This week on Profitcast, The Real Brian talks with Harry of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast! Harry has a great story of transitioning from the life of an engineer for Boeing to a life of an Uber driver. That lifestyle change helped Harry to look beyond being a driver and start to see holes in available content and information for drivers, employed by such millions-of-dollars enterprises such as Uber and Lyft, and plug them with valuable resources. Now Harry and his team provides tips and strategies for drivers to earn more money by working smarter.
While Profitcast started off as this journey of discovery on how to make money with a podcast, it has morphed into a lot more than just that narrow pursuit. We’re passion podcasters, here, and as such we can see the value in being a well-rounded podcaster. Sometimes this means focusing less on the money and more on the performance or more on the production. One of the perspectives that Harry brings to the table, and advocates for quite well, is the idea of immersing oneself in an industry before the full-on pursuit of profit.
Perhaps Harry and I just approach projects in a similar way, or perhaps he just knows what would work for him, but I’m a huge fan of his approach. He used the method Brian has been promoting on Profitcast for months now – finding a niche, where no one else has breached, and corner the market. As a new Uber driver, Harry was surprised there weren’t experts out there already providing meaningful content to other drivers. Taking matters into his own hands, he began doing the research himself and providing the content that he had been wanting in the first place, and then spreading his brand and service around.
We’ve heard a lot of success stories, but I don’t feel like we get many versions of Harry’s story. It’s inspiring because it’s that archetypal method Brian has been talking about, personified. It shows how new industries and niches are cropping up all the time and that opportunities to be the first (and if not the first, then the best) are available. But it also shows that you don’t have to flail around in order to find something that fits.
The video I embedded below is an old Disney movie from the late 1930s. I used to watch this video all the time as a kid. It is silly and entertaining. Now when I look back on it I see so many parallels to how I feel in my approach to projects or life, sometimes on a day-to-day basis. From 00:53 – 01:36, Goofy makes an attempt at surfing. He sees a big wave coming, gets his board ready, and makes a bee-line for the ocean. He runs faster and faster, the wave approaches, but then…in typical old-school Disney fashion, the wave reacts to seeing Goofy’s approach and pulls back so that Goofy misses the water entirely. He skids across the rocks that were once covered by water and comes to a halting stop. While he’s getting his bearings from having his bell rung, the wave comes back and he has just enough time to pick up his board and make an attempt to salvage his surfing goals, but he gets his feet hooked on either end of the surfboard and begins tumbling as the wave rockets him back toward shore. He’s dumped in the soft sand, head first, with his feet still hooked the long-way on the surfboard.
Knowing Goofy’s character and his rather unconventional approach to life, the results of his adventures exaggerate real-life events. It’s entertaining to watch because Goofy never seems to learn that he can’t just rush into things without thinking them through, and so we get a lot of funny moments from his unpreparedness. It doesn’t help, though, that nature can act like a form of intelligence, like the wave in this video! But, the point is, we see how things end up for Goofy when he just flails into situations, and yet we often do the same thing and expect the results to be concise and fruitful.
What I got out of this podcast was that sometimes we need to back off. If we’re trying to force something prematurely, or if we’re out surfing in the proverbial ocean and can’t seem to get our bearings, then maybe the approach is wrong. Take a page from Harry’s book and first worry about understanding your industry, understand the market and the needs of your target audience, before going full-force after profit. Like Harry said, it would be better to expend energy on the pursuit of sponsors after establishing an audience base and establishing that you’re meeting a need.
So stop flailing! Work smarter and give yourself the time and the latitude to work up. Trying to grab more than you can at one time may yield unexpected results, or it may make you burn out quickly. And it may be downright discouraging.
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