The Parable of the Fisherman

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 yellowfin tuna. The 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 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 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 siestas with my wife, Maria, and stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my friends. I have a full and busy life.”

The Banker scoffed. “I have an MBA 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.

The Fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the Banker replied, “Oh, 15 to 20 years or so.”

“But what then?” asked the Fisherman.

The Banker 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 Banker 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.”


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