Sunday, April 30, 2017

Notarial Certificates are Required!

Quick lesson on notarizing documents.
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Every document you notarize must have a notarial certificate.
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Every document you notarize must have a notarial certificate.

My fix was...
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You can always print out a notarial certificate.

Adding a notarial certificate would have worked, but it would have made the package too heavy for the one stamp that the signer had to mail it off with.

Yes, I could have stamped the notarial certificate on the page.
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Keep these points in mind.

Don't notarize without a certificate.
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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Why Some Notaries are Selfish and Won't Help New Notaries Get Started

Below are the reasons why notaries are selfish with their best clients' names.

REASON 1 - Competition Factor.  For the most part, there is ZERO loyalty betweena notary signing agent and a hiring company, except in rare situations. 

It doesn't matter how good you are, if another notary in your area throws out a cheaper number to your best client, especially one who gives you a ton of work, you might find the company trying out your competition.

At minimum, telling another notary who to contact for business in your area is the same as splitting the assignments from those contacts in half.

REASON 2 - Lurking Signing Services.  Middlemen and signing services who monitor Facebook and notary forums and have business plans that include doing exactly that.

They are monitoring Facebook Groups and notary forums to find out names of clients that are calling notaries directly. Upon obtaining those company names (and sometimes, even the exact persons they need to talk to), they are able to offer their services to those clients.

Notaries lose 25% -  50% of what they were able to make before the intervention of the middleman activity.

REASON 3 - Aspiring Middlemen.  Notaries asking for help often hope to become signing services or middlemen to farm out assignments and make money from those referrals.   I didn't know this, but this is a perception held by many veteran notary signing agents.  I didn't realize that being a signing services was so sought after.  I investigated where such ideas would be coming from.   Apparently, Bill the Notary Coach has suggested this, for one thing.

REASON 4 - Fishy behavior from people like me. 

Yep, that's right! I'm kind of happy to giggle about this one.

I have been mistrusted for some time, apparently. To some, I appear to be looking lustfully into the piggy banks of notaries in Texas.

I am totally okay with that.  It's bullsh## and it gave me something kind of fun to write about. 

Accusation #1 - Notary Directory Used to Skim from Notaries? 
Recently, a notary suggested to me because I have a notary directory (currently free to Texas notaries because it's not making money for us just yet), that perhaps I'm looking to "skim money from notaries."  Answer:  This directory was established for several reasons. It will never be a fee driven directory unless it actually makes money for the ones who are listed within.  No one is forced to list. It may also become a directory that is funded in part by advertising. The directory that is being referred to is Texas Notary Professionals.

I believe that it can be a good opportunity for Texas notary marketing.

Also, I like having a mailing list of notaries so that we can communicate about important issues.  I like writing to notaries who have always seemed to like what I wrote.  I need a mailing list to do that!

Just asking the following question it isn't likely to work. "Hey, I want to make a big mailing list with notary email addresses, please send me yours!"  People provide email addresses if and only if there's a good reason to do so.  So, in return, one must offer something of value.  I offer a notary directory in which one may place a listing.

Accusation #2 - Kick Backs from Endorsements? Hogwash.
Another notary suggested because I like and endorse that I was partnering with its owner to make money from notaries.

Answer:  No.  I would not endorse anything I didn't believe in.  If getting paid for it, I would post that information.  Sorry, but I was really irritated with that one. 

In fact, I pay a monthly fee just like any other user does. I like it.

Please try not to get frustrated with folks for being careful with advice and leads on Facebook and notary forums. They know that competition may be lurking and reading, even if not posting.

There is no loyalty in our business. - Make $100,000 Per Year?

Not impossible...if you have 80 - 100 assignments paying 
$100+  each month AND you have a good fairy, 
sugar mama, or sugar daddy paying taxes and your business's bills.

I watched a YouTube video yesterday by a fellow named by Bill the Notary Coach who says that notaries can make $100,000 per year.

There are good tips in Bill's Videos!  

I didn't just watch one, I let several stream in the background while I did other things.

Here's a Heartfelt Tip from Me...

Friends, please don't spend too much money getting the goods on how to make six figures as a notary signing agent.  It's not going to happen.  Please refer to this post before you spend more money on your business.

Bill is a great guy, I'm sure.  He suggests that you

  • Talk to your clients.
  • Find out what they need.
  • Express gratitude regularly.

But, there are points in Bill's video that need some explanation. 
1. He discusses making $100,000 year and he explains that at $100 per signing, you need to do 1,000 signings to make $100,000.  That breaks down into 20 signings per week per year.

In Texas, 20 signings per week is rare.

2. Even if you get 20 signings per week, Bill isn't telling you that 25% of your income goes to your sweet Uncle Sam and that another 10% to 30% are costs of doing business.  

  • Bill is talking about GROSS income.
  • NET INCOME (what you can keep) is more like $100 per signing less 30% for expenses equals $70.  Now, you take away 25% of that and you are going to make $52.50 on a $100 signing.  
  • NET INCOME on 20 signings per week is $1,050 (about $52,500 per year).  
  • Reality is that you can probably make about $25,000 - $35,000 that first year, IF and ONLY IF you are a great marketer.
  • Bill also talks about becoming a signing service or brokering out notary services.  This point sparked my next article on WHY NOTARIES ARE SELFISH with their information.  
3. In my opinion, the reason that a new guy or gal arrives daily to SELL  these kinds of courses to NEW NOTARIES is because (1) it's a cheap product to create and sell to you, (2) there is a ready market of thousands of new notaries waiting for products on "how to get rich", and (3) most new notaries are quite gullible and buying into the idea that there is a huge, amazing loan market waiting to be tapped...infinite assignments in the pool.  There isn't. If they were making that kind of money easily, they wouldn't be telling you how to get rich.  They would be doing it.

Finally, if anyone is telling you all you need is faith in God and hard work,
be your money around that person.  MY PERSONAL BELIEF:  God blesses us for having faith, but I believe He also wants us to use our brains, facts, and resources available to us and INVESTIGATE before we invest in a pipe dream.  

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Notaries - Learn from the California Gold Rush!

Hello, Readers!

I hope you had a great Easter Sunday.

On my mind is the Notary Snake Oil that I wrote about earlier...and that always makes me think of the wild west and the gold rush years.

Gold rush miners were a lot like you.

They heard about a great opportunity and have invested in it.

In the mid 1800s, people swarmed to California because they heard there were veins of gold to be found in the hills and gold flakes flowing down rivers and streams. My own great-great-grandfather did! (If interested, see a note about him at the end of this post.)

There really was gold to collect!  But, just like notary work, there was a limited amount of gold.

Miners saturated California looking for gold.

If 100 people had flocked to the gold rush, there would have all gotten quite wealthy.

But, when the number became 250,000 hopeful people scrambling to California, there was not enough gold to go around.

Miners didn't realize this, but the only way to get rich was to sell stuff to miners!

So, they gave all of their money to people who would show them how to get rich.

Every book written on the gold rush will have a statement in it like this: 
Gamblers and con artists swarmed into the
camps to swindle the miners of their money.
 As a result, few miners grew rich.

Who actually became wealthy?  

The same folks who ran ads in newspapers to bring miners to the gold rush! For instance:

People who wanted to sell stuff to miners.  Shopkeepers who sold pick axes, shovels, buckets, pans, an evening with the ladies, whiskey, and pants.

People who would show miners how to find gold.

Levi Strauss got rich. Have you ever heard of Levi Jeans? Ol’ Levi Strauss became a multi-millionaire during the California Gold Rush by putting brass tacks on his pants pockets to keep jeans from wearing out. Would-be miners took their life savings to the West coast.

Transportation providers. To travel there, they first had to go by riverboat, horseback, or wagon to the Gulf Coast or East Coast and sail around Mexico and South America (because there was not yet a Panama Canal to sail through). Some crossed through Indian Territory. Many died. It was a treacherous trip to California’s hills and streams.



This story has nothing to do with notaries, but I've added it because it strikes me that the Gold Rush and the call for notaries to flock to the notary signing agent business is similar.

Benjamin Franklin Powell (my great-great-grandfather) was born on January 16, 1825, in Twiggs, Georgia. 
Benjamin Powell
Went to Gold Rush in 1851.

Travel to the Gold Rush
I found records on that indicate Powell sailed to California from Texas to join the gold rush.  To travel on land was quite dangerous because Indian Territory stood between Texas and the gold mines in California.

Powell paid to sail and traveled around the southern-most tip of South America to seek his fortune.  At the time, there was not a Panama Canal to pass through.

Jewelry and Heirlooms
When Powell returned to Texas, he brought back a beautiful 24K gold shell brooch that was gifted to my mother's oldest sister, a flat and dainty bracelet engraved with an ornate "P" and it belongs to my mother's youngest sister, now.  He also brought back a mechanical pencil with a ruby inset where the eraser would be in a traditional pencil.  That piece was given to my mother.

Powell also returned with wooden bedroom furniture, a dark set that included a marble-topped washstand (mine), a marble topped dresser that's with my cousin, and a bed that's with another cousin. When he returned, he didn't provide details of his adventure.  So, we really don't know how he got those things, but we have them and they are wonderful heirlooms.  

He was married three times and had five sons and two daughters. He died on February 11, 1908, in Terrell, Texas, having lived a long life of 83 years, and was buried there.

Notary Snake Oil Salesman Repellant

Going to the NNA Conference in Dallas?  

Give me a shout, if you are. 

Be smart.

There are websites where you can get products and services that will benefit you.  There are some that are nothing more than Snake Oil!

I endorse these:

Professional Associations  Hands-down the best service and quality.
National Notary Association (NNA) Oldest and largest notary company/association in U.S.

Supplies Hands-down the best service and quality

eJournals - Reputable founder.  Don't put signer private info in jeopardy. NotaryAct's website is safe and secure and founded by a New York lawyer, not a person in a third world country.

Texas Notary Course
Phyllis Traylor - Instructor Hands-down the best service and quality

Training & Certification (Signing Agent) 
National Notary Association(NNA) Oldest and largest notary company/association in U.S. Long time in the biz. All companies accept their background check and certification. They will require you to do it annually to remain active. Carol Ray teaches via video. Many swear by her courses.

Business Training
Small Business Development Center near you.

Great Notary Bloggers
Jerry Lucas - ABC Legal Docs
Tim Gatewood

Snake Oil Salesman Repellant
Send me an email if you run across something that sounds too good to be true.  Read my blog (this one)  I will tell you the truth.  I don't have a thing to sell to you.

A lot of notary snake oil is being sold!

Snake oil is a product or service that always sounds miraculous, but it doesn't really deliver what you think it will. A snake oil salesman is someone who knowingly sells fraudulent courses, services, and goods -- they are frauds and con artists.

  • If you are receiving offers to be mentored personally for a fee, ask yourself if that person is an expert notary signing agent (or a mobile notary) and why do you think so?   Are you going by the claims this person has made?  Does that person have credentials?  My thinking is if the person is that much of an expert, he or she should be too busy to teach one-on-one mentoring.
Could it be that the offer of  private mentoring or coaching services is the result of that person being short on cash and not working enough? 
  • When it comes to courses, ask yourself if the marketers promoting their website offerings have enough work?  Or, are they promoting their latest courses because they have no work? 

In all cases above, the answer is almost ALWAYS that the person needs to generate more income.


  • There is NOT enough work to go around these days.  
  • You can't get wealthy being a notary.
  • The Notary Snake Oil Salesmen and Woman know that the best way to make money right now  is to sell information to notaries or to broker their services and pay them ...then, when you have enough money to pay them, you can.  Keep their money for 90 days...let the notaries do without while they wait.  Go on Vacay. 
  • Study how to market.
  • Learn about business plans.
  • Think about something you can do in addition to notary work that will not interfere with your notary business but will also bring in additional money. 
  • Don't look to others in the notary arena to tell you how to run your business.
  • The VERY BEST THING to do for yourself is go talk to a Small Business Development Center near you. 
  • Never share the names of your title company or litigation support clients in a Facebook Group or with a super friendly signing service...keep this secret until you REALLY know the person. 

Stay tuned.

My mom has been sick and I haven't had much time to blog.

I don't like flim-flam.  Let me know if you have seen any of that going on in your world.  

Email me at!

Best, Brenda

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Give me a shout, if you are. 

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