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CPA Speak: Financial Success - Sweating the Big Stuff...Literally


I am a CPA and naturally my work is all about finances and helping my clients grow their businesses to their highest potential. I am also an Ironman finisher, which is a triathlon competition that includes 2.4-mile open water swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run - all must be completed within 17 hour timeline.

You might ask 'what does an Ironman has to do with financial success?' My answer is - everything. Competition in sports is no different than a competition in business - it requires determination, preparation, endurance, discipline and consistency. Many of you will think that this is absolutely insane, but you might be surprised that many of the Ironman competitors are doctors, lawyers, CEO's and other professionals that have very demanding work lives. Naturally these people have A type personalities that drives them to compete, not only in their business world, but also outside of it.

I want to share with you things that I've learned from preparing for and competing in an Ironman triathlon:

Focus - once I made a decision to do an Ironman, all my actions were designed around it - I changed my sleeping regime and made my day as efficient as possible fitting in my client meetings and workouts. It's no different when you are focused on growing your business - you create a plan of action and you change your routine to execute it.

Discipline - this is probably the biggest take away for me personally, even to this day. It takes enormous discipline to train for an Ironman and I am talking about 15 to 20 hours of training per week, which is of course in addition to your day job. No other event in my life has brought me as much discipline as training for an Ironman. I would get up at 4:30 am, run 17 miles and be in the office by 9:30am. I knew I had to do that if I wanted to succeed in the race.

Determination and commitment - I really wanted to succeed and complete in this race and therefore I was very much determined. It's like anything else in life - if you are determined, you will commit to the necessary actions and therefore succeed. Determination will translate into a commitment which will help you stay disciplined in a long run.

Sacrifice - again, real life kicks in - something has to give. Success in sports or business does not come without a sacrifice. While training for the ironman I had to give up a lot of social and other activities but this is what I wanted and therefore the sacrifice was worth it to me. Nothing great in life comes easy but if you want it bad enough you can achieve it!

Desire - everything is meaningless without a passion and desire. Desire is what drives people to make certain commitments and sacrifices; desire will push you to do better than mediocre and will give you courage and strength.

The finish line is so rewarding and I relive it in my mind quite often, especially when things get tough or I lose my mojo for a moment. So, dream big, get serious about your desired achievement and choose growth!

Dalia Cantor, CPA, has been practicing as an accountant and tax advisor since 1997. She is a Certified Public Accountant in the states of Florida and New York, and graduated Dowling College with a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting. Dalia is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Prior to establishing her own practice, Dalia worked in public accounting managing both domestic and foreign audit and tax clients. In private industry, she was involved in the regulatory environment, specializing in technical accounting, internal controls, and SEC reporting for publicly held companies. She can be reached at

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