February 2024 Newsletter Show us your greatness

Show us your greatness!


If you’ve been reading my newsletters for a while, you know that I end each of them by asking, “If not now, then when? And if not you, then who?” My reason for asking you these questions is to create a sense of urgency to accomplish things that are important to you. No matter how small or how big your goal might be, there’s no better time to start working on it than right now!


Greatness comes by doing a few small and smart things each and every day. Comes from taking little steps, consistently. Comes from making a few small chips against everything in your professional and personal life that is ordinary, so that a day eventually arrives when all that’s left is The Extraordinary.”

—Robin S. Sharma


My challenge to you today is to do a self-awareness checkup. If I asked you, “What are you great at?” what would you tell me? It may take a while for you to answer this question, and that is okay. My intention is to make you think. Maybe your answer would be “I am not great at anything” (which I doubt is true). If that’s really how you feel, then I would ask you, “What do you want to be great at?” Everybody wants to be great at something.


If we concentrate on doing what we are great at, we will usually be happy doing it. The wonderful news is that we each have the God-given ability to find something that we’re great at.


If you asked me, “Van, what are you great at?” I could answer your question very quickly.


I am great at motivating, inspiring, and empowering people to be the best they can be. I am also great at coaching and mentoring. One of the biggest reasons I am great at doing these things is because I want to be. My goal is to be the person that people come to because they want to gain more confidence in their life and in their career. I was not always great at doing these things, but I wanted to be great at them, so I have worked hard to really understand human behavior and what makes people want to be the best they can be. During my 41 years in business, I have been blessed to make an impact on my associates, my clients, and anyone else who has allowed me to have an influence on them.


A grateful heart is the beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being.”

—James E. Faust


Below are some examples of things you might want to be great at. There is no better time than right now to start making progress toward greatness.

  • Being a great employer who is known for caring about your employees more than necessary and creating a culture where everybody benefits.
  • Being a great employee by having a positive attitude and doing your absolute best to encourage your coworkers to carry out your company’s mission.
  • Being a great parent who is taking all the necessary steps to be a good role model and to lead your family by example.
  • Being a great son or daughter by doing everything possible to show your parents that you respect them and that you want to make them proud of you.
  • Being great at showing kindness to everyone you meet. When you smile at somebody, it may be the only smile they get all day. People need your kindness today more than at any other time in our existence.
  • Being great at standing up for what you believe in. Do not be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone to let people know where you stand on the issues you care about, whether they are political, personal, business-related, or any other area of your life that you have an opinion on.


You were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness.”

—Zig Ziglar


My message to you today is similar to Zig Ziglar’s statement that you don’t have to be great at something to get started, you just have to get started to be great.


Each of my newsletters focuses on a topic that everybody has the ability to incorporate and implement. You and I both know that we have the God-given ability to be great at anything we set our mind to do. There’s no difference between this quest and the process of setting goals. If you create a work ethic, discipline, drive, desire, and determination to be great at something, then you will get there. I believe this with my whole heart. I was not born with greatness. In fact, it was quite the opposite for me, so I know firsthand that if you want to be great at something, you can get there.


Being great at something will have a different meaning for each of us. Life is too short to settle for just being average when we all have the God-given talents and skills to be great at something. Sometimes all we need to do is make some small changes that will bring greatness within our reach.


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



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