By Andrew Neitlich

The power of FLOW

By Andrew Neitlich

I’ll be on a Walt Disney Cruise all of next week, without the ability to blog. So let’s make this week about you, instead of about this blog.

I’d like you to post your experiences with the power of flow.

Flow refers to how many business opportunities come to you every day. This was an important concept in career management courses in business school. The idea is to have a network of contacts and work opportunities that brings more opportunities your way. Successful people seem to always have their pulse on a new opportunity. They are like fishermen on the banks of a river, standing there while the water and fish flow by them for them to pick.


There are lots of ways to increase flow”

– Get visible in your community, especially with high powered people

– Convince a successful person to mentor you

– Get work with a growing, dynamic company

– Get networked into to others with flow, typically bankers, investors, venture capitalists, business lawyers, certain accountants, etc.

– Write and speak — become a sought-after expert.

– Build a network such that you have at least 10 people bringing you at least 1 lead per month.

So, during the next week, please fill this blog with posts about your positive experiences and challenges with this concept of flow.

– What’s your best source of flow right now?

– What will you do to increase your flow?

– What are some success stories you can share?

– What are some challenges you face?

Have a great week.

  • This is some of the best advice for new companies. I’m trying to follow these techniques now, but it can be difficult. The best advice I can give is to network in as many ways as possible. While you may not see immediate results, you never know when someone you talked to 6 months ago briefly sends a business partner of a business partner your way.

  • GDA

    My flow mostly comes by networking. I mean, when my client tells about his new website about his friend. Then the friend comes to me, to build a site for his company which is a little bit “better”, or “cooler” :)

    Of course, you can find clients by search engines, I think the best way is still networking.

  • 3moose

    When you talk about Flow and networking, I think you have hit on one aspect of many… having worked in marketing for many years for large blue chips, the single greatest, most successful approach is really obvious – how you do it is entirely down to you – “Find Customers whose needs you can meet with your competencies”.

    Flow, as you call it, is one way. Regardless of your strategy, you must ensure that the person receiving your message gets what YOU can do for HIM (i.e. What are his/her needs and how can you meet them?)

    Before you can decide what to do to increase Flow etc. you might ask yourself “What market does a Customer see me in?”, “What features/benefits does my Customer look for when deciding on a web designer”, “In what ways does my Customer draw discernable differences between my service and someone else” and importantly “Where do I add unique value?”

    The only way to get answers to these questions is to ask your existing Customers & some prospects. You will then need to profile them, to see if they are similar.

    After that, you will be very well equipped to deliver hard hitting, high value messages to a network of contacts you can be confident will want to listen to your highly tuned messages.

    I hope that is of some help?

  • Anonymous

    I’ll be on a Walt Disney Cruise all of next week


    Say hello to Uncle Scrooge for me, then.

  • Agreed

    It’s not whom you know, but rather who knows what you know.

  • Hi.

    Regarding the how to, I participated in the formation of the PHP London organisation (http://www.phplondon.org/). This is specialist, but as I am a small company web development coach/consultant it was appropriate to my interests.

    If you don’t have the networking opportunities then create them.

    yours, Marcus

  • I’ll be on a Walt Disney Cruise all of next week

    I’ve heard of “Mickey Mouse” cruises, but that’s just takes the biscuit…

  • Peter

    Networking and finding a mentor is a very important part of work life. Web Development I have found it to be harder to network to to others being not in same location. I think that at some time in your working life you find out whether you are a consultant(generalist) or an (expert) specialist. By undertanding how you fit into an organisation however large is very important.

  • 100% of our business is by referral at this point. . . so we’re FLOW-ing.

    I have two great resources for flow: a center of influence in Phoenix (pop. 2.5M) and my clients. We receive regular referrals from both, most of which are “tee-d up” and looking forward to talking with us when we call.

    It’s imporant to note that this happy situation did NOT “just happen”. I have been asking for referrals for a long time, and seeking centers of influence for over a year. Now we’re enjoying the fruits of that effort.

    I live in a small town, 2 hours from Phoenix. Now business comes to me. But FLOW is kind of a poor word for this, as it connotes a one-way, inbound operation. It somehow seems to be our of an “old” sales paradigm.

    My sense of building a powerful referral network MUCH more focused on “How can I add value for this client?” Not just when there is a project at hand, but I try to ask myself that question every day. As an example, in early January I was thinking about this and realized that most of my clients don’t plan their marketing — they just shoot from the hip. So I created a Marketing binder, and added dividers for 18 different kinds of marketing areans, and put in my ideas, tips, etc in each of these arenas. Then went and bought $20 erasable year-at-a-glance wall calendars, and gave many of my clients the wall calendar and the binder.

    Here’s the hook: I scheduled a meeting with them to walk through ther binder togethewr, and them write diown ideas in various categories as they occurred to us. Guess what? Some of those ideas involve more work for us! :)

    But the point is to look at adding value, and becoming their “trusted advisor” in a specific area. Much like their CPA is the advisor in the finace area.

    This takes work, and it takes time, and it takes some thinking. But it sure beats cold calls!!!

  • Funny as it may sound, but Two of my recent Leads came from the person who printed the visiting cards I designed for myself long time back. He liked the design and took down my contacts without my knowing it.

    When we talk of the

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