Owner and founder of Ioannis Eliades International, ACCA Fellow, and ACCA SA Board Member, Johnny Eliades is passionate about the ACCA qualification.
In every ACCA professional’s life there was a time where he had to make a decision upfront that this profession is what he wants. I am honoured that ACCA asked me to write on this topic: it brings back many memories of my journey to become an ACCA professional. As I sit in my office taking 20-30 calls a day, running 10 businesses, assisting clients all over South Africa and all over the world, I am very proud that some years ago I decided to take on this profession and become an ACCA professional.
For the last 15 years I have been helping people get what they want and become successful. This is what the IE International Group does – we help people become successful. This week I will be flying to Cape Town to speak to a group of students with one thing in mind – to tell them they have what it takes to get qualified.
Success is made up of two parts, the practical and the psychological. The psychological aspect of success counts for 80%. The psychological aspect raises questions: what will you have to do to pass? What will you have to sacrifice? What will it take to complete this journey? I am proud of the fact that this journey is not easy. Who wants a qualification that is easy, that is handed out to anyone who wants it and does not need to do much to get it? You have to make a conscious decision to become an ACCA professional.
There will be people and situations that make you doubt yourself and make you stop believing in yourself. You may say to yourself “this is not for me, who am I to want to become a chartered account?” Who are you not to want that? Why must you settle? Most people do not know you; they do not know your ability. The people who love you want to protect you from getting hurt, and that is why they do not want you to go all out for this profession. Being protected will not help you reach the top.
In the last few days before leaving school my accounting teacher asked me to stay behind in class. He said: “Johnny, I would like to give you some advice as you are about to leave school. I have been your accounting teacher these past few years and I have seen what you can do. Whatever you do, do not study to become an accountant.” I was devastated. Here was my teacher, who was meant to encourage me, but he felt he was protecting me. He had decided that I did not have what it takes to become an accountant.
I did not listen to people who did not believe in me. I contacted the university, who suggested that I do a bridging course. It was hard, but eventually what had been difficult was starting to become easy. What had seemed impossible was becoming possible. I started to understand figures and accounting, and I started to believe more in myself. I made a decision upfront that I have what it takes and that was the only deciding factor. It was not people’s judgement, it was not the lack of finances, it was not my perceived lack of ability – it was a decision that I made to become a chartered accountant.
You have what it takes. The only thing that will determine whether you achieve or do not achieve this qualification is whether you believe it or not. You have to believe it deep down in your heart. When you believe it, your actions must reflect that belief. This is the kind of belief, determination and commitment that will help you achieve this outstanding qualification.
I have made a commitment to be a member of the board of ACCA South Africa because I have a mission for South Africa. I believe that because of the way the ACCA qualification is structured, it makes a great opportunity available to everyone. There is no excuse not to get a qualification which will open doors that you never thought were possible, which will also, unlock your true potential, and enable you to see what you are really capable of.
I encourage you to take a leap of faith and decide to do a qualification that has allowed people to live the life of their dreams, impacting people and companies. Take that next step to be the next ACCA qualified professional in South Africa and the world. Make a difference in the world, in your life and in the lives of others. You have what it takes, believe it.
Johnny Eliades, owner and founder, Ioannis Eliades International