The Parable of the Mexican Fisherman

Filed in Living by on June 23, 2016 0 Comments

Mexican 3There are some very interesting parables I have come across in the course of my reading that I want to share with you. Here is the first in a series I will post over the next few months.

This is a story about why it might make sense to slow down, reassess, and decide if a simpler life could be a better life.

 

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman arrived at the dock. 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 he didn’t 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, and 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 could help you. You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the profits from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, and 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, and eventually New York City, where you would run your expanding enterprise.”

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

To which the American replied, “15 – 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’s 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, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play guitar with your amigos.”

About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

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