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 breathe.
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 figure out how to become a CMA.
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. I 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 at 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 did not get from self-study review courses. I also included tools that would’ve helped me tremendously during my test prep.
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.
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 and building a truly successful online test-prep that’s helping so many professionals 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