November 2022 Newsletter The truth will set you free

The truth will set you free


How many times have you heard someone say, ”The truth will set you free”? Probably more times than you could count. It’s even in the Bible! John 8:32 says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” This statement is also commonly heard in academic settings.


When you hear “The truth will set you free,” what does it mean to you? It will most likely mean something different to each of us.


If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change


Today I would like to relate this statement to business. When I think about it in this context, “The truth will set you free” means that I should be true to myself and not try to be something I am not. In my 40-year business career, I have not always been true to myself. I thought I was good at every aspect of being a business owner, leader, and salesperson. I was not good at everything, however, and at some point in my life I realized it. I could have been a much better CEO and a much better salesperson if I had admitted that I needed to work on certain skills. As I get older, I have become a lot more comfortable admitting to myself that I am not good at everything. The truth did set me free, and it has been liberating to feel okay with not being good at something.


“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson


Over the last several years I have been waking up each morning yearning to learn something new about myself and get better at the things am not good at. There is always room for improvement. I want to learn from the audiences I speak to, from my coaching clients, and from the people I mentor. It is an incredible feeling to keep striving to get better, and it also makes life more interesting.


Don’t allow society to turn you into a person you are not


Just because I have “been there and done that” in my career does not mean that I cannot learn more and do more. When was the last time you said to yourself, “I want to be a better CEO/manager, a better employee, a better co-worker, a better salesperson,” or maybe you just want to be a better person? Part of my transformation involved realizing that I did not always have to be right. That alone was liberating, mostly because I have seen how bad it looks when people refuse to admit that they are wrong.


What are some of the areas in your life where the truth will set you free and help you become better? Here are a few suggestions that I would take myself when given the opportunity.


Suggestions for being a better CEO/manager/leader: Listen to your employees and sit down for a meeting with them at least once a month to get their opinions on things YOU could be doing better. Who is better qualified to critique your leadership skills than the people you are leading?


Set yourself free by writing down everything your employees said at each meeting, reading it over and over again, and making the necessary changes.


Suggestions for being a better salesperson: Find someone who is one of the leading salespeople in their industry and offer to take them to lunch or coffee. Come prepared with questions so you won’t waste their time. Find out what they are doing to be so successful. In the early 1980s I took one of the top Realtors in the country to lunch so I could learn as much as possible from her. I will never forget what she said. The information she shared with me has played a huge role in my career.


Set yourself free by determining what you can incorporate into your daily routine and your business plan based on what successful people are doing and what YOU should be doing.


Suggestions for being a better person: Do you want to get the most out of life and reach your full potential in all that you do? If you know that eliminating certain behaviors would make you a better person, then what are you waiting for? The same goes if you know that your life would be better if you did a little more than what you are doing right now. Once again, what are you waiting for? We all have the GOD-given ability to change our lives for the better. If you know that doing things differently will help you to become a better person, then why not do it?


Set yourself free by taking a hard look at yourself and identifying what you do and do not like about yourself. Maybe you know that you could be giving a little more to your career, your family, or a charity you believe in. Or maybe you are doing counterproductive things that are holding you back from being a better person. If you have unhealthy habits, then create a discipline to remove them from your life. As my mother would say, “Don’t be your own worst enemy.” Remember, YOU are in control of what you do or don’t do!



The truth will set you free… but only if you want it to.


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