We had the good fortune of connecting with Meg Sette and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Meg, how do you think about risk?
Risk taking has played a huge role my career. I constantly take risks, try new things, launch projects before they are ready, and this strategy has proven to be a big win for me, time and time again. The only way to be truly successful, is to take risks. When it comes to our careers, we’re taught from a very early age to follow a very linear path; go to school, to get a great job, to work for someone else’s company. But I’m a big fan of going against the status quo, and always have been. My mom still says “you are crazy” for having started my own business. And funny enough, my parents were the ones who encouraged me to do whatever makes me happy, and constantly stressed to me that anything is possible. I knew that if I failed at going out on my own, I’d still gain something from the experience; finding the positive in every challenge is a state of mind I also live by and subscribe to. Working for myself certainly hasn’t always been easy, but the challenges and the risks have made the adventure worthwhile.
What should our readers know about your business?
After the economy crashed in 2009, I noticed that companies were starting to return to their values, and looking for opportunities to make a bigger impact and talk about the real impact they were making. It was at this time that I realized there was a need for marketing strategy around impact. I launched M Collaborative as boutique strategy consultancy to work alongside businesses on their storytelling, to help them amplify their messages, better identify the audiences they were trying to reach and the ways in which they were trying to reach them, all while growing as a company, and ultimately growing their impact. At the time, no marketing strategy firms or consulting agencies were focused on impact brands and impact storytelling, and now almost 10 years later, the impact space has grown tremendously, and companies are often even viewed as negligent if they don’t stress and emphasize their impact. We work with 3 types of companies. The first being Social Enterprises; companies that have elected to put purpose at the forefront and bake “social good” into their business model; where profits are equally as important as purpose. We help them amplify their brand and their impact, and ultimately to help them sell more, and in turn, do more good! We also work with nonprofits and public benefit organizations. These are orgs that have a great mission, and often have a desire to find a more sustainable business model; perhaps they are interested in exploring selling products or services and relying less on corporate donors to further their mission, or simply looking to tell better stories to grow their visibility and impact. The third tier of clients we work with are brands and corporations with a desire to reverse engineer impact. They have a great product or several and are now finding new ways to make an impact, and share stories of their impact. This impact can’t be white washed; Consumers can tell when it’s being done for show and not truly genuine to the brand, and therefore our strategy work is essential to companies being able to hone in on the best ways to grow their impact. Within our work, we do everything from gather insights, develop communications strategies and messaging, dream up creative campaigns, identify partners and establish collaborations, and even design events and experiences that further promote the business and the impact, and reach the target demographics. We also have our signature conference, The Heart Series, which brings together impact leaders annually to talk about best practices for businesses x bettering the world. Now more than ever, with the current state of the nation and the world, impact marketing strategy is necessary to every business and we are excited to see how we can further help our clients make the planet a bit better!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
So many favorite spots in the city! Whenever I have a friend come to town, my must see list usually includes a start in my neighborhood, Silver Lake, perhaps with a walk of the reservoir, and or hike up to Griffith Park Observatory to get a few snaps of the Hollywood sign if we’re feeling a bit more adventurous, followed by happy hour with oysters and wine at Cliffs Edge. I love taking people to DTLA for a day, because for so long no one really ventured there, but it truly has iconic views of the city and amazing experiences. Especially the glass elevator at the top of Intercontinental. I usually do a drink at the rooftop, or maybe even Sushi at the Intercontinental restaurant. And earlier in the day perhaps ROW DTLA; its such a great spot for coffee or lunch, perhaps even Rappahannock for more oysters. And usually there is a beach trip at some point, if we have time, if we’re feeling touristy, the Santa Monica Pier or Venice Boardwalk, or if we want a more laid back sun bathing experience, maybe Paradise Cove in Malibu.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Gail Cayetano, my co-founder of the Heart Series Conference, has made a tremendous impact on my career. I’m so thankful I said YES, when Gail called me out of the blue almost 7 years ago, and suggested we pool our networks and resources to start a conference for impact leaders! The past several years running that conference, has led to so many open doors for both of us in growing our own businesses and the businesses of others, while also making a huge impact in and of itself. Thanks to Gail and our collaboration, we’ve had dozens of amazing and notable speakers involved, hundreds of companies attend, and millions of impressions online around the event. We’ve also witnessed numerous collaborations among the leaders who have participated. That relationship and our accomplishments make me truly honored to have worked with her. Also, my co-founding team for Grid110, in particular Stephen Kane for randomly reaching out to me and bringing together a dynamic team of people to start a task force after he got elected to DTLA neighborhood council. That task force blossomed into the go-to nonprofit organization for supporting entrepreneurs in Los Angeles. And similarly, my other co-founder, Miki Reynolds, who 3 years after we started the org, came on board full time as executive director, to bring it to where it is today. The org has supported over 163 companies, created over 125+ jobs, helped companies raise over $23MM in funding, and worked with 70% women founders, and 69% POC founders. On top of that, the org recently partnered with Annenberg and Pledge LA to give $25,000 in grants for black and latinx founders! I’m so proud to be a part of this org, and look forward to seeing what’s next for them.
Alice Tu and Chrissi Hernandez