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  • Lessons Learned in Monterey; A Love Letter to My Favorite Notaries Laura and Bill

    As the creator of The 5 Point Marketing System featured at and co-creator of Notary Business Builder, I take my commitment to the notary community very seriously.  It’s my goal to provide a safe place for notary entrepreneurs to learn the skills necessary to build a successful business no matter what the economy is doing.  Part of that commitment is meeting with my co-founders, Bill Soroka and Laura Biewer at least 3 times a year to evaluate our systems, plan for the future and dream big!  We also like to have a little fun along the way.  And as  Bill always says, “there’s no better way to build a deeper relationship than shared experiences!” We kicked off 2024 with a week-long planning retreat in beautiful Monterey, CA.  I’ve never been to that area of California before, but I assure you I will be back.  I loved everything about it.  The breathtaking scenery, the food, the activities…honestly, I felt like I was born to be a California girl, and I’d move there in a heartbeat if I could convince my husband and kids to move, too! As we drove around the area taking in the gorgeous scenery, I found myself wondering if the people who live there and see the stunning views every single day take it for granted.  I hope they don’t. While in Monterey, we worked hard building out new tools for notaries during the first part of the day gathered in the communal lodge of Asilomar Conference Center.  When afternoon hit,  we had so much fun together experiencing all the best that this part of California offers. That includes an awesome dinner with several Notary Business Builders (a few who drove for hours) to meet us for dinner one evening. It was so wonderful spending quality time together! We had such a good time at dinner, we decided to meet for breakfast the next morning before everyone left for home. There was a whale watching tour where we followed a pack of Orcas, shopping and eating our way around Cannery Row, finding a small area winery with the BEST Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio ever (Bargetto Winery - check it out if you find yourself on Cannery Row and hopefully Tiffany, an aspiring author will be your server, too). We traveled the 17 mile drive in Pebble Beach not once, but twice because we loved it so much - and we may have even stopped at an Open House in Pebble Beach to be “lookie-lou’s”, but no photographic evidence exists!  The drive out to Big Sur and back was so peaceful and the afternoon spent wandering in and out of the shops and restaurants in Carmel-by-the-Sea was the perfect place to celebrate the launch of Bill’s first non-notary book, Dandelions. There are so many lessons I take away from these meetings with my colleagues-turned-friends.  The first of which is always GRATITUDE.  I still have to pinch myself that I get to sit around a table and create with Bill and Laura!  Like the beautiful views in Monterey, I hope I never take that for granted.  Their partnership has given me so much more than a spot in time as a “notary influencer.”  It’s given me confidence in my abilities to lead, to create and to dream big.  Really big!  I am confident that what we’ve already provided the notary community like Notary Business Builder and the Certified Trust Delivery Agent program are changing the entire landscape of our industry.  I also know there are some big things coming, and I can’t wait for you to see what’s in store. The second lesson I learned while at our leadership retreat is ABUNDANCE. Everything we do, we approach with the mindset of abundance.  There is no limit to what we can do when the three of us work together, and it will always start with bringing notaries what they need to succeed.  It’s remarkable to me that the three of us, despite any successes we’ve had, can agree that providing notaries with the best opportunities for growth is our top priority.  It’s never been about money or influence.  It’s about a love of the notary community and the amazing people that make it up. We are constantly looking for opportunities to share with notaries and there is nothing we love more than experiencing your wins!  In fact, my favorite part of the week is listening to notaries share their professional and personal wins on our Tuesday afternoon accountability call inside Notary Business Builder. Finally, the lesson of SYNCHRONICITY always follows the 3 of us when we are together.  There is a sort of “magic” that happens when we’re in a room together and it’s definitely noticeable by anyone who is nearby.  If you don’t know, here is a lovely definition of synchronicity: “it is a phenomenon in which people interpret two separate—and seemingly unrelated—experiences as being meaningfully intertwined, even though there is no evidence that one led to the other or that the two events are linked in any other causal way.”  I think that’s a perfect way to describe the three of us.  Just a few short years ago we didn’t even know each other.  Now, we’ve created a safe place for notaries to gather, learn and grow as professionals and individuals. We were also lucky enough along our notary journey together to become supportive friends who genuinely care about each other.  Both Bill and Laura have been not only professional influences in my life, but they have each provided me with the inspiration to grow as an individual. It’s one of the greatest gifts of my life, and I will do my best to never take either of them for granted!!

  • New Year's Resolutions

    What’s the one thing everyone asks at the start of a new year?  WHAT’S YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION?? The question is actually asking, “What are the things in your life you want to change (usually improve)”?  For me, like so many others, it’s about continuing to improve my physical and mental health by eating whole foods and increasing my exercise routine.  This year is a bit different though. I actually feel confident in my ability to achieve my resolution. What is it about a new year that makes people think they’re going to magically change overnight?  They rush to the gym every morning with gusto, only to burn themselves out quickly. Yes, it’s a new year and therefore we can consider it a new beginning, but isn’t that the truth at the beginning of every month, week or day?  We spend time relaxing and overindulging during the holiday season then WHAM!  We’re expected to suddenly wake up at 6am and go to the gym for an hour? It’s madness to expect such significant changes to happen overnight! I see no reason why my resolutions can’t begin on January 15th or May 2nd or October 26th.  Just because it’s what’s considered “normal” to set a new year’s resolution on January 1st, doesn’t mean it makes sense.  Every day is a chance to start fresh, and on days that are particularly stressful I often remind myself that every hour is a chance to start fresh. The truth is, human beings aren’t the best with change.  According to research from Columbia University, our brains don’t like change (this is also why it can be so difficult to begin direct marketing - our brains will resist the changes in mindset you need to make to get out and meet new business owners). Routine is our friend and most of us (all of us) are resistant to change.  Have you noticed that in your life or business?  I know I have!  It’s becoming clear to me as so many notaries across the country are re-entering hustle mode to build relationships with estate planning attorneys how resistant we are to change.  They’ve forgotten the effort it takes to build authentic relationships with new people, and how exhausting significant change is (and therefore, quit their efforts before making any real progress). Still, we pressure ourselves to change overnight because the calendar changes from December 31st to January 1st.  Then, we beat ourselves up when we fall short of our resolution. It seems so ridiculous to me! I’ve fallen into the resolution trap for as long as I can remember, but this year I am feeling more confident about my ability to stick to new routines after spending the last year working on improving my health (both physically and mentally).  My “resolution” includes adding meditation to my daily health routine, but guess what?  I’m not starting until January 15th (edited to February 1st because the gym is still too crowded for my liking).  I will be waking up at 6:30am and will start my day in meditation, then hit the gym for 45 minutes on the treadmill with weight training 2 times a week…working up to 3 times per week.  I knew if I started on January 1st I’d be setting myself up for failure.  I’d wake up early and try to meditate all the while thinking about how crowded the gym will be because of all the “resolutioners,” and how I should probably leave NOW instead of working through my meditation practice. Then, I’d get to the gym and be mad that there is no treadmill or row machine available, and I’d have to settle for a bike or elliptical (I hate both of those things).  Then, I’d have to fight for a spot on the weight machines to complete my strength training. Why set myself up to start my year/my day feeling frustrated?  That’s no way to begin a day, and it’s a surefire path to failure.  So, I’m going to let everyone else peter themselves out and THEN I’ll start. I’m looking for longevity with my new routines and I know myself well enough to know that it doesn’t matter when I start new routines, it’s about starting in an environment that will support my goals. I want to hear from you…Did you start your resolutions on January 1st and if so, are they still in place? P.S. I know many notaries are considering adding new revenue streams to their business as their resolution, and I encourage you to check out the Trust Delivery Agent Certification program. It’s the perfect addition to your business that will allow you to earn as much or more than loan signings (and not be dependent on mortgage interest rates and signing services for business)!

  • January Notary Networking

    Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had an amazing holiday season.  A new year brings renewed enthusiasm about our businesses and the opportunities that lie ahead, and I don’t know about you, but I am definitely feeling the buzz of excitement in the air! Then, there’s the shock of a new year…After a couple of weeks off to spend time with my family, I am also feeling a bit overwhelmed by my very lengthy to-do list.  That’s a very common feeling.  One lesson I learned last year is reminding myself that overwhelm happens when I am putting pressure on myself, so deep breathing helps keep my brain from spiraling out of control.  I also remind myself daily that as long as I complete my top 3 tasks for the day, then I’ve made a positive difference in my business.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, stop and take 10 deep breaths (7 seconds inhale, hold for 1 second and exhale for 8 seconds/ the exhale has to be a beat or two longer than the inhale).  Then, focus on the top 3 things you can achieve before the end of the day. Back to the point of this blog post… I want to encourage you to spend some time looking at networking events happening in your community this month.  In my experience, January is an excellent time to get out and meet other business owners.  Just like you, they are renewing their commitment to their business and that involves networking with like-minded people.  I recommend attending at least 2 client-getting events in January because you are likely to meet more people in January than you might later in the year. Here’s a quick guide to help you locate events in your area.  Visit any of the websites below (I didn’t link Facebook and LinkedIn because those are personal to you) and search for your notary specialty.  For example, if you are a new Certified Notary Trust Delivery Agent and you want to mix and mingle with estate planning attorneys, search for “estate plan” in your city.  If you live in a suburb of a large city you may want to change the location to that larger city.  I found more results with that strategy. These are the top 4 social calendars I use to identify networking opportunities. LinkedIn search bar at top left of screen next to the logo I am also a very big believer in identifying notary-related events, but I didn’t always see the value in it.  Many years ago, I (falsely) believed that it was a waste of my time networking with other notaries. I didn’t see the value in it.  I thought other notaries were my competition.  Man, I was green! And then my business took off after I began working the 5 Point Marketing System.  Suddenly, I was having to turn jobs away, and I quickly realized that had I been spending time with other notaries in my area, I could have identified someone to refer my customers to when I was already booked with another appointment.  It became clear that I needed to find some trusted notaries in Dallas that I could rely on, and who could rely on me when needed.  You see, even if I refer a job to someone else, I am still serving my client.  I am saving them time by filling their need with a trusted referral partner.  For the record, something wonderfully unexpected happened in seeking out other notaries…I found some amazing new friends! I encourage you to identify at least 2 notary networking events in 2024 to attend to begin identifying new potential partnerships (and hopefully, supportive friendships). To help you make that decision, I am hosting a call inside Notary Business Builder (NBB) on January 10th at 10am central (8am pacific/11am eastern) to review all the upcoming notary-centered events in 2024.  My goal is to help you identify which event meets your specific needs so you are spending your money wisely (y’all know I don’t like wasting money).  You’ll hear about everything from the National Notary Association conference in May to the Philly Social in October.  I’ve done all the research so you don’t have to! Have a great rest of your week, friends!  I’ll see you on tomorrow’s zoom call! P.S. If you didn’t know already, 2024 is a leap year so we all get an extra day to accomplish our goals!

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