Lessons from Kenny the cab driver

A few years ago on one of my first trips to the US, I spent a few days in Manhattan Beach in California. During my time away I reflected quite a bit on a number of things: life, love, living in the moment and loving what I do, no matter where I am or who I am with. It’s true, in every moment it’s possible to do that and choose to love the experience.

The second last day of my trip I decided to go into downtown LA and caught a cab from Manhattan Beach. It was the most pleasant experience I have ever had in a cab. It was Kenny’s cab and Kenny as it turned out, was quite the celebrity.

When I got into his cab I instantly felt joyful and happy. I also felt his beautiful energy. Every inch of his ceiling was filled with photos of his customers all with huge smiles on their faces. On the back of the front seats were laminated newspaper articles written about Kenny and his famous cab which detailed the way he approached life and his business as a cab driver.

He had fairy lights across the ceiling; positive quotes around everywhere and lollies on board as well. It was an absolute privilege and delight to spend time with Kenny.

He made a real effort to connect with me, ask me where I was from, told me the way to get home so that when I caught another cab home from LA back to Manhattan Beach, I wouldn’t be ripped off.

I asked him if he loved being a cab driver and with a smile from ear to ear he responded, “Of course I do.”

His phone then rang and he answered it with the same joy in his voice that I heard when he was speaking to me face to face. Kenny was a true inspiration. I wanted to give him a big tip because I thought he was so awesome.

I had mentioned to Kenny about a ride I had taken the day before and how much it had cost me to get his feedback on whether he thought it was reasonable. He got upset and said I was ripped off and that it had cost me too much, on that basis he refused to accept the tip I offered.

Kenny was a true gentleman and as an alternative to paying a tip I grabbed a heap of his business cards and shared them with people who I knew were travellers just like me, so that they could experience some of Kenny’s magic too.

On the journey to LA, Kenny told me many stories of people that specifically wanted to travel with him rather than take a limo. Even a bride and groom wanted him as their driver and his cab as their bridal car on their wedding day.

It was an absolute pleasure to meet Kenny and spend time with him. His customer focus and ability to build relationships was the best I have seen and it will be etched in my mind forever.

Money can’t buy the kind of experience that Kenny provides for his customers, and the beautiful energy that he exudes. He is living proof that it’s totally possible to love what you do and the flow on effect that it has on the people around you.

Kenny can teach us all a lesson on the power of connecting , being happy, joyful, innovative and authentic and the positive effects this has on everyone around us.

Be bold, have fun, and connect.

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