When Khong moved to Chicago two and a half years ago, he had just landed a great chiropractic internship and was looking for a supplemental source of income. “Internships aren’t exactly known for making a great living,” he says. “I started to look around for other ways to make money.” One day, Khong was leaving a conference in the city and happened to catch a ride home with a colleague in a Lyft. “I was talking with the driver, and he was so emphatic about driving, he convinced me to sign up. It happened at the perfect time.”
Khong started driving to make ends meet during his internship, and continued driving once he started working to help pay off his student loans. Once he opened up his own chiropractic business — a huge milestone, but also a huge commitment — he’d flip into driver mode between patient appointments to help pay the bills. “You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do!” he says.
Over the years, Khong’s racked up over 2,000 rides, but he says it doesn’t feel like it. “I really enjoy driving,” he says. “It’s not just a way to make coin. I love meeting people and making them laugh.” Through driving with Lyft, Khong’s met new friends, colleagues, and workout buddies that he still keeps in touch with.
Now that his business is booming, Khong doesn’t drive as much, but he makes a point to talk to new drivers and offer advice when he meets them. “Whenever I ride with a new driver, I always tell them: you may not have very long to get to know someone, but you can still make their day. That’s the best part.”
Photo credit: Pamela Yasuko