How an Uber driver’s story gave me the confidence I needed

by jeffhilimire on February 6, 2014

I love Uber. It’s fantastic and if you ever find yourself needing a “cab”, use Uber. And I think if you sign up with this link, we both get a free ride.

The other day I was in downtown Atlanta, in the rain, at 4:15 and needed to get to Buckhead for a 5pm meeting. And I didn’t have my car. If you’re familiar with Atlanta you know that’s pretty much an impossible scenario. So I fired up Uber and in 5 minutes I was riding with a jolly Ethiopian fellow heading toward Buckhead.

My driver asked me what I was heading to and I told him an important meeting where I needed to convince a lot of people to invest in my company.

He said, “Do you think they will?”

And I said, “I sure hope so.”

He then said, “No, you don’t hope so. You say, ‘They WILL invest in my business’, and then it will happen.”

I kind of laughed and played along, but I think he could sense that I wasn’t fully on board (though I’m a huge believer in positive thinking, so I really did get it). Then he told me the story of how he met his wife.

He was flying back to Ethiopia from Italy (he lived for many years in Italy, I had learned early in our drive) and spotted a woman sitting several rows in front of him and he immediately decided, “I’m going to marry that woman.” He figured out that the only way he could start courting her on the flight would be to constantly go back and forth to the bathroom, smiling and making eye contact with her as he went by. She started smiling back and eventually he was able to talk to her in the aisle a few times.

I suggested that she might have thought he had a bladder infection but he assured me that no, it worked out and they have been married for 20+ years.

I then jokingly asked him how many times he thought I should try to go to the bathroom during my 15 minute presentation, and after he stopped laughing he told me that I needed to go into that room and be confident, saying things like, “WHEN you invest in my company, you will get these benefits” vs “IF you invest…”

And you know what, I think his pep talk actually helped. And he even got me to the meeting right at 5pm which was no small miracle in itself.

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