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Failing my CIMA exams? The BEST thing that happened…

I know I say this all the time – but it’s TRUE. I know exactly what you’re going through right now.


I was nervous & moody before my exams (sound familiar?!). I’d study for weeks, reading my text book over and over. I’d spend days and days writing long, pretty revision notes (check out last week’s blog on why this is such a sh*t way to revise!).


I worked so, so hard. Studying, revising, learning. And tearing my hair out.

My career was going brilliantly. I was getting great promotions, job titles and practical experience.


But I wasn’t passing every exam and I was so tired, frustrated and bored.

My colleagues were passing their exams and I was gutted that I wasn’t proving I was a great accountant and knew my stuff too (again – sound familiar?!).


I was full of determination to get my ACMA letters and finish what I started. I truly wanted that qualification as an amazing strong foundation for the rest of my career and life.


Looking back now, this journey and those exam failures were the best thing that could’ve happened.  Because they made me such a more determined and ambitious lady – as you know, I describe myself as the most determined and ambitious person you will ever meet! And my tough CIMA journey contributed hugely to that for me.


After I qualified, I joined the Official CIMA Mentoring Program. I was a CIMA mentor because I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to support & help qualifying accountants to have the success they wanted & deserved too.


In 2016 I mentored some NHS Finance accounting graduates for a few months. One lovely guy, Alex, had sat his CIMA exams twice and failed – and guess what? He passed his 3rd attempt and is now a Finance Manager (click here to see Alex’s case study).

Another mentee needed to balance her work-life-study because she was juggling 2 young children, going from part time to full time and a new puppy!


I loved mentoring and supporting others to share my skills, tips and ideas. I loved helping people achieve results that had deep meaning for them (plus the amazing CIMA qualification).


Since then, I’ve honed in and soaked up as much coaching, leadership and mentoring development as possible. I always knew leadership was a superpower I wanted to use and develop (like when I was 18, I completed my Sports Leadership Awards).


But honestly, I love coaching – adore it, it’s my passion! –  and between you and me, I know I’m getting stronger & stronger as a coach with every single new client.


I’ve always been like a sponge (not a sieve – ha ha!). I learn and soak up knowledge, listen and ask a million questions, just to understand and know and focus on the whys and hows. I’ve loved growing my career and business over the last 15 years to be a strong, knowledgeable accountant who adds value and knows how to support a business and teams.


With that soaking-up-style of learning, I’ve watched many of my role models, coaches and managers and have picked up strengths, logically discounted their weaknesses and listened! All to develop and improve me as a super-strong Accountant and now an Accounting Coach.


It’s been a very fun and inspiring journey so far…


I set up my business in April 2018 & started work with my first paying coaching client not long afterwards. I’m super proud to say that my 10th client sat his ACCA exams in June! The passion, commitment and transformation of these clients is amazing. I’m SO proud of them – their confidence, motivation and accounting knowledge is ridiculously high!


They have implemented the plans and actions I coach them on and they have done the work – the RIGHT work!


I am a coach for a reason – because I love making a difference.


I am an Accounting Coach for a reason – because I am CIMA qualified and I know the struggles / pain / amazing rewards of this emotional rollercoaster. I KNOW how to coach accountants through it!

I am a cheerleader because my passion and enthusiasm really motivate my clients, boosts their confidence (with coaching tricks I’ve learnt) and keeps them on the right track to PASS.


I’ll be super honest here. I want to help thousands more qualifying accountants and I wish I could write that I’ve had 1100 clients in 2019.


I can’t – yet. But I WILL!


From the amazing clients I have coached, I’ve learnt SO much and finally been able to coach in a way that makes a positive, successful difference.


My superpower is the motivation and focus I coach when my clients are 2 weeks away from their exams (I frickin’ LOVE it!). So close to passing, we work smartly on tweaking the final bits and to calmly, confidently prepare for the exam day. It’s the absolute best bit for me!


Last month, two of my clients – Charlie and Taps – had the full-on passionate Helen coaching experience. Because they are sitting their ACCA exams! The 6 weeks of coaching revision had come together and the coaching magic was SO powerful. I was in my element – super confidence, Helen coaching mode!


THREE things I want to make clear and be honest about (one of my values is honest helpful advice)…

  1. I took 18 exams sittings to pass my 10 CIMA exams (so truly, I know what it’s like to fail and HOW to pick yourself up and pass).
  2. I still work full time and have an amazing career, as a Senior Management Accountant. I coach in my spare time and it’s my second full time job! Because I’m passionate and I love it and know how many of us need the support.
  3. This is me being super real with you – I’m a MUCH a stronger coach now than I was in 2018.  I have listened to YOU, coached you and improved my skills so I can serve you better, quicker and smarter.


And I LOVE it! Being your Accounting Coach is my passion, it’s in my soul and it lights me up . I’d love to coach and support YOU today, too.


I can’t guarantee you will pass your exam (#sorrynotsorry) but I CAN guarantee I will do everything I can to coach, support, motivate and focus you, to give you the best ever chance of accounting success.


I did it, I know it’s tough, WE can do this!


If this still doesn’t reassure you, click here to see what some of my clients say!


And if you’re ready to take the next steps towards your success TODAY?


Just click here to book a call now – and let’s have a chat about coaching packages, and exactly how I can help you PASS those exams!

Until next time


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