Derik Fay is the founder and Chief Executive officer at 3F management, a comprehensive venture capital, and Acquisition Company. 3F Management specializes in growing and investing in businesses across all sectors. Now nearly 20 years old, his company was built from a fledgling startup emphasizing investment management and analysis. Today, it has become a dominant force in venture capital, building brands, investing in starts ups, strategic acquisitions, mergers, financial management, and so much more.
As an entrepreneur and philanthropist, we asked Fay some rapid fire questions about his success, the journey, and his limitations.
Tell us about yourself.
I am the founder, CEO, and sole equity owner of 3F Management. I was born and raised in Rhode Island. I went to South Kingstown high school and played baseball my entire life. I am the father of two incredible daughters, Sophia E Fay (15) and Isabella R Fay (13).
In 2002, I moved to Florida after dropping out of the University of Rhode Island. I am divorced, and now life with daughters, and the love of my life Shandra G Phillips in Bonita Springs Florida. These days, when I am not growing my core business, and or acquiring or building new companies, I enjoy sports, weightlifting, traveling, and working with young entrepreneurs to achieve their own success.
What makes you different from other professionals in your field?
Venture capital can be very transactional. This means the firm lends money , expects a return, and moves on to the next opportunity. Not with my and my company 3F Management. We are INTIMATELY involved. We are your true partner from the day we invest until ithe day we sell.
The biggest difference perhaps is that every company that joins us gets ME, directly ME. I am involved in the vision, growth, good and bad days, and know EVERY partner the we are involved with. Every business is a family business that means as much to me, as it does the original founder. This has proven out over 20 years to be perhaps the most valuable asset that we have. This is demonstrated by the fact that most often 3F Management does NOT invest money, as it is our least valuable resource, instead we invest US into the partner brand, with astounding results.
What was an essential part of your entrepreneurial journey?
I would say the fine art of failure and accepting it as progress. It is the most challenging part, failing and then trying again with a different approach. Learning from failure, and pulling the part of value is a mind set or perception that is everything for an entrepreneur.
I always tell my team and other entrepreneurs I mentor that success is built upon a foundation of previous failures, yours and others. This is incredibly important because temporally failure (setbacks) will occur and not being paralyzed by it, and rather leaning into it, will make all the difference.
How much potential market share can you achieve in the next three years?
3F Management has been increasing consistently over the years, but more recently we have seen an impressive breakthrough with our clients.; with CAGR exceeding 30% or more per asset. If things keep going according to our projections, we will enjoy being one of the larger companies of our kind, worldwide.
Who inspires you to keep going when it’s tough?
My inspiration today (different form my why) is young entrepreneurs and fledgling businesses on their way up. Empowering and bridging the success gap for them inspires me. I have a genuine and burning desire to give my years of knowledge and failures to those who need it.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs and new startup business owners who want to become leaders in the field?
I have two:
- Ask questions—you always know less than you think you do, still true for me today.
- Never get comfortable— comfort is the death of motivation and innovation. Stay sharp and hungry. Becoming successful is relatively easy, staying successful is the real challenge.
Thank you, Derik, for your time. It was such a pleasure to learn from your rich experience.
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