One time I had an idea for a business to compete with Uber. I even had the perfect name for it: Toober.
At a festive birthday party about a year ago, a slightly tipsy buddy was lamenting the fact he would have to take an Uber ride home, and then another one to recover his car the next morning. Of course he had no other option, so that’s exactly what he did.
My idea was a simple, hassle-saving solution. Each app-summoned Toober ride would come with a team of two drivers. One driver would give you a ride to your destination, and the other would follow behind in your car. Uber, but for getting your car home safely, too.
Related: The Uber Episode
That’s as far as Toober ever got, though—the idea phase. I completely forgot about it until a few months later, when I heard a radio ad for a service based on the exact same model.
This is The Confidence Issue of SUCCESS, built to instill and support a belief in your ability to do pretty much anything you want.
As the old saying goes, those who can’t do teach. This is The Confidence Issue of SUCCESS, built to instill and support a belief in your ability to do pretty much anything you want. In planning how to teach lessons of confidence and remembering the Toober story, it’s ironic to me that Travis Kalanick, the Uber co-founder and CEO, is our cover guy this month. Kalanick certainly had confidence in his own abilities when he launched Uber, steering it from neat idea to world-changing entrepreneurial empire. He believed in himself, his partners and his idea, and Uber did the unthinkable, completely disrupting the taxi industry. No matter your business plan or your goals, you’ll learn a lesson in self-confidence from studying how Kalanick made his vision come to life.
Just because I didn’t believe in my ability to become a Silicon Valley titan doesn’t mean I lack confidence altogether. I trust that the story of my amateur boxing debut is proof that confidence comes in many forms and is summoned for many reasons. We all need it, and if we think hard enough, we all have plenty of cause to have it.
The source of confidence might be lessons from an incredible mentor, such as UCLA women’s basketball coach Cori Close received from the legendary John Wooden. It could be from the great partnership we can form with others who have complementary strengths, a la Drew and Jonathan Scott, HGTV’s Property Brothers. The willingness to devote effort to strengthen the confidence muscle can be a source, as it was for Managing Editor Jesus Jimenez in his mission to negotiate everything, and likewise our knowledge of ourselves can provide confidence, as illustrated in “The Introvert’s Guide to Getting Hired.”
In the end, I was right not to challenge Uber. Without much capital and with no experience running a business of such scale, building Toober would’ve been an act of cockiness on my part, not confidence. (You can learn the stark difference between the two in our story). As it turns out, the company that used the same idea has failed to gather much steam.
I’m glad I dodged that bullet. Instead of chasing a pipe dream, I’ve been able to focus with my team on creating the most impactful magazine we can. I’m confident in our ability to do that. Issues like this one support and encourage millions of people to use the gifts they have to do incredible things.
You don’t need to be the next Travis Kalanick—just be the first, best you.
Josh Ellis is the former editor in chief for SUCCESS magazine. Before joining SUCCESS in 2012, he was an accomplished digital and print sportswriter, working for the Dallas Cowboys Star magazine, the team’s gameday program, and DallasCowboys.com. Originally from Longview, Texas, he began writing for his hometown newspaper at 16.