Somewhere middle of last year, I had the opportunity to attend an entrepreneurial conference and as part of my usual stuff, I made time to build networks. I met Mr. A (hypothetical name), a relatively younger and well-grounded businessman who was part of the guests.
I chose to meet him because his delivery was catchy and convincing; the overriding theme that characterized his speech was “SMARTNESS”. If there’s anything I remember him for, it certainly is the concluding part of his presentation–“I am not rich; I am smart. If you take all my wealth away, I could create it back within a flash so far as my head still functions. If you’re rich without a resourceful brain, you lose hope at a flinch of misfortune”.
Now let me quickly expose you to my personal observation about speeches delivered by businessmen and motivational speakers. On the real, majority of them mostly end up wasting productive time and as well brag with theories without making any practical headway. Apart from the usual “save money” advice that even the layman could give, these supposed business minded people mostly fail to state categorically, a well-developed pragmatic start-up plan required to fuel an infant business.
With that in mind, I chose to relate with Mr. A on a later date to get specific details about the master plan with which he broke through and made his money. My knowledge in human relation has actually helped me to build a good rapport and quickly familiarize myself with him. With time, we became close friends and actually relate on personal grounds.
Few months into our friendship I got a rumour he’s an atheist which I didn’t believe because I knew him as a very religious person. Since I don’t work with speculations, I’ve decided to test him with either “God bless you” or “Jesus is coming soon” statements.
Now, if you’re familiar with or has ever had a typical atheist as a friend or relative, you’ll get to know the magnitude of hatred they have for those statements. If you receive a favour from a Gnostic atheist and you make the statement “God bless you”, you better pray for the intervention of the spirit of tolerance. If not, gentleman, you’ve marred your relationship with him.
Second, if you put the anger of an intrinsic atheist to test, with the “Jesus is coming soon” statement, and that particular atheist is not a prodigal one, he will not under any circumstance argue that with you. He will throw a usual dare by asking you to “take a marker and write Jesus is coming soon on his wall; when you’re 60 and He (Jesus) doesn’t, he will bring you back to buy a paint and clean the nonsense”.
I tried the second with utmost caution but it backfired. He predicted it and we both laughed it off. He then set a later date to feed my curiosity which I honoured and he opened up.
“Kwame; when I finished my first degree and completed my service, things were so tough. I wrote numerous application letters seeking jobs that never really existed. I took thousands of aptitude tests but couldn’t get a call up. After three (3) good years, I realized I was lacking hence an urgent need to take an action. My course of study taught me to utilize my environment to my benefit so I did few visibility studies and discovered what actually sells in Ghana: religion and politics. They sell faster than anything.
Politics requires connection and demands money relative to religion. I chose religion and started with few friends (atheist). We pooled resources together, started a fifty (50) member capacity church and recruited a pastor. Within six months, we were able to expand it. It went on and on till where we are now. We have 3 major branches operated by well-trained pastors and accountants on regular salaries. We only supervise, take the cash, renovate and build new structures.”
On What Happens When the Members Get To Know They Are Not Believers?
“….religious people hardly change their minds on things they believe. It’s not a possibility but if it does we would have captured a lot of grounds and built structures. It’s a whole project and we’ll easily convert it into a business and employ them back. They don’t have a choice. We actually built other businesses from what we made from the church where some of them actually work. It’s a huge business on its own and it fetches a lot. It’s just a thing about business; you should be smart.
On Ideological Conflicts:
Yes we are aware we don’t like anything religious but there are exceptions when it comes to business. The fact is, the atheist community knew that religious people don’t listen to anything apart from their respective doctrines so instead of engaging them in a fruitless argument, play their card by acting like one of them. We don’t have the time to argue, we do business with them. It makes more sense.
On Sharing This Mind Blowing Discovery in a Write-Up:
You can but I’m trusting your words not to disclose to anyone my identity or that of the church–aside that, I’m cool. They should be smart and make good use of their environment too.
Richard Kwame Krah