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What do you want from the EP Industry?

I wrote a blog some time ago titled, “What’s the attraction” where I focused on what attracts people in this industry.  In it I gave a couple of examples of the luring effect that the craft has for specialists.  Today I am focusing on what is it that specialists want from the industry and what is it that they think they will get out of it.

Let me cut through the chase and come right out with it, you are not going to be an instant success story.  You will be lucky if your name flourishes from detail to detail.  The struggle within this industry is a fact that does permeate through circles of specialists that have come to that realization, yet this fact alone is rarely shared.  Why, you ask?  I personally feel that the implied glory of being in this industry and the plethora of barn side stories of adventure and excitement have made it hard for people to put that blazing fire out with the reality of, ” I am not working full-time and work is hard to find.”  The majority of this industry is struggling to get on any detail, let alone in a  full-time capacity.  If we are really honest, what we refer to long-term details are details with a start date and no end date, yet the end date can come at any time.  It’s an end date that is always looming.  So what really is it that you want to get from this industry?   The industry is very unforgiving to a newcomer and a daily struggle for those who have made a success in it.

My contemporaries will tell you, if asked and if they want to share, that everyday we are grinding just as much as the next guy or company in order to stay on top of the industry.  The one thing that I see that has made it a little easier is that there is a more collaborative effort amongst a group within the last 4-6 months.  As soon as we come to a standard approach it should make it easier for the best specialists to focus on a path to success.  But what do you want from the EP industry?

The standard line that you get from 80% if asked why are you attracted to the industry is all the same or some version thereof.  The other 20% is split between those former military and law enforcement specialists who feel this is one of their natural progressions from their former lives.  Many have to feed that adrenaline addiction and the industry and what we do mirrors what they left and feeds that internal need.  But what else do they want from the EP industry?

When many of us went to college, we knew what we wanted from college, a degree to help us find a job, be successful and live the American dream.  Many of us chose careers that we had dreamed of as children for various reasons.  Police officer, military career, teacher or fireman were the careers of choice in my era. Executive Protection specialist or bodyguard was never a career path in the 60’s, 70’s and dare I say 80’s and 90’s, but today it is.  But what do they want from the EP Industry?

Is there a career path to EP?  Not really, but it seems that it is a stop along the way between, “What I did or want to do AND what else is there to do.”   That’s the part that scares me I am comfortable in saying that most specialists and those interested have no idea of what they want from the EP industry.  We are just starting to see the first retirements of success stories of this industry and that number is very small.  It will be very difficult for anyone to leave the industry on the same as Chuck Vance and Dr. Kobetz  any time soon.  When I look at who is left at that caliber, I can only think of one name.  Keyword- Retired from the industry.  People are leaving every day disgruntled with their results.  Then you have to ask yourself is EP in the direct career path track to another profession?  Not really.  So what did they want from the EP industry?  Was it a waste of time or bad decision?  More often a bad decision that was a waste of time.

You need to seriously ask yourself this question and be honest in your answer to yourself.  I asked myself the same question in 1995 and the answer was as clear then as it is now.  I make sure that evereything I do works to that end result.

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