Bridge the Gap Between Ideas and Success with the Action Method

Pete Weishaupt
3 min readSep 11

Got more ideas than you can shake a stick at? Don’t we all. But there’s a wide chasm between our ideas and making them a reality. Thankfully, Scott Belsky, co-founder of Behance, offers us a remedy to the madness in his book, “Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality.” His framework, called the Action Method, is a valuable tool for creators and entrepreneurs struggling to turn their ideas into achievement.

Action Method Explained

The Action Method is a user-friendly, practical system for ‘project management’ from idea to execution. Scott’s structured approach evolves your brilliant concept through actionable steps; divided into three key components:

Action Steps

The foundation of the Action Method is the creation of bite-sized, actionable tasks allowing you to break down larger projects into manageable chunks. Defining specific, concrete steps allows you to make progress attainable and less overwhelming.

Each Action step requires a clear verb to describe what needs doing. For example, replace a vague task like “Write a novel,” with smaller steps like “Write the first chapter,” Research plot ideas,” and “Create character profiles.”


The second component in the Action Method are References, which serve as a repository for all the information related to your projects. Things like notes or sketches or articles or images — are all centrally saved to ensure anything you need is right there at your fingertips. This can be digital tools or physical folders used to organize your references in an accessible way.


The Backburner is the spot to store any ideas or tasks that have potential in the future, but aren’t immediately actionable. Call it the creative reservoir that keeps your mind clear and focused on the tasks at hand. The Backburner ensures you won’t lose valuable concepts for later use.

Implementing the Action Method

With the basic components of the Action Method behind us, let’s explore how to implement it effectively:

Capture Ideas

Whenever and wherever you feel that strike of genius coming on like a lightning bolt, you need to capture it with a method that will work for you. I keep a notepad around; and I use Notion on my laptop…