Neya Abdi

by Neya Abdi

posted on February 26, 2021

Daniel D. has been working 7 days a week for the past 10 years. He’s got big dreams, and he’s eager to make them happen. 

“I want to get ahead,” says Daniel. “I don’t want to be stuck in the rat race, worried about tomorrow. ‘If I lose my job, what’s gonna happen?’ or ‘If my mom gets sick and can’t work, how will I be able to support her?’ I don’t want to be building other people’s dreams anymore.” 

In 2020, he turned thoughts into action. He quit his data analyst job with Honda Canada despite a recent promotion. He put things in motion to develop supplements for an upcoming Amazon business and has been driving for SkipTheDishes for almost four years. He’s also launching a weightlifting and home gym equipment company this year. After waiting for Turo to come to British Columbia, which it finally did last year, he signed up to become a host. 

Making bank: “There was a month in 2020 where I did $3,300. I thought, ‘This platform actually works.”

He started off with one car, a 2020 Jaguar F-Type, in the summer and scaled up to three over the course of six months. 

“It was the third week in June when my first car became available. I wasn’t expecting the car to be booked 12, 14, 16 days a month, especially during COVID. Working remotely, I didn’t need a car, but if I did want to go somewhere I needed a Lyft or an Uber. So in August, I added my second vehicle, which is the same model, but a convertible with a much bigger engine.” This past January, he added his third. 

“I used [the Turo Carculator] to see how much, on average, hosts can make based on specific models. I said, ‘I guess I can make $800 to $1,000 and I just kind of went for it and surprisingly enough, I wound up doubling that. On average, I pulled in about $2,000 per month with one vehicle and there was a month in 2020 where I did $3,300 with two. Ideally, if I could book each car out for even 10 days a month, I’d be laughing.”

Creating processes: “I’m sort of a perfectionist”

As a business grows, processes become essential. Daniel’s Jaguars were incredibly popular on Turo, prompting him to list three cars in the space of six months. When asked how he manages these listings in addition to his other entrepreneurial ventures, he says it all comes down to time management, like setting aside an hour or more to properly clean his cars. 

“I’m sort of a perfectionist,” Daniel explains. “When I was 18 or 19, I was a detailer and I specifically detailed the inside of cars, so I’m very methodical and thorough. I dealt with luxury cars — Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys — so when I did interiors there, I literally had a toothbrush and a brush in hand, working through every single crack in the cars. So for me, doing the interiors is totally fine. I don’t mind spending an hour, hour and a half if I need to.” 

At the moment, Daniel manages his entire Turo business on his own, and he’s already confronting the age-old problem of scaling a business: trusting someone else to do the work. (“I’m picky. If someone helps me, I wind up going over their work anyway.”) But if he ever does bring people on to help, he insists they’ll be going through his rigorous cleaning program. 

Network effect: “There’s just something about Jags and Indian weddings that go hand in hand.”

Sharing cars on Turo has enriched more than Daniel’s wallet. It’s also allowed him to share his love of cars with guests and even participate in a few guests’ special days. 

“I have a lot of Indian weddings. There’s just something about Jags and Indian weddings that go hand in hand,” he explains. “There was one wedding where they had a small, little gathering in the back under whatever the limit was at the time. They invited me in when I dropped it off. Not gonna lie — I had a shot, perhaps two. And then later on when I picked the car up, again they invited me to come to the back. So I got to party twice.”

“What’s interesting is that you meet people there. They’re like, ‘Oh my cousin’s getting married!’ so next thing you know I have even more bookings, and I say, ‘Yeah, I’ll take care of your cousin for sure. I’ll hook them up.’ I’m not greedy, especially if people have friends or they refer me. I’m like, ‘For sure, I’ll take care of your friends.’”

Daniel certainly understands the value of networks. His own network of friends inspired him to take the plunge into pursuing financial freedom and building something of his own. 

“I have a lot of successful friends. A lot of them have the luxury of freedom, because they built something from the ground up. One of my very close friends built an amazing Amazon business in the States and he told me once, ‘It’s time that you buy back your freedom.’” 

Daniel’s certainly on the road to doing just that.

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