The focus of this Freelance Makeup Business 101 post will be a little different than the rest. Today we are going to talk about personal security. This is a subject matter that I'm intimately knowledgeable about having spent 8 years in the military, and having rather extensive military and civilian law enforcement training.
So let's go. First we are going to dispel some myths about the United States in general. It is NOT all doom and gloom out there. The overwhelming majority of us will NEVER be a victim of violent crime, and most of us will never be a victim of any property crime that is measurable. "News"...and I put that in quotes on purpose, will have us all believe that we run the risk of being killed seconds after we open our eyes every morning but that simply is not the reality. In 2012 for example, 4.7 people out of every 100,000 were victims of murder in the United States. In Honduras during that same year, 90.4 out of every 100,000 people were murdered. By the numbers and in reality, the United States is actually a very peaceful country. Americans in general are good, peaceful people. Don't be fooled by what others say...this really is a good place to be!
But in every society, there exist wolves whose sole purpose in life is to prey on otherwise good people, going about their day. And this is a reality that we need to embrace, and prepare for. As a freelance makeup artist, your job by definition likely has you traveling frequently to new places with which you are unfamiliar. You may be meeting new clients that you have never worked with, in their homes, hotel rooms, or other places where you have never been. There is nothing inherently wrong with his, but caution should be exercised always.
Fortunately, human evolution has blessed (most of) us with an innate ability to sense and understand what is going on around us and whether or not we should be there. Some call it a gut feeling. It originated when humans still lived in caves, before we were at the top of the food chain. When every decision we made really was a life or death decision. A crusty old former Master Sergeant of mine called it JDLR - Just Don't Look Right. If something 'just don't look right', it probably isn't. Utilizing this sense is most likely the reason you are still alive today. It's the one that tells you not to stay in the lane next to the guy who is having a hard time keeping his car between the lines; the one that told 9 year old you to not climb that tree with the wonky looking branches; and the one that told you not to leave the bar with the cute guy the other night because something just seemed off about the whole situation. So pat yourself on the back, you've done a fine job of self-preservation so far.
My own training has instilled in me the need to be fully aware of my surroundings at all times. That doesn't mean that I don't cut loose from time to time. But when I do, I still cannot shake the need to know what's going on. Why does that guy have a hoodie on, with his hands in the front pocket when it's 80 degrees out? Why is the guy in line in front of me not making eye contact with anyone, and why is he looking more and more nervous as the minutes tick by? When I go to a restaurant, I always have to have my back to a wall and my front toward the entrance. And I always know where all of the exits are. It's just how I am.
Fortunately, in 2015 we don't just have to rely on our instincts to understand how safe we may or may not be when we are planning to go somewhere. We can rely on some tried and true techniques, as well as technology.
So we have covered the need to simply just be aware of your surroundings, and a few techniques that you can use to learn more about your clients and perhaps where you will be visiting. Now we need to move onto the part which may be uncomfortable for some...what to do if you need to fight.
As mentioned before...this will probably NEVER happen. And really you should not be forced to live your life believing that it will. If this is how you live, stop watching the news right now. It's giving you high blood pressure and raising your cortisol levels. It's bad for your heart.
That said, learning how to defend yourself should the need arise is not a bad thing. Even if you are the most hard core pacifist the world has ever known, there are some upsides to it that you cannot deny. Beside the obvious (remaining unharmed), consider the fact that almost all of us...myself included...should be in better shape than we are. Taking a martial arts class, for example, will not only do your body a whole lot of good, but it's wonderful for the mind as well.
When my daughter was six years old, I put her into Jiu-Jitsu. Almost every time people go hands on, it ends up on the ground. When a man puts hands on a woman, it is almost always going to go there. Most fights do not occur with two people standing there trading punches like they do in movies. So Jiu-Jitsu was the obvious choice for my daughter. Two years later at eight years old...I'd let her walk to school alone (no, I wouldn't) if she wanted to. She...is...a...beast. I pray she has mercy on the man who attempts to attack her, he's going to end up broken in 1,000 pieces and twisted up like a pretzel by the time the police arrive. And it also burned off that baby fat, and has begun building her muscular structure as well!
If I had time to find the study I would cite it but I don't so you will have to take my word for it. A group of inmates in jail for robbery and assault were asked about the kind of people they profile when choosing a victim. The resounding response, generally speaking, was the man or women who lacked confidence and for a lack of a better term...just looked like a victim. We see them every day. As they walk down the street, they stare at the sidewalk avoiding eye contact with passerby's. They clutch their purse or bag like if they don't it will just fly away. They zig zag through people so as to avoid bumping into anyone. When they do speak, they speak with their inner voice. It doesn't matter how big you are, how strong you are...if you look like a victim, the chances of being victimized increase exponentially. Martial arts teaches confidence. Confidence exudes, and looking like a victim diminishes.