Creative thinkers often also builders, but why is that?

The reasoning is simple enough:  innovation means to understand and express novel connections between ideas.

It's that second part, about expression, that many people tend to overlook when they think about what it means to be creative.

You might think that having good ideas is what makes a person creative, but unless you can express your ideas in a way that others can see, feel, taste, hear, or more clearly imagine, you're not really going to do much with those ideas--no matter how big or small.

Creativity without action isn't innovation, it's simply imagination. The most impactful creativity is the kind that moves ideas forward.

To turn your ideas into more than imaginative constructs, you have to transform them into something more tangible. What form your ideas take doesn't matter nearly as much as the ability to present them to others. To quote author and designer Frank Chimero:

"If ideas go anywhere, it is because other people carry them."

Today, the tools you can use to make your ideas into formats others can carry are more readily available than any other time in history. Here are just a few you should consider using if you haven't yet:

1. Upwork

If you have an idea that's ready to turn into something more tangible, but you aren't certain as to how to go about it, Upwork.com is the network for you. The site connects you with freelance professionals in many different arenas; from architectural blue printing and business planning, to cost analysis and 3D modeling. Just enter a few details about your idea and what you're looking for, give the gig a budget, and you'll start getting freelancers ready and willing to work on bringing your idea into reality almost immediately.

2. Shapeways

If you aren't at all familiar with 3D printing, Shapeways.com makes it almost too easy. Upload a 3D model (which you can hire a modeler from Upwork to create for you, or hire one right from the Shapeways site), select what physical material you want your work printed from, pay a nominal fee, and within a few days you can have a real product prototype in your hands.

It's these two first tools which allowed Tom Gerhardt and Dan Provost to famously create their small company, Studio Neat. Despite never having launched a product before, the two Brooklyn friends ended up conceptualizing, doodling, 3D printing, and manufacturing one of the first ever smart phone tripod adapters in a matter of months.

3. Lulu

Lulu.com is one of the most prized, hidden gems of the writing world. The site offers DIY tools that can help you structure and publicize your work. Whether you're looking to get a full-length novel or book of your poems into book stores and onto the shelves of sites like Amazon, or just wanting to publish a physical manuscript of technical documentation or business guidelines, Lulu has the resources to help you do it in no time.

4. Alibaba

Alibaba.com is the world's largest supplier of...well, anything. In-case you didn't already know: the site hosts more supply than Amazon and eBay combined. Just search the site for pre-existing products or supply partners (being sure to select the "Assested Supplier" option in the right-hand side of the filters) and you'll get a list of reliable parts and product suppliers across the globe.

Alibaba is how the small team at NeedWant were able to take their need of a thin, beautiful iPhone cover and turn it into a profitable business selling the most popular iPhone case in the world.