5 Disciplines For The 5th Profession
“What does it take to be a Bodyguard?” I get this question a lot, as do many of my colleagues. Seemingly an easy question to answer; tell me what I need to do in order to be an exceptional provider of close protection, is not really something that can be answered with “go to this school” or “do this thing.” But still, the question remains. So, with it in mind, here is what the (top of mind) key focus areas are for getting into and excelling in this amazing industry….or period for that fact:
To be Ronin is to be committed to a life of learning. Not just focusing on the martial aspects of the job, either. Embracing problem solving, emotional intelligence and logistics planning is as important as the martial skills we tend to gravitate to. This does not, however, remove us from our responsibility towards maintaining certain physical and tactical abilities (such as fitness, basic lifesaving, weapons and defensive tactics).
This idea of acumen also creates a desire to know more. Looking at the industries or clientele we support, it’s important to have an understanding and a broad sense of “what they are about” in order for us to help present salient courses of action in planning a detail.
After all, what is advance work other than a constant reworking and refinement of our operational planning process? A lifetime of education only enriches this.
In all things, be ready. Yuzan’s rendition of “The Code of the Samurai,” surmises that you should not leave the house with your affairs in disarray. Being ready to receive and take that first detail means you need to have things aligned. Passport, appropriate clothes, gear, etc. You can’t be at a ready state if your home and personal and/or professional affairs are a wreck.
Do you know where your opportunities are? Part of preparation is understanding and having the discipline to get in, stay in and maintain networks. I’m not talking about your social club, or circle of buddies, but the professional networks, often associated with the industry and related organizations.
You can’t quit, if you want it. A career as an agent, let alone full-time or internationally, is a hard thing to break into. It may not happen in a week or six months or a year. You need to be prepared to wait it out and keep at your strategy; it will happen. The other half of this is being prepared for the (however long) wait. You may have to start as an event security agent or working the door in order to maintain the bills while seeking work as a CP. Do it with pride, professionalism and respect for the lineage of the industry.
The hard work you do is probably (at least somewhat) due to other people’s assistance and belief in you; acknowledge them, daily! Being a BG also requires that you deal and interact with people of all ilk and position. Treat all with respect and patience.
Accept there may be stumbles and even failure in this course you’re on. Allow yourself the moment of disappointment and then ask “What did I learn from that?” If your answer is “nothing” then I suggest you may need to rethink. Failure is not the end, it’s merely a chance to rethink your path and the way you’re walking it. Meet objectives with alacrity and take them on. If they knock you down, get up and laugh and say “Is that all you got?!?!?”
Keeping the above in mind, I’m reminded of Bruce Lee’s famous, “Be Water My Friend” statement. Understand and look at opportunities with a wide eyed humbleness for your time is coming. Your actions will define you and your comments may confine you. Ensure you continue to have your “a-ha” moments of personal greatness. Get that detail, look in the mirror and say “well done!” More importantly, believe it!!! Can-do attitudes are hard to maintain. Do it anyway. Be humble but maintain confidence in yourself.
I know you wanted a checklist. There is none. Getting and staying in requires a state of ready that you need to maintain. If you’re focused on it and working towards it, it will come. When you’re thinking of buying a car, say a blue Jeep, you start seeing Jeeps everywhere; particularly blue ones! It’s because you have engaged your subconscious. Do that here. Take the ideas laid out above and truly immerse yourself into looking for and getting into this career path. You won’t be disappointed.