Neil Patel

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Curtis Anderson’s journey began in the vast expanse of Idaho, where farm towns flourish, and the spirit of hard work prevails. From the idyllic simplicity of a small farming community to the intricate world of entrepreneurship, Curtis shares his transformative experiences and the evolution of Nursa, a groundbreaking healthcare staffing solution.

Join us as we delve into the core lessons, pivotal moments, and future vision that shape Curtis’s remarkable story.

Listen to the full podcast episode and review the transcript here.

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    Roots of Work Ethics

    Curtis fondly reminisces about his upbringing in a small farming town, where the values of hard work, commitment, and authenticity were instilled in him. Learning the ropes of entrepreneurship from his parents and grandparents, he embraced the idea that work is not just a means to an end but a pathway to making the world a better place.

    Drawing inspiration from his father’s business acumen, Curtis emphasizes the importance of exceeding expectations. His father’s decision to rely solely on word of mouth for 28 years, eschewing traditional advertising and stressing the power of delivering quality work that speaks for itself.

    Curtis recalls his father purchasing a Yellow Pages in the second year of his business and then facing utter frustration. That’s because the page did not allow him to display or showcase the quality of his work that “carried like a megaphone.”

    Eventually, he sold the business purely on the strength of the goodwill he had earned.

    Mission and Purpose

    Curtis’s transformative experience during a two-year service mission in Toronto not only broadened his cultural horizons but also ignited a passion for mission-driven work. The impact of helping others find faith and purpose laid the foundation for Curtis’s commitment to creating positive change.

    Toronto’s diverse tapestry of cultures left an indelible mark on Curtis, fostering an appreciation for different perspectives. He looks back at the mission’s pursuit of helping people solve their problems

    This lesson in embracing diversity of thought became a guiding principle in his entrepreneurial journey, shaping Nursa’s approach to solving complex healthcare challenges.

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    Tech Enthusiast to Healthcare Disruptor

    Curtis remembers his early encounters with technology, including building his first computer at the age of 12 and working four years in the district IT department through high school. That’s when he started to unpack and learn how networks worked and design some of the key parts of animation.

    Curtis taught himself how the film process worked and what role technology played in accelerating storytelling. He also developed a solid understanding of what technology as a noun could be, later transforming his insights “to the internet as a verb.”

    That’s when Curtis started to realize that the internet had the capacity to change and alter the world that we lived in in a lot of different ways. He remembers using MS-DOS on his dad’s HP-86 but also being incredibly excited when he first encountered a machine using Windows 95.

    The possibility of leveraging technology to tell stories struck a chord within Curtis. He worked on the concept for five to six years before getting into data visualization. Since he had grown to love documentary filmmaking, his next step seemed a culmination of all that learning.

    He then began building pie charts for businesses to understand better where they were and where they could be with small and additional changes. Curtis learned to solve problems with technology but more fully with data-driven technology.

    Soon, Curtis was building pie charts for retail, corporate banking, private banking, and health care, eventually paving the way for Nursa. The realization that technology could revolutionize healthcare staffing inspired Curtis to embark on a mission to bring innovation to the industry.

    Solving Real Problems with Technology

    Curtis’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to identify a critical gap in the healthcare staffing sector when he purchased a nurse staffing agency. Nursa was conceived as a solution to eliminate the layers of intermediaries, directly connecting nurses with facilities.

    The journey involved strategic financing, in-depth research, and a commitment to solving real-world problems. Curtis remembers bootstrapping his business and then approaching the SBA for a 7(a) loan. He also put down 35% of his saved-up cash to hire an operator.

    Curtis spent around eight months researching the technology to understand the factors that were working for and against the agencies. He also figured out how technology could drive the space moving forward.

    Nursa’s Business Model

    Nursa’s disruptive business model focuses on transparently connecting nurses with healthcare facilities, eliminating unnecessary layers in the staffing process and manual work. Curtis shares insights into the evolution of Nursa’s technology, addressing both short-term and long-term healthcare staffing needs.

    The key objective–putting a nurse at the bedside of every patient in need of health care.

    Flexibility as a Currency

    For nurses, Nursa provides the currency of flexibility, allowing them to engage with work on their terms. This novel approach challenges traditional workforce models, opening discussions about the future of work and the healthcare industry.

    Curtis realized that traditional models used human teams, and offering incentives to sales reps or any of the agency team members would help generate the maximum revenues possible. They needed to find solutions for nurses going on long-term maternity leaves for 10 to 16 weeks or short-term sick leaves for 12 hours.

    Ensuring uninterrupted income for them was a problem that technology could resolve. At the same time, they would also have to ensure that there would not be a shortage of nursing staff. Curtis and his team ran tests all through 2019 before spinning out the company as a separate entity when it started to demonstrate impressive results.

    Nursa launched in 2020 and has already raised $108M over three rounds, including seed, series A, and series B. Establishing Nursa could not have come at a more opportune time since the pandemic started soon after.

    Storytelling is everything, which is something that Curtis Anderson was able to master. Being able to capture the essence of what you are doing in 15 to 20 slides is the key. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend Peter Thiel (see it here), where the most critical slides are highlighted.

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    In retrospect, Curtis opines that solutions to problems should have a long-term material impact. Instead of focusing on profits, companies should find solutions that are sustainable over a longer term, considering the volatility of the funding environment.

    Navigating Financing, Strategic Partnerships, and Board Dynamics

    Navigating the complex landscape of financing, Curtis underscores the importance of strategic partnerships with investors who understand the healthcare space. The value of a well-orchestrated board becomes evident, providing macro understanding, perspective, and constructive pushback.

    Curtis emphasizes the need for financial partners with a long-term vision and a track record of decade-long investments. Strategic partnerships extend beyond monetary contributions, adding value beyond the financial backing.

    Shaping the Future of Healthcare

    Looking ahead, Curtis envisions Nursa playing a pivotal role in shaping the future of healthcare. By leveraging real-time data and technology, Nursa aims to optimize healthcare logistics, improve patient care, and provide unprecedented transparency for healthcare facilities.

    During those early days, the company demonstrated month-over-month growth of 75% that compounded for more than a year and a half during the pandemic.

    The Potential Impact on Healthcare

    As Nursa continues to redefine healthcare staffing, the potential impact on the industry becomes increasingly apparent. With the ability to connect nurses and facilities directly, Nursa not only streamlines operational efficiency but also contributes to a more responsive and patient-centric healthcare system.

    As Curtis observes, it could be the “digital switch switchboard that drives those connections.” The real-time data Nursa gathers serves as a valuable resource not only for staffing needs but also for providing healthcare facilities with actionable insights.

    This data-driven approach has the potential to revolutionize decision-making processes, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes.

    Advice to Former Self

    Reflecting on his journey, Curtis shares valuable advice to his former self, emphasizing the importance of focus, decisiveness, hiring for the present, and eliminating unnecessary processes to drive efficiency and value.

    He reminds entrepreneurs that their most valuable resource and currency is time. While they can always recover from being wrong, they can’t always recover from being slow in an environment where technological innovations move fast.

    Curtis’s Journey: A Blueprint for Entrepreneurial Success

    Curtis Anderson’s story is a testament to the power of innovation, resilience, and a relentless pursuit of solving real-world problems. Nursa’s journey continues to redefine healthcare staffing, promising a future where technology and compassion intersect for the betterment of healthcare delivery.

    As Curtis’s vision unfolds, the impact on healthcare and the workforce promises to be nothing short of transformative.

    Listen to the full podcast episode to know more, including:

    • An upbringing in a small farming town instilled a commitment to hard work and authenticity, principles that became the foundation of an entrepreneurial journey.
    • The transformative service mission in Toronto fueled a passion for mission-driven work, shaping the commitment to creating positive change in the healthcare industry.
    • From building computers at age 12 to disrupting healthcare staffing, the journey reflects the power of combining a tech enthusiast’s mindset with a mission to solve real-world problems.
    • Nursa’s disruptive business model provides nurses with the currency of flexibility, challenging traditional workforce models and sparking discussions about the future of work in healthcare.
    • Navigating financing complexities, the importance of strategic partnerships with investors who have a long-term vision, emphasizing value beyond financial contributions.
    • Nursa’s real-time data not only addresses staffing needs but also serves as a valuable resource for healthcare facilities, offering insights that have the potential to revolutionize decision-making processes.
    • Nursa could potentially play a pivotal role in optimizing healthcare logistics, improving patient care, and providing unprecedented transparency, promising a future where technology and compassion intersect for the betterment of healthcare delivery.

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    Neil Patel

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