Where did you grow up?

We moved around the Midwest as a kid. I eventually landed in Woodbury, Minnesota when I was 12.  I would have to say I spent the happiest times of my childhood during summers at Leech Lake in Walker, MN.

How would those closest to you, describe you?

A family man, willing to go the extra mile, passionate and extremely confident in my abilities to succeed.

What makes you different from your competitors?

I see so many agents and “teams” that treat every client and every home the same.  What I mean by that is, they stick you in their “system” and spit you out the other end.  This business has become such a “churn and burn” tranasactional business.  I take more of a personalized approach to each client.

What motivates you?

My desire to be the best at whatever I do.  I don’t take on a task, job, client or an opportunity and give a half-assed effort.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

Walking out of college at 21 to pursue a career in real estate.  I am still trying to figure out why I was taking Greek Mythology for a business degree.

What do you enjoy most about real estate?

Real estate is very rarely the same day to day.  It offers so much variety and a lot of unique opportunities you can’t find in any other career.  I enjoy finding a buyer their first home or a family cabin on a lake.

What frustrates you?

Laziness – especially those that blame others for their problems when they fail to make an effort to improve the situation.

What inspires you?

My kids.

What do you do in your spare time?

I enjoy spending time with the family, watching my kids in their extra curricular activities, family vacations to new destinations, a good movie or book, golfing and a hunting trip every now and then.

What is your idea of a perfect weekend?

A little golf, a few hours on the water, time with the family, a good BBQ and, of course, hanging a sold sign on one of my listings.

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Anywhere warm!  I enjoy the beach with the kids or a weekend in Vegas with my wife.  Although it’s hard to hold a candle to a sunset on a Minnesota lake in July.

What do you read everyday?

Anything I can find motivation in.  I like to read Success Magazine, Darren Hardy’s blog, Jon Gordon and Tony Robbins have great newsletters also.  I try to avoid the newspapers and don’t read a ton of fiction.

What is your favorite quote?

“I haven’t always done a good job, and I haven’t always been successful – but I know that I have tried.” – George Steinbrenner

What is your favorite book?

I recently read Tony Little’s There’s Always a Way and really enjoyed that.  You can’t go wrong with anything by Jim Rohn, Napolean Hill, Dale Carnegie and, of course, Donald Trump.

What is the one thing you hope to teach your kids?

Don’t worry about what others think of you, try your best at everything you do and be yourself.  Most of all EFFORT is most important in everything that you do.

What is the one piece of advice you would share with others?

Work hard but have fun.  Live like a 10-year-old: always have dreams, be excited about what the day might bring, try new things and continue to learn.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Don’t worry, be happy – I think that might be a good name for a song.

What does success mean to you?

Success is simply one small stepping stone on the path to greatness.  Celebrate success but not so long that you lose sight of your “big goal.”

Do you think the recession has changed the way you define success?

Somewhat.  I look for success in all areas of my life now – not just work.  More than anything the recession has proved who the elite really are.  Anyone could be successful in 2004 but those that were in the real estate business prior to the recession and are still actively selling today are truly the “elite”.

Who are your ideal clients?

People that will pay for quality and appreciate working with a professional.  Those who want to work with a proven expert that knows what it takes to succeed and is willing to go the extra mile.

You’ve been known to turn down potential clients, even when it means lost income. Why?

If I don’t feel that I’m the right professional for a client, I say so.  Some people are turned off by my direct style.  Some people just want an agent to tell them what they want to hear.  You won’t get that from me.  You may not always like what I have to say, but I will give you the straightforward truth – whether it’s regarding the condition of your home, the value of your home or the lack of effort from you real estate agent.  If you are my client you’ll get a direct answer from me. Every. Single.  Time.

You were in your 20’s when you were running a multi-million dollar business, do you think your age was an advantage/disadvantage?

That’s a tough one.  Probably a little of both.  I was fearless and didn’t know any better, I took some risks that I probably wouldn’t take now.  Some paid off, some didn’t.

What’s the biggest mistake you see real estate agents making today?

I see too many agents trying to get too creative.  They think their IPhone® will sell real estate.  Let’s face it, real estate is a people business first and a sales business second.  I don’t think technology will ever replace either of those aspects of the business.  Focus on the basics!

What are you scared of?

Mostly scared of what the future may hold for my kids.  The world is a crazy place; I hope I can prepare them for it.

What is the most important lesson you ever learned?

Be thankful for what you have but never stop pursuing what you want.

What would people be most surprised to know about you?

My wife and I have been sweethearts since we were 13.

Dogs or cats?

Definitely dogs.