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.