October 2023 Newsletter Ambition is the foundation for success

October 2023 Newsletter

Ambition is the foundation for success


If you have a burning desire to achieve something, you are ambitious. What is ambition, anyway? It has been defined as “a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.” That definition fits me perfectly, since I am always working hard to get better at everything I do.


What do ambitious people have in common?


People with ambition are a diverse group. They do not necessarily have a lot of education, work in a fancy office, drive a brand-new sports car, or live in an expensive house. However, they do have the following things in common: drive, desire, determination, and discipline to go after what they want in life. I can only speak for myself, and hopefully my words will spark a flame in you as well. From the beginning of my career, I have had a burning desire to succeed. In other words, I have always been a very ambitious person. In fact, I would not want to spend one day of my life not being ambitious. Why? Because if I didn’t have ambition, I know that my life would be boring.


Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.”

– Walter H. Cottingham



God blessed me with the skill set and the mindset to keep working on myself continually so I can become the best possible version of myself. When I do this, it encourages those around me to do the same. I inspire others because they know that if I can do it, they can do it, too. If you want more from life and want to accomplish greatness, it is my goal to convince you that having ambition will get you there.


For many people, success involves acquiring wealth, power, or fame. However, I believe that success is different for each person. It depends on your goals and your level of happiness with what you have accomplished.


Ambition fuels greatness


Being ambitious to live an above-average life has nothing to do with obtaining more money and everything to do with living the kind of life that you desire. Maybe you’re ambitious about being a great provider for your family or becoming a better parent, son, or daughter. My ambitions include building a successful sales and business career, being a great father to my daughter, and being a great pet parent to my little dog Baxter. And I intend to utilize every ounce of my God-given talent to make all of those things happen.



“Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.” – Mark Twain



Would you describe yourself as an ambitious person? If you have one or more of the following characteristics, you are ambitious:


  1. You make sacrifices in regard to things that could deter you from accomplishing your mission. For example, I sacrificed a lot of trips with friends on weekends because I wanted to use that time to build my business.


  1. You wake up in the morning incredibly motivated to make today as productive as possible and to make a positive difference in somebody else’s life.


  1. You believe in adding value in everything you do, which means you do more than expected and you take that extra step either for yourself or for someone else.


  1. You understand that in order to live an above-average life you have to be an above-average person. You have the mindset of a leader and not a follower.



  1. You are constantly identifying ways to improve yourself and you never stop making changes that will lead to a better life. I have found that making positive changes in my personal life has had a monumental impact on my business life as well.


  1. You want the story of your life to be all about the work you’ve put in, the relationships you’ve built, and everything else you have done to fulfill your ambition and your purpose.


  1. You understand that ambition and a positive attitude are one and the same. You know that you can’t get to where you want to go without having both of these traits as part of who you are. You refuse to tolerate negativity in yourself, and you stay away from negative situations and people.


  1. You understand that the higher you reach, the harder it will be for you to accomplish your goals. You know that having ambition is essential in overcoming the challenges you will face.


“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs



Every accomplishment is built on a strong foundation. No matter what path you take in life, you have to start somewhere. You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. If ambition is part of your core and your foundation whenever you’re starting something new or trying to finish something you’ve always wanted to accomplish, it will propel you to your destination. If you have a strong work ethic along with ambition, you will be unstoppable.


Don’t waste your God-given talents or lose sight of your ambition for what you want to become or accomplish. No matter what you want to achieve, it will happen if you have ambition.







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