July 2021 Newsletter I AM the problem and I’m also the solution


I AM the problem—and I’m also the solution


When I was growing up, there were times when my mother told me that I was my own worst enemy. Like so many other things she told me, that comment was spot on. I can attribute just about every challenge or BAD thing that has happened in my life to something I did or didn’t do… and I can also attribute just about everything GOOD that has happened in my life to something I did or didn’t do.

I believe your success is determined by your ability to find solutions to the problems or challenges you face. First you have to identify the problem, and then you have to find the solution.

I have been in straight commission sales since I was 23 years old. If I didn’t solve the problems that came up every day, I didn’t eat!  In sales we always say that the best way to get the deal is to find an acceptable solution for the problem or task at hand. In my real estate career that is exactly what I was commissioned to do… get the house sold and closed for the seller, or find a house for the buyer.

I make it my mission and my passion to find a solution for the task at hand, and if I don’t do this then I have no one to blame but myself. The same is true in my speaking and coaching career, where my mission is to help others find solutions to their challenges and to help them prosper.


“If you don’t focus on finding solutions, you will remain lost in your problems.”


If you’re wondering how to begin solving the problems in your life, here are a few ideas:

  • Be grateful for what you already have. There is nothing wrong with wanting more out of life, but feeling grateful for what you already have will remove the stress of always wanting more. I have made it my daily mission to be aware of all the things I am grateful for and to say it out loud. It feels good when I do this.
  • The solution to most of your problems may be to change the way you think about them. I started doing this 20 years ago, and it works. I identify what my problem is, and then I give it a number on a scale of 1 to 10, with “1” being “not that big of a deal” and 10 being “the Mac Daddy of all problems.” This helps me identify how significant this issue is in my life. When I really thought about it, most of my problems were only a 1 or a 2. When a problem was a 5 or greater, then I would focus all of my energy on finding a solution. That usually required making a strategic plan and then implementing it right away so the problem would not get any worse.



“Life is a series of problem-solving opportunities. The problems you face will either defeat you or develop you, depending on how you respond to them.”

  • Take a look at the people in your life. Maybe you are choosing to spend time with people who are not good for you. They don’t really care about you, or they inspire you to behave in a way that is counterproductive to what you are trying to achieve. In other words, they bring out the worst in you. Separate yourself from people like this. Remember that you are the average of the five people you choose to spend the most time with.
  • Stop looking at your obligations as problems. Instead, see them as opportunities. For example, instead of saying “I have to go to work today,” tell yourself “I get to go to work today.” Instead of saying “I have to pay my bills,” say “I get to pay my bills because I am blessed to have a roof over my head, clothes in my closet, and food on my table.” Replacing “I have to” with “I get to” will make a dramatic change in your mindset as you approach everyday challenges.


Look at the challenges or problems you face and then think of solutions that will give you a more satisfying quality of life. God gave each of us the ability to self-correct… but only if we take the time to do it. Never, ever lose sight of the fact that YOU ARE THE SOLUTION to each of your problems or challenges.

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