Julie Bee – Host: [00:00:00] Welcome back to they don’t teach this in business school where we discuss the behind the scenes realities of being a business owner. I’m Julie B. And I truly appreciate you all tuning in today. On today’s episode, I get to interview Megan lunch, the CEO of six point creative. And I know we are going to have a really great conversation about some of the lessons she has learned on her business ownership journey.
Megan, welcome to the show. I’m really glad to have you here with
Meghan Lynch – Guest: us. Thank you so much for having me, Julie, I’m really looking forward to this.
Julie Bee – Host: So Megan, the first question is, will you just give us a brief overview of six point creative and your role in the business these days?
Meghan Lynch – Guest: Sure. We are a brand strategy agency that focuses on family owned businesses.
We do a lot of work with [00:01:00] family owned food and beverage companies and family owned businesses and kind of like the construction and hardware industry, but yeah, just really focused on helping. Family-owned businesses create breakthrough moments in their company using smart brand strategy. My role in the company right now is really pretty strongly like a visionary role.
I’m mostly out of the day-to-day at this point. And when I do go back in, it’s usually a very like awkward and people are trying their hardest to get me back back where I belong. So, yeah, a lot of, you know, out talking to customers, I do a lot of like workshops and teaching and stuff. Cause I feel like that really helps me keep in tune with what our clients are going through and kind of continuing to kind of like workshop things that we can then bring into other aspects of what we’re doing for them.
And I try to do a lot of like writing and sharing of. [00:02:00] Ideas trends that I’m seeing things that I think that I’m hearing a family businesses are struggling with and kind of bringing that back to them as value add, and yeah, just trying to be
Julie Bee – Host: of service that getting to that visionary role takes a lot of effort as a business owner to really be.
Just in the content producer and the innovator, and just kind of looking out and seeing what’s coming and knowing that your business is being handled by the people you’ve brought on. So Megan, I’m really curious. What, what did you find was the hardest task or job role to, to actually get off your plate, to eventually get to the place where you
Meghan Lynch – Guest: are?
There’ve been so many of them over the years that I’ve struggled with. I feel like probably the one that, that took me the longest and that still sometimes I will even struggle with is like, I am a brand strategist. Like that’s what I love to do. I love to solve brand problems. I love to give people advice around that.
And [00:03:00] so, but I have brand strategists in our agency. And so giving up that brand strategist role has been the hardest for me. I think that because it’s just kind of like quarter who I am. I love it. So it’s, it’s kind of like emotionally hard for me to give up. And, and it’s, it’s one of the reasons why I’ve had to kind of.
You know, still run workshops, still do webinars. So I still get a chance to do that work and I don’t mess up the,
Julie Bee – Host: you don’t mess up what you’ve hired people to do, because I get that because you, I mean, that’s what you did for so long. And you were the one that was running that show and it’s not necessarily that your team probably does.
Not as well as you would do it, but they, they most likely just do it differently. And it’s probably not the way that sometimes you would approach doing it. And that’s really hard to not put your hands back into that or in an inject your [00:04:00] opinion. I get it.
Meghan Lynch – Guest: Yeah. I mean, in a lot of cases, honestly, They do it better than I do, because, because they’re very, like, what we’ve been able to do is bring in brand strategists that are very specialized in certain industries.
Whereas I worked with a lot of different companies and a lot of different industries, so. In a lot of times, like they give better answers, better strategy than I would. I think for me, it’s really just like, I love the conversation. I love the work. So it’s like hard for me not to do it. And then as you said, like, yeah, they’re just going to have a different style.
And I always feel like, oh, I can add value or I can totally. But yeah. Part of the fun has been to see. You know, to like sit in on a meeting or hear them, you know, come up with an idea or something and go, oh my gosh, I never would’ve thought of that. Like not so smart. And, and I think that that’s one of the things that’s helped me delegate.
It is number [00:05:00] one, having people who can do it better than I can in a lot of cases. And also having people who are really like growing and thriving in a way that I can be like, I can take pleasure in watching them be successful. And so that kind of helps to fulfill my sense of perfect.
Julie Bee – Host: I gotcha. Yeah. I think a lot of business owners that.
Really want to, you know, their, their favorite parts of running a business is when they get to the point where they get to see people do the job they used to do, but do what butter it’s actually what’s supposed to happen. I think when you’re the CEO is you want to hire people who are better than you were at, at the job that you used to do.
So it’s absolutely makes sense. Megan, how do you feel like I know you’re very big on culture and how do you feel like culturally. And your investment in it. And at six point creative has helped [00:06:00] make those delegation tasks a little easier
Meghan Lynch – Guest: for you. Yeah. It’s such a good question to kind of combine those two ideas.
I guess the best way I can answer that as a kind of talk about what happened when we did not have a strong culture. Cause I feel like the reason why I take it so seriously and I invest so much into it and I value it so much is that I have experienced the opposite. There was a point in the company where I was not able to delegate.
I would give people things and then immediately like, Take them back or undermine them. And it created, I only realized kind of afterwards that like, oh my gosh, like I’m creating this culture of like, I don’t know, I guess like mistrust or, you know, like lack of psychological safety that like people don’t feel safe to fail.
Because they feel like if they do, I’m going [00:07:00] to swoop in and like take something from them or undermine them in front of the client or another co coworker. And it just created this like atmosphere of
like fear. Like, I didn’t want to come to work, basically. That’s a, that’s a bad
Julie Bee – Host: thing. You
Meghan Lynch – Guest: don’t even want to come to work. And all of a sudden I was like, holy cow, like. If I’m going to own a business, like, I want to own a business that I want to go to work in. And instead it was just like, oh my gosh, just the, yeah.
The, the fear, the kind of like back channel chatter, like all of the stuff was just, it was just so, so unhealthy and it wasn’t until. I think it’s easy. It’s easy to kind of look at everybody else and be like, oh, it’s the wrong people like that? You know, this person is a bad seed, whatever it is, it wasn’t until I, I realized my [00:08:00] role in creating that culture.
Like until I really own that, like, Hey, this is not happening. Just because, you know, by accident, this is happening because you are doing something like it starts with you. And so. There was just this tipping point where I was like, okay, like, I’m going to, I D I created this big spreadsheet of I’ve got all these culture books and stuff, and kind of got all this information.
I created this big spreadsheet of. These are, this is all like the current things that are happening in the business that are not what I want, but just kind of like made a big list of everything that was happening. And then I made a list of all of the things that I wanted it to be like, what did I want instead?
And I got really, really clear on like, where are we and where do we need to be? And I just, basically, I, we, I do a lot of like gap analysis in my brand work. And it was basically like my culture [00:09:00] gap analysis of like, where are we? Where do we need to be? And then I’d created like an action plan for each item to say, like, it’s currently this, it needs to be this.
These are the things that I’m going to do and commit to, to turn this thing around. And I spend basically a year just like. Executing that plan so that I wanted to go to work again. And, and, oh my gosh. Like, uh, the difference is just night and day. Like, I can’t, I can’t say enough about like how much that investment was worth it in terms of like my.
Energy for the business and my excitement for it. So, which makes a huge difference. And then also, I mean, my team’s performance when through the roof, through the roof, like they’re just, you know, and again, there’s some attrition that has to happen when you’re doing [00:10:00] that kind of like major change work. So it’s not the same team that we had back then.
But the atmosphere, the trust, the like mutual respect between everybody, like it is just so, so amazing. And somebody was just saying the other day internally about like, we’ve had some new people come on. And one of the things that they really reinforced to these new people onboarding was like, this is the best environment to ask for help in.
Like, you can ask anybody for anything and people will come and help you. And it’s okay. Like nobody’s. People like it. And, and when I heard that, I was like, yes, like that, that never would have happened, you know, a few years ago. And so that was kind of like my sign that like, yes, like we we’ve made it.
Julie Bee – Host: He was like, oh my gosh, the culture worked finally.
Finally paid off and it sounds like you really went from a culture of what I would sum [00:11:00] up as micromanaged misery to, you know, a team that is really good at great at what they do. And. Enabled you to do the work and really focus on being the visionary of the company. And that culture was such a key part of that, because without that you were just going to continue in that kind of misery of micromanaging.
Meghan Lynch – Guest: Yeah, exactly. And I think that, you know, to get back to your original question, like what enabled me to delegate was like having boundaries, healthier boundaries for myself and a focus on how do I just. Everybody else up to shine. Like that is my role. And as soon as I started taking that headset, that enabled me to delegate because my role was clear.
Like I wasn’t getting, getting my joy, getting my value from the brand strategy work. I was getting my joy and value from setting somebody up to just kill it. And. [00:12:00] Headset shift. And then all the work that went into kind of creating fertile ground for that, I think that has doubt is the difference between, you know, being able to delegate and.
Get yourself into that visionary role to just being like stuck in this place of like, I just can’t, I can’t let, let it go. I, you know, something’s going to go wrong and these guys can’t handle it. You know, whatever the, the internal monologue is.
Midroll Spot: Jolie has spoken to countless organizations for over 13 years on topics, including leadership management, employee engagement, and morale, workplace culture, small business ownership, and entrepreneurship.
If you’re searching for. Relatable and inspiring speaker for your next event. Book, Julie, to speak to your group more email@example.com.
Julie Bee – Host: Hey, this is Julie B and you’re listening to, they don’t teach this in business school. I’m interviewing mega lunch from six point [00:13:00] creative and Megan, we were just talking about, you had mentioned when we were talking about culture.
You really not wanting to come to work. You were really just kind of hating, going to work at your own company, which happens. I think that happens to a lot of business owners. It’s happened to me. Certainly. Do you think you were burned out during that time? Do you think you were experiencing burnout?
Meghan Lynch – Guest: Yeah.
I mean, I think that there’s no way. Not to be burned out when you don’t feel like you can give anybody else anything, like you don’t feel like you can get anything off your plate. You feel like you’re working really hard for very little. Benefit. And then also you’re pouring all of this emotional energy into putting out fires or people coming into my office, crying for it.
It’s like, oh my gosh. Like I don’t, you know, I’m an introvert. Like I need my alone time to recharge myself. And I just felt like I was like, I [00:14:00] was constantly just like emptying that. And it was not being filled by anything that I was doing. Like, I just couldn’t find that yeah. That refill point.
Julie Bee – Host: Yeah. So I’m really curious now that you’ve kind of gone through all of that and you know, your business is in a good place.
How, how do you define success?
Meghan Lynch – Guest: Um, so I guess two things. So one is that. One thing that’s, that’s critically important to me is making an impact feeling like whatever I’m doing, that it is valuable to someone and it almost doesn’t matter what. That thing, like, I don’t have any specific definition of a type of impact that I need to have.
I just have to feel like what I’m doing matters. And [00:15:00] so for me, a definition of successes is having an impact. I remember when we were, I started the business with two partners and when we were visioning, they were talking about retiring and we were starting to vision like what the next generation of six point would look like.
You know where we want it to be in 10 years. And my partner Marsha was like, oh, we’ve done a big campaign for FedEx. And I don’t know why she’d been FedEx, but, um, I just remember like my stomach sinking and I had this like visceral, like almost angry reaction, like slam my hand on the table was like, the day we worked for FedEx is the day I’ve sold this company because all I could think of was.
Who cares, who cares? Like what would a campaign for FedEx do for them do for anybody else? Like why would that matter at all? Like, that is the last thing that I want this company to be. And. I think clarifying like what I don’t like help me [00:16:00] really reinforce what I do like, and so it was kind of like, well, that, and what does success look like?
Okay. Well, working with family businesses who are struggling at a crossroads and trying to make big decisions with like the weight of their legacy and their employees and everything on their shoulders, like that matters, like getting that decision right. And supporting those companies when they’re vulnerable, like.
That makes a difference. You know, often these companies are employers in their area, you know, like critical employers. Like they work, they, they have businesses in places where like big companies don’t put companies. So, you know, even if they’re creating, you know, 50 or a hundred jobs, those 50 or a hundred jobs matter that the difference between, you know, people living in poverty and people having, you know, living wages and, and be able to support their families and.
So success for me, looks like, you know, having an impact, helping these companies have an impact. And then for my team, you know, again, [00:17:00] thinking like, oh, you know, having a, you know, a brand strategist who’s shining having a project manager who’s who’s, you know, just like really being able to use their skills in a way that makes a difference.
So. That kind of meaningful work for me is like a big piece of what success looks like. So why are you so.
Julie Bee – Host: Drawn to family businesses. What, is there a story behind that? I mean, I know you do great work for them, and I’ve seen a lot of the content you put out to support family businesses, but I’m just curious as to how you went from FedEx to family owned businesses.
What’s the story behind that because there’s gotta be something that drove you there.
Meghan Lynch – Guest: Yeah. So. I think what’s a one piece of it was the sense of like for large corporate companies, like impact is hard. You know, it’s just hard to make a difference in where they’re [00:18:00] going, unless you’re gigantic or something, which is not what I want it to be.
But I think the bigger part of like why family businesses in particular is when, as I said, so I started the business with two partners. They were talking about retirement. We were talking about succession planning. And so. I started to kind of freak out because I was like, oh no, like they’re going to leave.
And this whole business is going to be on me. Well, I need to get myself educated fast. Like I never went to business school. I never, you know, I was an English major. Like everything I’ve learned, I just got to learn by doing, and I w the idea of just being alone. Made me feel like I needed to learn more.
And so one of the things that I did was I found out in our area, there was a family business center run out of university of Massachusetts is, is in our area. And so. The kind of like sponsored and ran this business school, this, uh, oh my gosh. Family business center. And I met [00:19:00] with the guy who ran it. I Rebecca such a, an amazing mentor to me.
And he was like, oh, you don’t have to be a family business to join as long as you’re closely held. And it sounds like you’re going through some things, you know, like a next generation transition that would make a lot of sense. Like, why don’t you come check it out? And so I joined some like CEO round table groups within that.
And I just started spending time with these family business owners at a time when they could be really vulnerable. And we’re talking about some of the issues. And first of all, I was like, oh my gosh, like, we have pretty much the same problems. Like a lot of what they’re going through are things that I’m dealing with in my business.
And then also I realized that almost none of them have any kind of like, Brand strategy, marketing strategy background, or even necessarily people in the business who can help them with that. And so I was also like hearing them talk and being like, oh my gosh, like I could, [00:20:00] I could help, like a lot of, some of the pain points that they were experiencing.
I’m like, these are really things that brand strategy could help with. So if I want to have an impact, you know, this could be a way to do it. And then also just hearing again, like I said, you know, When these business owners were being vulnerable and were talking about their problems, it was never in a way of like, how do I make more money or how do I, I don’t know, game the system or whatever.
Like how do we, you know, pay out to the stockholders? It was always about their employees, their community, their culture, their legacy, like all things. For me again, really have a positive impact in the world. And so it, let me kind of understand this. I don’t know, like soft side of business, that was so much more emotional [00:21:00] than I expected.
You know, cause I feel like always before that I had gone to like, I don’t know, whatever, like chamber of commerce events or trade shows or whatever, and you talk to people and they’re like, oh, how’s business. Oh, business is great. And this was the first time that I had heard people say like, I am not sleeping, worried that I’m going to have to lay off 20 people.
And I cannot sleep at night. I can’t eat, I’m losing weight. You know, like that these things were weighing on them in such an emotional way. And. For me, it was like this, the side of the business with like heart and soul and shared values that I was like, these are my people. Like I might not have, you know, a kid in the business yet, you know, but like, this is, it’s still the community that I want to be with, if that makes sense.
Julie Bee – Host: I think you, you touched on at you the nail on the, or the hammer on the head. It’s. That’s the values. That’s what was happening there is you [00:22:00] were you, it was an aha moment for you that your values. We’re way more aligned with family businesses than, you know, corporate businesses. And you know what you said, the community employees, culture and legacy.
Those are all, every, every family business I’ve ever worked and, or with those have been things that they’ve always been very con. Aware of and wanting to make an impact and kind of all of those areas. And I think that that’s, you know, that’s, there’s obviously an alignment there just in what you have talked about with culture and how you work with your employees.
Clearly, those are very important points for you. So you mentioned having partners and then not having partners and. I, you know, I know that the story behind that, but wondering, you know, business ownership can be really lonely. I think it can be very lonely at the top. And how do you make sure or how do you, you know, make sure that you are not experiencing [00:23:00] that loneliness that is always kind of right there for business owners.
Meghan Lynch – Guest: So for me, I think I get it from two different places. So one is, again, I talked a little bit about like the CEO round tables at the family business. For me, peer learning, like finding peer groups has been an absolute game changer for that of hearing people. Who just get it, like they just get an aspect of your life that like nobody else gets.
And so I’m a member of the women’s president’s organization. It’s an international organization of all women business owners. And going into that group is like, it’s just like the safest space. Like people, you know, like, like I said, like I I’ve told that group stuff that I haven’t told my husband. Not because my husband, not because I couldn’t tell my husband because he just wouldn’t care or get it in the same way that they would like, it just wouldn’t be fertile ground to talk [00:24:00] about it, whereas I can bring it up with them and they’re like, oh my gosh.
Oh, I get it. Like, it’s just kind of like this connection that that’s just irreplaceable. And I know you and I both went through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 small business program. That was another place where I found, you know, a lot of people going through some of the same stuff and just like some friends for life.
So that kind of peer learning peer groups, like I just can’t, if, if anybody listening does not have that in their life, like they need to get it now in their masterminds and their organization. Like, there’s so many different ways to get it, but like you need it is. Just fundamental. Yeah. And
Julie Bee – Host: it’s, it’s a lot different than I think when we talk about being lonely, the first image that comes to a lot of people’s mind is, oh, we’ll just go to networking events or go to your local chamber of commerce and do all of that, which is fine.
But you’re what, what you really need. I mean, those networking events definitely have their [00:25:00] place for businesses, but, but what you really need is I feel like. You know, those mastermind groups or that small group of people that you meet with on a regular basis, that over time you build up that trust and you feel like you can, you know, share anything with them.
Like I’ve got to fire this person, or we just lost a huge client. And I have no idea how I’m going to make payroll and, you know, by next month, like those types of things that keep us up at night, for sure. If you don’t have a place to go to share that it is really going to impact you as a business owner negatively.
So absolutely the peer to peer groups are so pretty.
Meghan Lynch – Guest: Yeah. Yeah. And then I think the other thing that I find really helpful, especially again, formally running the business with partners and now kind of losing that is really to build a leadership team that I feel like I can be vulnerable with. You know, not people who I need to posture in front of not people who.[00:26:00]
You know, are looking to me to have all the answers, but people who can hear me struggle with something and come towards me with support and ownership and just a real sense of, of being in it with me. And so I think finding those key. Employees and continuing to build relationships with them and invest in those relationships has been the other kind of like critical components.
So it’s not like I just have to go outside of the business to get support that there’s ways to do it inside the business as well. And, and I think that then it kind of like trickles out into the rest of the company too. Like, you know, I don’t feel like there’s anybody in the company that I couldn’t ask for help from if I needed it.
And. I think that that helps me feel like I’m a part of the team as much as anybody else, even though I have this different role. Yeah. Well
Julie Bee – Host: that, and that all comes, that all comes back to your culture. You know, being a place [00:27:00] where you can be vulnerable and, you know, make, make mistakes and not get, you know, in a lot of trouble for making mistakes, you know, that’s, I always like to tell my team, look, I would rather have them try something and fail at it than not try something that could potentially be a great idea.
And, you know, we have parameters set up to make sure the clients are impacted negatively, but you know, it’s one of those things where you’ve got to have that. Ability to be vulnerable and, you know, say, I don’t know, and also know something may not work. I think that that’s really important. And if you have a leadership team that also gets that and that, like you said, comes towards you with potential options and answers that’s that is a fantastic place.
Absolutely Alyssa, as, as we’re coming to the end of this conversation, Megan, I have one other question I want to ask you. And you mentioned that you hadn’t gone to business school, but I know you’ve gotten a lot of budget, business education. What is one thing that you [00:28:00] would recommend business schools teach to future business owners and entrepreneurs?
Meghan Lynch – Guest: Emotional intelligence would be my one big answer to that question. I feel like. That was the thing, doing emotional intelligence work. I worked with a coach for awhile doing that deep work to be more self-aware first to kind of really start with yourself, I think has absolutely transformed the way I lead and has also transformed the way I approach my role and leadership in general and our team dynamics and all of those things in.
I really think that you can spend half of business school just working on that and you would emerge a very competent business owner leader, whatever it is. And you can skip a lot of, some of the other technical stuff and pick that up. [00:29:00]
Julie Bee – Host: Yeah. I think that that’s, that’s the typical business academia or business school academia is.
I went through business school and we. We did not. I do not remember talking about emotional intelligence, I think is the deepest we went was talking about, were organizational charts and you know, who needs to be where I don’t even remember talking about assessment or anything like that, it can help you with some of that.
So that’s that, that is definitely something I wish business schools would teach more of for sure. Well, Megan, listen, I have really enjoyed this conversation and I know the business owners tuning in are going to get a lot out of this as well. I want to thank you again for being on the podcast today.
Meghan Lynch – Guest: Thank you so much for having me. It’s really fun. And that’s a
Julie Bee – Host: wrap on this episode of they don’t teach this in business school, be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on any future episodes.