The Parable of the Mexican Fisherman and the American Banker

The Parable of the Mexican Fisherman and the American Banker

Today, I would like to share a parable ( a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson ) that I first found out about in The 4-Hour Workweek which is written by Tim Ferris who is an entrepreneur and well known Author.

The Parable:

An American investment banker was taking a much-needed vacation in a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. The boat had several large, fresh fish in it.

The investment banker was impressed by the quality of the fish and asked the Mexican how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.” The banker then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican fisherman replied he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman replied, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta 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, señor.”

The investment banker scoffed, “I am an Ivy League MBA, and I could help you. You could spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats until eventually you would have a whole fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to the middleman you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You could control the product, processing and distribution.”

Then he added, “Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City where you would run your growing enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But señor, 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 could make millions.”

“Millions, señor? Then what?”

To which the investment banker replied, “Then you would retire. You could 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.”

Here’s what I learnt from this parable,

if you want to lead a simple life there is no need for you to make millions and then live in a coastal village when you could just move to the coastal village and live life to the fullest for a longer period of time rather than spending your younger years managing a huge corporation just to milk out the profits and be so humble at the end. Who cares if you are a coastal fisherman who is a millionaire when you can be the same coastal fisherman who is earning just enough money to live life who has already spent more time living a life that you enjoy.You can always leave your thoughts down in the comment section below and I would be interested in learning about your thoughts about the parable.

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Stay Epic,