Become a CMA and Travel the World

How to become a CMA

Before Earning My CMA Designation

For many years, I worked long hours as a Staff Accountant feeling like a failure. Because all my friends were getting promotions while I wasn’t doing anything that had a real impact.

At the time, I was drowning in debt so my complete focus was on moving up the ranks into management accounting as fast as I could. Only getting a 2% cost-of-living raise a year as a Staff Accountant was not cutting it.

I remember going to the local grocery store, piling boxes upon boxes of frozen meals in my shopping cart. I call those days my Lean Cuisine years because that’s all I could afford to eat. Most of my hard earned money went to pay off my student loans, car loan, and other debt that racked up over the years.

I never stayed with the same company for more than a year. After a year, I’d find another job that paid just a bit more. Just a little more so I could breath.

One day, it dawned on me that I should get some type of credential to become more competitive in the marketplace.

Was the CPA License the Answer?

So I looked into the CPA because it was the license most accountants consider after college. The compensation was appealing and job opportunities were many.

But after digging deeper and asking friends who were CPAs, I learned that they worked super long hours and were not happy with auditing or taxes. These two areas didn’t call my attention anyways so it was confirmation that the CPA was not the right path for me.

Perhaps the CMA Designation Instead?

So then I kept looking and found the Certified Management Accountant, CMA, designation. I never heard of this designation in college so I wasn’t sure about its value in the job marketplace.

But I did more digging and found out that CMAs were earning over $100,000 per year! That in itself was proof of the perceived value of this designation. Companies were paying that much to professionals who had the CMA designation.

To climb out of debt, cement my management accountant status, and make a difference as a key decision maker instead of just taking orders, I had to first become a CMA.

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And a huge plus was that all the topics tested on the exam were exactly what I was inclined to learn. I wanted to learn how to be an A player as a Management Accountant and the CMA was exactly what I needed.

Little did I know that the CMA would transform my life in more ways than one.

Become a CMA and Transform Your Life

After earning my CMA designation, my boss promoted me to Corporate Controller which completely changed my life.

For starters, I began to make a difference in my company as a key decision maker.  Also began earning 6 figures as a CMA which allowed me to pay off my debt, buy my first house, finally have a serious savings account, and the one thing that it also made possible for me – travel the world!

After passing the 2-part CMA exam on my first try, I thought it was the end of my studies. I could finally focus on my career as a Corporate Controller and continue to make a difference in my company.

But something happened along the way.

I learned that the global pass rate of the CMA exam was an abysmal 35%! How could that be?

I passed both exams on my first try so I must’ve done something right” I thought to myself. So in that moment made the decision to share what I had done during my test prep to help others pass on their first try too.

The Birth of CMA Coach and CMA Exam Academy

That’s when I launched my passion project, CMA Coach.

CMA Coach quickly became the go-to online resource for professionals looking to become a CMA.

A year later, I was flooded with emails from fans asking me to teach them the CMA subject matter because they appreciated my style of teaching and needed something other than a self study course.

Long story short, I launched CMA Exam Academy with their feedback and included everything they kept asking for and were not getting from self-study review courses. I also included tools that would’ve helped me tremendously during my test prep.

Remote Work

Since the launch, I’ve been able to replace my income from my corporate job which then allowed me to work remotely and travel the world – all while helping CMA candidates study for the CMA exam.

I’ve been to Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas for a total of 18 months on the road, thus fulfilling my dream of traveling the world as a location independent entrepreneur.

And because of my travels, I met the love of my life in Bulgaria. We are now engaged and planning our wedding for Spring of 2019.

Like the late Steve Jobs once said:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever”.

Looking back, I can connect the CMA designation to my dream of traveling the world, meeting my future wife and building a truly successful online test-prep that’s helping so many around the world pass the CMA exam.

Out of desperation, I looked for a solution to my debt-filled life – to become a CMA. Not fully knowing if it would help me, my gut told me to go for it.  Looking back, this one decision changed my life for the better in more ways than one.

What Is Your Ultimate Dream?

It may seem impossible to connect the CMA to that dream of yours. It may seem ridiculous to think about it even.

But I challenge you to trust your gut and your instincts. Mine said to pursue the CMA and so glad I did.

I would’ve never believed if someone said to me a few years ago that in order to reach my ultimate dream of traveling the world, I would first have to become a CMA.

Which path will you choose to reach your ultimate dream? To become a CMA may very well be the first step in the right direction, and I’d love to help.

Thanks for reading

 

 

 

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17 Comments on “Become a CMA and Travel the World”

    1. Absolutely! College students are encouraged to pass the 2-part CMA exam during their last year in college to become more competitive in the job marketplace.

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  2. i am working in MNC as senior system analyst(technical background), And i have completed my graduation in correpondance BCA(computer applicance). I am 30+. Will it useful for me.

    1. i am working in MNC as senior system analyst(technical background), Although i have completed bachelor in BCA(computer applicance). currently I am 30+.

      Will it useful for me.

      1. Hi Ashok,

        Please check this link to check if CMA is the right for you.

        If you are heading towards finance or accounting-related career (CFO, finance or accounting manager, etc.), then, the CMA designation could be a perfect fit.

        Thanks,
        Nathan

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  4. The experience which is required of 2 years for cma certification…. is it mandatory after passing both parts or we can start working before clearing the exams ?
    Can we pass both parts in first attempt?

  5. hi am a person who would like to learn cma but i require help and good training cos many times i appeared for the exam and failed and gave up but i would like to restart cos i know it is needed to built up my career .Please help me achieve my dream .Please let me know i you would provide any discounts too

    1. Hi Asha,

      I’d be more than happy to help. I’ll email you a coupon code that you can use to enroll in our courses. I look forward to coaching you to exam success!

  6. Hi Nathan,

    I am a CPA here in the Philippines. I got my license in 2015 and I have been working in general accounting field for almost 5 years now – over 4 years as a staff accountant and a few months as an accounting supervisor, a position which I just got last March this year. I’m afraid that my college is not on the list of accredited colleges/universities. Am I still qualified to take the CMA (USA) exam? I am dreaming of working in Qatar, UAE or Singapore someday as an accounting manager or controller and I think a CMA designation will greatly help me to achieve it.

    1. Hi Robert,

      Yes, you are still qualified to take the CMA exam. If you cannot locate your college or university on the accredited listing, please send an e-mail ima@imanet.org. They will help you with the verification of your college or university.

      Thanks,
      Nathan

  7. Hello Sir,

    Inspired with ur story of becomin CMA.
    This is Arun from Hyderabad,India.
    I am interested to get certified in CMA as soon as possibe.
    I completed my Graduation under B.Com and pursuing MBA right now.
    Apart from that i worked as a RO at Axis bank but i am fully depressed with my life due to famiy problems financial prob.,
    Now i am free to begin a new career in CMA and settle in my life and make my parents happy with ur support and guidance sir.

    1. Hi Arun! Glad to meet you 🙂

      Happy to help you earn your CMA designation. You can browse the site for courses, tools and exam roadmaps to help you get started.

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