When I first heard the term aligned action, it was in the middle of a coaching session with my first business coach back in 2017. At the time, it was about making big moves and trusting fully in yourself in order
The term still is a bit vague, even to this day.
And in a time where there is so much information about what you should be doing in business, and an overwhelming amount of STUFF that is on your to-do list in the midst of all this, having a clear understanding of what aligned action is, and how it helps deafen the noise of the business space is crucial.
It also helps with setting clear direction in how you will progress your business further, without getting trapped into a never ending cycle of work.
Let’s break this down.
What is Aligned Action?
Funnily enough when I looked up a formal definition for ‘aligning action’, I got back “one that makes questionable behavior acceptable via excuses.” So blaming not getting a job done well on you being sick as an example.
I find that interesting, as the aligned action I am used to hearing about is shedding those excuses and focusing on making actions that fully align with your values.
So here’s a better description for you in relation to how we think about it in the online business space:
What is Aligned Action?
Aligned action is the practice of having your actions dictated by your priorities, your values, and your goals, as it lines up with your long term vision for your business (and life).
For aligned action to work, it would need to be:
Tied to a deeper purpose
Clear on your long-term goals
Now I’m an operations consultant; I work with entrepreneurs across all kinds of industries who have varying degrees of financial success. Do you want to know what they typically see me for?
Trust in Decision Making.
Being able to be ok with the outcome of their decisions, how to know if it’s the ‘right’ one, and how to quickly come to one for their business, their team, and their life.
This is where I see the practice of aligned action be more than a pretty-sounding saying, or something to accompany your manifestation techniques (though they work wonders for that too).
To me, this is the act of creating a business that is built to progress you towards those goals you have for your life, and the action taken is what sets the tone for that path.
Aligned Action vs Detachment
Before we get into aligned action in business, wanted to draw attention to how this connects with detachment. These two go hand in hand with each other but want to share the difference that you’ll want to be aware of.
What is the difference between Aligned Action and Detachment?
Detachment is the art of letting go. It’s unsubscribing from the idea that you can micromanage every outcome in your business; because it’s not possible.
Aligned action is taking action that are in line with your goals, despite not being able to guarantee it.
When you let go of the outcome, the act of aligned action becomes easier, as fear of not being able to reach your goals are not as prevalent. You can simply act in accordance with your priorities, your values, and the pursuit of an outcome. Plus, even in failure, any aligned action is still propelling you to the BIG PICTURE.
Aligned action in your business
So what does this look like when it comes to life and business?
As I mentioned before, aligned action helps mitigate the stress of decision making, but also provides you with an alternative perspective on how you wish to build your business.
Instead of thinking of your business as a forever-running to-do list that is all on you to complete, what if we thought of this from an idea of simplifying?
Aligned action introduces us to a more holistic approach to business, where all aspects of your business are connected. It weeds out additional STUFF that we have picked up from mentors, courses, and other things that may have seemed helpful in the beginning, but don’t fall in line with the overall priorities you have for yourself. This is a normal practice as we start to mature in our business— it’s like removing old clothes from your closet after you outgrow them.
To put this in more practical terms, I think of my own journey in business. Y’all I had an unconventional introduction to entrepreneurship. I left my job as a project manager at a digital marketing agency to travel across the world to live in Australia.
I started my small business in 2019, and for lack of better terms, crashed and burned. I wasn’t making money quickly, I certainly wasn’t seeing the 6-figure year in a year outcome that my peers were, and I ultimately thought I was falling behind. However, I found the pressure from trying to ‘catch up’ to others was what led to me feeling worse about myself.
The actions I was taking were building me up for a greater purpose. I was refining a skill that was long dormant; my gift of mentorship and simplification of concepts. I was building long term relationships with clients who, at the time, couldn’t pay me much, but thanks to the dedication of good work and having a genuine connection with them, I set up long term contracts that would last 4 YEARS later and set a foundation for my operations consultancy that I have now.
Now, I’m not saying every aligned action will lead directly to a result. But taking these actions will never go to waste, as they are building up the foundations of your character, and taking you closer to those goals, however minuscule the step.
Practices to discover what Aligned Action is for you
It starts with grounding. Peel away all the STUFF that you have been told you need to do and re-discover what matters to you in this life.
What are your goals (not just financial, but personal development as well)?
What are your priorities?
What are the boundaries that you won’t cross?
When you look at how you run your business right now, does it align with these things? What have you been doing as of late that is leading you towards or away from these?
You can make this as macro or as granular as you like. It could be monitoring what you say against these values, or as big as evaluating your business operations to see if they give you time to pursue these things. That’s typically where someone like me comes in.
My biggest takeaway from this whole dive into aligned action has been that aligned action isn’t so much a tool to help you reach a singular financial goal. Your goals, and your vision for a lifestyle are so much more than a dollar sign. And if we looked at aligned action from a means of how the sum of our actions leads to those nuanced, non-quantifiable longings, how would that change the way we run business now?
When actions in our business are based on our core values alone, we avoid falling into a trap of doing a lot of work, without seeing any progress towards the life you are wanting to live.
A great place to start in seeing how aligned your current business actions are with your goals is doing an audit. Beyond looking at financial spreadsheets and profit margins, measuring your current operations against the core priorities, values and goals you have is a must. You can download a free guide on how to conduct one here:
I live in Melbourne, Australia, but I’m from the States (Washingtonian through and through). I’m a cat-mom, wifey, and in love with a good workflow; it gives me that warm, fuzzy, Christmastime feeling. My goal is to help hard-working service providers stop having to choose between creativity and productivity to build a successful, sustainable business.