Circle of Success – Frequently Asked Questions

As you consider joining the Circle of Success coaching program, you may have some questions. What follows is our answers to your most frequently asked questions.

How often is the individual coaching and career support given?

As often as you need it! There is no limit to how many questions you can ask. On-the-job coaching happens in our private Slack channel which is open around the clock. You can expect to receive coaching several times each week, unless there is a pre-announced vacation or business travel.

Additional live coaching happens on the monthly live teaching webinars and during group coaching sessions.

Is this just for going to the next level, or can I ask questions about my current role too?

The coaching is not limited to specific types of questions or challenges. You can ask any questions related to your business analysis career and/or professional project work, whether that’s how to handle a challenging stakeholder, how to prepare for an upcoming job interview, or negotiate your salary.

What’s more, we’ve had great discussions on topics beyond a direct BA context as well, such as the pros and cons of changing locations, changing companies, and maintaining energy during the winter season.

In essence, we come together because of our shared interest in business analysis, but we don’t allow that to limit our discussions.

I would like more clarity on how the coaching works. Is it 1-1 time with you or 100% group?

In order to maintain an investment-level that is practical for business analysts, the coaching is individualized in a group setting – so you can post your questions and challenges and receive personal, individualized feedback on whatever you are facing. But this does not include 1-1 time with Laura or a coach.

The coaching happens in our private Slack workspace which is only for Circle of Success members and on our monthly group coaching Zoom sessions.

One thing to highlight is that the Circle of Success is an incredibly supportive group. And everyone is grateful for the questions others ask, as it helps them learn as well. This is a judgment-free zone, and maintaining this culture in the Circle is a top priority.

Should I join the Circle of Success or The Business Analyst Blueprint® certification program or both?

The Business Analyst Blueprint® certification program provides in-depth skill-based training. This program teaches you how to use the most relevant and necessary techniques for business analysts. This program is relevant to newer business analysts, those seeking to start business analyst careers, and experienced business analysts who have never had any skill-based training.

The Circle of Success is where I teach next-level career and mindset strategies and is for those who already have the foundational business analysis skills in place, either by participating in The Business Analyst Blueprint® or through extensive on-the-job experience.

What is the time commitment?

First of all – and let’s be absolutely clear about this – the program is designed to save you time and free up your energy. Just imagine the time (and energy) you can save when you stop overthinking and re-thinking decisions because you receive expert guidance on exactly how to handle a specific situation. That’s the power of this coaching program.

From there, yes, you do want to plan some time to take advantage of the teachings and invest in the community.

Check out Kenji’s success story for further insights on how you can free up time for what matters most.

  • That being said, you’ll get the most out of the Key Success Factors Intensive when you can invest a few hours each week for the first few weeks when you first start the coaching program.
  • From that point forward, engaging in the teachings and group coaching calls is a matter of a few hours each month.

And all the material is recorded and replays are available, plus coaching to support you wherever you are on your journey. There is never any “falling behind.” You choose a path and time investment that best supports where you are at in your life and career.

Finally, because time can be such a challenge, when you join the Circle of Success, you’ll receive immediate access to our Einstein Time teaching, which helps you almost magically create more time in your day. This might sound a little too good to be true but our current members will tell you this works!

What are the participants’ backgrounds? Are they mostly your BA students?

We have a mix of past course participants and those who are only part of the Circle of Success, and also a variety of different career levels, from pursuing a BA career to more senior-level BAs expanding into a variety of leadership opportunities.

  • Most of our members are in hybrid roles (where they are also doing testing, training, and/or project management).
  • Many are on agile teams.
  • Many are outside the U.S., including Canada, Denmark, Australia – just to name a few countries.

What brings us together is our passion for business-focused analysis, growing personally and professionally, and being part of a community of like-minded professionals.

I’m a project manager. Should I join the Circle of Success?

We definitely have active members who are in project management or hybrid PM/BA types of roles and can support you in both areas with professional on-the-job coaching.

One really important thing I want to emphasize is that the program itself doesn’t assume any pre-conceived notions of what the “right” balance of responsibilities is for a specific individual, or how organizations “should” be structured when it comes to project management and business analysis roles.

Instead, we help you look at the responsibilities you have, how they are serving you (and your organization) and take steps that open up the opportunities you most want to go after. This is one of the many ways that we individualize the coaching, and ensure we’re helping you achieve your version of success.

I am interested in the Circle of Success.  The live teachings are what interest me. When are they held?

The live teachings are on the third Thursday of each month at 3 PM Eastern and the group coaching sessions are on the first Thursday of each month at 3 PM Eastern. We do have to change them from time to time but do our best to hold this time each month. Recordings are available if you cannot attend live.

The Program Kick-Off session is Thursday, January 21, 2021, at 3 PM Eastern.

What is your cancellation policy?

If you find the Circle of Success is not a good fit for you, just let us know within 14 days and we’ll refund your annual payment or first payment of the payment plan option. Subsequent payments on the payment plan are non-refundable.

Can you offer a different payment plan?

No. The Circle of Success coaching program is an annual commitment. The 6 month payment plan is designed to offer a way to spread out the financial investment in the program while still ensuring everyone who joins is invested and committed for the full year.

What happens next year?

The Circle of Success is an annual membership program and you’ll be provided with an option to renew once your 12-month membership period is up.

I’d love to join, but I’m having trouble with the financing. How can I make this work?

When I make investments like this in myself, what I’m always looking for is the ROI – or Return on Investment. How will I receive this investment back, and ideally, multiply it? Some ways you can multiply your investment in the Circle of Success coaching program include:

  • Short-term salary increases by advancing your skillset and gaining recognition for your work. (We even have a Salary Negotiation teaching in our Success Library for you.)
  • Increasing your long-term salary potential – an increase now leads to more increases later, and a stronger base for future increases. (Discover how Tracie Edwards received a 30K salary increase.)
  • Opening up opportunities for additional income, like speaking, courses, side projects, and books – many of our members are exploring opportunities they weren’t even giving voice to before they joined the program.

And there are some creative ways to make the funding work. Here are 5 creative ways to gain funding for your professional development.

  1. Side projects – The very first new member of our Circle of Success in 2020 got word of a new side project materializing and decided to allocate those funds to further grow herself this year. How could you take on side work or a side project?
  2. PayPal financing – In addition to all major credit cards, we do accept payments via PayPal, and PayPal offers financing options that are interest-free for 6 months. (Click here to learn more about those options.) Once you set up access to PayPal credit, you can choose to pay by “PayPal” on our order form.
  3. Use multiple credit cards – We sometimes find participants have the credit but need to break up the payment using 2 different cards. We’re happy to help you make this happen. Email my team with the details about your specific situation, and our customer support team will do what they can to make the logistics work out.
  4. Sell something – This is a great time to declutter. What could you let go of, repurpose, or sell? For example, one of our members funded his investment by selling old racing gear on eBay that he hadn’t used in years.
  5. Employer funding – It never hurts to ask if your employer could fund a training opportunity. Your participation in the Circle of Success will help your projects go more smoothly. Yes, that gains you recognition, but it’s also a huge benefit to your employer.

What’s more, a lot of employers these days are looking for ways to invest in the “growth mindset” of their employees – because they know these principles have practical, actionable value and a ripple effect throughout the organization. And that’s what the Circle of Success is all about.

Here’s a full tutorial on gaining funding for training from your employer:

https://www.bridging-the-gap.com/funding-for-training/

Do you have to start on a specific date, or can you join when you are ready?

We open enrollment and welcome new members into the Circle of Success twice per year. This allows us to build a true community and not have members joining and leaving on a monthly basis, and it also allows us to onboard all new members together so we are working from a consistent foundation.

All members start the program by going through the Key Success Factors Intensive, so they build a solid foundation in the core concepts that guide our community in terms of career strategy and success mindset. The teachings are pre-recorded, so you can go through them as it works into your schedule. Additional coaching inside our private Slack community is available during this time.

The next Key Success Factors Intensive starts on January 21, 2021.

This isn’t a good time for me to join. Will you be running the program again?

 We anticipate opening the enrollment to the Circle of Success again in July 2021, but this is not guaranteed.