If you hire a coach who gives sound advice, don’t just take it. Apply your own higher standard to build on what you’re told.
Mark Hellerstein, chairman of St. Mary Land & Exploration Co. in Denver, earned the highest grade in the United States when he completed the CPA exam in November 1974. When asked how he placed first out of 38,000 test takers, he says he prepared in two stages.
“First, I took a review course where we went through old exams and did the problems,” he recalls. “The instructor recommended that I do each problem twice. Well, I did each problem three times. That extra time really helped.”
By surpassing his coach’s suggestion, Hellerstein says he drove himself “to a higher level.” That gave him a confidence boost—and a huge practical advantage—during the actual test.
When you get advice, ask yourself, “How can I make it better?” Raise the bar so that you exceed even your advisor’s high expectations.