A bunch of friends of mine were recently at a firearms training summit where they got to learn from and train with some of the best minds in the business, as well as train with each other in order to perfect their craft. That’s great, we haven’t perfected this thing called firearms training and the more we can work together, the better.
However, the summit was laser-focused on the process of training and getting people to shoot better, which is also great, ‘cause that’s what firearm trainers do. But it got me thinking: what would a firearms training business summit look like, or who would attend a firearms training marketing summit?
The fact that I have to think about this long and hard and can still only come up with a half dozen names at most is telling. “Always a student, often a teacher,“ is correct. However, what are we learning as students, and what are we teaching as instructors? Are we satisfying our own need to become better pistol shots and disseminate that knowledge other people? In doing so, are we neglecting everything that it takes to make doing those actions successful in the real world?
Part of this lies at the feet of the major schools out there. To the best of my knowledge (and my knowledge is pretty good about this sort of thing), there isn’t a firearms trainer out there who will teach you about setting up an LLC or how to buy insurance after they teach you how to teach people to shoot. What good is all that knowledge about how to control a trigger if you don’t know how to control your cash flow?
I mean, I guess I shouldn’t complain. When we talk about great actors, we don’t mention people like Gabe Kaplan, who had the financial acumen to turn a four-year stint on one sitcom and turn it into a comfortable living for the rest of his life (and did the same for his co-stars as well). When we talk about great photographers, we mention names like Annie Leibowitz and Mark Seliger, we don’t mention the guys who make a gazillion dollars running “trash for cash” product photography factories. Those guys aren’t the ones running around taking pictures of supermodels in exotic locations. However, they are the ones who are buying the luxury villas in those exotic locations, and they’re the ones dating the supermodels.
Maybe we could learn from them.