67: Making Ideas Happen – Featured Interview with guest expert Scott Belsky

Scott Belsky, Founder and CEO of Behance and Bestselling Author

>>> Visit MyQuestforTheBest.com  for complete show notes and more expert advice and inspiring stories to propel your small business growth. My Quest for the Best is a top-rated small business podcast with over 300 episodes of thought-provoking and insightful interviews with today’s top thought leaders and business experts. Host Bill Ringle’s mission with this show is to provide the strategies, insights, and resources that will unlock the growth potential of your business through these powerful conversations.

Interview Insights

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How Scott’s book, Making Things Happen, helps his company reach and engage new audiences.
  • How to create a live event program with a waiting list of hundreds of creative professionals.
  • How Scott busted the top 5 myths about how to make creative ideas really happen.
  • What creative people need to make their ideas happen.
  • Why it’s important to optimize your best skills.

Read the Show Notes from this Episode

  • 1:22 “Behance started from this obsession of mine which was helping organize and get the creative world in order a little bit. I just was very frustrated by the fact that so many creative people and teams that I knew were writing screenplays, working on books, thinking of business they wanted to start. They would talk about what they wanted to do, and they would talk about it again, and then talk about it again…”
  • 2:06 How Belsky formulated his plan for creating Behance.
  • 2:28 “I realized there was room for a business with a mission to organize the creative world.”
  • 3:05 “Once you have an idea and you’re thinking ‘Now what?’ That’s really where I’m interested.”
  • 3:50 Belsky tells about the 99% Conference and its purpose in helping creative people execute ideas.
  • 4:30 [Measuring the effectiveness of the 99% conference] – “Each conference we ask people to write down ideas that they’re really hoping to complete, and then we follow up a year later and hold them accountable and ask them their progress.”
  • 5:38 “There’s a shared need that people have to be accountable to their ideas and to work on the execution.”
  • 6:01 “The biggest myth is that ideas happen because they’re great or by accident. People think that the better the idea is the more chance of it coming to market. But we know that there’s no such correlation.”
  • 6:30 Ideas come into being because they are executed, not always because they are great.
  • 6:40 [On organization] – “How do you manage your energy on a daily basis? Do you run too many meetings? What do you do in your meetings to make sure that they’re actionable.”
  • 7:12 “When something that you are trying to do is working out for you, you focus on things that need to be fixed rather than optimizing things that are working. The most effective creative leaders in the world are constantly optimizing the way that they work and the way that they do things, because that’s really what they recognize as their competitive advantage.”
  • 8:14 The story of a LA designer and how Behance accelerated his career.
  • 9:27 How Belsky has used the platform to develop and showcase his own work.
  • 9:36 “We built the Behance network as a platform to showcase and discover creative work. And we think it doesn’t only appeal to the people who create the work, but also the people who want to discover it.”
  • 10:10 “The book has just been an incredible way to open the doors to large organizations who may find some of our technology too forward-thinking, may not be really ready for some of the things we’re trying to do in the creative industry, but all share the desire to help their creative people who they currently employ execute more effectively.”
  • 11:18 Why it’s a bit unnerving to have your thoughts in print.
  • 11:30 “As an entrepreneur who’s trying to change the mindset of an industry, it’s very helpful to have the credibility that comes along with writing and being able to speak about what you write about in front of tens of thousands of people.”
  • 11:58 Belsky describes the ups and downs of a writing process.
  • 13:30 “The book has been a great calling card for our business to reach out to all different types of people and build credibility, and to engage new sorts of customers. And most importantly, it’s about our message.
  • 13:50 “We wanted to be a media-agnostic business. While most companies say they’re a technology company or a paper company or a consulting company or a conference company, we didn’t want to be about our medium, we wanted to be about our mission, which was to help empower and organize creative people to make ideas happen.”
  • 14:45 “I have an incredible team of people, [I had] no real expertise in the areas of design or technology prior to starting this 5 years ago. And the people that I surround myself with every day now are the people who taught me everything I know.”
  • 15:42 “I think deciding which things to do first – prioritization is always a real challenge in a business like ours with so many creative people and so many things we want to do.”
  • 16:16 “I think in the technology business there’s no idle moment. Everything is changing at light speed around you, and you just have to really try to keep up.”
  • 17:09 “Twitter is a great way of following curators.”

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Expert Bio

Scott Belsky believes that the greatest breakthroughs across all industries are a result of creative people and teams that are especially productive, and has therefore committed his professional life to help organize creative individuals, teams, and networks.

Scott is the founder and CEO of Behance, a company that develops products and services for creative industries. These include The 99%, Behance’s think tank and annual conference devoted to execution in the creative world; Action Method, a popular online/mobile productivity application and line of organizational paper products; and the Creative’s Outfitter, which distributes a selection of products that help organize creative people and teams.

Through his work at Behance, Scott has become an advocate for technology and community initiatives that empower the careers of creative professionals and help businesses leverage the creative potential of their people. He has worked with leading media and Fortune 500 companies, including GE and Hewlett-Packard. He has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek and has shared Behance’s research in segments on ABC News, MSNBC, and with the United States State Department and CIA. Scott has also guest lectured at Cornell University, Harvard University, VCU Brand Center, and UC Berkeley among other institutions, and serves as a small business expert on American Express’ Open Forum website. In 2010, Scott was included in Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” list.

Scott is also the author of the best-selling book Making Ideas Happen.

Contact Info for Scott Belsky

Resources Mentioned

Below are key people, places, books, quotes, websites, and other resources that we discussed so you can explore further.

Books by Scott Belsky


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