February 2023 Newsletter The time is NOW

The time is NOW


“If not you, then who? And if not now, then when?”   


Most of my newsletters include those two questions, usually at the end. Today they are at the beginning because I want to focus on taking action NOW.


In all my years I do not recall ever seeing so much uncertainty in every aspect of life. As of the writing of this newsletter, we have already had around 40 mass shootings in the United States in 2023, and it’s less than five weeks into the new year. Our national debt is the highest it’s ever been. Some companies are adding a new position called Director of Kindness (really!). In real estate a lot of people are waiting to see what the interest rates will do.


“On my own, I will just create, if it works, it works, and if it doesn’t, I’ll create something else. I don’t have any limitations on what I think I could do or be.” – Oprah Winfrey 


If we want to do something, what are we waiting for? We are not promised tomorrow. THE TIME IS NOW. We should not depend on other people to make our decisions. Our lawmakers have absolutely no clue on how to handle gun control. It’s probably easier to get a gun today than to buy a pack of gum.


“Right now is the best time to create your tomorrow.” – Ken Poirot


In the business world, service is not what it used to be. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a store to purchase something and the salesperson just looked at me. They didn’t say hello, and they didn’t ask, “Can I help you?” They just looked at me.


I want to educate these salespeople on how to greet customers, but I don’t do it because I don’t want to offend anyone or contradict what their manager has taught them…which in this case is absolutely NOTHING! As you already know, I believe everything that happens in any organization starts at the top…it’s all about leadership, or in this case, the lack thereof.


“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” – Shannon L. Adler


What can we do in times of uncertainty? First of all, we can quit depending on other people to make our lives happier or to do what we want them to do. Instead, we can focus on using our God-given talents and making bold decisions that will make our lives better. One of those decisions may be to completely stay away from anything negative. That may mean not watching news broadcasts on TV or the Internet. That may mean staying away from certain people. That may mean not shopping at places where you don’t feel like you’re appreciated.


Instead of getting caught in the trap of negativity, it’s time to make a plan and establish a timeline to achieve your definition of success. We each have to make a decision to THRIVE, not just survive. I also believe we need to make sure God is our foundation and recognize the POWER OF PRAYER!


“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler


For home buyers and sellers who are worried about interest rates, my advice based on 40 years of experience in the real estate industry is “Don’t wait.” If you want to buy a home and you’re prepared to do it financially, then do it now. If you want to sell your home and you’re ready to start the process, then do it now. If you’re in sales and you want to be the top salesperson in your company, then take steps now to make it happen. If you want to be a better son, daughter, partner, or parent, do it now. Nothing is promised in this world, including time. That’s why I say THE TIME IS NOW to make things happen.


If you are not going to contribute to the betterment of everything you’re involved in, at the very least stay out of the way of people who are trying to make a difference.


As you know, I write newsletters that are based on my own experiences, both good and bad. I admit that I have been guilty of not taking action now on something that is important to me. For 20-some years I have been saying that I’m going to build my speaking business bigger than it already is, but I haven’t done it because I have been blessed with referrals from past clients and word-of-mouth endorsements from people who have been in my audiences. Most speakers are very happy to book two speaking events a month. I have been blessed to have doubled that, but I have always said, “I wish I could speak to a company every day.” Instead of just wishing for that to happen, I am asking myself, “What am I waiting for?” If I want to speak to organizations and companies every day, I need to do three things: get on the phone, send out handwritten notes, and write emails. Writing this newsletter has motivated me to kick my marketing program into high gear. What am I waiting for? THE TIME IS NOW!


I hope this newsletter has helped you to see things a little differently and maybe re-prioritize your life so you can focus on what really matters to you and take steps to achieve it! It’s time for each of us to turn our dreams into reality, live life OUR WAY, and not depend on outcomes that are beyond our control. The time is NOW!


If not you, then who? And if not now, then when?




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…"

—George Akers // President, First Mortgage Corp.

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.”

—Justin Pauls // Realtor, Tampa, Florida

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.”

—Tracey Fortina // Omaha Chamber of Commerce

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.”

—Dustin Talacko // Realtor, Omaha, Nebraska

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.”

—Linda Reismeiler // Student at Randall School of Real Estate, Omaha, Nebraska

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!”

—Todd Andrews, Anchor and Producer, KETV Omaha

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!”

—Carolyn Summerton // First Mortgage Company of Idaho

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.”

—Scott Asbill, CDPE // Associate Broker, Realtor