Recently, one of my viewers emailed me and said he was a little bit concerned because he was in the middle of an expensive online private investigator “school” and then he came across my video on my personal feelings about online private investigator schools. (You can find that video right here.)
Of course, I’m a big believer in getting training but I’m not necessarily a big believer in the online “P.I. schools”. And his concern was now that he was into this expensive course he says, “I think I’m going to finish it because it’s expensive and I’m into it.” But he said he was concerned because “a lot of the information seemed old”.
So here’s how I answered him…
First of all, I’m glad you’re getting some training. That’s not a problem, don’t think twice about that. But here’s the thing, a lot of investigative training is going to seem old and there’s a reason for that. It’s because the things that work really well, the tried and true things, have been used for generations!
When I got into the business it was a lot of “shoe leather”. You went down to the court house to pull records. You went out to this business or to that place and pulled the records by hand or you would use pretexts to get the information that you wanted.
You simply had to go out and do it!
Nowadays, much of the information is available online… but not completely. Not everything. And many times, not the really good stuff!
So, for example, a court index will be online in most counties. So instead of having to go downtown and run a name through a paper book or microfiche (like I had to do) you can go online with a few key strokes and look through the court’s index. You don’t even need a subscription database!
It saves a lot of time.
But… I’m a big believer in going down to the court house in order to pull those files to see exactly what happened. Some courts will scan files, turn them into PDFs and put them online so you can take a look but largely, they do not.
And even the ones that do, honestly they seem to hold back the good stuff! (I’m not sure you can really tell that if you’re not in the business, but it’s true.) I can tell you the things that I want to see, the really detailed narrative reports, even the places that have some records scanned and online, don’t seem to choose the reports which are most valuable to me as an investigator.
So when you get private investigator training, a lot of it may seem old but that’s because that is what works!
One exception to where the information you receive in training is going to seem new and up-to-date is social media searching. That’s going to seem up-to-date because there are all sorts of tips and tricks for searching any given social media platform. But there’s a downside to that as well…
The trouble with those is you just have to keep up with each particular social media platform because things do change. If you got some big, expensive training about social media… in six months or a year a lot of it might still be applicable but a lot will change as well!
Social media searching is going to seem new and up-to-date but it’s also going to change so quickly and be much less valuable than the tried and true old things.
Let me share with you a recent experience I had as I pursued my personal P.I. training…
I recently bought a book on P.I. methods and tricks and at first I was really disappointed.
I bought a book that had “pretext” prominently listed in its title. I was very interested in this particular book because of that and it was only $8. That’s a bargain, no problem. So I get it, of course. I’ve paid a lot more than that for training over the years. (Someday I’ll tell you about the $200.00 book I bought on private investigation training!)
So the $8 book arrived. I opened it up and I was very disappointed. Immediately disappointed. I actually felt kind of ripped off because the book was probably 80 or 90% the “old stuff”.
Now, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good stuff. It’s very good stuff. But I’ve been doing this for a decades now. I don’t need to re-learn the basic stuff over and over again. I bought the book under the presumption that it was going to deliver strong, heavy information on pretexting and it simply didn’t.
I felt very ripped off and it was only eight bucks. I mean, you can easily leave that as a tip on a meal and not think twice about it, but I felt deceived!
But here’s the thing…
The next day I picked the book back up. I started going through it a little more carefully and really reading through the (relatively thin) section on pretexting. And lo and behold! I kid you not… not a page full of good information… not a paragraph of good information… but, two sentences! There were two sentences in this book that taught something valuable, and I said, “Wow!”
I was blown away. That was worth it! It was easily worth TEN TIMES WHAT I PAID FOR IT!
I’m not kidding. If I were to pay an “information broker” for the information that they were teaching you how to pretext, I would have paid (and have paid!) ten times what I paid for the book! And that’s just to get the information one time! But now I have a key that unlocks this information for me over and over again and it only cost me eight bucks!
So when you get training keep that in mind. The more you work as an investigator, the longer you’re “in the game”, the more you’ll realize… sometimes you go through a lot of training just to get that one little thing golden nugget! And it may be different for the next investigator. The next guy (or gal) may find a different part of the training valuable.
You might read an entire book looking for just that tiny, incremental edge. That one thing that’s going to make you just that much better or give you that much of an edge. And, overtime of course, that builds toward you actually being quite the expert in your field. But that only happens if you understand what the training is truly worth!
Fortunately, my experience lead me to realize what a treasure I had found!
Ironically, sometimes it takes investigative experience to see the value in some of the private investigator training out there. The problem is, when you’re starting out (and most need the training) you may not realize how valuable it really is!
Heck, I’ve been in this business a long time and I almost missed it!
Committed to your success as a Private Investigator,
P.S. – By the way, if you want more tips like these, be sure to check out my special report
If You Want to be A Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do Theses 3 Things. You can get it right here…