Caitlin Copple Masingill was tired of working for other people. She knew she had the connection in the Marketing & PR world to strike out on her own, and so she did, launching her business Full Swing Public Relations. Copple Masingill specializes in helping women leaders get the visibility they need in order to be sought after and earn game-changing wealth. Her clients have landed in huge publications like TIME, Fast Company and The New York Times and the Boise, Idaho mompreneur takes great pride in helping the women she works with achieve greater wealth and power. Today she’s focused on meeting her seven figure revenue goal for 2022 and continuing to teach her clients to, “Carry yourself with the confidence of a mediocre white man.”
Copple Masingill’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
What was your reason for starting your business?
When I was 35, I realized I had enough credibility based on my experience to start my own company, so I did. I was tired of working for mediocre white men and wanted to build a different kind of business that was conducive to being a working parent. My personal mission is to get women more money and more power, and Full Swing PR fulfills that mission by helping women unlock their influence.
How do you define success?
I feel successful when I make an impact on the world and leave my community better than I found it. Success is about working for equity and creating a world that elevates the stories we often don’t hear, particularly from female, queer, and BIPOC business owners. On a personal note, raising a young white boy in Idaho is a responsibility I take very seriously. I want my son, who is 5, to see that his perspective is not and should not be dominant in society, and that he has much to learn from others.
Tell us about your biggest success to date
I was the first LGBTQ person elected to the Missoula, MT City Council at age 28 after defeating an anti-gay incumbent. I am also very proud of guiding and growing my business, Full Swing PR, through the pandemic. Only 2% of women-owned businesses ever hit 7 figures in revenue, and we’re on track to do that next year.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Initially I hired my friends as contractors. That didn’t work. Becoming an S Corp with W2 employees was a great decision versus trying to do a lot of the work myself with contractors who had competing priorities. My business partner is one of my best friends but in general, it can be really hard to hire (and part ways with) friends you work with.
Have you experienced any significant personal situations that have affected your business decisions?
My father died unexpectedly right before my junior year of college, which changed my family’s class situation significantly and put my mother into many difficult personal situations given that I have an adopted brother with severe mental illness who has a history of violence. We are now estranged from my brother but it’s been a difficult journey, particularly for my mother. My mom and dad were high school sweethearts and she has never dated anyone else since his death in 2002.
I went through a divorce about a year ago from my son’s dad, and that’s been extremely challenging in some ways, but made my life easier in others. I have my son 5 nights a week and am constantly looking for ways to outsource all the tasks moms are expected to do because I also have a growing company to run! I want to normalize delegating for other women.
At my previous two jobs prior to starting Full Swing, I saw firsthand the discrimination new moms face in the workplace, and that inspired me to start my own company and do things differently. I want to support other female business owners, moms or not, in creating new forms of inclusive capitalism.
What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs?
Just do it. Don’t be ruled by imposter syndrome. Carry yourself with the confidence of a mediocre white man.
How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?
My child. He wakes up happy almost every day and we wrestle, sing, and have dance parties. I also am fortunate to have access to nature in my town of Boise, Idaho and enjoy hiking and trail running in the foothills.
Who is your most important role model?
I have a mother-like, close friend in Missoula, Montana named Anna Martello. I met her because she was the immaculately dressed board president of the nonprofit YWCA I worked at right after graduate school in 2007. She’s a quintessential badass and is now 70 and still working as a financial advisor. She was successful in finance at a time most women struggled to triumph in male-dominated fields. She gives back to so many nonprofits, and I love that she is unabashedly herself in the world and didn’t follow the playbook of what was expected of her. She inspires me every day.