"I never intended to start a business. I simply started coffee talks after I realized how badly nurses on my unit needed a safe place to talk about how they felt and what they were going through."
Learn how entrepreneur Cat Golden got started with Nurses Inspire Nurses, and how she and her business overcame the struggles of this past year.
What is it like running a successful business & movement like Nurses Inspire Nurses? Tell us how you came up with the idea for Nurses Inspire Nurses and how you got started.
Running Nurses Inspire Nurses is my greatest joy. It is for sure work but also not like work at all because it's just a part of me. I never intended to start a business. I simply started coffee talks after I realized how badly nurses on my unit needed a safe place to talk about how they felt and what they were going through. I then wanted to have a nurse party (because I like to elevate every experience and I thought nurses needed to be celebrated) and I put Nurses Inspire Nurses on a t-shirt per the recommendation of my mentor who told me to sell something and the rest is history.
Your business directly supports our front-line nurses, many of whom were deeply impacted by COVID-19. How did the pandemic affect Nurses Inspire Nurses? What steps did you take to support these nurses during this same time?
I am so glad I started Nurses Inspire Nurses before the pandemic! Last year we supported almost 20,000 nurses with care packages sent all across the country. You can watch our video about it here and here. This year we started our Inspire A Nurse program where we send a free gift to every nurse who signs up. We have continued to offer virtual meet-ups until we can safely meet in person.
We remember when you started your nurse care packages with an Amazon Wishlist. What were you thinking when you put this out to the world? Did you think it would be as successful as it was?
Not at all! I had no idea what to expect. I just knew nurses needed support and I was willing to take a risk on making it happen. No one ever knows how anything will really go, you just have to trust your gut and make the best decision you can at the time. For Nurses Inspire Nurses, I always knew giving will "keep the channel open" as I like to say. I believe there is an infinite amount of resources and abundance in the Universe and as long as we are giving to our community it will always come back!
How do you manage work-life balance?
I focus on quality over quantity. When I'm off, I like to be completely off. In the past I was always kind of working and this gave my brain no time to rest. Now when I'm off, even if it's only a half day I'm not checking social or half working. I am in my own Cat happy world. I plan in my calendar for things that genuinely bring me joy and I do them unapologetically.
We MUST know! If there was a movie made about your life, who would you cast to play you?!
J Lo is probably one of my favorite humans so I would have to say her... she's a badass business woman, aging flawlessly and brilliantly.
Entrepreneurship is not for the weak, most business owners would agree. What is one of the biggest challenges you've faced as an entrepreneur + how have you overcome it?
I sacrificed a lot the first couple of years to get Nurses Inspire Nurses off the ground. The biggest challenge I had was working at the hospital and trying to run the company and take care of myself. I funded and bought all of our product.
How do you handle the heaviness and mental exhaustion that we imagine comes with being a mentor for nurses, especially in a time like this?
Boundaries. Boundaries. Boundaries. It's definitely not perfect but I'm crazy about boundaries. I don't start work until 10am. I don't check my phone in the morning until I've focused on myself and my own mindset. I only do calls on certain days of the week. In the past I was just bleeding energy and it's not sustainable so I've put systems in place so I can show up and 100% be present when it's time to be with the nurses I'm there to support. I also manage our team now so I've had to be even more crazy about my boundaries so we don't get spread too thin.
If you could give one piece of advice to a new female entrepreneur, what would it be?
Consume less. I think there are so many people out there looking at what everyone else is doing and looking for answers from someone else. Trust yourself!! You already have everything inside of you that you need to be successful. Take the next right action and the next one will be revealed. It doesn't mean don't ask for help (that's important too), it just means trust you know what's best for you and your business!
Let's be honest, even though entrepreneurship is hard, there are definitely some amazing experiences that come along the way. We want to hear about one of yours!
I'm obsessed with my everyday life and that's the greatest gift. I get to do what I love, make my own schedule, be 100% my authentic self and I don't think it gets any better than that. I feel like the luckiest person on the planet every single day.
What kind of interview would this be if we didn't ask everyone's "favorite" question. Where do you want to see Nurses Inspire Nurses in 5 years? What's your long term vision?
I want to be the Oprah for nurses. I want to give stuff away ALL. THE. TIME. and make every day feel like Christmas. I want every nurse to go into the profession knowing we exist and that they have a safe place to be themselves.
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