Mexican Fisherman and the Businessman

I heard this story when I was in my early 20’s and it’s stuck with me since.

Mexican Fisherman and the Businessman
An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna.

The American complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The fisherman replied that it only took a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish. The fisherman said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, señor.”

The American scoffed. “I am a Wharton MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. 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 L.A., and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The fisherman asked, “But how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “Fifteen or 20 years.”

“But what then?”

The American 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.”

“Millions? Then what?”

The American 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 friends.

What lesson do you get out of this parable?

Saludos,

Fidel

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Fidel

Fidel is obsessed with Mexico, the enrichment of life through travel and living with no regrets.

Show 1 Comment
  • Fabiola Rodriguez June 7, 2017, 2:10 pm

    I also read this tale many years ago and it also stuck with me. It really makes you take a long, hard look at your priorities in life.

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