Do you have a problem and don’t want anyone to know? Call a professional fixer. For the average person, legal help would be the first resort. However, there are many ways to skin a fish. Fixers literally fix any kind of problem, a la Olivia Pope, of ABC’s hit show, Scandal. They come in during moments of crisis and publicity faux pas. It’s easy to think professional fixers are out of your reach, and that you have to fix your own mess. And you may be right—many people can’t afford the thousands it takes to hire one. That’s why you must seek out a “fixer” among your own. Still not convinced you need one?
Here’s a breakdown of why you do.
1. You lack street knowledge.
To some, the street literally means the sidewalk. Across urban neighborhoods, there are savvy, street smart men and women who have made something of themselves without school. They are starting companies, running them, or contributing to the arts or commerce in some kind of beneficial way. Study them. You never know where these relationships lead; you must keep your options open and your network wide. Without certain street knowledge and ways to negotiate, you fall victim to games, cons, tricksters, and all kinds of confusion in everyday life.
2. Your professional network is made up of mostly co-workers or high school buddies.
After the age of 25, you need more. Branch out into different social circles that reflect your grown-up interests in business, philanthropy or the arts. You will meet people there who can introduce you to people you need to meet. An affluent professional network takes years to cultivate. With proper care, you will find that this alone can change your entire life.
3. You don’t know anyone who can vouch for your character if you are in trouble.
Everyone needs someone they can call on to write a decent letter of recommendation or sit in the witness stand. No one will second-guess them because they are not related to you, like your mother or Uncle Bobby. Establish a network with successful types who have your back. A professional fixer can find this person on your behalf.
4. You don’t know anyone who can greenlight a project or decision.
Do you need to get your documents approved to move on with your life? Someone who can greenlight a project can make a difference between eating or not, waiting or not, is a lifesaver and game changer. This is particularly important for those in government and entertainment sectors where red tape or a guy in a big office can stand between you and a dream. Fixers can open doors.
5. You don’t know anyone who can give you money, lots of it.
A fixer with money can hire a PR pro or even a brand management firm to help you, and they can also pay lawyers to work on your behalf, too. This is essential when you are broke and have no other recourse. The fixer will see it as an investment in you. This means that you must be someone of promise or accomplishment. If a professional fixer doesn’t have money, then they should have access.
6. You have too many friends, and not enough associates.
A professional fixer can be a long-term associate (not necessarily friend) who has the following things: money, access, connections to shadow places like the street, clandestine partners and resources, and some charm. Friends have too many questions. Associates are best to turn to in a pickle. You won’t disappoint them since they have no expectations. They have little to lose because they haven’t invested their time in you, and yet, may be intrigued. If you’re being blackmailed by someone you know, but need in your life, a friend may just ask you to call the cops. Olivia Pope, would never do that.
7. You went to the wrong school.
Most young fixers in-the-making are already in high places. They are at the Ivy League college or exclusive prep school establishing relationships. If you went to the local college, it’s not too late to get it right. If you’re already fairly accomplished, schools like Harvard and Oxford have specialized, short term programs for professionals looking to enhance their skills. Get in one of these, and grab as many business cards as possible. You may need it one day. Fixers have to start somewhere.
A relationship with a professional fixer is transactional. You only call them when you need them. If you go with someone who is not quite “professional” make sure you have something to offer them in return—notoriety, secrecy, or an introduction. Like the saying goes: nothing in life is ever free.
Featured photo credit: href= via flickr.com
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