It’s the final wrap up of the last day of your Close Protection training course. It’s been a long, and at times grueling, process but ultimately rewarding on multiple levels.
Along the way you’ve met some people you have really gelled with (and a couple that you have no plans on staying in contact with once class ends.) Overall, you enjoyed the experience, feel like you have gotten your moneys worth, and can say that you have some new, “tools for the toolbox.”
On you way to the airport, you post a couple of the shots on social media along with some brief commentary about your time at the class. Other graduates, recent and past, comment on the shared experience, and family and friends, many who have no idea about the industry chime in with congratulatory remarks and questions. All in all, you could describe yourself as, “pumped up, and ready to take on the world.” You get back home, go to sleep with visions of protection dancing though your head.
The next morning you jump right up waiting for the phone to ring and it doesn’t. You say to yourself, well maybe tomorrow. Nothing. Followed by the next week, and the next. Perhaps you do receive a call about a potential assignment, but they say they will get back to you and never do. Or you are asked your service rate, give it, and then don’t hear back. To add insult to injury, you look on social media and you see that in the same amount of time, some of your classmates appear to be pretty busy. Even worse, a couple of these individuals seemed to struggle in the classroom with concepts and tactics that you found to be a cakewalk.
Slowly but surely doubt starts creeping in your head. You start to wonder if maybe you are not cut out for this line of work. You start to question yourself and your abilities. If you believe in karma or luck, you start to go back and think if the universe is paying you back for something you did in the past.
Alternatively, you might feel anger. Anger at the course that just a short time ago you were singing such high praises about. Now those feelings have twisted, and instead you start to question if you actually did get your moneys worth. Maybe the instructors mislead you or perhaps there’s a “good ol’ boys network,” that you are not a part of and now that the class is ended, all of the leads and recommendations that come to the school are going to the instructors favourites.
And while there might be some truth within those two emotions of self doubt and anger, what’s much more likely is a realistic self assessment might reveal that YOU have not done all you could to set the wheels in motion. While no one would disagree that in Close Protection hard skills and tactics are vitally important, what I do think gets lost in the sauce is the non glamorous pieces like business and personal development. I always say, never forget this is the Executive Protection Business. People seem to only focus on the first part and forget the latter.
Now that you have the training, spend some time thinking how to best package yourself and present that to potential clients and/or hiring parties. Remember, you are not the only one taking a training course, you are not the only one who understands how to Advance a location or cover and evacuate a Protectee in the event of a crisis.
So understanding that, what makes you stand out? What is your separator? What is your niche? Company or individual, you are a brand, so how is your brand defined to the consumer? (the client or hiring agency).
Knowingly or not, you understand the McDonald’s brand, the Rolex brand, the Disney brand. You can picture the logos, intended audience, and even the look and feel of the “experience.” We as Protectors can use these same tools to develop our brand and then strategically get it out there so that the right eyeballs see it and take notice.
Training is over, now the real work begins.
Keeping Your Edge – I Finished Training, Now What?
By: Elijah Shaw
Elijah Shaw is the National Director of the North American Bodyguard Association. As an CEO of ICON Global, Inc., he is a full-time security consulting having traveled the world for over 20 years providing services to a variety of clients ranging from Fortune 500 Companies to International Celebrities. Elijah teaches courses on Executive & Celebrity Protection for ICON and currently sits on the Board of Directors of Executive Security International (ESI) the oldest bodyguard school in the US. For more information visit