Scott Belsky's Making Ideas Happen

Just read: Scott Belsky’s Making Ideas Happen

I met Scott Belsky last fall at a conference and then spent a little time with him in NYC recently. He was kind enough to send me an advance copy of his new book, Making Ideas Happen.

I have not had a book lay my soul bare like this one did in a long, long time. It held a mirror up to me, and basically said “here’s everything that’s keeping your from moving projects, work and life forward.” Many aha moments, and many painful moments to be completely honest.

And it was dead on.

But this is not a theoretical book. It is a book based on hours and hours of research with world class creative people WHO GET STUFF DONE. He talked to them about their personal habits and methods for getting their projects from idea (fun!) to reality (work!), and the insights are inspiring. I’ve linked to some more robust reviews below, but I wanted to make the reco here, and give some topline takeaways. I’ll probably detail it more as I reflect and re-read certain points.

For the lifehackers and GTD fans out there. This offers a better solution and toolset for creative people because it is Project-based (i.e. the way creatives work) instead of Context-based (i.e. at work, at home, in car) like David Allen‘s methods.

Here are my top 10 takeaways from the book:

1. Less creative people who do more things will have a bigger impact than the genius who does nothing.
2. Doing trumps dreaming, but only if you care about making an impact in your life.
3. Every creative person will battle the tendency to just come up with ideas and never act on them because that’s the fun part.
4. You need constraints to be creative AND you need constraints to be productive. So, constrain yourself.
5. Quit taking so many notes! And especially stop filing them! Just capture Action Items, References and Backburner. Trash the rest.
6. Share your ideas with your community — the accountability will drive you to action.
7. Be transparent with your community — their feedback will give you insight into what ideas are right to pursue.
8. Creative people must learn to lead. Well, you do if you want to do anything great.
9. Dreamers need to partner with Doers to get anything done — not as obvious as it sounds; at least not in practice.
10. You have to be strategic about what to focus energy on, and then relentless in moving it forward.
11. (bonus) It really does come down to working hard on your idea(s) every single day and never, ever giving up until it is realized.

That’s just the 10 that stuck with me immediately. The book is a joy to read, and packed full of practical real-world tips, hacks and advice. It is available on amazon.com this Thursday the 15th.

You can find Making Ideas Happen here.

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Comments (17):

  1. timbwalker

    April 12, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Read it myself and found it equally insightful. Next on the list… REWORK, by the people at 37 signals. I've heard the two books compared a few times recently.

  2. timbwalker

    April 12, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Oops… too quick on the trigger… reverse that… I actually meant I read REWORK and Making Ideas Happen is next on my list. Sorry about that.

    Feel free to delete me!

  3. slowmack

    April 13, 2010 at 3:33 am

    Actually, that's good news. Want to swap books? I'd like to read REWORK…how about I stop by this week? I have another book of yours to return. 🙂

  4. hazel swayne

    April 20, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    I am reading REWORK and it's amazing! Now I have to look into “Making ideas happen” Especially after following the 99% conference.

  5. hazel swayne

    April 20, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    I am reading REWORK and it's amazing! Now I have to look into “Making ideas happen” Especially after following the 99% conference.

  6. hazel swayne

    April 20, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    I am reading REWORK and it's amazing! Now I have to look into “Making ideas happen” Especially after following the 99% conference.

  7. Nico Navarro

    April 22, 2010 at 2:14 am

    great! im looking forward to read this one too.. im finishing REWORK now.. but im also thinking on read CRUSH IT! (garyv) and DELIVERING HAPPINESS (tony hsieh)

  8. Nico Navarro

    April 22, 2010 at 2:14 am

    great! im looking forward to read this one too.. im finishing REWORK now.. but im also thinking on read CRUSH IT! (garyv) and DELIVERING HAPPINESS (tony hsieh)

  9. Chris Eh Young

    April 22, 2010 at 2:19 am

    Sounds like I NEED to read this book. I, and I know i'm not alone, have millions of great ideas that I never do anything with except procrastinate.

  10. Chris Eh Young

    April 22, 2010 at 2:19 am

    Sounds like I NEED to read this book. I, and I know i'm not alone, have millions of great ideas that I never do anything with except procrastinate.

  11. slowmack

    April 22, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    What's awesome is that the book is just the tip of the iceberg. It's the research that led to their development of the Action Method — a suite of tools and products to help you get your ideas done…I know I sound like pitchman, but I love these products. And they are really working for me. (I wouldn't have this blog up if they didn't).

  12. slowmack

    April 22, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    I missed 99%. I heard it was great though. Would love to hear what you learned and key takeaways.

  13. slowmack

    April 22, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    That's the second – no third – recommendation I've had for Rework. I'm headed to the bookstore now.

  14. Chris Eh Young

    April 23, 2010 at 12:55 am

    I love when someone is so passionate about a product that they pitch it to everyone. Now I have some social and personal proof that the system is effective. I was going to buy the book anyway but this testimonial cements it. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Bryson Moore

    May 1, 2010 at 12:27 am

    Thanks for the review Sean. I'm ordering it as soon as I hit “post” here.

  16. Scott Webb

    May 3, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Dude, just found your blog and this is going to be awesome. I'm reading making ideas happen, and hit up the actual action method. I told myself to do it. I made using it a ritual for myself and it's been insanely moving my projects forward.

    I know exactly what you mean in the first paragraph. and I know what you mean by it may sound like a pitch – they are truly helping.

    I need to write a blog post myself on this book and the action method.

  17. creative party ideas

    June 28, 2011 at 11:13 am

    HI, 

    Its really brilliant post guys. Its very useful article guys for all people. 

    Thanks

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