Vick Tipnes, Founder & CEO
I was born in London, England and immigrated to Florida as a young boy with my Family.
I always knew that I wanted to be an Entrepreneur from a very young age. I remember asking my Father, whom was also an Entrepreneur, if I found a business would he invest in it, I was 12.
My older brother would give me his RayBan Aviator sunglasses when he was tired of them, and I would call the Tallahassee Tribune and place an ad to sell them. One day this grown man showed up at my door, my Dad answered and said he was here to see Vick. My dad would look at me funny, but I made 60 bucks that day!
Even though my parents pushed education, and my older brothers went to college, I always knew it was not my path. I was and still have a rebel streak in me. I did give it a try and kept an open mind, but after 6 months of college I decided to drop out and pursue my goals.
I wasn’t born with great salesmanship skills, so I knew I needed to learn it and learn it quickly, so I threw myself to the wolves and decided to go and sell cars. That was an amazing experience for me, you had to sink or swim. After learning the business I did really well and was salesman of the month and had my picture in the Tallahassee Tribune. That really helped build my confidence.
I then struggled through various businesses that I started and sold, but didn’t really reach my full potential, when compared to the image I had in my mind. So I struggled with things for a while. It wasn’t until I was 35 years old that I really woke up and realized that I needed to truly invest in myself if I was going to become anything in life. Once that ball dropped for me, everything changed. I took massive action to learn and educate myself as much as I could. I became obsessed with bettering myself, and invested every dollar I had in me. At the time I had little or no money, I didn’t even have a sofa, but I had belief in myself. Some people may think that’s crazy, but I knew if I made myself more able and had more knowledge, everyone around me would benefit.
Then in 2015, after I turned 39, I became a man on a mission.
I started Blackstone in 2012; my purpose was to help as many people as I could, through better cost, access and quality. I started this business from a 400 sq.ft office, with no revenue, one employee and a loan from an investor. As an Entrepreneur, you just accept the fact that some weeks you may not get paid because you have to take care of your employees first, so it was always a challenge. But I knew that all the hard work and sacrifice would pay off one day.
Today we have over 30 employees and are a multi-million dollar revenue company. We have grown into a national company that does business in over 38 states. We are contracted with over 17 million lives via various Insurance Providers and we provide a level of service to out Patients, Physicians and Insurance Providers that is unmatched.