Private Investigator Podcast Episode 7 reveals the truth about Fake It Til You Make It.

My Private Investigator Podcast is available at and Episode #7 is now available covering “Fake It Til You Make It”, Persistence, the power of habits, get out of your head on mobile surveillance and more!

I share success “secrets” from Jim Rohn and Brian Tracy including how they have worked in my life. This can work for you too!

Whether you’re interested in the “Big Picture” or looking for some nity-gritty tips, this episode is for you!

Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

3 Ways surveillance pays on child custody cases using a Private Investigator.

This week I teach you three times you can use surveillance to make more money working a child custody case.

This is important because when you know about these opportunities to help a client (especially a law firm client) you can make more money helping solve a problem while being of service to others.

Working for Attorneys

I always recommend you work for the attorney on child custody cases because many times a parent will hire you to get the “proof” they think is important for their case, but the reality is the attorney knows exactly what evidence they need to present to the court for a favorable ruling. Work directly for the attorney if at all possible. (If you learn nothing else from me this week, that’s worth the price of admission right there!)

Note: In this article the father is presumed to be the non-custodial parent paying child support (just for ease of examples), but obliviously this works with moms too.

Terms and Conditions

All three of these examples fall under the broad umbrella of what is commonly referred to as “Terms and Conditions”.

1. Weekends

In this case a non-custodial parent request more time with the child solely to reduce the child support payment the parent has to make.

The non-custodial parent request, for example, to have the child every other weekend then claims since he’s feeding the child and paying other expense 4 days a month he should pay less child support.

In this situation, the parent picks-up the child, say on Friday after school, and immediately drops the child off at grandma’s house and never sees the child at all during “his” weekend.

The mom doesn’t think this is right so she contacts her attorney. The attorney may agree with her and hire you to do surveillance to see who is actually caring for the child on the father’s weekends.

2. Stay Away Orders

The terms of the child custody agreement may indicate that a cretin person or people cannot be around the child.

If this condition of child custody is being violated it can be harmful for the child and you may be hired to gather evidence that the person is actually around the child.

I worked one particularly disturbing case where the custodial mother was regularly bringing her two your daughters around a convicted, register sex offender with a history of abusing young girls.

I did surveillance, got the video, testified in court and the judge immediately took action to protect the children.

3. Child Support Modification

You can get hired by either side on this type of case.

This happens with one parent is under reporting his or her income.

The non-custodial parent may be under-reporting his income so he can pay less child support or the custodial parent may be under-reporting her income to get a larger check form the other parent.

You can be hired to do surveillance and show he’s working a job he hasn’t reported to the court and he should be paying more child support than he is.

Or that she’s actually making money “on the side” perhaps selling online or by babysitting (or more properly running a daycare type “business” while she stays at home) and she shouldn’t be getting as much from the father as she is getting.

4. Cohabitation

This happens much more commonly with spousal support agreements, but may happen in child custody cases as well depending on the terms and conditions.

The one parent begins to live with or actually marries someone else triggering a lower “alimony” payment for their ex.

Surveillance may be used to collect evidence the lawyer takes to court to discontinue or reduce the payments the ex is paying. Don’t miss this opportunity to pick up more work!

Do you have anything you want to add to the list? Leave a comment!

If you like this helpful list, then don’t miss out on my free special report If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. If not, you can get it right here…

Get Instant Access to Your FREE Private Investigator Report!

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Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

P.S. – Did you notice the business/marketing tip this week? At the beginning I promised to teach you 3 times you can use surveillance to make more money on child custody cases, but I actually taught you 4 times. I under-promised and over-delivered. The lesson for you? When it come to taking care of your clients: Go the extra mile!

Being the best Private Investigator doesn’t help you get clients.

I love all the tricks, “hacks”, techniques, pretext, sources and methods we P.I.’s use to find track and follow cheaters, scammers, con artist, hustlers, deadbeats and outright criminals, but none of those detective skills help us to get clients and make money!

Sure, we need those skills. And, yes, they can make us really good money on repeat cases. Cases where we are hired again and again because we are very good at what we do.


Simply being “the best” doesn’t help us to initially get hired by clients!

We need to understand the fundamentals of business as well as we understand the fundamentals of the investigative world. If you really want to make a living in this industry, I recommend you read that last sentence again.

Pro Tip: If you want to be truly successful as a private investigator (or process severer!) you do need to be in the top 10%! Simply being “good enough” is not good enough.

My best advice to you is look at a successful person in business and do what they are doing. If it’s legal and ethical, consider how you can use that technique in your business to get clients and make more money.

Here are some important points I shout all the time…

1. Find your Unique Selling Proposition.

2. Offer a guarantee.

3. Use testimonials.

4. Have credible credentials.

If you like these helpful tips, then don’t miss out on my free special report If You Want To Be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it right here…

Get Instant Access to Your FREE Private Investigator Report!

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Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

P.S. – For marketing you do need a website. I don’t currently have a web-hosting company I can recommend, but I will say… Avoid Hostgator like they got The Clap!

What you need if surveillance goes long.

If you’re a private investigator you know, it’s not uncommon to be working a surveillance case and to get a phone call from the client saying something’s changed at the last minute and they need you to stay out there, an extra hour (and sometimes it might be many more hours). Are you prepared when you get that call?

It’s Good Money

Let’s face it. A call like that can mean anywhere from an extra $85 to an extra $300 or more.

You don’t want to be in a position where you lack what you need to make that “extra” money.

If you follow what I teach, you probably have a minimum amount of time that do a surveillance for. You might, like me, have a three hour minimum. Because, let’s face it, you don’t want to run out someplace and just to set up for an hour on it then to have to leave. Even at $85 an hour, that’s more trouble than it’s worth!

With my 3 hour minimum, I used to joke, “I don’t answer the phone for less than $200.” Of course, I answered my phone all the time, but it was a cute thing to say that conveyed I wasn’t going to take cheap clients.

So, on a three hour minimum surveillance that’s extended by just one hour, going from three hours to four hours, that’s 33% more money than what you thought you were going to make! That’s not an insignificant amount of “extra” money to make.

But can you do it?

When you get that phone call, or when circumstances change and you find yourself having to go long, make sure you’re prepared. Here’s my list of things today to have in your surveillance vehicle that will allow you to go that extra mile.

1. Waste Container

This is going to be the first, most urgent, and most non-negotiable thing that would force you to end your surveillance early.

Again, when it’s a surprise that you’re doing surveillance longer than planed, it’s not as if you had a chance to moderate your water intake or prepare for going a long haul. Having a bottle for waste collection is important. ‘Nuff said.

2. Drinking Water

Have plenty to drink in your vehicle. Extra bottles of water.

This is not something that is going to immediately cause you to have to end a surveillance, but it’s one of those things that can become extremely uncomfortable, and depending on the weather and the heat, it can be dangerous not to have enough!

3. Food

Having food is much less important water, but why suffer?

The thirst will drive you off of that surveillance from a safety and danger point of view before the hunger will. You can go much longer without eating than you think. But, having extra food in your vehicle is very helpful.

Moreover, have a quiet food. If you have bags of chips, they’ll make you extra thirsty, which means you’re consuming more water, which means you’re filling up your waste containers more quickly. However a bag of chips is also a noisy snack. You want a quiet food you’ll be able to eat without having to worry about drawing attention to yourself from people walking by on the sidewalk or nearby dogs.

Pro Tip: If you’ve got anything in your vehicle, including a cooling fan, that’s noisy enough you’re reluctant to use it, then you won’t use it. That’s the same as not having it!

4. Audio

Have some kind of audio. Books on tape, podcast or the radio.

This one isn’t a deal breaker. You can go all night with nothing to listen to, but it makes the surveillance much, much easier if you have something to feed your brain. Something that you’re enjoying.

Obviously, you cannot read. Looking away from what you should be focusing on is bad news. It’s going to cost you. Do not be playing on your phone. Aside from the light it gives off, especially at night, a phone is a distraction. You simply can’t do surveillance well while you’re playing on your phone. Period.

5. Toilet Paper

Have some toilet paper in your vehicle. If you have to use it, you’re in pretty bad shape. But, if you have to use it and you don’t have it… well… one guy I know came home without a sock once.

Toilet paper does have some auxiliary uses aside from the obvious, including if your windows are fogging up it might give you a clean dry thing to wipe the inside with. And if you cut yourself, it can act as a temporary bandage or used to stop a little bit of small bleeding you might get, but a roll of toilet paper can go a long way towards allowing you to continue your surveillance.

The Most Important Thing: Power

The most important thing you need to have in your surveillance vehicle to continue a surveillance is a power source.

If the battery on your camera dies, then you’re done with surveillance. You’re not able to take any more video.

You need to have some auxiliary or back-up power source.

That might be an inverter you plug into a cigarette lighter to run to power your camera. Maybe your camera can be run or powered off of some different type of adapter that goes directly into the cigarette lighter. Maybe you have an extra battery pack your surveillance vehicle like I teach in The Investigator’s Ultimate Guide to Surveillance.

But, have some source of power. If you run out of power, you are off the surveillance. It’s over.

Bonus Tip:

Make sure you have plenty of digital media.

If you’re running a surveillance where you’re recording, say a house covering the front door and the garage because hen the door opens and they step out, you don’t want to be reaching for your camera trying to press record. Maybe you have your camera recording constantly.

If you want to capture every moment, you’ll burn through a lot of digital media. You might find yourself burning through a few hours of digital media before that person comes out. So, the most important thing is power, and the thing is to make sure you have plenty of digital media to capture what you need so your case will be a success.

Do you have anything you want to add to the list? Leave a comment!

If you like this helpful list, then don’t miss out on my free special report If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. If not, you can get it right here…

Get Instant Access to Your FREE Private Investigator Report!

* indicates required

Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

P.S. – How much video do you really need to capture?

Will your town support another private detective agency?

People ask, can my town support another detective agency or any private investigator at all? I get this question a lot and it’s a good question.

This is a great question because it shows that you’re thinking down the road. You’re thinking about the future. I mean, why put all the time and energy and effort into getting your private investigator license and opening a detective agency, if your town can’t support it, right?


Look, I did it, right? I started from nothing, from zero. My first job after I got out of the military was as a security guard. I put on the polyester shirt and cheap tin badge. I went around and tugged on doorknobs to make sure that they were locked.

I went from there to getting my state private investigator’s license, opening my own agency, and running it for nine years!

That was how I paid the mortgage, kept the light on and bought food. I took a shot and did it!

Now, I must admit, I was a little naive at the time. I just figured it would work and, by the Grace of God, it did. But, I’m going to tell you how you can determine if it’s going to be right in your town or your area.

Greener Grass

It’s too easy for our brains to trick us into thinking our place isn’t the right place.

If you’re in a small town, you think your town is too small. It won’t support you. You have a county with a low population. So you think it just won’t work there.

If you’re in a big city or a populous county, you think there’s so much competition. There’s already five other detective agencies. Or twelve other detective agencies. How could it ever work in such a crowded market? You get in your own head about it.

Here’s the real question.

Here’s what I suggest to you: Ask yourself if someone else in your area is making it work.

Is there a successful detective agency in your area?

And I mean truly successful. By that, I mean are they ethically turning a profit? Not just have a good website. Not just a good social media presence. Forget all that “poser” stuff. That is fluff. That’s image and marketing. Are they truly successful or are they struggling like so many businesses?

Note: Don’t get me wrong. You need to project professionalism with a good website. And any social media you use has to be “on brand” for you. But, don’t judge the success of the “other” agency(s) by what you see online!

Here’s the thing… If someone else in your area is ethically making it work (being profitable), why shouldn’t you be able to do it as well? Their success proves it can work!

There are some towns that will only support one business of any given type. Maybe one ice cream shop or only one movie theater. I see it all over with specialty hobby shops. How may model train store can even a large city support? That can happen sometimes. So how do you know your detective agency is going to make it?

First of all… You don’t.

You really don’t know if it’s going to make it.

Businesses fail all the time for a variety of reasons. They lack the skill needed. They lack the business know-how. They don’t know how to “get the word out”. Or the local factory closes and unemployment skyrockets. Maybe an employee embezzles their profits. Or any one of a million other reasons causes a business to fail. It happens.


Here’s the trick. Here’s the secret.

You need to find your Unique Selling Position (USP)

When you can answer your potential client’s question, “Why should I hire you as opposed to all my other options?” then you have the critical edge that moves you closer to success!

Your Specific Town

When considering if your specific town can support another detective agency, forget “all the other options” for a moment. (But just for a moment! You must consider “all the other options”, but just for a moment, let’s look at only the other detective agencies.

Let’s use process serving as (an example) of how to think about this question.

“All the other options” include the fact that a law firm could do it themselves “in-house”. They could have their interns do it. Their paralegals could do it. I’ve seen it where some attorneys serve their own process. Why should they hire you as opposed to that?

But, let’s look (just for a moment) at the “competition”, the detective agency or process server company who wants the same clients you want. Focus, momentarily, and answer the question, “Why a client should hire you as opposed to all the other process servers and detective agencies?”

When you’ve got a good answer to that question, that makes all the difference in the world!


If someone else is making it work in your town, consider the fact that you can make it work too. You just have to do it with foresight, planning, and having your Unique Selling Proposition.

If you like this helpful information, then don’t miss out on my free special report If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it right here…

Get Instant Access to Your FREE Private Investigator Report!

* indicates required

Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.