Making Ideas Happen – Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision & Reality

by John Cummings on July 6, 2011

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This book, Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality, by Scott Belsky, Founder of, is a  must read for every professional or entrepreneur.  If you’re trying to make a difference in the world, or your world, or create something of value, make more money and enjoy more free time, you need this book.

Making Ideas Happen is not The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss.  Tim Ferriss’ 4HWW book has inspired millions (including me) to create a muse idea and dream of escaping their own 9 to 5.  But where it loses too many or leaves them in the dust is the actual day to day implementation of a plan to get to the 4-Hour Work Week.  I have personally reached a 4 Hour Work DAY and I’m working on a detailed system to show others how to get there.  But until I finish my Barefoot and Rich System, I have to say that Scott Belsky’s focus on “the Action Method” in Making Ideas Happen is a great start.

Scott’s main passion sprung out of working with really creative people, like artists and architects, who are stricken by new ideas every day but have no idea what to do first.  (sound familiar?)  Or worse, people who resist all attempts to shepherd their amazing ideas into a process that makes their ideas happen.

Ironically, those who are most creative and have the best ideas tend to be the ones who think that it would be a curse to their creative integrity to engage in a systematic process to bring those ideas to the light.  The result: the death of millions of ideas between dawn and the daylight when reality requires and demands implementation of a process to bring those ideas to fruition.  This is Scott Belsky’s conundrum — convincing the creative that systems and processes is not anathema to their creative force but it’s actual life blood!

This is my own battle cry.   The 4-Hour Work Week can never happen, no matter how smart, creative or talented you are, unless you are willing to sit down and engage in a well-planned system to make your intelligence, creativity and talent take shape.  That part is, unfortunately, boring to many but I think it’s really just laziness. The “art” of forming a process to take the needed action, and then taking that action (implementation) is actually a very creative and intuitive process.  Embrace it and guess what?  You win!

Scott Belsky’s book walks you through a very smart approach to taking what you brainstorm about, and making the sea of ideas take shape so that they can actually happen.  The crux of it, his “action method”, encourages us to take the notes and diagrams and sketches that invariably result from our meetings with colleagues or our late night solo ideastorms, and throw them out in favor of an actionable list.

I love this because I’ve suffered through my own folders of hundreds of pages of ideas and to do’s and schematics about all of my ideas, only to realize they will never happen because of their sheer volume.  The solution?  Take an extra 20 minutes after your meeting or your brainstorm to extract from your notes or your sketches, the items that have to happen for the idea to ever see the light.   Then, boil them down into specific actions (call Bob, email Sally, draw a map, write a list of requirements) and schedule them or delegate them in a systematic plan.  Once you do, stick all of your notes and sketches into an archive if must keep them at all.

I could say more but I think I’ll let Scott do it.  No matter what business, job or pursuit you’re engaged in, this philosophy of taking a small amount of time to do what SEEMS boring is, I believe, the secret to making your beautiful idea come to be.

If you’re too busy to figure this out and just want a starting point to create room for your idea, your epiphany or your breakthrough, be sure to get my 10 Secrets to Getting Out of Lunch before Noon. Just enter your email address in the form at the top right hand side of this page. It’s about time . . .


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