Meet Kaylania Chapman (a.k.a the Blessed Driver) and learn about her story
Have you heard of the Blessed Driver? If you have been working on platforms long enough, chances are that you have seen one of her videos on Youtube or listened to some of her great tips. Not only has she been working full-time in the gig economy for close to 5 years but she has also made countless videos to share her vast experience and has been featured by some of the largest media outlets in the country.
Her Youtube channel is a great way to become more efficient at working the apps. Make sure you check it, it is definitely time well spent!
We recently had the pleasure to chat with Kaylania and had a great time learning about her start in the gig economy, discussing how she approaches her goals as well as her strategy to be successful. She also shared a list of great tips towards the end so make sure you read everything!
Tell us a bit more about yourself
My name is Kaylania. I live in Orlando, FL. I am a single mom with a 17 year-old son. I started my career in education and worked in that field for a few years. On the internet, I am actually more known as The Blessed Driver, where I talk about my experience and share tips on the gig economy.
When did you start working in the gig economy?
In 2013, my grandpa got sick so I decided to move back to help him. Right after I was looking for ways to make money from home and found an opportunity to work with a company called Homejoy which was providing on-demand healthcare services. This was my first real experience with the gig economy. Soon after, I learned about Uber and decided to apply but I didn’t actually drive with Uber before 2015. I was juggling with a lot of things at that time and I didn’t have the time to do so.
Can you share when and how you decided to focus more on the platform jobs?
In 2015, I was still working in healthcare but I realized that I was not making enough to cover the lifestyle I want for my son and myself. So I started driving with Uber and Lyft. Back then, the rates were decent and you could make a good living doing only rideshare. However, I quickly realized that I didn’t like driving people around but I still wanted to access the flexibility and earnings of the gig economy. At that time, I left healthcare and added delivery services like Instacart and Postmates. I was mainly doing delivery services and using rideshare when the delivery periods were quiet.
Wow! 4 platforms at a time? How did you manage that?
Yes it’s a lot but it was not that hard as back then, Instacart had a great pay structure and you could earn really good money. I even did Instacart full-time for 2 years and was doing the other gigs on the side. Since then Instacart has changed several times the way they pay their workers and the earnings are nowhere as attractive as what they used to be. On a good week, I could do $800 to $900 solely with Instacart so that was good. It did require some organization as you had to select your hours in advance and could not just turn in the app. But it was worth it. It allowed me to move to a bigger apartment and get a better car. I created a video where I explained how to manage multiple apps to generate income.
What types of gigs are you doing these days?
I am still doing mainly the delivery gigs, such as Uber Eats, GrubHub, DoorDash and a few others and it’s going well. I am also spending more time focusing on my own business. I recently re-launched my website and am fairly busy talking to various media and companies about the gig economy. For instance, I have an interview this afternoon with NBC!
How do you usually approach your week?
I learned that you need to be disciplined if you want to succeed. I usually set a daily or weekly goal and will use the platforms which I know can get me there. While my goal is to maximize my earnings, I also spend time understanding my expenses because the net take-home is really what matters. I don’t think enough gig workers truly understand the expenses like wear and tear, gas, etc… that go into doing gig jobs. I also adapt my working hours. When my son is with his father, I will try to work harder and longer hours and will reduce when he is with me. That’s one of the good things about the gig economy, the flexibility it provides to adapt your personal lifestyle.
How do you know what platforms perform best or will get you closer to your earnings goal?
I’d say it is mainly two things: experience and research. If you don’t do the gigs, you won’t have the first-hand experience on what the platform provides, which platforms have the promotions or bonus, etc… The more you use a platform, the more efficient you will be at understanding it and getting the most out of it. Some platforms can be super busy in NYC but will be very quiet in Orlando. Understanding which one works in your city and how they work is very important. So it is really a trial and error approach.
The second thing I’d say is research. It is important to know your city, when it is busy, where it is busy so you can be at the right spot at the right time. It is also important to do online research. There are plenty of forums, social groups where you can find answers and ask questions. People aren’t always that nice but you will get some help. There are also plenty of Youtube videos where people explain what the job entails and where they provide tips. You can find quite a lot of tips and advice on my youtube channel. Leveraging that community is also essential.
What have you found challenging working in the gig economy?
For me, it mainly revolves around making a consistent income and managing your expenses. You may have a slow day but you cannot afford to have slow days all the time as you have to pay your rent and your other bills. So have a goal and a strategy to stay focused is important and can be difficult for some people. Also, the pay structure can change at any time so it is important to have backups (other platforms) activated. I would recommend being active on multiple platforms so you can better approach any change.
The other thing is to manage your expenses and specifically your assets. As you drive a lot, your car will show a lot of wear and tear. Maintaining your car regularly should be a priority. You cannot really afford to be without a car so taking good care of your car should be right up there.
You are a very experienced person with this whole gig economy. What would you tell a newcomer who wants to be successful like you?
I have a list of tips that I usually share with the people who are new to that economy.
1/ Know your market: Know your surroundings, what’s busy, when it is busy. Should I drive only Fridays to Mondays? Or only rush hours?
2/ Focus on yourself: Too often, I see people comparing themselves to other workers and get discouraged for whatever reason.
3/ Set a clear goal: Do you want to do this part-time vs full-time? Do you want to do this short-term vs long-term? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you create a quick strategy.
4/ Ask questions: Connect with people online or offline and ask them about the pros and cons of working for a platform. It will help you manage your own expectations.
5/ Have fun doing it: If you don’t have fun doing it, like anything else, you will lose motivation.
6/ Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket: I said it before. It’s important to be active across platforms so you can leverage multiple apps to reach your goals and prevent you from seeing your income drop if you are too reliant on just one app.
What do you want to do in the future? What is your ideal job?
I really want to have my own company. I like software, I like technology so I’d love to have a solid business in that field. If I can have my own app or software helping people and businesses in the future, I’d be really happy. I know I am on the right track but there is still a long way to go before I am happy with what I have accomplished so far.
If, like Kaylania, you want to tell your story, please contact us at [email protected]. We would love to hear from you!
The house of gigs team
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