OCTOBER 2020 Newsletter Kindness in business

Kindness in business


I promised myself years ago that I would only do business with good people who treat others well. They don’t have to be at the top of their game, number 1 in their industry, or have the biggest house and the most expensive cars. They just have to be good, honest people who not only are really good at what they do but also very kind to others.


When I was building my first company, DEEB Realty, I was fortunate to be surrounded by good people who were enjoyable to be around. We treated each other with kindness and respect. Unfortunately, I had a competitor that was quite the opposite. I owe a lot to the GM of that company, because watching him treat others poorly and disrespectfully made me want to pour even more love and kindness onto everyone around me. Over the years, I learned what NOT to do in business by watching the behavior of people I did not want to emulate. Often you can learn more from other people’s actions and failures than from their successes.


  “Kindness makes you the most beautiful person in the world, no matter what you look like”


Are you doing things that make your customers want to come back to you and recommend you to others? Kindness leads to referrals for life. Let me repeat that — Kindness leads to referrals for life.


My company was known for having good, caring, and kind people. If somebody was unkind and disrespectful, I would ask them to leave. Pretty simple formula, isn’t it? If you surround yourself with naturally kind people, you will build a culture that is unmatched in your industry, like we did at DEEB Realty. The company continues to uphold that tradition of kindness today.

“Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person’s life.” – Jackie Chan


When I consult with companies or speak at events, kindness is one of the first areas of improvement I talk about. In my experience, developing a culture of kindness not only makes everybody happier but leads to higher profits, more productive employees, and increased market share.


You can show compassion and kindness and still be tough as nails building your career or company.


It takes more effort to be unkind than to be kind, and the feeling you get from being kind is worth the effort.


Are you convinced that kindness is important in business? If so, here are five things you can start doing right away. These simple acts of kindness will brighten your day and lift the spirits of everyone around you. (If you are already doing some of these things, you know how effective they are.)


  1. Write at least two handwritten thank-you notes each day to people who have helped you in the past or are helping you right now. You can write these notes to your coworkers, your supervisor, family members, and past and current customers.


  1. Start looking at everyone you meet like they are a celebrity. Show your excitement when you see them – maybe not in words but with a huge smile. Either way, you are letting them know you are glad to see them. The same goes for phone visits – show enthusiasm in your tone of voice.


  1. Do what you can to make others feel that they’re important and that they matter. If you have ever been to one of my speaking events or listened to my podcasts, then you know I am a huge fan of Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics. She always told her salespeople, “Pretend everyone you meet has a sign around their neck that says MAKE ME FEEL IMPORTANT.” That says it all.


  1. Respect is a form of kindness. Put your phone down when someone is talking to you. I admit that I have been guilty of looking at my phone when people are talking to me, and I am not proud of it. If you want to show respect to someone, it’s important to give them your undivided attention. Your conversation will be a lot shorter, which means you can be back on your phone a lot sooner. Kindness is being present when you are talking to someone.


  1. Care more! We all can find ways to care more about our careers, our friends and family, and the people we see or talk to every day. Something that Walt Disney said has stuck with me for decades, especially when we were building DEEB Realty. He said, “Make the customer’s experience so magical that they want to see it again and again.” We can do this on a very small scale as well as in large businesses. We should always want people to enjoy talking with us. If we make their experience with us enjoyable by showing how much we care, then they will want to see us more often and will refer others to us whenever possible.


These five acts of kindness may be the highlight of someone’s day, and it’s all because of you! YOU made them feel like they matter, and YOU made them feel important. Now, more than ever, we need to be the BEST we can be to others, and God gave you the ability to do just that.


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