The idea of gig work seems very inviting and easy to get into, work when you want to and be your own boss, but it is not that easy.
Sure, getting approved for gig work is a fairly easy process, it just requires registering for a few different services, but from this point to actually making a living of it involves real work. No matter which gigs you choose, they all take experience and practice to get effective results.
Here are a few concepts we suggest as you get into gig work:
- Treat your gig work as WORK. Only then will you actually succeed. You have to put in real effort to get real results.
- Know how much money you need to make, by week, by day, maybe even by the hour. These are great goals as you work toward your needs.
- Remember you are working as a 1099 Contract Worker. This means you are NOT an employee, and the service you are working for is NOT withholding taxes. It is a good idea to stash away 30% of all you make for taxes.
- You are now an entrepreneur - this means a lot of your expenses can be deducted from your tax liability. Keep track of everything. We also highly recommend using a tax accountant to do your taxes. They will know exactly what you can deduct and what you can’t - well worth it.
- Find and use a community. There is a lot of helpful information, as well as good ideas, etc. to be had by joining a community. Please, JOIN the community - this means be a part of it. Don’t just sit back and expect others to dish about their experiences and tips. Being a part of the community means you take and give.
Finally, gig work changes very often - it is key that you are willing to change with it. Don’t put all your eggs into one basket. A service doing well now may not do well in 3 months. Always be willing to try something new, and be ready to change as the gig economy changes.
There have been a handful of instances in the news where drivers have been getting caught transporting unaccompanied minors. A while back, a kid took an uber over 300 miles from South Carolina to Georgia and in another situation a minor called a ride intending to commit suicide. While cases this extreme are rare, the problems with unaccompanied minors are not. One problem that drivers in Grand Rapids often notice is minors during the morning commute. It is exceedingly common for parents here to call a ride for their children, without the intent of accompanying them to school. It truly amazes us at GR Rideshare that parents are this irresponsible; putting your child in the car with a stranger is amazingly stupid.
The most frustrating part of this interaction is when you tell a parent, “no” and they say, “well the driver yesterday did it”. There is no reasoning with parents after other drivers have broken the rules, it always ends negatively. Either driver time is wasted, or parents get agitated and loud with us. Regardless of how people react, either parents or minor passengers, as a driver it is your responsibility to turn these rides down every time.
Uber makes it clear in their TOS that transporting anyone under the age of 18 without another 18+ adult in the car is a violation of their agreement. While many drivers claim it is not their responsibility to verify age, it is. You are the one on the hook for deactivation, or worse, if you are caught transporting a minor. One understandable frustration many of us have is that Uber does not do anything to prevent minors from hailing rides. Uber does not verify the age of account owners or ban accounts of parents who call rides for their kids. Even if they did ban accounts, Uber would have to have a system in place to keep people from just making new accounts.
At the end of the day, it is, and always will be, on the driver to act responsibility. Follow the rules, suck it up, and wait your five and drive EVERY single time an unaccompanied minor shows up. Don’t put yourself on the line and face the negative consequences of taking a minor. Uber won’t be on your side.
Pete lets us know how to file to get your money! How to file for the PUA unemployment money for Michigan Gig Economy Workers. Mostly Uber and Lyft Drivers.
Review of the Octopus Tablet for Drivers. This tablet will make you more money while driving for Uber and Lyft.