This Uber Driver Made $252,000 Last Year—Here’s How He Did It

This is genius.

Taxi Drivers Protest Possible Uber Expansion In NYC
Getty Images | Spencer Platt

You might be familiar with the concept of driving for Uber or Lyft as a side gig, but Gavin Escolar has taken this part-time job to another level.

Last year, he made a whopping $252,000 driving people around.

His secret? He turned his car into a mobile showroom for his burgeoning jewelry business.

You can totally replicate Escolar’s model if you’ve got a side gig or business idea in the works, like trying to get an Etsy shop off the ground or grow your pet-sitting services.

Escolar moved to San Francisco from the Philippines to start his own business, but when times got tough, he started driving for Uber to make ends meet. Some passengers would chat with him while he drove.

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“I thought they would be silent or on the phone,” Escolar told Forbes. “But most people wanted to talk. When I mentioned my jewelry, they asked for business cards, but I didn’t have any.”

Rather than get business cards printed up, Escolar decided he would let his products do the talking. He started placing jewelry and catalogs around the car.

Escolar says the trick to making his business model work is to let customers lead the way—he never pushes his jewelry onto them. Plus, his unique tactic is more organic and cheaper than traditional advertising or sales methods.

“It’s a salesman’s dream,” he said. “I have 10 minutes to make an impression. Would that happen if I went door-to-door? Or if I bought tiny online ads? My way, I get quality time with quality leads. Best of all, I’m being paid as I do it. It’s like Uber is providing a base salary before I make any jewelry sales.”

Beyond that, he’s been able to network with several high-profile executives, including Vogue fashion editors and investors, by driving them around.

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Uber says it’s totally cool with what Escolar is doing. And his customers are too—Escolar has a high rating from thousands of Uber and Lyft passengers.

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