The Mexican Fisherman And The Harvard Graduated Businessman

A Little Story About “Success v Happiness”

A 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 yellowfin tuna. The businessman complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The fisherman replied it only took a little while.

The businessman then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish? The fisherman replied that quite simply he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. A little perplexed, the businessman then asked but what do you do with the rest of your time? The Mexican fisherman happily told him, “Well señor everyday I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife Maria, and each evening I stroll into the local village where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life señor!”

The businessman scoffed, “Look, I am a Harvard MBA and I could really 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 whole fleet of fishing boats. Then instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the processor and eventually open your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You could then leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City where you could run your expanding enterprise.”

Looking puzzled, the Mexican fisherman asked, “but señor, how long will this all take?” The businessman replied, “oh about 15 to 20 years.” “But what then, señor?” The businessman laughed and said, “Well, that’s the best part! When the time is right you could sell your company stock to the public and become very rich! You would make millions.” The fisherman now looked even more puzzled then ever. “Millions, señor? Well, and then what?” The businessman replied, “Well, then you could retire and maybe move to a small coastal fishing village and you’d be set for life and could take life easy.”

The fisherman who hadn’t stopped smiling throughout the entire conversation, looked directly into the eyes of the businessman and said, “Señor, I am already doing that”.

-Author Unknown