It’s maybe a little ironic that Christmas was the favorite holiday of the year for my Jewish mom, Carol Ray. Nobody who knew her doubted her love for the day or wondered why she loved this season so much.
For mom, Christmas represented Giving. Giving presents, giving food, sharing encouragement, and sharing love with her family, friends, students, and just about anyone she met.
Mom was simultaneously the most generous and the worst gift-giver in the known universe. Her favorite was to find and buy the most unique, often extravagant, gift. Frequently these gifts were some gadget or technology she’d fallen in love with and wanted to share; sometimes, these were things of tremendous sentimental value. But once she had the gift, she would bubble over with enthusiasm. “I can’t wait for you to see your present”! She would exclaim more truthfully than even she knew.
What would follow would be weeks of hints, and comments, sometimes asking slyly, “Do you want to know what it is?” More often than not, this would culminate in some outrageous excuse for opening the gift early. Mom was just too excited to wait any longer. “I just knew you would need the combination bread maker, toaster oven, and battery charger before Christmas!”
For Carol Ray, Christmas and the spirit of giving was the primary reason for starting Notary2Pro. Carol wanted to give people an opportunity to improve their lives. She often remarked that what she did might allow people to buy Christmas presents for their families. We know that her teaching through Notary2Pro did that and so much more.
As we approach Christmas and the end of 2022, many of our graduates are nervous. Things currently feel challenging or even grim in the notary business. Interest rates are higher than they’ve been in twenty-one years. Pending home sales dropped more than 30% in October and November. There is a weakening in some housing markets. All this is making many people nervous about a recession. Are we in one, or is one coming? Undoubtedly, traditional loan signings are down from the last several boom years we’ve all enjoyed.
As a family, the question is always, “How do we continue her legacy and carry forward the purpose of Notary2Pro into the future?” This question is central to my dad, my siblings, and the others who have joined us at Notary2Pro. Given the current market and economic realities we are facing, what does that mean?
Here is what I know. My mom faced several recessions, financial and personal hardships, loss of work, a home she loved, great uncertainty, and terrible insecurity in her lifetime. Yet, for all that, she never lost her extraordinary optimism. She always believed sincerely that with hard work, the future would bring better things. People loved Carol Ray for many reasons, but her resiliency may have been her most powerful asset. She would want to ensure that Notary2Pro shared this optimism, this work ethic, and resiliency with her students, our graduates, and the notary community.
So for Notary2Pro, in 2023, we have retooled. Our primary focus is teaching our students and the community how to grow their businesses, expand beyond loan signings, thrive in this challenging market, and, perhaps most importantly, demonstrate what it means to be resilient even in times of adversity. Being a professional notary is an excellent way to make extra money working part-time or provide a good living for full-time work.
Our goal is to ensure all of you, our graduates, and many friends continue to thrive in your lives and businesses. We want our students to arrive at this time next year and say, “Notary2Pro helped me buy Christmas presents for my family.”
Carol Ray’s purpose in creating Notary2Pro was twofold, to “raise the bar in the loan signing industry” and to give people the tools to succeed in this business. Our promise to you is to continue, expand and adapt to this purpose with new courses, new tools and resources, and, most importantly, continuing encouragement. After all, as Carol constantly reminded her students. “You’ve got this!”
On behalf of Notary2Pro, my father Bill, my siblings Barbara and Lori, my niece Sabrina, and our dear colleagues Andrea, Stephanie, Paul, Hannan, and Sonia, we are all so grateful for your support and your continued engagement. Thank you. We wish you all a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, and an extraordinary and prosperous New Year.