Last night, I watched Mitt, the Netflix documentary covering the period from Mitt Romney’s 2006 family meeting about running for president to his November 2012 defeat in the general election.

I’m not about to get all political on you here, but many people have argued that Romney was not elected because he was a robotic politician, willing to say or do anything to get into office. But the documentary showed a completely different side of Romney. It showed him making self-deprecating jokes about his private plane and his newly crowned title as the “flipping Mormon.” The documentary portrays him as a completely self-aware person who is much more perceptive than the public was led to believe.

The glimpse of private, intimate moments with his family and behind-the-scenes events made him more human, while his public portrayal was that of an out-of-touch, mechanical, rich ex-governor.

Business (and Politics) are Popularity Contests?

Let’s be honest. As much as everyone would love to think that the presidential race is about domestic and foreign policy and changes for our future, it’s really a glorified popularity contest.

You know what, though? So is business! People do business with people who are credible, with people they trust and (equally important) with people they like.

One problem in my business is that most private investigators have an inherent need for secrecy — secrets about their methods, sources, techniques, strategies or procedures. Frankly, I can’t figure out why so many feel the need for secrecy, because there is a 100 percent chance that those “secret methods” have been used by hundreds of others before them. Instead of making the investigators seem more professional or more valuable, that secrecy breeds a lack of credibility and a lack of trust with the public.

Be More Human

While I am not about to let a documentary filmmaker into my life, I have opened the doors to my business through social media and our blog.

I get calls all the time from potential clients who say “I love your company video” or “Your website is not like all those other firms.”

I get random calls from people all around the world — people I have never met — who say they have a great deal of trust in me just because I decided to open the doors of my life a bit.

It’s not a front. That’s who I am. People get to see the human side of me.

Private investigators are human and our clients are human (at least most of them are). So maybe it’s time for investigators to stop pretending that we are part of some secret society and start being more human.

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