November 2021 Newsletter How are you spending your dash ?


                           How are you spending your dash?


As I was getting ready to write my November newsletter, I rediscovered one of my all-time favorite poems, “The Dash,” which was written by Linda Ellis in 1996. It must have been meant to be, because this poem reflects my chosen topic — the fact that every second of our lives is important.


Now, more than ever, we need to remind ourselves of what we are capable of and realize that we can actually live the dream we think about so often. If you want to be a better employee… you can! If you want to be a better manager… you can! If you want to be a top-performing salesperson… you can! If you want to be a world-class entrepreneur… you can! You are in control of how you live out your life, and you can accomplish anything you set your mind to do.


“Every achiever that I have ever met says, ‘My life turned around when I began to believe in me.’” — Dr. Robert Schuller


The first step toward reaching your potential is to ask yourself this question: “How do I want to live my life, and what do I believe I am capable of?” If you know you have characteristics that need to be changed, when are you planning to do it? I am going to dive deeper into this subject in The Van Deeb podcast. Please go to Apple Podcasts, Spotify,, or your favorite podcast platform to subscribe to The Van Deeb Podcast (if you haven’t already subscribed) so you can be one of the first to listen to it when it comes out in November.


Most of you are familiar with “The Dash” and have read it many, many times, just like I have. However, if you know of anyone who has not read it yet, please forward this newsletter to them. This poem may be just what they need to read today.



By Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak

at the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on her tombstone

from the beginning to the end.


He noted that first came the date of her birth

and spoke of the following date with tears,

but he said what mattered most of all

was the dash between those years.


For that dash represents all the time

that she spent alive on earth,

and now only those who loved her

know what that little line is worth.


For it matters not how much we own,

the cars, the house, the cash.

What matters is how we live and love

and how we spend our dash.


So think about this long and hard:

Are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left

that can still be rearranged.


If we could just slow down enough

to consider what’s true and real

and always try to understand

the way other people feel.


And be less quick to anger

and show appreciation more

and love the people in our lives

like we’ve never loved before.


If we treat each other with respect

and more often wear a smile,

remembering that this special dash

might only last a little while.


So when your eulogy is being read,

with your life’s actions to rehash,

would you be proud of the things they say

about how you spent your dash?

By Linda Ellis, Copyright © 2020 Inspire Kindness,


This poem is certainly thought-provoking, isn’t it? One of my biggest takeaways is the importance of showing respect to others. Actions speak louder than words, and we need to show respect for other people not just through our words but also through our actions.

When your mindset is in a good place and you are focusing on what really matters, everything will fall into place in your career and in your personal life. Your goals will become more easily attainable, your relationships will improve, and so on.

You have the God-given ability to be the person Linda Ellis wrote about. Why wait?

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