The Businessman and the Fisherman

I recently posted this story to my Facebook account and had a surprising amount of likes and shares so I thought I would post it here.

It’s a great little story which I came across whilst reading a book by Tim Ferris called the four hour work week.

The story follows, I hope you enjoy it!

A wealthy american investment banker was standing on the pier of a small coastal Mexican fishing village when a boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were a few large fish. The wealthy american complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it had taken him to catch them.

Only a short while, the Mexican replied. The American then asked him why he didn’t stay out fishing longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had caught enough to meet his family’s needs.

The American then asked him, “what do you do with the rest of your day?”

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 the guitar with my friends. I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a larger boat. With the proceeds from the larger boat, you could buy several more boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, the processing, and the distribution. Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move the city, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

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

To which the American replied, “15 or 20 years”

“But 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 would 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 friends.”

This story goes by other names such as the Mexican fisherman and the businessman, the Mexican fisherman story, how much is enough Mexican fisherman, and a simple life well lived.

If you enjoy reading, I would recommend the book in which I found this story.  Its by Tim Ferris and it is called the four hour work week.

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