So Assim arrives here in AMerica ( legally ) to do the American Dream. You know.

The streets are paved with pure Gold in America.

He was so glad. His parents parked him in Chicago.

He graduated from High School in America from Pakistan.

A conservative hard working Christian Pakistani family.

He would grow up marry a Pakistani girl and be so proud of his two children presently under the age of 12.

He worked very hard.

He acquired a town house iN Chicago and a mortgage ( sub prime )..

Assim was no home much.

He drove cab in Chicago.

Assim worked six days a week sometimes seven.

Assim works in his cab 18 hours a day – each day.

He is up before the sun and home long after the sun sets.

The day I met Assim he had waited for 5.5 hours at Ohare Airport for a ride ( me ).

The ride was not long on a 68 dollar pretty typical cab ride to my hotel. I gave Assim a large tip. He almost cried.

We talked about all this for the entire time.

The American Dream.

He noted that he had in around the year 2005 when things were booming back then – borrowed the money to own his own car and madillian. The Price of the cab madillian before UBER and Lyft was $ 250,000. Assim is paying on the Madilian and car he drives forever plus his sub prime town house.

As a Chicago CITY CAB Assim can not deliver guests out of city limits of Chicago without charing time and a half. He made sure I knew THAT before I got in his car – respectfully – knowing I could just roll down and wait for Lyft and a lower cost.

The rules in the Streets are paved with Gold have become so onerous for Assim.

  • He has to charge time and a half its the law
  • He has to have a real time camera in his cab on all the time its the law
  • He has to carry commercial driver insurance very costly
  • He has to pay annual dues and fee’s
  • He can’t in dropping me off outside Chicago City limits – 90 % of all rides fall into that zone – meaning Assiam may not pick up or wait and pick up or carry a fair back from my location he must drive back empty.

Uber and Lyft have none of those restrictions. They wait at the airport for 25 minutes to get a ride. They don’t pay any of Nassim cost and they don’t have to charge 1.5 times the rate. They can pick up where they drop off. They don’t carry commercial driver insurance. They don’t have madilllian ownership at $ 250,000 with debt and interest to pay for the ownership of your business car and state medallion. They pick up and drop off anywhere and the fairs are not set by the state the city the country or other cities. No red tape at all.

I thought I Nancy Pelosi where Gov. of ILLINOIS the regulations for Assim would double and triple until he joined her homeless tribe the largest on earth. I thought if Donald Trump were governor of the state of Illinois ( love him or hate him ) Assim regulatory burden would be lowered.  He might be able to stay in his cab. How shattered is Assim’s American Dream today?

Why does Assim not just switch over to Lyft.

His payments on his 250,000 madillian is one reason.

Today the madialian cost if anyone would even buy one – has dropped to around 19,000 cash in Chicago. 18 hour a day – 5.5 hour waiting at the Chicago airport Assim to pick ME UP – has LOST 90% of his asset value for his cab business. He was once proud to be an owner. He thought his madillian would sell for over $ 400,000 to help put his young children through college and retire him into another business. Today Assim says that in five or seven years there will be no taxi business in NEW YORK or in Chicago. Nassim said the final shoe falling is self driving cars. NO need for Assim at all.

Assim  says he can see the handwriting on the wall.

He said Mr. Dohrmann if I go to Lyft I’d still want commercial insurance – as driving this much you will have an accident. I don’t want risk of losing my town house too. I want something for my children. I thought my town house and the medallion investment  WAS the AMERICAN Dream. I did everything I thought was right. I work so hard. I never complain. I’m grateful to be American. I ‘m a citizen today and I cried when they swore me in. But I do not have a future now. I’m older now. Where do I go? What do I do?

What IS the AMERICAN DREAM today?

                                                                      I SPENT SOME EXTRA TIME ON THE CURB BY MY HOTEL

Giving Assim some new fresh options for him to think about. Assim was so grateful to learn about options he never suspected existed at all.

As I checked to speak at a JAM PACKED CONFERENCE in Chicago this weekend I thought long and hard about the people attending the Conference on a planet as far far away from Assim and his half day wait for even one ride, seven days a week, with snow on the ground in Chicago about the course and direction n 2020 of the GREAT AMERICAN DREAM.



PS: Assim used to return home to see his family in Pakistan twice a year. Now he returns once every five years as the trips grow less and less as his income plunges through no fault of his own – within rules that should be reset today – and rising costs. In Pakistan everyone thinks Assim is super wealthy because after all….he is AMERICAN……….


I gave Assim a copy of my book SUPER CHANGE – to help him think out of his Chicago cab box – in America its all about your options.