We all have those emergencies that just come up in life.
Most people have a close family member (spouse, parent, sibling, etc.) or best friend that they can call upon for assistance in times of crises.
But ask yourself this, if you called them at 3 a.m. for help, would they answer the call and show up or would they let it go to voicemail?
In my business, the difference can often be a life or death difference. When you barely have time to make one call for help, you better be sure the person on the other end is ready, willing, and able to come to your rescue; wherever you are, whatever you are involved in and for however long it takes.
Friends of this caliber are extremely rare. In fact, they cannot be found, they must be cultivated. And the relationship must be symbiotic. Notice that I use the term relationship and not friendship.
While this alter ego can be a friend, the value and benefits are just the same if the individual is not a social friend or family member.
It’s far less about how you feel about each other than it is about what you can do for one another. It would be a huge mistake to presume that this requirement to be able to be of extreme assistance is primarily physical or tactical.
In my many years of experience and in virtually every case that I can recall, the external assistance I needed was in the form of cleverness and astute perception and judgement.
It was always helpful if they also had a gift for gab. I don’t recall a time that I found myself in a bind where a silver tongue did not trump a silver dagger.
Espionage missions abroad are first and foremost a people business. Even if it is a fairly straightforward operation like installing devices to provide remote observation, audio or other sensory and/or intelligence monitors.
Before a spy can gain access to his/her target destination and selected point of emplacement, they will have had to interact with scores of people.
And during those interactions, they will most likely have several occasions where they will need someone to bend the rules – even if just a little bit.
Yes, money helps, but the operative will still have to develop a rapport and prevent his mark from warning others before the deed is done.
In my civilian life the same has held true. When I have needed help it is usually in the form of fresh ideas, uncanny solutions, creative approaches, esoteric knowledge or even just simple good sense.
One of the fundamental precepts of the 3 a.m. friend is that it is fully reciprocal. It also needs to be practiced and even tested occasionally.
Your 3 a.m. friend is more of just a safety net, having a 3 a.m. friend and relationship is a force multiplier. Meaning that the boost in confidence and sense of well-being that you derive from having a 100% reliable 3 a.m. friend enables you to do more, go farther, climb higher and run faster than others.
If you don’t already have a 3 a.m. friend, begin looking today. And if you are able to find one who is smart, charming and witty, so much the better. And remember, to have a 3 a.m. friend you have to be a 3 a.m. friend.