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From Notary novice to NotaryAssist: Sue Hope’s journey in the Notary business

Sue Hope

Hey there, Notary friends! Are you an in-house Notary wondering if there are opportunities for you beyond your office? Maybe you’re dipping your toes in the waters of starting your own Notary business and wondering if you should go deeper.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Sue Hope, a 24-year mobile Notary veteran, who started as an employee Notary and became an innovator within our profession through the creation of NotaryAssist.

She shared with me how developing genuine connections within her local Notary community and fanning the spark of an idea brought her a life beyond her wildest dreams.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand your Notary business, Sue’s insights are pure gold. Be sure to watch the related video for even more.

The unexpected start to a Notary career

Imagine it’s another day at the office. Your boss walks in with a request (honestly, it’s more of an assignment):

Your coworker is retiring, and it’s your turn now to be the Notary on staff.

That’s what happened to Sue, courtesy of her employer at a real estate investment trust.

“I had no idea what a Notary was,” she reminisced. “I would have never known about being a Notary if I hadn't been asked by my employer.”

While the start of her Notary journey was unexpected, Sue had the benefit of support from her colleagues.

“Working with your in-house friends and doing notarization, you don’t feel the pressure of, ‘my gosh, I’m going to screw this up,’” Sue said. “You can actually get familiar with the lingo, the forms, and how to go about it. It lays a foundation.”

Navigating unexpected challenges

As she got comfortable with the complexities of real estate documents, Sue learned that she was in a unique niche where traditional stamps sometimes wouldn’t stick — literally.

“On the real estate side of things — I had blueprints, construction documents—we don’t stamp some of these because the stamp wouldn’t stick,” Sue recounted, laughing. “You just have to attach your certificate and submit everything to the county or the state for approval.”

But just as she was getting used to working with unconventional documents in the real estate sector, life threw her more curves.

“I wound up leaving that position and taking my wonderful little bag with me because I became a mom again,” Sue shared. “I took some time off and just put that nice little Notary bag in a box in my closet.”

Branching out and starting a business

Taking a break to raise her family, Sue initially thought her Notary days were behind her. However, her attention to detail while refinancing her home caught the eye of the Notary at the appointment.

“I had everything laid out for her, and she was like, ‘Wow, you have everything. Everything’s ready!’ And I go, ‘Yeah, I’m a Notary too and so I know what you need.’

The conversation that followed unveiled for Sue the potential of the Notary business beyond the confines of a 9-to-5 job.

“I didn't even realize that there was this whole world outside my boss’s realm where I could do notarial acts,” remembered Sue. “Literally, that Notary opened my eyes to the real estate refinance boom back in 2001.”

Under the guidance of a Notary entrepreneur, Sue learned the ropes of the mobile Notary business, working part-time while being a full-time mom. And as her children grew, so did her business ambitions.

Growing a business with help from the community

As she transitioned from part-time Notary work to building her own Notary business, Sue faced the all-too-familiar challenges of juggling family life with professional aspirations.

“When you're starting a business, you want to say yes to everything,” Sue related. “It's not 9 to 5, it's 24/7, right? If the phone rings, you want to answer it. You're trying to say yes and establish yourself. So you're go, go, go.”

Time management, work-life balance, and the risk of burnout loomed over all aspects of her life. But it was through building connections with fellow Notaries and creating a support network that Sue found her stride.

“It’s not a competition, and there’s plenty of work. So look at another Notary like, my gosh, you’re a Notary. Let’s get to know each other,” Sue suggests.

“It starts with something simple and becoming a friend, and then being able to say, ‘Hey, my gosh, do you need time off, your son's sick. I'll help you that day,’ and vice versa,” Sue said.

NotaryAssist: The birth of a business solution

Recognizing the challenges of managing a Notary business, especially when it comes to scheduling, client management, and preparing for income taxes, Sue, alongside her husband Gary, developed NotaryAssist.

NotaryAssist embodies the lessons Sue has learned over years of trial and error — and keeping records in a shoebox. Notary Assist provides resources to help Notary professionals manage business expenses, mileage and tax records, schedule assignments and prepare invoices, and much more. It also reflects her commitment to paying it forward by helping other Notaries navigate the complexities of the business with greater ease. For this reason, they offer a “30-day or 20 new appointments” free trial with no credit card needed.

“Whether you're brand new or you're seasoned and you just want to try it out, we want you to be able to use it and ask us questions,” Sue explained.

An example for Notaries, new and experienced

Sue Hope’s journey from novice Notary to seasoned professional and entrepreneur is an example for anyone in the Notary business. With the right mix of determination, mentorship, and community support, it really is possible to thrive in the Notary world.

“Notaries get to do these amazing things,” Sue reminded me. “We’re able to be a small part of big things—whether it's getting that first house, adopting that beautiful child, helping loved ones know that their last wishes are going to be honored.”

So, to all you Notary warriors out there, armed with your seals and journals, I hope Sue’s story reminds you to continue to learn from each other, support one another, and build not just businesses but a legacy of service and success.

Here’s to your Notary journey — may it be as fulfilling and impactful as Sue Hope’s.

Susi Sivkov is the Audience Engagement Manager at the National Notary Association. Susi is an experienced Notary educator and the author of the book “NotaRISE: Rise to your greatest potential with Three to Thrive.”


Add your comment


02 Apr 2024

How can i get your help? I really need someone who is willing to allow me to shadow them and learn. I would like to be a closing agent. Can you help? I need to talk to get direction.

National Notary Association

03 Apr 2024

Hello. Due to privacy rules, Signing Agents normally cannot allow other persons to accompany them on assignments. However, there are other resources available to help you. You can find information on becoming a Signing Agent here: If you are interested in additional training. You may also find this YouTube video helpful:

Sabrina Flores

08 Apr 2024

Hi, I tried to open the YouTube video to no avail. Could you please email me link?

National Notary Associatinn

09 Apr 2024

Hello. Here is the link for the YouTube video:

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