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The Integrity Journal & Building a Business as a Mobile Notary

Jun 20, 2022

Clyde not only created one of the most highly reviewed Notarial journals in history with his Integrity Journal, but he is also building a Notary practice that he loves. Listen in this week as Clyde shares his strategy for building B2B relationships with attorneys, escrow, and more, to diversify his income streams.

Guest Information:

Clyde Heppner is a full-time mobile notary public and certified loan signing agent in Missouri. He is a graduate of both Carol Ray’s Notary2Pro training and Bill Soroka’s “Sign and Thrive” Loan Signing Course.

Clyde came this career after being the Coordinator of Research for the Kansas City, Missouri Public Schools during its court order desegregation. He left the district for a position with Sprint (now known as T-Mobile) where he worked for 18 years as an executive.

Clyde is a graduate of the University of Minnesota ­ Morris, and holds an advanced degree from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. His training is in Experimental Psychology and Applied Statistics. Clyde spent time as an adjunct faculty member and sat on business advisory boards. In all of his roles, he learned how to make connections with people and solve problems.

Like other notaries public, Clyde attempts to follow a standard of care for journaling, but he was unable to find a journal that would accommodate the process he wanted to follow. So, he set out to design a journal that would mirror his work flow. From different design layouts, reviews with notary public experts and loan signing trainers, and a beta trial with notaries public, the Integrity Notary Journal™ emerged. The journal quickly became an Amazon Best Seller and enjoys the support of many notary signing agents today.

Learn more about the journal at

Episode Highlights:

6:41 Self-reflection can give you the information to shift gears, or even pivot, during turning points of life and business.

35:59 Following the curiosity string can lead to innovation and passion in your business.

49:08 How do you answer your inner critic when it asks, "Who do you think you are?"

--- Full Raw Transcription Below ---

Bill Soroka (00:23):
Welcome to the Sign And Thrive podcast for notaries. I'm here today with my very special guest Clyde Heppner creator of the Integrity Journal and fellow mobile notary and loan signing. Agent Clyde, thank you for joining us today.

Clyde Heppner (01:20):
Thank you, Bill. I appreciate ,I really appreciate being invited to participate and have a conversation with you. I do look forward to these, so thank you very much.

Bill Soroka (01:30):
Yeah, me too. I've really been looking forward to this. I for a number of reasons but you've you've really kind of carved a niche out for yourself and in a couple different ways in this business and I love a good origin story. So I'd like to find out like what drew you to the notary business? Why notary,

Clyde Heppner (01:51):
Ah, why notary? Ah, so we need to go back a little bit to sort of lay that foundation. So first and foremost I came out into, I'll call it sort of this, this change of career for myself. I was in corporate America for a long period of time within technology, really enjoyed it, was part of the big revolution that took place in terms of data and really, really enjoyed that. But also got to the point where I felt like I had contributed what I wanted to contribute and wanted to do something different in my life. And, you know, people talk about pivots these days. Well, this was a pivot back then probably now nine years ago. I pivoted and went absolutely the other direction and bought a yoga studio and…

Bill Soroka (02:52):
Oh, wow.

Clyde Heppner (02:53):
Did yoga for four years sort of refreshed my soul they say and sort of got some new grounding and perspective just because my life had been so busy and filled with things. This just really allowed me to slow down and to just take account of what I was doing in life. And then during this process two things happened; one, I started to think about, well, what am I going to do here now that, you know, things are starting to click for me, where do I want to go in life? I always think it's important that you have some kind of a plan and looking forward to what you're trying to do. And, and I, and I'm not, I'm not like this kind of person that says, oh, you need to go out and have this multi page plan and it's got to be PowerPoint and you need to take it to, you know, advisors and no, no, no, no, no, no.

Clyde Heppner (03:46):
You just need to have a direction of where you would like to go. And then you can start to fill in the pieces of how you may want to get there. But, but anyway, so I'm here in this situation, it's like, okay, where do I want to go now? And I recall that there was a woman that came out to our home and I think we've all heard this story now. And she was doing my closing and she left me her card and I called her and I said, hey talk to me about this loan signing thing. And from there, you know, sort of history began and it was, wow. I mean, I, I enjoy being with people. There was something very special about the idea that I would work with people at these sort of, I'll call them critical or important points of their lives.

Clyde Heppner (04:37):
So they're taking care of documents that are highly important or taking care of financial things that are quite large. And so that all resonated with me and it was like, okay, well, let's go and look at this. But at the same time I had a yoga studio and, and it was one of those where all of a sudden, you know I had talked with my wife and said, you know, I think I'm ready. I think I'm really ready to move on. And I feel like I've done what I can here with the studio. And I would really like to start to pursue this other direction. And lo and behold, there was an offer, unsolicited, I had thought about, you know, because I had always thought about prepping the business. And so there was always the, you know, making sure that you're ready to sell at any point in time. And lo and behold, this offer came through and within six months it was all done. I was done with the business. I had done all my training and I was now moving on into this new space of notary. So that's how I came to notary.

Bill Soroka (05:42):
What a cool story. I love synchronicity like that. Yeah. When, when you make a decision, I it's like the universe unfolds. It's like, all right, this is kind of what I'm thinking about. And then everything falls into place to clear the way for that.

Clyde Heppner (05:56):
Yeah. Yeah. So I'm, you know, I'm not, I'm, I would say that I'm a big person in terms of intentions, you know, sort of setting and putting them out there, but I'm also not the person that says just because I have put out an intention doesn't mean I don't have to do work for the intention. Yeah. So that's a big part of, how I look at that. Yeah. I need to have that intention and make it known, but I also then need to start laying the groundwork to move in that direction.

Bill Soroka (06:27):
Yeah. Yeah. I think I found the same for myself too. And you almost have to surrender a little bit too, like, all right, here's the intention. And then let go, cause it's not always going to look the way you thought it would, right?

Clyde Heppner (06:39):
Oh, totally, totally. And, and the, being, this is, this is sort of that oxymoron of being comfortable being uncomfortable because, you know, making this kind of a pivot, doesn't put you into a situation where you are comfortable. You know, I pivoted out of corporate and it was now I'm a small business owner. I am, I am, I mean, so corporate was, you had a marketing department and advertising department, right? Everybody had this big ass department. I have me.  

Bill Soroka (07:16):
And you wear all the hats

Clyde Heppner (07:17):
And I wear all the hats and, and that was extremely scary because, you know, I had put, you know, capital into this whole thing. And so not only was the financial there, but also then just all of these new things, which you had learned about at some point in time, or had talked with others about, but now you needed to take action. And then same thing happened with me with notary of making that transition of did I make this right decision? I mean, it's that, that three days afterwards and you start to go, Hmm, wow.

Bill Soroka (07:53):
Three days

Clyde Heppner (07:54):
Comfortable. There's a lot to do here. There's a lot to learn.

Bill Soroka (07:58):
Do you, how do you overcome that fear. Because, and I'll preface this a little bit, because I think there's many of us probably listening right now in the notary community who tried other businesses and they didn't work because it does, it is hard mm-hmm, , it gets scary sometime, but you still have to take that action that you're talking about. So how do you, how do you get your head right to keep moving forward when you're scared?

Clyde Heppner (08:26):
So for me and, and I want to say it was, oh I'm, I'm forgetting the person who made this quote, but it's, it's the whole intent of you need to get into whatever it is, right? So you can have a plan, but until you start to actually take the first steps into the plan, the fear doesn't subside. And it's the taking of the step that I have found that begins to remove the fear, because now I'm beginning to work on that particular piece in front of me and moving forward. And the lovely thing about that is now that's where my mind is going and my mind is no longer occupying itself with fear

Bill Soroka (09:11):
And the mind can play some tricks on this. And I I've found that the fear my mind is made, made up is a lot worse than what actually happens when you start taking a step. Do you find the same?

Clyde Heppner (09:25):
Yeah, totally, totally. It has dooms day scenarios for everything. So yeah, it always seems to be much grander in the fear world, so, yeah. Yeah.

Bill Soroka (09:39):
So when you became a notary, I mean, did you hit this breakthrough success and it's just been rainbows and unicorns the entire way or what happened?

Clyde Heppner (09:49):
Oh, totally. Totally. That was, that was it. I mean, I, I did this, I hung my shingle on a Sunday by Monday. I was fully booked . So, you know, I couldn't ask for anything better. In reality, I hung my shingle and the phone was still silent, you know? So it, it did require, it did require some time to get out there and start to; one, make myself known out there putting myself out there and letting people know that I am a notary through, you know, either various formats of, you know, Google my business, you know, webpages, telling people that I knew all of that. And then also starting to do some training with respect to loan signing. And I will tell you that it was, it was an interesting scenario because, you know, you have to become a notary in order to think about doing loan signing. And it was, so I sort of, I'll say this, I sort of slipped on through and skipped my way through becoming a notary, you know, quickly, I took the test. I'm good at those kinds of tests, by the way. And I then thought, well, yeah, I want to do this loan signing thing. And that's when I realized that I didn't know what I was doing as a notary.

Clyde Heppner (11:17):
And it was through the training of being a loan signing agent that highlighted to me all the things that I really didn't know. And I utilized that then to spend time, I mean, let's put it this way, I was becoming kind of a pain with the secretary of state's office. But they were very, very kind with me and very helpful. So but it, it, it was sort of that interaction and, and thing going back and forth of learning. So that was an important piece of building my business and building sort of who I am in the community and that, that takes time. So…..

Bill Soroka (11:57):
Well, and that, that level of commitment, that realization that you don't know, like that, that has side swiped me so many times in this business in particular, you think you're running through and as long as everything fits this one way, everything is fine. And then you get just nailed and you realize what you didn't know in the first place. And I think that's the beauty of CCI, right? The constant continuous improvement, the ability to reflect back, look at what you don't know and refine your processes in this business.

Clyde Heppner (12:31):
Totally, totally. It is. It is iterative because it keeps, you know, finding those things, which you know, it's sort of like you deal with the bigger things initially, because they're like really in your face, but then it becomes more about this mindset and this, the subtleness of, of things that you're learning and how to apply them and how to deal with situations. Yeah, it's, it's a continuous improvement.

Bill Soroka (12:58):
And on top of that, on top of the, the technical skill involved with you know, the notary public laws, the loan signing code of conduct, all of that, we've got human interaction. So we are almost, it's like your business, can't outgrow you, you have to constantly refine yourself and grow into who you need to be to be a success at this. And you mentioned a little earlier that, you know, you had to put the word out digitally, social media, Google My Business, you mentioned, mm-hmm then you, that's a major part of it, but how do relationships play into your business?

Clyde Heppner (13:35):
All right. So this is sort of interesting because I will say that the one thing that I learned and probably the biggest key element that I ever learned in business my entire life is that business is about relationships. Finance may be a language of business, but business is about relationships. If I can't count on you as my partner or my supplier then I'm in a bad situation and that reputation and that ability to deliver on my word is wholly critical. And so yeah, relationships are the number one things. And the, the thing for me now is I have this sort of, I'll call it two sides. You have the client side where I am out there working to make myself known in the public that I'm somebody that can provide these types of services to you.

Clyde Heppner (14:37):
But the real development of relationships is on, I call sort of the, the B to B side, the business to business, where I am going out and talking with attorneys or real estate people, or individuals who deal with estate planning or financial planning and letting them know about the things and how I assist others. And that, that might be something that would work for them. And so I start to develop that relationship and it takes, it takes months. It takes months to develop that. And the key thing is that every one of those has turned into something that is now a major piece of my business. And it's, it's an important way to develop that, I'll call it that, you know, infrastructure of having multiple streams, but streams that work to compliment one another so that if one is going up, then hopefully the other one is going up as well, but it may be going down, but I have one that's going up.

Bill Soroka (15:47):
Yeah. I love that. You're talking about this. So even just within your business, as a mobile noting loan signing agent, you've diversified because you have these specialties, mm-hmm, estate planning, documents, loan signing is a specialty as well. And the other ones, so I'm sorry, go ahead.

Clyde Heppner (16:04):
Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And, and so, yeah, being able to market to those sort of niches is important because, let me give you the example. Right now we are seeing the, the, the effect of the change of interest rates to deal with inflation, right? So as a result, we have the refinance market is starting to slow down a bit, right? So the through put there is actually decreasing for me, but I have on the other side here in Missouri, I do foreclosure auctions. So on that side of the world, right now, that business is increasing. And so it begins to offset any loss that I would've had in my loan signing business.

Bill Soroka (16:48):
I love that you're recognizing that cause no matter what the economy's doing, there's way, I mean, our services as a notary are going to be needed, whether it's the foreclosures or even these other specialties that you identified because estate planning happens if the economy's booming or if the economy's not, right? Or the housing market doesn't matter what the interest rates are, people are always planning for their, final farewell. Yes. so, but I'm curious, with relationships being so important in your business and your ability to actually get out there and talk to these B to B contacts, mm-hmm how do you define the value that you bring to the table in that conversation?

Clyde Heppner (17:33):
Okay. So every, so if you think about it from a business perspective, so one of the things that they're always trying to do is to mitigate risk, right? Because they're making decisions that are based on, can we deliver this based on what we said we would do those kinds of things. And so within firms, right, they have monthly, typically monthly requirements on what they're trying to meet for goals and those kinds of things for the offices and help motivate employees and, and all those kinds of things. And so one of the things that I know is that that push right becomes, and it grows and grows and grows. And there are points in time when there is such a bottleneck in the flow that they can't get work done. One of the bottlenecks is the notary side, right?

Clyde Heppner (18:27):
So give you an example. I walked into an office and I had asked if they use any external notaries, you know, for contract basis or do they do everything internally? And we had that conversation and I find out, so they don't have anybody external as a notary. All right. But this was the situation when I walked into the office. They have three notaries on staff. Two of them were busy with appointments all day long. They had multiple RON sessions, but they only had one person who could do a RON session and that person was not assigned to do solely notary work. So they were trying to juggle all of these different appointments and trying to get everything done yet they don't hire an external person. And I said, hey, I totally get it. And I understand that that's your business. But if you get into a situation where you've got that big bottleneck and you just need somebody for an appointment or two, here's my information, more than willing to help out.

Clyde Heppner (19:28):
And lo and behold, yes in deedy folks, about a month later, I get a call and this person said, oh, can you just help us out for today? Can you help us out? And so I could take an appointment or two off of their plates for them. And that grew, right? And you sort of begin that whole process with them. They are truly an up and down kind of business with me, that particular client, but it shows that there was something there. They just, they needed help to see the value that I could bring.

Bill Soroka (20:01):
I, I love that you paint that picture for them. And here's what I think notaries take for granted. We assume that attorneys, offices they just, they know that we all exist and that we're all available for that. But I have found in my experience that attorneys, first in school, they don't teach them how to run a business. They don't teach them all the other piece. They teach them the law, just like doctors, right? They're just very narrow focused. Yeah. They don't teach them how to run a practice and just like the law firm. So if you can get in there and show them the possibilities I have seen, like eyes just widen when I talk to an attorney and I let them know that there's a, there's not reason that will go to your client's house. Yeah. Or we can do this online.yeah and, and solve that problem. And I think you've nailed it because mitigating risk and I have found reputation. Yeah. They are very concerned about their reputation cause that's everything. They get client referrals, lawyer, referrals, everything.

Clyde Heppner (20:59):
Yes. I mean, you know, and if you think about it, you know, you've got a person, so if I'm the attorney and I have been working with my client for a period of time, and so, you know, my wife and I, we recently updated our estate documents. That process was a couple of months. All right? So we've invested time with this, you know, attorney now. And the last thing that, that, that, that person, that attorney wants is to have somebody come in at the end and misrepresent them in a way that would be horrible to their overall profession. And so they, they want somebody that they can, they can count on.

Bill Soroka (21:34):
I think that's why it takes months. I, I heard a interesting statistic. I think it may have been from [unclear] night that just said it can take seven to 14 touchpoints before humans truly trusts another one. So that's why consistency and persistency pays off so well in this business.

Clyde Heppner (21:53):
Oh yeah. Totally. It is. It is, it is paramount to your success. I believe.

Bill Soroka (21:58):
So if you were going to, if I ask you what your ratio from loan signings to specialty notary work is, what would you say?

Clyde Heppner (22:07):
So right now loan signing is probably about,, 15 to 20% of my business.

Bill Soroka (22:15):
Wow. All right.

Clyde Heppner (22:16):

Bill Soroka (22:18):
You really on the specialty side of things.

Clyde Heppner (22:20):
Yeah, definitely. And I will say that again, this exploded for me as a result of the confidence that I was able to build by learning to be a good notary, if that makes any sense.

Bill Soroka (22:34):
That makes total sense, total sense. I think when you, when you know your notary laws and you know, what you can do and what you can't do, and I think that's the terrifying part, right? Cause we're always like, yeah, I don't know if I can even do this. But when you take the extra steps to study the statutes, engage with your secretary of state, get the clarity and even know what your notorious acts are. So you, you know, which ones not to it does, it totally changes your confidence and you become the expert. Mm-Hmm, , You're the, go-to notary now mm-hmm, in your state. Even attorneys probably come to you for a little bit of advice on notorial law sometimes, would you say?

Clyde Heppner (23:12):
Yes. So I actually had, I actually had a, a firm and we sat down and talked and they just wanted to know based on my knowledge, some of the certificates and the ways in which they were approaching it. And so I just gave them my view and what would make it easy and what would be great for that certificate and how to update it and those kinds of things. So, yeah,

Bill Soroka (23:32):
I think that shows commitment to partnership it. And I'll tell you, there's a story. It still blows my mind. I met an attorney at some event and he happened to be the attorney who drafted a lot of these mortgage documents for a huge bank. And I asked him why he was choosing juats versus acknowledgements. Blank stare. Didn't even know there was a difference between the two. Yeah. Just, just copied templates from the guy who had this job before, who copied from the guy who had this job before. Yeah. So there's a lot of room for stepping into the expert role here and it can really serve you, I think. Mm-Hmm, when you become a resource to your network, that's where everything starts to shift for you.

Clyde Heppner (24:20):
Yes, totally, totally. And again, you know, that comes back to that whole notion of relationships, you know, so as you build that relationship. So my professional group of people that I have within I'll call it notary has, you know, grown and the development of those relationships has also led to more building of my business as a result of those relationships. So there is a, a whole sort of symbiotic relationship that begins to occur and it's an important piece to, to a profession. And I think that's a another key element that people who look at this as a true profession they think of it in that respect and they think of it as there's a level of a duty here and a way to interact with the public and a way to interact with other notaries. So….

Bill Soroka (25:19):
I love that you even brought that up, cause I think I think Maya Angelou said there's no success if you, if you don't help people. And I think working with an abundant heart, helping other notaries succeed, being a resource for them too, is critical to our success in this business.

Clyde Heppner (25:35):
Yeah, Totally.

Bill Soroka (25:37):
So the other thing that I want to talk to you about though, Clyde, is you obviously recognize opportunity when you see it. Mm-Hmm I think this innovation is, or this industry is ripe for innovation and people with the courage to step into it, and you've done that with the Integrity Journal. So tell me about the birth of the Integrity Journal.

Clyde Heppner (25:59):
okay. So my writing style, just so that you get a framework of how I write, it is big and it is sloppy. So I mean, I spent, you know, five or six years in graduate school and over the years of taking notes, let's just say that there's a reason why people scribble that way because you're just feverishly taking all these notes, right? And my handwriting has just dissolved into just abysmal thing. So now I want you to imagine sitting in front of a notebook where you've got these very, very small boxes or you've got very small areas in which to write, and now you've got this claw that's coming along and trying to scribble in through all those areas. And so I became really frustrated is what I'm trying to communicate based on the layouts that were there.

Clyde Heppner (26:51):
And I kept thinking, yeah, for a single document, this is just all hunky dory. I mean, I can write this stuff all day long. But you give me two or three documents, which is an estate planning, you know, we're starting to move in financial planning. Now if you're talking loan signing, you're talking about, you know, upwards of, you know, 5 to 15 documents, it depends on some of these people are getting crazy with it, but you've got a lot of notarizations and then you think about it. I have two people which is not uncommon. And so now I'm doubling all that. So my writing time and everything just became overwhelming for me. And also thinking about it as a new notary and I'm trying to track all of this. It just was like anxiety. So I said, there's got to be a better way.

Clyde Heppner (27:38):
And so I started to buy journals. Alright? And I'm now the king of being able to retire a journal. I can do it in a, in a heartbeat. And so I created, based on what I liked, and found to be working from an ergonomic perspective. So luckily I have a background that comes out of, it's out of psychology, but it deals with the whole aspect of visual, visual design, cognitive processing. So being able to think through and work through a flow is something that is normal for me and so being able to create something that I could use and felt more confident as a result when I went out to those appointments was my goal. And that was how it started. And that's the evolution of that then to the current day format.

Bill Soroka (28:33):
Yeah. Well, and I, that's I'm, I've never heard that part of the story. I love that, that there's a, almost a science to this mm-hmm and that explains all the five star reviews. And I can't tell, even when we bring up the Integrity Journal on TN T or in a conversation, you know, there's a dozen people that are like, oh my gosh, I love the Integrity Journal. It just clicks for so many people and that's a gift what's, what's some of the standout features of that.

Clyde Heppner (29:05):
So I think there's a couple of different things. So one a good journal should walk the notary through the notorial ceremony, to use sort of Clausen's vocabulary here, that and I think the Integrity Journal does a very, very good job of doing that in terms of the flow of how you approach a notarization. So the journal is designed to sort of literally walk them through, make sure that they've got the prompts at the right time. So those are important elements. The other thing being that there is a set of common documents that are used in loan closings for refinance and purchase as well as estate planning documents are all included. And so when you're in those situations, you're not having to write out each and every name of document, but you can literally just check them off very quickly.

Clyde Heppner (30:05):
And people talk about the amount of time that this then saves to them in terms of the efficiency at the signing table and that their signers are only signing in one spot. They're only providing one thumbprint. And then it has things that I would say are real protections for the notary there. So one of the big things, if you look at the data around the use of journals and then the number of times that notaries actually administer the, the oath for the jurat. So one of the big things that, you know, comes out is that, you know, if it goes to court and if there's any evidence that suggests that you did not do the oath, then it negates that whole material act, which then, you know, they can get out on technicalities and all those things. So what happens here in the journal is that if you administer an oath, then your signer actually provides their initial saying, yes, indeed. They had administered in an oath to me. So you have this sort of, I'll call it the lock and key aspect of of that whole oath thing with respect to a jurat. So that you're actually tying everything together to say, yes, indeed the notary did do everything that they were required to do.

Bill Soroka (31:21):
I, I love that particular aspect of your journal because it really highlights the importance of that oath, both for the notary who quite frankly, our industry just skips right over that. Yeah. There's so, in fact, when you do deliver an oath, people go, nobody's ever done that to me before. Yeah. And I think it is important obviously important. And then the signer realizes that it's important too. I just took a note that said the information I provided on this document is truthful.

Clyde Heppner (31:47):

Bill Soroka (31:49):

Clyde Heppner (31:50):
Yeah. And I think, I think that's really important on how your client or that signer sees you as a notary as well. Yeah. And that anything that you can help them sort of be more reassured that what you've done is going to protect them the better off you are.

Bill Soroka (32:08):
Absolutely agree. And as far as the use of your journal is it pretty wide, widely accepted now?

Clyde Heppner (32:19):
Yeah. So it is now being used in I believe all 50 states.

Bill Soroka (32:25):

Clyde Heppner (32:25):
Since California has come out with their new guidance so that the California league of independent notaries put out after a conversation with respect to the with the, the manager of the compliance area of the California secretary of state's office being able to talk to the use of journals, like the Integrity Journal or the Modern Journal of that being acceptable within the state with one slight modification. And so the only thing you have to do for the Integrity Journal of course, is just put down the individual notarization cost by each document, and then you are an absolute compliance.

Bill Soroka (33:09):
That's fantastic. Congratulations on that too. This has been an incredible project. And I have a couple of questions I want to follow up with on that. But before I do, there might be people listening, new notaries that might be listening and looking cause choosing a journal is so overwhelming. They don't know what they don't know yet. But if they maybe started with another journal and they want to try out the Integrity Journal, can you speak, I know every state can be different, but can you speak to the idea that they can retire journals earlier than completion?

Clyde Heppner (33:41):
Yeah. Yeah, definitely. So most states when they come to journal requirements from what I've read so far in all of those statutes and of course always go back and follow what's ever in your handbook or what your secretary of state's office puts out. But most states the requirements are they want to have no more than one journal active at a time. Some states allow for two on their circumstances, offices and things like that. But anyway, let's just go with the notion of you have one journal. And if you want to retire that journal you just need to literally put a a strike through all of the entries on every page that's not being used. So I just take a big marker and I put a big X on every page. And if I want to get classy with that particular one after the very last entry where I had a my last notarization I write end and then put Xs on every page thereafter and cross through everything. So that way you can show that there's nothing else in the journal and it has been retired.

Bill Soroka (34:50):
Beautiful. I think that clears up a, one of the big misconceptions is that a notary has to finish the journal they're using. You don't have to, if you're not, if it's not working for you, if it's creating inefficiencies in your business or sucking the joy out of your business switch journals and do what Clyde did experiment a little bit. Try the Integrity Journal. There's a few other ones out there. Of course. Yeah. But, and I did the same thing, Clyde, I have so many old journals and cause I have, it's like my diaries and my journals, right. My regular journals. I have to find the right one for that. And I'm so glad to do that. Thanks.

Bill Soroka (35:27):
So, All right, there is as we wrap this up though, I'm really curious because I know that creating something new such as the Integrity Journal is not easy and there's roadblocks and there's so many things you have to figure out. Talk to me a little bit about first, the curiosity mm-hmm to even follow that trail, right, follow that string mm-hmm and then the courage in the persistence to keep going when it got challenging. Mm-Hmm

Clyde Heppner (35:59):
Yeah. So I think, so I, I have heard the, the statement over and over and over of, you know, follow your passions, follow your passion. And it comes to me like there's like one singular passion that I may have. And what I have learned about myself over time is that it's less about having a passion and it's more about what is capturing my curiosity at this time. So I'm, I guess I'm considered a creative person, but I also have an analytic side, but it's all about sort of keeping me engaged and active into something. And so as I'm going forward in life, and so here I am as being a notary, I'm now frustrated and I'm now seeing sort of the light that, oh, hey, wait, I called the secretary of state. And I said, so is it possible that I can actually create my own journal?

Clyde Heppner (36:58):
And they sort of that they're, they're very hesitant at first in going, well, yes, you may, but it has to meet these requirements. You know, they're, they're thinking, you know, here comes Jethrow from the hills with his notebook that's spiral bound and you know, so so anyway, I understood that I could actually do this and, and that it's real. And then when I started to do that, then it was well, how am I going to actually get, I mean, this works for me, but does it work for anybody else? You know? So trying to figure out how do you actually do a beta trial to get to these notaries? You know, so, you know, when I was in corporate, you know, we had databases. I had nothing. I mean, I had a blank email contact list. So you know, being able to participate with T N T to actually recruit people was huge, really huge to the success of that journal because it laid the foundation for making some subtle changes that were important to the journal. And then sort of as a jump off point, to be able to say, here we are, we're live. And, and there is nothing more exhilarating than to say, yes, indeed we're live. We are selling the journal today. But at the same time that there's, that mind that goes in and it says, yeah, but what if nobody buys it?

Bill Soroka (38:37):
Yeah, I, well, I, and you didn't have that problem. The Integrity Journal is a best seller. People love it. We talk about it all the time, but I'm curious. cause I had a weird thing when I published my book and I didn't find out until like 18 months later that it was actually grief, creative grief, you know, it was like, I, I birthed this book into the world and I missed it. I missed the creativity. I missed working with it every single day. Right. Like I published it, it got a life of its own. It was gone. It didn't need me anymore. Yes. Did you experience anything like that?

Clyde Heppner (39:14):
Yes. So this is that whole thing for me of there's that creative process, there's that development. And then it's, I love that feeling. I love that, but there is all of a sudden this end, right? And then it's like, okay. Yeah. I mean I can sit back and have my celebratory beer and say, good boy, you did well but it's like, yeah, well what am I going to do tomorrow? And, and that's where for me, all of the daily operations stuff starts to trickle in and that becomes less interesting for me. And more overhead you know, so I'm dealing with, you know, copyright infringements, trademark infringements, now, all those lovely things that go with it, right? But still at the end of the day, it still gives me more joy when I talk with people and hear about their experiences and the value that the journal can provide to them. So I really enjoy that. I also really enjoy this is now getting next to my lack of creativity with respect to having created the journal. But there's a whole set of ancillary things around it now that I'm beginning to explore. So ways in which that I can still be creative, but it would still be relatable back to the journal that might help the journal. So I'm playing with a bunch of different ideas and projects.

Bill Soroka (40:52):
I'm so glad to hear that. That was going to be my next question for you is what's next and I'm sure maybe it's is it, can we talk about it now or is it a little too premature? Do we need to wait?

Clyde Heppner (41:01):
It's a little, it's a little premature.

Bill Soroka (41:04):

Clyde Heppner (41:05):
But it's you know, it's, it's based on input from people who are using the journal and who actually, these were some of the initial thoughts that people have from the very beginning. And so I'm trying to figure ways to assist their needs. And so yeah, there's, there's some sort of product aspect to that. And then there is more education because what I'm finding is education, when it comes to journaling is pretty minimal. And you know, at the end of the day, it's not very sexy, you know, it's just not, you don't go leading and saying, I'm a notary, I get the journal. All right. So….

Bill Soroka (41:51):
So there's tons of opportunity there for that too. Yes. I love that you're taking that on. I have it's really one question, but I'd like, it I'd like you to answer it from two different perspectives. And it's advice advice you'd have for a mobile notary and loan signing agent that really wants to boost their business and make this their true profession. And then the other one is that same question, but for innovators, you know, those people who have those ideas, oh, somebody should invent this or somebody should create this, or I've got this idea and it's juggling around in their mind, the advice for moving forward on that. So two questions for you, what do you got?

Clyde Heppner (42:37):
Okay, so notary side, I would say, yeah, it is a business. And I think that becomes one of the things that people get hung up on. In particular, if you're coming out of a, I'll call it the, the, the W2 nine to five job, you know, I've been working here and it is a change to actually become the business owner. And that is what we're doing. If we think of it as I am just going to pick up a few dollars on the side, that's fine. But if you're really wanting this to be a profession and a, you know, your employment, then you have to think of it as a business and you have to learn about what does that mean? So that means answering the telephone. I mean, these are just some of the basic things, you know, answering the phone book, how are you going to actually talk about yourself or your business out to the marketplace?

Clyde Heppner (43:37):
What are those things that you are going to need to have in place to operate like a business, there are just costs of service of doing a business and you just need to be able to put all of that down and just know that that's what you're taking on. Because what I see is people come in, they spend a lot of money, so they go out, they buy the printer, they get their, their certifications, they get all their tools and they're signing up with websites. And then they're really, really upset because they're not getting the fees or the business, the volume, whatever, to even come back to cover some of their costs. And so it's that whole process of just needing to take some of that time to really do that at the beginning part. And I think that's one of the holes that's missing in this industry is that how to think of it as a business at the planning stage, as opposed to oops, I'm already doing it.

Bill Soroka (44:41):
Great. Yeah. Okay. That's great advice. I love that. And for the potential innovator in our listeners

Clyde Heppner (44:50):
Innovation is one of those that in my, in my opinion is you want to do everything that you can to not stifle. So I'm all about getting as wacky and as crazy as you can with your ideas and your thoughts and putting together things that you may not think are even realistic. You know, so, you know, there, there's, there's being able to jot down and map out a variety of ideas and playing with them. My instructors would call this wall contemplation when we do statistics and we would talk about, you know, fourth dimensions and stuff like that. And I do the same thing with ideas and concepts, right? So putting them onto something for me is, needs to be visual. So I put it onto a board and I begin to play with those ideas. And I think about what is the relationship here between these two things and how would they act if they were married, right?

Clyde Heppner (45:53):
Or how would they act if they were animals and one was a predator and the other one wasn't. So, I mean, you take these weird things and I know it sounds absolutely strange, but what you're doing is you're trying to create sparks, right? And the thing is that if you are really an innovator, one of the things that people will do is they will, they, again, they will treat this like their business. So there is about a schedule, right there is about, I think at these times of the day, right? Or I have these activities and I'm training myself. So again, this isn't, this, isn't a, oh, Ooh, I just had this great idea. And low and behold, it's going to be a million dollars. Yeah, those things do happen, but for the most part, it's a little bit more work behind the scenes. So that's my, my thought,

Bill Soroka (46:46):
I love that you shared that cause I'm, I work very similar. When I do get these crazy ideas and I love a good, crazy idea. I, I have giant sticky notes, like post-it notes and I'll, I have to stick them up on my wall and I have to draw it out. I have to do a mind map sometimes. Sometimes I just got to see it huge out there and let it come together like it per percolates. And sometimes it'll sit out, it drives my household crazy. Cause I've got these giant notes and they're like, is this idea dead yet? I'm like, no, it's coming to me. That's right. It could be weeks….

Clyde Heppner (47:20):
That's right. And right. And, and there are bad ideas. I mean, and there are mean I've had some real doosies and that's okay. That is ok.

Bill Soroka (47:29):
It is absolutely. Okay. cause I think ideas go through a becoming process just like we do, like an idea will start weird, crazy and terrible. And where it grows, it may not even look anything like how it started but it leads one thought, like those sparks you talk about spark. Spark, something else, spark something else. And suddenly I've got another side hustle, which is not what I need. Mm-Hmm mm-hmm

Clyde Heppner (47:54):
Right, right. Yeah. I mean I think so one, one interesting thing too, about all of this is that you know, when I talked about the very beginning about knowing where you're going and what you want. So for me you know, I've done the whole thing where it's about managing a large team and having all of that, where I'm at in life is I really want something that is more individual and personal to me as a business. So when I'm, when I am working on ideas, I'm filtering out all those things that would be, oh, wouldn't this be great? Yeah. I could develop a software business. No, I don't need a software business all right? So, so it's that filtering also at the very end of, you know, does this fit the life that we', I'm trying to go because that's really what I want to do.

Bill Soroka (48:46):
You know, I, I think that's such an important point because we're in a world of literally endless possibilities, endless. And you could go a million different directions, but you've got to have some idea of what you want your life to look like. So I love that. Mm-Hmm But I also, one thing came to me as you were, as you were talking and following your curiosity and having courage to step into this, I keep thinking about the inner critic and one of the questions that I know that people listening have to answer when they do finally step, maybe just a timid step towards innovating, maybe it's writing a book, maybe it's creating a journal or software or a RON platform. Mm-Hmm That question is, who do you think you are? How do you answer that?

Clyde Heppner (49:31):
Yeah. Okay. That is, that is probably one of the, the more difficult ones, because for me, that whole thing is built off of confidence, right? And when I'm asking myself that question, it means that my confidence is somehow out of whack to me and I need to figure out what's causing this because this is not going to be productive. All right? So I changed that whole thing around that is probably one of the things that becomes a nemesis for me very quickly is when I start to do that.

Bill Soroka (50:08):
So you peel back the layer, you see it as a trigger, all I've got to figure something out, which is another curiosity string.

Clyde Heppner (50:16):

Bill Soroka (50:17):
That's awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that Clyde. I really appreciate that. What a great conversation. I literally feel like I could just hang out and talk all morning with you about life and philosophy. So thank you for sharing that. Thank you for joining us on the sign and thread podcast.

Clyde Heppner (50:34):
My pleasure really appreciate it. Thanks, Bill.

Bill Soroka (50:36):
Guys. If you're interested in checking out the Integrity Journal, lots of places to find that, of course Amazon being one of them, but also I'll have the links right here in the show notes and Clyde, do you have a website that people can visit?

Clyde Heppner (50:48):
I, I do. It is So mobile notary and then the initials KC for Kansas

Bill Soroka (50:59):
All right. Wonderful. Thanks again, Clyde. Really appreciate you.

Clyde Heppner (51:01):
You're welcome.


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