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Get out of the Vicious Circle of Attempt and Failure

Ashutosh Rathi 
on 03 February 2018


Failure-Attempt-Failure can be a vicious circle for many CA students and it becomes quite a frustrating experience to get off from the loop. The life seems to be stuck at one place despite all the hard-work. It's like pushing an elephant.

It is important to get out of this loop to create a life of your dream and become the Chartered Accountant. Breaking away from this loop will require you to think objectively, creatively and at times, taking drastic steps to set your priorities right and make things happen for yourself.

Let's see the root cause of being stuck in this vicious circle

Primarily, there are three root causes -

1) Inadequate time for the preparation
2) Doing the same thing and expecting different results (improper strategy & techniques)
3) Distracted & disempowering mindset

In this blog - I am sharing suggestions & ideas towards resolving the issue of inadequate time for preparation.

The most precious and perishable asset of your life (especially CA's student life) is time. Any mismanagement of time is bound to cost you heavily.

I will not cover the aspect of mobile phone and social media in detail here because I assume that you know that it is one of the biggest time killers of your study life. You should turn off all the notifications straight away and have enough wisdom to uninstall all the social media apps that take away your time for no good and justifiable reason.

Let's look into other two major reasons where time gets mismanaged & discover solutions for the same.

1) Self-Pity & Casualness
2) Living in Survival Zone

1. Self-Pity & Casualness

If you are in employment or article-ship and you wait for study leave to start your studies and find yourself saying 'I don't have time to study'; then most probably you are in the state of self-pity & casualness.

The Way Out:

I have a student in IGNITE who travels from Kalyan to Kandivali for work (one-way travel time is 2 hours) and still he manages to study for 5 hours a day. The art is squeezing out the time from your each day for your studies in an impeccable manner. Consider that if your each study hour's worth is Rs. 1 Lac how would you squeeze out your time. 

The most common complain of my students were 'Sir, we are so tired by the time we come from our office that that we don't feel like studying after coming home.'

I sit with them and make them carve out 5-6 hours and at times 7-8 hours without compromising on their sleep. It's all about prioritization. Let's look at an example:

Vipul starts for his office at 10.30am and reports to his office at 11am. From 11am to 7.30pm, he serves his work and comes home by 8pm and he is tired and has no stamina for studies.

First option is he can take a quick shower & light dinner (shower takes away your 70% of tiredness). Now he can study from 8.45pm to11.45pm, giving him 3 hours of study and then sleep at 12. He can wake up at 6am and start his studies at 7am and go until 10am. This gives him 3 hours which creates total of 6 hours of study.

If one who travels a lot to reach to his or her workplace, then they can choose a mode of travel that enables them to study. They can listen to video lectures on the go.

Now, if you are casual in your approach, this kind of schedule may appear unworkable for you. You may complain that there is no time for family, socializing, etc.

I agree. But get one thing clear. Its matter of 30-60 days until your study leaves starts. 6 hours of study on daily basis (and 10-12 hours on weekends) plugs the gap of inadequate time for your preparation and sets you in leading position for your dream of becoming the Chartered Accountant.  

Second option is if Vipul feels that he has no stamina and no interest for studies after coming home, then he can go to bed at 9pm and wake up at 3am and start his studies at 4am and go until 10am. Now you may feel 3am - oh that's too early!

But how does it matter if Vipul gets his daily quota of 6 hours of sleep. Note that nothing matters more than CA at this point of time in your life. Do what is right and not what feels comfortable.

Put the following QUOTE on your study table, on your wardrobe, on your washroom mirror, on your work-desk and live the quote every day.

It does not matters what you can give to CA,

What matters is WHAT CA WANTS from YOU.

If CA wants you to invest good time in your preparation to plug all your gaps, then be so. Just do it. Be like an ARMY officer for 90 days of your life.

If you will ask yourself, 'how much can I study out of my current schedule?', then your mind will give 10 reasons for not studying at the optimum capacity.

But if you ask yourself, 'What CA wants from me to do', you will get the right answer from within.

Hard-work is not optional. If Prime Minister of our country can work so hard at 67 years, why can't you?  He is a human and so do you. All you need is massive commitment.  

Flush out all the 'chalta hai' & 'ho jayega' attitude in life. These are 'THE' suckers of your success.

2. Living in Survival Zone

The second major reason is living in survival zone.

If your family income is dependent on your income, then you may find yourself stuck in the job for the survival pressures. You don't want to take too much of study leave or leave your job because it will impact your income. Now what do you do?

The Way Out:

There is clear conflict of interest. Your CA wants you to invest time in preparation whereas your job wants you to invest time in your work. 

Consider for a moment that what if you are a 'startup entrepreneur'. If you need to create a superb product which will require good amount of time and resources but you don't have funds to sustain the gestation period. What do you do?

You raise FUNDS right! You raise funds to take care of cash burn until you create the product.

Yes, it's time to be 'The CApreneur'. There is no harm in taking funds to finance your cash flows for your survival needs, for your gestation period.  

In IGNITE - many students were such who were stuck in this cycle which costed them 6-8 attempts i.e. 3-4 years. I made them present to clear financial loss of (opportunity loss) of 30 to 40 Lacs and priceless amount of emotional loss they have suffered and showed them what future looks like if they continue to remain in the loop of survival pressure. 

I inspired one of the student for not leaving the premises until he arranged 1.5 Lacs that he required for survival for 5 months. Guess how much time he took to raise these funds?

Just 1 hour.

I made him write names of his relatives and close friends and told him to call them up and share his situation authentically. It worked. The second concern was handling the work of his personal files / clients. It took another 3 hours to zero down a young Chartered Accountant who was happy to take his work and share a decent referral to him.

For raising funds, at times one person will give the amount you need while most of the times you just need to crowd fund it from 8-10 relatives/ friends. Give them 7-8% interest that they shall anyway earn in FD's. This way you are not taking any obligation from anyone.

Note that taking funds/ loan is not a bad thing. If it was bad, then entire banking system should collapse. It is our mindset that has been inflicted with disempowering beliefs of taking loans.  

Raising funds / loan is just smoothening the cash flow needs of your life. Startup entrepreneurs take millions of dollars to fund their crazy ideas where 9 out of 10 ideas fail. You are taking funds to fund your education. If MBA's & Engineers can raise funds, why can't you?

Now you may think - what if I take funds and I don't clear the exam?

Yes, this fear will come. Tell yourself, if MBA aspirants can take 10-12 Lacs loan from Bank and repay it later, can't I take this much? Isn't my CA degree worth it?

You know the answer.

Once you have raised funds, you got to create superb strategy and then work your butts off to make things happen.

Get this thing straight. You are investing your time for creating an intellectual property called 'Chartered Accountant' which shall create massive increase in your cash flows for entire life time. Discount the increased cash flows and create the Net Present Value of your degree. You will see the opportunity yourself.

At times; you don't even need to raise funds, you can simply liquidate assets which are dormant & unproductive. You can always buy those assets later when you become Chartered Accountant. It's so simple.

Once you raise the funds & quit the job - then it's time for superb preparation with phenomenal mindset and right strategies like that of a Rank-holder. 

As I said at the beginning of this blog that Failure-Attempt-Failure is a costly vicious circle and breaking away from this loop will require you to think objectively, creatively and at times, taking drastic steps to set your priorities right and make things happen.

The author of this article is CA Ashutosh Rathi and creator of IGNITE- The Quantum Leap Program for CA Students. He can also be reached at ignite@ashutoshrathi.com


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