Derek Fay has been a serial entrepreneur for over 20 years.
He started his venture capital firm 3FManagement in 2002. Since then, he has built and sold over 30 companies, all of which he exited in 7, 8, and 9-figure transactions.
He was born into poverty, had no one to help him, dropped out of college after one semester, and simply “failed” his way to the top.
In addition to building his own brands, he also invests his own money, time, and resources into promising young entrepreneurs and companies to assist in their growth cycles. Cultivating all of his business operations and culture to support the goal of accelerating growth, and targeted, unprecedented exit strategy multiples for all partnered brands allows each new partner to plug into his eco-system for immediate and accelerated growth.
“I came from a very poor and abusive childhood on my mother’s side and had no assistance any step of the way. I have literally turned zero dollars into $250 million plus,” he said during an exclusive interview. “I did not finish college and I’m 100% self-taught. I literally learned through self-education, trial and error, failure, and passion.”
And he continued: “This is giving me a foundation of appreciation for what I have in the drive to help as many people as I can so no one has to feel hopeless or poor. Each year I continue to grow my brands but more importantly, my goal is to empower all of those around me. I am 44 hrs old this November and truly feel I am just getting into a groove from a business perspective”
Below are a few questions with Derik Fay to understand more about his background and his perspective as a businessman
1. What inspired you to start working so young?
A desperate and burning desire to be more than I was told and expected to be by everyone in my life. Coming from poverty created a sense of intention as I approached the beginning stages of my career.
2. What were your first moves in business?
⁃ I started out as what I called an “intermediary VC” I leveraged my ability to connect and communicate and began connecting people who had money with people who needed money and taking a percentage for myself.
⁃ I went into companies and offered my services for free. Things like helping to reduce expenses or increase revenue. The larger the company the more wasted expenses were present. I would take 50% of “found money.” This also gave me insight into many different companies inter workings (financial, ops, HR, etc) good and bad.
⁃ I took a full-time job making $32k/year while I was generating over $100k/month at the largest management company in the US to learn the inner workings before launching my own management company 3F Management. I worked there for 9 months and was promoted several times until I was offered to be the GM over a region. I quit and started 3F Management the next day
3. Tell us about your company
⁃ I started 3F management in 2004 as a hospitality management company: Hotels, country clubs, spas, fitness, etc.
⁃ This quickly grew into a comprehensive, non-industry-specific, full-service venture capital fund, as well as an M&A and brand growth company.
⁃ In short we build brands from the ground up.
⁃ We invest in smaller but promising companies that benefit from our infrastructure, tech, C-suite, and scale expertise.
– We buy small, grow, and exit in 1 to 3 years, optimally.
4. How do you bring value to the community you operate?
3F Management’s core value is to “give where we earn.” We do this by donating to local charities in the communities we operate in, and offering small loans to all employees and partners.
We also buy single-family homes and allow abused women and their children to reside for free and learn life skills.
In addition, we founded Hometown Heros, which donates millions to local heroes, teachers, first responders and military personnel.
5. Can you give us any advice you consider useful for young entrepreneurs?
Anyone can do anything and your mindset is your reality.
It is a level playing field when you decide to pursue your future without limitations. So, try to do a plan for 10 years; in 10 years you can change the entire landscape of your life and your family.
The 3 Cs: Keys To Success
- Communication: When you open your mouth you tell the world who you are, so practice demonstrating who you are. Be calm, clear and compelling.
- Charisma: Character is the foundation of charisma. This can’t be faked and has a compounding effect.
- Consistency: You must believe that, if you are consistent, the results will appear. Have a clear vision, understanding and control.
6. Which you consider are some of your career highlights?
- -In 2012 I received the 40 under 40 award for most successful entrepreneurs. I founded 3F Management in 2004 from the ground up in my early 20s.
- – I built and sold over 30 highly successful companies, all with 7 or 8-figure exits.
- – Built and sold companies into NASDAQ-traded companies.
- – I founded and wholly owned Around the Clock Fitness at 24 years old. The company grew it into Florida’s most profitable health club chain and sold to publicly traded company Town Sports International (OTC: CLUBQ) in 2019 for the largest exit multiple in the fitness industry.
- – I also Founded SalonPlex and sold it as the fastest-growing salon suite company in the state of Florida.
- – I founded Hometown Heros donating millions.
- – I have employed over 20,000 people, I managed on an ongoing basis of over $1 billion in revenues and have successfully launched and grown countless personal brands as the founder and CEO from the ground up, from zero revenue to eight-figure publicly traded company exits .