Four months ago my partner and I bought CultureMap, one of the largest lifestyle brands in Texas. As a result I’ve been traveling throughout the state visiting our current markets (Houston, Dallas & Austin) and our expansion markets (San Antonio & Fort Worth). This week I’m in Houston and as I was riding from the airport in an ‘Uber’ I realized just how much the sharing economy has changed how I do business. For example, yesterday I flew to Houston on my ‘shared private plane’, got to the office in a ‘shared private car’ and stayed in a ‘shared private home’ – the sharing economy is saving me a bundle and making my life a lot more comfortable. And I did it all on my mobile phone without talking to a single person. It occurred to me that sharing is the fastest way to start living a life of abundance.
Private Plane Sharing: Flying private has always presented HUGE advantages and disadvantages to travelers. The advantages are being able to show up to the airport five minutes prior to departure without having to worry about parking or security. Just pull up and and walk on the plane. The biggest disadvantage? Cost. Not anymore. My friend, Nick Kennedy, created Rise as a way for everyone to share a private plane experience. For a low, flat monthly fee you can book a flight on one of the company’s private planes and get to Houston and Austin any day of the week. For example, yesterday I was sitting in one of his King Airs ten minutes after leaving my house. In an hour I was in Houston where my Uber was waiting to pick me up.
Car Sharing: If you account for all of the time you spend driving to the airport, standing in security, deplaning and standing in the car rental line waiting to fill out a thousand forms it almost always makes more sense to drive to Houston/Austin from Dallas. Rise solves the airport riddle and Uber solves the car rental problem. When you account for parking, valets and rental fees is is ALWAYS cheaper and more convenient to take Uber. If you aren’t using Uber yet signup for Uber (you’ll get $20 in free rides and so will I). Pick the UberX option to start (it is very inexpensive and you meet some interesting people).
House Sharing: In some cities finding a great hotel is easy (thanks to Hotel Tonight), but in places like Houston and Austin it is often a lot more fun (and cheaper) to rent someone’s house through Airbnb. For example our office is at the Decorative Center near the Galleria. The Omni is close and a great hotel, but a room is $250 (when they’re not booked). For $100 I was able to book a really charming modern condo across the street from my office. Sign up for Airbnb (you’ll get $25 in credit and so will I).