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The Fisherman and The Banker

By michaelmaidens | Blog

Aug 13

When I first read this parable it changed my view on work and life. Now use it as a  reminder to keep things in perspective. Enjoy and the journey of entrepreneurship and live along the way. Do not wait for the destination, its an illusion. There is only the journey, so enjoy it!

Interestingly I refer to where as I live as a ‘little fishing village’.

The Fisherman and The Banker

An investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The investment banker complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The fisherman replied, “only a little while.”

The investment banker 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 investment banker 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 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.”

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

To which the investment banker replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then?”

The investment 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.. Then what?”

The investment banker 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 siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

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