The American Businessman & The Mexican Fisherman

December 24, 2008 at 9:00 am Leave a comment


By Matt Barcus
President, Precision Executive Search
Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC, home of CivilEngineeringCentral.com

You may have heard this story once or twice, but as we ponder the years past, and the year ahead, I find the following story,  to be worthwhile. 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 yellow-fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican fisherman replied,”Only a little while.” The American then asked, “Why didn’t your stay out longer and catch more fish?” The Mexican said,” Because I have enough to support my 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, senor.”

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. Then, 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 senor, how long will this all 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, “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 amigos.”

~Author Unknown

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to all. May your 2009 be filled with countless blessings and may we all one day meet, sooner than later, on a warm evening in a Mexican village by the sea, sip on wine and relax to some native Mexican guitar music…

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Entry filed under: The Workplace, Uncategorized.

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