Hope you had a wonderful Easter, guys!
I’ve been thinking a lot about life and family and career lately – specifically how all our hustling and money intertwines with it all – and was reminded of that parable of the Mexican Fisherman. You’ve probably heard it before, but always a message well worth repeating.
“The Mexican Fisherman”
An American businessman was standing 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 yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.
“How long did it take you to catch them?” The American asked.
“Only a little while.” The Mexican replied.
“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” The American then asked.
“I have enough to support my family’s immediate needs.” The Mexican said.
“But,” The American then asked, “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 a 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, senor.”
The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you 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 consumers, eventually opening your own can factory. 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 senor, how long will all this take?”
To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”
“But what then, senor?”
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, senor? Then what?”
The American said slowly, “Then you would retire… Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife… and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos…”
It gets better every time I read it :) A bit oversimplified perhaps, but the message is loud and clear: remember what it is you’re working so hard for, and have the wisdom to realize when enough is “enough.” We can’t all be Mexican fishermen right now, but the life might be a lot closer than we think.
Have a great start to the week, everyone!