Mindset Lesson: What a CEO learned from a Taxi Driver

Mindset Lesson: What a CEO learned from a Taxi Driver

This is a true story about a taxi driver how he taught mindset to a CEO.

This is a long story that shows the way how a taxi driver thoughts. He got a consistent income from his taxi service and was a happy man. This story is about how this taxi driver thought. The writer of this story is the high level of this company who had a chance to talk to the taxi driver. This article originates from china. But the place is not important. Think what the story can mean in your daily life.


I’m a CEO for a company. One night I was leaving Xianghao to go to the airport so I stood outside my building and waited for a taxi. One taxi stopped and picked me up. (I didn’t know it then, but at that moment, I was entering a free mindset lesson in a real life scenario.)

The driver asked I wanted to go. I reply the airport. Then we started talking.

 TAXI: When I’m around here I like to take customers from this building and the other building, I went around the building two times and finally I saw you come out of the building so I picked you up. When I saw you I knew you wouldn’t be going somewhere close.

CEO: Hey you’re really good.

TAXI: When driving a taxi we have to use scientific thinking.

CEO: What kind of science are you talking about?

TAXI: I have to calculate exactly. I drive 17 hours a day. My cost of running this taxi is 34.5 dollars per house.

CEO: How did you calculate that?

TAXI: Think about it. I rent the car. 380 dollars per day. Gasoline is 210 per day. I have the car for 17 hours a day, so the average cost is 22 dollars. Plus gasoline which is 12.5 per hour. My total cost is therefore $34.5 per hour.

CEO: I’m impressed. I’ve used the taxi service for almost 10 years but this is the first time I’ve heard of a driver calculating the costs like this.

(CEO Thinking: I decided to continue our conversation).

CEO: I heard that the cost per kilometer is 30 cents per km. Are there other expenses?

TAXI: You cannot calculate it per km. You have to calculate everything in hours. The meter gives information for us to recheck everything. So I calculate everything before I pick up each customer.

For example: On average, I will drive without a customer for 7 minutes. The average customer is a 10 minute trip. The meter might say $10, and other may think that $10 is for 10 minutes but it’s actually 10 plus 7 minutes. This means that I will lose profit if I pick up an average customer.

Say, I pick up a customer from Foo Ching Foo Restaurant and I get $10 each trip. It wouldn’t be enough for my meal.

(CEO thinking: Wow this is not a driver! He’s a mathematical genius!)

CEO: How do you do that? I’m fascinated to know more. I’d love to learn more before we get to the airport.

TAXI: Ok, so first of all, don’t let the customer choose where you’re going to go. We have to pick up the customer we want and one which will want to go where I want to go (driver).

People say that the success of a taxi career is based on luck. But I don’t think so. You have to think from the customer’s perspective and make plans accordingly.

(CEO thinking: That sounds like something you’d hear from a business mindset coach or university professor)

TAXI: Put yourself in another’s shoes. For example in front of a hospital. Imagine you see one man carrying a bag of prescription drugs and another man carrying a huge suitcase.

Which one will you pick up?

CEO: I don’t know.

TAXI: You have to pick up the one with the suitcase. People with just a minor illness don’t go to far away hospitals just to pick up medicine.

But, the one carrying the suitcase is someone who had to stay in the hospital for a while. You know what. People are always dying in hospitals. So the ones who survive a serious ailment feel like they’ve been reborn once they’re out. They feel new meaning to of their new life and all of a sudden their health is the most important thing for them. They won’t go through the hassle of calling a cab just to get to the train station and then catching another cab to their house. No way!

(CEO thinking: I feel a lot of respect for this guy’s mindset)

TAXI: Here’s another example for you. Today there were 3 people waiting for a cab on your block. There was a girl carrying shopping. There were a couple who were just sightseeing. The third one was you. A man in a business suit, with a cell phone and a suitcase. I knew within 3 seconds to choose you. Without a doubt, or knowing where you wanted to go.

CEO: But why did you pick me up? Now, I feel like I’ve stolen the cab from another person.

TAXI: It’s lunchtime right now. Just another 10 minutes before 1pm. So, the girl most likely went shopping during her lunch break. Her work won’t be far away. The couple will be tourists. They may go too far away from this area. But for you, you look like a working man who doesn’t call a quick cab for lunch. I guessed you’re not going close.

CEO: You have such meticulous logic in your decisions.

TAXI: Most taxi drivers always complain that they can’t find customers and petrol is expensive. They always blame everything else but themselves.

But, If you look for the cause of your problems in other people, you cannot improve yourself. Think about the problem originating from yourself. Find where it is.

(CEO Thinking: I feel like I’ve heard this somewhere else. This taxi driver sounds like Ghandi! “Be the change you seek in the world”. I feel a great respect for this man.)

TAXI: In my company, most taxi drivers make about $3,000-$4,000 per month. At best $5,000.00 or very rarely $7,000. We have in total 20,000 taxi drivers in our company. Only a few ever makes more than $8,000 in a month. But I do. Consistently every month.

I’m also the happiest taxi driver. My friends think it’s because I make more money than others, but it’s not that. I think positive and I’m happy. That’s why I make more money.

When there’s a traffic jam, most drivers always complain about this or that. “Why do these bad things happen to me?” Kind of thing. You don’t need to think like that. Take a look around. There are many beautiful women and gorgeous buildings to look at. Whenever you drive to the airport, like now, you can see the trees along the way too. Everything has its own beauty for us to enjoy.

(We said out goodbyes and I got out of the taxi, a lesson learned.)

Anyone can analyze their own life and improve themselves. Just like this taxi driver. The right mindset can get you everything. Be in control of your own life and make it yours.

Learn with one of Asia’s greatest Authentic Mindset Mentors and Feng Shui Experts, Aur. Follow her on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/auronline