We are all creatives, so we all have big ideas. The difficulty with that, however, is that sometimes these ideas never get to see the light of day because day-to-day life, procrastination or even feeling overwhelmed by the scope of our ideas gets in the way. Scott Belsky, an entrepreneur and the founder of Behance, Adobe鈥檚 online portfolio site for professional creatives, has written books on finishing projects. And we鈥檙e lucky, because he鈥檚 also one of our keynote speakers at Re:Make 2015 (get your tickets here!).

He has some advice for us on how we as creatives can carry an idea from start to finish. After all, you don鈥檛 get to be Vice President of Creative Community at Adobe without knowing how to close on a project. 鈥淭homas Edison famously quipped, 鈥榞enius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration,'鈥 Scott tells us.聽Here are Scott鈥檚 top tips for seeing your dreams into reality.


1. Find a good idea: 鈥淥nce you have an idea accompanied by lots of conviction, find an action you can quickly take. Only through successive action will you determine the validity of the idea, engage others in your pursuit and make progress,鈥 says Scott. 鈥淭here are three vital points to moving a great idea forward 鈥 organize what needs to be done with a bias toward action, get people involved and assemble the dream team required to execute. Unless you can manage your actions, expand your circle of colleagues and control your projects, you鈥檒l never give birth to anything new.鈥

2. Set aside five percent of your time for slow cooked ideas: 鈥淲e rarely get the chance to create something without a deadline looming. Often, it鈥檚 only our personal projects that enjoy the benefits of slow cooking, usually by necessity, not choice. While these projects tend to be neglected, when (and if) they actually do come to fruition they are extraordinary,鈥 Scott says. 鈥淲rite down thoughts and come back to them without a deadline in mind 鈥 over weeks, months or even years. Over time, refine these musings, delete pieces add layers and let them evolve naturally. We can round out our work by keeping a few slow-cooked projects going in the background of our frenetic day-to-day lives. The secret of slow cooking is to not to forget what you鈥檝e got on the stove and to keep coming back to it. See if you can give these 鈥榮low projects鈥 five percent of your time as part of your routine.鈥


3. Embrace the power of uncertainty:聽鈥淢ake sure your objective acts as a guide, but isn鈥檛 too limited or pre-determined for your idea. If it鈥檚 too broad, the possibilities are infinite and there are no rails to bump up against to spark new ideas. If your objective is too focused, there is no room for exploration that leads to true innovation. An objective that strikes a balance between these two extremes will be the most useful,鈥 says Scott.


4. Pick a system to keep you on track:聽鈥淭he most productive people and teams are obsessed with capturing and completing tasks. The common theme among the most productive people I know is that they operate with a bias toward action,鈥 he tells us. 鈥淔ind what works for you (the more custom the system the more likely you are to be loyal to it!), but make sure it revolves around action. Capture every task, end every meeting with a summary of things that start with verbs and hold yourself and your team accountable.鈥

5. Declare war on friction:聽鈥淒on鈥檛 be satisfied with the way you do everyday things like run meetings, manage email or schedule your time. Oftentimes, we fail to optimize our everyday processes because we assume that we shouldn鈥檛 fix something unless it鈥檚 broken,鈥 Scott says. 鈥淐onsider making small tweaks to your daily routine, such as checking email after your commute to the office instead of when you first wake up, to see how it affects your overall productivity,鈥 he adds. 鈥淪ome call this 鈥楢/B testing,鈥 where you make a change, test it out, and then decide whether to adopt the change as the new normal or revert to the previous version.鈥


6. Know when to walk away: 鈥淢ost ideas are like bad relationships: You know you have to move on, but the idea of letting go seems too unbearable to handle. My team and I have heard excuses from 鈥業t鈥檚 just a matter of time before this idea succeeds鈥 to 鈥楾his idea is just too perfect to give up.鈥 But, in reality, the same rule that holds true for relationships should apply for ideas: If it鈥檚 going nowhere, it is sometimes best to move on,鈥 Scott tells us. 鈥淢any creative professionals feel pressured to move the ball forward on all of their projects. But sometimes we are blinded by our passion for the ideas we have conceived ourselves (conception, not surprisingly, is a very emotional process). We spend so much time pushing all of our ideas to fruition that we鈥檝e lost a sense of perspective. The same passion that drives a creative to succeed can also interfere with judgment. Sometimes, the best idea is to kill an idea that is consuming a lot of your energy.鈥

What do you think of Scott鈥檚 advice? Tell us in the comments below!