Everybody online is trying to teach, sell, or present themselves as an expert and they put on this facade that they never make any mistakes. Oh sure, back in the beginning they slept in their car and it was so hard, but now they’ve figured out the answer and everything is super easy for them.
I’m going to be a little scandalous today. I’m going to tell you not everything is easy for me! I have some weak spots in the security and investigation world where I am a bestselling author and course creator.
If you feel like you’ve got some weak spots in your game, read on, I’m going to tell you about two of mine, how I fixed them, and how that relates to you.
Look. Here’s the thing. I’ve got two spots that are ridiculously gaping holes in my skillset.
1. All faces look the same to me.
One of my weak spots is that I am terrible at identifying people by their faces.
You hear people say all the time say they’re “bad with names but I’m good with faces.” They say, “I recognize you but I don’t remember your name.” Well, I’m exactly the opposite.
I’m really good at remembering names but terrible at faces.
Now, if you’re a P.I. or Process Server you understand the importance of being able to identify people!
You’re doing surveillance. You see somebody come out of the house. You look at the photo, you look at the person, and you look at the photo. Is this my subject? Is this the person? That’s very challenging for me. It’s very difficult. I usually have to base my identification on something else. There’s the key that I want to share with you.
If you’ve got a weak spot like, for me, identifying people, I compensate for that.
On faces, I concentrate on that little divot beneath the nose, right above the upper lip. That’s oddly distinctive in a lot of people, if you really look at it and pay attention. Also, the divot in the chin or a dimple in the chin can be a real help for me. I have different spots on the face including ears, for example, that help me identify a person.
I know my weak spot, so I compensate for it by having these very specific things that I do.
There are other “cheating” methods I use. For example, I’m a real big believer in watching the shoes of somebody, because people tend not to change their shoes as often as you might think. It’s not an iron cast rule. But shoes tend to stay the same, or at least get used again.
By the way, if you’re ever in pursuit of somebody, in a foot pursuit, chasing and trying to catch them. When they go around a corner, notice the shoes. They may shed a jacket, a hat, or try to change a shirt or lose the shirt. You come around the corner and now he’s in just a t-shirt. Is it the same guy? Watch the shoes. They cannot change the shoes during a foot pursuit.
But I’m terrible with identifying people by face. So I’ve compensated. That’s what you need to do with your weak area!
2. All cars look the same to me.
I’ll give you another very candid example for me. I don’t know cars. Nothing about cars. Nothing.
A yellow Maserati and a yellow school bus are exactly the same vehicle to me. Well… obviously, I can tell the difference there, but a Toyota, a Honda, a Ford, and a Chevy are all exactly the same cars to me!
If they didn’t have that little emblem by the trunk or on the grill, I would never be able to tell you what that car was.
So how do I compensate for this?
Pro Tip: If I know a particular car I’m looking for, I do go online ahead of time and research the make and model so I know some unique feature of that car.
Here’s the other thing… I know I’m just not going to recognize a car by make or model. I know that ahead of time. I’m not going to be able to tell what it is. So I default to things that I can clearly identify.
Things like color, the number of doors, and whether it’s got a hatchback, etc. That gets me in the ballpark, for starters. Even that two door or four door thing can help you in the heat of the moment.
You’re doing surveillance again. The garage door comes up and a car backs out. I don’t know if that’s a Honda, a Toyota, or a Nissan. I just don’t know. But it’s a dark gray four door. Okay. That’s what I’m looking for! There’s a much better chance that this is my subject than if it was a two door. Knowing that subtle little thing (gray two door), gives me a clue in the right direction.
But the real thing that helps me with vehicles is that I’m really good at memorizing license plates and recalling license plates.
There’s a subtle art to this. I’ve always said that I’m going to make a product to teach memory tricks and memorization to investigators and security professionals, but I’ve just never gotten around to that. But, there are some wonderfully effective tricks taught online. I’m sure you can pick them up.
But, since I’m really good with license plates that helps me compensate, especially on surveillance, process serving and crimes in progress. Yeah, a drug dealer might change his plates. It happens every now and then. People use stolen plates in crimes. You’ll see that all the time. Plates will get changed and cars will get dumped. But, most things, even in our crazy world of infidelity investigations, workers compensation scams and criminal rip-offs, the plates tend to stay the same. I compensate for my weakness in not knowing vehicles by being very good at memorizing license plates.
I wasn’t always. You know my story. I started out as a part time private security guard, putting on that polyester shirt and cheap tin badge and tugging on doorknobs to make sure they’re locked. I went from there to state license private investigator, owning and running my own agency for nine years.
I started out being one of those guys who said, “Oh, I’ve got a terrible memory.”
First of all, stop saying that about yourself! If that’s one of the stories you’re telling yourself, stop it. You can remember a lot more than what you think you can. A freakish amount, if you learn a few tips and tricks about it.
But here’s the REAL SECRET…
St. Francis DeSales talked about this.
When an enemy comes to attack a city, they walk around the city and look. They do recon!
They see the wall is built a little bit lower over there. Oh, the stones are falling apart over on this side. That gate only has one guard. The others have three. The enemy circles the city, looking for the weak spots, and knows where to attack.
St. Francis DeSales goes on to explain this is your spiritual life. You know where your weaknesses are. The devil’s going to attack you there. You know it’s coming, right? Study up those places now!
Here in the investigative security world, you also know your weaknesses. You know if you have trouble with one thing or another. Now is the time to compensate for that. I’m not saying you’ve got to be great at everything that is a weakness for you. Play to your strengths, for sure, but there are things that are basics and fundamentals need to know. What do you struggle with? Now is the time to find a fix and begin working towards it.
Do a self-evaluation. What’s your weak spot in security and investigations? Find a way to compensate for that. If you don’t know where to start, reach out to me. I will try to answer as many as I can and let you know a possible strategy you can use to approach your weakness, shore it up, and make it a little bit stronger.
And, as always, do the right thing, even if it’s the heard thing.
Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.
P.S. – Want more solid info like this? Then don’t miss my special report titled… If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it right here…