“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”
~ Michael Porter
In this post, I want to discuss the importance of alignment with you. It’s a topic that comes up often in coaching sessions and one that I feel deserves a closer look. I’d love you to take a moment now to consider if these two things are aligned for you in your business.
1. What you are trying to achieve – the desired result.
2. The methods or strategy you are employing to achieve it.
I see it often, I’m in a coaching session with someone and in one breathe they share with me something that they deeply desire for their business and in the next they reveal actions they are taking that, at best won’t have any positive impact on their ability to achieve their desire, and at worst will take them in the opposite direction.
Desire: I want to build an online business so I can run my business from anywhere.
Action: I spend a lot of time going to local networking events.
Can you see how these two are not completely aligned? Creating local contacts is not necessarily going to support you to build an online business. It may not do any harm but it’s probably a waste of time if what you really desire is to work with people online.
A better action would be doing work online that increases your visibility and expands your reach online. Actions such as creating valuable content and sharing it on social media or reaching out to people online to create deeper connections.
Desire: I want to create more clients.
Action: I spend countless hours working on my website copy.
Similar to the first example, the action is not really aligned to the desire. Sure, lots of web designers and brand strategists will tell you that having a beautifully designed and fully optimised website is the way to get more clients but I’m here to tell you that for conscious, service-based businesses like ours, it’s rare that our clients are created because of a website.
A better action would be to reach out to all of your former clients and ask if they know anyone who could benefit from your services and if so, would they be willing to put you in touch (also known as referral marketing which you can read about more in this post). Then show up and give be of service to those people, coach them, offer them a complimentary session, get on a call to find out how you can help them. Trust me, an hour doing this is far more impactful than an hour of tweaking your web copy or design.
The problem here is that we don’t always know if the action we are taking is completely aligned with the goals we have set for ourself but if we don’t, at least, place our conscious attention on trying to figure this out, we’re potentially missing a trick.
So let me ask you this:
Are the actions you’re planning to take today (or this week, month or year) going to move you significantly closer to the thing you desire?
If the answer is anything less than an affirmative yes, then I would encourage you to spend some time today thinking about what actions might be more closely aligned with getting you closer to the achievement of your goals.
I share this because I don’t want to see you wasting your time on actions that don’t 100% support you to achieve your goals and desires. If you’re struggling to know what the most aligned strategy or action to take is, you may want to have a read of another post I wrote titled: The Most Important Action Many New Business Owners Fail to Take.
In my experience, more often than not, fear of taking the appropriate (often more vulnerable and brave) action is behind the misalignment between strategy and goal. Sometimes, we take the actions that we feel comfortable taking and avoid the ones that will really move the needle forward. Ask yourself if the reason you are tinkering on your website rather than getting out and connecting with people is because the latter feels more scary to you? This in itself could be a very eye opening exercise.
Be sure to let me know what comes up for you as you consider this question of alignment. Can you see places where you might be out of alignment when it comes to the activities you are engaging with or do you feel pretty confident that the way you spend your time in your business is what will bring the results you desire? I’d love to know either way, so do share in the comments below.
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