I’m Doing This for Me: How Isabel Passed Her CPA Exams

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In this SuperfastCPA Podcast episode, you’ll hear Isabel’s CPA story about digging deep to find the motivation to finish the CPA exams.


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Episode Timestamps

  • 0:00 Isabel Interview Podcast
  • 04:22 Listening to SuperfastCPA Podcast When Feeling Down
  • 06:00 The Start of Isabel’s CPA Journey
  • 07:01 Isabel’s CPA Journey Before SuperfastCPA
  • 09:36 Taking the CPA Exams After College
  • 12:21 Passed BEC After Getting SuperfastCPA
  • 14:02 Deciding to Sign Up for the Coaching Program
  • 15:51 The Audio Notes Allowed Isabel to Do the Things Important to Her
  • 17:47 The Biggest Challenge Was Getting Myself to Study
  • 19:35 The Things Isabel Had to Change in Her Daily Process
  • 21:33 A Big Mindset Shift
  • 23:07 Journaling to Cope With Her Feelings
  • 26:47 Writing a Letter to Herself for Motivation
  • 28:12 Isabel’s Daily Study Routine
  • 29:39 Writing Down Everything You Know Helped Isabel Relieve Stress
  • 31:24 Adjusting Her Weekly Schedule
  • 33:49 Each Person’s Journey is Their Own
  • 35:23 Putting On the Audio Notes for a Walk
  • 36:22 The Struggle With REG and What Isabel Did to Overcome it
  • 39:37 No One Really Understands Unless They Go Through It
  • 40:43 How Isabel Utilized Flashcards in Her CPA Study
  • 43:23 One Thing Isabel Wished She Would’ve Known Earlier
  • 44:59 Going Through The CPA Exams Became a Transformative Experience
  • 47:34 How It Felt Before and After Finishing the CPA Exams
  • 49:53 Studying Early in the Morning and Mini Sessions Throughout the Day
  • 53:18 Passing is the Best Thing That Ever Happened
  • 56:00 Telling Her Grandma She Passed
  • 57:09 Listening to the Podcast is Inspirational
  • 58:13 Isabel’s Biggest Takeaway
  • 01:00:07 Choosing This Path and Not Giving Up

Interview Transcript

Isabel: [00:00:00] Like at this point, it’s something that I’ve been struggling with for such a long time and fighting myself on that like, if I’m gonna do this, it’s for me and for nobody else.

Nate: Welcome to another episode of the CPA exam experience podcast from SuperfastCPA. I’m Nate, and in today’s interview, you’re going to hear me talk with Isabel.

So Isabel was in our one-on-one coaching program where we work individually with clients to help them nail down their study process, and just answer questions along the way. So I actually worked with her, not day-to-day but frequently throughout her study process, so I knew her along the way. And she got done with three of the exams. I don’t want to say with little effort, but relatively easily. But then when it came to REG, that was the section that she really struggled with, but she also kind of hit a wall in [00:01:00] numerous ways. And I think that this happens to a lot of people. And so this interview will be very informative or very cathartic to a lot of people that have this same type of thing happen. Where even if you have a few sections done, when you’ve been working on these exams for, months, or maybe even a couple years, even though you’re close to being done. It’s just taking so much out of you that it’s hard to keep going and really lock down and get that last section or two done.

So Isabel has a lot of really good insights, very helpful insights, especially if you find yourself in the same boat. And a lot of times it doesn’t even mean that you only have one or two sections left. If you’ve been working on these exams for months, or again, even a couple years. And maybe you haven’t even passed a section, it can be really, really hard to keep going. And you constantly start to question, why am I doing this? I’m so [00:02:00] sick of this study process, I’m sick of these exams hanging over my head.

So Isabel describes a couple tangible tips or strategies that she figured out to kind of tap into a new source of motivation to push through and get that last exam done.

So before we get into the interview, I want to mention our free study training. That’s the best place for you to start with SuperfastCPA because we walk through our most helpful strategies for free on those trainings. And as you will hear in the interview, that was Isabel’s first thing that she saw from SuperfastCPA that kind of got her started down this road. So the link to the training will be down in the description of the video or the podcast episode, depending on where you’re seeing this.

So with that out of the way, let’s get into the interview with Isabel.

Nate: Um, how was that game you went to?

Isabel: It was good. It was a lot of fun.

Nate: Do you, I mean, do you like follow the NFL in general?

Isabel: Yeah. Yeah. Um, my [00:03:00] boyfriend played college football, so we are avid football fans. We have Red Zone on every weekend. Um, when college season rolls around, it dominates our lives, so.

Nate: Yeah. So, you’re bigger fans of college or NFL?

Isabel: Um, I would say I’m the bigger NFL fan and then he’s really pulled me into college, so I’ve gotten more into it, but I definitely, I like the NFL more.

Nate: Yeah, I mean, that’s how I, yeah, I, I follow the NFL, like really close. In college, I’m like generally aware of what’s going on, but I don’t, I don’t watch a ton on Saturdays, but like, yeah, Sundays I watch a lot of NFL.

Isabel: Yeah.

Nate: I was, I was, I mean, I didn’t really care with like Detroit and Tampa, but it’s cool that Tampa was like, actually, or no, no, you’re Jacksonville, not Tampa, right?

Isabel: Yeah. We’re in, we’re in Jacksonville, but I’m actually, I, I grew up, I guess I went to high school in [00:04:00] Kansas City, so Chiefs fan.

Nate: Oh, you did?

Isabel: A lot of people don’t like.

Nate: Yeah. I.

Isabel: So, last night’s game was good.

Nate: Yeah, I, man, I think they’re gonna do it again. Mahomes in the playoffs is just different thing.

Isabel: Yeah. Unstoppable.

Nate: Um, all right, so, uh, so we’ll get into this.

Listening to SuperfastCPA Podcast When Feeling Down

Nate: Have you listened to any of the other interviews?

Isabel: Yeah, I would listen to a lot of them, especially if I was feeling alone, because I, I think the whole CPA process is so isolating, and I think it’s a lot of people don’t acknowledge that, and it’s so easy to get like, wrapped up in that. So then I would just throw on a podcast that, you know, you had done and it made me feel so much better because I just realized that like what I was feeling was normal. Um, so yes, in short, I have listened.

Nate: Okay. Yeah. So, uh, I guess, so some of this stuff I’ll [00:05:00] have to like kind of mention, not out loud, but for example, for the people listening to this. So you were in the coaching thing, so I’ve talked with you one-on-one. I mean obviously you know that, but as this becomes like an episode, so I know a lot about your, you know, journey. Whereas a lot of times, or usually in the past, these interviews are just someone who sent me an email. I was never like, aware of them individually, you know, they’re just a customer using our stuff and then they send an email saying, you know, thanks. And I’ll be like, okay, well do you wanna be on the podcast?

And then I hear their whole story from the beginning and I, you know, and I didn’t know anything about them previously, but yours is different because we were talking through, you know, quite, like weekly or more sometimes as you went through the process.

Isabel: Mm-Hmm.

Nate: But, the part I’m not sure about is like the very, very [00:06:00] beginning.

The Start of Isabel’s CPA Journey

Nate: So when did you start studying, you know, before the whole coaching program thing? And what was it like in the very beginning?

Isabel: So I graduated from grad school in December of 2020 and my parents moved to South Florida and I was like, I went to school in a small town in Missouri, and I was like, I’m out of here. So I went straight down to South Florida and kind of hung out for a little bit. I think I moved down in like November, like around Thanksgiving, and then January of 2021 is actually when I started studying and I would say like “started studying.”

Nate: Yeah.

Isabel: But, I really had no idea what I was doing.

I felt like really in the dark. And so I would use Becker and I would just try to watch the lectures and I just, it was just like a lot of spinning my wheels. Um. So it all started January of 2021.

Nate: Um, yeah, [00:07:00] and so.

Isabel’s CPA Journey Before SuperfastCPA

Nate: Again, I can’t remember specifically, but, how many sections had you taken before you, uh, you know, started the coaching program or what was like the, so 2021, what was the first year of your studying like?

Isabel: Um, it was pretty rough. I was, ’cause I just moved, you know, from a small town in Missouri to South Florida. It definitely wasn’t at the top of my priority list, but my strategy was like, even if I’m not ready, let’s take the exam, which I think you kind of knew.

Nate: Yeah.

Isabel: Um, so I started with FAR and I mean, I, did so bad on FAR ’cause I just wasn’t ready and maybe I watched like one lecture and so much of the CPA I feel like is also like getting to know the software. So like that first test, I, I mean I went in like totally blind and then I was like, whoa, what am I doing here? And I already, I wrote it, I had a bunch of notes here, but I, my mindset was really negative [00:08:00] from the beginning. Like, I thought I was gonna hate my job. So going into the CPA, I was like, well, why am I even doing this?

Like, I just like lacked a lot of purpose behind what I was doing. So I started with FAR, I failed FAR. I had a REG NTS that I think I let lapse and then I was like, okay, let me just try to do audit. Um, so I kind of jumped into audit and I found it was a little bit easier. Um, just ’cause it’s more like memorization in a way, for the audit exam. So I started studying for audit, but I, I took it and I failed ’cause I was just like watching lectures, not really doing any multiple choice. Like just, I didn’t have, I didn’t really have a plan. So then I was like, oh, let me just read the book. So I read the book front to back and I passed audit. I, I’m not really sure what happened there, but it was good ’cause I, I was able to, this was like August of 2021.

I was able to go into work. I started work in September of 2021. So I was [00:09:00] able to go into work with one exam, which showed a lot of initiative. But as I mentioned previously, my mindset was really negative going into work. So, you know, I started working and I was like, oh, I actually kind of like this. But then I got so wrapped up in work that, you know, I was still taking CPA exams, but it still really wasn’t a priority. So, I was trying, but I wasn’t really doing the work on the backend. So like I would go into tests still feeling like a little bit blind, even though I kind of knew how the test operated. Um, I still felt like, you know, I was, I was so focused on other things.

Nate: Yeah.

Taking the CPA Exams After College

Nate: Uh, what about, I’m guessing you had the experience where I think this happens to a lot of people with the CPA exams. Obviously most people have done a master’s degree by the time they’re working on the exams. Uh, you know, college is like, you have to put in the work, obviously do homework and stuff, but then the CPA exams are just a totally different thing, like [00:10:00] what worked in college, doesn’t just work with the CPA exams.

Was that part of, you know, what was going on the first year or so?

Isabel: A hundred percent. And a lot of my, a lot of the people that I went to school with, you know, they stayed in Kirksville, Missouri and they, you know, went through the whole like, let’s take the CPA exams together and we start with this exam and finish with this exam. We’re gonna take this test on this target date, so on and so forth.

I didn’t do that, so I was just like in it alone.

Um, I didn’t wanna go back at all. Um, so yes, I definitely feel like what worked for me in college did not really apply to the CPA exam at all. And like I was just not willing to lock myself in a room for hours, on hours every day and watch lectures and then like be exhausted and like not have time for things that I actually enjoy. And [00:11:00] maybe we can get into this later, but like, I would not let go of those things. So I think that’s like when I saw, or when I learned about SuperfastCPA, actually from a coworker, um, I looked online, I watched your first video and I was like, okay, this guy’s saying I can study for two hours in the morning.

That works for me. I’m a morning person. Um, so.

Nate: Yeah, and I mean, I, I think that’s a valid, you know, there’s like the ultra hardcore mindset of like, wherever you’re at, if you just got done with your masters’ or maybe even you’re, you’re in your masters’, um, you bite the bullet and make your life complete hell for six months and just get it all done.

But, I think that’s a valid viewpoint of like, I’m not, I’m not willing to, if this is what that takes, then I’m not, I’m not gonna do that. I’m not gonna spend six months or a year not doing like my hobbies or [00:12:00] working out and just making my life all work and study. Um, and I think a lot of people don’t even take the exams or they never really get into a groove just because they assume that’s what it has to be.

Um, so yeah, sounds like that’s kind of what you thought for a while.

Passed BEC After Getting SuperfastCPA

Nate: And then, uh, so you, so you watched our free training and obviously the idea of studying two hours in the morning, do mini sessions throughout the day, like studying from your phone and then you’re done more or less.

So once you signed up with just kind of our, like, not the coaching program, but just the PRO course and stuff, how did that go or how long was that time span before you joined the, uh, coaching program?

Isabel: So I got all your materials and then I passed BEC, which, you know, you know, things have changed, but BEC was so much material that I just needed [00:13:00] someone to like, lay it out in front of me in a way that was really clear to the point and like made sense to me, I guess. And that was kind of what your notes did. I, I had taken BEC during busy season and I, I think I got like a 67. Um, but I was, I was working so much, it was like impossible to do anything. So when my coworker said, like, look into this, and I got the notes and I started reading them, I was like, okay, this makes way more sense. And I knew I was close on BEC, like, I, I really excelled in the writing.

Like every score report I got back was like, you did great on the writing. So I knew that part was taken care of, but like I needed to kind of like organize the material in my head in a way that made sense to apply, you know, to the rest of the test. So I passed BEC and then I moved on to FAR and you know, I just feel like you pass a test and it feels great and then it’s like, oh, here’s [00:14:00] another one with its own problems.

Deciding to Sign Up for the Coaching Program

Isabel: So FAR is so much material, you know, this is another thing I can get into, but since I think I have here, since 2021, my boyfriend and I have moved five times.

Nate: Oh wow.

Isabel: So in between all of this, I passed BEC in, in June of 2021, we, I guess that would be 2022. June of 2022, we moved to Jacksonville. So I passed BEC June of 2022, we moved to Jacksonville. And, you know, like moving is already hard. And then I have to, you know, kind of start a new career in a new city. Same, still with the same firm, but still things are different. You know, the, the office culture’s different. Um, we start going into the office more and things kind of flip upside down again. And I’m just overwhelmed.

So I took FAR, I don’t remember what I got, but I failed and I think I failed [00:15:00] twice. And then that’s when I was like, okay, I think I need someone to just like, help me map this out. And that’s when I reached out to you about the coaching program.

Nate: Okay. And the thing I remember is you, you passed FAR within a, I don’t know, like a month or two of.

Isabel: Yeah, I think it was like two weeks after, or three weeks after.

Nate: Yeah.

Isabel: And I, I still, like, I have in my, I, I was writing like with each test. I wrote like FAR, I still have no idea how I passed. I mean, I say that to everyone, like I have no idea because it’s just like the material is all over the place. But again, like the SuperfastCPA notes lay everything out in a way that makes it make more sense. And it’s just like so much more concise. Um, ’cause like you could get lost in the FAR lectures and oh my God, it’s like banging your head against a wall.

Nate: Yeah.

The Audio Notes Allowed Isabel to Do the Things Important to Her

Isabel: So, and the audio notes were really helpful, helpful for me, I think something we probably left out at the beginning is that I’m really passionate about like, making sure that [00:16:00] my health is like top priority.

So working out is like the most important thing to me. Um, the audio notes were awesome. I, I will say that I did not love working out to the sound of your voice Nate, but.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah. I wouldn’t either.

Isabel: But they helped so much ’cause it allowed me to do things that were important to me, but also, you know, keep the CPA top of mind like I think you say in a lot of these interviews, like eventually you’re gonna hear something enough that like you really do remember it. And that was a hundred percent true for me.

Nate: Yeah. Uh, yeah, I, I think the idea with the audios is just. Play him as much as you can and you, it’s natural to kind of tune in and out. Especially, I mean, like, yeah, it’s boring. Like it’s, it’s CPA material audio only, but if you hear it enough times you start, it’s like, okay, I know what he’s gonna say next.

’cause like I had audio notes when I was [00:17:00] studying, obviously not my own, but uh, and I would just listen to ’em all the time, or I’d be playing them all the time. It’s not like I was really listening all the time, but eventually you realize that you’ve almost memorized them. And if you’ve memorized them, that’s, that’s obviously gonna help a lot.

It’s just one other thing you can do, you know, to, that’s like my biggest philosophy. You might as well do anything that could give you an, an advantage to get this over with as fast as you can. Um, even though, like you said, it’s not fun to try and work out and listen to somebody talk about CPA stuff, but ideally it ends up shortening the time span of getting these over with.

Isabel: Right.

Nate: So, yeah.

The Biggest Challenge Was Getting Myself to Study

Nate: Um, so what would you say was the, throughout the whole thing, what were maybe the top few or if there was just one major thing that was just the overall [00:18:00] biggest challenge with the CPA exams for you?

Isabel: Yeah, I mean, I wrote here like, just getting myself to study was really hard. Um, ’cause I ju, I mean, I didn’t like it. I didn’t wanna do it. I had to get to the point where like I, I got promoted to senior and I knew that I was gonna have more responsibilities. Um, and then I had my performance review in September of 2023, and it was kind of like the first time that the CPA exams had come up and had been like, okay, like we need to get this finished. And that’s when I was like, okay, I. I need to like, be serious about this and really prioritize it over a lot of things. Um, so I guess we’re moving into that. I, I passed Reg in December of 2023.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah. The,[00:19:00] yeah. And that’s uh, you know, obviously I remember just talking with you about REG, you know, just so many times. And um, which again, it makes sense like, because you work in audit, right? And you started an audit.

Isabel: Yep.

Nate: Yeah. So it’s like REG and audit. If, and vice versa. If a tax person never worked in audit, then audit is usually their hardest exam ’cause it’s just nothing like tax and that they just have the least experience. So for an auditor, tax is the same way.

The Things Isabel Had to Change in Her Daily Process

Nate: Um, but what about, so, okay, so you mentioned when it came to like buckle downtime, like, so what were those changes? Like how did you have to structure your day differently? What kind of things did you have to give up or just what did that actually look like when you got to the point where you’re like, okay, this, I’ve gotta get this just over with.[00:20:00]

Isabel: Yeah, I mean I was up every day at five doing 60 multiple choice questions. I constantly had the audio notes on and I kind of shifted my day ’cause this was, now we’re in person a little bit more. But we were still kind of like, oh, it’s like two to three days, but if you wanna come in one day, that’s fine.

If you wanna come in no days, that’s fine. So, which it really helped me because I could, um, go to the gym in the afternoon, like over lunch. So, and I knew I wasn’t gonna study over lunch, so I would study in the morning, start work, go to the gym, you know, and throughout then like, throw in some of, you know, the multiple choice questions in the app or I started making flashcards when it, when, I also didn’t add that I lost my audit credit because I did not pass REG, and that was January of 2023.

So January, 2023, I lost my audit credit. So I had to retake audit and I [00:21:00] kind of knew if I studied for audit for two weeks like doing everything that you told me to do that I would pass. And like before I went into the AUD exam, I knew I was gonna pass. And after I left, I think I messaged you right away and said, I definitely passed. So I had to kind of change my day in a way that like revolved a little bit more around studying, but like still ha, still doing things that were important to me, like going to the gym and like some, so I had some coworkers that would say to me like, you are, you’re gonna have to stop going to the gym if you wanna get this done.

And I was like, uh, no, because then I’m gonna go crazy.

A Big Mindset Shift

Isabel: Um, but you know, I think something else we could probably go into is that like, I really had to have like a big mindset, mindset shift and like figure out why I was doing this. ’cause like, I mean I just, for a long time, like I lacked a lot of purpose behind it and I just wanted to do it because I thought it would be a cool thing to say was a CPA and that I could post it on LinkedIn and whatever.

Nate: Yeah,[00:22:00] so, so let’s, I mean, I wanna hear more about that. So what, what ideas, or, I mean, what were you able to kind of tap into that, uh, you know, took it from just a nice idea to something that, you know, drove you to be up at five? Like, yeah. What did you kind of latch onto?

Isabel: So my busy season ran like kind of weird in, in 2023. Like I got put on a really busy client over the summer. Um, but I decided like, I need to sit down and I, I know you do like your why, but I, I would say like that doesn’t really resonate with me in general, like for a lot of things. So instead, I, I took that and kind of molded into a letter to myself and I wrote a letter to myself just outlining like, I have to do this for me.

Like at this point, like I, it’s something that I’ve been struggling with for such a long time and fighting [00:23:00] myself on that. Like, if I’m gonna do this, it’s for me and for nobody else. Um, so that was like the biggest mindset shift.

Journaling to Cope With Her Feelings

Isabel: But I mean, like I had to, like, I would journal ‘ cause I would get so frustrated and then, you know, it starts negatively impacting like other relationships and sometimes I was really negative in general or like sad.

Um, so I really had to like channel those things in another way that was like maybe a little bit more healthy and like package them and like understand why I was feeling the way I was feeling. Um, so once I like reframed that and was like, this is for me, I think that also like really shifted things because like I knew I was gonna get more responsibilities at work and like, I was only making my life more miserable by pushing this out even longer. So, yeah, I had to journal. I, I meditated on it a lot. Um, tough, but I’m on the other side now

and, you know, I, it like became this like really transformative [00:24:00] experience for me, which I think, like, you know, I took this thing and it’s become like one of the most positive things that has happened to me in my life, which my mom would always say to me, she’d say like, this is gonna be amazing when this is over for you.

Like, your whole life is gonna change.

Nate: Yeah.

Isabel: She was definitely right.

Nate: Yeah, that’s, uh, that’s been an interesting thing to me doing these interviews is that’s usually what it comes down to. You know, there’s all the, I guess you could say on paper benefits of getting your CPA, you know, like you’ll get paid more, you’ll get, you’ll make the extra million over your career that Becker talks about.

Um, you get promotions faster, all that stuff. But it’s kind of like at five in the morning, week after week. None of that stuff is really enough to drag people through it. It kind of has to be, you do have to find like your own personal reason. Um, and yeah, that’s [00:25:00] so, so you wrote the letter to yourself. I like that idea ’cause yeah, we have the little find your why thing and it’s similar, but, uh, I think that tip will help a lot of people that end up hearing this, just, it’s just a different format. So you write the letter to yourself. Would you actually pull that out and like read it back to yourself like weekly or something?

Or was it mostly putting it down once on, on paper?

Isabel: I wouldn’t say weekly, but like I would definitely pull it out, like I wrote it and then kind of like stashed it away ’cause I just like was, I was so busy with work over the summer and then I’d say like around September, like around the time I had my year end review, um, that’s when I was like, maybe I should revisit this. Cause sometimes I would read it and it would be, it would, it was like emotional, like it would really make me like cry. Um, so I, I definitely pull, started pulling it out more then, and then I would just leave it, like, I would leave it open on my computer while I was working. Um, [00:26:00] and then if I ever started to feel like, why am I doing this?

Or like, what’s the point? Then I would, you know, pull it out and maybe read like a paragraph or two. Um, but it really just like was served as a reminder of like, this is why you’re doing this and this is why this is important. It has nothing to do with anyone else. And it has everything to do with, you know, me or you or whatever. Um, so yeah, it was, it was really powerful and I don’t think I realized how powerful it was until probably after I was done.

Nate: Mm-Hmm. Um, how, I mean, this is like besides the point, but how long was this letter?

Isabel: Um, I have it open right now. Actually.

Nate: Like multiple pages?

Isabel: No, it’s one page.

Nate: One page. Yeah.

Writing a Letter to Herself for Motivation

Nate: Nice. Yeah, I like that idea. Um, I’ll start, maybe not, I’ll start mentioning that, like, okay, there’s this, or the other idea I’ve heard is just writing a letter to yourself about, so, [00:27:00] you know, not to like, have you read the letter obviously, but was it mostly about here’s what you’re gonna miss out on by not doing this?

Or what, what was kind of the general, uh, theme of the letter, like to motivate yourself or whatever.

Isabel: I think like a lot of the underlying reason of my lack of studying was I definitely had this like fear of failure that I would try really hard to do something and then fail, which is like just not a productive mindset at all because it just sets you up. It set, it set me up for failure over and over again. Um, but I definitely think that I had this like underlying fear of failure and I definitely like just outline that. Um. And outline that, like, I, I need to set boundaries around this, like the CPA exams. And if that means not going to something, that’s what it means. Or if it means like bringing my flashcard somewhere, or my [00:28:00] AirPods listen to audio notes, that’s what it means. Um, so it, it really went into like, don’t let that fear get in the way of achieving the goal.

Nate: Yeah.

Isabel’s Daily Study Routine

Nate: Okay. And so, so with REG, uh, towards the end, you know, in November, December when you were actually studying and got, you know, locked in. So what did each day look like? you were those several weeks where you were like locked in, so to speak?

Isabel: It was the, the hour and a half, 90 minutes in the morning, 60 multiple choice questions. I made flashcards that I would review at night, throughout the day. I mean, I would bring ’em to work with me in any free moment I would just like look through them. Um, but the biggest thing for me with REG, I had taken it, you know, a few times. So before I took it the last time, I wrote down like all the things that I had seen on the test that I thought were important, and I knew [00:29:00] them. I mean, like, I didn’t even have to look them up. Like I just, I just like wrote them down and like, knew everything. So I had like probably three pages of things that I thought were important.

And I really am confident that that’s what, like, took me over the edge ’cause I think it just, it gave me confidence that I, I knew, I knew the things, you know, like they were in my brain.

Nate: Yeah.

Isabel: So.

Nate: And I remember, I remember you sending me a message about that. So was it like you just listed out the topics or was it like, uh, almost a cheat sheet of topic.

Isabel: More like a.

Nate: And then the key things about those topics.

Isabel: Yeah, more like a cheat sheet.

Writing Down Everything You Know Helped Isabel Relieve Stress

Nate: Okay. And, and so just the act of writing it out and then I’m guessing you kind of would just reviewed that periodically, those last few weeks.

Isabel: So I did it before audit and I noticed that it really, like, it gave me confidence. I did like the night before. So then REG, I got really overwhelmed. I think I took the test on a Monday[00:30:00] and on Sunday I was just, I started studying in the morning and I just got so overwhelmed. My boyfriend went to play golf, so I was at home alone and I was just like, you know, like I tend to, I could like spiral a little bit and I started to get stressed, so I was like, I just need to leave. So I left the house for probably like four hours. I went and walked around the mall, the outdoor mall, and then I came back home and I was like, okay, now I’m gonna sit down. I’m gonna open a notebook and I’m gonna write down all these things that I know. So this was literally the night before the test.

Nate: Oh, okay. The night before. Okay.

Isabel: Yeah. So I wrote everything down. I brought it with me to Prometric in the morning, and I was like, um, I wanted to be at Prometric at 6:45 in the morning ’cause I knew like that was a, a time that would work best for me, just mentally. Like I, I know I’m sharper in the morning, so I, I brought it with me. And also on my way to Prometric, I saw a shooting star, I dunno, I dunno if I actually a [00:31:00] shooting, but it was there and I was okay.

I know I’m gonna pass. So I, I review, like I reviewed the stuff in the parking lot and then I went in and took the test and I will say, coming outta the test, I’m like, I have no idea.

Nate: Yeah.

Isabel: Pretty much every time I took REG, it was like, I don’t even know what to say. Um, but I mean, I think that was a long-winded answer for what of my days look like, but.

Nate: Yeah.

Adjusting Her Weekly Schedule

Nate: So you would do the, uh. You’d get up at five, right? That’s when you would study in the morning and then you’d have work, but then you were, so even in that period, you were still able to like work out in the afternoons?

Isabel: Yeah. Cause I, like I mentioned before, like our office policy has changed since then, but we were really like more flexible. So like, if I wasn’t busy one week, I would just work from home and then I could go to the gym in the afternoon or like, if I didn’t have to be in person. Um, so that like, was really, it really worked with my schedule or I would just like start pushing my workouts in a way that like [00:32:00] maybe I would have more workouts on, like two workouts on the weekends and then like leave two days free during the week and go to the office those two days and study in the morning. Um, I just like, kind of like would rearrange my schedule in a way that made sense for that week.

Nate: Yeah. So one of my questions was, uh. I mean, I think the answer for you is probably like working out, but it was, the question is basically did you have like a hobby or some interest, like something that you liked doing that you made it a point to keep doing throughout the whole process so that your whole life wasn’t work and study.

Isabel: Yeah, definitely working out but also I wrote down here from June, 2021 to 2023 when I passed REG my boyfriend and I went to 16 weddings, so

Nate: That sounds, that’s like a personal nightmare of mine.

Isabel: Yeah, chaotic and all of them were out of town, so like, they were either more than like seven hours away or we need to fly. So.

Nate: How do you guys know that many people that you get, holy cow.[00:33:00]

Isabel: It’s crazy. It was crazy. And then like with the moves, you know, it was, it was crazy.

Um, I got really into yoga before I started the CPA and like, kind of when I wasn’t working, I was still really into yoga.

I, I worked at a yoga studio in between starting the full-time job and, you know, graduating from grad school. So I kind of like tabled yoga. So I guess that was one thing that I definitely like, pushed out a little bit, but kind of like kept the concepts in just where the meditation, the journaling comes from. Um, but I, I also like to read, so. I didn’t, I didn’t get rid of that. You know, I would review my note cards at night and then when I would start to get kind of tired, that’s when I would pull out a book and start reading, um, and then fall asleep at night. But I, I really didn’t stop doing anything. And that was how I wanted my journey to be.

Each Person’s Journey is Their Own

Isabel: And actually, you had an episode with a girl, I don’t remember what episode it was, but she said something that like resonated with me so much. She said that each person’s [00:34:00] CPA journey is their own. And this is kind of going back to what we talked about before, but I was like, so caught up in like, comparing myself to other people, you know, other people in the office that passed before they started work. And, and not like outwardly, but like in my head I was just like, wow, like, you know, I felt like I was smart enough.

Nate: Mm-Hmm.

Isabel: Um, but I just like couldn’t execute, which like was driving me crazy. Um, but I had to again, like reframe my mindset and be like, this is my journey. Like, it’s not. Just because someone else did it in a certain amount of time doesn’t mean that I have to. And like, just because someone like, you know, tabled all the things that they like to do and like sat in a room for eight hours a day, like, that’s not gonna work for me. So that was like another pretty powerful moment as well, which is why your podcast also helped me a lot.

Nate: Yeah, that’s funny because I mean, I have no idea who said that. Um, but, and, and it, that seems like a, a very simple comment, you know,[00:35:00] but it’s something that, you know, clearly was just, it, like meant a certain thing to you. Um, and I, and I’ve heard that idea so many times doing these interviews. There’s just something that someone got from one of the interviews that, you know, what was just helpful to them for one specific reason or not, but, uh, yeah, I, I have no idea who that was.

Putting On the Audio Notes for a Walk

Isabel: I guess another thing I would add, like to my days is that when I was working in the office, I would always take these walk breaks ’cause our office is right on the river, so I would like put my AirPods in and just like put your notes on and walk for like 20 minutes. And I’d probably do that like twice a day while I was in the office.

Cause just like got me outside, got me in the sun and then plus I was able to like, you know, have the notes on while I was at work, so.

Nate: Mm-Hmm. Yeah. That’s a good, uh, I, I think just, yeah, walking with the, the audios is a good, I mean, the, the walk and the fact that you’re [00:36:00] listening to the audios. Um, don’t you guys, don’t you have dogs? Did you walk your dogs a lot? Yeah.

Isabel: Yeah, yeah. So I would also walk the dog and put the audio notes in when, mostly when I was working from home. Obviously, but then we moved, you know, it was kind of like complicated, but a lot of the times, yes, I would walk the dog with the notes.

Nate: Okay.

The Struggle With REG and What Isabel Did to Overcome it

Nate: So it sounds like, you know, for the, the first three exams, uh, FAR, audit, BEC, you know, applying the, like, obviously you were putting in the time and everything, and you passed those, but then it was REG where you really had to like, dig deep and just, it was like a different thing. And then in the, in the beginning, you, you said, uh, and I think you were kind of referring to that, like the thing you had to really do to get through REG was transformative.

So can you talk about that? Like, what do you mean by [00:37:00] that? Um. Just about that idea that this process was transformative.

Isabel: Yeah, so REG was a problem for me ’cause I could find a million better things to do than study for REG.

Nate: Mm-Hmm.

Isabel: I mean, I just thought the material was so boring. Um, I thought the multiple choice questions were horrible, like a, a million things that I would rather do.

But I think I had to find a way to do something that I didn’t want to do, if that makes sense.

Nate: Oh yeah.

Isabel: Um, like I had to be like, okay, this is something I don’t wanna do, but if I’m gonna do this for me, then I have to do it. So I had to kind of like shift the mindset around instead of like making it so negative, like flip it and be positive, like, this is something I don’t wanna do and I’m gonna be better because I did it. Um. So, yeah, I mean, and it got to the point where I was just so tired of REG that I was like, I need to just sit [00:38:00] myself down. I got a 74, remember I got a 74.

Nate: Yeah.

Isabel: I was like playing pickleball. Found out I got a 74 on REG.

Nate: Uh.

Isabel: Devastating.

But at that point, you know, I knew, I was like, okay, I could do this. Like I can really do this.

I mean, a 74 like that is so close. Um, and that kind of, I mean, it sucked. It really sucked a lot. Like I was so disappointed. I was so sad, but I knew, okay, if I push for two weeks, like all I need is two weeks of my focus to do multiple choice questions, review my flashcard, like get through the pain of this, because like, it is painful.

Like, you know, it’s not like painful in the sense like physical pain, but like, it’s terrible.

Nate: Right.

Isabel: Um. Then I knew I would pass, so then I passed.

Nate: Yeah. And uh, I, that’s one thing that’s kind of unique to, maybe not the [00:39:00] CPA exam specifically, but it’s pretty rare that people, do something like that. Something that takes hours of dedicated time that pretty much every hour you have to kind of drag yourself through. Cause it’s not fun. There’s no immediate reward, like, you know, right then.

It’s just kind of torturous and, uh, it takes months of doing that, like day in and day out. And not very many people as adults, like put themselves through something like that. So it is, it’s kind of a, uh, it’s kind of a unique thing. Or like you said at the beginning, it’s isolating.

No One Really Understands Unless They Go Through It

Isabel: Yeah, and nobody gets it also, which is something that I, I put in my notes too, like nobody understands it unless they’ve gone through it. So like, you know, even for my boyfriend, like love him to death, but like he doesn’t know what it’s like to go through this. I mean, you know, my dad under- my dad is, was a CPA, so he kind of understood, but he’s like the ultimate test taker.

So he didn’t really [00:40:00] understand. But you know, then there’s like, my grandparents were like, what are you doing? Why aren’t you passing?

I’m like, you know, they just don’t get it. And then, you know, everyone else is, everyone has an opinion pretty much, and you just, you can’t even listen to the opinions ’cause nobody gets it.

Nate: Right. That’s a funny idea. So what were some of the tips you got from, you know, people who really just, you know, they’re like trying to help, but they, you know, they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Isabel: They would say like, just do it.

Nate: Yeah.

Isabel: Just just finish it. I’m like, productive. Great advice. Thank you.

Nate: Yeah.

Isabel: I didn’t already know that.

Nate: That’s funny. Um, let’s see.

How Isabel Utilized Flashcards in Her CPA Study

Nate: So did you, uh, did you make flashcards for the first three sections or you just kind of passed not doing that, and it was mostly REG where you had to kind of add things in, or did you do that the whole time?

Isabel: Um, I would say I kind of did it the whole time. I [00:41:00] had a notebook that I used for FAR, for some reason that approach worked for me with FAR, like, I would write down the answer or, you know, like, write down the answers to the multiple choice questions I missed in a notebook. And then with audit, I found the multiple or the flashcards really easy ’cause a lot of audit was just like memorizing. So I used them for audit when I had to pass audit the second time. And then REG, BEC, I honestly don’t remember, I think I also had a notebook for BEC, um, but I would just write in, I kind of knew for BEC that if I had material laid out in a way that was clear to me that I would pass. And that was kind of like proven true cause I just like pretty much looked through your notes, did some multiple choice questions, and then I was able to pass. Um, so the flashcards, looking back, I think it’s something [00:42:00] that probably would’ve helped me a lot. Um. But like when it came down to like crunch time, they were extremely helpful.

Cause it was like, you know, all the answers are right there. Had like, you know, 300 flashcards.

Nate: Oh, did you end up with that many for, uh, REG?

Isabel: Um, I kind of would always start over with REG, I feel like.

Nate: Yeah.

Isabel: Which I don’t know if it was like the best strategy, but I also started using the website that you recommend, I think it’s like BrainScape.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah. BrainScape.

Isabel: it kind of like categorizes them into things that I know, that I know. I, I found that really helpful. Um, so yeah, I mean, I guess in short, like the note cards were pretty much game changing when I started really applying them in a way that was productive.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah. That is, it is, it’s one of those things that I’m always trying to get people to do cause it is like, yeah, [00:43:00] you know, the idea is like, throughout the process, things that you personally struggle with, you make flashcards on ’em, and then as long as you’re doing that and reviewing ’em, you take your personal weakest areas and slowly, you know, make it like a strength.

That’s kind of the idea in a nutshell. Um, lemme look at this.

One Thing Isabel Wished She Would’ve Known Earlier

Nate: So what about, this is kind of a fluff question, but what, what’s one thing you wish you would’ve known about the study process or the exams before you started that you, you know, that you know now or that could have made your whole study journey like shorter.

Isabel: I think, I just wish I knew that there were other options, um, and that it was okay that, you know, the, the Becker method didn’t work for me. Like it works for other people and that’s great, but it didn’t work for me.[00:44:00] And I, I kind of wish I would’ve noticed that sooner. I mean, I think I noticed it like right away, but I just didn’t think that there were other options and I didn’t really know where to look for other options.

Nate: So by, just by that you mean like watch the video, read the chapter. Basically try to like have their software mark off everything that you’ve completed every little thing?

Isabel: Yep.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. When I got done with Wiley, my dashboard was like a train wreck. Like it showed I had like 5% progress cause I just, I didn’t do any of that.

It was all manually, like, do I know this or not? And I, um, you know, wouldn’t fully answer questions. I was like, I would look at the explanation. Anyways, the, the little dashboard can be very misleading. I’ve talked to a lot of people that marked it all off really pretty and all green, a hundred percent. And then they would still go in and fail the exam.

Uh, yeah.

Going Through The CPA Exams Became a Transformative Experience

Nate: [00:45:00] Um, we kind of talked about everything I have written down here. What about, so you said you had notes. Uh, so when someone says that, what kind of stuff do you have anything written down that we haven’t really talked about?

Isabel: Um. I think like, I would just also keep throwing in distractions. Like, you know, I, I, I told you, like I competed in a bodybuilding competition and it’s, and I was still trying to take CPA exams while I was doing that, but I really think it was distractor. Don’t regret it. It was a great experience. But like, I would just throw in these things that it was like, why?

And even my boyfriend would be like, you’re literally just distracting yourself. Like it’s, I mean, it’s ridiculous.

Nate: Yeah.

Isabel: But I, I had to like figure out like, why, why am I doing, why am I distracting myself? And then, you know, like from there, like, you know, the journaling really helped. The meditation really helped.

I talked to a therapist, which like may sound crazy to some [00:46:00] people, but I, need.

Nate: Yeah, I mean, that, that can be a very, uh, well, I mean, not, not even just the CPA exams, but I mean, I, I think everyone should be in therapy really, know?

Isabel: Yeah, but I mean, it, it really especially helped me like unpack the stuff that I was feeling that was underlying, you know, everything about the CPA exams and it, like I said, it just became this like, I don’t know, really just transformative experience. ’cause now on the other side I’m like, that was really positive.

And you know, it’s so, it was so sad for so long ’cause it was just like something that was like, you know, on my shoulders.

I had to finish this. And it was kind of like whether or not I want to, even though I knew I had a choice and I, I think I had to probably like remind myself that like, this is a choice that like I’m doing this ’cause it’s a choice.

And at any moment if I want to quit, I can quit. But then like, going back to like, I, I am not gonna quit. Like, I don’t quit. I’m [00:47:00] not gonna quit. I’m gonna get it done. Like that kind of thing. Um, so yeah, I mean, I don’t know. I think the CPA exams like could easily be turned into something that’s just like, overall so negative.

And, you know, you could go through Reddit and like read a lot of negative things and kind of like bring yourself down a rabbit hole. But at the end of the day, like if you get it done, it’s, I mean, it’s really positive. Like you overcame something and even though you didn’t want to, um, so.

Nate: Yeah. So I mean, so I’ve been wanting to get to that.

How It Felt Before and After Finishing the CPA Exams

Nate: So how, how nice is it to, you know, you’ve been done for what, two months now?

Um, you know, from like the years of it, just like someone stepping on your neck, like you said, just always weighing you down to have that gone, like what has it been like?

Isabel: Um, it’s still like weird. Um, definitely for the first month I would wake up and be [00:48:00] like, oh, there’s something else I have to do. And then I’m like, no, I don’t, you know, ’cause I, I felt like I still had to study ’cause it was just like such a, like, it was like a part of my life for so long, um, that I, I just like, you know, it was always in the back of my head.

Like, I, I think, I think I still have to do this. Then I had to like you. No, I don’t. Um, but, you know, I had so much anxiety about it, just like wanting it to be over. And it was really hard to see the end, like, looking back now, I’m like, okay, it ended. But while I was in it, like, it was really hard to see the end and it was really hard to stay positive. And like the anxiety sometimes was so overwhelming. But once it was done, I mean, I. I, I don’t even know that I can explain the way it felt like it, it just felt like this giant weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Um, and, and I was really proud to tell people that, you know, I finished it. Um, you know, so many people had been so supportive [00:49:00] throughout the whole journey and I was really grateful for all of ’em. So to tell them that I finished it was really awesome. And then, you know, add the fact that, you know, I started dating my boyfriend, like around the time I moved to South Florida. So that was like 2021 right when I started. So our entire relationship, you

know. I, I was doing this and it was probably not very fun for him, and I had to figure out how to like, separate it, you know, separate out our relationship from the CPA exams and take out, you know, take these things out on him.

And, um, so I think, I think he might’ve been more relieved than I was.

Nate: Yeah. I mean that can be, yeah, it’s a, that’s a big thing, you know, like in a relationship because if you, you know, if you both work, then you have your time not at work, but you still have this huge thing that you’re always working on.

Studying Early in the Morning and Mini Sessions Throughout the Day

Nate: I guess that was one thing I was gonna ask. Uh, so you did study in the mornings and, [00:50:00] you know, you would kind of use the study tools throughout the day, however that went, but, so you did still kind of have the evenings free for the most part, right? Because you studied in the mornings.

Isabel: Yes. And a lot of the times when it was still like summer weather, so this was like, you know, September, October, November we were, we would go play pickleball and I wanted to go play pickleball. So then, I actually started in between games, we have to like wait a little bit. So I would start doing the multiple choice questions that you have in the app, in between games. Um, like I would just go sit by myself and then once the game, you know, it’d be, it’d probably be like 10, 12 minutes. So it was like the perfect amount of time for me to do, I think the question, the multiple choice tests or like five questions. So I’d do like three of those. Um, I found that extremely helpful for audit and then I kind of implemented it with REG, but it allowed me to do things that were enjoyable for me and my boyfriend, you know, for us to do together.

But also like, you know, I had this thing that I needed to [00:51:00] do so I would take myself to the side, do it, and then go play again. So that was another thing. I kind of would just like weave it in, like, you know, still do things, but like weave it in. So like if we had a beach day, for example, I’d bring my AirPods, I’d listen to the notes, like that kind of thing.

Nate: Yeah. And that is a huge, uh, it, it makes it a lot easier to deal with. Like when, again, when I was studying, I would use my phone constantly just because of that idea. Like I could go to the driving range and hit balls for two hours, but be listening to audio notes or. I actually couldn’t fully do the working out and list, I just couldn’t do I would still listen to music. I could golf and play, uh, listen to the audios. But yeah, working out, I just couldn’t do it. But I would quizzes constantly and uh, you know, we, people use their phones so much, it’s like two to four hours a day in just these little five [00:52:00] minute chunks.

So you can get in a lot of extra study time if you just kind of make that a habit. And it makes, yeah, it makes a huge difference and it allows you to still kind of do other stuff.

Isabel: Yeah. I guess the other thing too, in, in line with the phone is I would actually delete the Instagram app during the week. Um, I mean, sometimes I would redownload it, like, you know, but I would try to, especially if I was at the office, like I would try to delete the app that way. Like I wouldn’t be distracted at work, get my work done, and then I’d be able to, you know, go listen to the notes.

Or like, even depending on what I was doing at work, sometimes I found that I was able to listen to the notes. Sometimes I had to turn them off because. I needed to, you know, think more deeply.

I dunno how else to put that, but, um, you know, I kind of operated like a podcast, I guess, but I was really happy when I never had to listen to again.

Nate: I bet. Sounds like you listen to ’em a lot and so, yeah. And being done is, it’s like you said, it’s almost. Saying it’s a relief is like an [00:53:00] understatement and doesn’t accurately describe it. It’s, uh, I, I felt like this tangible, not just like a feeling, it was just like, I don’t know, being done was the best thing ever for like two or three months.

I had this tangible kind of, I mean, sense relief, but more than that.

Passing is the Best Thing That Ever Happened

Isabel: I like describe it as like the best thing that has ever happened to me and my dad is like, really? I’m like, you don’t get it.

Nate: Yeah.

Isabel: It’s like the best ever.

Nate: Yes. And that’s okay. So that, that’s another point. It’s kind of like, what kind of depths did you have to go through to like pass, you know, if somebody has all day, every day to study over a summer or whatever, and they just study and pass over several months, you know, they’re pumped that they passed, but there wasn’t just this like huge valley of despair they went through to get there, whereas, yeah, people I’ve talked to that have studied for [00:54:00] five, sometimes 10 years and then they pass, it’s just like a massive deal at that point.

Isabel: Yeah, no, definitely that, I mean that’s, yeah, that’s definitely the case. Um, yeah, it, it was interesting ’cause like I, when I think back I’m like, I really made it like as hard as possible for myself. But like, at the end of the day, like, I still did it.

So, you know, it’s like a, it’s awesome. Um, it’s just you, I really like, I can’t put into words, but like, I woke up the next day and I was so happy.

My coworkers were like, so awesome when I passed. Like, they were so happy for me. Um, you know, because it’s, it’s just, it’d been something that I was going through for such a long time and they were like with me every step of the way. Um, but yeah, it, that is true. Like, you know, I, I didn’t do it over the summer when I, I didn’t have work.

I didn’t do it in between, you know, ending grad school and starting a full-time job. Um, so it just like made the [00:55:00] reward so much bigger. And then the other thing was, you know, people would kind of say like, oh, you could take sabbatical, but like, I really didn’t wanna do the, you know, take the 20%. It’s like a 20% of your pay, I think. I, I just didn’t wanna do that.

Nate: And spend it studying, that’s like the hard part.

Isabel: Exactly. Exactly. Um, but I really, I mean, I, I drove myself negative PTO for REG, um, before I passed. But it, I mean, it was worth it, know, I think I took like two weeks off work, but then that was the time I got 74, which is.

Nate: Oh, okay. Yeah. Yeah.

Isabel: Um, but I, I, I knew at that point, like, okay, I had done like almost enough, like now I can push myself over the edge, but I, I mean, I was so stressed out. So I think I, I told you to check my score, which I would do sometimes.

Nate: Yeah, that time I was like, this has, this has to be it. Like I, I was so pumped when I saw that you had [00:56:00] passed.

Telling Her Grandma She Passed

Nate: Yeah. Oh, and you said, you said the main person you wanted to tell was your grandma. So what was it like, and I never got back to you on that. What was it telling your grandma?

Isabel: She was very happy. She was actually like, I think she was in Europe. I don’t know, but like, call me whenever you can. And the time difference was like five hours. I mean, I think she was like crying.

Nate: Yeah.

Isabel: And she actually framed my license for me, so.

Nate: That’s awesome.

Isabel: I don’t I don’t have it here, but she has it framed.


Nate: You sent me a picture of it.

Isabel: Yeah, yeah, she sent me that. Um, but yeah, I mean it was just like really exciting to tell her ’cause I don’t know, you know, it was something that I want. Honestly, like towards the end too, like that was kind of what started driving me. Like I really wanted to be able to tell her that I finished, I wanted to do it in her lifetime. Um, so. I don’t know if she’s gonna listen to this, but Grandma, you were part of my purpose.

Nate: Yeah. You should send her this when, I mean, once we [00:57:00] publish it, you should send her the link. I’m sure she would love, you know, like my mom gets on here and listens to these and I’m like, you are. That is just.

Listening to the Podcast is Inspirational

Isabel: It’s really inspirational. Like, you know, you listen to all these people that like, they overcome a lot.

And, you know, I also had to remind myself that like, yes, I moved all these times. I, you know, I went to all these weddings, but I don’t have kids. You know, like, I, I also didn’t mention that we did get a puppy too, in between this.

So that was also kind of crazy.

But, you know, I don’t have kids. I’m not, you know, a single parent. Like, it could be a lot worse. And I really think I had to like, really think about that too ’cause like I could complain all I wanted, but I was gonna change the situation and like, it could be worse.

Nate: Yeah, yeah. I mean, right. It, it could always be worse. There’s always someone out there who has like harder circumstances than you.

Isabel: Yeah. But that’s why I really like the podcast. ’cause it kind of like, yeah, I, like I said before, like the CPA process is so isolating and you hear from people that have a similar experience. [00:58:00] Um, and, and like that, that thing that girl said, like, I mean, totally resonated with me, resonates with me through everything.

Now that like this, it’s, it’s your own journey. I mean, just like a message for life.

Nate: Yeah, I, yeah, yeah, it’s true.

Isabel’s Biggest Takeaway

Nate: Um, well, yeah, so we, we’re just over an hour, so I mean, I don’t want to take up much more of your time, but, uh, did anything else on your notes about anything you wanted to mention about the whole process or just anything you wrote down that we didn’t talk about?

Isabel: I don’t really think so. I just think like the biggest takeaway is like, don’t give up and like, try to not spiral on the negativity. It’s so easy. But I think just not giving up like makes the whole process so worth it. And like, you know, it’s, it’s easy for me to say now, ’cause looking back, like, I mean, I was miserable, totally miserable. Um, but you know, we can get so wrapped up in all these negative things[00:59:00] that we have to do this, we have to do this. But then like, reminding yourself like, do I have to do this? No, I don’t. I’m choosing to and I’m gonna finish it because I chose to do it so.

Nate: And that is a very helpful thought, uh, exercise. Anything you’re trying to get yourself to do that feels like an obligation like, and you know, it’s in your own benefit like long term, but the day-to-day steps, like are just crappy basically. Um, was that something like, where’d you get that idea? Do you remember?

Just that.

Isabel: I dunno. It seems very David Goggins. I don’t know if you know who David Goggins is.

Nate: Yeah, Yeah.

Isabel: It, it seems like it could be David Goggins, but I don’t know. I’m sure it’s something that I, I took away from a podcast at some point, but I don’t know.

Nate: No, I, I just think that’s a great, uh. Yeah, it is just a very helpful idea. Whatever you’re trying to do, whatever your goals are, reminding yourself that, okay, you’re procrastinating, you’re like [01:00:00] self-sabotaging. Like, do you wanna quit? And if you’ve, you know, as soon as you kind of recognize that, you’re like, no, I’ve gotta going.

Choosing This Path and Not Giving Up

Isabel: Yeah, and I mean, it didn’t help, like I kind of fell into accounting. Like I didn’t, I don’t know, it just kind of happened, like, I was like, okay, I could get a good job. Great. I fell into it and I really had no, like, I didn’t know what to expect. I kind of thought I was gonna hate it, um, and I didn’t.

So then I, you know, then I had to really reframe it cause it was like, I really, I really, was choosing to do this. Like, this is what I wanna do. I’m, I like my job, I’m, I’m passionate about, you know, the Jacksonville office. Um, you know, I think the company I worked for is amazing and, you know, fully bought in.

So I was like, this is something I’m choosing to do.

I’m gonna do it. I’m not gonna give up.

Nate: Yeah. That’s awesome. Well, it was fun hearing your whole, you know, the whole story. Uh, ’cause with Voxer, you [01:01:00] know, it was just.

Isabel: Yeah,

Nate: 30 seconds messages back and forth. But yeah. Um, it’s, it’s awesome. You’re done and it’s such a relief. And especially again, having talked with you, you know, day, not always daily, but when you were going through, you know, the I guess valley of despair. I remember talking to you, you know, so many times, and, uh, I’m just, yeah, I’m really glad you got it figured out and you’re all done, so congrats.

Isabel: Thank you. And thank you for all your support and for listening to my crazy rants and all the madness. So I really appreciate everything you’re doing and I, I point a lot of people your direction. I think anyone who’s struggling with A CPA definitely take a look ’cause there’s no going back.

Nate: Yeah. Awesome. All right.

Nate: So that was the interview with Isabel, like I said, in the beginning, I’m sure you found that very informative and very [01:02:00] helpful, especially if you’ve struggled with motivation at some point. If you found this episode helpful, please take a second to like the video, leave a comment about one takeaway you got from Isabel’s interview, or if you are listening to the podcast version, please take a second and leave a rating and review in the podcast app where you listen to these.

So thanks for watching or listening and we’ll see you on the next episode.

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