News | FLASHBACK: Poverty is a vision problem - Capital Bank's William Ato Essien

FLASHBACK: Poverty is a vision problem - Capital Bank's William Ato Essien

Popular Articles

General News of Friday, 10 August 2018

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Ato Essien  Capital BankWilliam Ato Essien prides himself on his diligence and hard work

This story was originally published on Monday, December 22 2014

One of the lowest points in the life of business mogul Mr William Ato Essien was when he found himself at age 15 working as a head porter at the Kaneshie Market in Accra. His job entailed carrying loads of various items for market women and shoppers in order to fend for himself.

Even at that menial job, he did not compromise on diligence, hard work, trustworthiness and planning, the very principles that have shaped his life into the accomplished entrepreneur that he is today.

Mr Essien is the founder of First Capital Plus Bank (FCPBL) and a number of companies, including Essien Swiss International Capital Holdings (ESICH), Gye Nyame Mines, and Wade-Laurel Printing Press Limited.

His outstanding achievements, which have dwarfed his harsh beginning in life, have made him appear specially gifted in the area of entrepreneurship.

However, the celebrated business executive and mentor explained that his success and progress in life can be attributed to his diligent commitment and adherence to three key factors.

“There are three things that I hold dear, and in my opinion they are secret principles that if people take seriously, they will be able to probably do more than what I have been able to do,” Mr Essien said on the Springboard, Your Virtual University on Joy FM.

“These factors – the God factor, which I call vision; the law of apprentice; and the desire of excellence – are the three things that I think if anybody is able to pick up, that person will be able to make things happen out of nothing,” he said on the Leaders’ Digest hosted by Rev. Albert Ocran.

Mr Essien was the 15th and final guest on the series, which started last September, as a special platform for renowned corporate executives and business leaders to share their life principles.

Turning point

Narrating the circumstances that influenced his decision to look for a job at the market as a porter, Mr Essien recollected that he was once motivated by Pastor Mensa Otabil of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), who in a sermon encouraged the church members to start doing something no matter how small that thing was.

“At the time, I said to myself that I didn’t have money, social capital or education but I had my strength and so I was going to trade my strength for money and that is why I ended up at Kaneshie. Many people may not know but I was a head porter in Kaneshie carrying things,” he recalled.

While eulogising Pastor Otabil for the motivation and his life-changing sermons, Mr Essien also recalled further that subsequent moral lessons by the founder of the ICGC caused him to be creative in the business of carrying people’s load at the market, which eventually gave him the capital and experience needed to start and run businesses.

“He (Pastor Otabil) taught us that you should do anything your hand finds with diligence and so although I was a head porter, I did it with diligence and creativity. It wasn’t too long, I had become a contractor and so when the people came from Techiman (in the Brong Ahafo Region), I will contract their load and I will rather get boys to carry,” he recounted.

Three months after, Mr Essien said, he started selling mobile phones; another three months down the line, he had started selling bales of ‘obroni waawu’ (used clothing) because “Pastor Otabil will always inspire you to know that you are in transit”.

The rich and poor: The difference

Throwing more light on the three core principles of success, Mr Essien said his modest beginnings had taught him that poverty was not the result of lack of money, but of vision.

"I always say that money is not the problem. It is the vision. Vision is amazing and it is almost like the driving force of everything that I have done. The deliberate mental picture that I hold for tomorrow is one of the things that make me restless," he said.

Instead of using lack of money as an excuse for failure, people should rather commit to and work towards bringing their dreams into reality, no matter the financial constraints they face, he advised.

He also emphasised the need for people to put into action what they have conceived, explaining that while most rich people were committed to being rich, the poor only wished for riches.

"Restlessness is critical. Having the mental picture of tomorrow is the starting point but you have to wake up from the point where you are,” he said.

“For me, the meaning of ‘start’ is to shift to action after reading the theory”.

“If it is a dream of getting a Master’s degree, then make the enquiry, pick up the form, fill and submit and let it get to the point where you have to pay the fees and God could make a way out for you. If it is a business, go to the Registrar-General, register it, get an office and when it gets to the payment, God will bring the resources”.

Life’s lessons

In spite of the personal efforts towards his success, Mr Essien sees it as a product of God's grace.

"I do not deserve to be where I am except for the grace of God, I work hard but I think people work harder than me yet they have not seen the results I have seen. I think I have social capital but there are people who have more social capital than I do. So, basically, my life is a product of God's grace," he stressed.

Touching on the key events in his life, he said at age 11, he witnessed fire burn the hair of his mother who was a baker.

Although he was too little to help, Mr Essien said he resolved to do all he could to prevent a repeat and that had spurred him into engaging in things that would bring success.

Another significant turning point, he said, was in Accra where he had his first encounter with 'divine wisdom'. He reminisced that he was once at Kaneshie in Accra, where he had difficulty getting a car home.

Having just completed reading a book on Divine Wisdom, Mr Essien said he whispered to the Holy Spirit requesting guidance on how to get home. The guidance of the spirit, he said, enabled him to get a car, which was paid for by colleague passengers, and even gave him extra money for dinner that night.

"That was when I was introduced to myself. It was the meeting with the most important person on earth, which is meeting with myself".

"So, these are the two turning points in my life and they changed my life forever, and that accounts for my total dependence on God and being self-reliant," Mr Essien said.

The third, he said, was the profound statement by Pastor Otabil, which pushed him into trading his strength for cash and subsequently becoming an entrepreneur and employer of thousands of people across the county and other African countries.

Three core values

On the three values that he holds dear, Mr Essien mentioned the God factor, writing down plans, and discipline and commitment to whatever he did.

Under the God factor, he said, he had come to realise that he was a product of God and had learnt to engage in perpetual thanksgiving and worship, while keeping in mind the requirements of God's kingdom.

He explained that writing down one’s plans was a major step to getting a task executed, and he applied it in whatever he did. Once the plans are properly written, Mr Essien said, you can then move into execution, with commitment and discipline.

For more news go to: www.graphic.com.gh

Related Articles:
  • BoG has failed Ghanaians – Dr. Apaak
  • Reports on my role in Capital Bank collapse ‘incorrect’ – Ato Essien
  • Ace Ankomah wants answers from Central Bank
  • The Menzgold - Bank of Ghana muddle
  • Menzgold tells PMMC to stay off after telling BoG to shut up
  • UT Bank shareholders ‘fought’ over shady royalties to UT Holdings
  • Menzgold is operating legally in Ghana - PMMC claims debunked
  • Menzgold is operating legally in Ghana - PMMC claims debunked
  • EOCO probes Menzgold
  • How Capital Bank managers used BoG cash to establish Sovereign Bank
  • Capital Bank founder used ¢80m depositors’ funds as 'Personal Piggy Bank'
  • BoG criticised for ‘poor consultation’ on banks recapitalisation
  • EOCO probes Menzgold
  • BoG 'graveyard' for local banks – Adongo
  • Banking reforms will reinforce consumer confidence – Banker
  • BoG complicit in the ‘collapse’ of banks – Economist
  • Menzgold tells PMMC to stay off after telling BoG to shut up
  • We're duly licensed; PMMC MD 'defaming, undermining our reputation' – Menzgold
  • Menzgold is operating legally in Ghana - PMMC claims debunked
  • Bank of Ghana’s warning ‘unfortunate’ – Menzgold
  • Reinforce regulatory mechanism for a safe banking system - GNCCI to BoG
  • Bank of Ghana vrs Menzgold: Enough of the rhetoric; Bank of Ghana should just shut up
  • Customers chase African Guaranty Trust microfinance for deposits
  • EOCO invites Menzgold CEO for questioning
  • Workers of 5 defunct banks put on probation despite BoG’s no job loss assurance
  • Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited to lay off staff after 60 days
  • We’re coming after you – Bank of Ghana to Menzgold
  • Bank of Ghana is a ‘joke’ – Menzgold boss
  • How Consolidated Bank was registered
  • ‘Doing business with us is safe' – Menzgold rubbishes BoG claims
  • GHS5.7bn bond will not affect IMF assessment – BoG
  • Money laundering: BoG places GH¢60,000 fine on banks, others
  • BoG to publish names of banned Directors of collapsed banks
  • Auditors’ independence risk – The primary contributing factor to the woe in Ghana’s financial sector
  • Safeguard jobs of staff of defunct banks - TUC to BoG
  • Kwesi Nyantakyi not the owner of First Allied Savings and Loans – Management
  • 'We will bring prosperity to Ghana' – Akufo-Addo
  • Bank of Ghana could have saved Construction, Sovereign banks – Financial analyst
  • 'When your wife jilts you for not having kids, don't blame condoms' – Gabby jabs Adongo
  • Directors of 5 closed banks face possible ban from working in financial sector
  • Collapsed Banks: Punish auditors – Inusah Fuseini
  • Adongo doesn't know investment bank from commercial bank – Gabby Otchere-Darko
  • uniBank shareholders bought estates with bank’s monies
  • Ofori-Atta killing Databank's competitors – Adongo
  • 5 banks crash: Bank of Ghana takes over with Consolidated Bank
  • BoG Capital Requirement: Three more banks to go
  • Cost of borrowing drops; Stanbic Base Rate down from 24 to 16%
  • Corruption Watch: Ecobank, Republic Bank and SG dispute GSE non-compliance claims
  • Banks begin to form mergers
  • BoG merges Unibank, Royal Bank, others
  • BoG collapses 5 banks into Consolidated Bank Ghana Ltd
  • Merger of 5 banks: Deposits, jobs safe - Bank of Ghana assures
  • uniBank beyond saving as shareholders illegally disburse GHC5.3bn – BoG
  • New BoG directive to prevent bank collapse – Nana Otuo
  • Better to own 50% of something than 50% of nothing – Senior Minister to struggling banks
  • BoG records GHC1.6bn loss
  • Economy growing stronger – BoG
  • 16 banks left to their fate over minimum capital
  • Central bank stays policy rate on inflation scare
  • BoG to reduce policy rate further – Absa Research
  • 15 banks set to meet GH¢400m minimum capital – Bank of Ghana
  • BoG keeps policy rate at 17%
  • ADB shares: BoG claims false and regrettable – Belstar Capital
  • uniBank didn’t lend us BoG money – Belstar fights back
  • BoG annuls 51% ADB shares
  • Doom and gloom
  • Fear grips local bank owners
  • FBN Bank falls on mother company in Nigeria to recapitalize
  • BoG sets ground rules for mergers & acquisitions
  • Banks must cough up extra GH¢3bn to meet Basel requirements - Risk consultant
  • Ghana cedi dey fall like 'mango' against US Dollar, minority predict worse by end of year
  • Capital requirement: Tier banks – Seth Terkper
  • We’ll meet GHC400m BoG requirement – ADB
  • BoG enforces banks’ Capital Requirement Directive
  • Avoid temptation to over-regulate Fintech companies - Bawumia
  • BoG expected to reduce policy rate – Standard Bank
  • ADB to raise GH¢310m through renounceable rights issue
  • BoG must use Islamic banking to promote financial inclusion – Dubai Chamber
  • Financial inclusion in Ghana improves by 58% - Report
  • Government okays GH¢400m capital for NIB; merger with ADB abandoned?
  • EOCO warns bank staff against financial malfeasance
  • BEIGE to meet BoG’s GHC400m capital requirement
  • The BEIGE bank GHC100m away from BoG's GHC400m – CEO
  • BoG targets 75% financial inclusion by 2023
  • BoG must use moral suasion to get interest rates down - Prof. Dordunoo
  • Economist downplays negative effect of bank mergers on financial inclusion
  • MTN to stagger share proceeds repatriation
  • Government committed to see Ghana fully digitised - Bawumia
  • BoG to amend guidelines for commercial banks on loans
  • ‘Sound corporate governance crucial’ – BoG Governor
  • BoG to improve banks security
  • StanChart grows income; poised to raise new capital
  • Ishmael Yamson rebukes plea of local banks; urges them to merge or collapse
  • BoG to halt fraud in Ghana’s payment systems
  • BoG attributes Cedi's depreciation to external factors
  • Islamic scholars urge BoG to license Islamic banking
  • Equatorial Guinea hosts next annual meetings of AfDB
  • Exhaust internal audit processes first - Auditor General to ministries
  • Bank of Ghana directs struggling banks to present merger plans
  • BoG to introduce cyber security guidelines in weeks
  • BoG weakening public confidence in banking sector - Adongo
  • BoG hints of sanctions for ‘erring staff’ over role in financial sector distress
  • President backs BoG’s banking reforms; wants indigenous banks supported
  • Banks to miss recapitalization will be declared by June - BoG Governor
  • Policy rate cut could disturb banks – Economist
  • Heritage Bank set to meet BoG's minimum capital requirement
  • We are poised to meet the deadline for the new minimum capital – GN Bank CEO
  • Ghana’s debt hits GHC145bn
  • Bawumia scoffs at former Dep. BoG governor's ¢4.6bn interoperability defence
  • We won’t shield any director in collapsed banks – BoG
  • ‘We need full disclosures on banks performance’ - BoG urged
  • We are open to acquiring or merging with another bank - Stanbic Bank
  • 'NDC GH¢4.6bn dodgy’ contract sparks uproar
  • Indigenous banks want more time to pay GHC400m minimum capital
  • Indigenous banks want more time to pay GHC400m minimum capital
  • Former BoG Governor denies statement on GH¢4.6 billion interoperability cost
  • Open letter to BoG Boss: Don't make Ghanaians spectators of finance industry
  • Ex-bankers demand exit package
  • Liquidity support of a troubled bank under threat, BoG hints of takeover
  • BoG outlines fresh measures to restore confidence in banking industry
  • Capital Requirement: Banks seeking merger from us – Cal Bank
  • BoG’s appointment of adviser for Sovereign Bank ‘proactive’ – Analyst
  • BoG confirms appointment of advisor for Sovereign Bank
  • BoG appoints adviser for ‘struggling’ Sovereign Bank
  • Access Bank to raise GHC300m to meet capital requirement
  • Insurance penetration to improve under Payment Systems and Services Bill - BoG
  • We’re just GHS50m away from meeting capital requirement - Cal Bank MD
  • Perspectives on banks’ ineffectiveness and failure in Ghana
  • Banks compete for limited fund on stock market
  • BOG’s bitter yet necessary pills
  • No turning back on banking reforms – Central Bank
  • BoG rules out extending recapitalisation deadline for banks
  • Bank of Ghana stands by recapitalisation deadline
  • Government dismisses claims of interfering with BoG's work
  • Stanchart committed to tax compliance as it’s awarded 2nd largest taxpayer for 2017
  • We’ll meet capital requirement by end of 2018 - Fidelity Bank MD
  • Fidelity Bank close to meeting GH¢400m capital requirement
  • Ghana, Nigeria most attractive bond markets – Research
  • Defunct Capital Bank founder Ato Essien released after detention
  • No extension to recapitalization deadline - Bank of Ghana
  • Ex UT, Capital Bank staff demand exit package
  • Cedi to experience moderate depreciation this year – Standard Bank
  • Cough up GH¢400m or become 'susu' collectors – Franklin Cudjoe to banks
  • Local banks hit government for giving contracts to foreign banks
  • Debate on recapitalisation of banks heats up
  • Council of State urges local banks to merge
  • Zenith Bank meets BoG’s GH¢400m capital requirement
  • Gov’t intervention in recaptalisation brouhaha will undermine BoG – Former deputy Governor
  • ASN Financial Services customers to demonstrate over delays in receiving their funds
  • BoG GHC400m requirement: 15-year plan needed – Economist
  • Stop diversifying to meet recapitalization order – IMANI to banks
  • GH¢400m capital requirement: Akufo-Addo can’t intervene – Casely Hayford
  • Stop meeting BoG President to extend recapitalization deadline – Assibey Yeboah
  • Akufo-Addo musn’t interfere in BoG affairs – Casely-Hayford
  • Banks must re-position for cryptocurrencies or risk collapsing – Klah
  • Consider merging if you can’t meet BoG’s capital requirement – Council of State advises
  • Ensure due diligence to safeguard the interest of depositors – BoG urged
  • Bawumia, Addison oppose bank recapitalization extension date
  • GHC400m capital requirement: Comply or merge – Council of State urges struggling banks
  • BoG records fraud cases amounting to GHC244.32m in financial institutions
  • Don’t force gov’t to extend banks’ recapitalization deadline – Prof. Quartey
  • Osafo-Maafo, Alan support extension of bank recapitalization deadline
  • PEF hails BoG's new module for determining interest rates
  • BoG shuts down Wyselink Microfinance
  • Deposits still major source of funds for banks – BoG report
  • Race for recapitalisation - CAL Bank leads local banks
  • BoG cautions public against Wyselink Microfinance Limited
  • Local businesses worst loan defaulters in 2017 – BoG report
  • BoG puts reference rate for April at 16.82%
  • No dividends, as banks struggle to raise GHC400m
  • IFC to develop ESRM guidelines for BoG and banking industry
  • We will meet BoG’s GHC400m minimum capital requirement deadline – GN Bank
  • Bank of Ghana cuts policy rate to 18%
  • Mixed reactions meet BoG’s cut in policy rate
  • Ghana records US$584m trade surplus in two months – BoG
  • Bankers, businesses urge BoG to reduce policy rate
  • Banks to publish bank-specific cyber security policies soon – BOG
  • Ghana's 91-day bill yield steady at 13.34%
  • Establish risk management framework – Dr Johnson Asiama to gov't
  • Bank of Ghana drags 30 microfinance companies to EOCO
  • BoG to address challenges faced by microfinance sector
  • Apology: I'm not sure my wife will be heading to the Bank of Ghana - Ace Ankomah
  • President Akufo-Addo appoints 2nd deputy governor of Bank of Ghana
  • Access bank secures additional investment for its operations
  • BoG reduces policy rate by 150 basis points
  • Provide details on 2015 bauxite export – PAC orders BoG
  • BoG cancels auctioning of dollars to banks
  • BoG is 'Risk Manager' of the year 2017
  • Ghana’s unbanked population good for new banks- Prof. K. Botchwey
  • The e-payment evolution and Ghana's modern payment regime
  • MPC rate remains unchanged despite a decline forecast by economist
  • BoG to curb identity fraud through biometric verification
  • BoG justifies planned dollar auction to help stabilize cedi
  • Uncertainty fueling depreciation of Cedi – Gold Coast boss
  • Bank of Ghana to auction $120 million to help stabilise cedi
  • ARB Apex Bank parts ways with MD over mismanagement allegations
  • BoG to stop purchase of gold watches
  • Gold watch purchase was only a proposal – BoG
  • Sentimental masses will always win BoG gold watches debate - Baako
  • BoG hasn’t signed any contract for gold watches - PRO
  • BoG gold watch saga is part of culture of impunity under Mahama – Atta Akyea
  • Rewarding BoG staff with gold watches not wrong – Casley Hayford
  • GII slams BoG over US$504,000 gold watches
  • BoG gold watches saga: The hard truth analysis
  • We haven’t paid for gold watches – BoG
  • We broke no law in procurement of gold watches - BoG
  • BoG staff comfortable; didn’t need $504K gold watches – Afenyo Markins
  • BoG’s US$504,000 for gold watches wasteful – Banker
  • BoG gold watches not tax payers' money - Former deputy Governor
  • Probe BoG gold watch spending - AFAG
  • BoG gold watch saga: Is that a wise decision? - Kan Dapaah asks
  • Bank of Ghana defends expenditure on gold watches for retiring staff

Comments:
This article has 14 comment(s), give your comment


View All

MOST WATCHED NEWS VIDEOS

By Genny Smith 10/08/2018 04:25:00