills and exhilarating times.

God is looking for believers who are so in love with him—soul, heart and mind—that the risk doesn't scare them—or if it scares them, they go ahead anyway! Regardless of what God is leading you to do, I can promise you it will be bigger than you are, and it will be risky. It will require you to live by faith and not by sight. It will test you and frighten you, but that’s where the blessing is, where the abundant life is. Don’t miss it. If God is for you, who can be against you?