You’ve got your CPA. Why do you need a MBA?

I get asked this a lot by other people: “You’ve got your CA (Chartered Accountant) designation. Why do you need a MBA?”

People that know me know that I’ve got my Canadian CA and U.S. CPA accounting designations. They wonder why I still go for a MBA degree. They think this because I can get a decent job as a professional accountant without a MBA degree.

Let me ask you: “You’ve finished high school. Why did you attend university?” You can get a decent job with a high school diploma without an university degree.

Or let me ask, “You’ve drive a Toyota or a Ford. Why do you want a BMW or a Mercedes Benz?” You can get to where you want to go with a Toyota or Ford just fine.

Another example is, “You live in an apartment. Why do you want a house?” You can live comfortably in an apartment.

Everybody should keep improving themselves. In our parents’ generation, getting a high school diploma was enough. In that generation, if you had an university degree you had an advantage. If you had a master’s degree you were gold.

But fast forward to 2015. In our generation, nearly everybody has an university degree. Just going to university doesn’t guarantee a good job anymore.

As the world continues to improve, if you don’t improve you’re falling behind.

There are over 200,000 CPA members in Canada. I need to differentiate myself and have a broader skill set to set me apart from the rest of the crowd. Of the 200,000 Canadian CPA’s, many have their U.S. CPA designation as well. Getting my U.S. CPA was the first step to differentiate myself. Getting my MBA further gives me a skill set that distinguishes me from the crowd. My MBA is valuable.

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#LIFE GOALS#

I found this post on Facebook.

  1. Get Married before 30 when you’re really ready.
  2. Relive with $5 million loads of precious Memories 🙂
  3. Become an entrepreneur Influencer
  4. Fall in love with someone Beautiful Inner Beauty
  5. Make my parents proud of how much I earn happy I am
  6. Build my own Home dreams
  7. Make many Best friends
  8. Travel the World with that special person Alone
  9. Find happiness in the Luxury ORDINARY
  10. Find SOMEONE whom you can live with CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT

6 Ways to Succesfully Manage Stress (Part 2)

See last week’s post for the first 3 tips to manage stress.

4) Do something you love!

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For me, I still find time to play my guitar or read a new book, despite my busy schedule. It gives me great pleasure. For other people, hanging out with friends may be what you love doing. Make sure you schedule some time to do what you love despite your busyness.

Remember, one day in the future, all your busyness means nothing. It’s how you spent your quality time with quality people or activities that really matter.

5 Set apart 20 minutes of quiet time twice a day

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Some people pray, some people meditate. Whatever you call it, setting aside 20 minutes a day to calm my mind works wonders for me. I do it whenever I get very tired. I just calm my mind for 20 minutes and have some quiet time, putting away all my worldly worries and troubles for 20 minutes of serenity and peace. I may listen to soft music. It helps me relax, and give my mind a chance to rest. This is crucial.

6) Have a greater mission than yourself

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If you have a purpose in life, you are more alive. If you’re just trying to get by each day with no purpose in life, life becomes a drag and meaningless. For me, my Christian faith is of utmost importance. It gives me direction and purpose in life. It sets me on a mission greater than myself.

I have so many Stress Management tips I feel I can write a book. I’ll write more in a future post. Until then, hope you have a happy life! 🙂

6 Ways to Succesfully Manage Stress (Part 1)

Everyone is stressed out these days, from work, school, spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend, kids, family commitments, volunteer commitments, and other social activities. For many people, 24 hours don’t feel like enough time.

When I was at the Schulich School of Business, I have been under tremendous stress from the heavy course load and all the volunteering for extracurricular activities. Many people know I made the Dean’s Honor List for high GPA and won a Schulich convocation award and scholarship for commitment to student life and academic achievement. People see me as having abundant energy and am always smiling. I successfully managed my stress, but there was a learning curve.

The truth is, I am, like everyone else, made of flesh and blood. I feel stressed, I get tired, and can get worn out. Over the years, I’ve learned to manage stress better and better, and today I want to share some Stress Management techniques with you all.

1) Don’t use your smart phone during meals and when walking (seriously!)

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I eat at the Peking University cafeteria every day, and I look around to see students eating and looking at their smart phones. Our minds are constantly around the clock bombarded with text messages, e-mails, Facebook alerts, etc. Even during meals, which once upon a time was a time for the mind to rest from work and connect with people, now is interrupted by smart phone usage.

Also, did you know the first 10 minutes when you wake up sets the tone of your day? Studies have shown people that wake up and immediate reach for their smart phone to check e-mail and messages are more agitated and restless during the rest of their day. It is recommended when you wake up to resist checking your smart phone for a while.

Every time I see someone walking and looking at their smart phone I want to smack them on the head. First of all, look where you are going! You become prone to traffic accidents. Second, what is so important that you have to check while you are walking? Give your mind a chance to rest. Don’t walk and use smart phone simultaneously!

Also, don’t use your smart phone before you sleep. Studies have shown the blue light that radiates from smart phones or iPads and computers can affect our brains causing sleeplessness.

2) Learn to say “no”

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Many people are “yes men” or “yes women”. You know what I mean: they say “yes” to everything. They can’t turn down people in fear people will not like them. Sound familiar? I was once a “yes man”. I used to not be able to turn people down. Today, I know better. I need to worry about myself and my own priorities first. Yes, it sounds selfish, but the truth is, when I say “no” I have more time to focus on the things I’m already committed to. By saying “yes” all the time it takes me away from the things that matter the most. Therefore, I always turn down people’s requests if I know I cannot fulfill them satisfactorily. If you say “no”, trust me, the world will not end. Actually, people respect people who dare to say “no” more than “yes people”.

3) Exercise your body and eat a proper diet

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I know this is a cliché, but still many people don’t understand the urgency. The secret to staying healthy and managing stress is not really a secret. It’s really common knowledge. The real problem is whether you choose to do it or not. When people say, “I don’t have time to exercise”, I interpret that as “Exercise is not important enough for me to schedule time for it” or “I don’t know how to manage my time to do what’s really important, like taking care of my body.” I truly believe if I take care of my body, my body will take care of me. I am super busy, yet I still find time to go to the gym 3-4 times a week. I make exercise a priority. I find that after exercise, I feel more relaxed and more focused. I work more efficiently after exercising.

Now about diet, you are what you eat. If you eat junk food, you feel like junk. If you eat fruits and vegetables, and get your vitamins and fibre, you have more energy. Coffee and caffeine is a short-term fix, never should be used as a long-term solution. Caffeine makes a person agitated, it deteriorates performance over long-term use.

**Don’t be afraid to fail spectacularly!** (Part 2)

If you’ve never failed, it means you’ve never tried. If you’ve never tried things beyond your comfort zone, you’ve likely never failed. That’s not a good thing. **If this describes you, you’re probably living a boring life and not living out your true potential.**

**The important thing to remember is failure often teaches us more about ourselves than success ever will.** In a popular martial arts novel and movie, there is a type of sword technique called The 9 Lonely Sword Technique. The swords master explained to his pupil (the main character) that this set of sword skills was invented from techniques that failed. He asked the pupil, “How many people truly learn from their failures?” It was with this sword technique that the main character beat the evil character.

If you’ve failed and genuinely tried your best, pat yourself in the back. Be inspired. Get up stronger and try again with your new experience. Keep doing this. One day you will succeed!

**Don’t be afraid to fail spectacularly!**

**Don’t be afraid to fail spectacularly!** (Part 1)

What is Success? What is Failure?

There is something majorly wrong with our education system. Students are taught success is good, and failure is bad. Students with high grades are awarded, and those that failed are punished.

If I remember correctly, Sir Winston Churchill, the famous Prime Minister of the U.K. during World War II, failed in school and only passed English and History. By education standards, Churchill is a failure. Yet he went on to become a hero in the history of the U.K. and the world for contributing to world peace.

There is a proverb in Chinese, “失败乃成功之母”. It means Failure is the Mother of Success. The proverb implies failure often precedes success. I can attest to that. All, — not most — successful people can attest to that. All entrepreneurs probably have their hands up right now.

Example #1:
Abraham Lincoln, perhaps the most beloved president of the USA, was perhaps one of the most spectacular examples of failing a lot before succeeding. But I believe Lincoln became who he was because of his failure experiences. He got up stronger each time after falling down.

Example #2:
Thomas Edison failed 1,000 times to invent the lightbulb. Did Edison think he “failed” 1,000 times? No. Edison said he *successfully* found 1,000 ways not to make a lightbulb!

The examples are numerous.

**Want to get promoted? Work on your people skills** (Part 2)

Businesses and technologies change, but human nature and human psychology has not changed much in thousands of years. Many managers have read or listened to the audio version of this “How to Win Friends & Influence People” book and said, “I wish I’d known these things and how to deal with people 20 years ago!” Yes, knowing and applying principles in this book will make your life a lot easier if you know how to manage and work with people.

People skills take time to develop, but it’s so worth the time and rewards are huge

Many people tell me I have good people skills. Five years ago, after I received my CA designation I realized my people/soft skills were seriously lacking. Since then, I have worked hard to develop my people skills. I attended numerous seminars, classes, and workshops on leadership, negotiation, communication, teamwork, etc., and read countless books. I have been able to apply my new skills on an ongoing basis in leadership roles I’ve taken. I’ve been a board member, chair and president of several professional forums and committees, and served on student council at my MBA school. A large part of my success is due to the fact I’ve mastered most of the skills in “How to Win Friends & Influence People”, and I’m still learning and applying these skills working with people!

People skills take time to develop and master, but it’s so worth the time and the rewards are huge.