After more than a decade in the Army and deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait, Brandon Dicks was medically retired from the Army in 2019. He wanted to find a new position that gave him the leadership structure, resources and team atmosphere he thrived on in the military. He found his fit at Farm Bureau Financial Services in Sioux City, Iowa, where he was born and raised. Here’s what he had to say about his transition to his new career.
How Did You Find Out About Farm Bureau?
I was managing a fleet for a local trucking company when I got a message on LinkedIn from Tim Mars, who is now my district manager. Honestly, I thought it was an automated message, and I didn’t respond. But he was persistent, and my wife encouraged me to meet him and hear what he had to say. Tim conveyed a lot about the company’s leadership, resources and teamwork—all things I had been missing from the Army.
I started talking to Tim in February or March of 2022, and I didn’t commit until August. I wanted to see how it worked. It turns out it was the best decision of my life. I have a lot of friends and family that supported me, and I hit Blue Base Elite, which is a six-month performance award, in under three months. And I’m hoping to hit Heritage Elite, which is a one-year performance award, in under six months.
How Does Your Military Experience Help You as an Agent?
This industry is hard, and you need grit and fortitude. I gained mental toughness and discipline from the Army, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I put all of that into my work every day.
What Do You Like About Being an Agent?
I like helping people. People don't know what they don't know. Somebody could come in and be $300,000 underinsured and not even know it. I can provide a great service for them, and they feel like I saved their life. That is the biggest reward for me.
I try to make the sales process fit them. If somebody comes in and they have what they need, I’m not going to force anything on them. Money will follow good practices. I feel like I’m helping people, and that’s the most rewarding thing.
At other agencies, some people have never even talked to their agent. My cell phone number is on my business card because I want people to call me first, even if it’s one or two o’clock in the morning. I want to be there helping from the minute someone has a problem.
What’s a Typical Day Like for You?
I get to the office between 8 and 8:30, and we have a morning meeting to see where we’re at. I started from scratch last year, so I spend my day servicing our clients and getting my face out in the public to get new clients. You don’t know who needs help until you talk to them.
My wife is my office manager. She is licensed in property and casualty insurance, and she’s working on her health insurance license. In our office, we can do everything. I just finished my last test for FINRA, so now I can do things like retirement planning and variable annuities. I’ve been spending a lot of time studying for the test, but now that that’s over, I can spend more time reaching out to clients and prospective clients.
What Do You Enjoy Doing Outside of Work?
My wife and I have two Siberian huskies, and we enjoy spending time with them. I golf, bowl and play hockey, and I have a couple of toys—I like to ride my Harley and drive my Corvette.
What Advice Would You Give to a Veteran Considering This Kind of Career Move?
If you want something similar to the structure you had in the military — the resources and the leadership — I would jump into Farm Bureau in a heartbeat. If you want some place you can take your grit and your discipline you’ve learned in the military, this is the place to do it.
Most people who are retired from the military were in leadership positions, and this is a place where you can control your day-to-day operations. There’s some risk involved, but it’s hard to fail when you have the support and resources that you have with Farm Bureau.
What Are You Looking Forward to in the Future?
I’m looking forward to taking this agency, building and compounding it, and seeing what it brings to my wife and me. I keep adding and adding. I want to be the best in the business. That’s going to take a lot of hard work, but I’m looking forward to building my agency and providing and protecting futures for my clients.
My wife has started volunteering with an organization that supports soldiers, and down the road, I would like to start my own nonprofit to help soldiers like myself.
Are You Ready for a Change?
If, like Brandon, you’re ready to make a change, consider a future with Farm Bureau. Veterans are eligible for a $12,500 in bonuses during their first year.1 Reach out to learn more today.
1 Paid over 13 months. $2,500 paid out as a signing bonus at initiation of ACE contract, $5,000 upon successful Blue Vase qualification and $5,000 upon successful Heritage qualification.
Eligible branches include Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Guard/Reserve and Space Force. The acceptable discharge service characterization is Honorable. Other service characterizations besides Honorable warrant additional consideration and review. Reason for separation may not include Dishonorable Discharge or Bad Conduct Discharge.
Candidates are only eligible to receive bonus payouts from one recruiting incentive. Agent must be in good standing on ACE contract at time of payment.