Lesley Mattos: Success from Photo Guest Books

| August 12, 2008 | 4 Comments

Lesley Mattos, a single mother of four kids, spent several decades working in high profile technology companies including Cisco. But a burning desire to try something new led her to quit her lucrative job.

On a trip to Italy to take stock of her life and attend a wedding, she stumbled upon an original idea — creating original instant photo guest book that combines retro, funky and fun Polaroid instant photos with hand written sentiments from guests. Her company Adesso Albums, Inc. http://www.adessoalbums.com/ was born

Here are her 10 tips for Success in Business:

1. Embrace change. It’s an inevitable part of running a business. Rather than fighting it, wasting valuable time and eventually losing, you’re better off anticipating, planning for, and embracing change. As a small business owner you should be nimble and react quickly in a variety of ways. If you look at change as an opportunity to grow, you will!

2. Use technology. Do more with less by automating routine processes with web-based applications. These applications increase productivity and free you, your staff and your resources to focus on more important tasks. And, these applications can be accessed from anywhere

3. Keep your eye on the ball. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day minutia of running a business. Constantly ask yourself if your daily activities get you closer to your overall goals for the company. It will keep you on track and stop you from spending time on the wrong things.

4. Know your differentiators. Compare your products and services to the real, as well as the perceived competition. A competing concept can be even more threatening than an actual product. Unless you have thought about what differentiates your product or service from everything that’s out there, your marketing efforts will fall short.

5. Lead by example. Peers and subordinates alike will learn from your example. They “listen” with their eyes more than with their ears. Your actions mean more than what you say to them. Make sure your processes and actions both inside and outside the office are things you want emulated.

6. Give the illusion of participation. Everyone likes to feel like they are part of the decision process, so let them! Then do what you think you ought to do anyway. It’s not necessary, and often actually a hindrance in a small business environment to employ the decision by a committee process.

7. Control timing. We often miss opportunities because we think we have to respond immediately to stimuli such as phone calls or emails. Just because the phone is ringing or an email comes in, it doesn’t mean you have to react. Your day shouldn’t be a series of interruptions. The more you control your distractions, the more effective you’ll be.

8. Know what you don’t know. It’s inconceivable that you could have an in depth knowledge of every aspect of your business. Acknowledge your weak areas and surround yourself with competent resources and trusted partners and learn from them.

9. Stay organized. It is critical to update, edit, add and delete from your list of to-do’s on a daily basis. Nothing feels better than crossing things off. And, with a well-maintained list for you and your team, everyone will stay on track and your chances for success are enhanced.

10. Plan for success. Formalize your processes as you go. Plan for and build infrastructure ahead of your growth. So when your growth spurt comes, you’re ready for it. And don’t forget to celebrate your successes along the way. Stop and pat yourself and your team on the back as milestones are achieved.

Following these ten tips not only helped me grow Adesso Albums to over a million dollars in annual revenue last year, it also helped me reach tens of thousands of people and help them live in the moment. Everyday we get cards, letters, emails, pictures and even videos from our customers telling us how Adesso Albums have touched their lives – and in so many ways – both personally and from a business perspective.

From the couple who just got married and looked at their original instant photo guest book every day of their honeymoon to the military family who used an album to chronicle what happened while the dad was on tour for a year, to our international distributors who each used the albums at their weddings and have since quit their day jobs to sell Adesso Albums in their part of the world – its’ all very humbling. With a good idea, a little luck and my ten tips, you are well on your way to success too!

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Category: Startup Stories

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  1. Clem / Unique Business Opportunity says:

    Excellent pointers. As a budding “home based business / network marketer,” I consider myself a student of all things business. Regardless of my background or my current line of business, I am, at heart, an entrepreneur. Your advice is well received. I wonder, how many people stop to really listen to the advice of those that are already successful? Too few, I fear.

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  2. Jen C says:

    I absolutely agree with this post and find it inspirational reading about successful woman entrepreneurs.

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  3. Ger says:

    Well done on the website. If you want advice from someone, take it from someone who has actually achieved what they are talking about.

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  4. Tracy Despard says:

    Great site. Yes it is so important to stick to plan. Write it down, believe it and in yourself and it will happen.

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