17 JAN 2021 - Picking a Good Mentor
These notes were prepared in advance for my interview with Michelle Riley on Clubhouse at 3:00 pm on 1/17/2021.
Finding a Mentor
What do you expect?
First of all, it’s important to know what you expect of the mentor.
• Have you identified an area that you need help in?
• Or, are you looking for “teach me everything!”?
Once you know what you need, start looking in "stealth mode."
Notaries are generally watching groups on notary forums. Pick out someone you find trustworthy and ask if you may send an email or message to them. In your message, ask if they provide mentoring services or if they have someone they can recommend.
Don’t become vulnerable.
One mistake that new notaries make is that they make themselves vulnerable to predatory folks hoping to sell a course or mentoring services. They enter a group with many notaries in it, most of whom they do not know, and they say “Help! I need a mentor! “
At that point, they can become targets of people who aren’t doing that well in their own notary work and some have little experience but want to sell their time to new folks. That’s a disaster.
Selling Mentoring Services
Let me stop and say that there’s nothing wrong with selling your services or courses—I do it and Michelle does it (I think), but most who do sell their services will either have a group of their own which they tend to by being a group owner/hostess and answering lots of questions patiently day in and day out.
A good course provider or mentoring provider has earned street creds and longevity in the notary community.
Group owners on social media who don’t mentor usually know someone that is professional and authentic who does do mentoring.
Someone who is hosting a Facebook group is generally dedicated to the field and not just making the quick buck. They are pretty reliable match makers. Many of them provide mentoring services.
Shouldn't Mentoring Be Free?
Well, it should be, and most mentors do a great deal of it free by peppering their social media groups with rich, helpful content. However, if you want to be mentored intensively by someone who is active as a notary professional, you need to expect to pay them for their time. When I started posting my mentoring rate of 1.5 hour sessions at $75 each with no guarantees. I did it because so many people were asking for my time. I thought that would stop the requests for mentoring, but it did not. So, I mentor now. I don't promise that anyone will earn any certain amount. I just promise to deliver nuts and bolts and my own knowledge and experiences.
Questions to Consider when Selecting a Mentor
How much does your mentor know about your state?
If you need marketing information, you need someone from your state. For instance, an experienced California mentor knows a lot about notary signing agent work, but they are clueless about how the market is Texas or Alabama. A local mentor will know what the market will bear for a new person.
Is your mentor still working and active in the notary world?
Or are they only providing mentoring services.?
Staying current on the latest ways to get business and the newest insights on the business comes with involvement.
What will the format be?
Does the mentor plan to let you ask questions and respond to them? Or is there a planned weekly session to discuss definite things?
Will you be able to pick the format?
Q & A Mentoring - This is all that some notaries need. They just need someone to ask a quick question of.
Planned Mentoring - Planned mentoring should be more structured.
For instance, when I work with notaries as a formal mentor, there are three very definite types of information to cover. That’s where I start if I am going to take on a mentee for one-on-one training. There should be at least three 1.5 hour sessions if the notary is 100% new to the notary world. And, the new notary should plan on getting training in addition to being mentored.
Notaries should learn skills in this order. How we cover this information is dependent on where they are at the time we connect.
1. Notary Skills
2. Notary Signing Agent Skills
3. Business and Marketing Skills
Many notaries have already developed their notary skills, so we don’t have to spend a lot of time on that. The other day, however, I met with a mentee who didn’t really understand when to add her stamp. She needed to work on her notary skills first. In this situation, I would go over the things I find to be necessary before a notary goes out to do any kind of notary work. But, the notary should still be willing to purchase a notary handbook at minimum from the NNA.
Only you can decide if the person doing the mentoring is going to help with your needs.
INTERESTED IN MY MENTORING SERVICES? PLEASE REACH OUT TO ME VIA firstname.lastname@example.org. My mentoring services are billed at $75 for a one and a half-hour session. I'm in Texas and I can also recommend a few other mentors in various areas.
On 2/13/2021, my partner and I will be training. If this date has passed, reach out at email@example.com for upcoming dates on training or to inquire about our video training. Our website is under construction, so be patient! Check this link for more information.