Sleep late and fish a little

September 26, 2009 by John - 1 Comment

A friend recently shared the following little story with me, and I was stuck by the simple wisdom it conveys. Hope you will be, as well.

A business man was at the pier of a Mexican coastal village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The business man commented on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The fisherman replied “only a little while.” The business man then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish?The fisherman said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The business man then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?” The fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife. I have a full and busy life, señor.” The business man scoffed. “You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds of the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Soon 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 need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York City where you would run your expanding enterprise. “But what then, señor?” The business man 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’ señor? Then what?” The business man said, “Then you would retire and move to a small fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids and take a siesta with your wife.”