When I was approached to write this article about being a LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) and a business owner, I started thinking about the similarities and realized both careers have a lot in common. More than most people might initially realize.
I started my video production career at age 16. It all started at a Christian television ministry. Part of my job was operating a camera sometimes up to six-hours a day filming an internationally syndicated talk show. It required fast-paced work, quick thinking, problem solving, endurance, and team-working skills.
Fast forward to 2013 when I started my own Production Company (Giddens & Co. Visuals). I soon realized people skills were the key to landing clients and maintaining good relationships. There were times I would be on a large film set knowing that thinking on my feet was a must at all times, while maintaining good people skills.
In 2017 I attended Drury Law Enforcement Academy and I remember a teacher one day commenting, “If you own a business or are good with people, becoming a law enforcement officer will come naturally.” I found this to be very true.
As many of you know, no one usually goes into law enforcement for the money. I remember making $13.80 at a local law enforcement department. The meager pay required me to continue building my own business. How did I manage that and LEO work as well as raising a family? Time management is key.
One way of doing that is prioritizing your client, answering emails, phone calls and all of the basic communication skills that are shared between working in law enforcement and owning a business. Making the client feel that their needs are important and you are excited about making their dreams become a reality.
Once a month I double-checked my inventory list, updated my spreadsheets for gear rentals, touched base with my SEO/web designer, and even did follow ups with past clients to see if there is anything they need. Applying the skills that an LEO knows, like being consistent, honest, while customer-service focused and balanced in their thinking, apply equally to both careers.
Like everything else, there is always a flip side. Both careers are very demanding. They each require a human being to constantly retain a set of people skills, organization, and to an extent— keeping others happy. In other words: putting others before yourself. Many times there is the “uncooperative citizen” that acts as if you owe them the world. As it is your duty, to the best of your ability and morals, to do things that sometimes dont feel rewarding. The same goes with clients/customers. Most of the time those kinds of people are “the problem people“ who can’t communicate what they want correctly but you have to do your best to serve them and provide them with the best experience possible, because in the end people will notice one way or another; which can be the determining factor between success and failure.
The way we talk to people as an LEO is the same. To understand the needs of others and find the best solution to resolve it, you can apply the same structure to your business, employees, and most importantly your clients.
I leave you with a quote by one of our former presidents,
“I do the very best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.”
― Abraham Lincoln
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