Meghann Conter is THE global connector and CEO of The Dames, a unique community of 6 and 7 figures women-led businesses. The Dames is in 37 states and 4 continents and growing.
Lisa Pezik and Meghann sit down to discuss:
1. How to avoid entering into the network witness protection with pitchy-run communities.
2. Why The Dames’ secret sauce is running like a "reverse mullet" and why that matters to communities.
3. The 3 parts of generosity and why it sets communities up for success.
4. How important clarity and focus are to getting what you want and need.
5. Why women led businesses give you a #hearton and inspire collaboration over competition.
Lisa is over the moon excited to announce that she'll be opening a Southern Ontario Dames Chapter in May! The first in Canada!
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
How Generosity Builds The Best Communities With Meghann Conter
This show, even though it's named after me, it has absolutely nothing to do with me, but with the amazing guests that I bring on. I am so excited. I know my energy is normally on a ten. If we had a Richter scale, it would be a 35 for the guest that I have on now. I genuinely feel like I've known this woman since I was a kid. I feel like we were soul sisters in a different lifetime. We were meant to come together, serve women, and do the thing that we're doing. I can't wait to tell you a sneak peek of something that's coming even deeper in a little bit. I have Meghann Conter. I'm so excited that you're here with me. How are you?
Lisa, I feel the same way about you. I'm super excited because I do feel like we're sisters from another mister. We've had such a similar life journey and the deep personal growth work that we've done. We're both in marketing. We're both part of The Dames now. There are so many things that I've seen this coinciding of the two of us. Even though we've only known each other for a while, it feels like a lifetime or more.
I feel the same way. I love when you messaged me and you're like, “I couldn't even love you more after this.” I'm saying the same thing to you. That's the best part of friendship and collaboration. It’s when you are vulnerable, generous, you show up fully as yourself, and then you're met with the other side going, “I love you. Thank you for that.” It’s such a beautiful union. Let me tell you about Meghann. Meghann Conter uses her personal power or power to connect, elevate, and entertain. I never know what voice you're going to meet me with, what personality I'm going to get, and it makes it so fun. It reminds me that life is so fun, and celebrate extraordinary women as the CEO of The Dames, which I am a part of and I love. It’s a global community designed specifically for women running and leading 6 and 7-figure businesses. Meghann believes that anything can be accomplished through fearless collaboration, laughter, fun, and love. Once a burnt-out over network CEO, she is now the global ultra-connector for women who thrive in the space where self-worth and net worth align. Let's talk about how you got here because The Dames is such a unique community of women. I swore off all women networking as I was like, “I'm not even going to dip my toe in that water.” What you've created is so different. Tell me how you got here.
I too entered into the Networking Witness Protection Program, as you did, at one point. For me, it was because I had so many lacerations and Band-Aids all over myself dealing with the business card stab wounds that I had from going to all the events where everyone is just trying to give you their deal, trying to get you to sign you on as their next client, or trying to get you to buy their XYZ MLM program. That on top of I was growing a business that I needed to surround myself with other women who were at and above my level. That was really difficult to find. Statistically speaking, a vast majority of female business owners don't ever get past $50,000 in revenue in their business. There are a lot of brand-new business owners and hobbyists, which is great. We all need networks and communities, and so do the women who are running 6 and 7-figure businesses. What I found was that there wasn't anything out there for us. What do you do when you're trying to become an expert skier and you're an intermediate skier? Do you go onto the bunny slopes and ski with the beginners or do you challenge yourself and ski with the people who are at and above your level?
You're going to be pushed and loved on the whole way.
That was the primary motivation. I need something that is going to be totally different in the ways of networking because most of us have that bad taste in our mouths. From that feeling of walking into an event and feeling like you instantly have a target on your back and someone is trying to sell you, and from that feeling of, “If I have to sift through another brand newbie and get my brain picked within an inch of my life, I'm going to never do this again.” I entered into the Networking Witness Protection Program in 2014 because I had stacks of business cards and nothing to show for it.
I was also a pro at attending every networking event, morning, noon, and night, and nothing to show for it. I said, “I need something revolutionary here.” When I need a big transformation, I cut it all out, and give myself a lot of time to go inside. I learned a new way of connecting with people and I played with it, I morphed with it, and I danced with it, then I re-emerged from my cocoon with this new thing called at that time, Denver Dames. That was Colorado-based, obviously. Denver-based organization where we got together. We had a reverse mullet approach to networking which meant the party was in the front and the business was in the back so women could come together and they were excited to be amongst one another. They weren't bored and watched it like they were watching grass grow or paint dry. They were like, “This is amazing. This is such a different environment.” We have female comedians or improv troupes that perform at our events.
We have inspiration from our Dames of influence running seven-figure businesses. We have education and edutainment provided by our chapter presidents. All of this was an up-leveling to this high-vibrating community that I was creating. As it kept growing and outgrowing our venues in Denver, I had a moment of a-ha where everything became clear. I knew that this is going to be an international organization where we had a global first, local second approach to building community and we came together to develop and build long-lasting strong power partnerships with one another, which means you're coming into this organization, finding your allies and the people who are going to help you grow your business by referring business to you, by masterminding with you, and by being a business bestie. You weren't going to have to feel that predator-prey feeling ever again, and you were going to enjoy yourself and connect with women all around the world.
There would be local chapters for you headed up by specifically amazing, extraordinary women in local communities who would bring together those local chapters. There was always this back end of a global membership to connect to. We have expanded. We're now in 37 states and 4 continents. My vision is to have chapters all around the world and to continue to shift the paradigm from very masculine ego-driven business, more balanced female-male energy, elevate the amount of women who hit the seven-figure mark, and the amount of women who get into the C-Suite in a very different way.
I want the readers to hone in on you created what you wanted to see. Instead of going and trying to find this right fit or this thing, you went, “Why not me? Why can't I go and create this?” I remember my mentor, Bowie, said telling me about the guy who created Porsche. That was his tagline, “I created the car that I wanted in the world. I wish a car could do this and that.” He went and created the vision that he wanted to see in the world. I love that you started there. It was the vision for what you wanted to see in the world, not what is going to impact me the most. When we talk about generosity, it's about that community, movement, goodness, and when you lead with that, everything else falls in place. The right people and things are attracted to you. Being a Dame member, I can say that whether I’m talking to someone if we want to even use the money metric, shares with me, “I just hit, I'm at 110,000, I need a work that’s six-figure mark,” or “I've been doing $1 million for a couple of years.” It's the same interaction that I have.
There is no ego and no scarcity. I'll give you this little crumb, but I'm not going to tell you what you need to know. There is this layer of generosity and that's a lot because you lead with the right vision and mission. I love that it's fun and it's a space that you can be vulnerable. I’ve gone to every academy and every personal development business building conference you could probably think of in the world that I’ve been to. I can always remember pulling on my jacket or buttoning up my card again, and it never shifted for me that I'm walking in with this wall already up because of all those things that you just said. People are pitching you, spamming you, not looking for a real connection and a real depth. That's what makes it so different here.
There are 42 different directions we can go in here, but there's a liaison between you and I that we both believe because of the work that we both have done. We both believe that we can only grow as much professionally as we do personally. That personal growth has to come first and always. There's never an echelon that you hit where it's like, “I'm done growing.” That doesn't exist. There are plenty of other organizations out there that only focus on your business metrics and your business growth, but that without coupling the vulnerability that only can come from personal growth creates an environment that I don't want to be part of. That was another big motivator for me. The ideal Dame is someone who is growing her 6 or 7-figure business with a lifestyle set of values and personal growth mindset at the forefront.
They've already done personal growth work, and they're going to continue to do that as they grow as leaders. That is the ideal Dame for me. The whole thing around generosity that you and I love to connect on is it has to come with a few things already existing. You have to have that personal growth mindset in order to be truly generous. You have to have an abundance mindset which doesn't come naturally to most people because it's not what our society teaches us. It's not what our parents teach us. It's not our normal state. A lot of us are growing through those journeys in our 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s. Who knows? It depends on where you're at. Generosity comes when you're dealing with a high-caliber network, idea of true collaboration, through power partnerships as opposed to competition, through selling anyone and everyone. All of these elements feed into a community feeling and having the quality of generosity. It has been intentional for me to create that since day one.
What does it look like for you? You're constantly pouring into this community, your chapter presidents, and helping the president set up their events. There are many layers of so much goodness that is in this and you can't pour from an empty cup. What do you do to fill your cup to make sure you're still moving the mission and the vision?
As I said about the personal growth thing, I'm either doing deep spiritual shadow consciousness, whatever you want to call at work at all times by attending my own workshops, retreats, working with different coaches or I'm doing deep personal personality, growth work, understanding myself better from an Enneagram, Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, Human Design, more self-awareness standpoint, or I am learning about what additional money blocks I've come up against. We always have new layers to uncover there. Each zero we add to our business, there's more money stuff that comes up to get past. I meet all of these challenges head-on and that’s on a very masculine. I meet them heart on with my heart wide open. I realized that this is what life is about. It's about spiraling through more echelons and layers of depth and saying, “Am I going to evolve through this and transform through this?” Absolutely. It's not going to stop me and keep me small. It's going to help me continue to expand in love, joy, fun and intuition. Intuition is a big thing too.
It's funny because when Tina Dietz introduced me to you, she was like, “Get on with Meghann.” I'm like, “No, I've been there. I've done that. I've run these groups. I'm in a part of these groups.” Their mindset isn't the mindset that I play in. I realized that I'm a rare breed and she's like, “I know. I'm a rare breed too. Trust me. You’ve got to meet with Meghann.” The second that I got on with you, my intuition and my gut was like, “Listen a little deeper.” Your gut and your intuition don't lie. I also believe that people come into your life at the time when you are meant to grow and be challenged. That was a limiting belief for me that all women that work in groups are this way and that's why people get sent into your radar to help you shift that. It's funny I wrote like #HeartOn when you said that, “That’s not masculine.” We have The Dames. We help women get heart-ons.
There's a big misconception too that only certain people or professions reach the 7-figure mark or the multiple 6-figure mark. I'm always in awe of the people who are in The Dames and I'm like, “It's a mix of every profession you could ever imagine.” It goes back to that personal development, personal growth, and you're not your title. There are many of you in that professional role out there. It's what you bring to the table, how you show up, and how generous you are.
The biggest culture shift or mindset shift that we create in The Dames is this total paradigm shift from competition to collaboration. We do that through teaching people about power partnerships, how to understand it, how to embrace it, and then how to develop those long-term relationships. It's not easy for a lot of people because it's very different than what's being done out there. Not to mention, is it different that you have to learn something new but it's different that we connect you with your best strategic power partners. We do that for you. That's something that's totally unique to The Dames and it had to be that way for me. I was like, “If it's not fully different than what's out there, it isn't solving the issues of what bad networking brings then I don't want anything to do with it.” If it doesn't bring a hell of a lot of fun, love, and feeling of everyone getting hugs, no matter if it's virtual or in-person, then I don't want to either.
We can only grow as much professionally as we do personally. That personal growth has to come first and always.
We crave connection no matter what stage of life you're in. Back in the day, if you tried to leave your community and your tribe, you’ve got eaten like a saber-toothed tiger, the bear or whatever.
Join any other network and you'll get eaten.
The saber-toothed tiger will be licking his lips coming after you because you don't have that community that gets you and that's solving issues. I love how you said that. It is very movement base. It feels like we are tackling the world's issues one woman at a time together. We’re putting our brains, mind, and hearts together. A woman doesn't want that. You haven't found anything like this. I love that it's 37 states and 4 continents. It started at your kitchen table. You said right at your living room.
It started in a business mastermind group that I was part of. It started in a little room inside of a co-working space here in Denver. Our first events were held at a little teeny wine and cheese-making shop in Downtown Denver and we had 22 women at their first event. It's 400-plus members and chapters launching in different markets all around the world. The sky is the limit.
Obviously, there's that designation of 6 and 7-figure because that brings a certain mindset and commitment. “Why is it 6 and 7-figure?” I'm like, “It's the mindset.” You don't have a scarcity mindset. You have a growth mindset and abundance mindset.
Not to mention, there are plenty of places out there for the sub-six-figure business owner. Everything else out there is for that business owner. This is different.
That is for your best interest. I joined a high-level mastermind very early. I was like high 5-figures, 6-figures, I made this leap and joined this mega-mastermind. I remember the gentleman was teaching us about ads and he was saying, “You’ve got to drop $5,000 a day on ads.” I'm like, “What? That's two months’ worth of income for me. You want me to drop that a day? How can I scale this back to my $500 or $1,000 budget?” You have certain conversations at a certain level that are applicable. That's why you don't want to be in a place that feels so overwhelming, your imposter syndrome kicks in, and you miss the whole connection and message because you're too busy chattering in your head negative stuff. I love that it has that designation not only protects the integrity of the brand but is looking out for the best interest.
It totally protects the integrity of the community itself. It's simplified. We're celebrating similar successes and we're also overcoming similar challenges together because we're in similar stages of business. Most of our members that are in seven figures are between $1 million, $10 million, or $15 million. We're not the group for the $100 million company. We're not the group for even a $25 million or $50 million company. We love that some of our members are part of two communities. Those are usually WPO, EO, YPO, and The Dames. We have other communities that we love to refer business to that when women aren't quite at that six-figure mark because there are other things you need to learn. There are other battle scars you need to get before you can get to this level and then feel, as you said, your needs, wants, and desires are being met by this group, which is exactly what we've curated.
I find when you are filled up, abundant, and you're in the right place that you're supposed to be with the right people, you are willing to be generous. I used to hate that marketing. We both come from a marketing background where it's like, “Have five secrets but tell them the first one.” You're a jerk if you do that. That’s so disrespectful to your audience to be like, “I have the solution to all your problems but I'm only going to tell you the first one.” That’s like, “Gives them a taste.” I'm like, “Give them everything you have so you build a solid relationship.” It's like the word karma where people always go, “Karma comes back to bite you in the ass.”
Karma is a beautiful thing if you're putting out goodness. You have five secrets to change someone's life, you only give them the first one, and then they’ve got to pay you for the next four? Bad karma is coming back at you. You'll give them all five, but then have that next step and something even more amazing for them when they're ready, and they've mastered that five, that is good karma. They're going to tell their friends, sisters, and mama and who knows who's going to bring that back to you. Even the way The Dames markets, we slash all that. I love that I don't have to explain marketing or generosity. We all come from that same mindset. It's probably because it took some stuff to get to the 6 and 7. You've been through some stuff, you made some mistakes, you did some things, and you learned along the way.
You did some things you weren't so proud of. I keep this stack of business cards in my drawer that's got rubber bands around it to remind myself to never have to do it again. I'd never have to do that kind of networking. It's one thing to say that I was listening to what you were talking was the difference of creating a community the way that I did, I see the advantage was, and I had this great marketing background, so I knew exactly what was needed in order to create a sustainable business.
Right up front, I knew what our values were. I knew what our mission and vision was. I knew exactly who our target audience was therefore, I knew what my products, services, and everything else that came behind it was. When people come to me now and say, “What about this? What about that? What about the sub-six-figure business owners? Do you want to create Dames Junior? What about the multi-seven-figures? Do you want to create a Dames Elite? No. What about this and that?” I am here to serve this audience with this mission. This is what I'm focused on. Generosity in my mind means that is a little bit of generosity of a donation that I'm able to give to my preferred organization which is Sistahbiz, a global incubator for black women entrepreneurs. That is not the problem I am solving. That is the problem that Makisha Boothe and her team are solving and I'm able to give to that cause. My vision is to give to many more causes that are working to help the other underserved communities. My focus is still getting more 6-figure women business owners to the 7-figure mark. Getting more directors and VPs up to the C-Suite. That's what we're here for.
I love that clarity. When you have that, it makes the yes and the no so much easier because that's the problem when you're good. We both experienced this in our life. You're good, you can build things, you can create things, you can be successful at things, you can shake the world up, and you can do good in this world. Could you do absolutely every opportunity that comes your way? Absolutely, it's not a matter of just because you can, it doesn't mean you should. I love that you're doing the darn thing. I remember the Olympic rowing team. I remember reading, they were saying, “We're in the Olympics.” They had a guiding question as they were training for a year for the Olympics.
It was, “Does this make the boat go faster.” If the answer was yes, then, “Do you want to come up drinking and celebrating with me about someone else's birthday?” Does this make the boat go faster? No, thank you. Do you want to go over here and do this thing? Does this make the boat go faster? Yes. I'll do that. I love that almost mission like, “Does the 6 and 7-figure bring about more women?” Yes, I'm down for that. Is this a beautiful distraction? I’m not saying it's a bad distraction. The junior or the elite is not a bad distraction. It's pulling you away from the main vision and mission that you set when you wanted to create this and when you did create this. It’s the clarity piece. We talk about how important it is to be who you are, what you need, where you're going, what you're doing, where you need help, what you can do, and what we could do to bring it to the world.
Clarity and focus are also intelligent ways of growing business. I'm sure you've experienced this in marketing. When clients have come to you and they're like, “I already have these ten offerings and I want to add these twenty.” I'm like, “You're making $350,000 a year. Your marketing budget therefore is 5% to 10% of that. How do you plan on getting these all out there?” I serve these five different key demographics or any of these other things, which is trying to be Starbucks when you're not. You can do that when you're in Starbucks. You can have the hot chocolate that you market to the little kids. You can have the decaf, why bother lattes that you market to the 80 and 90-year-olds. They have a multi-billion-dollar marketing budget. That's an entirely different thing.
Even Apple didn’t launch all their products in the same year. What people forget when you hear this? “I have multiple streams of income and I have 400 different products.” They mastered one process, one funnel, and one thing. That is bringing in consistent income impact. You've got system strategies, team people then you're duplicating that. People miss they get lost. I was told I should have seventeen streams of income, yet this brings in $100, $300, and $1,000 and then when you add it all up, you're working like crazy, but you're not having any impact.
When 80% of your income is coming from 20% of your products or less of your streams of income, you’ve got to look at that and say, “If I were to only scale the most profitable, generative, fun, joyful services or products that I offer, what would those be?” Do that and get that locked down. Systematize the crap out of that. When you get to that point of total systematization that makes it easier to develop those other lines, we could talk about this all day.
Clarity and focus are intelligent ways of growing a business.
This is a whole sideshow episode coming on after about this but these are the kinds of conversations that you can have when you've been in the game, you've been around, and you're helping people get around those roadblocks. Whenever I'm at the level that I'm at now, it's not about adding more. It's about eliminating and streamlining. That's one of the biggest misconceptions. People think they have to grow to 6, 7, or 8 figures. They think they have to add more on. A lot of times, it’s taking a Hacksaw and chipping it away and having communities and people that you can bring it to and say, “I'm scared to chip this thing away. What do you think? Has anyone been here before?” It was interesting, I was on the B2B call connection and we were doing the Big Ask. In my head, I'm thinking my business is good, “It's been an incredible year for us and a lot of growth. What I mean is I thought about this one-woman show that I'm writing.” Again, it’s personal to sing and put on display. It’s now or never kind of thing.
I'm like, “I need a playwright. I need someone to help me get legs on this thing.” I was in a group where there were twelve of us and I thought, “What the hell. I'll throw out there.” I got four playwrights and then from those four, 1 or 2 were like, “I don't think I'm the right person for the job but go talk to my friend who's exactly who you need.” I thought that is the power of twelve women. Again, we think it has to be hundreds of people. You could talk to one person in that community and have that answer to that thing you're struggling with.
That's the power of total clarity of what you want. When you know that, when you're clear on it, and when you can help other people see that because you've stated it in a way that they can easily understand, it becomes possible. When you're trying to ask for ten different things, you wouldn't have got near the same result. You wouldn’t have got a bunch of confused people who were like, “What does she want?” “I don't know.” Believing in the abundance that will come to you by getting that clarity and then asking for it, the universe has no choice but to give it to you. It just happens.
Let me ask you, what do you look for in a chapter president?
What we look for is a dynamo star personality who stands up at the front of a room whether that room be virtual or in-person, all eyes go on her, and she feeds off of that because she knows that she is confident in herself, in her leadership, and she is able to turn that focus back on the room and bring them all-in to help them feel included, safe, loved, vulnerable, and valued. For them to be able to feel that generosity being poured all over them and connect in a very authentic, amazing way with that woman at the leadership at the helm. She's running her own stable, steady 6-figure or 7-figure business. She has a team of people supporting her, she already has a cultivated tribe of people, wants to be able to elevate her leadership of that tribe of people, and bring them together through laughter, connection, and love.
If we're not going to have growth and fun, we're not going to do it. You won't stay, you won't do it, you won't stick with it. I’m going to tell them that I am going to be our Chapter President and I'm excited. Southern Ontario Dames. Are we in Canada yet?
No, this is the first Dames Canada Chapter. It's the first international chapter.
I can't believe we're here because I am not ever leading these things ever again. I've never felt more excited. I was telling you, Meghann, when I was away on my college vacation, I was having these visions of the power of what is going to happen in my community. I love that it's global but it's also local and I had this vision of what's going to transform in the Greater Toronto area, Hamilton, and in my own neighborhood because we're so thirsty for it here. It's so needed and it's the breath of fresh air that gets people to go, “Somebody is finally doing it different.” Typically, I'm always the odd woman out. I'm doing it this way while everyone else is doing it this way whereas I'm so excited where I found a place that my vision aligns with your vision and everyone else's vision and mission. I don't have to feel like I'm recreating the wheel or I don't have to feel like I'm stretching myself in a way that isn't fun that it feels so foreign to me. This feels so aligned with me.
It wraps right up with what you're doing already.
It's the generosity that now I get to share and I get to build this tribe. I'm so excited that it's going to start with my close friends and my close people that we're going to have this welcoming, beautiful community for people to step into. I'm so freaking excited for the events, build this community, and for the beautiful women that join to get tapped in as well. They will be here in Toronto and Southern Ontario but they will also be connected to women all over the world so they can feel all this goodness and love.
It was so fun. Do we need that more than ever now to laugh, heal, and know that we got each other? There's that power in “I got you.” Every time I come to an event, connect with someone, or get on with a power partner, it's like that unstated, “I got you,” and you use that to that person too. To me, that's priceless to have that connection in your life. I'm so excited. More to come about events and all the goodness. A major kudos to your team as well because I know that you are the face of it. The president and the members are the face of it but there are many people behind the scenes that do such amazing work. It takes a tribe to raise a community. I love that so much.
Everybody, be paying attention to TheDames.co and you'll be seeing that Southern Ontario chapter popping up real fast.
Meghann, I love you. Thank you so much.
Thank you. This was such a fun conversation. I hope readers had fun playing along with us and got some good golden nuggets along the way.
Remember, be generous, give it away. When you have reached that level, even if you haven't reached that level, be generous because goodness and karma will come back to you. Someone will come into your life that you've been looking for. That right next strategy, thing, or clarity that you need is going to come to you when you're willing to go inward, know yourself, and then be generous with everyone that you come in contact with. Thank you so much for being here. Meghann, thank you so much for your wisdom and insight. We will catch you next time on The Lisa Pezik Show.
About Meghann Conter
Meghann Conter uses her power to connect, elevate, entertain, and celebrate extraordinary women as the CEO of The Dames, a global community designed specifically for women running and leading 6 and 7-figure businesses.
Meghann believes that anything can be accomplished through fearless collaboration, laughter, fun, and love.
Once a burnt-out, over-networked CEO, she is now THE global ultra connector for women who thrive in the space where self-worth and net-worth align.
Learn more about The Dames and Meghann at www.TheDames.co