If you haven't followed the PHC hangout in November at ICGC New Wine Temple, you've missed out on a lot. Rev. and Mrs. Ocran curated a series of talks featuring renowned speakers, including the playwright Uncle Ebo Whyte, Professor Robert Hinson (Pro Vice Chancellor GCTU), Bernard Avle (GM, Citi FM & Citi TV ), Seth Quaye (CEO, Mac Partners group) and entrepreneur Kofi Owusu-Nhyira (CEO, Nsano Limited), bringing them to the New Wine auditorium to share their insight and experience on navigating the challenges and opportunities of "Doing Business in Deep Waters." The speakers emphasized that while doing business in deep waters may bring risks, storms, and uncertainty, it's also where we can see the works and wonders of God. The program concluded yesterday with Professor Hinson, an African marketing expert, as the final speaker.
Professor Hinson employed the term "business" as an acronym for his presentation, and judging by the audience's reactions, his insights were met with great delight. With personal anecdotes and playful interjections, he delivered a message on branding and marketing, demonstrating the expertise of a seasoned professional in the field. He declared, "These are the business principles for witnessing the wonders of the Lord and the wonders of the deep:"
B - Build a strong, recognizable brand
U - Utilize and expand your network as a promotional tool
S - Shift to a mindset of giving
I - Insist on holiness in all aspects of business
N - Negotiate the first customer experience with utmost care
E - Establish a personal board of directors to provide guidance and support
S - Serve relentlessly, always exceeding expectations
S - Say "yes" as often as possible, reserving "no" for only the most essential circumstances
Understanding his audience, Professor Hinson anchored his message in scriptural principles, declaring that the Christian God is not opposed to personal or professional branding; instead, He supports it.
After the professor's presentation, I had the opportunity to speak with him, introduced by the host, Mrs. Ocran. I posed the question of how an introvert can effectively engage in aggressive networking. I asked this because Professor Hinson addressed networking as an integral part of his business acronym. With down-to-earth style, he stated, "When God asks you to network, how can you say you can't do it because you are an introvert? Do you use your temperament as an excuse to disobey God?" Then, he stressed that many great deals happen behind closed doors, not necessarily in the public eye, affirming that introverts can indeed be successful networkers.
The professor’s answer demonstrated that Christians must not allow worldly categories to limit us. While psychological profiling is valuable, biblical commands must rule our hearts. This means that even if our temperament is opposed to God’s command, we must strive to obey God at all cost. God may instruct us to do things that go against our natural tendencies, things we perceive as weaknesses, just as He did with Moses, sending him to speak despite his stutter.
A gentleman from the audience sought the professor's advice on managing a partner who, despite limited contributions, possessed one crucial skill. Professor Hinson responded, "I am who I am today because of the donkey jobs I have done." This gentleman, unsure of whether to part ways with his partner, sought counsel. The professor advised that as long as the partner contributed something positive, even if it was just one thing, the partnership should be maintained.
In his closing remark, Professor Hinson said "I am who I am today because of the grace of God."To juxtaposed this statement with the donkey job statement, the takeaway for me is that the grace of God can lead a child of God to humble beginnings, and we shouldn't view these experiences as beneath us. We may be God's children, and yet our training and journey may take us to some of the lowest places on earth or provide us with challenging experiences, all meant to shape us for our God-given assignments.
I think that one day when we succeed in doing business in deep waters, we can also say with the professor that “I am who I am today because of the grace of God and the donkey jobs I did.”