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VERY LONG...grab a sandwich

I took an early retirement offer I received from my employer, which was the State of Illinois in 2004 (started working there in my early twenties) and thought it was fate because I was trying to decide whether or not I should stay with the government job or find work in the public sector once again. I have always been a person who never really could stay working in just one particular or type of "job" for very long because I get easily bored after a few years. 

Not only was I really fed up with the 9 to 5 routine grind and having to answer to a "boss", it was becoming extremely stressful to continue to do a job that I had no interest or passion for anymore. I dreaded working for someone else. I hated it. I also hated to ask for permission to take a day off, which became at least once a week due to a 'family issue'. You see, during this time, my youngest son began having seizures out of no where and was 7 years old when he was officially diagnosed with Epilepsy.

My employment disappointments became second to what I had to do, which was to always be ready to go and be there for my son. Then, a few years later our youngest child and second daughter developed Asthma at the age of 1, which led to her being hospitalized at least a week each year up until she was 8 years old. Although my wonderful husband was a major help with the kids back then, and still is, he had just finished training for a totally new career and had literally started a new job, a few months after our daughter was diagnosed, so he obviously couldn't take any time off, so the answer was clear and I eventually (and happily) quit my job.

Having to raise 4 children on one income was very tough and we used my retirement money as our emergency checking account. I was glad to be home with my children, for the first time, but was getting that anxious feeling again because I didn't feel right not working. I had been working since the age of 16 and to just stop wasn't as easy as I hoped. Plus I truly wanted to contribute to our household income, in some way, even if was part-time, while having the flexibility to stay at home, when I needed to care for my children. I did work part-time jobs, but they didn't last long. When I was 19 I knew I wanted to own my own business, and had even spoken with my boss at the time who encouraged me, and had a partner who was going to help run the business, but the partner went another way, and I had a few more children and life moved on. When I thought about possibly opening up my own business, I poked the idea around to my family and asked how they would feel and we discussed it, and then got their blessing and okay from my husband. 

With the blessing of my family and $3k from my retirement monies, I rented a small sub-level office, bought used office furniture, used my home pc, printer and fax machine, got my business license, then opened up shop in the Fall of 2006 and called it "AIMM Paralegal Services©"... ("A" for Adam, "I" for Ileana, "M" for Michelle and "M" for Michael, the names of my children) a legal document service company, assisting prose litigants and attorneys with legal document preparation." 

It was super exciting and unreal during that time, and I was amazed at how natural and comfortable it felt being my "own boss", working the hours I wanted, when I wanted, and could take the time off as I needed to care for my children without having to worry about being fired!  A few years later, in Spring of 2008, I renewed my notarial commission (originally issued in 1991) and added this type of service to my paralegal business. The Notary work picked up much faster than my legal work, so I thought it was best to keep the two separated and created my second business called "Chicago Notary Services"©.  I had changed the name of my paralegal business to fit the other, "Chicago Paralegal Services"©. Then changed it again a few years later, as I was able to house the two businesses under one roof, and now run and manage, "Chicago Paralegal Notary"© I also started a Wedding Officiant business "Chicago Justice of the Peace"©, which was closed a year later due to a family crisis, which took 3 years to get over. I then, just recently in 2019 reignited that passion and reopened my officiant services, which is now called "Wedding Ceremonies by Carrie"©, but since Covid-19 hit, it has come to a complete standstill.

I'm hoping 2021 will be better for the Wedding business. I am a very busy woman...ya think?!  I am truly humbled and blessed to be able to do achieve these things, and it was my strong faith in God and my family that allowed me to do all that I've done so far. 

Carrie Rivera


I do hope if you're an actively working Notary Signing Agent, you can see the bigger picture and think outside the NSA box, in that you don't have to work for low paying companies. By becoming a member YOU CAN expand your business, your client base AND YOUR PROFIT MARGIN, however, only IF YOU DO THE WORK!  

This website is not a "get rich scheme" nor do we babysit our members. What we offer is a 100% MARKETING NSA DATABASE with real REVIEWS & RATINGS© from members who have actually worked for the companies listed.

We also provide a SAFE ONLINE ENVIRONMENT FOR NSAs, so they can discuss, the good, bad and ugly, of hiring companies, and what we go through while conducting closings and dealing with various signers/clients, without the fear of having these hiring companies blackball us for stating our opinions based on facts and actual data.

I love and respect the NSA profession, and verily believe we are more than "just a point and sign notary". This is a very esteemed and privileged office to be a part of, one that should never be taken lightly nor for granted. Failure to do this job properly can lead to prosecution, fines and jail time; deterring fraud is no light task and should be taken extremely serious per notarization and transaction.

Notary Signing Agents are MORE than "just a notary" and don't let anyone get away with telling you differently, especially those that try to hire us yet offer insulting fees or from those companies that rake in PROFITS OFF OF OUR BACKS, for the very hard work we provide for each closing we complete.   

I've no regrets and have learned so very much over these last 14 years from peers who I am so proud to call my friends, and I look forward to serving many more friends in the years to come. 

-Carrie Rivera, Notary Reviews Guru

Serial Small Business Entrepreneur

Breaker of NSA Snapdocs Chains

Mother of NSA Fearless Business Warriors!


Creating Notary Reviews...

This is one of my projects and one that I am most proud of. Click "Our History" to read how and why I started this website, its long, but very true story.



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