Retirement is about doing all the things you were never able to do while in the working world. Folks travel, take up new hobbies, learn to play guitar or just finally relax. But Dan R restores old homes, buying buildings that need help and spending up to five years putting in all the necessary work to make them a real home again. He’s clear that this isn’t “flipping houses”. This is a labor of love.
“I love bringing them back to the way they were built,” he says. “The profit’s the goal, but I’m not in hurry.”
But even with turning a profit on those homes, Dan still has costs. Dan says the recent overhaul of the US healthcare system left him paying more for his doctor bills than previously. So he’s needed a way to balance the budget and that’s why he took a position as a Personal Shopper with Instacart. “It’s perfect for a retired guy.”
But it’s also perfect for someone that is always looking for ways to improve things. Dan retired from the grocery industry. His family owned a small store and through his professional career he worked at the corporate offices of superstores like Lucky, where he developed new marketing strategies and, as he puts it, was a “fireman” fixing things that were broken. His job was to tell it straight when needed. “I’m not a rah-rah kind of guy.”
That’s what first attracted Dan to Instacart: he saw it as a next level application in the grocery industry. But Dan also really appreciates that Instacart has been very open to his suggestions on how to improve the app for both shoppers and for customers. Instacart, Dan says, is always receptive to his feedback. “They’re great,” he says. “I get a lot of positive feedback, saying ‘Thanks we hadn’t thought of this.’ ”
But if that was why Dan started, he’s stayed because of the flexibility. “That’s one of the beauties,” he says. Dan sets his own schedule (usually working between twenty and thirty hours a week) so he can focus on retired life and re-building those houses. “So many jobs require so much commitment. Instacart really doesn’t,” he says.
Dan not only learned his house building skills from his father, but also his work ethic. His dad would train him on aspects of plumbing, wiring or refinishing, but there was always a central question, Dan says: “How good of a job can we do here?”
So while Dan says the work at Instacart is fun and always testing the grocery operations side of his brain, he likes that shopping and delivering also allows him personal thinking time. Now he makes money to pay the bills, while dreaming up the next improvements for the houses he’s working on.
“It’s an amazingly simple job,” Dan says.