Meghan Lynch, President & CEO of Six-Point Creative Works, is a down-to-earth, hardworking woman who has spent the last eight years building a successful business that represents her values and commitment to the community. Meghan originally wanted to teach English, but as she was getting her Master’s degree to pursue that, she was working part-time in an advertising agency and quickly realized she liked her job more than she liked school. After she completed grad school she continued with the ad agency and started working in ad production and in the creative aspects of the business. One of her next jobs was at a marketing and communications firm, and became their Director of Operations. It was there that she met her future business partners, David and Marsha. The three of them realized that while they'd learn a lot from the company they were at, they could be doing it better and be doing it on their own. So the three of them became partners, set up an office in Springfield and founded Six Point Creative Works with the idea that they wanted to showcase their creative work more.
When they started the company, David held the title of President but was spending most of his time doing creative work. Meghan was doing the actual CEO work of taking meetings and building clientele. So after a few years, Meghan spoke up and outlined to her partners exactly why she should be President instead of David, and they quickly agreed. She says it was a big step in her life, to be able to own the work that she was doing and to be recognized for it. She advocated for herself to get the title that went with the work she was doing.
Being a female CEO is a double edged sword. Meghan says that female CEOs tend to be memorable because they aren’t just another suit. It can be difficult sometimes, when sitting at a table with owners of large businesses, to be a young woman (and an introverted women at that), and to be taken seriously. Meghan says she has to be both patient and persistent in getting people to take the time to listen to her, to make them realize that she’s very good at what she does and knows what she’s talking about.
Six Point is a successful company, and Meghan attributes part of that to the network that she has created for herself and for the company. Rather than creating a large, shallow network for herself, she’s worked to create a deep network. She never says no to a coffee, a lunch, or an event. She says that the willingness to be responsive is at the core of who their company is. They choose sponsorship opportunities or community service opportunities that will help them. No one is going to spend lots of money on their services because of an ad, but it's all about personal connections and word of mouth.
When asked about mentors, Meghan recalled that her first boss was someone who made her work and ask for everything, and nothing was handed to her. That was a tough mentorship but an important lesson that got Meghan to be comfortable evaluating what she brought to the table and gave her the ability to advocate for herself. Her current business partner Marsha has taught her everything she knows about the business world, and has been someone who is willing to take the time of explaining her thought process, which has been really important to Meghan.
How does Meghan keep creative day to day, when she’s working on finding new clients and working in the business end of the company? "I've expanded my definition of what creative means." For every new client, rather than repeat what they’ve done for an old client, she tries to take a step back and inject creativity. She says it also helps that she’s around creative people all day, talking to them about their work, and having the opportunity to share her opinions and advice.
And what about the elusive work/life balance? Meghan runs, a lot (she’s really not kidding). She spends a lot of time in the woods running the trails. This came after she got a dog, started going hiking with the dog, which led to trail running. From there Meghan got into Ultras; she’s done a 50k (just over 31 miles) and she just finished her first 50 miler in September. She loves the Ultras because they’re not just about the running, but about the community. Most people who compete in them don’t run them for time, but for the experience.
We asked her about personal branding for young professionals. We hear so often that personal branding is tough, because there’s a fine line between being professional while also being yourself. Meghan’s answer, “your personal brand is your personality. I don't buy into people spending a lot on logos and business cards, instead I would work on storytelling. Do a deep dive into who you are, and what experiences you've had that make you who you are." It will enhance the way you network, the way you do business. The company you keep says a lot about you, so align yourself with people who share your values and who do business the way you do it.
Of course Oz finished the conversation asking Meghan why Six Point joined the Alliance. Meghan said that even though her office is in Springfield, she has clients in Connecticut and in the Hartford region. She wants to support her clients and their communities, and believes that the better Hartford gets, the better Springfield gets, and vice versa. So if she wants the communities to succeed, she has to invest and get involved.
Thank you so much to Meghan Lynch for joining us for a great CEO Luncheon. Check out the photos we’ve posted from the event on Facebook!