Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kiki Mattress, Founder of The CRNA Chase, located in Simpsonville, SC, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

The CRNA Chase helps ICU nurses unleash their inner potential, ditch their fear, and get accepted into highly competitive Doctorate level Nurse Anesthesia programs. At The CRNA Chase, you can find tons of advice, services, and coaching programs, all designed to help those who don't consider themselves competitive nurse anesthesia school applicants stand out from the sea of other applicants. The CRNA Chase started as a blog but is now an online platform. Designed for ICU nurses but is also open to nurses, in general, looking to find information about the awesome profession of nurse anesthesia. The goal of The CRNA Chase is to provide support and guidance to help nurses advance in their nursing careers and become multiple six-figure CRNAs.

Tell us about yourself

I am a wife, mother, business owner, and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesiologist (CRNA). My CRNA Journey began when I was studying to become a Surgical Technologist back in 2003. During this time, I decided I no longer wanted to work in the Engineering Technology field and decided to switch career paths to the medical field. I became a Registered Nurse, and that is when I met other CRNAs and knew that was my calling and purpose in life. Every obstacle you can imagine- It happened to me while striving to become a CRNA. When I look back on that time, what I realize is that if I had a mentor or guide, I would have gotten to my destination sooner, without overwhelm, stressed, and wasted money on application fees and interviewing. Once I was accepted into my program, I still struggled with self-confidence and guilt because I had finally made it, and so many other nurses didn't. So, once I finished school, I started the blog, The CRNA Chase, just to get my thoughts out, and after a while, I realized people were listening. And it became much bigger than a blog.

The CRNA Chase became a site to help fellow nurses like myself struggling to gain CRNA school acceptance due to self-doubt, low undergraduate grades, or maybe just feeling like they are navigating in the dark. Due to all of those, it took me nearly a decade to gain CRNA school acceptance, and that is not what I want for other applicants. So today, I use my online platform to help ICU nurses become CRNAs by changing their mindset, increasing their motivation, and improving their methods for admission in the process. What motivates me the most is mentoring and coaching nurses who are so close to living in their purpose and taking their nursing career to the next level.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been pretty much everything. Being an inspiration and mentor to so many nurses has probably been my most important accomplishment. That's been my only wish, actually, just to continue to show up and serve at least one nurse. Then next would have to be just taking the site from a blog to an online platform and then successfully launching our Coaching & Mentorship program to help those who need more individual help has been no small feat, but both have been huge accomplishments.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The hardest thing for me is finding time to do all the things I desire or want in the business. Right now, I struggle with trying to do it all, and there is just no way anyone can do all things. The key, in my opinion, is time management, taking time for yourself, and building a successful team around. But to be honest with you, I haven't figured that part out yet, and it is something that I work on every day and the reason I have a business coach.

Also, you have to have clarity in your business and in who you serve in order to see it grow and scale. If there is no direction, you end up talking to everybody or nobody at all. Sometimes this can be the hardest thing because you have so many thoughts or ideas. And if you're like me, it's easy to bounce around and not get anything accomplished.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Just do it, scared and imperfect. It doesn't have to be perfect before you start or launch your business. You just need to have an idea and clarity. If you're waiting on it to be perfect, you won't ever start. And if you don't start, no one will ever experience the gifts you have for them. So I like to say, "If you can think it, then you can do it."
  2. Invest in yourself. I'm often astonished at how much we invest in everything but our own health, personal development, finances, etc. When you start investing in yourself, everything else falls into place- like your business, relationships, and overall well-being. It doesn't mean you're not going to be faced with any challenges, but you will be more equipped to handle anything coming your way.
  3. Always put your customer or client first. If your customer is at the center of your decision-making, then you will always come from a place of serving and not salesy. When trying to figure out the best way to serve the customer or give them the best experience, I believe it's easiest just to ask them.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.