Updated: Oct 30, 2022
Bodyguard or Little Bitch? - The Close Protection Business
Many of those that have dreams of getting into the close protection industry for a career don’t realize the real context of the job. Most have just watch too many movies or tacticool adverts for courses. While many may believe the close protection industry is all about being a warrior, living on the edge and protecting innocent people from evil, the reality is quite a bit different. For a start you're classed as domestic help! Yep, same as the nannies, cooks, drivers, and gardeners. Just a regular rent a bitch, but without the visible skills of the other domestic helpers...
As a bodyguard you’re a servant, hired help… Sometimes respected by your employers and their staff but also many times not! The best clients are those who have an active threat or have dealt with threats and problems in the past. These people tend to appreciate professional protection services as they know you are protecting them, their families and their businesses. They need you!
Think about why someone would hire bodyguards? The cost of hiring any security personnel can be very expensive, especially if they are working 24/7. Do the math for a client needing two BG’s and 24 hour residential security, I would say we are looking at a bare minimum of $8K a week, which is $416K per year.
So, why do people payout that much money if they don’t have an active threat? Maybe they are assigned security due to the family being wealthy and the head of the family wanting them watched over. Such clients will many times resent you as for one thing they will believe you are spying on them for the head of the family.
Or, the client wants people to see them as being wealthy and important enough to be able to afford and need bodyguards. This type of client will see you as an accessory of little professional value. It doesn’t take much to follow someone around and look tough right? Any gym guys can do it, what do you need training for? If you weren’t so dumb, you would have a real job right?
These types of clients make up the majority of the close protection business and many companies compete for their business and will bend over backwards to please them. Are the companies that work for such clients wrong to work for them and do whatever it takes to please them? Of course not, as long as they pay their bills it's all business. Such contracts can be very good earners for those with the patience to deal with the clients.
Now think about the type of people required to work with such clients? Are the serious close protection operatives required? Would such clients want someone advising them what to do all the time? The fact is most clients don’t want to be told what to do unless there is a serious issue, but remember what’s serious to you, may be fucking irrelevant to them. Those that tend to work for such clients are those that are skilled primarily in the arts of bullshit and ass kissing, as security is not really a priority...
I have respect for the professional security companies, guys and girls that work with these types of clients and do their best to keep the clients security a priority in what can be a challenging environment. In such environments the clients and their staff cannot be allowed to undermine the role of the security personnel, which they will try to do at every opportunity, there has to be boundaries.
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It’s a sad fact that many of the companies saying that they provide close protection services are not, they are supplying bodies, or as someone said to me many years ago, “bums on seats”, literally. As long as the companies receive their checks they don’t care what their supposed close protection personnel are doing for the client; helping with the cleaning, gardening or running non-job related errands. Why wait for a pizza to be delivered when you can send a bodyguard to pick it up for you? As long as everyone is happy with this type of arrangement, I don’t see a problem. It’s business… Better to be earning than being broke right?
Now, from a company or personal perspective how do you deal with such clients and still keep your respect and job? Well, I would say by being diplomatic, honest and reliable. Coming across as a "know it all" and "hard ass" will just get your fired or the contract cut quickly, so communication skill from the start are essential. Boundaries need to be put in place and the company need to back their guards up with any breaches of prearranged protocols. But sadly most companies have their heads stuck too far up their clients asses to worry about the concerns of a guard. Better for them to fire and replace the guard rather than to have a serious conversation with the client.
For example, let's say a drunken client wants the duty bodyguard to dive to a store and buy them more alcohol... What should the bodyguard do in this situation? What would you do? Well, the bodyguard is in a difficult situation, they can argue with the client or compromise their professional integrity. If you are working alone you can be dammed if you do, and dammed if you don’t.
Once upon a time I received a call from one of the guys working for me who was having this issue with a client. My fix was to get out of bed at about 1am and go and buy the client the booze and then deliver it myself. The client was surprised and also embarrassed to see me, and the long term fix was my guys would always remind the client to ensure they had the required alcohol at home or to pick it up before they went home. That night the clients security was not compromised and I also done them a favor, which also highlighted that they were acting like an asshole? We are all human…
Another example is of a NYC / SoFl lawyer that I helped occasionally, who had a soft spot for strippers and hookers, as many wannabe “Tony Sopranos” do. I stopped answering his calls when he seemed to think I would deal with the shit associated with his married and social life while he was constantly asking for a discount on the fees I was charging him. From my perspective it was very much a case of clean up your own shit bitch!
There is a limit to keeping the clients and people happy and this applies to everything in life. If you are providing professional services things must be kept professional. Even in the tactical training world I have seen many instructors who are more worried about pleasing their students than actually training them.
This is a big problem and fear with the tactical training industry, that if everyone doesn’t get a certificate they will be upset and post nasty reviews on social media about you... Well, you cannot keep everyone happy and if they don’t make the grade then they need to work harder, or fuck off, right? From my perspective the students are coming to you for training, not just to turn up and have their asses kissed in hope they comeback for further courses. So, they should be trained and taught the skills they are attending the courses to learn. But this also depends on if the instructors actually knowing what they are doing... Some students won’t want to sweat, hurt, work or receive constructive criticism, but that’s their issue, our job is to try to get them to professional level, whether they “like” it or not. The serious students will appreciate this a lot more than having their asses kissed!
To conclude, ask yourself, do you want to be a “Bodyguard or Little Bitch”? Well, I will say this is a life choice… As a bodyguard you are a servant, you are being used, remember this. In return you are using the client’s because you want their money, what you do for that money is your choice. As long as you see everything as business, I respect that, just ensure that others respect that. Be fair, be honest and you should get respect and this will give you a positive reputation for not being a little bitch.
It's said that prostitution was first known profession in the world from the beginning of the time when humans just started to walk and talk. Providing protection is said to be the second oldest profession. So, prostitutes and bodyguards have a lot in common but for some reason the top dollar hookers will always make a lot more money than we can… Think about that! Also, maybe some of you would be better off thinking about changing careers, just saying… 😉
Books on Amazon
Close Protection: Luxury & Hostile Environments
This book is relevant for bodyguards, investigators & those working in hostile environments.
Kindle @ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CNSKXJF
Paper Back @ https://www.amazon.com/dp/1980900388