My family and I had gone to see a movie and then walked to a nearby Barnes and Nobles like we always do to check out the books.
The kids grabbed a snack and the wife and I got our coffees at the little cafe and we sat down. In my view sitting near our table was a man reading gun magazines. As we sat there and chatted I could see the man in my view look at me, smile and then close his magazine. I thought he was smiling because he had heard something funny that I had said. Moments later he stood up and came to my table.
Hi Andrew, my name is Guy Gildner with The Steel Horse Group and I just recognized you.
Mr. Gildner first contacted me several years ago to offer me an assignment that he couldn’t get to. He found me through my podcast and that made him think of me when he couldn’t get to an assignment (since we both have companies in Tacoma, Washington).
And this is when I had a realization because of Mr. Gildner’s response.
Mr. Gildner said, “Lawyers typically don’t have much need for surveillance. There is a lot of locating people and interviewing.”
He was right, they probably don’t have much need for a surveillance investigator.
I quickly told him that for the past two years 90 percent of my work was SIU work. I did mostly interviews and locating people. I didn’t tell him that I had been doing that type of work throughout my career. But that isn’t what bothered me. I was a little mad at myself that I had only built up this image as a surveillance investigator. I was pretty much known as a one trick pony; at least by Mr. Gildner.
It’s clear to me why I was put in the “surveillance box”. It’s because I talk about surveillance a great deal on this website because it is an important skill to learn and master in the private investigation industry.
THIS IS WHY YOU DON’T WANT TO BE A ONE TRICK PONY (or be perceived as one)
Not only do you not want to be a one trick pony but you don’t want to be known as one especially if you are versed in many different investigative skills. You could be losing out on potential work opportunities.
The fundamentals that are learned in the insurance investigation field have built the foundation for countless investigators starting their own businesses. These foundations of background checks, surveillance investigations, locating people, interviewing people, finding witnesses and catching liars are what businesses are built on.
Here is what I want you to take from this story. Be a knowledgeable, skilled and diverse private investigator. While being known for doing one thing well is great make sure you are marketable in other areas of investigation and above all make sure others know it. I am in the public eye for investigators and it was just now that I realized that I am only known for one thing and that is as a surveillance investigator.
I will be expanding my teachings on this site to make sure I am covering other areas of investigation to help you get better or help you get started in this industry.
P.S. I am always happy to accept work in the state of Washington and I have no problem leveraging my blog to find work. With that being said, Mr.Gildner with The Steel Horse Group is good people. Give him a call if you need investigative help in Washington.