Jim Stern Coaching


Ridesharing over the years, has gone through many transformations to get to where it is today… most of them have been positive, and trust me… Ridesharing companies could certainly do better for their drivers. One area I used to appreciate is all the data Uber collected on a driver’s ride history. One of the more interesting data points was how many countries your riders came from. Okay, I know what you’re thinking; “Wow, you sound so geeky.” Call it what you want, but it’s information that you would never really think about until you have it. For me, it makes me reflect on how our country was built on the immigrants that legally came here and all they have contributed. What’s interesting is how all Americans can look back and find immigrants in their family lineage. I have written many stories about my passengers from different counties who have inspired me to write about them for one reason or another. To date, I have given over 50,000 rides, and in the last bit of data I received on rider nationality from Uber about five years ago, I had driven passengers from roughly ninety different countries.


On this particular day, I picked up two young men who hoped one day to become American citizens. They were brothers, one was here working and had a green card, the other was visiting. He apparently read my “options” sign and said… My brother, Muri*, has a story you might like to hear…

Muri is Lebanese, he grew up there, and it is where his father had a successful restaurant. Muri wasn’t sure what he would do in life, so he decided to help his dad in the business. He honed his craft there until he achieved his goal of being a great chef. Unfortunately, over the years and his father’s ailing health, the restaurant went downhill, until it finally had to shut down. Muri decided to take his skills to Abu-Dabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where he thought there would be some opportunities to put his skills to task.

Once there, he found a job in a marketplace known for its great food. He was hired by a man who was opening a restaurant and in need of a great chef who also understood the food business, which Muri did. Muri did pretty much everything to get this restaurant opened, and once it was ready… a big problem reared its ugly head.


Muri, who after weeks of working on this restaurant, approached the owner and simply asked to be paid for the work he had performed up till this point. For some reason, the man refused, saying he would pay him once the restaurant was opened and operating. This was obviously unacceptable to Muri, and a shouting match ensued, right in the middle of the well-known marketplace. The shouting attracted the attention of the owner of the marketplace, and he was obviously curious as to what was going on. The man pulled Muri aside, and he told the man what had happened, that after not being paid, he quit, and the restaurant owner was not happy because he no longer had a chef for his opening night.


The owner of the marketplace took Muri’s side and offered him a free booth in the marketplace to come up with some sort of food offering. Muri was so grateful, but without money, he was limited in what to do. So, being resourceful, Muri found some old metal barrels and made a big fire in one. His friend offered him meat to cook up, so Muri decided to make barbecued brisket sandwiches, and he even made his own bread. It turned out to be a huge success, with lines forming around the marketplace. Muri was well on his way to realizing his dream.



Word had spread about how great Muri’s sandwiches were, and his food was attracting people from all over the city. Some of his customers were even coming from the US Embassy, and they ordered lunch for themselves and others back at the embassy. Soon after, he received word from the embassy that they loved his brisket so much that they wanted to offer him top US Grade A meat at no charge. Muri couldn’t believe his luck, and his business boomed.

It was going so well that Muri decided to visit his brother living in Boston, Massachusetts. It was there that Muri heard about the World Food Championship in Dallas, Texas. Fifteen hundred chefs from around the world had entered, so Muri decided to throw his hat into the ring. He entered the Sandwich category, showcasing his barbecued brisket sandwich. Muri couldn’t believe that his sandwich ended up in the top ten, coming in at # 8! Not bad for a first time go at it.

Muri was beaming in the back seat telling me his story, feeling so confident, and his brother was so proud of him.


This is a great example of when bad things happen in life, it is often an opportunity for something good to come out of it… whether a life lesson or something better… in Muri’s case, it is an example of both. Sometimes when negative things happen to us in life, rather than feeling down, having a ‘why me’ reaction, or playing the ole’ victim role, it’s best to consider that there must be a reason for this to have happened… that something better will come along.

The law of attraction or a manifestation? Whatever you wish to call this positive energy output…It is real, and in so many cases—what you put out into the world will be attracted back into your life. In Muri’s case, an obvious bad situation worked out to his benefit. So, what are you attracting into your life?

*Names & any identifying information on people in this post have been changed for confidentiality.

© Jim Stern Coaching 2024. All Rights Reserved.


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