The Mexican Fisherman and a Business that Works for You!3 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I would like to share a short story from the book “The Four-hour Work-week” written by Tim Ferriss. It’s about a stressed-out American investment banker who took a much-needed vacation to a small coastal Mexican village. One afternoon as he took a walkout on the pier, he came across Mexican fisherman and his small boat. Inside the small boat were 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 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 American 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, Maria, and 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 scoffed. “I have an MBA from Harvard, and can help you,” he said. “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, and eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middle-man, you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening up your own cannery. You could control the product, processing, and distribution,” he said. “Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles, and eventually to 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, “Oh, 15 to 20 years or so.”

“But what then?” asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time was 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 American said, “Then you could retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you could sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play guitar with your amigos.”

The Mexican fisherman then replied, “But, senior, I already have all that!”

At that moment the American just stopped, stared into the blue turquoise water and slowly walked back down to the end of the pier.

I share this story as the Mexican Fisherman had a business that worked for him. It served all his wants and needs. He was happy and had a balanced life. A business should be no different for you and me.

The object of a business is to create a vehicle to deliver to all your wants and needs. It’s to create wealth, abundance and freedom to do as you choose, when you chose, with who you choose. Your business should not have to be a certain way because someone else says it has to be that way. Business, of course, needs to be structured and systematized so it consistently delivers an excellent product and service to your customers so that your team and you the owner can prosper. Business needs to be done right, however, it doesn’t need to be according to someone else plan.

The object of the business is to get clear on exactly where you want to go with it. Once you are clear on your destination, put all your focus, planning and effort to insert the structure to get there!

Who knows maybe your destination is to one day sell your company, retire and move to a small Mexican village where you could sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play guitar with your amigo friends.”