Notaries are not generally known for their skill at prioritizing. Making appointments, keeping appointments and printing documents, and excessive faxing are the skills that mobile notaries of today have. However, the day to day activities seem to take the full attention of most Notaries leaving little or no time for what I term as notarial self improvement.
123notary has learned that Notaries who invest in notary knowledge, getting reviews, and upgrading their notes section get disproportionately more work and make a lot more money than those who don’t. But, this takes work, time and effort. Learning Notary knowledge is hard. It requires hours of studying. Those who did well on my elite test studied around 30 hours in many cases. Getting reviews on the other hand is easier – it is just a question of asking (no pun intended) on a regular basis and making a habit of it. Revising your notes section is also hard. 123notary has a section in our blog called “your notes section” with dozens of blog articles on this topic. By reading those articles you will come up with dozens of ideas on how to make your notes more informative and pertinent. But, once again this takes time, and a lot of thought to do a good job. We can help too if you ask!
The feedback I get is that people are busy and will get around to self-improvement if they have time. Others feel their knowledge is good enough already and does not need to be updated. A few claim not to be full-time or serious about the industry in general and use that as an excuse. The bottom line is that improving their Notary career is not a priority.
Notaries with solid notary knowledge do make a lot more money than those who falsely claim to have solid knowledge which describes most Notaries. Most Notaries are at the 50% knowledge level which is not even good enough to be considered wishy-washy. People who hire Notaries do not ask for certifications or knowledge that much anymore, but their click behavior indicates that they favor people with exceptional knowledge and shun those with failing notary knowledge.
It might take 40 hours of work to do all of the self-help work you need to do as a Notary. Making time for that should be a priority because the time you spend upgrading your skills will pay for itself over the rest of your career. It might be worth hundreds of dollars per hour to do the upgrading work while only worth $30 per hour to do mundane tasks. So, why do most Notaries value low pay over high value work and then complain that they don’t make enough money? Elite Notaries get paid $14 more per signing, so rather than whining, why not become an elite member?
The bottom line is that Notaries get paid poorly and don’t make time to improve themselves because getting ahead is hardly ever a priority. Study is seen as drudgery. And for those who do see self-improvement as a priority, how can they find the time. The reasoning is that they will do it if they get time — but, time never comes. Why not do the less important tasks if you have time and put studying and self-improvement first? To find time to do certain things, you have to decide not to do other things. You also have to decide what things to do first.
If you start the day doing an hour of something that is critical and then do the less important things after — that is an effective way of prioritizing. If you set apart Tuesday to study and even if you get good work, you turn it down — that is prioritizing. I do not recommend turning away your bread and butter clients as you might lose them. But, low paying junk work you can turn down and you can ask your friends and family to hold on while you study. Serious people put their social network on hold regularly. Their friends don’t like it — but, without prioritizing, they would never get ahead. People in high positions are good at saying no to people so they can do more important tasks.
Those who remain their entire lives at the bottom of the totem-pole do so because they feel that the mundane tasks and people who bombard them daily and who are “in their face” are the priority because that is all they see. The trick is to analyze what is important in the long run and see things that are not in your face and understand their importance. The important thing to do is something that is not calling you every day, but something that is sitting in a book buried in your closet for example, or our Notary Public 101 course on our blog.
There are many ways to set priorities and schedule them into your life. The critical aspect is to make sure you identify your priorities and figure out how to schedule them so they get done first. Otherwise you will make a poor income for the rest of your life — should you indeed live so long.
The important lesson from this article is — To make prioritizing a priority!
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Are those other things you are doing worth $1000 per hour?