Venture Capitalist Derik Fay’s Philosophy on Wealth and Success

Derek Fay
Courtesy Derik Fay

If you want to learn what the meaning of wealth and success is for someone, all you’ll need to do is to find out what kind of life they lead. For some, the evidence is found on their social media. You might see new cars, yachts, and $50,000 vacations. Others take a pragmatic approach and invest their wealth to find success in building new businesses. For Derik Fay, there’s an altruistic meaning behind “wealth” and “success”.

For the people who are close to Fay they might know him as a mentor or a great leader to a workforce of 20,000 employees. To those who see him as an inspirational figure in business, he might be known as someone who has made it to Forbes’ List of 40 under 40 Most Successful Entrepreneurs; a titan who has built and sold over 30 highly successful companies, all with 7 to 8-figure exits; a venture capitalist and real estate investor who manages an ongoing base of businesses with over $1 billion in revenue; a brilliant CEO that has successfully launched countless brands in nearly every industry. If this is the first time you’re hearing about him, that wouldn’t be a surprise either, as the silent serial entrepreneur prefers behind-the-scenes impact rather than front-and-center.

Seemingly having the world at his feet, one expects to hear a somewhat self-serving definition of success and wealth from Fay. Instead, his view is rooted in empathy. Coming from a poor childhood, Fay never had the conveniences of finishing college or being able to freely venture into business. Instead, he relied on grit and trial and error. In his 20’s, he was able to launch a capital management firm and a fitness brand, with both ventures generating millions in revenue today. For the self-made millionaire, success is found in being able to set a goal, design a plan, and see it come to life.

While success equals financial wealth for a lot of people, to Derik Fay, it’s not the same thing. “Money is not an indicator of your ability, or who you are as a person. I believe that ‘wealth’ comes with too much implied power, respect, and credibility. I believe that this power, respect, and implied credibility is also often abused to further and enrich themselves,” says Fay. “I faced many times where I continued to proceed with the risk of growing. What if I was wrong? I would be bankrupt several times. A few times there was zero dollars in the bank for a week or more until things finally came together. But you can start with zero dollars and still grow your dream.”

While understanding the power of money, Fay believes that wealth extends beyond it, and is seen in the kind of relationships you forge. “Leverage and creativity beat money every time. The next page of my journey is doubling down and partnering with, mentoring, and bridging the success gap for entrepreneurs and businesses that have the desire to grow.”

In a modern culture where success and wealth often mean the obscenely material, Derik is out to set a new precedent for what success looks like. “There is power in being humble and giving. I want to create an environment where a person with zero experience can come and interact and learn from seasoned executives, and that those executives in turn will also learn from those who are new.” In explaining the power of unity, Derik Fay also uncovers the secret to multiplying your success: sharing it with others and teaching them to create it for themselves.

Written in partnership with Jeff Kauflin

For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!