An American 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 banker complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.”
The banker 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 banker 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, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”
The banker scoffed, “I am an Ivy League MBA and could 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. “
The banker continued, “And instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would then 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 Los Angeles and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But how long will this all take?”
To which the banker replied, “Perhaps 15 to 20 years.”
“But what then?” asked the Mexican.
The banker 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. Okay, then what?” wondered the Mexican.
To which the banker replied, “Then you would retire. You could move to a small coastal fishing village. Here you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife. In the evenings, you could stroll to the village. Then you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
3 thoughts on “Mexican Fisherman and the American Banker”
I loved reading this! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for the comment! I really do enjoy this parable as it really cuts through what goals we are looking to achieve in life. We need to stop thinking that money will get us to our goals when we don’t know what our goals are in the first place.