While growing up in the idyllic hamlet of Tucker’s Crossing, MS, brothers David and Mike Landrum would spend hours imagining their futures as entrepreneurs – putting together business ventures that would make them wealthy men. But, like so many youthful dreams, they faced little chance of coming true. “Even if we had ever come up with a good idea,” remembers David, “which we didn’t – we didn’t have any money. With most business start-ups, the old adage is true, ‘You’ve got to have money to make money.’”
After high school, David filled his life with managing a health club, attending the University of Southern Mississippi full time and starting a life together with his new wife, Jill.
Mike followed David to university some years later with a promising career in football ahead of him. “Football was a huge dream of mine,” smiles Mike, “I love the strategy, the camaraderie. I really love winning.” Mike continued on into professional football after college.
Meanwhile, the year was 1980 and David had heard about a new company called A. L. Williams – now Primerica. “I liked several things about how Primerica worked,” says David. “You didn’t need serious money to get started. You could start part-time if you wanted to. The business was about helping people and about building a team of other entrepreneurs.”
Only four months after starting with Primerica, David decided to go full-time and opened his own office in the town of Laurel, MS – with Jill as the office administrator. Five months after that he opened his second office on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Next was Jackson, MS, and then on and on.
While David was building his Primerica business, Mike was knocking heads as an Atlanta Falcon when he sustained a career-ending injury. “My dream died on the field the day I was injured,” says Mike. “I didn’t think I would ever find anything to replace football.”
Searching for something to do, Mike returned to Mississippi. “I was at a low point in my life,” say Mike. “I lost $40,000 that I didn’t have to lose on a bad business investment. Nothing was going right.” But then things started to look up. For starters, he met his future wife, Amy.
The next thing to go right was that David convinced Mike to give Primerica a 60-day try. “I could see things were going great for David,” says Mike. “In the beginning I felt awkward meeting with people to discuss their finances. It was just a matter of growing a bit by getting out of my comfort zone.”
After 60 days with David, Mike and Amy were really excited about what they could do at Primerica. “We have both ‘grown up’ with this company,” says Mike. “Things were slow for us at first, but soon picked up. And as, our capabilities and business grew, so did our dreams.”
Today, Primerica really is a family business for the Landrums. Both David and Jill and Mike and Amy have more than 100 offices in their organizations. They are both financially independent many times over. “And it’s all from following our dreams and helping Main Street families,” says David. “We remember Tucker’s Crossing is where we came from.”