Founder and Owner of Say Watt
Samantha (Sam) Watt is the owner of Say Watt, which is a consultancy with a passion for influencing hearts and minds through the art of public relations. She adds that she has succeeded through the grace of God and through the support of her husband.
“Our core business is public relations, which is more than building brands. We have a massive network of freelancers who are strong service providers in marketing strategy, events, web development, social media and/or brand development and activation. We are able to supply a one stop marketing shop to our clients, which is really great,” explains Sam.
“We are idea generators and content creators. I love telling our clients that we are dream chasers. At the heart of every marketing success is a story that can grab the heart of a customer. We are exceptional story tellers.”
A turning point
Sam’s path to success has not been easy. She added that she does not think that there is anyone who hasn’t experienced a struggle within their lifetime in one form or another.
Eleven years ago, after using all of the family’s savings to move to Durban to pursue a business opportunity, Sam’s husband found himself without an income. Sam was earning a minuscule amount of money from freelancing, which also dried up, leaving them with no resources to support themselves. “We were, for the first times in our lives, stuck. However, through the financial support of friends and their church, they were able to get through this hardship. As they had a privileged lifestyle, this experience was a turning point in their lives. Sam commented, “We were able to pick ourselves up. We also completed a dream sheet, which was life changing as we worked towards achieving these goals. That is why I am such an advocate for big dreams to drive you.”
Through this experience, Sam said she realised that struggles don’t define you. “Struggles are a stepping stone to your next place. I feel that you appreciate things more when you put in the work. When you have gone through the struggle, the prize feels all the more sweeter.”
Sam reflected that during her early working career she suffered with mommy guilt. “Women believe that if they are career driven, they are letting someone down. Women want to be all things to everyone,” she explained. However, she said that her life was changed when she realised that her primary dream was to be the best mom and wife that she could be and that she could not do that working a normal nine to five job.
This realisation resulted in Sam embarking on the journey of owning her own business. “Initially this was built on the amazing relationships I had developed over the years with ex-employers, colleagues, family, and friends, who became my first clients and are still clients today. I wouldn’t be where I am today if they hadn’t put their faith in me.”
In commenting on her current work/life balance, Sam says that she does not believe that anyone has achieved balance. “Having my own business is a plus as I am able to choose my work hours. My favourite place to be is on the side of the rugby field, netball court or cricket field. I am that crazy mom who shouts on the side of the field… The trade off is that I often have to work to 12 at night or one o’clock in the morning and I may work during weekends.”
Making a tangible difference
Sam’s goal is to have an impact on the world. “Our dream is that no brand, big or small, in South Africa ever has to go unbranded or unheard. We are committed to keeping our costs low and competitive, while still providing the quality that our clients have come to know and enjoy.” Business success, says Sam, is defined by the point where you stop worrying about cash flow. “Your dream has got to be bigger than your business. It is about when you have the money to make a tangible difference in other people’s lives.”
In 2020, Sam piloted a project called ‘Brand Thina’ in partnership with Kandua, which is an online home services marketplace. Say Watt were given the opportunity to assist with the branding of five professionals and hosted workshops to enable this process. “Through the assistance of the Durban agency, The 13th Floor, we were then able to create something magical,” says Sam. “We were able to give these guys a logo, social media posts and an all-important business card. From that experience we really realised how important a brand is and that it can do much more for a business than you can dream of. Branding offers more credibility, fosters trust, generates more customers, and makes a business more visible. This really was a wonderful opportunity to shift some lives.”
Sam attributes her success to being surrounded by incredible women her entire life. “My gran was a single mother who raised three daughters and is the stalwart of the family. My mother never pursued tertiary education but was ambitious and very successful. I also have strong willed and amazing women business partners who all have a solid sense of accountability.”
Sam’s advice is that if you have a massive dream, if you want to be an entrepreneur, and if you want to live a different life from the one that you are living now, to just start. She concluded, “I would like to encourage you and ask you to be kind to yourself and just start.
I started my business with nothing more than my laptop and a whole lot of courage and determination. Be a person of your word, be a person of integrity, do what you say you will do, and you will be successful.”