It’s Tough. It’s Worth it. It’s Good.

another71I blasted this out to my email list late Saturday night when I was still working. So many people responded to it via email and on the Another71 Forum that I turned it into a blog post and I hope it helps motivate you as well – whatever obstacle you're currently facing. – Jeff


It's Saturday night – straight up 10pm Central time.

I'm not really where I want to be right now.

I'm at my office about 20 minutes from my house.

What am I doing?

I'm working on the new NINJA Book.

BEC to be exact.

Performance Measures to be even more exact-er.

(That's a word, I promise.)

In a moment of weakness a minute ago, I sighed and thought “yeesh, this hard work.”

And then I immediately thought…

well yeah it is, anyone can do something easy…it's tough, but it will be worth it.”

Most things in life worth doing … are hard.

(Breaking News, I know.)

However, we all need a reminder of that now and then.

It's tough, but it's worth it – and it's good.

I wrote out a Proverb on an index card awhile back and put in on the kitchen sink one day for my wife.

“Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean…”

We have six kids and as you can imagine…they make messes….they have fights.

A lot of them.

Being a parent is tough, but it's worth it – and it's good.

Wherever you are right now

… Taking the CPA Exam

… battling drama at work

… going crazy as a parent

… trying to figure out what is next

… I've been there in many cases.


It's tough, but it's worth it, and it's good – you just have to find the good and focus on it.

Making this BEC book is tough, but it will be good when it's finished – just like making the NINJA Audio was tough – but was glad when I was able to release it.

Taking the CPA Exam is tough.

(again, Breaking News)

… it's expensive

… it's boring

… no one understands how horrible it is

… getting up early to study is the worst

studying at lunch is the last thing you want to be doing (that's supposed to be break time, remember???)

… speaking of the NINJA Audio, you would rather listen to music again in the car, but you feel guilty (and you should)


… oh, and studying on the weekends?


…but it's good because you have your sights set on bigger and better things and it is a vehicle to get you there.

… Work drama

… co-worker issues


… boss troubles

…. all are tough, but they're good because:

1. You will learn a lot from it if you approach it as a valuable learning experience and

2. You have a job! A lot of people would kill for that right now.

Whatever you're currently facing that is tough … it's worth it … make it good.

Jeff Elliott, CPA [KS]

Have a question about the CPA Exam (or how to survive taking 6 kids into Olive Garden)?

You can Ask Jeff.

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Ioana 7 years ago

I read this right when I needed it. Having been a humanities major in undergrad who transitioned to accounting and finance, I've never expected I'll find myself studying for the CPA exam, with all the worry and anxiety that it entails. On a Saturday night I was doing MCQ and wondering why am I doing this to myself...Well, it's worth it, that's why. And I'm a tough cookie! 2 down and 2 to go!! Thank you, Jeff!

stovy40 7 years ago

Thanks for that, Jeff! You have no idea how timely that was! I put in well over 15 hours this weekend on FAR and over 25 hours last week (test on Feb 10). It gets hard to maintain focus sometimes, especially knowing I still have many hours to go. Also, thanks for the promo on the NINJA flashcards. They are a great study tool and are helping everything stick!

Tee 7 years ago

I was just thinking why do this to myself, only to come so close and then nothing, the feeling of being so disappointed. I thought this would be perfect timing, since I don't have a job to get back on the bandwagon, by my thoughts were waging war within me, I was feeling so overwhelmed and frustrated, then I received Jeff's email. I am motivated once again, thanks Jeff I needed that.

Kschmid85 7 years ago

I really needed to hear this. Between trying to find time and the focus to study for this exam, work, and dealing with child custody life was getting tough but at least I know I'm not the only one dealing with life along with the CPA :)

Angela 7 years ago

Hey Jeff, Thanks for this encouraging message. I was actually having a hard time focusing and feeling motivated these days especially because I hadn't passed the first two exams I took. I will focus on the good. Thank you for your consistent accountability.

katymegh 7 years ago

I am taking FAR this Friday, and receiving this e-mail on Saturday night after a long frustrating day of review was incredibly motivating. It was also a relief to be reminded that none of us our alone; we're all striving for something and "suffering" together. Thanks so much for the message!

Joshua 7 years ago

Hey Jeff, I really appreciate this email. I was halfway through studying for FAR, and I just hit an emotional wall. So much information, and really doubting myself. I put off studying for a couple days because of it, but your email has given me encouragement to keep at it. So thank you!

Jewelygurl 7 years ago

This message definitely came at the right time! Thanks for the words of encouragement and the reminder of why I'm currently torturing myself (FAR on Feb 1st). :-)

Andrew 7 years ago

Ioana, I was also undergrad humanities major who somehow grew into a career in accounting and finance. I had no idea then that I had a knack for the numbers. It always makes my heart sink when I reveal my major to a hiring manager and I see the look on their face. This is why I am pursuing a CPA and the validation it will provide. I am encouraged by your post. I hope to be half way through the process myself. Thanks for encouraging me without even knowing it.

Audra 7 years ago

This really was a great motivator. AUD Feb 14th. Valentines day. Not that I really care about that, but still - so romantic. It is good knowing I'm not suffereing alone!

Can 7 years ago

BEC Feb 14th! ;) good luck!

Todd 7 years ago

So inspiring Jeff. I listen to your ninja audio every day and I really miss music lol

anna 7 years ago

Andrew, Ioana, Another undergrad humanities major here. I'll be CPA exam eligible in May. Keep up the good work guys. You're ninjas, you can do it!

N.P. 7 years ago

Thanks for those inspiring words Jeff, they couldn't have come at a better time for me and am sure so many many others out here! I am so grateful to have found the NINJA study material you made so available to those like myself that were tired of searching for good hands-on study material! Good luck as you press forward writing the book for BEC and I look forward to indulging my brain cells with that material once your done with it as well!

Andrew 7 years ago

Great to hear I am not the only one! Also, thanks for the support. Right back at you! I will be eligible this summer, by the way. It would have been sooner but work and life obligations put me behind schedule a couple of times. The delay was exacerbated by the change in requirements for Illinois. Still, I am going to stay on track!

Pinky 7 years ago

This was a good dose of motivation just when I needed it. Thank you Jeff for all of your inspiring words and thanks especially to all of you who share your struggles.

Ready2baCPA 7 years ago

Jeff, I mean this in the best way. .. this is THE BEST email I've received from you!!! Thank you. .. this was right on time as I'm laying here thinking about what's next as I wait for my third score and worry if I'm going to pass my fourth one the first time around..... Thanks for the powerful thoughts....

Kevin 7 years ago

Jeff, Thanks for the words of encouragement. I'm in the middle of studying BEC....ironically performance measurements! Unfortunately, I had let the day get away from me and didn't get through nearly as much material as I had planned. It feels awful to waste any amount of time with only a few short weeks remaining until test day. It was just too crazy getting that email about motivation discussing the exact topic I was supposed to be finishing. Time to get focused and try to remember that it will be worth it in the end! Thanks for all your hard work....heads down pencils up!

Nakia 7 years ago

Your email was very timely. I am a week away from sitting for REG and was getting very discouraged. I have taken once before and received a 70. Really hoping to get it passed this go around. Thanks for all the encouragement!

Brian 7 years ago

Jeff, Always good to have a little motivation. Thanks for being a bright light in an often dark world.

Patrik 7 years ago

Thank for the positive uplifting e-mail! I'm taking audit this Friday....your e-mail came at a good time. :)

kim 7 years ago

Thanks again for the email. I thought the exam was excruciating and and now that I'm working, I've found myself struggling after my second week on my new job. I started second guessing my CPA decision because of family life, not know the software, working with strangers, etc. when I got your email. It made me feel better and put everything back into reality. You can also put Motivational Speaker on your resume. :)

Dani 7 years ago

Your email came at the right time for me. Saturday night, studying internal controls for auditing and i was not feeling it. Your words of encouragement were just what I needed. Thanks so much!

John 7 years ago

I know the feeling I have been at the cpa nearly 2 years with three kids. Going thru three of the exams again. Passed BEC right out the gate then a 68 on far 72 on audit 73 on REG. Just retook THE now on to audit end of Feb. I really liked the ninja flash cards for REG.

Deb 7 years ago

Thanks Jeff. Studying for my 3rd attempt at FAR after being out of school for more than a decade. Ugh. Onward.