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  • Listen to this podcast!

    I started a conversation about health and wellness with my last blog post on Tuesday. Today, I wanted to share a podcast with you that really made an impact. This is the kind of science that makes the most sense to me. Not throwing medicine at something, but learning how what we put into our bodies can be considered useful medicine. You know I love Mel Robbins teachings and her style resonates well with me. She doesn't get all hyped, but rather is matter-of-fact about the topics she discusses on her podcast. This particular one with Dr. Mark Hyman was fantastic. I'm sharing it for two reasons: It's full of incredible information and I learned so much I hope the guys in the NBB audience give it a listen and think about joining our health and wellness series in April that will lead to a health and wellness challenge #NBBHealthy If you're planning to join the Building Authentic Relationships call on Wednesday, April 5th take an hour to listen to this before the call: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mel-robbins-podcast/id1646101002?i=1000605493421 I can't wait to start this new series in April!

  • The Year of a Healthy Me!

    I'll start off being completely honest with you. I had all the best intentions of starting 2023 off with a health and wellness journey to help me combat symptoms of menopause and ADHD and maybe lose some weight. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, right? In August of 2022 I had a strange incident. While sitting at my son's football game, I began feeling dizzy, then like I was going to pass out. My vision was very blurry and it was all I could do to walk down the stadium steps and to my car to go home early (don't worry, Tommy was driving). Once home, my speech started slurring and slowing down significantly so I immediately thought "stroke" and we went to the Emergency Room. After an overnight stay with more tests than I care to remember, the doctors determined that they didn't know what happened except it might have something to do with the medicine prescribed to manage my newly diagnosed ADHD (I still maintain that isn't an accurate diagnosis, but I no longer take that medication and manage my symptoms naturally with caffeine). For those of you who remember, Bill had his medical episode exactly 2 days after mine. I tease him that he was trying to bite my style. As you can imagine, it scared the bejesus out of me (especially hearing, "possible stroke victim" when they were talking about me and my speech was so slowed down I couldn't participate in the conversation). I made some changes the very next day like cutting out gluten in my diet and cutting way back on dairy (except for cheese which is too hard to fully give up, but I know I need to). I cut back on my alcohol intake. I started walking daily. It was going pretty well until I started following up with other specialists my general practitioner recommended to be sure nothing else was going on since the hospital wasn't clear on the exact issue that brought me there in the first place. Those specialists found more stuff... I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and a chronic auto-immune disease called Hidradenitis Suppurativa all within a few weeks of leaving the hospital. It was a lot to take in and a lot to manage. Then I got covid for the first time. Freakin' covid! I was sick for a solid two weeks and had lingering brain fog for many more weeks after the other symptoms subsided. Did I mention while all this was going on I was also managing symptoms of menopause like regular hot flashes, more brain fog, nausea, exhaustion and generally being frustrated by any and everything that crossed my path? My healthy 2023 has been fraught with frustration. I feel like I've been sick since the end of August and when I look back at my calendar, I can see that I actually have been sick regularly since last August. It's pissing me off! I'm not a nice sick person. As I write this, I have bronchitis that evolved from a sinus infection. There's this joke that men act like babies when they're sick, but that's me. I'm a giant baby and I constantly beat myself up for being sick (which is so dumb, but it's my natural response and yes, I'm working on it). Thank God I'm married to a saint of a man who loves me through rough times! I get mad because it's delayed my book progress. It's caused me to cut back on work, delayed my personal progress, and it's making me feel angry more than I'd like. And I know Im not the only one feeling this way. I know many of you also face health challenges. Whether severe or mild, I know I'm not alone in being concerned about my health. And these valid concerns can include weight management, heart and lung issues (anyone else experienced weird chest pains past 40?), chronic disease, and the psychological cost of allowing these feelings to build when you don't talk about them. So I wanted to talk about it because talking about stuff helps. Please join me on Wednesday, April 5th and April 12th at 10am central/11am eastern/8am pacific for a special conversation on the NBB Building Authentic Relationships calls. We're going to share our current health and wellness struggles in a safe environment and take the opportunity to offer up advice to each other. I'm especially interested in having the men of NBB join us because I know that men don't often have a place to go to share these kinds of feelings and I'd like to change that narrative. And if you know me....you know this is all leading to a health challenge for Notary Business Builders who believe, like I do, that food and community are medicine and accountability is important. Let's work together for better health and wellness. #NBBHealthy

  • Show Me The MONEY!!

    A few days ago, I sent out a blog post about the Evolve summit happening in Frisco, TX on April 15th. Today, I want to dive deeper into the deep end of what we'll be discussing. This is your opportunity to learn from the BEST notary influencers in the country! Bill: "How to Turn Every Customer Into a Lifetime Customer." Imagine having the roadmap to turning a random GNW appointment into a repeat customer. In his prolific style, Bill will share how he created lifetime customers and teach you how to do the same. Laura: In a brand new presentation titled, "Show Me The Money," the one-and-only Laura Biewer will share how she finds customers, her pricing strategies and the financial allocation of her revenue. In her 19 years experience as a notary entrepreneur, Laura has earned her reputation as the GOAT, and she is ready to share her secrets with you . Judi: You know her. You love her. The Queen of Apostilles will be discussing the many different avenues notaries can pursue to diversify their income. As a notary public you should never put all your eggs in one basket! Jen: "Vulnerability in Business Relationships." As the creator of Signing Agent Marketing, I am always learning new ways to help notaries build their business. Marketing used to scare me, but not anymore! I'm breaking down the top sales secret I've learned to get more clients and make more money! Surond: The hostess with the mostest will be the emcee of the summit and will also be sharing her topic, "Notaries Evolve." For the cost of one trust presentation, you can spend the day learning from the country's leading notary influencers! There will be lots of mixing and mingling with a happy hour immediately after the summit ends in the hotel bar (additional costs apply). We look forward to meeting you, chatting with you and having a cocktail together to celebrate with you! See you in Frisco, TX on April 15th!

  • Let's talk about fear...

    Understanding fear and how it affected my marketing plans is something I love to talk about. I spend a lot of time reading about the science of fear and how to combat it because it's a fascinating topic. All that reading came in handy because I noticed once I got clarity WHY I was so scared to go to networking events, deliver Pop-Ins or talk about my business in general it helped me feel more calm. Notice I didn't say my fear went away? I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "be scared, but do it anyway." Easier said than done, right? There is no magic sauce here. If you want different results you have to do things differently. I hope you'll register for Notary Table Talk, hosted by Janae Blatch on Thursday at 6pm eastern/5pm central/3pm pacific. We will have a frank discussion about fear and learn some ways to push past it to help you grow your business. It's FREE, but its a very valuable discussion you don't want to miss!

  • The "naked at school dream"

    You know the dream I'm talking about. We've all had it...we're sitting in a classroom (or in a group of our peers) and we're naked. We feel exposed like a sitting duck and very VULNERABLE. Even thinking about those dreams makes me shudder because the feeling tends to stick with you after you've woken up and started your day. Feeling vulnerable can be extremely uncomfortable for most people, but as Brene Brown teaches us vulnerability is also the very core of building authentic relationships. If you don't know her, Brene Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston who has spent the last 2 decades studying vulnerability, shame, empathy and courage. She is widely considered to be the leading expert on vulnerability and believes that you have to walk through vulnerability to get to courage. She teaches her students to, "embrace the suck." I talk A LOT about building authentic relationships on my two platforms, Signing Agent Marketing and Notary Business Builder. Have you ever wondered what that really means? Well, as you might have guessed by now it's all about being vulnerable in your business relationships. What does that look like...being vulnerable in a business relationship? Any business is all about one thing... people. Say it with me: PEOPLE DO BUSINESS WITH PEOPLE THEY LIKE! And as Brene Brown teaches us, vulnerability lies at the very heart of connection. Transparent communication over time leads to hope and trust, which improves the relationship. It also creates a safe space for forgiveness where mistakes aren't punished, but looked at as learning opportunities. Here are some ideas for showing vulnerability in your work relationships: Drop the idea that you have to be perfect (there's no such thing). You're human, therefore not perfect. Stop putting on airs. It's OK to tell someone you're actively working to build your business instead of making it seem like you've been around longer than you have actually been in the notary business. Let others be in the drivers seat when it comes to conversation. You don't have to always take the lead. Listening is a lost art and no one wants to listen to a walking resume. Ask questions. Check your ego! Embrace the idea that other notaries exist in your area. You can view them as competition OR you could make attempts to get to know them better and create a referral network, a support group (being a solopreneur can be lonely) or even a good friend. Emphasize sharing ideas. A good idea is a good idea, but if you keep it to yourself it'll never come to fruition. Trusting someone enough to share your ideas is an act of love, and you will be surprised how much support people are willing to offer you when you're vulnerable enough to let them in on it.

  • EVOLVE

    Several months ago, I heard from At Your Service Agent, LLC owner Surond Maeweathers that she had booked Bill Soroka to speak at her monthly loan signing agent training class for February 2023. Surond also mentioned that she had booked the Queen of Apostilles, Judi Lawrence with Lawrence Institute of Notaries to speak virtually at her January 2023 training class. This sparked an idea in my head! What if Surond could get Bill and Judi to come at the same time? What if she could also get Laura Biewer to join? This would create an incredible line up of speakers for her class, but Surond being an out-of-the-box thinker took it to the next level. She created a one-day summit in Frisco, TX on April 15th called EVOLVE. Isn't that what we're all doing right now....evolving? I love the name of this conference because it reflects what is happening in our industry. Yes, loan signings are down due to higher interest rates, but business is plentiful for a notary public. My phone is ringing off the hook lately for general/specialty notary services (special thanks to Jim Allen for all the great tips on optimizing my Google Business Profile). And I hear that from notaries all over the country as we are evolving from focusing only on loan signings to creating many different streams of income so we can thrive in business. Bill, Laura and Judi loved the idea of coming to Texas to meet notaries and deliver some of their incredible knowledge to help others. In fact, we've been working on creating a day of learning that includes practical business skills to build relationships with your ideal customers, creating a money mindset and discovering the ways you can lean into the many other options for notaries to build wealth. I hear a lot of people saying they'd love to attend a notary conference, but they can be cost prohibitive. Not this time, my friends. Surond's made the EVOLVE summit very affordable as your day includes breakfast and lunch. And plan on hanging out with everyone after the summit for an on-your-own happy hour. Here's the catch: Space is extremely limited. Special rates at the hotel have been contracted if you're coming in from out of town. Frisco (where the EVOLVE summit is being held) is a suburb of Dallas. Here's the cool part: Tickets are only $150 per person. If you're a Notary Business Builder who attends the EVOLVE summit, you will be included in a brunch the following day (April 16th at 11:30am) hosted by Bill Soroka! Brunch is complimentary to NBB members, and is our way of saying THANK YOU for attending the summit and for being a part of Notary Business Builder. You know we love the chance to mix, mingle and bond with the NBB family. If you're looking for an opportunity to learn from the very best in the notary industry, meet and network with other notaries and EVOLVE your business, then the EVOLVE summit is for you. Just click the word EVOLVE anywhere in this article to register, but do it quick because space is limited! I hope to see you in person in April!

  • I did a dumb thing!

    I preach about it all the time. I say it on practically every call I host or attend as a guest, but I didn't do it. I didn't answer my phone. I saw a call come in, I didn't recognize the number and I chose to ignore it because I was involved in doing something else. When I was back at my desk about 15 minutes later, I got the email alert from google that the call was from an attorney via my Google Business Profile and that's when I hit myself on the forehead like the gif above. OMG, I KNOW BETTER!! And, it was a lucrative trust package call that was given to another notary who answered their phone. I know this because of course I followed up, but not fast enough. Sometimes I make mistakes. Sometimes I drop the ball. Sometimes I get overwhelmed just like you. We're human, and it's OK to make mistakes as long as you learn a lesson from them. So, here's the lesson I learned: Practice what you preach and answer the phone when it rings regardless of what the display screen says. Sometimes even calls labeled, "potential spam" have actually been requests for a mobile notary. I hear that from a ton of notaries all across the country. I've committed to no longer allowing calls to go to voicemail if I don't know who's calling. Will you join me? Comment below and let me know you're committed to answering your phone, too! P.S. Let's make it easy for our potential customers to find us! Be sure your phone number is prominently displayed on ALL your profiles including your website, social media, LinkedIn, GBP, Gotary, etc. If you're not sure your phone number is easily noticeable then you need to check today and make adjustments where necessary. It should be the first thing your customers see when looking for a mobile notary.

  • Need a Notary? Gotary!

    What the heck is "Gotary," you ask? I'll get there in a moment, but first let's talk about the birth of Notary Business Builder. I know you've heard of this group of elite notaries committed to building a sustainable business in any economy. The first thing that tends to come up is the $127 a month price to be a member. That's crazy, right? * Who has that kind of money right now since loan signings are all but dried up?** How can a notary spend $127 each month on a coaching platform when they're already signed up for Notary Coach, Coach Me Laura, Signing Agent Marketing, The Marketing Notary's Google Business Profile Course, Lawrence Institute for Notaries, Notary Assist and any of the dozens of other systems out there focused on the notary industry?*** For that matter, why would you want to sign up when you can join Facebook groups or subscribe to different notary-themed YouTube channels and get the information you need for free?**** I mean, you know how to be a notary public in your state, right? The rules are right there on the Secretary of State's website. Why bother with all the other "trainings" when you've got the tools you need with your notary stamp to make money?***** Well, if you've set out to earn a living with your notary stamp you have to get really comfortable with this idea first: you're a business owner. Yes you're a notary, but if you want to make any real money with your stamp you must accept the fact that you are running a business. We start out our notary journey thinking it's going to be easy, but nothing good every comes easy my friends. As a business owner, you need to be involved in all aspects of your business including sales, accounting, marketing, social media management, training and development, operations, scheduling, IT, Human Resources...it's a lot. That was just the discussion Bill Soroka and I were having 2 years ago this month when he asked me this very important question, "what if there was a place for notaries to go to have specialized training and coaching for all aspects of their business; not just training how to be a good notary?" Lightbulbs went off everywhere over my head after hearing him ask that. Think about it....there are tons of platforms notaries can join to learn how to be great at notarizing documents, but who is teaching them to build a business to last that isn't dependent on one type of job like loan signings? We leaned into this idea of one place for every aspect of your business. An umbrella, if you will that covers the important parts of running a business, sustaining a business and growing a business. Then, the bottom fell out of the mortgage industry. Interest rates went up, refinances bottomed out and notaries all over the country said, "screw this....I'm moving on to something easier." And that was right about the time we decided to launch Notary Business Builder. An idea some thought was insane given the fact that notaries were dropping like flies as the refinance market dried up. Never ones to shy away from something difficult, Bill, Laura Biewer and I knew that the notaries left standing after the economy "shook out the tree" would be the notaries to thrive. "The ones left standing after the dust settles will be the ones to benefit," is word-for-word what Laura said to me well over a year ago, and I can confirm that I am seeing that happen every day now. The shift is over, and it's time to move on from the narrative that the notary industry can't survive without refinance loans. NBB members are proving every day that there is much more to our businesses than mortgage loans. OK, now back to www.Gotary.com! It's been over a year in the making... Gotary is the Notary Business Builder directory. We knew we wanted to create this from the very beginning...a place where business professionals could find elite notary business entrepreneurs, and notaries can find each other to refer jobs in other cities or states (because Notary Business Builders understand that other notaries aren't competition). But here's where we are making Gotary different than other directories out there: Gotary is ACTIVELY marketed as a source for highly qualified credentialed professionals like notaries public to legal professionals and hiring companies.The owner of the site is Bill Soroka. His contact information is published on the site and businesses and notaries can reach him any time there is a problem. We create and share content that is "consumer-facing" designed to drive traffic from hiring parties to the notaries listed on the directory. We feature transparency and accountability with site ownership and contact information directly on the site. In short, gotary.com works to help our premium members get hired by their ideal customer. We just launched it last week and profiles are being added daily. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it, so feel free to leave a comment below and let me know what you think. Answer key: *No, it's not crazy to spend money every month to have a huge professional support system behind you that includes all of the programs listed in this post, and also has it's own prospecting app with built-in content and a Digital business card, teaches content creation (what to write about on your blog, social media, etc), a certified reverse mortgage training program, LinkedIn training and optimization, search engine optimization (SEO) instruction and support, accountability calls weekly, a private (& very supportive) Facebook group, and so much more! **Notaries who have spent time working on the tenants we teach like building authentic relationships and building your business on multiple streams like trust and estate planning, specialty notary work, Apostille, fingerprinting, wedding officiant, etc. because they know putting all their eggs into one basket is never a good idea in any industry. ***If you added up all the programs included in NBB individually it would cost over $3,000 a month (yes, you read that right). We removed the subscription fatigue AND gave you the best value we can offer (it launched at $197 month and we recently reduced the monthly membership fee to the lowest price we could to help as many notaries as we can). Every program listed is included in Notary Business Builder membership: Coach Me Laura, Notary Coach, Signing Agent Marketing, Notary Assist, Google Business Profile training, Apostille certification, reverse mortgage certification, Tomm app (for on-the-go prospecting), specialty events, etc. ****Free information on social media and YouTube is not regulated. You don't know the background of the instructors, their history in business, their morals and ethics or if they have your best interest at heart. Let's face it....there are a lot of people out there that just want your money, but our mission is to help you help 1,000 people this year. The founders of Notary Business Builder (Bill Soroka, Laura Biewer and Jen Neitzel) are accessible to each member and lead with integrity as our guiding light. *****A business owner needs more than the rules their state publishes to run a successful business. They need support, coaching, community (let's face it....working alone can be tough) and access to the tools and people needed to answer their questions.

  • The Sound of Silence

    I've had the house to myself this week for the first time in about a year. That may not sound like a big deal to some of you, but for me it's HUGE! You see, my husband and I both work from home so there is always someone at my house. Literally, always. The TV is normally on all day long as background noise (a habit we both have) and even though he's never asked me to, I put pressure on myself to "logout" at 5pm to make dinner and spend time with my family. I love being alone. As an introvert, it's how I recharge. It's something that is so important to me, which is funny because in my younger years I hated silence and equated being alone with being lonely. Now that I'm older and wiser, I realize that isn't true and those crazy ideas I had were mostly born out of insecurity and immaturity. Before my husband left for his work trip this week, I had my alone-time all planned out in my head. I was going to wake up early every morning, drink my hot tea, go for my walk, meditate, get dressed and spend the morning working on my book. I would break for lunch, work on other projects until late afternoon, and then I'd spend my evenings working on the book. I had one evening planned with girl friends coming over for dinner and wine, and one evening with my son, but the rest of the nights I would spend curating my notary-life-story into words of wisdom for you to enjoy. Here's the thing about plans....they require you to be dedicated to their execution. Ask me how many mornings I've walked or how many pages I've written. For that matter, ask me how many days I've woken up to my alarm. The answer: zero. I started to really beat myself up today about not following "the plan" for the week. Then I remembered several of the Building Authentic Relationships (BAR) calls I've hosted where I've spoken about the art of being kinder to yourself and using positive words instead of negative words when your brain starts to be a jerk. We also spoke about the true meaning of "introversion" and how it exists on a spectrum, and isn't a measure of how shy you are (or are not), but rather how you recharge your energy. Reliving these calls brought me so much relief, and (to me anyway) was proof that all the BAR call material we discuss really works when implemented. Before studying these topics for the call, I would have beaten myself up for days and made myself feel guilty for being "unproductive," but I've learned that part of being productive is having the energy to execute. Sometimes this chick just needs time and space to do nothing to recharge my energy and that is self-care. Next week, we will begin a BAR call series on what it means to be vulnerable in business. I invite all Notary Business Builders to join me on Wednesday (3/8) morning at 8am pacific/10am central/11am eastern as we discuss this very important topic. You can find a link to the call in your Tomm app/events. If you're not an NBB member you can check this amazing group out here: www.notarycoach.com/nbb

  • Golden Girls vs. Sex & The City

    I turned 50 a few months ago. I'm not even sure how that's possible because I don't feel as mature or grown-up as I thought I would feel at this age. Remember when you were a teenager and 50 seemed so... old? At 50, my grandmother had grey hair that she had washed, curled and set once a week at the beauty parlor, wore elastic-waist pants made of polyester and played bridge with her other merry-widow friends at 50. That's not me (unless it's Thanksgiving and elastic-waist pants are necessary, but I assure you they won't be polyester). Think back to the TV show, The Golden Girls. Did you know that in 2021 with the Sex & The City reboot "And Just Like That...," Carrie Bradshaw and the gang are the same age as the cast of Golden Girls in season one of that series? I think that speaks volumes about how age is represented on TV and the progress we've made over the years when it comes to women "of a certain age". It's great to see the narrative on age changing in society, and it's especially gratifying when I look at our notary community. I see so many women working their asses off every day at their own business. Making their own rules, their own money and thriving. It's inspiring, to say the least. Even during this strange time in our industry, many of the women I am blessed to work with every day are busier than they have ever been because they are stepping up to meet the times. They are doing the hard work, not complaining about interest rates. I started my notary business at 44, and when I think back to all I've learned and all I've accomplished in the last six years it blows my mind. On days when I am extra hard on myself (and believe me, positive thinking is a skill I work on daily), I try to reflect on who I was at 44 and who I am today to see the progress I've made. I consistently realize that every day I get better and better. There is always more to learn to help us grow. And that's what's so great about being human...the journey of learning never stops! If you're a Notary Business Builder, you're already in the best place to learn the skills you need to be a successful business owner. If you're not, what are you waiting for? www.notarycoach.com/nbb

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