This Internet Week, we’ll be hearing stories from corporate professionals and startup trailblazers alike as they celebrate the impact of technology on business. But don’t fret if you can’t hop a plane to New York’s conference—your daily dose of inspiration just might be sitting in the car next to you.
Meet Garrett Lamb, San Francisco Lyft driver, entrepreneur, and CEO of Garrett’s Granola. Garrett hasn’t always been a small business owner. In fact, up until the launch of his granola company last year, he’d held jobs as a child care director, life coach, and relationship advisor. “I’ve always had a passion for making food for friends, and a dream of owning my own business. I decided it was time to put two and two together.”
Garrett drives with Lyft to help fund his business, but he also gets another benefit from driving: meeting customers. Armed with free samples and great conversation, Garrett’s passengers often call him afterward to make a purchase. Occasionally, they’ll even spread the word to their employer, who orders the granola for the office. Nearly all of Garrett’s sales have come from connections he’s made through Lyft driving.
Dreaming of starting your own business venture? Here are Garrett’s best tips:
- Dive in. Garrett had no background in business when he first started, but he didn’t let that stop him from pursuing his dreams. “My philosophy is just do it. You’ll make mistakes, but if you don’t try, it’ll never happen.”
- Be a sponge. Garrett views every ride as a chance to learn from someone. Listen to other’s experiences and appreciate their advice.
- People are everything. “It’s all about the relationships you establish,” he says. “If someone has a choice of five different granolas for their office, but they’ve met me, they’ll take a chance on mine instead of the others.” Friendships and face-to-face contact are invaluable, Garrett says.
Here’s to all the Lyfters following their dreams.