Enrique Camacho: From US Army Colonel to Uber Driver — Your job title doesn’t define your identity. Your personal values and how you treat others define your identity

“We’re only as good as our last race. People don’t really care what we’ve done. They’re interested in what we can do for them today and tomorrow.” — Enrique Camacho

Former US Army Colonel Enrique Camacho worked with some of the most recognized names in defense and served at a few national agencies. “I was kind of a big deal… at least I thought,” he said. But after he retired from the military, his experience of becoming an Uber driver made him realize, “Nobody cared that I was ‘Kind of a Big Deal.’

He asked his Uber passengers lots of questions, and empathized with their stories. “Funny thing is, only 3 out of 453 passengers I delivered ever asked about my story. Perhaps the 450 thought Enrique Camacho was a middle-aged immigrant supporting his family the best way he could, with a limited skill set and future,” he added.

It was then when the “Truth bomb hit me,” the ex-Colonel shared his moment of epiphany. “We’re only as good as our last race. People don’t really care what we’ve done. They’re interested in what we can do for them today and tomorrow… It’s not a bad thing; it’s a realization that we must continuously learn and grow, so we don’t stagnate.”

Model Citizen Uber Driver

Initially, the former Colonel started a coffee company. But between writing business plans and developing product lines, his new Model Citizen Coffee Company needed additional financing, which was what made him give the Uber ride-sharing platform a shot.

Now that he knows how it feels like to network within the Uber ride-hailing service, “It also got me thinking about people we encounter every day. Do we measure them based on what we think they can offer us?” he asked.

Enrique Camacho the Uber driver, waiter, clerk, truck driver, cable guy, hammer wielder etc.

“My hope is that when we encounter Enrique Camacho, the Uber driver, waiter, clerk, truck driver, cable guy, or hammer wielder, we’ll engage them with the same curiosity we engage those we deem important. Be brave and enjoy our fellow man/woman’s story. It helps us develop new perspectives and appreciate others, which ultimately makes us all better.”

Enrique Camacho’s true life story tells us that if we define ourselves with our job title instead of our personal values and how we contribute that to others, we may no longer feel validated and of any significance when we either lose our jobs or retire from our careers, especially if it’s a high-ranking position in a multinational corporation (MNC), for example. Others may feel the same because their job title signifies a lower-ranking position or profession.

Either way, the takeaway message from this story echoes the words of retired command sergeant major (CSM) Delta Force Tom Sattery: “No one cares what you did; they care who you are.”

Again, nobody really cares about what you do today or did in the past; they care more about the kind of person you are right now and will be tomorrow. As civil rights activist Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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