Inside the Hustle: Notary Client (Deja Vu)

Remember that notary client I saw yesterday near the Beverly Hills area? Well, I am servicing them again! Repeat clients are my favorite clients!

I left my website client in North Hollywood after spending nearly 4 and a half hours with him and now I’m headed to South LA where the client has his business to meet him for his additional notary needs.

I’m in the backseat of this Uber, nauseous as hell because I haven’t eaten all day and I haven’t had a break in between clients. And I get motion sick when I read in a moving vehicle. But would you believe, I still love doing this?

Inside the Hustle: Website Building

Sitting here with Federico working in his website for his busineds: Serrao Cabinets. This project I’ve been working slowly on because I am on his schedule. Which, I like. I use to rush clients because I needed to get paid because I had such a horrible job – ICT – but not anymore.

Now, I take my time, I go at my client’s pace. Sometimes I go a little slower, but no need to rush. Because I make sure I have a manageable rotation of clients to keep me busy and paid.

Inside the Hustle: Notarizing a Power of Attorney

This is my third time visiting an (actual) client at a rehabilitation/nursing home. And I must say, it’s sad. The situation, at least. Coming to the point of your life that you need to give someone the power to make decisions over your well being and your livelihood should you no longer be able to.

So, I’m headed to the Rehabilitation Center of Beverly Hills to weave myself in someone’s life for a brief moment hoping their loved ones have their best interest at heart.

Working 5 to 9: It Happens

On Monday of this week, I made plans to meet a notary client between 7:30am and 8:00am on Tuesday, as I was not able to meet him Monday afternoon. I was busy. Actually having a life. Plus, I didn’t have my notary journal or stamp on me. So I needed to reschedule. And in our text communication, I agreed to the time set on Tuesday and he agreed as well. I also explained that I would text him when I was leaving and when I arrived that morning. He liked the sound of that.

So when yesterday morning rolls around, I shoot him a text letting him know I was headed his way. Then, 15 minutes after I sent the text, he responds asking how much will the total be for the notary services. I tell him the notarization is $15, but my travel is $25. He then responds, “the bank charges $15”. I said, so do I but I also charge a travel fee since I’m traveling to you. He thought we agreed to a $20 fee. Nothing in our text ever said I agreed to $20 fee for everything. He thought I was really going to accept $5 for traveling 13 miles out of my way to him.

He said he couldn’t pay that while I was in my Uber on my way to him. Frustrated at this point, I just texted back “thank you.”. He then said no worries, like he was really doing me a favor and asked if he could save my number. I, in turned, saved his as well… so I know never to respond to him in the future.

Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me.

But it happens. Working with clients on our own isn’t going to be perfect and rainbows and sunshine all the time. We’re going to get people who are a disappointment. Who cost us more money to work with them than not to. Who don’t commit or poorly communicate. It happens. It’s part of the process. It’s how we learn how to do what we do better.

So even though he cost me $9.95 in fare money, I take this as a lesson learned experience. It’ll happen. The not so good clients will come and I will still have to roll with those punches.

Inside the Hustle: A Haggling Notary Client

Currently in route to a client – maybe- who decided to haggle me on my travel fees. Yes, I understand that the banks are charging $15 for notarizations. So am I. But I’m also a mobile. So, I’m waiting to hear back while I’m in this Uber headed his way. I mean, if he wants to wait till 9am tl the bank opens, he’s more than welcome to.

Ugh. He just canceled. Note to self, will no longer be servicing clients in the 90047 area or clients named Shah.

Inside the Hustle: Card Writing

There is a niche and market for just about everything out there. No joke. Above is an email message I just received from a long time real estate client of mine asking about some anniversary cards she and I worked together on for her clients. “Anniversary Cards”? I’ve been working with Dorit and her husband for over five years as one of my side hustles. I first started out providing administrative work for them on Saturdays while I was working full time and that morphed into some marketing work, which I love ten times more.

The anniversary cards she’s asking about is a marketing tool she/we’ve been using for the last couple of years as a top-of-mind direct mail tactic. It keeps her current clients returning to her and her husband for real estate services but also as the first name her clients think of when they want to refer other clients to her.

What’s my role in the process? I create the content for each of these anniversary cards or any marketing material we mail to her clients and I hand write them… all. Because nothing is more personal than a hand-written note these days. People are more likely to read them and respond them. And seems to work for her and her husband’s real estate business.

I will admit, I don’t always enjoy the hand written part of this task, but it’s all in a day’s hustle.

I responded back letting her know when she should have received them and if she can’t find them, to let me know so I can recreate them. How do I get paid? Venmo. We use to meet up and I woudl get paid cash or by check. But this works too.

Inside The Hustle: The Launch

Elle inside her hustle

Elle here! Boy has it been quite the week. I literally moved my life to the West Coast in January in less than a month, and I just moved back to the East Coast in less than, hmmm, three days. Talk about moving around. I have been back now a week, and I am already launching my meal prepping service today!!!! Oh, and I’ve already got a client.

I’m suppose to be finishing my menu flyer, but I thought I’d peep in to check in with my hustle family. Peace and love to you ladies and keep hustlin’.

PS, I’ll share more of what I’m working on in the coming weeks. Until then I hope you all follow my journey @mylifebeingelle and @junkfoodbyelle on Instagram, and sign up for my email list at www.eatjunkfood.co

Where’s Your Motivation: It’s Okay to Be Late

Or behind schedule or running behind… just as long as we don’t stop altogether.

Sometimes being late on something feels like we should stop and quit. “Oh, I couldn’t get this post out on time like I usually have before, so maybe I should stop blogging and forget about it.” Why? Because I was behind schedule? No! That’s never an excuse. Quitting or giving up because of schedule conflicts is not acceptable. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience. Here’s an embarrassing example I’ve mentioned before but I’ll relive it for that sake of this post:

Last year I missed a client. That is to say, I was on my way to see a notary client but never made it to him. I take Uber to see my clients and on this occasion I had chosen Uber Express. For those unfamiliar with this option or perhaps Uber in general, this selection has a designated drop off and pick up spot that aren’t usually at your home or your actual address. When I look back, I mentally kick myself in the butt for not just selecting the regular Uber option. I was trying to save money and instead lost a client forever. What happened was that by Uber driver dropped me off near my location, but because I had never been in this area before, I had started walking the wrong way, killing precious time. I called the client to assist me on getting my bearings straight but quickly learned I was much farther than I realized. I tried walking in the direction I believed the client told me to head in while the client kept calling me in the process asking me if I was near his location. I didn’t want to admit that I was walking or had taken an Uber to get to him. And obviously driving would’ve been much faster than me walking in my wedges, but whatever. After walking for a certain amount of time, I came to a bus stop and sat down. And gave up. The client continued to call me and I started ignoring his calls. He left me some not so nice voicemails which were understandable. Not gonna lie. I get where he was coming from. But because I felt so late and behind our appointed schedule and so far away, I quit. I gave up. I stopped trying

Till this day, I regret doing that, but it has taught me some on the simple but valuable businesses lessons:

  • Always show up even when you’re late
  • If you’re late, just own it
  • Don’t nickle and dime yourself out of client. Paying a few pennies more and I wouldn’t have lost this client

We’re not gonna be perfect all the time and people won’t expect us to be. But they will expect us to be there and perform. And sometimes that’s all we need to do in order to be perfect.

Working 5 to 9: Take On As Many New Experiences As You Can

A notary company reached out to me this past Monday to offer me an opportunity to perform a few (12-15) notarizations on a film set. I thought, cool. I’ve been to a film studio before. Culver Studios, in fact. So I’m thinking, sure thing, just tell me to go.

Well I begin texting back and forth with one of the assistants to the owner about this assignment until the assistant told me the owner would reach out to me with more details. A few hours later the owner sends me a text introducing himself and we talk about the assignment he’s been given. He approached the topic very sensitively. Very cautiously. Until he finally reveals that the notary assignment is on the set of an adult film studio. And the notarizations would be taking place during some of the filming.

Hey, I don’t care. Business is business. And obviously, they’re in their own business. But the owner of the notary company spent the next 30-40 minutes trying to coax me into accepting the assignment. I think he was uncomfortable and assume others would be as well.

Dude, I was already on board when he said he had a notary job for me. I know what PornHub is (although they weren’t PornHub).

So after he convinced himself he convinced me, he checked back in the client to see how soon they needed the service. We started talking about fees and I was about to tell him what I would be willing to service the client for when my gut told me asked me to ask him how generous they were planning to be. Since he mentioned they were being generous given the circumstances. He said he could offer $250 if he got another notary out there with me. $350 if it was just me.

Girl!

Hmmm. Pluh-lease. I know signing agents who don’t make that much from an assignment.

So, yeah. I jumped on board. It paid really well and it was a new experience I had never had before. Now I was already agreeing to the assignment before I had gone but it mean some compromises on my end:

  • Going out to a client in the wee hours of the morning
  • Being around naked people who are to paid to have sex on film for a living
  • Convincing a third party client to give me the assignment

New things are good things. For the most part. And if you approach them with a positive mind set, you’ll always take something away from the experience.

Would you have gone to that adult film set?

Sometimes You Don’t Win Them All

Today I disappointed a client. A notary client. I was not able to keep my time commitment. And I feel shitty about it.

I called an Uber after Google mapping the client’s location and figuring that 30 minutes should be enough time to go 6.4 miles from where I was. And even when I saw it wasn’t, I sent him a text saying I would be an additional 10-15 minutes late because there was some sort of incident and police were rerouting traffic, causing more traffic. I was taking an Uber Pool Express so, of course, we had other passengers to pick up. However, those said passengers were behind the police yellow tape and we couldn’t to them. After a couple of failed attempts and a crowded 10 East freeway route later, my Uber drive dropped me off 15 minutes in the opposite direction of the client (those were some long ass blocks). Well, never having been to this part of town before, I’m all turned around. I’ve called and texted my would be client and he attempted to help me as he is unsure as to where I am. I’m now on foot trying to find his location. He then texts me that he needs leave by 5pm and asks for an ETA. I have no idea where I am. After trying to figure myself out, I call and send him a text apologizing that I would not be able to make it to see him.

I was late. And lost. And missed an opportunity.

And I feel horrible about that. What made it worse, but that he proceeded to call me and text me for over an hour telling me how upset he was with me. I haven’t listened to his voicemails as of yet, but I feel bad enough.

I failed someone and I don’t like it.

I mean, it took me four hours to write this, that’s how bad I felt. Still feel. Just replaying the latter half of my day in my head wondering what if I left work earlier or just took Uber pool instead of the Express.

Sometimes we don’t win them all and those losses suck.