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Paa Kwesi Folson | Ghana | Take Calculated Risks

Public Speaker Extraordinaire | Personal Development Coach

Marketing Consultant | Social Media Strategist | Entrepreneur

My name is Paa Kwesi Folson, and I am a corporate trainer, public speaker, personal development coach, and LinkedIn coach. I am also a Certified LinkedIn Marketing Insider, which makes me a part of the exclusive certified LinkedIn Marketing experts network. As the brain behind the impactful capacity development conference called New Dawn Conferences, I have had the opportunity to speak at many places and train major corporations in various sectors, including real estate, automobile, and management consulting. However, I view my public speaking career as more of a divine calling than a regular activity or mere profession. My journey began when I was a toddler, and I have always loved speaking and talking. My parents and their friends often remind me of how I used to hold roll-on containers as my microphone and speak to imaginary crowds for hours. This led my mum to spot my desire for knowledge early in my life, and she took me to a library near Legon in Accra, where we borrowed 50 books at the beginning of every month. We returned the borrowed set of books at the end of the month before borrowing a new set of books, and this practice continued until I was eight years old. I vividly remember the silver shiny metal trunk we used to pack these books in, and my mum would make me narrate and summarize the books I read, which allowed me to build my oratory skills.

At age 12, I was a guest on nationwide radio stations, and when I got to Senior High School, I was made the official student moderator/MC for all school programs, including carol services, church services, African Union Day events, and other special events. Later on, I became the President of the largest tertiary private business school in Ghana, Central University Business School Association, where I pioneered and founded the University's first-ever public speaking club, which I led with a team of ambitious people.

In my final year at university, I decided not to wait but to start my business and public speaking career, which led me to build a personal brand. I have currently garnered a following of over 11,000 people in less than a year on LinkedIn, the world's largest professional app. Although it has not been a smooth journey, with perseverance and God's grace, I have been privileged to share stages with great and astute business leaders, C-suite level executives, and some of Ghana's finest speakers.

What were the biggest initial hurdles you faced and how did you overcome them?

At first, I found myself confined to two psychological prisons. The first was the prison of youth and ambition, especially in a society where young people aren't always taken seriously. Overcoming this obstacle required adopting the belief that "age is just a number." The second prison was my preoccupation with other people's opinions and thoughts. I was so stuck in their heads that it hindered me from making ambitious plans earlier in my life.

What advice do you have for young people locally and internationally who are just starting out in their careers or pursuing their passions?

There are several realizations and lessons that I have acquired throughout my journey, which I believe can inspire and offer valuable advice to anyone:

The gap between where you are and where you want to be is often a knowledge gap. It is crucial to fill this gap by associating with knowledgeable and experienced individuals and by intentionally developing your own skills and abilities.

I have learned that taking action often leads to more profound insights than merely contemplating a situation. Instead of overthinking, take calculated risks and be proactive.

Your mind is the sole barrier to achieving your goals, so free yourself from self-imposed limitations. As human beings, we possess infinite potential and are capable of achieving anything we desire.

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