When Life Punches You in the Mouth as a Solo-preneur

diversify driven notary Nov 18, 2021
Jamie Liggins, NNA Ambassador, 29+ years in the industry as a Notary/NSA, Mentor and Notary Law Instructor. I have taught and mentored over 1000 ppl establish their notary business. 2004 NNA Notary of the Year, 2018 NNA Keynote Speaker. Author of 10 Ways to Say Notarize THIS when establishing and diversifying your business. Diversifications: Field Inspector, Private Investigator, Process Server, Legal Shield Associate, Sign Language Interpreter
Join Jamie's email list for updates and events at www.notaryaccess.org
Champions aren't made when the game is easy, and through 30 years as a mobile Notary and loan signing agent, Jamie has been through some "thangs." Divorce. Illness. Death. And moving her entire business to a new state never stopped her. Listen to this journey of serendipity and strength that can be applied to ANY business.

Some of this weeks episode highlights are:

30:38 I took a job as a sign language interpreter, and I found that job from doing a signing. And the lady was like, please, please, please, please, we need interpreters. So I took it for a year, but I do not really like working for anyone anymore. That's a drive. The other thing is, life is interesting and I love meeting people of all backgrounds, all cultures. I enjoy what I do. It's not difficult. Being a notary is challenging because you don't know what people are going to say when you are performing a loan signing - and yet it's fun.

48:21 So what I said, how much do I need? And literally you have to look at the cost of living where you're at, California, Colorado, New York, Texas, wherever you're at Louisiana and tell yourself, this is how much I need to take care of my bills. I can't kill myself. I can't do 15/20 jobs. I can't do that and assist my mother and do my, my home responsibilities without dying when I get home. So I'm saying this for all who are listening, calculate how much money you need and stick with that. Don't be greedy.

51:45 Diversify - stay a loving networking person instead of a jealous, competitive person. That's going to get you nowhere.


--- Full Raw Transcription Below ---

Jamie Liggins (00:00):

Do something that will benefit you - if you can. Now I did not have a degree, but I took a job at a university. By the time I left that place, I had a degree.

Introduction (00:18):

Welcome to the SideHustle Lounge. If you're looking for flexible ways to earn income, grow your mindset, and live the lifestyle you've always dreamed of, you are in the right place. So lower the lights. Grab your favorite beverage, and join your host - Founder of NotaryCoach.com and Amazon bestselling author of Sign and Thrive: How To Make Six Figures As A Mobile Notary And Loan Signing Agent, Bill Soroka.

Bill Soroka (00:52):

All right, cheers and welcome to my guest today, Jamie Liggins. She's the founder and the owner of Notary Access And Business Services. She's worked in this industry or this field of notary public for nearly 30 years, mentoring nearly or more than a thousand other notaries along the way. So you just know Jamie's seen some things and that's what we're going to be talking about today. That's one of my favorite quotes from Mike Tyson, which I never thought I'd say those words. My favorite quote from Mike Tyson is that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. So today we get to talk about that a little bit. We're going to talk to Jamie about how to take these punches when we're working as a solopreneur when our entire business relies on us being present, no matter what's going on in our lives. So how do we have some semblance of life and business balance? Jamie, welcome. And thank you so much for being here and sharing of yourself today.

Jamie Liggins (02:01):

Thank you for having me. I'm happy to be here.

Bill Soroka (02:04):

We've been trying to make this happen for quite a while. And every time I chat with you, I walk away inspired and just in awe over some of the things that you've gone through and you've made this business work. Especially, as I learned when you sent your info over today, that it's been almost 30 years. I almost wouldn't put you a day over 30 years old. So you started young.

Jamie Liggins (02:30):

I sure didn't want to tell my age. I said, well, I have to tell how long I've been here. But, thank you.

Bill Soroka (02:36):

My pleasure. And thanks for being here. And let's start right there. 30 years as a notary public. And one way or another you've been here. Why,? What drew you to the notary business revisited?

Jamie Liggins (02:48):

Oh, I can definitely tell you. My parents, my father's from Louisiana, my mother isn't. They decided to move. And my father said he'd never go back to Louisiana, but my mother left it. So they were retiring and I didn't want to go. So, I want to, I like California. I said, I want to stay here in California. And I was young at the time and I started thinking, okay, now I have an opportunity. I need to have something on the side, a side hustle, If you will, to help me make a little extra money because my parents are going to be gone. And in the mail comes a little booklet from one of the local colleges. And I'm looking in the booklet and I see notary public. And first of all, I had to get over the fact that it's not notary Republic and all, you know, all of the terrible terms that people call it.

Jamie Liggins (03:53):

And I was looking at that and I said, public official. And that stroked me. I said, how long does the class? One day? I had never thought about it, but it was not a long class. It had a nice little ring to it that I'm going to be a public official. I love that. That kind of stroked, my little ego there for a minute. And then I said, wow, okay. It's not much, but it's something. And also what hit me is that my parents had moved and my mother had property on her side of the family. And she was always asking me, can you go get this notarized? Please go get something notarized. And every time I tried to find a notary, they weren't there. So I thought to myself, I'll become a notary. And then I can take care of that. I won't have to worry about trying to find a notary. Little did I know? Hey, I can't notarize my own documents. Yes. That was the motivation to become a notary. So it started there.

Bill Soroka (05:05):

So it's stuck for 30 years. You started as a, a side hustle. When did this become more than just a side hustle? When did you know that this was something that was going to be a part of your life forever?

Jamie Liggins (05:19):

Well, it was a step-by-step process. Once I became the note, became a notary, I started to tell people, I bought a little placard, I put it on my desk at work. And people would come and say, oh, you're a notary. I need something to be notarized. And I said, sure, sure. So I did it. Then friends started to learn that I was in notary. Then I notarized for someone. And then someone said, oh, Jamie's the notary. And this was in my circle of friends. That, that was nice. And then I will tell you, I, I didn't feel that I was completely solid, solidly educated. Once you became, once I became a notary mail started coming, I got something from the NNA. And I said, it said, take the class, take the exam all the same day, the price wasn't too bad. And I said, I'm already a notary. So I'm strange, weird like that. I said, I'll take the class and I'll sit there and learn because for some reason they seem to be legitimate. So, I said, I'll take it. So, I took the class for the NN from the NNA and I left feeling more educated. I felt good. And I got the membership and I used to wear them. I would call them so much.

Bill Soroka (06:54):

Well, that hotline is, that, Judy calls it, what does she call it the the gem of America or something like that. And I agreed, man, that has saved my hide so many times.

Jamie Liggins (07:05):

It did. It saved me too. They, they really should have a picture of me on the wall because I caused them so much, and after, afterwards I felt good. So then, as time progressed, I thought, I thought back on the guy who taught the notary class at the local college. Why, I said, I could teach that. That's, that's what I thought to myself. But at any rate, that's what motivated me, was taking the class through the NNA, feeling confident already, cause I had already passed the test and having the hotline in my pocket to be able to call. And they were nice. And then I started reading the mailings that they would send about conferences and things like that.

Jamie Liggins (08:01):

And I said, oh, this is a whole little hidden industry over here that I knew nothing about. And then one, one day I said, I'm going to go to the conference. And I had a ball. Milt Valero was the, he was very active and he was all around. And I really enjoyed the networking and how friendly the people were. So, that was an inspiration to me and I, and I felt I'm not going to give this up because it didn't cause much to get started. And I enjoyed it. Yeah. Long story short, I enjoyed it.

Bill Soroka (08:45):

Well, I think that goes a long way when you enjoy something and you know that the work that you do really does matter. And I love that you took on self-education like, there's nothing in California's code that says a notary must continue their education. They must learn all this other stuff. They must do all these other things. They must attend a conference, read a book, take another class. That's all self-motivated. And I think that's really part of, probably what has helped you stand out because you've been notary of the year for how many times?

Jamie Liggins (09:23):

Only once.

Bill Soroka (09:24):

Just, that's all it took? Only once?

Jamie Liggins (09:28):

Only once, that was in 2004. And that kind of, that I have to go back, I have to go back. I had a job. I ,I worked for the state of California. Okay. So most people don't want to do a, make the side hustle complete, main, not like your mainstay because you worry about benefits, insurance, you know, you worry about all of those things. So, a person that, there's two people that kind of were in the picture. First person was Ozzy Stallworth. He was in the picture I was working for, believe it or not, the Boxing Commission. Okay. So you just say Mike Tyson, I worked for a Department Of Fish And Game and I loved that job. Everybody there was calm and peaceful because they generally wanted that type of job. If you want it to be a game warden, if you want it to work for fish hatchery, that's a passion.

Jamie Liggins (10:47):

So the atmosphere in the office was wonderful. However, they said that we're moving out, I think it was Riverside. And driving from long beach to Riverside daily was not going to happen for me. So I started looking. I found a agency and it said State Athletic Commission. And I said, oh, we're dealing with athletics. I didn't think about boxing and that I should have done better. I, I should have researched the background of the company, but I didn't. I was just prepared to do my interview. When I left the interview that day, before I got into my car, the office manager came out and he said, would you like the job? It's yours? And I said, sure. I found out that it was the Boxing Commission. So I was the only person in the office near LAX Airport. And I had set everything up in my space because he was not in the office much.

Jamie Liggins (11:52):

He would go and he'd do weigh-ins, he was boxing connoisseur. He briefed bread, grieve, [unclear], whatever you want to call it. He did it. So I had my whole office set up. I had my notary public sign there. I had my, you know, my business cards. They were custom through the NNA, National Notary Association, for those that don't know me saying NNA. And one day Ozzy Stallworth walks in and he's paying attention. He, he sees my notary public sign. He sees my cards and he says to me, you need to check out our new program, notary signing agent. We have a great new program. And I said to myself, I'm already doing those. I was already doing signings locally in my area. And I said, I, I really don't need it. You know, I didn't tell him that, but that's what I was thinking. And he was really nice and calm and he said, but check it out.

Jamie Liggins (12:56):

You'll like it. I said, okay. So, I looked into it and of course there's nothing wrong with adding more education to what you already know. Some, some people can definitely be puffed up with pride and don't want to add to what they know. And so I looked into it and I saw some things that, of course I did know. And I added, I joined the NSA section at that time. And how little, what, what I know that years down the line, I would run into Ozzy again. So going back, I'm doing the notary work. I'm doing NSA. And then I decided to teach it. I took the time to develop a curriculum and I felt I could do it at the local college. I went through the whole process because I had taught sign language, basic sign language courses prior. So I felt comfortable and I had my certification to do it.

Jamie Liggins (14:02):

And I started to teach it and I enjoyed it. I was just felt like I'm helping people get a business, people that needed. Maybe they're about to retire, people that just want to add income, have children. Just someone that wants to add to their revenue. I really enjoyed it. And then I started mentoring people. I develop my mentoring program and one guy, I'll never forget him. He lived in Redondo beach. He's still on my Facebook page. But he was paralyzed. And he, he said, I am not going to be able to come to you. Can you come to me? And I said, sure, I'll come to you. So I set up everything and he was lying on this sofa and I taught him one-on-one. Then I said, wow, it was for, It was satisfactory to him. It was a good feeling of satisfaction to help someone.

Jamie Liggins (15:06):

And then I said, well, I better develop my program to, to mentor one-on-one. But of course one-on-one is not a big corporation. So, sometimes people can say things and maybe they'er not meaning to be harmful, but it can really take the fears out of your soda so to speak.Oh yeah. You're just doing this one-on-one you don't have a company. I know you're coming to me. You don't have an office. I said wow, whatever, I'm going to keep doing this. Cause I, I felt good about it. And the NNA had, had the corporation, the company side covered. I'm just a little peon and I felt I'm helping people one-on-one and that's fine by, with me until I get a call from the National Notary Association, Monday. And I was at home and they said, is this for, at the time, my last name was Johns, no longer that.

Jamie Liggins (16:12):

We'll talk about that later. But they said, is this Jamie Johns. And I said, yes. They said, this is the National Notary Association. And it just caught me by surprise. It was this big corporation calling me. And they said, are you standing? Or are you sitting? i'm standing. They said, you might want to sit down. I said, okay, you know. I sit down and they said people are calling nominating you as, for the national notary of the year. I said, what? So I said, let me sit down, and they start telling me the process of becoming notary of the year. I never forgot. And I don't remember who the person was, but they said, it's not the quality, I mean, the quantity of nominations, it's the quality that we look at. And they told me what, you know, what the whole guidelines were. They said, the decision hasn't been made yet, but we'll be back in touch with you. So, okay. So now I'm like, I won it.

Bill Soroka (17:31):

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Now, you know it exists? You know, you're in the running. You gotta have it.

Jamie Liggins (17:36):

So, they called me back and they said, you one. Oh, I just, I didn't get involved in this industry for anything other than, as your sign says, a little side hustle. I enjoyed it. And it just kept, I just kept going up the steps or the stairs. And then they said the person that's going to come and meet with you in Carson, I actually live in Carson or borderline, Long Beach, they said, will be Ozzy Stallworth. And when he came, I said, I remember him. He came into my office that day. And he came and interviewed me. We took pictures and everything. That was just, that was overwhelming to me. And they said, because you are enhancing the professionalism of the notary industry, that's what you're given this award for.

Bill Soroka (18:40):

What an honor, because that raising the bar in this industry is it's a long process and it's hard to do. Cause you're, you know, you're battling hundreds of years, sometimes, decades in modern culture of doing things the same old way all the time. And sometimes that's not always the right way. So, that's, that's an amazing story.

Jamie Liggins (19:04):

Well, thank you.

Bill Soroka (19:07):

.Yeah, thank you for being there and helping to raise the bar.

Jamie Liggins (19:08):

There's a little more.

Bill Soroka (19:11):

Yeah.Good. I was hoping there would be.

Jamie Liggins (19:14):

The funny thing about it was, I am a person that, I like reading. And I get a call from Ebony Magazine, Bill, and someone there saw that and they said, we want to put a, do an article on you, but it was a little small column, but it surprised me. And then I got a call from Cal State Domingus University and they said, we want to give you the Martin Luther King award for social justice. Wow. I was just overwhelmed. That was, and then the Carson Chamber Of Commerce gave me an award. And I started teaching there at the chamber of commerce. That was overwhelming.

Bill Soroka (20:09):

Yeah. Did you ever see this coming?

Jamie Liggins (20:11):


Bill Soroka (20:14):

Your role as notary public?

Jamie Liggins (20:14):

Only because I wanted to, got excited at the term of being in the public official.

Bill Soroka (20:23):

You never know when that fire is going to spark something, right. That's pretty incredible. And you didn't stop really with a notary. And I know you have so many things that you've done under, I call it the notary umbrella. Like it's other side hustles within the hustle. What else have you incorporated into your business?

Jamie Liggins (20:47):

Well, at first I have to say, I like the way you said that. And, I want to compliment you before I go any further, because you, you know, you understand the notary industry. Notaries, there are other, like you said, side hustles, that link to being a notary. A lot of people don't know that. And so that's how I think. So, going to, and also what introduced that to me is going to the conference, going to the NNA conference. So you're sitting there and my brain starts firing off. And I'm like, okay, here's a notary journal now. And in this notary journal, I have to do a right thumb print. Fingerprint technician. That's how I think. And then I said, you know, as a notary mentoring, you know, people kept people act, ask a lot of questions. So there's mentoring.Teaching. I thought about teaching. And the next side hustle that I linked to being a notary was fingerprint tech.

New Speaker (22:11):

Yeah. Perfect fit.

Jamie Liggins (22:14):

It was. Starting being notary, my first state job was working for the parole office. I worked for the parole office. And so, of course, every, every parole agent knew that I was a notary. And then I had to do, I had to do fingerprints. We had fingerprint cards that they teach you how to do it and you roll, you do the prints. Then I went and I said, I found a good company where I could purchase my fingerprint kit, that I just close up, it's a carry it, and that's what I did. So I add it to my card and my business fingerprint technician. And that's what I started doing. And people started asking me, and I'm like, okay, who needs to their fingerprints done? People who need, you know, licenses. And there I go.

Bill Soroka (23:18):

In California, everybody needs a fingerprint no matter what. Right?

Jamie Liggins (23:23):

Yeah. Whether it be good or bad, right?

Bill Soroka (23:27):

Yeah thar's true. I mean, every license, attorneys got to have it teachers get fingerprinted, everybody. Yeah. So I think you were ahead of your, ahead of your class, like way ahead of the curve on that, because now I just I had the pleasure of interviewing Helmy El-Mangoury, the CEO of Certifiix Livescan who started his whole enterprise because this started really growing in California. Now he's in multiple states. But this is a, this is a real hardcore hustle within our side hustle. Some people do this, just the fingerprinting full-time.

Jamie Liggins (24:07):

And even when you think about finger printing, you think about adults. But I added children to mine. So that's, and that's what I have in my book too. I talk more about how can you expand your fingerprint business? So I do delve more dive more into that as well.

Bill Soroka (24:32):

Yeah. Perfect segue too, because on top of what you've already described, and there's even more. Right? Your a private investigator, field inspections and also an author. You've started writing books about, is it just about this industry in your experience or…

Jamie Liggins (24:54):

Well, there are so many books out about being a notary and how to do that, that I didn't want to go to that. Let, the only thing that I did is myself and Judy Lawrence are starting a series of books. And the first one that we have started, and that's about to hit the, the Amazon, but we have the book now. So if people want to purchase it, they could definitely do that. But to put it on, Amazon is different. But it's what's in your notary tool box. And this is just the simple thing. We have a character, her name was Anna P and Anna P is going to tell you a lot of things. Sometimes you can get a book and read a lot or sometimes it could be so ABC it's like, I don't want that. But we try to put it in the middle so that you know what supplies you need. Things you might not think about, things you think about. And if we're not careful, the book will never be put on the shelf because there's always things coming up that you can add.

Bill Soroka (26:07):

Constantly, yeah. That's the challenge with a constantly evolving industry. There's always some cool new stuff coming out,

Jamie Liggins (26:13):

Right? So that's where the mentoring comes in. The book is good for novice. And it's also good for those that are in the industry that have been in here, been in the industry for some time as well. The other book called Really hit [unclear]is field inspection. Now I don't know if formally just[unclear] keep talking or if you want to ask, ask questions, but I could tell you how I got in that industry as well, but I'll wait and let you guide me as to where we need to go.

Bill Soroka (26:46):

You know, I, I'd actually love for you to elaborate just a little bit on field inspections. I had the pleasure again of interviewing the, the owner of the Society Of Field Inspectors already on the podcast. You did a great job of kind of laying that out, but how you molded that into your business and made it work I'd love to hear a little bit about and so much so that you wrote a book about it. I mean that's huge.

Jamie Liggins (27:12):

Well, thank you. That is part, is, it's in the book because my book is entitled, Ten Ways To Stay Notorized, [iunclear] this it's like putting a stamp on it. Look, if you're going, if I'm going to have issues or things that come up in my life, sickness, divorce, moving to another state, notarize this. Put a stamp on it and stamp it down. So that's the idea behind my book, but photo [unlear] inspection is involved. I do have a webinar about that. But before I go any further, I'm not the type of person to act as though I'm doing it all. I can't say that. So credit, I have to give to Richard Ross. Because I went to a notary conference and there I am. I'm going through my schedule to see what one I want, you know, what presentations I want to go to. This was back in the nineties.

Jamie Liggins (28:17):

Yeah. And I saw Richard Ross, it [unclear] field inspection. Once again, I am a side hustle queen. What can I add to my notary umbrella? And that sounded interesting. And I went in a bitten [unclear] scene, like much to have to get started. He had information. He's been around for some time. And from that point I didn't do anything with it. I had the information. I make folders for everything. I made a folder and kind of tucked it away because the notary was overwhelming at the time. And it wasn't as many people in the, in, in that part of the notary industry in California doing signing, signings then. I was overwhelmed. And then on teaching and mentoring, I was overwhelmed. So here I end up moving to Louisiana and I'm like, oh, Civil Law Notary. And people are telling me you can't, it's so hard, the test is so hard, it's six, six hours.

Jamie Liggins (29:24):

The class is six months. And I almost let that stop me, step me down, so to speak. But the classes offered twice a year, cause the six months and then the test as well. So in the meantime, and trying to learn the state, though I've traveled here as a kid with my parents and so forth. I'm like, okay, what can I do? So I went back to field inspections. I was actually cleaning out boxes and putting them in my file cabinets. And then I saw that it did make [unclear] things, okay, let's go back to field inspection.

Jamie Liggins (30:05):

And I saw all these different avenues of being a field inspector. And when I said property preservation, that sounds interesting. Maintaining properties, lawns. I said, oh, the properties here, they're on acres, grass, grass forever everywhere. So all I need to do is find me a good person to contract with and let him cut the grass or she, whoever. And then I just do the paperwork and that's what I did. I started. And I, because my mother would like to show me over here, look here, here, there, these different places. And I would be out with her and I found two companies. That's what I did.

Bill Soroka (30:58):

You know, what I love about you, Jamie is, I think we're kindred spirits in some ways. We are fellow connectors of the dots. Know we see opportunity where others don't. And I think that's part of the gift that you bring to the world and to your community. You're putting these things together that other people just wouldn't even think about. You know? Cause I think part of human nature is we kind of compartmentalize and box things up a little bit. It's easier to manage less to think about. But you kick down the doors and you show other opportunities that people can tie in here. I just love it.

Jamie Liggins (31:37):

Thank you.

Bill Soroka (31:39):

Now we've already been talking for 41 minutes. If you can believe that. I know. So what I want to do is move to our, our topic and what let's get punched in the face. Okay. So through 30 years of business, you've managed a lot. What happens when your heart gets broken? You break up or you give a, go through a divorce. Has that happened to you?

Jamie Liggins (32:11):

Yes. Like I said, I was Jamie John and my small little business reputation was made under that name. So then I said, what do I do? That's how people know me. But there's nothing that I can do, but accept it and embrace it and let people know. So when I would go to the conference, I had to put my, you have to have humor in things, even though it wasn't a laughing matter. But it was change. So I had to embrace the change and let people know this is who I am now. I went back to my maiden name. Then I remarried. And then I thought like, okay, what am I going to do with that? So, I added my new married name on to that. And Nicola Jackson at the end of the day says, okay, Jamie, you're taking it all the way, you know.

New Speaker (33:16):

You're adding who, who, you know, how are we going to know you? And I, so I'm just going to add both names and that's that. And then people started messing that up and I'm like, these are females. Don't, you know, we have a maiden name and a married name? So then I said, you know, let's forget it. Take the maiden name off and just embrace my new. So I guess sometimes we can get overwhelmed with change, but you have to figure out what works and don't worry about it. This is what works and go with it.

Bill Soroka (33:50):

Yeah. You didn't have all the answers. Like it's not like you woke up and said, okay, this is how we're going to do, do it. You had the fumble around a little bit. What of the emotional toll of divorce, the impact that has on your business? How do you, I mean, everybody's a little bit different. But did you go through days where you didn't even want to get out of the bed and you didn't want to keep this business up? You didn't want to teach anymore.

Jamie Liggins (34:14):

Yes. Because you you're, you're putting on a smile and people don't know what you're going through. And so all they see is you. So I had to reduce some of my work at times when I didn't feel good. I couldn't worry. My, one of my problems was if I stop, if you stop doing keeping the volume of work, I stopped doing the work. They're going to stop calling. That's what I would think. And you just keep pushing and pushing and pushing until you push yourself sick. And so I had to say, wait a minute, if you've established your reputation, just like you have with anything, take a vacation, take a break. It's okay to take a break because on your regular job, you would do that. So take a break for yourself. The other thing I wanted to add is with the name, my face had changed. So quit worrying about the name. If they see a new change, they still see the same face and that's that. Yeah.

Bill Soroka (35:23):

And most of them remember you as Jamie anyway. Right, right,

Jamie Liggins (35:28):


Bill Soroka (35:29):

Yeah. Good advice. So as well, you brought up sick, you'll work yourself sick. And I know had some challenges with illness too. So how, when you're, you're clearly a hustler you're making things happen. You've got sometimes a full-time job, but always a business, something going on as well. What happens when life punches you in the face with illness?

Jamie Liggins (35:58):

Well, definitely when you, when you make your hustle, your full time job and you don't have regular job concern is insurance. Yeah. So what I have found is that many people, in the notary industry that are entering it, they generally are wanting to become a notary because they're about to retire or they have a mate that has insurance. So they, they, they have already thought about these things and they, they have backup it's, in some way.

Jamie Liggins (36:43):

The other thing is there are supplemental insurance that you need to think about. And so in California, what I found out is, I don't know if it's still the same now, but EDD, the Employment Development Department or agency, they had self-employment insurance for the self-employed. Wow. I found that years ago and I ordered a packet of flyers and I would include that in my swag bag for my students, it may not have been an overwhelming large amount of insurance, but none the less it was something. And then I got supplemental insurance for myself. So at the time I'm working for the state, but I still had a side hustle. I was able to take disability insurance and just balance the scales when I got sick.

Bill Soroka (37:54):

That's, that's huge. And that's one of the downsides to being a solopreneur is, if you don't work, you don't get paid.

Jamie Liggins (38:03):


Bill Soroka (38:04):

So, but at the same time, you have to take the time off, right? Because if your body fails, the mission fails. What, what, what drives you, Jamie? Why does this work matter so much to you?

Jamie Liggins (38:19):

Well, I've been doing it so long now, but I don't want to work for anybody.

Bill Soroka (38:27):

I can relate to that.

Jamie Liggins (38:30):

I took a job as a sign language interpreter, and I found that job from doing a signing. And the lady was like, please, please, please, please, we need interpreters. So I took it for a year, but I do not really like working for anyone anymore. That's a drive. The other thing is, life is interesting and I love meeting people of all backgrounds, all cultures. I enjoy what I do. It's not difficult. It, it does, being a notary is challenging because you don't know what people are going to say when you are performing a loan signing. And yet it's fun. The other thing, is you have to have an appreciation for insurance. So LegalShield, which our friend Phil Shannon,

Bill Soroka (39:29):

Phil Shannon. Yeah. Had him on the show too.

Jamie Liggins (39:33):

Yeah, he's big on LegalShield and LegalShield is a great tool. The other thing is the supplemental insurance. If you don't have good medical insurance, having supplemental insurance helps. So if you do get sick, if you have cancer, there's cancer insurance, there's accident insurance, there's hospital indemnity, there's all these different types of supplemental things you can have to make up the slack in the finances. If you do get sick, and they don't cost that much. So that's, that little section is in my book as well. I am discussing all the little fee avenues of insurance to help, you know how to take up the slack. If you don't have an eight to five job or a part-time job where you are paying for insurance, of course you can get Medicare and other things that definitely helps. But the supplemental takes up the slack.

Bill Soroka (40:41):

Yeah. That helps bring peace of mind too. And you know, from personal experience, when I have insurance that covers things like that, it helps bring me peace of mind. And it also helps me remember the abundance of the universe, right? Because when we're, when we're terrified to take time off, no matter what the reason is ma, if it's illness, if it's a broken heart, cause I've been there, I've been through a couple of bit, bad breakups in my business. And it really, it took everything I had to get out of bed and to keep working. It was kind of a nice distraction. A little bit helped, helped me focus on something. But when we experienced that lack, when we think there's not to be enough, that's when we start overworking ourselves and like grinding ourselves. So this idea of abundance tends to help me. Do you find that you have a practice of gratitude or abundance or something that you weave into your life or your business that helps you remember that?

Jamie Liggins (41:54):

Sign language helps me. I really love it. I don't have to work doing sign language anymore, but I love the deaf culture. I just love it. And I was talking to my brother yesterday, cause my brother's a missionary in Zimbabwe and he's in town, came down here to kind of help me a little bit with my parents. Cause my dad has Alzheimer's and we were eating a salad. And my brother, he said to me, oh, I love that. I love that. So just, just constantly moving with your hands, but he gets it because he is dramatic. My brother is quite dramatic. And so he gets me. But when I, if I'm out and I happen, my eyes are constantly seeing and I happened to see a deaf person. I love the deaf culture so much because you do not have to know them. You don't have to have any formal introduction.

Jamie Liggins (42:58):

You can just walk up to a deaf person and start talking. But they do want to know why are you in my culture? What's your background. That's one of the things with the deaf culture. Why are you, why did you learn my language? So I can go to them and tell them my story? Because I like talking, I like interacting with people. And then the deaf culture, you can do that. There's no issues unless, you know, everybody has some kind of issue, but overall the culture itself is like that. And that's what I love. In the notary world, oh boy, add that in there, doing signings and doing signings in sign language,

Bill Soroka (43:47):

Signing signings. Yeah. Wow. I bet that would be a powerful gift and more the niche for yourself too,

Jamie Liggins (43:54):

I love it.

Bill Soroka (43:57):

As you were going through so many challenges and we've really we've just scratched the surface; divorce, illness, you've moved states to move your entire business to a new state. There's the death of loved ones. All the things that happens to us in life anyway, seem to be magnified when we're a solopreneur, and we've got a business and income, a family that's reliant on our productivity, but we still have to take care of our emotional self. We still have to somehow figure that out. How did you take care of yourself? Giving yourself permission to feel what you need to feel and move forward? What does that look like?

Jamie Liggins (44:40):

I'm so glad you asked that question because there were two years I missed the NNA conference. One year I was here in Shreveport. The conference was in new Orleans. I went, but I was walking around just like a zombie. I just, I just didn't feel me. And I just, usually I'm up bubbling around I'm I just, I wasn't doing that. The next two years I didn't go. I just didn't go. And I had to give myself permission to say, I can't go. It's okay. I can't go. I, you know, you can't be in the know of everything all the time. It's okay. Life happens. That was one thing. The other thing is I had to take her job. I couldn't because it took time to reestablish my notary business back up again. But the one thing that I do love about this notary industry is that most of the times the companies that you work for or contract with, they're not in your state.

Jamie Liggins (45:54):

So it really doesn't matter. They're not holding you to anything. You get your stuff, your commission and your supplies and everything back up again, give them a call and you say, hey so-and-so, I'm not in California anymore. I'm over here. Great. I love that. The other thing that I learned, which I liked that your book make people think, you can make money doing this.

Jamie Liggins (46:22):

Your book, put that out there in a dramatic way. Because when, generally when you're, when I'm going to doing jobs, people say, is this all you do? You drive around stamping documents all day. Is this, all you do? Said, oh boy. And you don't always have the time or the stamina to try to explain it or to convince people that this is a, this is valid. So what I did was I didn't worry about that. I took a job and I had to tell myself, I took that job and then I went back to doing my notary thing, cause that's what I like. But do something that will benefit you if you can. Now I did not have a degree, but I took a job at a university.

Jamie Liggins (47:17):

By the time I left that place, I had a degree.

Bill Soroka (47:23):

No kidding.

Jamie Liggins (47:24):

No kidding. And I learned more contacts, more programs because universities have programs. Also the university, is a place you can teach. They weren't, I definitely can't teach notary law here because that's done by attorneys, but I definitely could do long signing. And that's what I did. I taught, taught that at LSU and Southern University. So that helped me gain back my validity again, because I felt comfortable. Then the other thing is, if something hits you, like, say for example, right now, my father has Alzheimer's. I can't leave everything on my mother. So I have to slow down this doing my science. And I had to tell myself, if you slow down Jamie, they will not stop. I can't do as many.

Jamie Liggins (48:21):

So what I said, what, how much do I need? And literally you have to look at the cost of living where you're at, California, Colorado, New York, Texas, wherever you're at Louisiana and tell yourself, this is how much I need to take care of my bills. I can't kill myself. I can't do 15/20 jobs. I can't do that and assist my mother and do my, my home responsibilities without dying when I get home. So I, I'm saying this for all who are listening, calculate how much money you need and stick with that. Don't be greedy.

Bill Soroka (49:04):

Yeah. That's a slippery slope in this business, especially when the phones start ringing and dinging, and you almost forget who you are. Every time your phone rings, it's like a slot machine. So you end up working yourself into the ground to make money, but then you forget why we're actually doing this in the first place.

Jamie Liggins (49:22):

Right. You got it, That's exactly and I said to myself, I'm saving really well. I don't need it. I'll just give an example; you may calculate and say, okay, it's $200 a job. And Louisiana's cost of living is so different. I may say really, all I need is four jobs for the week, literally. And then if I have my husband working, I may say, literally, I just need four for the week. 8, 16, 24, 32. That's all I need. And that's really not a lot. It's not, it's not going to kill you. It's not going to overwhelm you because you're really just putting in maybe five hours for the week.

Bill Soroka (50:00):


Jamie Liggins (50:00):

But you have to analyze your schedule, what you need and stick with it. When you're punched in the mouth, otherwise you're going to hit the knockout and you're not going to make it.

Bill Soroka (50:16):

You know what I, what I hear whenever I listen to you is you can't ignore the punch. And I think there's so many of us that try to ignore it. There's optimists me who take the hit and then they put a smile on their face when their teeth are falling out, their slips are bleeding. Just to go with that analogy a little bit. And then you're trying to smile and push through. And meanwhile, you take ano her punch. Cause some of the times, if you don't acknowledge, if you don't duck you can get hit again and again and again. So that's what I hear is you have to acknowledge, you have to face it, figure things out when you do it.

Bill Soroka (50:55):

And the other thing I like, and again, part of that kindred spirit, I think, is my theme for 2020 and beyond so far is, cause I haven't given up on it yet, is space and grace. You know, we all want, we have big goals. We have some dreams and we want to have happen. But what I hear from you is that you've given yourself space for listening and making way for the things that matter. You know, you're clearly your family matters to you and giving yourself some grace to feel what you need to feel and not put so much pressure on yourself. And I think that's extremely important. So I appreciate that message as it came through. Is there anything else that you'd like to leave us with before we wrap up today?

Jamie Liggins (51:45):

I'd like for the notaries that are in the business as a notary or moving higher up, it's not really even higher. Let me not say that, diversifying, stay a loving networking person instead of a jealous, competitive person. That's going to get you nowhere. I don't like to demean anyone. I was on the internet once and I saw some people going over the presentations for the NNA conference and they said, all this is boring. This is that. I said, oh, that's horrible. It may not be boring to the, to someone else. Don't demean. Let's enhance the professionalism of this industry and those that are in it.

Bill Soroka (52:41):

I love that. Excellent advice. And this, it's interesting because I've sadly, I, you know, we have an amazing notary community, but there something in the air as of late where I have noticed kind of the same thing. So this is literally right before I, figuring out how to, I want to talk about it. Right? And I was reading a book and I came across a quote by Abby Wambach. And it just blew my mind. And I think this is a good way to close because it really ties in what you're talking about here.

Bill Soroka (53:16):

And I'd like to hear what you think about it too, but it says her victory is your victory. Celebrate with her. Your victory is her victory point to her. I just thought that was a beautiful testimony of supporting anybody's wins. Whenever you have a win, give credit where credit's due to support the loving support that you've got. That was just a really powerful message. And I think that would do us all good to sit and think with that and live that way. Because a rising tide, as Laura says all the time, a rising tide lifts all ships. I think there's plenty here for all of us.

Jamie Liggins (54:02):

I agree. The only thing I can say is when you're a submarine, it's pretty heavy. And when you go down in the water, you pull water with you and you don't want to do that. Don't pull anyone down. Like you said, let's point at the victory and enjoy it because it ends up coming back around is a scripture; you reap what you sew.

Bill Soroka (54:28):

And there's no greater truth than that as I've experienced many times in my own life. All right. Well, thank you so much, Jamie. This has been a great conversation. I honor you for sticking through and with your business, your dream, everything, through everything that you've gone through and thank you for reaching back and shining a light for the rest of us.

Jamie Liggins (54:51):

Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

Bill Soroka (54:54):

If you're interested in learning more about Jamie, you can visit the sidehustlelounge.com/vip. Join the VIP room. Totally free. I'll have links to Jamie, her website, her books, and your contact information. So you can track her down, ask her any questions or support her by purchasing her books or visiting her website and purchasing her services. Thanks again, Jamie, we'll catch you next time.



PS- Your journal is one of the most important components of your role as a Notary Public. When done properly, your journal serves as your memory, documenting relevant circumstances surrounding an appointment. This helps better protect you and your signers, and there are two new journals I recommend for your consideration.

In most states, including California, Jurat, Inc.’s new Notary eJournal is an exciting and more efficient way to journal. With a special add-on device, it even digitally captures fingerprints. I’ve negotiated an incredible deal for you if you’d like to try it out. Click here for details.

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