Circles Of Seven

2024 Circles of Seven Cohort Sponsored By: 

Circles of Seven, or C7TM is a business mentorship program. that is based on the belief that we best learn from each other. By bringing small business owners together and providing a mentor, small businesses can create, grow and prosper.

It also is based on the fact that many small businesses often need somewhere to turn to for basic questions. Many feel alone in their journey through the entrepreneurship wilderness. However, others have gone before them, and their peers often face the same challenges. A C7TM group can provide answers and a support system.

A C7TM  group is open to small businesses that have been in operation for at least 12 months before the date they apply. They must have an organized structure (LLC) and have a product or service they sell. The protege must be either the owner or the highest-level manager who can make decisions about the business operations and finances, and must be solely responsible for the business’s outcome.

Participation is not limited by the size of the business or the years of experience; however, more seasoned business owners may find the discussions rudimentary. If this is the case, you may consider being a Mentor. To inquire about mentoring contact Ann  Flad-Jesion at

C7TM is designed to provide assistance and mentoring to ongoing businesses. If you are a start-up or just considering a business idea, this program is not for you, inquire about one of our Entrepreneurial Boot Camps or Entrepreneurial Training Program instead.  This is not for you if you participate in a multi-level sales organization.

The discussion at each C7TM meeting varies, but the common thread is the topic for the month. Meetings last, at a minimum, 90 minutes. Before each meeting participants will receive information on the topic of the month. There will also be some reading assignments, videos, or other information to digest. Proteges are expected to be prepared and read and engage with the material.

During the meeting, there will be time to discuss the topic for the month and anything the resources may have sparked. The group is then encouraged to broach any subjects they are currently dealing with. 

The C7TM meeting is less about homework assignments and more about talking, learning, and supporting each other. Think of it as a hyper-intense networking event that supports your business needs. 

The cohort runs for nine months. It will run roughly along a school year schedule, from September through May.

At the beginning of the season, the entire cohort will come together in a kickoff event and receive their mentor assignments. At that meeting, mentors and proteges will receive a standard set of guidelines on how the cohort will run. Mentors will have already received their training.

At the end of the season, the entire cohort will come together for a graduation event. All proteges get a certificate of achievement indicating the successful completion of the program. Friends, family and mentors will all rejoice and cheer for the perseverance and dedication of each of the proteges and recognize the contributions of the Mentors.

To be part of the program, a ONE TIME fee of $95.00  is invoiced. The investment in your future is due before the kickoff event. 

The place and time of your meeting is one of the first things your circle will decide as a group. Many groups meet at the mentors’ place of business. Others might meet in a public library meeting room, or Progress Lakeshore’s conference room. 

Monthly Curriculum-

You have embarked on the journey of starting your own business. Now, it’s time for some introspection about the first couple of years, identifying areas where you require support, and assessing the resources at your disposal. You will explore the potential for growth while introducing your business to the group. During this session, we’ll candidly discuss both the positive aspects and challenges you’ve encountered along the way.

Managing Time – This session focuses on the concept of work-life balance and the art of setting priorities. The discussion will revolve around helping business owners effectively address the numerous challenges and demands they encounter as entrepreneurs.

Funding your Business – Whether you’re currently operational but struggling with weak or non-existent cash flow, or experiencing success and seeking significant expansion, the question remains: how do you navigate these situations? This session will explore strategies for managing such challenges. You will delve into the topic of securing external sources of funding and investment, considering options such as equity, loans, and other forms of assistance to support your business growth.

Do you have a handle on all aspects of your financials? This crucial session revolves around comprehensive finance management, encompassing revenue, expenditures, invoicing, discounting, and various strategic approaches. Unlike funding discussions, this session focuses on the importance of meticulous financial tracking and effective financial strategies to optimize your business’s financial health.

How are you attracting your customers? Are referrals and word-of-mouth playing a significant role? In this discussion, you will explore various marketing and public relations strategies to help you enhance your business growth, covering a wide range of effective methods to connect with your target audience and boost your revenue.

This session delves into the ways social media can elevate your business. Building upon previous discussions about marketing and promotion, as well as topics like branding and communication, you will explore how effectively leveraging social media can have a profound impact on your business’s success.

Transitioning from a one-person operation to building a team requires careful consideration and effective hiring strategies. Whether you’ve experienced this process before or not, this session focuses on the hiring process, common pitfalls to avoid, and best practices for conducting interviews. You will explore valuable insights and techniques to successfully bring new team members on board and build a strong workforce for your business.

Having acquired additional support, you find yourself responsible for managing people, resources, and vendors to achieve your business goals. In this discussion, the spotlight will be on fostering the right culture within your organization and mastering the art of effective leadership. Explore valuable insights and strategies to create a positive and productive work environment, enabling you to excel as a leader and guide your team towards success.

Discover the realm of new possibilities! Whether it’s introducing new services, innovative products, or seizing unforeseen opportunities, this session explores the dynamics of adapting to unexpected circumstances like regulatory changes, recessions, and pandemics. Engage in discussions on effective pivoting strategies and the process of reinventing products and services to navigate challenges and embrace growth in an ever-changing business landscape.

Reflecting on the key takeaways; how has your business evolved? Are there areas that require further assistance? Based on the knowledge gained throughout this session, what action plans will you now put into motion? This summation of the session encourages introspection and decision-making based on the insights gained, paving the way for future actions and improvements in your entrepreneurial journey.

*Curriculum is subject to change. 

The Details:

Cost: One time $95 fee
Frequency: Meets once a month for nine months. 

To be considered for the C7 program, you must complete an application to ensure that you are a suitable fit for a C7 group. If you are  accepted, you will receive an email containing further details and an invoice for the program fee of $95.00.

Have questions? Email Ann Flad-Jesion at for more information.

C7 Protege Application
Can we text you about meeting notices and other important information about the meeting?

Emergency Contact


Describe Your Business.

What are the top three goals for your company/business?

Describe the top three obstacles/challenges you are currently facing.

Why do you want to participate in C7?

Can you devote 90 minutes a month to meet as part of the program?