INSTANT WISDOM > SPECIAL > STORIES

05/05/99

The Fisherman

The 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 Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked
how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied only a little while. The American then asked
why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican 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
Mexican 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, senior."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard 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
LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding
enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But senior, how long will this all
take?"

To which the American replied, "15-20 years."

"But what then, senior?"

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, senior? 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 amigos."

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