Leaders need leaders
I remember watching the funeral of Congressman John Lewis and listening to what people said about him in their eulogies. Their words reminded me of what it means to be a good leader. The capacity to motivate and inspire other people is important for anyone in a leadership position, even if they’re not involved in politics. You need leadership skills if you’re a parent raising children, a teacher or principal at a school, or an assistant manager, department head, manager, or owner of a company. John Lewis was a passionate man and a strong role model, and…
I get to go to work today
“I GET to go to work today.” Have you heard this comment lately? Probably not. It’s more common to hear people say, “I have to go to work today,” as if their job is a burden instead of an opportunity. Maybe you’ve even said it yourself.
Having a grateful mindset can completely change your viewpoint on work. I have experienced this personally. Want to prove it to yourself? Tomorrow morning when you’re getting ready for work, say “I get to go to work today.” Say it out loud. Then say it again the next…
February 2017 newsletter
Focus: Take charge of your time
A key component of success in any career is single-minded focus. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, two of the world’s wealthiest people, have said that they owe their success to this trait. According to Buffett biographer Alice Schroeder, in 1991 when Bill Gates’ dad asked Buffett and Gates to name the most important factor in their success, they both gave the same answer: “Focus.”
In the dictionary focus comes before success, and the same thing is true in life. If you intend to take charge of your career, you must be laser-focused on…
Always love an underdog
I was an underdog until my early twenties. Not much was expected of me while I was growing up, but I was always able to make people laugh because I loved being silly. I had no clue what I wanted to be when I grew up. But then something happened. In my late teens I saw a movie called Rocky, and that was the beginning of my change. For those of you who didn’t see it, Rocky is a story about a less than average boxer with very little to show for his work (a true…
The importance of laughter
I am pretty confident we all could use more laughter in our lives today. I know I need it every day. Being able to see the funny side of life makes it easier for us to deal with tough times.
As most of you know, I am a big fan of Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. I was very fortunate to attend his church last August and visit with him after the service. Today I want to share some of Joel’s thoughts as well as my own perspective on the importance of…
Determined to matter
How do you feel when someone says, “You matter to me”? I’ll bet it makes you feel pretty awesome. It means a lot to me when someone says that I matter to them or when they treat me like I matter.
Your words and actions matter to everyone around you. Are you letting people know that they matter to you? When you wake up in the morning, you can choose to make sure every person you talk to that day will feel like they matter. To reinforce this intention in your own mind, you can affirm it out…
Making things happen builds your confidence
When I was a kid, I felt great when I was able to make something happen. When I shoveled a driveway or mowed a yard or cleaned the garage, I always felt a sense of accomplishment when the job was finished. My confidence grew because I knew that I had the ability to get things done.
Fast-forward to 2020, and guess what? Making things happen still makes me happy and gives me confidence.
“I like things to happen; and if they don’t happen,
I like to make them happen.“
– Winston Churchill
We all have the ability to make…
Having courage can change your life!
What does having courage mean to you? If you are a salesperson, it might mean being able to make cold calls. If you’re in a leadership role, it might mean finding the strength to confront an employee about their job performance or to let someone go or to deal with a challenging customer. What about having the courage to do the right thing? How often are you confronted with this challenge? Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, yet I believe it is mandatory in business. And if you have a goal that you…
You create your own opportunity
Nothing happens without opportunity. Think about it: from the second you wake up in the morning until the second you close your eyes at night, all of the time in between is filled with potential opportunity. However, you need to be on the lookout for ways to make good things happen.
If you don’t wake up with the mindset that today you are going to create opportunity, no one else is going to do it for you. I created my…
Always expect to win
Salespeople: When you go on a sales call, do you expect your prospect to do business with you? Realtors: When you go on a listing appointment, do you expect the seller to list with you? Managers/business owners: Do you expect your employees to stay with you for a long time and be happy at their workplace? The correct answer to all of these questions is YES!
“Winning isn’t everything — but wanting to win is.”
― Vince Lombardi
Why would I go on a sales call without planning to get the deal, why would I go on a…
What People in the Audience are Saying…
With Van's passion, humor and experience you can be assured of one thing- your audience is going to get fired-up, built-up, and fully charged –up. As an entrepreneur at the top of his game Van is in the unique position of being able to "talk the talk" because he has "walked the walk". Over the years he has been a great inspiration to me and my staff. Van is a speaker with charisma, humility and impact and he's a difference maker in the lives of the people he touches…"
I wanted to thank you for coming and speaking with our company today. I thought your presentation was awesome! I was really motivated and inspired by your thoughts and ideas. I will use this motivation to grow my business and my personal life.”
We are delighted you will be accepting the award for Omaha’s Top 25 fastest growing companies. Congratulations on your outstanding growth and we wish you continued success.”
Thank you for running such a class act company. It is an honor and a pleasure to be associated with someone such as yourself. I know you are probably one of the most respected businessmen in the region.”
Congratulations on writing “Selling from the heart” and thank you for sharing a copy with me. Your class has been one of the most enjoyable classes I’ve ever taken. Your enthusiasm and passion for your work are awesome. But the most refreshing part of the class was your delightful sense of humor. Thank you again for being a fantastic teacher.”
Kudos to you, Van, for reaching a major goal. But more than that...For successfully building one of Omaha’s best companies from scratch and making it thrive even in less than ideal market conditions. You have realized the American Dream...And brought it home to many, many others. My best to you!”
Having you here again was such a blessing to so many! As I looked at the pictures, I could see just how interested each and every person was in what you had to say!
This has been such a gift to our agents when they need it the most. The fact that you come, you are so genuine and caring, you are so honest, you are not trying to sell anything and your passion to help each and every person believe in themselves and become the best they can be is HUGE! The timing is perfect for us all helping and caring about each other, so, thank YOU from the bottom of my heart for giving of yourself to help all of us!”
I enjoyed your seminar and its focus. I was on the fence whether or not to attend and decided why not? I could have sat through an all day session if there was one, usually I end up at the seminars that start with a focus and quickly go astray. I found with yours time flew by too fast and it was already time to go but I wasn’t ready to go.”