Circle of Success – Frequently Asked Questions

As you consider joining the Circle of Success coaching program (enrollment closes on July 7, 2020), 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® or both?

The Business Analyst Blueprint® 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 ongoing on-the-job implementation support of the business analysis skills you have, so you can apply them effectively and optimize your skillset as you face new challenges.

Most of the members of the Circle of Success have some business analysis (or related) training – whether from Bridging the Gap or other providers – or are actively part of one of our online training programs.

We’ve had many participants participate in both the Circle of Success and The Business Analyst Blueprint® together to accelerate their professional success. Check our Kira’ Judge’s case study for an example.

If you can only choose one and do not have any business analysis training, choose to join us for the next session of The Business Analyst Blueprint®, and then plan to join the Circle of Success at the conclusion of the program.

What is the time commitment?

First of all – and let’s be absolutely clear about this – the program is designed to save you time. Just imagine the time 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!

How many members are included in a session?

We do not have a limit on the number of members in a session or in the Circle of Success. In fact, the more the Circle expands, the stronger it gets.

Just imagine being in a community of growth-oriented professionals where no matter what challenge you are facing, you are not alone. That’s what you are joining in the Circle of Success.

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.

How is the Circle of Success different from the other BA training programs you offer?

Bridging the Gap offers online training in business analysis skills, and these courses are designed to teach you critical business analysis techniques. As part of a course, you receive individual feedback on the material covered in the course, the opportunity to have an instructor answer questions about the course materials, and an expert review of your completed workbook.

Inside the Circle of Success, you can receive coaching on a wider range of business analysis topics. This can include additional questions related to the course(s) you may have participated in with us, but it is not limited to the content of the courses. We cover all aspects of business analysis (+other project-related professions), career strategy, and even how to achieve more success when it comes to your personal goals as well.

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, July 9, 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.

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.
  • 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 the payment up across 2 or more 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 – The new year 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 during this time.

The next Key Success Factors Intensive starts July 9, 2020.

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 January 2021, but this is not guaranteed.