The only habit of successful people that matters – The Journal of an Uber Driver 18/25

The Journal of an Uber Driver
June 10, 2017

The only habit of successful people that matters


I get swamped on my new feed or anywhere else with articles about “the billion habits of successful people”. I don’t know what ad or article I clicked to get into the retargeting wagon, but I’m on it now and pay the price for it. Most of the articles are junk. Clickbait.

If you really want to know about a good habit, you have to follow the news about a person yourself. All these thoughts started with me driving today an exec from a company who was kind enough to answer my question. She looked surprised first but then she answered my questions and we got into a very enlightening conversation.

She was wearing a black skirt, white blouse, black jacket uniform. She looked comfortable in it. The words came out of my mouth before I could even consider if I was polite or not.

“Do you dress this way every day? Is it like a job requirement or you like it? I’m curious because I’m wondering how are you judged by your peers about the way you dress.”

I think the first impulse from her was to call me rude and get out of the car.

“I mean it.”

She gave pause but she answered back. It turned out that she got to a level in her career where it didn’t matter how she was dressed. Power is power even when wearing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt with Grateful Dead, her favorite band.

Single mother, two kids, working ten hours a day. She had at least ten blouses, skirts, jackets, pants, all the same. Her clothing choices for work were determined by efficiency. Less time spent buying and taking decisions in the morning. Easy to keep visual continuity when a shirt is stained by coffee if you have the same in your desk’s drawer at work.

The initial reason for it was, years ago, the desire to look professional for less money.

“At the beginning of your career you have to meet the expectations within a budget. Live frugal.”

I thanked her for giving me the time of a day. She smiled a good warm smile.

Frugal. Frugal. The word floated in my mind for the rest of the evening.

I started browsing about people. It was right there in front of me. From the CEO of the largest social network, to that successful investor and so on. They all have a frugal component of their universe. From wearing the same t-shirt to living in the same house for years.

The entire mechanism of making money so you can afford more suffers a 180 degrees turn for some of the successful ones. Are they an example to follow? Or is it just a way of defining freedom as less dependency on things.

Is frugality a measure of one’s freedom?


Short disclaimer: The Journal of an Uber Driver is a work of fiction.
Long disclaimer: The literary exercise to define a nowadays character for a novel led me to create these 25 blog posts. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Any opinion expressed about Uber should not be interpreted as having a negative connotation. I admire the company as an incumbent of the platform economy and I am a registered Uber driver for research purposes.