There are two parts to this process: the invisible and visible.
Rodin once said that sculpture is an art dedicated to holes. What he meant is that great work is invisible: if you are building a technology, or a company, or a product, if it is truly good, then most of the work will not be seen. It’s the stuff that, like dark matter, holds everything else together. You have to dedicate yourself to that.
Second, you have to figure out where you want to be in N amount of time (1 year, 10 years, whatever) and then divide that in half and make sure there are milestones that you can see along the way. I like to have visible deliverables as we work on projects so that we can make sure that we are moving in the direction we want. It’s usually a prototype, but at least that helps us more clearly visualize the work that will be invisible.
This movement from invisible to visible is a path from imagination to market. Like footsteps behind you, 99% of it is invisible.