In this ‘how they did it’ episode, you will meet Blake York. Blake was a full-time nurse, doing his master’s degree, and became a single dad. Operating on 2-3 hours of sleep at a time, Blake managed to lay the foundation for his dream business. Today, he is the owner of a successful medspa and living the life he architechted in the most challenging of times.
In this episode, you will get the raw and real tips on how to transition from a full-time job to becoming a full-time entrepreneur and definitely leave inspired.
— Blake York
Topics covered in the interview
Working the plan and staying focused
Setting a new standard for yourself
Building the infrastructure
Tips on being highly organized
Blake York’s Bio
With a Masters Degree in Nursing and a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington’s Family Nurse Practitioner Program, our Founder, Blake York, has been a leader in the innovation and transformation of modern health in America.
Although Blake grew up in a health and wellness-centered home, with parents who owned several fitness centers and a physical therapy practice, it was only after 11 years of his own progressive nursing career that Blake found his true passion and purpose in this industry when he began coaching and mentoring others in weight loss and fitness in 2011.
“I realized the joy and gratification I gained from helping others succeed in their own health journey and making changes in life before they had to.” – Blake York
Blake’s desire to help others become empowered in controlling their own health and wellness through diet, exercise, and supplementation is what ultimately led to his discovery of Functional and Integrative Medicine. Thus, Blake followed his passion and became a licensed Board Certified Health Practitioner in the field of anti-aging, functional, and regenerative medicine–and that’s when Equilyst was born.
Blake’s success is rooted in truly seeing a piece of himself in each and every patient and having a deep connection to each and every outcome they desire to achieve.
Follow Blake York
Susan Sly 00:00
All right, what's
Susan Sly 00:01
Susan Sly 00:02
I hope you're having an amazing day. And you know, we're talking always about raw and real entrepreneurship.
Susan Sly 00:08
And my guest today,
Susan Sly 00:10
it's about as real as it's gonna get. I mean, single dad, putting himself through school while working full time and then launches a business. And we're going to get into it. What does it take to navigate a lot of life events and better yourself, improve your skills and start a business? And on top of it, he's just a really dear friend and an awesome human. But check this out. He's got a master's degree in nursing, and he's a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington's family nurse practitioner program. And on top of all of it, he is someone who has had entrepreneurship in his blood, he has successfully launched several businesses. And one of his biggest joys is helping others succeed not only in their health journey, but I'll say something a little bit personal. He's also an amazing advocate for people. People who are going through their own challenges, their own disappointments. He volunteers his time. He's an amazing father. And he has recently created an incredible business. And I want everyone to check it out. It is centered in anti aging and functional medicine, which I'm a huge fan of. So we'll have to have them back and just have a whole discussion on that. And it's called Equilyst. So with that, Blake York, welcome. I am so happy to have you here.
Blake York 01:39
Thank you, Susan, thank you for having me. It's a pleasure.
Susan Sly 01:43
We were just laughing because Blake and I, we text, but I had to get him on my show for us to really catch up at so many things going on. For people who don't know you, I want to just jump in and go back in time, a few years. I remember when you were working shifts, putting yourself through school, and then became a single dad. And you know, there are a lot of people listening, they're going through challenges, and they're thinking, I want to start a business, I want to better my life. But I feel like I have so many balls in the air. So like, Can you walk us back in time a little bit and share your story?
Blake York 02:25
Wow, that whole you know, that whole piece that you just said, it was just, it really seems like a bad dream at this point in this stage, you know, but there's that old saying, you know, that goes, begin with the end in mind. And I think that I always had a plan, you know, just having a plan and then working the plan. And then always having the end result or whatever that is, and keeping the focus on that because that's what's going to get you through through those hard times. So we moved to Texas in 2014. I think the year before that it really was just a nurse kind of working through some things of building network marketing business from home, which I learned a vast amount of skills and knowledge that I needed. You know, looking back now, it was a missing piece of what's what got me here. But I had a vision for starting a practice like this. But I really wanted to be more of an owner operator. So you know, it was a daunting thing here. I've been a nurse for seven years looking at going back to school. But it was a missing piece. And I said I'm gonna apply to grad school, I now knew what I wanted to do with my degree, which I think is important, when you're going to go back for something like this, so many people waste time on expanding their education, and they really don't know what they're gonna do with it when they get out. And so that was important for me. And so got here, moved to a new city, great opportunity to just reinvent myself. And to focus, you know, less distractions. I didn't know anybody here. And so I worked weekend nights for almost three years, and was in school full time. And I watched my son during the week so my then wife could work at the salon. And you know, just made it happen and just kind of dug our heels in and, and was really just focused on getting through the school, getting the degree. And I got some additional certifications, kind of getting myself set up for the marketplace once I got out so that I could land a job in the field that I was looking for. And what really helped set me apart from a lot of people and ended up getting me in a position to really place me inside of a practice that was doing exactly all the things that I really was interested in and wanted to do was, we're all those things that I was, you know, while simultaneously going to school, you know, I was getting certified in doing aesthetic injections, you know, I was learning about anti aging medicine and functional medicine and the different certification and training programs that I was going to have to be in. And then really just honing in on, you know, all of those additional skills, you know, micro goals, you have the macro goal, right? And then all the little micro goals, those are the ones that really kept me sustaining momentum, because I wasn't getting exhausted. It was like, Hey, here's something I can knock out and in weekends time and get a certification under my belt, here's something I can that's gonna, it's gonna give me confidence going forward. So all of that really landed me, you know, kind of an opportunity to be in this setting, learning the ins and outs of the of the industry that I wanted to be in, because it's one thing to kind of want to have a practice or have a thing, but you're, you know, you've got that voice in the back, your head is saying, Yeah, but you don't know how to do that. You know, how are you going to do that, Blake? And so I would just tell that voice, Yes, I don't know, but I'll figure it out. And so, you know, that's the main thing is just having the goal, having the plan, and then working the plan and seeing it out till its fulfillment. And so really, just very grateful to be in the position that I am here now. Three years post graduation have actually, you know, living my dream and having my practice and walking through it every day. But it wasn't, it wasn't, there was never a day that I didn't think about this, you know. So
Susan Sly 06:49
That's huge. So focus. I love what you said, like starting with end in mind. And just being you know, being intentional. You know, I love what you said, What can I knock off the you know, whether it was a course, getting a new skill, because let's just you know, the whole focus is raw and real, right? We're not going to gloss over. There were times you were tired. Yes. Like, there were times I remember talking to you, and you hadn't slept in a couple of days. And what do you want to say to the person right now who is watching on YouTube or they're listening as the podcast, what do you want to say? They're like, Blake, I'm tired, too and I want to give up on this dream. What do you want to say to that?
Blake York 07:33
I'll say what my mom says to me, if it was easy, everyone would do it, you know? And that's the thing. And the main thing is holding on to the reason why you're doing something, you know, I think is so important. And because if you're doing it for yourself, you're gonna quit. If you have a reason why, you know, what you want to do for, why you want to do this, or why you want to achieve whatever it is that you're looking to achieve, then those are the things are going to drag you through the mud. When you are tired, when you haven't slept, you know, when everything else in your life is falling apart, you know. So it's just for me, it was just setting an example for my children, and trying to leave something for the next generation or really set a higher standard, you know. You have always really instilled in me and everything everyone that you've touched is just setting a new standard for yourself. And that's something that I was going to hold myself accountable to, you know, is who's watching me? And how can I, you know, pull through this? And it's painful, you're gonna go through painful periods, and things are gonna happen. But if you look back, you can really connect the dots. And that's, those are the things and those are the moments that are really testing you to see if you really want what's on the other side. Because a lot of people won't make it through that. And those are the people that you know, don't have a strong enough reason why to do it, because it is, let's say, my dad used to tell me, you can't reach for the other ring of the ladder by still holding on to the bottom ring. At some point, you're letting go with two hands. There's a brief moment and climbing a ladder that you're letting go with two hands. And that's that period of just having faith that all the hard work and all the you know, perseverance that you're having to endure is going to pay off, you know. And then that moment of having to look backwards is such a beautiful thing. But it's like standing up against like a, say like you're standing up against a huge pyramid or temple. If you're right next to that thing and you're on top of it, you can't even see how magnificent it is. It's not until you take several steps back and you can see it and it's built. And it's beautiful. And it's it's everything that you think it is, but, but when you're so close in it, or you're in the middle of it, it's hard to really stay focused on that big picture, I gues,s is what I'm trying to say.
Susan Sly 10:15
How badly do you want what's on the other side? And it's, you know, it's so funny. I was talking to one of my staff members today, he's like, I started binge watching your YouTube channel. I'm like, Oh, are you scared are you excited, right? And I think that we all have wall kicking moments. And we all have that time, when we have to look ourselves in the mirror and go, how badly to your point, do I really want this? Because I'm tired. I feel like I'm burned out. I've got kids pulling at me, I've got life pulling at me, I haven't worked out in five days, my hair probably smells bad. But it's like, focus on what you're going to not what you're going through. The question I want to ask you, because a lot of people watch the show or listen to the show, because they have a job and they're starting a side hustle, and they want really badly for that side hustle to eventually become their main thing. After starting this business, like if you could go back in time and give your self three years ago, some advice, what advice would you give yourself three years ago?
Blake York 11:35
That's really good. There was a breakthrough moment for me whenever I was in this position, straight out of my graduate program, and I was working for someone else. But I still had that vision of what I'm building now. And there's a moment of frustration, there's a moment of ungratefulness that comes over you because we all want whatever visions been shown to us now. And just because, I would say just because you're given a vision, doesn't mean you're ready to step into it. And I started realizing that, in that I started becoming ungrateful for the present moment and losing the value of its place in the steps and process of what I was going through. And I ran across this book, Andy Stanley's Visioneering. And it's a great book. And in that book, he says, you know, when we're placed in periods of waiting, we're supposed to do the three P's. Praying, planning and preparing. And man, that book, it was just revolutionary for me, and it was like, Okay, I see what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm going to, I'm gonna settle in, I'm gonna, I'm gonna keep learning, I'm gonna keep honing, I'm gonna keep working on my vision. But now it's not my time. I'm supposed to be planted, I need to bloom where I'm planted. And so if you have that side hustle, it's very easy to, it's very easy to become ungrateful for your job, that may provide you money and made for these, putting a roof over your family's head, it's very easy to become ungrateful for the hand that's feeding you, and focusing on the other one, when it's not quite ready for you to step into it yet. And so I would say to that person is do the three P's. You know, keep praying, planning and preparing and keep working your plan, you know, and there's going to come a point where you will be able to let go, or you will be able to be released into that zone. And it'll be scary. It'll be scary, just like every other time you want to leave the comfort of something. But you'll be ready. You'll be ready. Because I think TD Jakes says something really interesting that I like, and he talks about infrastructure. And sometimes we pray for things, right? Or we ask for things that we're not ready to receive. And if you get it, you know, God help you if something bad might happen, that you're not ready for. And so it's really important to focus on building the infrastructure. And that means, you know, what skills do you need? What certifications do you need? What other knowledge do you need to put in place to where when an opportunity comes your way, you're going to be ready. Because like I say, opportunities, don't go away. They just go to someone else. And so that's the thing. And I've just, I really, I think that was my biggest test was, you know, how grateful can I be for where I am now to continue to get to where I want to be, you know. I think, I think what, I don't know if I've ever quoted this or not, you know how many people say all these different things, but he says, you know, do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do. I think that's so important. And I've really talked to my daughter about this because I get a backseat to watch and the things in her life play out, you know. Get to watch her, you know, become a service industry, learn how to be a waitress, learn how to really talk to people and deal with people. And then now she's in cosmetology school, she wants to be a makeup artist. So all of those little things, right, are just adding up to making her into the best quality person of service in her industry. But she, she can't see it, but I can tell her, and now she sees it. But, you know, when you're in it, every little piece has importance just as much as the other ones.
Susan Sly 15:54
You said so much there that, that being grateful for where you're at, because it's so hard at times. Right? And, and, and I think that, that, that the other piece around that sometimes we're praying for things we're not ready for yet. And I know you and I are lifelong learners. We've traded you know, so many texts about you know, me going back to school at MIT, you doing your master's degree, and people look at us and go, Oh, you have young kids, and you have a business and you have a job. How do you have time to go back to school? You just make time. Now, like, I know that you are very precise with your schedule. And there are, I was talking to one of my employees today, not the one who binge watched YouTube, another one. And he's Susan, I just don't feel that organized. And I, you know, a lot of times on the show, I'll ask my guests, you know, walk me through your day, I'm gonna ask you something different. What tips do you want to give about being highly organized, because I know there are times, I'm a huge fan of Blake's little son, he's adorable. He's not so little anymore. But you know, we've been in Hawaii together, stayed over at my house. But there are times when you are literally, your son is supposed to have some childcare, the childcare is not there, you've got to be somewhere, I want, I want like, let's get as real as possible, because in a perfect world, everything's always perfect. Right? It's Instagram perfect. But two questions. How do you stay organized, number one, and how do you handle it when your schedule gets messed up for whatever reason? A patient doesn't show up or a patient goes too long, or your childcare doesn't work out. Like, give us your best tips.
Blake York 17:58
So obviously, you're a huge barometer for me, as far as when I asked myself, Do I have time for something? So everybody around me knows that. So I think that's great. I think it's just to have somebody in your life that really sets an example. My mother's another excellent person, I have no idea how she's done all the different things, and being a business owner herself and a number of things. So I think just having somebody that really can set an example that can kind of wipe away your excuses while you're not doing things or why you're not able to accomplish whatever it is you're trying to accomplish. And the second thing is, I think the busier that you are, the easier it is to stay organized with your schedule, because you run out of time. And so everything is very regimented. But developing a weekly routine, a morning routine is the most powerful thing for me, morning routines, evening routines, this gives you time to glance over your schedule in the morning, you know, to kind of just take a cap of what's going on in your life that day. Remember things that you may have forgotten. And then again at night, you know, maybe once before you go to bed, just Hey, looking at the schedule one more time, now it's in your, now it's in your mind. And those are the things that do have two different calendars that I work from right now. I really don't have any assistants helping me. So hopefully in the future I will. You know, I think I did have to, I tell this to my patients a lot too. Where are places in your life that you can, that you can, you know, get help or ask for help? Okay, because we can't do all these things ourselves. Just as far as like, I know that you have things that you know, you can delegate. What can I delegate to the people around me that care about me that maybe want to help, and I'm not letting them help, you know. I do have a nanny. I had to hire her because there was a gap where three hours towards the end of my day that I just could not go pick my son up, be back in time and see patients, close the shop, close my clinic down. And so those are things too is look at the broader picture, you know, what can you delegate? What things are you committed to that you don't absolutely have to be committed to? I think you and I had a conversation about being over committed. And those are things that I've talked to patients of mine about daily when we're talking about stress management. And I think that's the most important thing is running your schedule and not letting your schedule run you, you know. I was just getting my haircut earlier and the guy, my barber is getting stressed out because he's continually answering the phone while he's cutting my hair. And I said, if you don't stop, I'm going to give you a poor review on Yelp. I was joking, obviously, but I was just giving him some pointers. Like, you have to navigate all of your people through your portal into your booking portal. It's not just for your sake, it's for their sake. You have to train them to be consistent with your schedule, and not vice versa. And so you know, that's the thing that I think is really important. You know, when it comes to scheduling. As far as when things don't go your way, or things aren't happening, I've learned to just realize that that is life. You know, and that is life and things are going to happen. There will be cancellations, children will get sick, you know, you wait, you may not feel great. There's lots of things that can happen. But in those moments of just kind of try to stop, you know, why is this happening? You know, is it really that big of a deal? How can it be, you know, how can it be reckoned or you know, made better, and, you know, didn't want to get hurt by this? So that's the main thing. And you and I've had, I love that. I
Susan Sly 21:52
mean, you and I have had the discussion about seasons, right? There are seasons in our lives, seasons when, you know, we're in that transition, where we're working, we're starting a business, we're in school, you know, kids, or whatever. Everything is for a season. And it's, it's going okay, what's on the other side of that season, like you said. And I know, you know, right now, you and I were talking before we got into the show, and everyone who watches knows, you know, we're in the middle of an M&A situation with one of our companies. And the days are long, you know, 16 hour days. And last night, I, after my last phone call, it ended at seven, I just said to the person, I'm shutting my phone off. I'm going to go spend time with my kids. Then I find out they they ended up having a meeting after I'd shut my phone off. They're like, well, we couldn't reach you. Like that's the point, you know, and sometimes during those seasons, it's you know, everyone gets excited. Don't you find Blake, they're like, yeah, I'm gonna enroll in school and I'm gonna start a business and I'm gonna do a fitness show, and I'm gonna do all this, and they get so fired up, and then they're in it and they implode and they break down, right?
Blake York 23:10
Yes. Yeah, that's one of the things you know, I think where getting excited about all those things, and actually deciding if you could have the capacity of it. It was just like, for me, I mean, I had this massive goals list every year, and a lot of it included advanced education and other different things. Well, when I started my business, I realized real quickly, okay, some of this stuff is going to have to go to the bottom of the list. And so it's really identifying, I think, what are the key things that are that are important, you know, in the different areas and really focus in on those. And try to be laser focused because you say, you know, it chase two rabbits, you catch none type of thing and, and that holds true all the way through, no matter how big your goals are, you're still gonna, at some point, have to laser in on each individual one to complete them and move to the next thing. And so I think that's, that's one of the biggest thing, obviously, organize your life, change my life. Biggest thing I learned there, cluttered mind, cluttered life. Gotta clean up your space, got to create office space for yourself, you have to do these things. If you have, if your house is a mess, if your closets a mess, start there. That's what I can say, hey, that's a game changer, you know, because I know if you're, anybody's like me, but it's like I can't sit down and study until the kitchens clean, the clothes are folded. All of these tests are done. And now it's my time. I don't have to worry about anything else. And now I can focus on you know, patient notes, I can do these different things. And so, a lot of my work gets done when the, when the, when my son's asleep, you know and after those things are done, I can actually sit down and dial in or have time for myself. So you have to kind of decide every day which is that you need.
Susan Sly 25:07
Blake,I love that and we love a good shameless plug for Organize Your Life. I mean, seriously it, it's yes, you know, what is happening in your mind is directly related to your environment. So when your mind is cluttered, take a look around you. Is your environment cluttered? And vice versa when your environment is cluttered, it will clutter your mind and that's the whole principle. It's like clean up that environment. Get clear. Blake, there's, I mean, we have to do another show because there a whole, there's a whole other topic I want to discuss about that self care for entrepreneurs. Burnout is a big thing. I'm going to do a series on burnout and I want to bring you back so we can talk about that especially with integrative medicine and you know, what kind of tests should people be looking for and everything but, um, I would love for everyone to follow Blake on Instagram @freex45 on Instagram. And I know Dallas is just the beginning but you can check out his business at equilystmed.com. And Blake, in front of all these thousands of people, I love you brother. It's so, I am so happy for your success. And as someone who was raised by a single dad, like knows it, you know, shouts out to you. And guys, as you're watching, as you're listening if you know a single dad, um, you know, or anyone really who's trying to make that career change. Please go ahead, share the show, Blake and I would love a five star review. Drop a comment on YouTube, subscribe on YouTube. I'm the one who answers the comments on YouTube. So thanks again, Blake for being here. Thank you, Susan. All right, everyone. So God bless go rock your day and this has been another episode of the Susan Sly Project.