The Mexican Fisherman
An Investment Banker was standing at the pier of a Mexican village, taking a much needed vacation. It was his first in more than 10 years. He noticed a small boat with just one fisherman had docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The Investment Banker complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.”
The Investment Banker then asked, “Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?”
The Mexican replied, “I have enough to support my family for a little while.”
The Investment Banker then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, and stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life.”
The Investment Banker scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the Investment Banker replied, “15-20 years.”
“But what then?”
The Investment Banker laughed and said that’s the best part. “When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”
The Investment Banker said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
The morale of the story is to think about what you really want in life. A skill to master is to know when enough is enough. More isn’t always better but living a content life is.