It’s all about people for Meg Crosby, founding partner of Memphis-based PeopleCap Advisors. According to Meg, a company’s people strategy is as important as its financial strategy. After years of working in the human resources field in larger cities such as New York and Los Angeles, she returned to her hometown and opened this niche business that offers her customers a view of their company through a different perspective. Realizing the potential in Memphis, this busy working mom also finds time to engage with nonprofits to make a difference in our community. We are honored to introduce you to today’s FACE of Memphis, Meg Crosby.
Where were you born and what was your upbringing like?
I was born and raised in Memphis. My family of four included my mom, dad and younger sister. It was a wonderfully uneventful childhood. When I was in college, my parents divorced and each remarried someone with three kids, so I suddenly became one of eight children in a blended family. I feel lucky to have experienced both.
How did you get into the human resources (HR) field?
I’ve always had a passion for people. In college, one of my majors was communications. I loved exploring how people interact and relate to one another, especially in the context of working together. Early in my career, I worked in special events for an investment bank and did a lot of work with HR on recruiting events. When a position came open, they recruited me to join their department.
Tell us about PeopleCap. What is your role at the company?
I cofounded PeopleCap in 2012 because I believe that a company’s people strategy is as important as its financial strategy — and yet, most organizations place a lot more emphasis on the latter than the former. We wanted to bring that same strategic lens to the people side of the business, because, after all, people drive results. We help leaders and companies realize their potential through their people by helping them connect people to vision, strategy and culture. We identify barriers to success and develop solutions for people-related problems.
What were the greatest challenges in starting your own business?
When you start a business, every day brings a new challenge! For me, it has been a challenge — and an opportunity! — to learn to sell our services. I am often so eager to help that I overlook the getting paid part, which is pretty critical to a successful business. Over time, we have refined our services, and I have found an approach to selling that works for me. I no longer give away the store.
How can people impact the success (or failure) of a business?
Quite simply, people drive results. They are the primary engine of success or failure. The single greatest responsibility of a leader is to achieve results through their people.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Two things – one is our team. They are terrific! We have so much fun together. I’m not sure what I would do without them. The other is the continued learning about different industries and organizations. It really is fun to study a manufacturing company, and then turn around and study a healthcare tech startup. What do you think those two have in common? People!
You also own an Irish pub?! Tell us about how you got involved in the restaurant and bar business.
I like to say that it’s a dream I married into. It has been a lot of fun and has engaged us in the downtown community in a meaningful way. My husband, Scott, has done a great job of galvanizing stakeholders along Madison Avenue downtown, where The Brass Door is located, to improve the street from the YMCA to the UofM Law School. Most recently, he won an award for developing a pocket park across the street from the pub where there was a blighted Burger King that had been boarded up for 18 years.
After living in New York City and Los Angeles, why did you choose to move back home to Memphis?
I came home to Memphis for the weekend and was set up on a blind date with my future husband, Scott. We dated long distance for two years and then got married. So, I guess you could say that I followed my heart back to Memphis. I have really enjoyed being back in Memphis and have found in it a place that values its people. I feel empowered to be a part of the solution for Memphis in a way that I did not in New York City or LA. I am excited about all that Memphis has to offer and am grateful for the quality of life we enjoy here — no traffic, affordable housing, access to great amenities. I still love to visit friends in New York and California, but am always glad to come home.
Speaking of hometowns, you do a lot for the city of Memphis. Tell us a little about the causes and organizations you support and why they are important to you.
There is a lot of great stuff happening here. At the moment, my primary nonprofit focus is Crosstown High School. I am on the founding board of the new diverse and academically rigorous charter school inside Crosstown, which will open fall 2018 with its first ninth grade class. I am really excited to help add a world-class high school education option to Midtown. Other passions and things I am involved in are Advance Memphis, Rhodes College, The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis and The Kitchen Community.
Describe your typical day.
Every day is different! I’m not much of a morning person or a late-night person, but my husband says I’m “hell between the 8s.” I basically get up and go wherever my Google Calendar tells me to go. My days are generally filled with meetings and work. In the evenings, I retreat back home to my husband, 9-year-old and three rescue dogs.
As a mom, you have so much going on! How do you balance and make everything work?
Ha! I fail every day, but then I cut myself some slack. There’s always tomorrow! I’m grateful for a wonderfully supportive true partner in my husband, the flexibility PeopleCap affords and some amazing neighbors and friends who are also working moms with kids — we rescue each other as needed!
What do you do to relax?
Sit on the porch and talk to my sweet husband, take the dogs for a walk in Overton Park or curl up and watch the news.
What is the first place you take out-of-towners when they visit you?
Depends on who is visiting! We live right across the street from Overton Park and The Levitt Shell and frequent both. I think Railgarten is one of the coolest new places I have been, and I love that you can take kids. And if my guest is up for an adventure, we have to go to Raiford’s.
Finish this sentence: If I had a superpower, it would be …
To heal people.
If you could go back 10 years, what advice would you give yourself?
Worry less about what people think.
What is something people might be surprised to know about you?
I was a bridesmaid 12 times before I was a bride. Never give up!
What is your proudest accomplishment?
I think that my greatest accomplishments are not things that I’ve done on my own. I have often been called a “connector.” I enjoy connecting incredible people with other incredible people who have gone on to do incredible things together.
What is your best piece of advice?
Take calculated risks. You can’t win if you don’t enter.
What are three things you can’t live without with the exception of faith, family and friends?
Yoga pants, Trader Joe’s dark chocolate-covered almonds — my family rations them to me daily! — and Google Calendar.
Thanks, Meg! For more information about PeopleCap Advisors, visit peoplecapadvisors.com.
Thank you to Micki Martin for today’s beautiful photos of Meg.
Meet more amazing Memphis women in our FACES archives. Click here, and prepare to be inspired!