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Janae's Notary Story

Jun 27, 2022

This week I interview Janae, who went from a career in education, guidance counseling, and stay-at-home mom to creating a successful Notary business. I urge you to listen in on how she embraced her entrepreneur spirit and overcame challenges to build the career of her dreams.

Check out Janae's all new Florida Academy of Notaries for state-specific training and resources at the link below:

Florida Academy of Notaries

Episode Highlights:

5:57 One of the biggest mistakes I mad on my journey was dragging my feet. I recognized the opportunity but I was trying to do too many different things.

28:41 If you can teach people in your state to be a better notary, to really honor this role that we play as the last line of defense against mortgage and identity theft, then you have a very valuable gift for other notaries in your state.

40:49 I bet you already know the exact person that you need to make your business, whatever you want it to be.

--- Full Raw Transcription Below ---

Bill Soroka (01:04):
Hey, welcome back to the Sign And Thrive podcast for notaries. I'm here with our guests today. Janae Blatch from Florida. How are you, Janae?

Janae Blatch (01:13):
How you doing Bill?

Bill Soroka (01:15):
I'm doing so good. Thank you so much for joining me here. I've always loved your energy from across the country and I'm excited to share your story. I find it so inspirational. I love the vision you have for your own business.

Janae Blatch (01:29):
Awesome. I'm excited to be here. I was very excited about the invite and I've followed you on Notary Titans and Sign And Thrive. I'm just excited to be able to, to share with you.

Bill Soroka (01:45):
You do such great sharing too. You're, I can tell you're very independent. You've got your own ideas for what you want to create and you, you know how to go to mentors, resources to find the information you need to weave it into your own vision. And then, and I think this is a key element of success is you reach back and you share that. You know, here's what I did to make this work. I heard this and this is how I applied it. And I think that's so critically important. So thank you for that.

Janae Blatch (02:17):
Yeah your welcome.

Bill Soroka (02:18):
And you know, you know how we tend to kick off these conversations with notaries though. I love a good origin story and I'm always so curious. How, why did you become a notary? How did that show up in your life?

Janae Blatch (02:31):
Well, it's, it's actually a crazy story and I'm sure everybody says that. But I was, I have such a robust background of jobs which actually has helped me become a better notary. But I heard about a notary signing agent. I mean, we all know what notary publics are. At least we think we know. And I had, I'm a former educator in the school system. I was a guidance counselor in my last position in the school system. And one of my teacher friends that I met and who had become a very good friend of mine, shared with me how he was doing loan, signing, work on the side. And he and his wife actually paid off their mortgage early, like, and they're young like myself and my husband and they shared with us how he did that. And I was like, okay….

Janae Blatch (03:24):
And so it tweaked my interest. But at that time it wasn't the season for me because at that point I was a stay-at-home mom. And February when I was pregnant with my last child, my daughter, I was placed on bedrest as, and I was a guidance counselor at the time. And I got sent home on bedrest. And then after that, my daughter was born with a rare genetic disorder. So that prompted us to make a decision in my home, my husband and I to be stay-at-home mom. And so I was a stay-at-home mom for four years cause I had two other younger children. So right now their age is seven, six, and soon to be five, my daughter,

Bill Soroka (04:03):

Janae Blatch (04:03):
It's been five years that I have been out of the, since I left that job, I hadn't gone back . But I was still technically on the job, right? I had that, that safety net because I was on leave. And then on my, with my daughter, I was on medical leave with her because of her condition. And I had not made the transition to say yes, yay or nay, whether I'm going back or not. Notary changed that for me. But that's where I was. I'd never really got into loan signing or anything like that. But fast forward to pandemic, I'm still a stay-at-home mom. My husband works in the restaurant industry so we all know what happened there.

Bill Soroka (04:45):

Janae Blatch (04:46):
He was home for six months. So here we are March, 2020 and he's home. And it's like, okay, I've been home for four years, tag me in, let me do something. So it's like, what can I do? And I kind of went with, I've always been an entrepreneur, like from a very, very young age.

Janae Blatch (05:03):
I've always been selling something. Like I found an opportunity, created a solution and made some money. So it's always been in me. So I just was starting to think about all these things that I could do and all the ideas I've had over this four years of stay-at-home mom, I was, I did a home bakery. I started doing, I started looking into life insurance. I started so many things I could do. I designed t-shirts and custom gear. So I was doing some of that. And then I saw the, the notary. So I took a, I took a, I did watch a few YouTube videos, chose a training, and I told my husband that night, I was like, I can do this. I can do it. I had no idea. People actually made this kind of money cause I was thinking, oh, he did it like $10 a stamp.

Janae Blatch (05:46):
Like can't really make money with that, right? Like so many people are who think the same. But we made the decision to go in and Bill, one of the biggest mistakes I say I did on my journey is I dragged my feet on it. I recognized the opportunity. I got my commission in May, 2020, but I had, I was spread thin because I was trying to do so many different things and not really sure about it. I just dragged my feet on my training. And one night in July, this was from may. So July, 2020, I was taking out my hair. I had braids in my hair and I was taking out my hair. I was up until three o'clock in the morning taking out my, I said, you know what? I'm just going to take this quiz. I binge watched all of the training videos and took the course at the, the test at three o'clock in the morning. And I was like, what the heck? Let's try it. And I passed. And even after that I was like, oh, now I got the certificate now what?

Bill Soroka (06:42):
Now? What?

Janae Blatch (06:44):
So I'm steps getting E&O and all, and buying my equipment and all these things. Still hadn't had my first signing until September 29th. And I'm calling around, the night, one night I was calling around all these signing services really, to get your phone ringing at night. No, once you get your certificate people, aren't going to just start calling you, right? You got to do the work. So I'm calling around and I called one of my notary buddies and listen, that was one of the key things in the beginning; having a community. And it was just two or three of us that were new. We found each other on a Zoom and we were all in Florida and, and so we just started, helping each other out. I learned something new. We talked, we, you know, we'd send that information out, being a resource.

Janae Blatch (07:28):
And so I called one of my notary buddies and I was like, man, I haven't gotten my first signing. I called all these people. And she said, hey, try this, this company, they seem pretty open. And so I called them cause they weren't on my list. And they said, no, we don't have anything, but you can call every day if you like. And I was like, okay, don't tell me that cause I'm persist. That's one of my main characteristics. So they didn't have anything. And then they called me, they called me back saying, hey, we have something and what, I got so excited. I'm running around my house, crazy. Like to my husband, I'm like, oh my God, I Got my first…..

Janae Blatch (08:07):
And then I realized my printer is not even set up yet.

Bill Soroka (08:10):

Janae Blatch (08:12):
It was…..

Bill Soroka (08:12):
You were not ready for yes. .

Janae Blatch (08:14):
I was not ready for yes.

Janae Blatch (08:17):
But nothing like that pressure to make you ready, right?

Bill Soroka (08:20):
Yeah. You get there fast,

Janae Blatch (08:22):
You get there really fast. And I tend to work better under pressure apparently but what happened was that signing ended up getting canceled. It was a little bit of a bummer, but here we go. It was like eight o'clock at night now, eastern time, the same company calls me back. Sorry this one got canceled. But we have another one for tonight and I was like, what? My first class, you know, my first signing it's late at night. I had already started working on my printer. I called one of my other notary buddies and we got it together cause I had a Mac at the time and it wasn't working well with my printer. Yeah. But anyway, we got that figured out, but I took the signing, but oh my, God was on my side because that signing, whatever happened, the guy wasn't ready to sign that night. I spoke with him. He was like, can we please push this to tomorrow morning? I was like for you, of course.  

Janae Blatch (09:17):
I was so happy.

Janae Blatch (09:18):
I was so happy that it got pushed to the next day. And I studied all night. I literally read every page of that loan package. And labeled and I, I labeled everything. I had tabs everywhere, got to the first signing Bill, September 29th, the guy was an attorney. Very nice, very personable. And I, that part, even though I had nerves, I I'll tell you a little bit about my background that with counseling, I was a teacher, a guidance counselor. So all at mental health. So it helps me and I have such a wide variety of jobs I've done. It helped me, it helps me interact with all different types of people.

Bill Soroka (09:59):
Oh yeah, you can, you can handle anything. I love it. When teachers come in to be one of my team members, cause you guys have seen some things.  

Janae Blatch (10:11):
So that, that part we, you know, coming in, you know, setting the tone, having great conversations, building a rapport, I believe in building rapport even with my students, even before I can teach them anything, I need a rapport. So even in this short period of time, my first thing is build a rapport with the client right away. And that's that happens over the phone. But I did that. I'm sitting down to the closing. I got my tabs, I got my, my paper out, my ready, and everything. He's ready to sign. I have his ID, the journals filled in. I get a call from the lender and he says, are you at the table? I said, yes, sir. And with a smile on my face, he was like, I need you to be very discreet.  

Bill Soroka (10:54):
Uh oh.

Janae Blatch (10:55):
Like, oh God, I'm freaking inside and one thing about is I've, my dream is to be an actress. I love acting. I've never really done it, but it's helped me.

Bill Soroka (11:05):
I bet.

Janae Blatch (11:06):
So I went on my game face

Bill Soroka (11:08):
An academy a woman goes to, Janae….

Janae Blatch (11:12):
Yeah, let's speak that one into existence, right? But yeah, so I, he says, I need you to be very discreet, but the entire package is, has to be redone. And apparently there was some, it was, you know, we, we never know the process that these people are going to when we get to the table, right? And there was a lot of issues with this particular closing. And now, so this was like, another thing on the on the list. And so he's like, just be very careful in how you say it. But you have to let him know that we have to reschedule that the whole package is incorrect. And I have all my tabs, I've read this package. I'm like this package. I know, I dunno another package…

Bill Soroka (12:00):
, You're arguing with him. Nope, we're doing this. This is the one.

Janae Blatch (12:05):
So I was very discreet and you know, I was able to communicate with him, you know, even through their frustration. And I think that's part of, one of the things that's helping my business is even being able to deal with difficult clients. He wasn't difficult. But I find that some of my over my experience some of my most challenging clients have been attorneys. Yeah. And he argued with me in the beginning a little bit about my, about his signature because they insisted on telling me, you know, the signature, you know, had to be as printed. And I said, you know, whatever, you know, your signature is, I didn't know the right wording, cause this was my first closing. But you know the directions say, you know, they're recommending that you sign as printed. He's like, well this is my legal signature.

Janae Blatch (12:48):
And anyway, so I learned something very, you know, good in that first meeting. Yeah. Either way I was able to establish great rapport with him. The dog, dogs are important. Dogs are like their children. So I, you know, I talk to their dogs. I talk, I love I'm an animal per animal person. So I I was talking to the dog and I said, I'll see you a little bit later, whatever the dog's name was. And got good rapport, left, and I'm staying in this area, driving around and waiting for docs just so that I don't leave the area. And apparently, thank God, that the lender was in this, was local. So, and this was very like, this was still in the very beginning of all the craziness in real estate at that time. And the lender was like, just come to my office, I'll call you when the docs are ready. He called me finally later. I mean, hours, hours later and I come to the office, he is like, okay, go ahead and print the documents. He's in another place. He doesn't know me from Adam. He doesn't know me from anybody. He's like, oh, there's there's computers over there. Go print the docs. it was crazy.

Bill Soroka (13:58):
That's pretty crazy for your first signing. That's stress.

Janae Blatch (14:01):
If you can get, if I can get through this after that, I was like…..

Bill Soroka (14:04):
Everything's cake. Yeah, exactly. After that. Holy cow.

Janae Blatch (14:08):
I'm in this chaotic office printing out, trying to figure out their equipment. I've worked in offices. I've worked since I was 14. So I've, I'm familiar with office equipment. And so I was able to, you know, work my way around getting, find out where their paper was. I'm filling copy machines, I'm doing all this stuff. Like I worked there, got my documents and I headed to the closing and it went smoothly. I had no tabs. I didn't have time to review this one. So it was, you know, go, go time and it went great. And I got paid twice, you know, I got paid for the, the.. I got paid I think the signing service gave me 50% of the first closing for showing up it being, you know, not being able to do it and then to go back the full fee. So it was pretty good for my first, my first signing. that, that's how I got started.

Bill Soroka (15:02):
Holy cow. And you kept going obviously, which is awesome. But you, you dropped a lot of valuable information in that story too. And I think what really jumped out to me is the importance of adaptability. And I think that even goes deeper into character traits of success. You know, I think it's, so many of us, when we come into this business, we focus on the paperwork, right? The, the rules, how to do this, which is super important, incredibly important. You got to know what a notary public does and the impact that this has, but knowing how to sign, date and stamp a piece of paper only gets you so far. The resiliency that you've developed through your portfolio career as Sandra Long calls it, right? Where we're, and I have one too, cause she, she helped me. I'm a multi potentialite. I, so I got jobs. If anybody asked me for my job history. Yeah oh, did you? The multi potentialite?

Janae Blatch (16:08):
In your bio? I was like, that is me, Bill. Yes.

Bill Soroka (16:14):
Yeah. I, anytime anybody asked me for my work history, I'm like, oh my gosh, you have a couple weeks. Cause it's going to be a long list. But but what we learn and who we become along the way helps us become, I think, better entrepreneurs in here because nothing, nothing goes according to plan, right? If we expect everything to go to, according to plan, you're going to be severely disappointed in this business. And I think, do you find that, you know, there's, they often categorize people into black and white thinking, right. Do you think like it's either this way or this way, it's just right, left. There's no, in between I live in the gray in between. Do you find that you, you do as well?

Janae Blatch (17:00):
I, I think that frustrates my husband and inspires at, at the same time. I'm of the persuasion, if there's a will, there's a way. And that that's how persistent I've been. So I really don't take no for an answer a lot of times. It's okay. If this is something I really want to do, how can I make it happen? Sometimes that's gotten me in trouble on sometime, you know, some things you just got to let go, right? But I, I don't see it as black and white. Okay. This is what it is. This is what, okay. What can I do to make it work for me? And if there's a will, if your, your will and your why is stRONg enough, then there, there's a way , that will come out of that. And that's actually, I missed the biggest part of my story was the why.

Bill Soroka (17:49):
Yeah. I was just that's that's perfect. Let's go into that. I'm so glad you brought it up. Cause you kind of have something that gets you outta bed when things don't go right, right?

Janae Blatch (17:57):
Yes. So remember I said, I dragged my feet about the notary thing. You know, I was doing so many things. Well, within, after six months, within that time in 2020, my husband had not, they hadn't called him back to work and we had already had a paid vacation already set up as so many people had already had plans that were canceled in 2020. And I was like, you know what? They were starting opening things up. Florida was a pretty open state anyway.

Bill Soroka (18:27):
You were leading the way there.

Janae Blatch (18:29):
We were leading the way. And I was like, you know what? Let's go. We're still open. Let me, let's go take the kids on vacation, get out of this house. And so we had planned a vacation. The kids were so excited. We hadn't announced it to them. We made sure that he called his job the day before he was like, make sure, you know, is anything happening? And they're like, no, nothing soon. As we made the vacation told the kids, Bill, the next day, his manager called and said, the mayor opened up the restaurants and we are not bringing back all of our staff. But we want to bring you back. And he was, he was newer yet. He had just transitioned recently into this, but he's the best at what he does in hospitality. My husband is excellent. And so they, like, we have one position and we want you to have it.

Janae Blatch (19:16):
And we were like, yes, right? We were like, great. And I was like, can we start can we start next week? you know, and the manager said to him, and I'm on, I'm on speaker phone, so I'm standing there next to him hearing this news. And I'm looking at him and he was like, the manager said to him, you've had six months of, of vacation. Ooh. He's like we had just planned our family va, we were honest, you know, told him what was happening. He was like, you've had six months of vacation, like pandemic is vacation for anyone. And he said, it's either you, do you want the job or not? So like the tone change. And I can imagine they were under a lot of stress in, in their industry and whatever. But that did something to me, Bill, on the inside.

Janae Blatch (20:04):
And I looked at my husband knowing our situation because he was the only income. We went from a two income household to when I came home with my daughter and became stay at home mom fo, to a one income household, to now zero. So that decision to say, I looked at him, I was like, you know what? Just take, take it, just take it. You know, but inside I was saying, you won't be there for long. Mm. I had made that up in my mind, in my heart. And maybe that was, you know, some people say very prideful, you know, or very, ugh, I don't know, maybe it was petty in, in some senses. I don't know, but I had made it up in my heart that no one's going to tell us when we are going, when we can and not can take our kids on vacation. So we had to now tell our children vacation was canceled because daddy has to go back to work now. And that was tough. So my why was huge. So after, even after I had my first signing in September, I, I decided to go full time in October. Like I went all the way in, I set up my mobile office, we put in the full investment, not just the investment in the training, but we went all in and I made back the cost of my training in my first week, full time.

Bill Soroka (21:22):

Janae Blatch (21:23):
And it was for, it was just full steam ahead. After that.

Bill Soroka (21:27):
I, I love that. So you wanted to give your, your husband the option to work or not.

Janae Blatch (21:36):
Yeah, we enjoyed the flexibility. I mean, the pandemic was actually a blessing for us in the sense that yeah, we didn't have the income we expected. However, we realized the family time that we had, the freedom we had. And like I said, as Florida was not as closed up, we were able to take the kids on field trips as we homeschooled, we were educating them outside of the home and doing a lot of different things together. And we wanted more of that. So, we really wanted to be home either if we were working our own business, we had the flexibility. And so even though I was home for four years with the kids homeschooling, you know, we swapped roles. So not even being traditional talk about not the black or white now hubby was home. And we got looked at, I mean, so many had, people had comments and still to this day, you know, we kind of deal with that, but he's home, you know, teaching the children and I'm out in the field and we're working this business and we can flip flop at any time because he's also a notary.

Janae Blatch (22:37):
He got his commission as well.

Bill Soroka (22:39):
So it's a family business.

Janae Blatch (22:40):
It's a family, even the kids they get in on it too.

Bill Soroka (22:42):
I, I love it. Well that was going to be my next question for you is, did it work out? So how long did it take for him to leave his job? How…..

Janae Blatch (22:54):
Five months.

Bill Soroka (22:55):
Five months.

Janae Blatch (22:56):
Five months. So really my goal was, my agreement with him was if I can make more, equal or more than what I made as a guidance counselor when I was working and I was working, I had my, I have a, my bachelor's degree. I had a master's degree. So I had a master's degree level salary for a guidance counselor position. And I said, if I can make that, would you come off the job? And that was our agreement, cause we had learned to live on little, you know, we learned to, we, we knew, we recognized what was more important to us, which was our family and bringing up our children in this stage and season of our lives. So we took the sacrifice of just having one income and we learned to live on that and were, and we were content, you know? Mm-hmm And so that was the agreement I made that three months into the business. By December, 2020 I had, and it was, it blew my mind. I made more than what I was making with a master's degree and I'm still paying off student loans. If I would've known about this business before, you know, maybe it was a reason, I didn't know. Maybe I would've never gotten my degrees, but I don't think I wouldn't have, if I had student loans, if I would've known about this business sooner.

Bill Soroka (24:10):
Oh, I used to say that all the time as well. I'm like, man, I would be a billionaire right now if I would've known the opportunity that existed in this business. Yeah. I love that. Well, I want to go back a little bit too, cause I I'm sure people listening. cause you want to know what you meant when you said go all in and made the investment, not just training. What else did you do to set yourself up for immediate success?

Janae Blatch (24:36):
So I went ahead and I, I upgraded my E & O insurance. I started off with the bare minimum that, you know, cause I didn't know, right? But as I got more in depth in the community the notary, I got engaged in the notary community. One of my notary buddies introduced me to TNT and that mind blown just you know, learned so much more concerning the notary side. I, my training was more loan signing. But what I've learned more than anything is that you got to be a good notary first and understand your notary laws for your state. And that's why this is my focus now is being state specific and understanding notary law. But I, upgraded my E & O, I bought my equipment. I had backup equipment. I have like three printers. I got my mobile scanner, got the whole setup in my car because I realized, you know, it takes time having to come back home, you know, and that mobile office was a game changer for me. Game changer.

Bill Soroka (25:42):
In what way?

Janae Blatch (25:43):
Where I did not have to travel back home. I can take a signing on the go. I could be in one part of town and then somebody called me and it's like, yep, I can print on my way there. And then later on I realized it would be even better if I had wifi in my car. So I later on realized that, and I got wifi so that my printer is connected to my wifi. So if I'm at, I can pull over and pull up my docs on my phone and press print. So I'm now I'm back driving and my docs are printing in the backseat. So…..

Bill Soroka (26:17):
It's, that's pretty amazing. Yeah.

Janae Blatch (26:19):
When I tell you there's a, I'm very persistent and if I'm ready to make something happen, I usually do. So. That's what, that's what happened.

Bill Soroka (26:26):
I love that. And thank you for sharing that too. And I know people are curious, so I'm going to ask you a question, just ballpark-wise for the investment in a mobile office, what would people be looking at dollar wise?

Janae Blatch (26:39):
Ooh. I think we put up between the inverter cause we just, we did the inverter and the external battery set up. I think maybe it was like maybe $500, $600 total. I have to go back and check the numbers. And then the other thing is when I invested, because I've actually sent those links out to other people who wanted it later, the prices went up.

Bill Soroka (27:02):
Oh yeah,

Janae Blatch (27:03):
The prices went up. So don't quote me on those prices. Went, from the time that I brought my printer and everything, It was the right timing cause right after that, with everybody working from home printers start, you know, we're becoming scar, you know, very scarce and they, the prices went up. So it was like a $500, $600 for the actual setup. But I know I put in like maybe close to a $1000 to $1,200 just getting everything. Like I was like, whatever somebody told me they used, I bought it. just to have it so that I'd be prepared. I may be a little over prepared, but I know that, than to be under prepared.

Bill Soroka (27:39):
Absolutely. I'm the same way. And I love that you have backups for your backups, for your backups. I, I roll the same way. I, cause peace of mind is my priority. I don't want to be stranded without a way to take care of people. I don't want to disappoint my customers. The, oh the other question I had left, guys, you can edit that part out. Thanks. you mentioned just a moment ago that you are really focusing on Florida specific rules and this is another thing that I another reason I wanted to bring you on the show today is this is one of the areas I know is severely lacking in our community, is the state specific training that teaches you to be a good notary for your state. And even the state training even some of the national organizations that provide training, it's good, but it doesn't go deep enough. So this is a, I've been saying this for years that this industry is ripe for innovation. And this is one of those innovating factors. If you can teach people in your state to be a better notary, to really honor this role that we play as the last line of defense against mortgage and identity theft, right? Then you, you have a very valuable gift for notaries in Florida. So what are you doing with that? What what's your vision for helping notaries?

Janae Blatch (29:09):
Well with that, I'm actually developing a school for notaries, specifically for Florida. I've had so many people that have reached out to me from other states and I, I love to be a resource. So I will send them out to different ones and I help them as much as I can. But I recognize the value because my training that I had was on the west coast and all the documents that I got trained on are west coast. And when I started getting documents or mainly Florida documents they were different. So it gave me a basis to, to start at. But I, I had to kind of learn along the way specifics for the state. And so taking that experience and now being able to relate that with my gift and I would say, this is more of like a calling; teaching.

Janae Blatch (29:58):
It's my gift. I love teaching. I teach in everything that I do. I can't even help it. You don't even have to ask me and I'm teaching. And so using that to now help others in the state understand their notary law. Like what can we do that other states can't do? Or what kind of documents are you going to see in our state? What are our witness requirements? Because what I find Bill, and it's so shocking, sometimes I know we've had this conversation before, is even title, title companies, which as a new notary you're expecting, hey, tell me what you want. Tell me to do, you know, and I'll do it. A lot of times they don't know. I've been in situations, especially realtors, I mean I work with lots of realtors and they'll be the first ones to tell you, we have no idea what you're doing.

Janae Blatch (30:46):
We don't know your documents. So I actually have done realtor training. I know we talked, I've gone into brokerages and I do for new realtors, I will do like a quarterly Zoom training on what to expect. I call it realtor Notary Table Talk Realtor Edition. So really kind of, the closing table talk, sorry realtor edition to where I just kind of talk to them, explain to them what to expect at the closing table. I mean, it, it kind of relieves their nerves too, cause they have no clue what I'm doing. But that's helped.

Bill Soroka (31:21):
I love that. Can we just talk about that for a second? Yeah, Because I think that is, it's a way of adding value to clearly good partners in this business, in the first place. But I mean, how many times have you been in a closing and you, for a jurat, go to put the signer under oath and then the real estate agent, like what, I've never seen this before.

Janae Blatch (31:45):

Bill Soroka (31:45):
Used to hear it all the time. So you can kind of set the expectation. Like here, here's how it's supposed to be done, right?

Janae Blatch (31:51):
Yes. I hear that all the time. I've had investors who do this, who are sitting at these closings constantly who says, I have never the journal, they've never pulled, like, what is this journal? You're bringing out, like, what is this document? This is my notary journal. It's standard. And I've never seen this. And I said, well unfor, you know, it's not required in Florida, but it is recommended. For good notaries will have a journal. And they're like, well I guess I've never had a good notary cause I've never signed this journal. I had a, I had an appointment the other day with a mortgage, mortgage officer who was refinancing his home. And he was like, what is this? And I, I gave him like the, you know, the best practices about the date. How should I date? You know, something as simple as the date, I've never had to date this way or I've never had to do this.

Janae Blatch (32:38):
And like there's certain things that even, there are people within this real estate industry who's a part of these transactions that don't know our stuff as the notary. Yeah. So my, my, my plight that I've taken on is really to teach notaries, to know what you're doing. What is compliant for you? Because they'll tell you, oh yes, I can take that ID. That idea is fine. Oh, he doesn't have to have junior that's okay. We'll do an affidavit. It's like, no, I need that. You know, I have to be able to tell them as the notary, in order for me to notarize these documents in order for me to do this, this is what I need. And so now I have like kind of my clients are conditioned to know, okay, Janae, what, what do you need? What do you, what do you need to have for the client?

Janae Blatch (33:26):
Let me know. So I can make sure I communicate that to, and I usually say, no, no problem. Just give me their contact information. Let me take that off your plate. I'll do that. I'm huge on customer service, Bill, that's, that's my top, over knowing documents over, my motto is exceptional service every time. So I'm big on customer service. I'm that person. I am that person that will call corporate office. When I get bad service, that's me guilty as charged. And I'm also that person that will call corporate office to say, I had exceptional service. This person delivered great service to me. And I've done that several times and it's shocked people when I've asked to, let me see your manager is your manager here? And they think they're in trouble. Yeah. And there's my acting again. I keep the straight face. I need to talk to your manager and then they'll get their manager and they're all scared.

Janae Blatch (34:18):
And I let them know this employee just was, went above and beyond with great service. And I made sure they know that I come from a background of HR as well. So I know, I know two things. I know how to hit a company where it hurts, where it makes an impact. And I also know how to help, you know? Yeah. Where, where companies need services and where they need, know, know where their quality employees are. So I do, I provide both. So I take that same mindset in my own business. Every one of my clients is, are VIPs. You never know who you're in fRONt of.

Bill Soroka (34:50):
That is so true. You never know who you're going to meet at these appointments. How has delivering this level of exceptional service helped you in your business? Do you think,

Janae Blatch (34:59):
Oh my gosh, referrals, referrals, referrals, referrals. I have investors that only request me. I have realtors and I've been able to get into the door. There's been some title companies that, you know, they give you the, you know, the stop, you know, oh, you know, no, we, we don't, we only use this service or we have our own notaries. No problem. If you ever need me, no problem. But then a realtor request me from the, and I, I find out is that title company that did, that didn't want me before? And, and now they're using me because the real, the real estate agent is, that's their client. And they want to make them happy. So this, you know, this client, you know, they, our client requested you, you know, where's your information. And now they start working with me and like, oh, you're amazing. And then now they're my client.

Bill Soroka (35:43):
You just need that foot in the door. Right.

Janae Blatch (35:45):
That's it's it. I, I always say that I I've said that all. And I, I, if I can get in fRONt of someone, I'm not the best writer, even though my teachers would say otherwise, I don't like writing. I've been told you need to write a book, write a book. I, I don't want to write a book, give me an audio, let me record it. I'll talk all day. But I don't like to write it down. So even with my resume sitting down to do my resume and all that, I was like, eh, eh, that's hard for me. I'll get it done. But if you put me in fRONt of somebody in an interview, there has never been an interview that I have not passed. Whether I accepted the job or not is different, but there's never been an interview, cause I can, that's my, my background. I can read people. I can read the atmosphere and I can, you know, pivot based on the energy that I'm getting and their facial expressions, I study non-verbals. So that helps me a lot. So yeah, it's, it's really helped me with, with referrals.

Bill Soroka (36:40):
How do you, how do you create more of those opportunities? How do you get in fRONt of more people? How do you make it happen?

Janae Blatch (36:47):
So one of those things was I told you the real estate trainings that I do complimentary. I just offered that to a brokerage and say, hey, let me, you know, I I've noticed a lot of your realtors, you know, may not understand this side, you know, would you like, and they need training, you know, they're trying to fill their calendar. So I was like, of course, you know, they're like, hey, we'll plug you in. So that's one way I've gotten in fRONt of people. Also making sure I let people know what they're able to do, that you are able to request me; loan officers, real estate agents, those at the table sometimes often have no clue that, cause they don't choose notaries, right? The title does that. But they don't know that I can be a part of your team and that's how I present it. I can be one of your team members, like when you're ready for a closing, if you like my services here today. And usually that's what prompts it. Like, oh, you know, they, they, once they make a comment, I go right in, they make a comment about my services. You know, I can do this for all your clients, you know? You know, I can be on your team and really and I can say it's worked out for me with referrals; my service. But one thing that we know and you teach this all the time, Bill, is there's fortune is in the follow up.

Bill Soroka (38:06):

Janae Blatch (38:07):
So I have I really have to get better with my follow up because delivering the service is great. But if, honestly, if I take, if I take all that I know to do with follow up, I would be a millionaire already just from this business. If I, you know, actually followed up the steps that I know to do when it comes to making sure that you're consistent using my [###unclear CRM], staying in contact with all of those people, my network is huge. As I told you, like I've had a plethora of jobs and have gained so many colleagues and friends and people that I know, and my network is huge, but really reaching out to them and, and connecting with that network is really it's leaving money on the table when you don't.

Bill Soroka (38:56):
It is, it's so, I'm so glad that you even brought this up because you know, I, I think about in my own business, the regrets I've had. And you know, in this business it can be cyclical and you, anytime the phone slows down or stops ringing, you start, oh my gosh, I should have done this. I should have done that. But not staying in touch with people is the biggest regret I've ever had. And I, I, I like to learn lessons the hard way too. Like I'm just like, oh, okay. 26 business failures, oh, now I get it. Now I got to do this, right? But as, when we are, when, when we bring as much passion as you clearly do to your business and you love what you do, you're connected to your why, you know that the signers or the public in your community, they need you as the notary.

Bill Soroka (39:50):
Cause not only are you going to answer the phone, but you're going to deliver true, accurate legal service. I mean, it's your responsibility to be their notary, right? And then we get there and we form these great relationships. And if we don't follow up, it's like, there's that, all that energy is just sitting there. Like, I mean there's times when you connect with people at the closing table and you're destined to be besties, right? There's just something here. You've got that magic going. And then a couple weeks slide by in a couple weeks slide by a couple months. And then that energy just kind of dissipates. And that's one of the biggest lessons I learned is that you've got to find a way to bottle that up in just an occasional text message or an email checking in, all our handwritten notes, all of those little things keep that energy alive a little bit.

Bill Soroka (40:41):
So I love that you've it's even on your radar to do that cause that's the game changer. And I also, I would even go a little bit further and this is for everybody listening to that, I bet you already know the exact person that you need to make your business, whatever you want it to be. If you wanted a signing company, if you wanted a national apostille company, if you wanted lending, whatever it is, you probably know exactly who you need to know or if you don't that person in your network knows the person you need.

Janae Blatch (41:11):
Oh yeah, absolutely. I, I love connecting with people. And so I do that best if I could network all day, I would do that. And that's something I'm also looking into doing here because the network is, was such a, such an important part, critical part of my, my building, my business as a notary, really want to starting a reaching out to more notaries in the area to network. And, and it's twofold, right? Because in this business I gotten, I, I was able to obtain clients and I went direct very quickly within my first month. I've had, I had my first direct of my first month going full time. And as it got busy, I realized I can't be everywhere. So I depended on my small network, right. People that I knew and trusted had been trained and I would, you know, feed signings to them.

Janae Blatch (42:05):
And so I became, I use your term, Bill, boutique, right? Boutique signing service. And so, and just for my overflow and and I have no real desire. I thought maybe signing service, but that is just so much stress for me right now. Like that is not my thing. I'm like, let me stick with what I know is training cause that just, I, I do it a lot when I'm on vacation, I have to like give out my signings. It's a nervous, I'm a nervous wreck. Yeah. I feel better control freak little just, but that's difficult, but I, you know, I was able to send out to notaries. So I want to know that if I'm going to send you business, cause I want to help others, right? I need to know that you know what you're doing because it takes a lot of work for me to build a client and to build these relationships for you to come in and mess up.

Janae Blatch (42:58):
And it's not mistakes. It's how you make a mistake. And if I would tell a new notary, anything else, Bill, is even if you make a mistake, don't be afraid to go out there. And, and I know this is a little bit of a segue, but , if this, if there is, don't be afraid to get started because you're going to learn through your experience and, and don't be afraid to make mistakes. Some of my biggest mistakes have turned into some of my biggest clients. Yeah. Like you wouldn't believe even as experienced, I, I made a big mistake the other day. Well maybe like a month ago. And I was like, oh my God, I was freaking out. And I, it ended up in more clients. Like it ended up with more signings when I talk, it's how you reach out how you respond to the mistake.

Janae Blatch (43:51):
They didn't have to worry about anything because I was the one on the phone with FedEx. I was on the phone, tracking everything down. I'm keeping them in communication. I'm fixing the problem. I'm make, bringing, being the solution. And at the end of it, they're like, wait, no, can we send you more closings? I got four more closings from them that week thinking that I would never get business anymore from them. They're requesting me now. And so it's how you make the mistake, what you learn from it and how you, how you provide the solution.

Bill Soroka (44:21):
Absolutely. You could, you got to take 100% responsibility. My policy's always been drop everything and fix it. Yeah. and make it right. But you know what I've found too. And I love that you've you're sharing this is that we think that our clients just want this easy relationship where there's no friction or anything, but really when the, when things go wRONg, that's how you, you see what people are made of. Yeah. You see what their character's all about. Then you get to dial into their integrity. And it's a very vulnerable experience, but vulnerability is necessary in relationships. So when people see that and they see you drop everything and take that on and own the mistake and not blame somebody else or throw anybody under the bus, the buck stops here when you own that, it changes the dynamic of the relationship. And I used to think that there was this like red phone on escrow officer's desk. So if I made a mistake, they'd all be calling each other and like, oh my God, don't use this guy. He, he forgot to stamp the deed of trust who does that. It's not like that at all. Not like that at all. If you own your mistakes, they respect you on a different level. It's almost counterintuitive, but it's true.

Janae Blatch (45:39):
Yeah. And I, I just, I, I really try to stick to my, my level of service. It all accounts if this was, you know, I have certain clients that call me, it was like, Janae, I have a VIP client. I need you to handle this, you know. Not one of your notaries. I need you to handle this. And I'm like, you know, I treat every one of my clients like VIPs, that's how you know that I can handle your VIPs, you know? And so I find that, you know, I, I too had that same kind of mindset that if I messed up with one signing service or, and I've had times where I was thrown under the bus incorrectly, or I've been told, you know, the situation where I, it looked bad on me, but it wasn't the situation, but I don't want to throw anybody else under the bus.

Janae Blatch (46:24):
So it's like, I take the hit, and then I'm wondering, oh, they're going to tell all of the signing services and I'm never going to get work and that's not true. And I've come to the understanding that what is for me is for me, the doors that the Lord opens for me, nobody can shut them. You know, the relationships that I've built, if it's a real true, authentic relationship, nobody can take that away. So I, I don't depend on other people to help build my business. It's my character, my service, what I do, that my work is going to speak for me.

Bill Soroka (46:57):
Hmm. I love that philosophy. Now, as we we've, this has been an incredible conversation. I'm loving this. I feel like I could talk to you all morning, but there's a, just a couple of questions that I had for Florida specifically necessary, well not even Florida specific, I guess. I'm just curious about the the services that you provide. Obviously, you've got your specialty in general notary work. You've got your loan signings. Are you adapting to remote online notarization? Is that any, is that something you're excited about or not?

Janae Blatch (47:33):
Yes. Okay. So I have mixed feelings about, about RON, right? So I think ahead, right? So when I first got my commission, I heard about RON. It was still very new. So when I got my commission, I worked with the, the company that, that I went, in Florida, we had, there's certain companies that, that you worked with to do your commission. And so I arranged with them like, listen, I want my E & O. I want to pay upfRONt for my RON class and my RON E & O policy and my RON there's another one we had to have there's, RON specific that you needed for, I think it was E & O. And so at the time, I didn't know much about RON. I was like, I just want that in my back pocket. So they worked out a deal with me, even in my package.

Janae Blatch (48:21):
So I've had it from the jump Bill, like from the beginning, but I went full force loan, loan signing in person. I love being in person, even with my training. Yes, I'm setting it up online as well, but I, I love in person training. Even with teaching that's I get the feel from being in, in, in people's presence. And so I love in person signings. But I'm set up for RON. We have to be able to have that as a pivot. You never know when, when,, when the world shut down and things were shut down, there were people who were still making great money because they had their RON set up. And so I had it, I finally got my certificate. I finally made time to go ahead and take the course. I'm set up. I just need to get my seal.

Janae Blatch (49:07):
And but I haven't done my first RON yet because I'm, I'm still out in the field and working now more so on training and doing one-on-one mentorships. So I'm excited about it because I want to get out there and try new things and adding things to my, my business. With RON, I want to get into apostille. I've invested in all the training. Like if Sign And Thrive was not enough, like I can binge train, like I got all the trainings right. Then if that wasn't, I mean, NBB in itself. Oh my God. like…

Bill Soroka (49:42):
There's a ton of content there. Yeah.

Janae Blatch (49:44):
There's tons of content. So I know there's so much that I can do. I have learned that I have to, like in the beginning where I wasn't successful as a notary, because I was trying to do too much. I know that I have to, you know just kind of concentrate on one area at a time. So I haven't, even though I have all these things at my disposal, because I have the training, I have the network it's, I have to focus. So I'm focusing right now on my state specific training. But I'm excited about, about RON and adding that I want to add fingerprinting. I'm working on that as well, and as a wedding efficient.

Bill Soroka (50:23):
I was just going to, I got to say with this energy that you bring and the love of around people and in person, how does wedding efficient? Cause in Florida, you can solemnise weddings, like that's part of your acts and you can blow that thing up to all kinds of different levels too. So is, is it on your radar?

Janae Blatch (50:39):
It is definitely on my radar radar and on my business plan, because here's how all my experience comes into play with this. And I love that about there's so much potential with being an notary. My husband and I also have a nonprofit, we work with married couples. So having something where I can implement this training, and then now we can marry you. And we're both also in ministry. So in the, in the state of Florida, I can officiate weddings as a minister as well. But incorporating this in our business, being able to incorporate now premarital counseling as a service, and also married, and I, I just love working with couples anyway. So I have not done my first wedding yet. I did get contacted about one yesterday, but then we, we, I started calling one of my, one of my notary buddies and we started going back and forth on compliance.

Janae Blatch (51:33):
The Florida license and it's exciting. It's like, you love it and hate it at the same time. If only, everything was just standard across the board, you know, but it's like, notary law says this, but this form says this, even though this is how everybody does it, and this is how it's always been done, but it's not compliant. It's, you know, so having those conversations are exciting cause you get to dig deeper into something that, you know, we, we love this work. But you know, there's, there's a love/hate relationship with that kind of thing, but…

Bill Soroka (52:02):
Yeah. Yeah. But it's nice to have somebody that you can geek out because it is what are you going to do? Who else are you going to talk to? Yes.

Janae Blatch (52:09):
They, don't nobody….

Bill Soroka (52:10):
Your best friend. You're like, let me talk about notary compliance. Do you mind if I just vent for a minute and you start losing friends in the hurry?

Janae Blatch (52:16):
My, my notary buddy and I know you know her as well, Michelle.

Bill Soroka (52:19):

Janae Blatch (52:20):
She's amazing. And I'm like, we, we go back and forth. What do you think about this? What do you think about this? And it's, it's, it's great to have that that, that person, or that community that you can talk to and dig deeper with; geek out  

Bill Soroka (52:35):
It sure is. Janae. This has been so great and I love that you're building a community. And then again, just being a guest on this podcast bringing more value to our notary community. Thank you so much for being here. And I encourage anybody that would like to get in Jana's orbit, checking out her training visit the links in the show notes down below, and Jenae, Thank you so much for being here; truly appreciate it.

Janae Blatch (53:01):
Aw, thank you, Bill. Thank you so much. I am. I'm very grateful for this industry. Very grateful for your expertise, your training, your mentorship, your, so, your willingness to give freely. And it's encouraged me, even in my training even though we're able to monetize, right? And we have to understand our value and you help me understand that, it, your example of giving helps me to know, I, to give back and to freely give back to the, the notary community. And it, it's just such a blessing and I can be a blessing to others. And I honestly say I have not done this on my own. It's been my network. And I give all glory to God for the opportunity to be able to do this and have directed my path to be able to, all the jobs that I've had that have made me successful in, in this industry. It's just, it's been such a blessing and now I can bless others. So thank you so much for having me here on your podcast. And it's, it's just, it's been amazing for me.

Bill Soroka (54:04):
Truly. My pleasure. Thanks for being here. All right, everyone. And thanks so much. See, you triggered so much even more conversation Janae. I feel like I could just continue this on.

Janae Blatch (54:14):
Par Two, Bill, part II.(laugh)

Bill Soroka (54:18):
Part II coming soon. Alright everyone, thank you so much for listening and Janae, thank you for being here.

--- End of Transcription ---



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