July 2024 Newsletter Demand more from yourself

Demand more from yourself


Are you happy with the progress you’re making toward your goals? If you feel like there’s room for improvement, I have a question for you today: What would your life look like if you started demanding more from yourself? What changes would you see in your career, and how would it affect the people around you?


I happen to own this space. I’ve been demanding more from myself every day for the last 41 years. If you want to raise your personal standard of excellence, you need to know what defines you and what you’ll accept (and not accept) in ALL areas of your life. Every single top performer I’ve ever met knows how to raise their game and get more out of themselves, in business and in life.


“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” —Theodore Roosevelt


When I started my real estate career in 1983, I became addicted to work. I did not just want to be successful—I wanted to be the best of the best in the business. Since I wasn’t born with natural business skills, my number one asset was my work ethic. Man, was I disciplined! I did not know when to stop, and I demanded way more from myself than I demanded from anyone around me.


I believed then, and I believe now, that with drive, desire, determination, and self-discipline, there is nothing I cannot accomplish. I found out that my belief was spot on.


Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, played a big role in helping me develop this attitude. One of my favorite lines from this book has stayed with me for life: “If you can conceive it and believe it, you can achieve it.” That statement is ingrained in my entire being.


Why do I demand more from myself? Because I believe in myself.


Being relentless means demanding more from yourself than anyone else could ever demand from you, knowing that every time you stop, you can still do more. You must do more.


Just like I preach to my sales team at Prime Home Realty in Omaha, Nebraska, “If you don’t demand more from yourself, then who will?” You should not depend on anybody else to motivate you. If you are lucky enough to have family or friends who want to see you succeed, that’s a bonus, but the bottom line is that if you don’t expect great things from yourself, you can’t expect anybody else to fill that gap.


When should you start demanding more from yourself? How about right now?


Here are a few ways to get started:


  1. Upgrade your standards. If you want to improve your life, do not settle for anything that doesn’t meet your standards…period! This involves raising your expectations  for yourself and for those around you.
  1. Clean house! Remove aspects of your life that are not helping you reach your goals. This will include purging negative thoughts and high-maintenance, drama-filled people from your life.
  2. Have a zero-tolerance mindset for mediocrity and other behaviors that rob you of your potential to improve your performance.
  3. Make a list of changes that will help you demand more from yourself and read it… often! Your list may include things you will no longer tolerate in your life because they are holding you back. It should also have things you want to add to your life that will enhance it.
  4. Write down all the things you aspire to become by demanding more from yourself. Read this list every day!


If you have the courage to expect and demand more from yourself, and more importantly, if you have the commitment to honor these higher, nobler standards…you will upgrade your life and create the change you desire.


One of the key ingredients in demanding more from yourself is believing you can make these changes. Staying motivated is key! Listen to motivational speakers or read self-help books. Everybody has a different way to stay motivated. I am very confident that if you listen to my podcasts, which you can get on Apple, Spotify, my website (, or your favorite podcast platform, you will be extremely motivated by my content. My sole purpose is to help you accomplish your goals and live your best possible life.


One of the ways I stay motivated is by watching Shark Tank on CNBC. This program features entrepreneurs who are trying to be the best they can be and accomplish their goals and dreams. I learn from their victories and their failures.


Another way I stay motivated is by listening to preachers. They remind me of all the God-given talent that we have inside of us to become anything that we want to be. Spirituality motivates me.


I believe with all my heart that there’s nothing we can’t do if we are willing to work hard, try to do the right things, and believe in ourselves. I also believe in treating every person like they matter. When you do this, they will gravitate to you, and they will go out of their way to help you meet your needs.


The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson


I believe that dreams are a prelude to reality. If you can dream it, you can do it. Ask yourself right now, “What am I waiting for?”


Do you know how many people will benefit when you try to be the best version of yourself and demand more from yourself? Every person in your life will see the new you and feel inspired and empowered to emulate what you are doing. What will it feel like when you are responsible for helping others become the best version of themselves? It should make you feel pretty darn good.


To honor your commitment, keep your promises, and achieve your goals, you need to apply strategies that will be effective. One of my core beliefs is that if you upgrade your standards as well as upgrading your beliefs…then you certainly can figure out the strategies to achieve any outcome you desire. In other words, you will find a way to get things done.


Demand more from yourself and live the life that you deserve and dream of. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. Success is a work in progress in every aspect, and self-improvement is an ongoing project. I would be absolutely thrilled to coach you or speak to your company about how to demand more from yourself. Please feel free to reach out to me at to set up a time to visit. I can guarantee that my presentation on demanding more from yourself will increase your productivity and expand your market share.


Demand more from yourself and live your BEST life!


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