by Scott R. Tucker

April 9, 2021

In today's episode, we will have the CEO of The Patriot Group Recruiting Agency, David Dickey to share his wisdom in making a plan, adapting, and overcoming toward your mission. 

Episode Highlights:

01:00- David's career as a recruiter during the pandemic

02:41- What makes the Patriots Group different from its competitors

04:35- David's epiphany 

06:00- Putting the metal to the pedal when you see success or failure

07:31- The two extremes that motivate David

10:22- Things to be aware of to become prepared in the modern economy and the new normal 

13:13- Things to do to bolster resumes in this new environment 

16:13- David's definition of success in the next three years

3 Key Points:

  1. Take time to set your goals (long term or short term), come up with a plan, stick to it and keep making applicable adjustments. 
  2. When looking at the right company or industry, take a look at where you are, consider the worst-case and best-case scenario, and then decide if this is the industry that you want to work with long term.
  3. Bolster your resume by getting all certifications that you need in areas that you want to go. Make your network by joining virtual events or connecting through LinkedIn. Read books, and practice your soft skills.


  • “A lot of people, especially entrepreneurs tend to lay off, so once you succeed or fail, it should motivate you to work even harder and put the pedal to the metal.’- David Dickey
  • “The sooner you can identify what you love to do, the better, but continue to self-evaluate to do what it is that you love.” - David Dickey
  • “Regardless of where you are going, if they decided to do something else, you shouldn't be afraid to do it. Take into consideration what you have learned from the military and your current civilian experience.”- David Dickey  

009 with David Dickey of Patriot Group Recruiting Agency - Work The Plan

 If you fail to plan, then you better plan to fail. I am Scott Tucker and welcome back to Veteran Wealth Secrets. We've all heard that phrase many times and as cheesy as it is. And w I'm sure we've gotten annoyed when you hear somebody say it and you're like,  damn it. Yeah, I know. Of course.

But, and we're thinking about what we want to be doing in post-military life. Of course, we're trying to have a plan where we're doing our best to check all the boxes. We're getting all the lists and not just from the military transition program, but also from those who will be is, Hey, watch out for this.

You gotta do that. And of course, what's your goal? What is your job description? Where do you want to be located? What do you want to be paid? How much time do you want to put in? Do you want to keep building a new career or do you just want to move forklifts around at a home Depot?

That of course there's no right or wrong. Really? I feel the goal that very few people talk about is. To discover your own identity and that is a moving target and that's what makes it so darn fun is because now finally you have the opportunity to choose and you can make that choice every single day.

And yesterday's choice could be completely different from today's choice. And as long as those who you're responsible for understand and get it, then that's part of the journey. So I feel putting too many concrete goals like we must do in the military. It seems obvious, take the Hill, how are we going to do it?

Make the plan. We don't have a plan. We're going to fail at the same time. We also know that as soon as we implement a plan, Everything's going to go haywire and change. We talk about that during the military decision-making process. Why are we having expectations about how our post-military life is supposed to go whatsoever?

I did. And. I didn't meet expectations. A lot people, I thought I was supposed to rely on or sister or companies or programs or anything that I put any sort of responsibility on a way for me, because I thought I was following the right path. I thought I was doing the things you're supposed to do. I felt let down, but really I let myself down and it really weighed on me a lot because I realized, Oh gosh, these are all decisions that I have responsibility for, that I should have made and I can make.

And then the next day I made those choices and I think one of the. The biggest things that I did have hazardly and it was only recently. As I started listening to Scott Adams, a cartoonist of all people. If you haven't followed Scott Adams, if you haven't read his books, then I think you'll be, you'll learn very quickly that he's far more than a cartoonist the drawing skillset.

It was just one of the many skill sets he built on what he calls a stack of skills and the more staff and the more you have in your stack. The better off you are, even if you're not good at all of them, we always try to specialize in stuff. And that leads us with very limited options. If you are a specialist, then what happens if that need for that specialty goes away.

Nothing wrong with being an expert in your field. Always strive to be the top of what you're good at. But if you're that person, then you're also going to be someone that the person that's well aware of, what's really happening in your industry. And you're not going to be susceptible to the changing markets.

I see that. Of course, I always talk about the financial industry on this space and I chuckle at all though. All the gurus, all the experts and not the ones on the internet and on YouTube or on TV, they're not making money from financial advice. They're making money from sales and marketing programs and stuff that they sell.

That's what Dave Ramsey is doing. And but for a traditional financial advisor, that the, if you look at the top people in any firm who. Are basically their value is based on how many clients they have, how many assets they have under management, which really all that means is that's how much they're getting in fees.

That's how much they're getting paid. That's how much money they're bringing into the firm. And so therefore they're the top, but they're so they're experts at getting clients. Giving financial advice. What's the difference between one guy and the next it's nothing different opinion, different philosophy.

Okay. But, how does that matter when all the very, nobody has any control over the variables involved at all, who saw the virus coming and how that was gonna impact the economy? What financial advisor in the traditional sense, if retirement planner was prepared for that, they weren't. So they their advice, their strategy doesn't matter, if I'm a bond guy or stock guy and I'm a value investor and we pick our stocks to help get our clients more alpha.

It's not true. Okay. What is true is that things are changing very rapidly and. That's why, as I decided that I wanted to be one of the top thought leaders in my industry, and I don't consider myself in the financial industry whatsoever, I consider myself in the, post-military life industry, you know what, in my mission, my goal is not to give financial advice to people.

There's an aspect of that. Really it's strategy, but I want to give help veterans obtain better identity cause with better identity and better skill sets that they're building more modern skill sets, not the stuff that teach in school, then veterans can take more control over their life. Money just happens to be a tool along the way, but with more veterans and control and not unhappy with what they're doing in post-military life.

And really giving back, finding who they're meant to serve, just like I've tried to do. My goal is to get more. If we can get a million veterans doing that, getting them out of jobs, they hate getting out of the things that they think they're supposed to do. So when I think of a goal, that's the goal, but how to get there, the plan again, the plan is going to fall apart.

We know that already. So really. I try not to have a plan again, coming from the Scott amps. Then when I did accidentally, I had a bunch of systems, had a bunch of rules in place. Just things I don't do. I don't do that. I don't like that. Google going to the golf course to schmooze people, going to networking events, handing out business cards, writing, read, doing resumes.

I don't do that. Okay. What I did do was let me go to get an MBA. No, I'm not going back to school. I'm not taking a GMAT. I just, I knew right away. I was like, I that's not me. I don't know why, but it worked in my favor because instead of spending time doing that thinking I was following a plan, my system was I'm going to go see who's successful and try to learn what they do.

If I can, I'm going to get close to them. And that's how I've gotten invited on a number of podcasts from people I followed for years, I bought their courses and stuff, and then I went to their event and I got to meet him in person. And then sometimes I got to work with them. It's just four years ago, five, five years ago when I thought I was a failing.

Financial advisor. Cause I wasn't getting client was trying to get clients because I didn't want to do that kind of work. So I just stopped, but I still had, my mindset is my identity, that my plan was to be a financial advisor in it. And it really messed me up for a long time trying to figure out like, what is it that I'm really trying to do?

And as I mentioned a minute ago, that's I think I'm in the post-military life strategy game consulting, but I had to give myself permission to do that. It took a while. It took a lot of trial and error, but mostly it was about aspiring to seek an identity, leveraging the financial strategy I'd accidentally put in place.

Leveraging, as if you check out our website at US, VetWealth dot com. We. We strategize with advanced equity insurance strategies, because it's an asset, it's a financial vehicle where you can have liquified money, meaning you can get access to it. There's no tax implications. There's no rules on how you use it.

You can invest it inside the insurance, not based on. Some company giving you dividends like with whole life. People try to talk about that infinite banking thing. It's like ads almost there. It's better than just throwing your money in the stock market and hoping, but the market, unfortunately is the only game in town where you can get risks.

So if you can play, get access to the market without risk, you don't get 70, 80% of the upside with no downside. That's pretty darn good. If you can actually move the money in and out. And invested in other things along the way, as you see opportunities, use it for your lifestyle. If need be, if you don't want to take a job.

Like I did, I haven't had my money in all inside this insurance strategy thinking I was doing it for a retirement savings plan. And then once I realized I needed to start businesses, I didn't have to go to venture capital. I didn't have to bug my family and my friends. To get in on it with me.

I know I didn't have to go to the bank for the loan. No, because I had taken all my retirement savings for retirement. Wasn't a goal of mine. So stuff I had put in through a savings plan and Roth IRAs and shoved it all into this insurance. Cause I was like, okay, this is tax-free. That's cool. And I can get growth on it and use it whenever I want.

So what I ended up working out for me, I didn't know when I started doing that, what my plan was. And so that's what we teach now. So yes, part of putting part of your assets in the insurance strategy is part of our strategy, but really what we're teaching, what we're a Wealth. What? That's why I always scoff at financial advice, financial investment advice, putting your money in the stock market.

That's not advice that's gambling. If you can learn how to use LinkedIn, if you can learn how to discover your passions. That's, if you can learn where, to what skill sets you want, interests you, how to employ them to bring value to other people that's Wealth. Because now as you're giving that value, man, does it fill you up?

And then you're feeling good about the time you're spending versus. Going to work for somebody else answering to them, hoping to get that dollar. It's never going to be enough. So changing the mindset from money to time is the coolest thing to really give you the permission. Say okay. What do I really want to do?

Do I got up there, got to work for a bit. Is part of my plan. Okay. Yeah, I got it. I got to work for a few years. Figure some things out, but I'm, instead of I'm going to go in it's my job. This is what I plan to do now. Go in and say, I'm here to learn. Yeah. I happened to get paid for it, but don't just be a worker bee.

Go around, ask questions, try to figure out what is going on in whatever company you're at. Get fired, move jobs. It's pretty much going to happen. Anybody's ever really looked look, look at the statistics. That's basically what happens. So do an intentionally go bounce around, learn as much as you can to figure out what the heck you really want to do.

That's type plan, I think is the most effective degree, meaning sense of purpose for all of us. So if you want to learn more about. How I did it. How to do it yourself, make sure you check out my new book, Veteran Wealth Secrets, and you get the first three chapters at Veteran Wealth Secrets dot com.

Otherwise it's available on Kindle and print on Amazon and of course, subscribe to the. Podcast, please rate and review share with your friends. We really appreciate, if this message has resonated with you, if you knew others who should be hearing it as they're struggling to sift through all the standard versions of how you should get out of the middle and how you should be living in post-military life.

I don't care if you've already been out 10 years, it took me 10 years to finally address this stuff. So I'm doing all this so that you don't have to waste 10 years. And by God, if people on active duty or if that's you like that's the time to get ahead, especially when it comes to financial strategy.

What is the point of saving for retirement? When you know, the biggest opportunity of your lifetime is the moment you get out of the military, whether you're in your twenties, thirties, or forties, you got a lifetime ahead of you. If all your money and your mindsets locked up. And gosh, I hope I get that salary for age 65.

And then finally I can stop and do my own thing. Good luck. There's already plenty of people that are set in that path. If you don't truly accept that as your future is your identity. Then you've got to step away. Cause you're just a commodity among many of work worker bees. Okay. What are your certifications?

What are your qualifications? Which whereas it may look like they can just plug and play. They don't care about you any more than the military does except in the military. Cause that's what we signed up for. Americans think that when they get a job, the company is going to take care of them. Now, why would they?

Okay. Your only path to freedom is to control the source of your income. You need to create companies or cool thing with this day and age. You don't have to actually create companies. You just have to create ways to bring value to people, make enough money around it to get by. Tends to be. You get more excited about that kind of stuff.

And usually that leads to more money, but it ain't easy. And you got to start at some point if that's what you want. Cause just waiting and hoping it's going to fall in your lap is not a plan.

Thanks for joining us of check out the YouTube channel as well.  We're going to finish off this episode today with an interview with David Dickey, talking about, how he was the plan. All right. Take care. We'll see you next time.


Scott Tucker: All right. Welcome back to another episode of Veteran Wealth Secrets. I'm Scott Tucker. And on this show, the whole idea is along with the concepts that I've put out there. My recent book, that's now available on Amazon, on Kindle Veteran Wealth Secrets. The book you can get that there, what we're trying to do in the show is.

Find folks who emulate the philosophy in one way or the other of building a brand getting through their military career in a unique way, going through their own transition. What are the tips and tricks the secrets that we've found along the way that maybe somebody didn't tell you before, so if you've got a secret like that and you'd like to come on the show, make sure you hit me up on LinkedIn and I'd love to have you on and be sure to subscribe as well.

To this channel so that you can get all these cool interviews. Like the one we have today with former Marine David Dickey, who's the CEO and founder of the. The Patriot group recruiting agency. And so it's always important, I think, to get the best tips and tricks anyways on getting veterans jobs what's going on, how are things changing in the world?

So I know you have a lot of that, but you also have a specific thing you want to share with us today. But first foremost, David, tell us a little bit about yourself. What's like life for you these days. Have you had to adapt, has things changed or is this actually worked in your favor?

David Dickey: Because I've worked as a recruiter, mostly remote. So this is so it's really been no change except for other family members that are now home during COVID my work schedule hasn't changed. And I'm very used to working at home. It's just things are a little bit crazier with businesses.

More people are doing video teleconferences. And the good thing it's fell right into my strong suit, which is working in recruiting and talking to people, communing with people remotely. No real big difference for me. Business-wise during COVID 

Scott Tucker: well that, that's good to hear.

I think the. The starting up some sort of business consultancy, whatever it is, even if it's on the side and you're still going for that regular job, I think that's the opportunity these days. Hey, at least try it out. See if there's a way you can find a way to work from home. Why not have that in your back pocket?

You got into recruiting. Tell us about that journey. Because I know it's a, there's lots of different recruiting agencies out there. What makes the Patriot group different? Who are the types of folks that you're looking to serve both from the hiring and to be hired? 

David Dickey: No, a great question.

I got into recruiting almost by accident. So get out of the Marine Corps, start a company. I thought it was going to be the next a company like Blackwater, if you remember them until they changed their name. And then I helped run a engineering it company that did all government contracting.

And then I, that was sold on, I went on to my own business to do consulting. And then within months I ended up, we were doing Veteran career fairs. And that was awesome, but I was really excited about entrepreneurship and recruiting. So since 2012, I've been doing recruiting really good to find veterans just like you.

Because of our background, I do not find great veterans. But we recruited a lot of different types of individuals from different backgrounds, for aerospace, defense manufacturing and even some construction clients. That's what we do in the professional recruiting field. It's just interesting how I.

Came from a consulting background to doing recruiting and helping people find jobs. Yeah. 

Scott Tucker: Is there a story there? 

David Dickey: With the the recruiting or, 

Scott Tucker: I know anytime you're getting into entrepreneurship, there's some sort of journey, there's some sort of epiphanies that we, when you fall into something that maybe you were expecting and maybe you weren't what did you learn along the way?

That kind of how'd you make one hard decision over another one, say, Hey, here we 

David Dickey: are. Yeah. When I when I left the Marine Corps I just. The epiphany was that I felt I couldn't work or couldn't work for somebody else. I wanted to work for myself and love the military and loved the Marine Corps.

But I think some people at a certain point want to grab the reins. And yes sir, no, sir. And all that stuff is done and I'm like, I'm going to do my own thing. And I've loved being an entrepreneur. And I love talking to people about it. There's a lot of risk, but there's a lot of reward and lends a lot of flexibility for those that can make it work.

And I'm so glad I did it now. I'd be very hard for me to work for somebody, US 

Scott Tucker: long-term for sure. And then one thing that, we learn in the military that you can have a mission or an objective to accomplish, but if you don't have a plan to get there, even the idea of. Getting a job becoming self-employed did not.

Especially if you're going to, in some regards become self-employed man, there's a lot of planning that needs to go involved in there and plans change, and you gotta be willing to adapt and overcome. I know that's what you wanted to talk about today is your secret to making a plan D dive in David.

What's your what's your wisdom there? 

David Dickey: The good thing, and just go back to your point about COVID and people trying something on their own. You don't really have a lot of money to start your own thing, your own side hustle. Great thing with recruiting and any other service business or anything was whether it's building websites, teaching online, it takes very little capital.

The things that I would like to share with people and coming up with a plan they teach us how to do that in the military sometimes when we get out, we forget what those skills that we've learned in the military. So you come up with a plan short term, mid and long-term, and then you keep updating it because.

That stuff will happen and it'll happen all the time it'll happen when you least expect it. And then the other thing about planning is once you see success put your federal, put, put the pedal to the metal, so to speak and keep on going. Cause sometimes you, once you succeed have some success, but a lot of people, especially entrepreneurs have a tendency to lay off.

So once you see that success and if you're seeing some failure, it just means it should motivate you to work even harder for. So it's interesting for me when things aren't going, as well as I would like. It's almost the same reaction as if they're going very well. Cause I know things, all those things could change.

Things could go back to doing a lot better and things could be a whole lot worse. So those two extremes actually motivate me more so than just humming along. But yeah, sticking to that plan and you just have to keep making the adjustments. 

Scott Tucker: So it's you ever heard of the concept AB testing?

It seems like the plan almost needs to be T to fail, to want to fail along the way. So you can see what's working, we don't always get to do that in the military. How do we give ourselves more permit? And this isn't only about entrepreneurship, right? This could be about your job hunt, whatever it is you want to do as you're finding yourself and post-military life, I'm sure you get that a lot.

People that are, I don't know what I want to do when I grow up. How do you maybe talk about. Finding, what you want to do is how has that part of the plan when it comes to, taking that first or second job out of the military, maybe it's not the end all be all 

David Dickey: right. No, and I've seen all the time where a lot of veterans right out the gate, they may have an idea or they find something that they think they want.

Then they go a couple of other more jobs until they really figure out what they want. That's why it's big thing for me. When I talk to veterans, especially transitioning veterans. I tell them they have to sit down, take time, come up with that plan, because if they shorten the amount of time in which it takes them to figure out what they want to do B and that they're excited about, it's really going to help them.

Long-term. But the other thing about it is regardless of where they're going, if they decide to do something else, they shouldn't be afraid to do that. Because hopefully they've taken in consideration and learn from, where they, how they got to where they are now and maybe how and what they've learned in the military and their current civilian experience.

How is that going to carry them to their next fits entrepreneurship? Hopefully, that's gonna, that whole, that learning and the, up to that point, hopefully they'll help them succeed. 

Scott Tucker: No, absolutely. David tell us a little bit about the, obviously the environment's changing right now.

We actually exactly everything's changing. We don't know anything. We don't know if we're going to have another lockdown. If another version of this flu is going to come down. If this is the new normal. If businesses aren't going back to work and I've talked to friends who are yoga instructors for real estate developers in New York city.

And like those offices are half, half empty. What. Are you seeing anything that people need to be more aware of to be prepared for how things are going these days and what's coming in the future. Is there anything you think a veterans or transitioning military really should be aware of that maybe they aren't right now?


David Dickey: Everything is different. So there's certain industries that are going to continue to succeed. It's going to be anything tech obviously the hospitality industries completely different in any industry, hopefully it except for manufacturing, thankfully there's things that we have to make.

So whether it's technology, logistics some of those hard products are great to get into logistics has always been something that has been a constant. Everybody needs to move things, even if we're at home or ordering. And we find that we're ordering more things more often, whether we either, and then technology continues to change.

So if it's a high tech company that is cutting edge when veterans take a look at companies they really need to understand, is this a company or industry there'll be around long term? And is that something that I want to tie my future with? So those are really the trends. There's a lot of things that are trending down, whether it's real estate hospitality in person type event meetings, the whole brick and mortar type venues or businesses it's changed completely.

So they had just really have to take a look at where we are now, worst case, best case scenario. And decide if they want to have, want to be in that industry. And with a particular company within 

Scott Tucker: those industries and if anything be prepared, I say it all the time. We don't know when the next, something out of nowhere is going to show up.

They're already talking about self-driving cars. At some point, the trucking industry is going to go away or at least drastically change. Who knows if that's in a few years or many down the road, the things are moving quickly. And yeah. To go into a job, whatever skill sets you're getting out of it to be positioned to move if necessary.

I think that's important these days. I'm curious. What can people do now? A lot of active duty guys are sitting at home, twiddling their thumbs because they can't go into work. I see a lot of people taking online courses and stuff. You can't necessarily cram an MBA into a six month of a lockdown, but.

There's other things. Is there anything people can be doing to bolster their resumes in this new environment that you think they should be investing their time and, or maybe even some money in, 

David Dickey: There's a lot of certifications. People can get that on the IOT center, I just talked with A retired Marine veteran and works for a high-tech cyber company.

And he, we talked about it and it's getting all those certifications you need, whether it's security plus, or if it, if you're in a technical field and you can get certifications by studying and take them even during COVID. Definitely do that because take advantage of things that, and areas that you want to go into.

It could be an undergrad undergraduate degree, but it could be a certification. There's a lot of surfing things for. HR and recruiters that you can take online. So take as many as you can to bolster your resume. And also take time off. There's a lot of were connected on LinkedIn.

Do everything you can to network or an events, virtual events where you can't be and take advantage of all of that. Read certain books US for the military. We often have problem with our soft skills. So practice those talk to people, get on zoom calls, read books about how to communicate.

Sorry. It's so different than military. That Wars are soft skills and people look at cultural fit and all of these buzzwords But, learning how to talk to people and being a great communicator. We could always everyone could use more 

Scott Tucker: help with no I completely agree. I think at the end of the day, we're all trying to persuade somebody of something.

So you're persuading to get a job and get a pay raise to have the kids eat their vegetables. Persuasion is communication, essentially it's sales skills. And I wish we would. Teach those skills. I love how you brought that up. I think that should be a big part of the plan. We got to learn the communication of the industries we're entering of how the civilians speak.

I had a guy on yesterday. Who does, language training for, entering the workforce? I think that's, so I was a Portuguese major in college. I'm a big, I'm a big language guy. I was like, wow. That's so important. As well, but no I really appreciate you coming on and sharing your tips, David.

As we wrap this up, what's the next, three, gosh, three years is a short timeframe, but it seems like a long timeframe these days, the way things are changing. But if assuming everything's going well, what's what are you looking to do with the Patriots group? You personally what, how do you define success in, in, in the next three years or so?

David Dickey: You know what I used to thought it was. I really thought it was funny when people used to think of, doing things you love. I thought that was a load of, but when you're get to my age, 50 something, you really, you realize that it has to be something you'd want. So if the sooner you can identify that the better, but continue to self-evaluate to do, do what it is that you love.

I love talking with people, helping people with new careers, new jobs, and I, I just want to be able to help place more. People are more people. Work with more companies and aerospace, defense manufacturing and other industries that want to hire great veterans in that. And I hope that I can make an impact not only in the growth and the culture of a company.

But the overall improving livelihoods, others, especially Veteran that's. And continuing to do what I love, which is that interaction and helping people. 

Scott Tucker: No, I it sounds like you're doing that so many ways because. It might look good on a spreadsheet. Hey, have veterans gotten a job for a salary?

And that's how we look at things in the military, but we know it's about finding the right person, the right fit have having someone. You definitely have that heart, so I appreciate you doing it the right way. Glad you found your passion. It happens to be helping other people find their is, and then.

And that's, what's great about this. Cause nowadays, almost any of us, especially through things like networking on LinkedIn, we could share resources and be helpful to each other a lot more. So I just always encourage that. I'm glad that you're out there leading the front. So I'm really excited to see where you go and how we can help out in any way as you guys are growing as well.

So thanks again, David, for coming on and for everybody else, we'll see you on the next episode. Thanks Scott, 

David Dickey: take care. Cheers. All right.

About the author 

Scott R. Tucker

Scott R. Tucker is an author, speaker and the founder of US VetWealth, a lifestyle and financial consulting brand that helps service members go from paychecks and government benefits to wealth and liberty. He likes to say, "I Help The 1% Who Serve Our Country Become The 1% Who Influence It." A West Point graduate, serial world traveler, military financial expert, and entrepreneur, Scott brings valuable experience and insight to those who have sacrificed so much in service to our country.

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