Emotional, personal, and financial surprises lie ahead

Connect with like-minded Jump By Design entrepreneurs and let your new peer group be your secret weapon in tackling what’s ahead

Let’s Make Sure We Understand A Bit About You

You are here because you are part of the Jump By Design community and you're interested in working with other business owners so that you can grow both personally and professionally. If we’ve understood correctly, you are a good candidate for Jump By Design Circles:

  • You are a motivated, self-starting entrepreneur over the age of 40
  • You are a learner, always looking for ways to do things better
  • Running your business means problem solving, making decisions and learning-by-doing on a daily basis
  • Being a boss and a human being at the same time is not always easy
  • It can be challenging to balance your life outside of work with your role at work
  • You think it would be helpful to connect with others that have experience with the same challenges

What Is A Circle?

A circle is a carefully matched and guided group of 6-8 peers. Keep reading and we’ll tell you why so many entrepreneurs have peer groups. And we’ll explain how it works and what’s involved. Then the next step will be for you to take five minutes to apply so that we can try to match you with other members of the Jump By Design community.

You might want to start with this 60-second video.

How Do Jump By Design Circles Work?

A circle is a group of people who are carefully matched to pursue shared goals. Each circle has a guide who shows you how to run a meeting, set goals and learn from each other. Eventually, they fade into the background as your group bonds.

  • Meet online once every two weeks for 60-90 minutes in the private video room
  • Learn some rules and norms that make the meetings both structured and impactful
  • Continue to connect in between meetings through a private online forum
  • Pursue a theme together like “growing a business”
  • Share and continually refine individual goals within the theme
  • Complete short online activities to build key skills for professional and personal learning
  • Maintain confidentiality to encourage deep conversations

Why Do So Many Business Leaders Have Peer Groups?

Over 100,000 CEOs and business owners spend more than a day each month with forums organized by Young President’s Organization, Entrepreneur’s Organization, Vistage and similar organizations. These groups cost $5,000 to $10,000 a year and up. Why?

Peer groups help members solve problems, save them from reinventing wheels, and amplify knowledge and networks. A peer group becomes something like workout buddies so you can overcome obstacles, stick with a program, and sustain change. Even though we are linked to more people than ever, we are increasingly isolated. Confiding in a group of peers is fulfilling even as it is worthwhile. It can connect friendship, learning, and earning.

What Will You Get Out of This?

Here are a few likely outcomes:

  • Improved skill in the nuts and bolts of running a business such as coaching, recruiting, setting goals, building relationships, motivation, handling conflict
  • A personal advisory board of experienced peers who help solve problems
  • New approaches to learning that will help you master skills
  • A confidential forum to discuss issues you can’t comfortably share with colleagues or even family and friends
  • Positive peer pressure to help you follow through and complete goals
  • Access to diverse viewpoints about your most important challenges
  • Deep new relationships that will become important to your personal network
  • Improvement with storytelling, listening, feedback, learning, problem-solving, and other “soft” skills

Who Will Your Peers Be?

Any entrepreneur over the age of 40 in the Jump Be Design community can apply for this circle. You must be committed to learning and growing as a business owner, have an open mind, and be willing to dedicate time and effort to improving skills. We match based on age, experience, type of company and other factors. Feeling like you are in a group with peers makes it easy to build rapport and respect quickly. But we do work to balance commonality with diversity. Diverse experiences fuel learning and give you the benefit of ideas you may not have had without different points of view.

We also try to find peers with common goals so that your circle is likely to find value in staying together over time. The longer you are together, the deeper your conversations will go. You may change themes together and explore new topics but you won't have to incur the cost of getting to know an entirely new group of people. We are always looking at other factors that make a match work. In fact, we will not offer you a circle unless it exceeds our standards. Otherwise, it isn’t worth the time for either of us!

What Are The Topics?

The common theme is “growing a business." Within a theme, each learner will have their own personal challenges and goals. Sometimes, a circle decides to sign up for external courses that have a fixed curriculum. But more often, the group will create the curriculum in real-time to address common or specific challenges. Members share resources with each other in a private online forum. And the guide and Circles team share pieces of content relevant to your issues.

This is not about academic learning. You work on real challenges, professional and personal. You will learn how to do things better, ways to move quicker and how to get more done with less trial and error. And by applying best practices from learning science, we will help make sure that the skills and learnings you cover stick.

To be more specific, it is likely that your circle will cover topics like how to make problem solve in the moment and make long-term strategic decisions. How do you set good goals? Delegate? How can you manage work/life balance for yourself and your team? What are ways to improve productivity?

Over time, some circles move together into new but related themes like communication skills, giving presentations, storytelling, persuasion or active listening. The list goes on: strategy, design thinking, popular technologies, negotiations and more.

How Much Does It Cost?

You are eligible to join Jump By Design Circles at absolutely no cost at all during 2016. We have not set pricing for future Circles, but we are working hard to make it both low-cost and impactful. The cost will be about 1/20th of the approximately $10,000 that CEOs pay for YPO – around $49/month. Think of it as a training expense. After all, your personal growth has a multiplier impact on your company.

The Team, Science and Philosophy Behind Circles

Circles is part of a new movement in training. To sum it up, the idea is that we learn better in circles than in rows. Daniel Hoffman, WIBO Board Chairman and Henry Crown Fellow at The Aspen Institute, started Circles as a new company to figure out how the power of peer learning can scale. He recruited some help.

Nielson’s Chief Neuroscientist Carl Marci brings neuroscience-based learning techniques and recent research showing how adults can rewire their surprisingly plastic brains.

Chess champion and martial arts champion Josh Waitzkin blends this science with the practical wisdom he gained from achieving top performance in two diverse disciplines.

Motorola’s legendary Chief Learning Officer Bill Wiggenhorn and founder of University of Pennsylvania’s Chief Learning Officer Master’s Degree Program Doug Lynch add expertise in how modern corporations can leapfrog schools in applying these techniques.

Verne Harnish, founder of peer-group focused EO, is a leader in learning for businesses that are scaling up fast. Charles Fadell, based at the Harvard Ed School, author of “21st Century Skills” and “4-Dimensional Learning” has contributed a framework to target the truly impactful skills that translate into success.

Mo Fathelbab, author of Forum: The Secret Advantage of Leaders, Shirzad Chamine, author of Positive Intelligence, and Kayley Klemp, author of Drama-Free Office are all collaborating to hone the Circles peer discussion processes.

Philip Schmidt of MIT Media Lab, has demonstrated at P2P University how peer groups can raise the completion rates of online courses from 3% to over 50%.

Sean Duffy, CEO of Omada Health, places thousands of diagnosed pre-diabetic patients in peer groups each week. In double-blind studies,Sean has proven that peer groups are more effective than any other treatment on the market to produce the behavioral changes needed to prevent diabetes.

We have many other sources of inspiration including social learning, active learning, communities of practice, the Harkness Method, and the list goes on. Our philosophy is to share what we are learning openly, in the hopes of contributing to a transformational update to training systems around the world – helping individuals achieve their full potential in order to meet humanity’s increasing challenges.

  • Carl Marci

    Brain science PhD, Entrepreneur, Philosopher

  • Kaley Klemp

    Small-group dynamics and leadership development expert

  • Philipp Schmidt

    Peer group and learning innovation, MIT Media Lab

  • Verne Harnish

    EO Founder, Entrepreneur, Bestseller, Scale up expert

Get Started!

Are you ready to connect with like-minded Jump By Design entrepreneurs to grow your business? Answer a few basic questions and we will get back to you as soon as we have matched you with a peer circle.