|I'm happy to hear that your approach is working well for you, but I don't believe your advice to newbies is necessarily sound. In fact, for some, I think it may be rather bad advice.|
It's been a long time since this topic was discussed in depth here, so this seems like a good place and time to raise it again. Fortunately (perhaps now that the Search feature has been improved), I found the message I've been looking for that I believe gives the best perspective I've read here on a critical aspect of the financial side of our business. It's this one: Msg #488879.
The key take-away (but not the only one) is that for the NSA, 'volume' from a client depends on how much they're paying and is only a benefit when it provides a sufficient profit margin. It's an important consideration when evaluating whether we're working smart, or just working hard. (This barely scratches the surface of what's explained there.) The good stuff is towards the end, so read the whole thing. And if you're new (or even if you're not), I strongly recommend you read it twice. Understanding this concept can be the difference between making a profit and/or working at a loss.
What she doesn't get into in this particular message, which bears further investigation, are the various taxes (including SE tax) and the consequences/considerations of taking the allowed Notary exemptions, or not. These choices could have a significant impact for you later in life.
Also, for those who have additional income streams, it's still important that your notary business eventually make a profit (I believe within 3 yrs, but check with your CPA). If you're using notary business expenses as deductions, but it doesn't make a profit on it's own, the IRS can rule that your notary business is a hobby and can disallow all those deductions, which would INCREASE your tax liability, not reduce it. (Years ago, someone posted here that this happened to them.)
BTW, I also found this related message on price fixing, which has been a recent topic: Msg #539318.