Michael Edward Van Leeuwen
Updated October 30, 2016
I am known as Van or Coach Van. I was born Michael Edward Van Leeuwen.
Since many people prefer to know with whom they are working, following and aligning with when it comes to choosing a leader to follow or to whom you receive success tips, I like to share my background. I have nothing to hide and am quite proud of where I came from and the leadership I’ve learned along the way.
I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 26th of 1962. I am the oldest of seven children and was fortunate to have learned many great leadership qualities from my father and hero who retired from the Seattle Police Department after 32 years. (1968-2000)
After my father graduated from the Seattle Police Academy in 1968, we all moved from Salt Lake City, Utah to the beautiful city of Seattle, Washington.
I started to learn many of my leadership traits in scouting and getting involved with many school events at a very young age. I did very well in school, especially in math which really helped me in catching on to compensation plans later in life. When it comes to compensation, I just get it.
Having had great influences in my life and being surrounded by loving and caring people, I was able to make the highest rank in Scouting of Eagle at the age of only 13. Leadership roles in Scouting were not only challenging at such a young age, but also very enjoyable. Organizing fund raisers for camp and other activities really allowed me to improve on my salesmanship and willingness to talk to anyone about anything if it would help the troop or cause. I didn’t know it at the time, but everyone is in sales regardless if they want to admit it or not. Just because there’s not an exchange of money, doesn’t mean a sale didn’t take place.
When I was only 7 and neighborhoods were safer, I’d go door to door selling Christmas cards in the summer, seeds in the winter, pens all year round and anything else to get me some movie money. I would be miles from home knocking on doors for hours at a time earning extra money or toys I wanted from the back pages of Boy’s Life Magazine. I would lead the sales for the county quite often eventhough I was going against teenagers and young men with cars etc. I liked the extra money, the challenge and of course the recognition.
My dream when I was younger was to play professional football for the Pittsburgh Steelers. When I finally got into high school, I wanted to lead the league in whatever I did. I wanted to be the strongest, the biggest and be with the best coaches and experience as much success as possible. I loved it and did well, but not quite as well as I had hoped, but I learned even more about leadership and dealing with difficult situations and success too. I started to get a taste for coaching while assisting other younger players and the seed started to grow without me really knowing it at the time.
While in high school, I did demonstrate my growing leadership abilities and hunger for success by becoming the Student Body President, Captain of the football team, Most Inspirational on the Soccer team, Honor Roll, three sport letterman (football, soccer and wrestling), the lead in a drama production and the ability to associate with people at many levels from a variety of different backgrounds and levels of success.
After going to college on a football scholarship, I decided to join the Army after my first season of football. I may have joined for all the wrong reasons, but the results really increased my leadership skills. I enjoyed more success, went to professional sales schools and got my first taste of Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) while in the Army.
During my 15 years in the Army, I made rank fast and enjoyed success at each level. I was very successful in my military schools and earned a number of leadership awards. I started on the enlisted side and made the rank of Sergeant First Class (E-7) in less than 10 years as a Military Policeman and Army Recruiter, and then was selected for Officer Candidate School to become an officer and commissioned as an Engineering Officer.
The Army was a great fit for me and I continued to excel and set myself apart. The Army sent me to many schools where I graduated #1 or #2 and often earned the leadership awards if there was one offered. I was an expert marksman, Master Parachutist, Pathfinder, Air Assault and Army Ring Recruiter.
FYI on the Ring. The Army selects people to be recruiters from the top 10% of leaders in each area. I was selected while being a Military Policeman in Korea. Of the top 10%, only about 10% of them earn the coveted Ring. From that 10%, the average time to earn this ring is 5 - 8 years for soldiers who convert to recruiting full time. I didn’t convert to full time recruiter and still earned the Ring in just under 3 years. Army record for the time. I often led the state of Washington in the top female and high school senior recruiter and sometimes for the entire West Coast. It certainly was sales and I got better with leadership in the sales arena during that time. I finished my time in recruiting by enlisting 111 young men and women into the Army.
While recruiting, I was successful in managing my time and energy so well, I was also coaching the high school football varsity and junior varsity linemen, played semi-pro football and started for the Northwest Football Champions, Seattle Express. We were undefeated at 17-0. Success, leadership and sales were all kicking in and it was good.
After nearly 15 years in the Army, I decided to leave and work for myself as a full time network marketer and online success coach. Since 1997, I have been in more programs than I’d like to admit. I have learned something good and bad from all of them so regardless if I made a little or a lot, I considered each one a success.
In many of the programs I was in, I was the leader and even the corporate trainer or coach. I’ve also been the top earner in a few programs.
With all my learning and experience in sales, improving leadership and success along the way, I was fortunate enough to enjoy 6 figure months four times in my life. My first success at a 6 figure month was March of 2000 and the compensation plan was confusing to most, but I caught on quick and helped a number of others have 6 figure years. The second time I was able to enjoy a successful 6 figure month was in March of 2006. I was also on the leadership team and did a lot of the closing of sales for many others in the program. The third and fourth time were also the first time to do it back to back and in the same year, 2012.
Once people were involved, I did many of the company coaching calls and often some one on one coaching and explanation of the compensation plans etc.
I have been featured in many networking magazines on the inside with articles or even on the back cover of a few.
Coaching and helping others experience success is a great joy. One of my favorite quotes by the late Zig Ziglar is, “Get whatever you want out of life by simply helping enough others get what they want.”
I hope you’ll allow me to help you get past some of the mistakes I’ve made, so you can enjoy online success in MLM or anything else you may be doing online anywhere in any program. I would like to help you no matter what program you’re promoting or selling.
“Success, Leadership, Coaching”
“If you want something you’ve never had, then be prepared to do something you’ve never done.”
On March 5, my hero died. I heard about him being sick while traveling through Asia and was in the Philippines at the time. He wanted to see all of his children before he died so I got tickets to return to Utah and see MY DAD one last time. One of the saddest times in my life was sitting alone in the Seattle airport waiting for my connecting flight to Utah when I heard my hero couldn't hold on any longer. I was 5 hours too late at having the chance to see him one last time. I knew MY DAD was a great man, but had no idea just how great and how many people he had impacted in major ways throughout his 77 years. Hundreds of people wrote, posted on facebook, Twitter and more exclaiming his greatness. Hundreds more came to his funeral, some from thousands of miles away just to pay their respect to my hero, Edward Peter Van Leeuwen. I love you Dad and you will continue to be my hero.