Why would I want to talk about seven audio books that I think would be useful for delivery drivers
Do you want to know one of the biggest surprises I found when I started delivering for Grubhub, Doordash, Uber Eats and Postmates?
When I ventured into this, I thought it was a good way to make money. I liked the flexibility that it afforded me for other projects. I got into those projects a bit more in depth last week. But when I started, I saw my time as being blocked out, more finite. I had my drive time. I had my time to work on my passion projects. Then there was time for family. And if I needed how to learn something things, that was just more time. I wondered how I could really do all of this.
But I've discovered time is more fluid than that. It's beautiful and magical.
Finding time while on delivery
And then I started this site. It was fun, it was helpful.
And it took a lot of time. So I stopped. I was afraid of it taking too much time away from everything else in my life. I stepped away from a previous job because it was keeping me from going where I wanted to go, and I didn't want to do that here. So I stopped because I didn't have time.
You know how it is with delivery? You get that offer. Then you drive to the restaurant to get that food. Now it's off to the customer. It takes time, and there was this thing about that time, it can be a grind. That's how I saw it. The radio stations got old, I started figuring out that my playlist on Spotify is EXTREMELY limited. It just got old.
I'm not sure when the light started coming through about my time when delivering. I think there were a lot of things, but… the time came where everything changed. All of a sudden drive time was no longer a chore. It became time that I could do all the other things I wanted to do. That's when time became powerful and magic.
Use your time well
I don't know which came first, the podcast or the audio book. But now instead of killing time while driving to the restaurant or customer, I was learning. I was developing. All of a sudden I was growing. Honestly, there are times when I've taken the day off that I kind of wish I were out driving because it's such a great place to listen to whatever book I'm on or whatever is next on my favorite podcasts.
I can't encourage you enough, take advantage of that time. Seriously, folks. There's a world of opportunity out there in those minutes you are heading to the restaurant or the customer. I talk about finding and focusing on your why – well now there's all sorts of time you can listen to a nearly infinite world of resources that help you with your “now what?” Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? How do you get there? There's a podcast for that. There's a book for that.
Folks, my world has blown up since I started taking advantage of this time. I had folks ask me about whether I've considered rideshare such as Uber or Lyft, and I figured out the main reason that doesn't appeal to me? I'm selfish with that time. It's part of why this delivery gig is a great fit for me. I'm getting paid by Grubhub, Doordash, Postmates, Uber Eats, and by all the customers and their tips, to grow and learn and develop.
You can be too. Use that time. It's a tremendous gift.
Audio books and podcasts
When I got serious about this website, I had no clue how to do more with it than just writing. Podcasts and audio books helped me with that. When I had ideas what I wanted to do in my areas of passion (my Why for doing this delivery) but no idea where to take it, podcasts and audio books helped me. When I decided to do this podcast… HOW do you do a podcast? Podcasts and audio books.
Want to know how to do something with your career? There's an audio book for that. There's a podcast for that. Take advantage of it. Use that time. Grow, learn, develop. I'm tempted to get into podcasts AND audio books, but that can get really long. So, I want to talk about some of the audio books that have made a difference for me as I deliver for Grubhub, Doordash and the others. Maybe they can help you, which is why I want to share them.
Getting started with audiobooks
Before I get into the books, I'll talk a little about where you can source the audio books. Most people think of Audible and that's probably the best known source, but there are other places as well. I found this article that has a list of some of the different audio book options if you want to dig deeper.
Now when it comes to listening… the obvious answer is use your phone. We have to have smart phones already to do this delivery gig. Play them over your speaker – or the ideal is if you have an audio system that you can connect to your phone. Go old school with headphones, whatever works.
I'm going to be posting links below. I do want to be up front on this, these are affiliate links. That means that if you do make any purchases off these links, I might receive a small commission, kind of like a finder's fee. That just helps support this website and helps cover the costs of hosting, etc.
Using subscription services.
You can check out the article I posted above, but you can use a subscription service to get your audio books. The two most prominent ones are owned by Amazon – that's Audible and Kindle Unlimited. I think the biggest difference is that Audible is more like an ownership subscription service. For $14.99 a month you get a credit for a book every month, and there are often some free downloads that are offered on top. Audible has a one month free trial, which essentially means your first book from Audible is free (and you own that book even if you don't continue the trial membership.
You may not realize you can also listen to Audible through Amazon Kindle Unlimited. They've added listening to their subscription which I believe is $9.99. The main difference is it's like you are renting or borrowing the books. If you end your subscription you lose your access to the books. But it also can be a better way to listen to far more books as well as download e-books. They also have a one month free trial OR you can get a 3 month trial for 99 cents.
Purchasing books individually.
You do not have to have a membership to purchase an audio book from Audible. You can purchase books individually or a la cart. Individual prices are often higher than the Audible subscription fee. You can also explore Apple and Google Play, they have a large selection available for individual purchase.
Okay, those seven books I was talking about:
These audio books are not specifically about delivering for Grubhub or Doordash or any of the others. They're really not even about being independent contractors. They're more about developing the type of person who can succeed in this environment. They're not necessarily the seven best books, I'm sure they aren't. But they have helped me and I hope they can help you.
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
If I did have to choose only one book, this would be the one. I think we tend to just exist, to just do, without any thought about how we go about things. This book has helped me be intentional about my outlook. It's helped me take responsibility, to focus on the things that are most important to me. It probably got me started thinking about my why before I heard it put in those terms. And then it helped me focus on how I can build my interactions with others.
The last habit focuses on growth. Finding ways you can continue to improve and develop yourself. That probably makes a good lead into the other books.
Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey
If you are going to be an independent contractor, and especially if that's a significant portion of your income, you need to be in control of your money instead of letting it control you. Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace is not really about business but about personal finances. But here's the thing: if you're going to be good with your money as a business owner, you have to be able to control it as an individual as well.
There are a lot of sound principles in this book that I just find would be incredibly helpful. If you get into a mindset that you know how to take care of every dollar, that will better position you to set aside the money you need for taking care of your vehicle and your taxes. In fact, whether you are a contractor or an employee, I cannot recommend this book enough. Dave has some pretty strong opinions about money, and essentially he's been saying the same things over and over for literally decades on his radio show and podcast. But you know? They need to be said over and over.
Start With Why by Simon Sinek
I'm going to be honest, I have put this on my list and taken it off many times. It's not that this isn't a great audio book, I think it's an excellent book. I'll just say that there were times where to be honest, I struggled to put the book together with what I was doing because it really is focused on management. He also has a follow up book that is worth looking into and really can fit nicely on its own called Find Your Why. But again, it's more about management and leadership.
But the thing is, this is such an important concept. I bring this up a lot about remembering your why. This delivery gig can be hard work and sometimes it can feel like a grind, but when you are thinking as much about your why as you are the what, it makes a tremendous difference. When you start with your why, I honestly believe you can go further and do more. It sets you up with really exploring your potential and I think it motivates you to find ways that you can go far beyond where you are now.
Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt
The tag line is “A 5-Step Plan for Achieving your Most Important Goals.” Okay, I'm going to start by saying that life isn't as systematic as a 5 step plan. That's just me. But I'll follow that up by saying I haven't been great at goal setting or anything like that. This book has helped me think in terms of where I want to be. It really helped set the stage for when my wife and I got away at the end of the year and talked about where we wanted to be with things (I linked to last week's article at the top of the page where I talk about that some more).
As business owners, independent contractors… heck, just as people, we really need to go beyond just getting things done as we go. Where do we want to be? What do we want to do? Who do we want to be? I think once we've dug into our why, it's a good thing to start asking, where does that take us? This is a good resource to help think through that question.
Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk
Maybe the subtitle says it best: Why NOW is the Time to Cash in on Your Passions. You can see maybe the progression from the previous book I mentioned, Start with Why, and into this book. Folks, one of the best things you can ever do is get yourself into something that lines up with what you love to do.
Gary Vaynerchuk (also well known as Gary Vee) is on a mission to become the greatest entrepreneur of all time. People mistake his emphasis on hard work as hustle above all else. I think his point here is, if you love what you are doing, it's no longer hard work. He's an entrepreneur but he focuses more on loving what you do.
Here's the thing: I know a lot of you love this one thing about being an independent contractor: Freedom. You to set your own hours, make your own decisions. We're business owners – maybe not necessarily full blown entrepreneurs because it's not a business that we necessarily built up. But, for a lot of people this can be a gateway drug to the entrepreneurial life. The freedom of doing this is addictive. It might not be for everyone but if you're thinking that you want to take this business owner thing a bit further, this might be the book for you.
48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller
The original edition of this book was a life changer for me. I reached a point where I didn't really have any fire for my work in telecom. It was okay but, but I didn't feel any sense of purpose in convincing business owners to put a particular kind of phone on their desk. It was one of those moments where I was thinking, what do I want to do when I grow up?
Dan's book helped me dig deeper into the things I loved. In fact it helped set me off on a journey to even DISCOVER what I loved doing. Whether it's about looking for a career or exploring the idea of being in business for yourself, there's a lot of wisdom in this book.
Let me say this: I do not want to suggest that this delivery life is not a great way to do things. I LOVE doing this – heck, I have a podcast and website about it, right? But there are two things to think about here: One, the way these gig companies work, they tend to lower the potential for earnings as you go. There's a low ceiling. The other is, I'm not sure the whole delivery model is sustainable. I think either way, you can find yourself where you can easily outgrow this delivery business thing. It's a great time to start thinking about where to go next.
The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
No. No, you won't make significant earnings on delivery in just four hours a week. I don't think you could even say he only works four hours himself – if you listen to his Podcast he's regularly well over 2 hours per episode and sometimes into 3 hours. Ultimately though that's not the point of the book. And even though a four hour week in gig economy work isn't realistic, I found that it has helped me tremendously in how I look at time and what I do. It's helped me become more efficient, helped me look at when the best times are to do the things I do, and I think it's helped play a role in how I've seen a shift in the way I look at my time while driving, part of what I talked about introducing this episode.
Here's what I really got out of it. When you boil it down, it comes down to finding what really matters to you (which seems to be a pretty common theme throughout most of these books) and then making the best of our time. Tim has some different takes on a lot of things, but it's stuff that gets you thinking.
What books have made a difference for you in your professional journey delivering for Grubhub, Doordash, etc?
Leave a comment or shoot me an email and let me know some books you think would be a good addition to the list. I'm working on creating a resource page with a section on books, and if I get enough suggestions I might add a section of books suggested by readers.