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Ep. 209 – Derick Van Ness goal is to help people create financial certainty so that they can stop worrying so much about money

Derick Van Ness headshot

Derick Van Ness is a Wealth Strategist who is passionate about helping people reach their full potential. His company, Big Life Financial is focused on removing the mystery and misinformation surrounding money and financial strategy so people can live their BIGGEST LIFE!

Derick believes that each person has something unique and valuable to contribute to the world, but that most people are never able to express that gift due to fear, doubt, or worry related to money. His mission is to eradicate that fear and fundamentally change the way that people think about and utilize money within the next generation.


Most passionate about

  • I am most passionate today about getting back out and re-engaging with the world after the pandemic.
  • I’ve really been feeling the excitement of getting close to being able to go out and meet with friends, to go dancing and sailing and do a lot of the things that I like to do in my personal life.
  • On the business level, I’m really passionate about a lot of the changes that are happening in the way people are engaging with the world. I love how technology is being used in many ways to bring people together.

Derick’s career and story

  • I wanted to own my own business. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be, but my father was a business owner and I saw the flexibility that it offered him.
  • So, I knew that I needed to learn how to sell. I took a sales job right out of college.
  • At first, it was just knocking doors, door to door. I was scared to death of that. Then, after doing that for six months, I took a phone sales job where we would cold-call people and build relationships from nothing. That was as hard as could be.
  • My first three years out of school, I probably did 50,000 cold calls.
  • At that point, I felt like I had the skill set to start my business because I’d worked with so many business owners and seen financial statements, and I knew how to sell. Then I had to decide what I wanted to do. I chose to become a real estate investor and start flipping houses.
  • I really learned a lot just by being fortunate enough to have made a lot of money when I was young.
  • Today, we do financial strategy and tax strategy for business owners.
  • Our goal is to help people create financial certainty so that they can stop worrying so much about money and focus on doing the work or being the person that they’re here to be. The company’s called Big Life Financial, and the idea is that we get money out of the way so that you can live the big life you’re here to live.

Best advice for entrepreneurs

  • I think the most important thing that gets overlooked in sales is asking good questions and listening to salespeople practice their sales pitch. They practice overcoming objections, they practice how to present, they practice all these things, but it’s not what communication is not about, what you’re saying, it’s about what the customer is hearing.
  • If you don’t know their needs, you can’t speak in terms of their needs when you present.

The biggest, most critical failure with customers

  • I would say my biggest failure with clients is that sometimes, when my business has grown in big spurts, my follow-through of continuing to stay in touch with clients and continuing to stay engaged and active with them, has not been as good as it could have been.
  • Relationships have come naturally to me, so I’ve relied on that. At times in my business growth, by not having cadences, and not having routines, and not having systems to support me, I’ve dropped the ball.

Biggest success with customers

  • I think the best thing that I’ve ever done, and I kind of learned this in the real estate business, was when my greed glands turn on.
  • My greatest success has been learning how to view every single person—whether a big or small client—as a human being, to treat them as a human being and work with them.
  • As a human being, I’m so much more effective, just letting the money take its own course and doing the right thing for the client. I’m focused on their needs and what’s most important to them. I guide them and help them with that and don’t worry so much about the commission or the money that I’m going to make.

Derick’s recommendation of a tool

  • Learning how to connect with people through video is super, super important.
  • At the beginning of 2020, we were doing a lot of Facebook marketing and we were getting a ton of leads, like seven to 10 new leads a day even with the follow-up sequence and email.
  • So, we shifted to video and now I consistently get comments from clients.

Derick’s one key success factor

  • First and foremost is, and I said this earlier, that I just love people.
  • I see the good in everybody. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some people whom I meet and am like, “Ooh, I don’t necessarily love that person,” but for the most part, when I get on the phone with people, I really like them.
  • When I love people, they can feel it. I think that’s a real competitive advantage. It’s definitely a key success factor.


Derick’s Mountain

Since we believe that the best way for entrepreneurs to get fast, big, and sustainable success is by leading your (new) market category, and the entire entrepreneurial journey reminds me of mountaineering, I want to ask you: Is there a mountain you dream of climbing or a mountain you have already climbed?

  • I grew up and live in Salt Lake City and we live right next to big, beautiful mountains. So, my entire life, I’ve spent time in the mountains. I love your comparison.
  • I think most people think, when they start a business or when they get out of college, that they’re at the top of the mountain. The truth is, I feel like that’s base camp.
  • I think the comparison between a mountain and a business is very profound because both of them are way harder than you think they’re going to be, and they take way longer than you think. You’re tested.
  • I often refer to what I call the spiritual journey of entrepreneurship, because when you own a business, it comes down to you. You have to show up, and if you have a team, you have to lead. You have to be better than you thought you could be. You have to dig deeper than you ever thought you would be when something goes wrong.
  • When you’re out there and you’re all alone or with only a couple of people, nature doesn’t care.
  • If you’re tired, if you’re hungry, if you’re cold, it’s not going to warm up in the middle of the night for you. And the world is that way with business.
Salt Lake City Mountains

Salt Lake City Mountains


The best ways to connect with Derick


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