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This is one of my favorite stories that I use to keep my career and aspirations in perspective.  I hope it helps you as well!  Enjoy…

An American investment banker was on vacation at a small Mexican village.  One morning, a long walk left the American at one of the coastal piers when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.  Inside the small boat was a Mexican gentleman and several large yellowfin tuna.  The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while”. The American asked why didn’t the Mexican stay out longer and in turn catch more fish. The Mexican stated he had enough fish to support his family’s food needs and give some of the extra to friends. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your day?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas 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 American stood proud and replied, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you could buy a bigger boat”.

“Then what?” asked the Mexican?  The American continued- “with the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, hire a team of local fishermen, and eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats under your control. 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.”

“Wow” said the Mexican, “very impressive- but what then will I do?”  American- “Eventually you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA 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 American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” asked the Mexican.

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!”

Mexican- “Millions, wow that is a lot!! – then what will I do?”

The American said, “Then you can retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you will be able to 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.”

Eric


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