ANDRE C. HATCHETT: HOW ME GETTING LAUGHED AT WAS THE BEST THING FOR MY BUSINESS.
I’m so happy my friends laughed at my first business. You see, many people especially in our community, are seeking notoriety, instant name recognition and status. My first business didn’t offer those things. So, the people I spoke to when I was in the planning stage, laughed and made statements like this:
“You have a safe job with the school district! You have health benefits and a pension! People never leave those jobs!” “What? … A notary company? Are you crazy?” You’re damn right I am. I’m INSANE. At the time, I didn’t know how insane I actually was; but, I knew I was different and that was enough for me. I was a 24 year-old teacher’s aide,making 35K a year plus over-time. I could make an extra few grand if I worked summers. So let’s round it up to 42K a year. My mortgage payments were low. My investment property was stable. I was “straight.” Skip being straight, your Brother Dre wanted to be Great! So I started my first corporation, Priority Notary, Inc. It’s not a sexy company. It’s not a sexy name. Who cares? It’s mine!
When most people hear the word “notary,” they think about going to a local bank, paying them a few bucks and having their documents notarized. Where we differ is, we provide MOBILE notary services. We travel to our client’s home or office to ensure expedited loan closings. We even provide mobile fingerprinting services. My company is now successful and nationwide, but my friends couldn’t see it back then. To be successful, you must be able to visualize what that looks like. Most people’s minds are limited because they can only see what they have seenbefore. We visionaries have superpowers; we don’t see limits at all.
How did I get started? I shadowed my friend who had been in the business for over a year. I studied what he did: the fees he charged, his expenses, the low start-up costs, his plans for expansion, etc. I said “Yep, this will be my first business.” Did I love it? Not really; but I had a STRONG like. And I HATED taking orders from the man, so that was a winning combination.
In a nutshell, people either didn’t believe I could run my own ship or didn’t believe in the business. At first, it actually hurt. It discouraged me. I thought about staying on the plantation and working my business part-time; but eventually,I was pushed off. I was very excited about my first job (By the way, a job isn’t yours unless you own it). I was 19 or 20 and I had my first salaried position, with ben efits. I walked proudly into the classroom with my water and breakfast in hand, and then introduced myself. “Hi, I’m Andre C. Hat…” Before I could even finish my last name, the young blonde white teacher said in a nasty tone, “Where did you get that water bottle from?” She then looked around the classroom and spotter hers. That stayed with me. I didn’t want to work for people who thought I would steal a $1 bottle of water from them. So the planning of my escape began on my first day.
What Do I Want You To Gain From All of This?
1. You must possess the ability to believe in your own dreams!! You have them for a reason. Don’t let them die inside of you! Approximately 1% of Black people are self-employed or entrepreneurs. When you want to break free, seekadvice, support and validation from other runaways like us, not from the 99% of 9-5ers!!! Most of them think that’s the only way to live and can’t fathom anything else. We are different. We live and thrive on the ability to unleash the warrior within us! Don’t Let Them Win!
2. Flashy doesn’t always win. Clubs are flashy. Restaurants are the “king of flashy;” but, the risk is very high as well.A lot of times we are looking for the WOW factor. Some businesses just don’t have that kind of pop. But many do have the, “dude I’m getting consistent checks” factor! Don’t overlook a great opportunity because it’s not cool enough.Watch the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary “Broke” for more proof.
3. When things get tough, and they will, use the negative messages you heard as fuel for your engine, as motivation to get up and keep it pushing. When I felt like giving up, when I was fighting off severe depression and going through bankruptcy, it was the harsh words, “Dre is crazy; he can’t do that, he doesn’t have a degree.” “A notary? How much money can he really make?” And the best one yet, the status driven lady I was dating for a while told me to “Get a real job. I don’t know how to describe what you do to my (stuck up) friends.” These voices are the ones I used to get me off the mat and take this puppy to the top or die trying. Ironically, the same lady who told me to get a real job was later a sub-contractor for Priority Notary, Inc. I thank them in my head every damn day!!
Where are we now?
1. We have one of the BEST websites in the whole industry. Check it out!! http://prioritynotaryinc.net
2. We are Nationwide!!! I’m in the process of going from being self-employed, to being able automate the business (read Rich Dad Poor Dad for detailed description of what I mean by that). I currently sub-contract other mobile notaries around the country to conduct mobile notarization, loan Closings and fingerprinting services for Priority Notary, Inc. I get the call, assign the job to a sub-contractor, receive payment from the client, take my percentage off the top, andthen send the sub-contractor their cut!!
3. Who you become in the process is amazing! I feel like new man. I have proven the critics wrong! More importantly,I’ve proven to myself that I only need validation from myself in order to succeed!