The Problem with Dreaming Big

Let me preface this by saying: this blog post is not meant to discourage you.  Everyone who knows me, knows I love a dreamer.  I believe everyone should have a dream and chase after them with reckless abandon. For me, this is the essence of a great life – dreaming big and chasing after those dreams.  The problem with dreaming big is that we eventually have to turn those dreams into reality.  And this is where it breaks down for most people.

I’ve seen it (and experienced it) many times before.  We leave the brainstorming session, the dream conversations and plans. Our adrenaline is pumping, ideas are flowing, we are ready to take on the world and live out our dreams.  We finally get home, sit down at our desk, couch or dining room table and start thinking “how in the heck am I going to do this??”  Dreaming big is GREAT.  But putting together a plan and implementing the dream is what often trips us up.  The key to having a big dream is to be willing to start small.

Taking on too much, too fast is the quickest way to run into paralysis when time for implementation. The dream is sooo big, we don’t know where to start.  We let the plans sit on our desk, or worse – in our heads.  The dreams never turn into action  Below are three ways that we can effectively dream big, specifically when looking at marketing and branding plans:

1.) Just Start.  I have seen it over and over again: we overthink our start.  We want everything to be just perfect when we begin. The colors, the logo, the tfind-work-online-fagline, the website, the business plan.  I’m here to tell you, and even rock your world a bit:  Don’t worry about perfection.  It has been said: “Perfection is the enemy of good.”  Some things will need to be “near” perfect or good enough, and that’s okay.  Discover which things are fine to be “good enough” and keep it moving.  You can correct and fix as you grow and learn.  And … you WILL grow and learn so much after your first year or two or three in business. Things will inevitably change; you will learn more about yourtarget audience, your brand, your packaging, etc.  Therefore, indeed strive for excellence, but don’t sweat the small stuff.  Just get started.

2.) Start small.  Yes, dream BIG.  I mean it.  Go for it and go for whatever God has called you to do. But start small.  Start with one piece of your big, audacious dream.  Your goal should always be progress.  Get moving and stay moving. The bigness and magnificence of your dream will come in time. Momentum is powerful, therefore starting small is also about creating momentum and great energy as you pursue your dream.  It will allow you to work out any kinks in your plan and quickly course correct and rework the plan or vision.  It’s much easier to scrap or rework a small plan than a big one.  So don’t feel embarrassed or inadequate about starting small.  Small plans quickly turn into big dreams.

3.) Write it Down. You may have it in your head, but it also needs to be on paper. Not just buried in a random notebook in the back of your car, but always before you, within reach. There is immense power in writing down your goals and dreams.  It is one more step toward making it a reality and watching it cometo life.  Write it down with as much detail as possible.  And read it often.  This is another version of practicing affirmations.  You are watching, writing and speaking it into life. Keep the dream before you.

All these steps are essential whenworking on your marketing and branding plans. Marketing and branding can be overwhelming. There are so many aspects, strategies and tactics involved.  However, the goal is to just get started.  Put the dream in motion.

Do you have a big dream?  Have you gotten started? What’s stopping you?  The moment of perfect timing or finances, or whatever it is, may never come.  Start now.  Start small. Get going!

If you need assistance with developing the first steps with your marketing or branding plans, contact me for Get Started session.

Can I Trust You ?

Trust is a big deal.  We know this is true in friendships and with our love interests, however it is equally true with our brand and our business. We often focus on creating a img_7842nice product to sell or doing great work for our customers or clients.  This is good and absolutely necessary. Everyone wants good service and a product that will do what we need it to do.  That is the basics if we have a business.  What is monumentally important is if we are creating raving fans.  Just like sports teams have loyal fans that will cheer them on and tell others about them, do we also have this with our brand.  Do you create loyalty and trust among our clients and customers?

Why Trust?

The world is full of talented people. People who write or speak better than you. People who create that product better than you.  People who can do whatever you do… better than you. So what make someone choose you over another business, service or organization.  Sometimes its price or convenience, but often it comes back around to trust.  People want to trust the people around them.

Building Trust 

Thought Leadership

One way we are able to build trust is to demonstrate that you know your stuff.  Do you know what you are talking about?  Do you know your industry and the things that are important to your industry?  If you know it, then its important to show that you know it.  This is content marketing – becoming a thought leader in your industry or community.  Are you consistently producing or promoting content? In order to build trust and expertise, share your knowledge with your audience by platforms such as: blogging, podcasts, videos, posting, etc.  Content is still king and helps build trust with your audience.

Fix it Quick

How quickly you address issues and deal with problems will either build or diminish trust with your audience. We’ve seen it with various large brands in crisis (Subway, United Airlines, Samsung, etc.) How quickly do they address their public relations crisis? How quickly do you address conflicts or complaints within or about your company or organization?  Have you ever completed a survey or client feedback form and provided negative feedback, yet no one called you to address it?  Trust diminished. When you demonstrate that you are open to dealing with problems, it show your authenticity, which builds trust.  Even if it is a problem that you created. Deal with it head on and watch your clients/customers trust in your brand rise.


Trust also comes when a client sees that you are focused.  We have all heard the term: “Jack of all trades, master of none.”  As a brand owner, your job is to always show yourself as a master.  Being too spread out with your expertise, products or services dilutes your brand and ultimately the trust a client has for you.  We have all had this sentiment when we walk into a business that says its an expert at one thing, and then you also see them promoting something in a completely different industry.  For example, you walk into an Italian restaurant for a good plate of spaghetti and then you discover they are also selling Chinese food. It is unlikely they are doing both well. Master your trade and stay focused on what you are truly providing your clients.

These are just three simple ways to build trust. There are many other ways that you can build trust for your brand.  The first step is realizing that trust matters in marketing and branding.  It is the key to developing business and creating loyalty with your audience.

If you need any assistance with building trust with your key audience, feel free to reach out to me at I will also offer a webinar on this topic in May.  If you would like to join the webinar, please email me to be added to the invitation list.

Are You Mentally Tough?

Happy Spring! I hope that you all have have been enjoying the first glimpses of Spring. Some of you are still experiencing some cold weather. 
During my busy time, my head has been swirling with so many marketing and brandingsmall steps.jpg topics and issues. However, this month, I want to focus more on a leadership issue.  Since starting this business, I am amazed at how much mental tenacity it takes to launch and continue a business or any initiative. Yes, I’ve had other businesses and projects that I’ve started in the past, but I was fortunate to have a partner or groups of people to help me stay encouraged.  Being an entrepreneur is a lonely place.  When you have those moments when you are choosing between sleep and work, paying a bill or investing in a client or your business, quitting the gig or keep trucking along. It is a constant mental game to just stay in the game.  I’m sure I will eventually get to a level where I coast along, but right now, I am relying on the five things below to help me stay focused and mentally strong during these tough days.  If you are in a similar struggle, I hope these points will also help you.
Remember Your Why:  We have heard this many times, but it can’t be stressed enough. When things get complicated, tough and overwhelming, your why should keep you motivated.
Seek Balance: I recently read a quote that is slowly changing my life and giving me life: “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” (Vince Lombardi). When we are exhausted, we give in to our fears and anxiety.  Get proper rest so that you can make good decision and have the mental strength to deal with issues that my come your way.

Expect Failure:  Wait, what?  Yes.  Not every decision will be a great decision.  Not every risk will be a smart one.  The more you fail, the more it shows your willingness to keep trying and taking risks.  Would we like to avoid failure at all costs?  Sure.  But that would mean you are playing it pretty safe.

Celebrate the Successes:
  Every single one of them.  It may be small successes for you, but its important to acknowledge your progress, no matter how small or slow it may be.

Let it Go:
  I suffer from wanting to control things that are completely out of my control.  As a leader and entrepreneur, you have to let things go.  If not, you will spend precious time, energy and mental strength on things that cannot be changed.  Let it go.

I hope this has helped you!  Please let me know if you have other tips or advice for the mental state needed for entrepreneurs.

Does Your Website Work For You?

Almost everyone has one, but very few people know what to do with it.  Your website.  It is one of the first things we purchase and create when we start our business, but one of marketing tools we put the least effort in.
There are many purposes for a website, from branding your business to selling your find-work-online-fproduct.  Ultimately, one the primary things your website should do for your business is generate leads.
Below are 10 ways you can make your website work for you:
  1. Your Contact Info:  Your contact information should be throughout your website. Make it easy for people to contact you, either via email or phone.
  2. Create a landing page:  A landing page gives your visitors somewhere to “land” when they have an interest regarding something on your website.  It may be a white paper, an event, anything that will lead them to a lead generation form.  This will also help you get an idea about what is effective on your website or selling well in your company.
  3. Nurture your leads: Place leads into a workflow once they fill out a form on your landing page so they don’t forget about you, and deliver them valuable content that matches their interests.
  4. Talk to Your Audience:  Videos are a great way to tell your clients what is going on with your product or services.  It helps establish credibility and promotes your brand promise. Videos are extremely effective, they attract 300% more traffic and nurtures leads.
  5. Add testimonials:  Testimonials add a reference for people to see and establishes credibility.
  6. Make sure you have a call to action:  What do you want a visitor to your website to do? Call you? Email you? Schedule a meeting? Order your book? Register for a conference? Whatever you want to ultimately happen when someone visits your website, you must create a path for them to do that.
  7. Be careful on the homepage: Some websites put all the weight on the homepage. Make your homepage simple, yet still communicates your brand.  Give people a reason to use your navigation and discover your website.
  8. Don’t forget to blog: Blogging is effective for generating leads. It is content that establishes trust, and it also helps increase organic searches if you incorporate the right language.  You should also create call to actions for your various blog posts.
  9. Watch your words:  Be sure to use words and phrases that you know your audience is searching for on the internet.   This will increase the likelihood that you will be discovered during a web search.
  10. Quizzes and Assessments:  This is a great way to generate leads and obtain new email addresses for your mailing list.
    If you need assistance with strategies on how to generate leads, please schedule a complimentary 15 minute consultation with me.

Branding vs. Marketing: Which Comes First?

I often hear people use the words “marketing” and “branding” interchangeably, but it is important to know the difference when attempting to raise the profile for your organization, company or your personal brand.holidays office


It is interesting, often my individual/solopreneur clients are eager to jump to branding and want to stop there.  My company, church or organization clients want to jump into marketing and will often ignore or skip over branding.

Steve Forbes says: “Branding is the single most important investment you can make in your business.” Branding is critical.

Both marketing and branding are absolutely necessary to move a vision or business forward. Before marketing begins, there must be a brand.  If you are unclear of who you are, why you or your company exists or is different than the company down the street, then you probably need help with your brand.

Why Begin with Branding?

Branding is your promise.  It creates loyalty.  It will be what remains long after the marketing initiative or idea has gone.  This is why branding is critically important.

As I’ve stated in previous blogs and podcasts, branding more than about consistently using your logo, or personal branding – making sure you consistently look great. Branding communicates your values, your character, your credibility. Without it, you cannot effectively do marketing.

Wait…You Still Need Marketing 

Marketing is still important. You can have the best story, the best brand, but no one may know about it. Marketing walks out your brand. It tells the world you exist and why they should visit you. It gives your brand a voice.

However, marketing is very tactical. It involves processes, procedures and normally a system to make sure the brand is communicated effectively.  A brand is all about strategy and carefully putting things together to make sure the brand is communicated accurately.

One of my favorite quotes is “Branding is the being.  Marketing is the doing.” However, be sure that before you get to the doing and the activity, you spend a good amount of time with being… your branding.

If you need assistance with branding or marketing, feel free to reach out to Lee at ashby & watts consulting. 678-806-6266 or

Branding – Give Them Something to Feel

Be sure to check out my latest podcast — Branding – Give Them Something to Feel. Click here to listen – Often we love to discuss branding, but overlook the emotional aspects of branding. This short podcast will talk about the importance of it and how to begin using it. Be sure to find me on facebook and follow me on Periscope and Twitter (@lywatts) Stay warm! ‪#‎branding‬ ‪#‎marketing‬ ‪#‎ashbyandwatts‬‪ #‎connectingthedotsLee Watts Branding

Marketing Lessons from 2015

We are close to the end of 2015.  It has been an extraordinary and memorable year in business and marketing. We have seen more start-ups and entrepreneurs arise this year, along with exciting new and innovative ways to market companies and organizations.
Marketing lessons 2015 Lee Watts

Below are five lessons we have learned from marketing successes in 2015. These lessons will give us a glimpse of what to expect in 2016. My next blog will highlight what we should look forward to in 2016.

1.) Branding is EVERYTHING.  It cannot be escaped or avoided.  If you want to grow your business or organization or your influence, branding must be at the top of the list. We also (hopefully) learned in 2015 is that branding is about more than being consistent with your logo and colors.

2.) Relationship marketing is key.  Marketing has always been about relationships, but in 2015 we saw this as more of a focus.  If you are not building relationships with your audience and target audience, you are missing a huge piece of effective marketing.

3.) We are in a  mobile-driven society.  We are living among a mobile environment.  If you are not able to communicate effectively via mobile,  you are behind in your marketing strategy. Your website and email should be mobile friendly and responsive.  If not, you are missing opportunities.

4.) Marketing is about emotions.  Your marketing campaign should connect with your audience emotionally, whether you are have a business or a non-profit organization. The best marketing campaigns tell a story that connects emotionally to your audience. It makes your audence want to move or act. It creates a feeling of security or excitement or comfort or whatever it is that is important for your marketing goals. Marketing should create an emotion.

5.) Content is still, and will always be King. Your marketing is have a content strategy; it creates credibility and leadership in your industry, whether its blogging, videos or podcasts. Good content marketing takes thoughtful planning, creating, and measuring. If you are creating content, without strategy or measuring, your content could be in vain.

If you have any questions or need help with your marketing in 2016, please contact me at

Marketing Monday: Marketing Ideas During the Holidays

“Never miss an opportunity” is one of my favorite mottos.  The holidays are a great time to expand your holidays officemarketing, bring brand awareness and build relationships. Have you developed a marketing plan for this holiday season? Don’t miss this opportunity. This short podcast offers 5 ideas for marketing during the holiday season.  Click here to listen to this podcast.