In a world consumed by (an overwhelming amount of) curated online presences, this week’s #WomenOfAce is finding a way to stand out — she’s being her authentic self, and it’s refreshing as hell. It’s her mission to help creative entrepreneurs harness the power of great copywriting and put their message out there with clarity and confidence. Always one to lead with transparency, openness, and honesty (plus a healthy does of humour), it’s time you get to know Katy Mansell-Carter.
Ace: What are you up to? ( Your current hustle )
Katy: I am an ethical sales copy expert and a copywriting coach for entrepreneurs. Right now I’m working with a handful of business owners on a 1:1 basis, helping them to grow their sales by writing squirm-free sales copy that gets results. I also run an 8-week group coaching program and behind the scenes, I’m creating a self-paced copywriting and sales program to help entrepreneurs of all genders slay their sales copy and make more bank for their business.
I’m booking speaking gigs into the fall, pitching corporates on inclusive language workshops, am planning a 6-week summer vacation to Europe, and am on a mission to track down the best tacos in Toronto! (Any tips welcome!)
Ace: Why is this important to you? ( Where did this passion come from? )
Katy: Because I get it. I’ve been talked over in meetings. I’ve had clients pick apart my proposals and low-ball me. I’ve been undervalued and I’ve felt like I wasn’t worthy or that my skills didn’t hold value.
Since figuring out that’s a load of BS, and that the only person holding me back was myself, I got real fired up about helping other entrepreneurs and freelancers do the same. Now, I want to help folks of all genders confidently sell their services, products and events, and ask for their worth without feeling icky - and equip them with the tools, techniques, and confidence to do it.
Ace: What was your dream job growing up? How do you think this has influenced who you are today?
Katy: As a child, I was much more introverted than I am now, and yo-yoed between aspiring to be a vet, and an artist. I related to animals more than humans at the time, and preferred to be absorbed in tasks alone, like drawing.
Now, things couldn’t be more different! Connecting with other peeps is my jam, and teamwork makes my heart the happiest. Although I’ve changed a lot as a person, I guess you could say my desire to combine creativity with caring has stayed the same.
Ace: If you could describe yourself in only three words, what would they be?
Katy: Fun. Real. Kind.
Ace: Who’s your biggest inspiration and why?
Katy: I have huge admiration and respect for Jen Sincero, and have gained massive value from her work and books. The way she describes the shifts she made in her life are so searingly honest and relatable. Rachel Cargle inspires me endlessly with her honest stories and unshakeable commitment to sharing uncomfortable truths and the experiences of women of colour. Shon Faye is an incredible writer and activist who I admire enormously. She’s outspoken, so freaking funny, beautiful, and intelligent.
Ace: What does the term “Boss Babe” mean to you?
Katy: Gendered language is tricky, isn't it? We reject 'policewoman' - it's Police Officer, please. We cringe at the whole 'businessmen / businesswomen’ thing' - we’re all just business owners. And does anyone even say 'air hostess' any more? Nope, it's Cabin Crew. And whilst I understand and respect that lots of women do find gendered labels like Bossbabe, Girlboss, Ladyboss, etc empowering and defiant... I don't.
Although these terms can be kinda cute and fun, personally, I find them infantilizing, patronizing and exclusive towards non-femme identifying women, and other groups of marginalized people. Don't get me wrong, I think Sophia Amoruso et al are killing it when it comes to giving women entrepreneurs the platform, support and inspo we deserve, but the blanket use of #Girlboss and #Bossbabe in the entrepreneurial space just doesn't resonate with me.
To me, the term “Boss Babe” is actually pretty problematic. When you identify as a feminist, you have to recognize that women are not the only people losing out in a patriarchal society. We need to actively include trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming folks in women-centric spaces, if we want to call ourselves inclusive and progressive. One of the easiest and most effective ways we can do so is through the language we use.
Not all women feel like a “boss babe”. I am one of those women. You can just call me a boss.
Ace: How do you empower other women?
Katy: By unapologetically asking for my worth. By speaking openly about truths and experiences that can be challenging to share in a world of curated online presences. By enforcing the message that it’s okay to say no to people who aren’t prepared to acknowledge and pay for your value. By helping women-centric businesses take action to include other marginalized genders with their language.
Ace: What is the best advice you’ve ever received from another woman?
Katy: “Stand up straight” and “Buy shoes that fit” (thanks, Mum).
Walking into your first day of secondary school aged 11, wearing size 10 shoes and towering over everyone at 5’11” tall isn’t exactly every little girl’s dream. My mum was great though, she taught me to own my height and not worry about how my big feet looked. Being able to walk into a room and hold myself with confidence is something that continues to serve me in adulthood, and is something I’m always grateful for.
Ace: Can you share the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a failure?
Katy: Sure, although I prefer to frame failure as feedback. One of the biggest pieces of feedback I had to take on board was around putting myself first in terms of self care. We all know the old adage about fitting your own mask before assisting others… well I had to learn it the hard way. I ended up letting myself get so sick with anxiety that I didn’t leave the house for months, ghosted all my clients, dropped to a very unhealthy weight, and got into a bit of a tight spot financially. That was 4 years ago. Learning from that feedback means that I now have a self-care routine that supports me on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, and allows me to run my business sustainably, and enjoy the journey.
Ace: When you are feeling overwhelmed, what do you do to find peace?
Katy: I stop. I get aware of what’s overwhelming me. I change the story. And then I take action.
For example, if I find myself flapping around going “omg I don’t know where to start, I don’t know what to do first… etc. etc.”, I stop. I notice what I’m doing. Then I change the story - for example, I might say “I know exactly where to start. I know exactly what to do first” - this calms my brain before I take action.
Of course there are times, where I need some time out, and space away from the screen. In which case, I’ll pop on an autoresponder and book a massage. The world will not implode if I don’t check my email for an afternoon.
Ace: What legacy do you hope to be remembered for?
Katy: For setting a new standard in inclusive language, and for helping people of all genders find their voice and know their value.
Ace: Where can we find out more about you so we can continue to support you?
Katy: Head to my website, and book a free 30-minute call with me - I love getting to know the challenges entrepreneurs are coming up against. You can also stop by for my free weekly online Masterclass on Instagram; every Thursday at 3pm Eastern Time, I share copywriting and ethical sales tips and answer questions live.
Stay connected with Katy:
FB Group: Squirm Free Sales Club