An American investment banker was walking by the pier of a coastal Mexican village when a fisherman docked his small boat nearby and tossed several large yellow fin tuna onto the dock.
The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked, “How long does it take to catch them?”
The Mexican replied: “Not very long — maybe a couple of hours, senor.”
The American then asked why the fisherman didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish.
The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs and was happy with that.
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 siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my friends. I have a full and busy life which I enjoy very much.”
The American rolled his eyes and said, “I’m a Harvard MBA and could help you. Here’s what you should do: Spend more time fishing. You get more money, and with that, you buy a bigger boat. Then you can catch more fish, and buy an even bigger boat. If you work hard, then soon you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor. If that works out, then you open your own cannery. At that point you would control the product, the processing and the distribution. And, you could leave this little town and move to Mexico City, or LA and or even New York City. From there you could run the whole thing by phone, Fedex and the Internet.
The Mexican fisherman thinks this over for a minute and then asks, “Interesting. How long will this all take?”
The American thought for a little bit, took out his calculator and punched in some numbers, and then announced “I think you do this in only 15-20 years.”
“But what then?”
The American laughed and said, “Here’s the beauty of the whole thing. When the time is right you announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You could make millions!”
The Mexican thought this over for a little longer, staring out to sea and thinking about what millions would buy. He asked, “Okay. Millions.. then what?”
The American said, “This is the best part — 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 friends.“