The fisherman and the MBA
It emphasizes the “be more with less” attitude. My take on it is a little different
as you will see below:”
An American investment banker 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 siestas 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.”
The American scoffed:
“I am a Harvard MBA and can 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 New York City, where
“How long will this all take?”To which the American replied:
“15 – 20 years.”“And what then?” Asked the Mexican.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 could retire.
Move to a small coastal fishing
village where you would sleep late,
fish a little, play with your kids,
take siestas with your wife,
stroll to the village in the
evenings where you could sip wine
and play your guitar with your amigos.”
Anyway my point here is not to say
that we should not want great things or
strive for greatness.
But that it’s possible and necessary
to enjoy the journey on our way there.
It makes no sense to say:
“It will take me 10 years to achieve
my goal, and then I’ll be happy”
Be happy now and achieve your goals faster.
We don’t know what tomorrow holds,
let alone 10 years from now.
The journey to our goals will be much
happier and easier if we enjoy the process.