Develop Your Own THRIVING Business despite Roadblocks"

by Jamie Liggins

To develop your own thriving business you are in the mindset of beginning your journey in a new career. You know what business you want to establish AND the formal education needed….GREAT!

Naturally, you consider things to prevent business impediments, such as: having the proper resources aka MONEY, dealing with marketing rejections, branding your business and obtaining experience. These can be considered to be business roadblocks but you have already factored them in and are forward moving!

But before I define what type of roadblocks this presentation focuses on with regard to your Notary business, I want you to know about the top 5 areas of concern Notaries have come to me for assistance.

  1. Retirement planning. “Before I retire, I want to become a Notary, develop my business BUT is being a Notary/NSA a viable part-time or even full-time business?”
  2. Insurance Protection. “If I work full-time, I need health benefits and insurance, how does that work if I have a Notary business?”
  3. Industry Changes. “I am a Notary / NSA already and know that in any industry there are peaks and valleys, BUT how can my income stay at a steady peak when the industry brings changes that compare to those valleys?”
  4. Unexpected Life Changes. “I’ve established my Notary business but now life has happened (illness, divorce, caretaking) preventing me from working consistently…how can I handle this?”
  5.  Moving. “My business is thriving but now I have to move; so how do I start all over again and develop another thriving business in a new State?”

With that being said, I’ll be discussing the type of roadblocks that affect your emotions, your health and your environment for growth. Such type of roadblocks if not addressed can make it difficult to deal with industry changes, re-inventing your business or even re-establishing your business in unfamiliar territory. It can be challenging but not impossible!

With any business, you must not lose sight that there are initial steps you took to become a Notary:

  • Obtain the necessary information on the requirements to become a Notary from the Secretary of State, the commissioning agency for Notaries Public.
  • Become a Notary Public ( either completed an application, took a class or took a test)
  • Make sure you have your Notary tools. Here is an example of a resource guidebook:
  • Develop a “brand” meaning have business name and business cards

These are the basics!

Never forget the intermediate steps involve research and developing a business plan. Local networking is encouraged via attending community events but also network by becoming a member of the National Notary Association (NNA) and attending the annual NNA Notary conferences. If your city has a Notary Day or Notary mixers, attend those events because that is where you will find a Mentor!

In order to develop a thriving business, I followed all of the above suggestions which led me to becoming the Founder and Owner of Notary Access 24/7 in 1992. My company offered mobile notary services as well as notary loan signings. I had developed a brand, had a website, business cards, fliers, attended community events and even joined my city’s Chamber of Commerce. This was going great! But, I wanted to do more…. teaching Notary law is where I went next. I decided to teach 1:1 and at other colleges. This led to people requesting me to mentor them. My business was successful and I was very busy. To my surprise, in 2004 the NNA honored me as the National Notary of the Year. I was overwhelmed and grateful! Everything for me seemed to be going well… no major roadblocks yet.

Emotional Roadblocks. In 2007, I experienced an unexpected life change DIVORCE; this led to MOVING to another State. Unfortunately, when life happens it does not warn you. A cross country move is enough to handle because I had to turn in my CA Notary commission and take the 6 month Notary class in Louisiana and then tackle a 6 hour long exam. Whew! I passed!!!! Discouraging comments such as, “Louisiana is nothing like California, you cannot do loan signings here”, “Notaries here leave the work to Attorneys” and there was one person that seemed like she was just waiting for me to fail. Instead of focusing on negativity, lock in on logical thinking and use your energy for creative thinking.

Physical and Health Roadblocks. One year later in 2008 my father was diagnosed with Cancer and had a Stroke. I assisted my mother as a caretaker. A few years later, I too was diagnosed with cancer and Epilepsy. Modesty, pacing yourself, using outside resources and not be too prideful to accept support and help prevents burnout.

Environmental Roadblocks Study the social, cultural and notarial climate of your area; this is crucial when you move. You cannot compare States but accept where you are and learn how to navigate around your roadblocks. Remember: the things you’ve learned in establishing your business in the past can still be useful in re-establishing your new business.

Is this the END? The journey is not over! My 86 year old father and I are cancer free, my notary business is re-established and a new husband has entered my life. I will continue on my journey because, “if it is to be, it is up to me”!

A journey has many turns, hills, peaks and valleys and it is quite a lot to share in one presentation so in 2018 I was inspired by the NNA to write a book entitled, “10 Ways to say NOTARIZE THIS…when Life Happens”. The National Notary Association asked me to be their Conference Keynote Speaker and tell my story. I felt I didn’t have a story to tell but as I stood there and told my story, I realized that EVERYONE has a story to tell especially if we have a positive mantra. You will get a complete story, from beginning to present and beyond with the book.

Return to 2018 Notary Public Day.