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The Story of a Mexican Fisherman

by Kasia Gospos on July 6, 2015

What are your goals and your priorities? Why have you chosen them? Here’s a little story to make you think about what you’re chasing, and why.


An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with a single fisherman came in to dock.  The American wandered over to take a look, and saw several large yellowfin tuna inside the boat.  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.”

“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” the American asked.

The Mexican fisherman shrugged. “It’s enough to support my family each day.”

“But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“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 scoffed at that. “I am a Harvard MBA, and I can help you. 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, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. 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. You’ll 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 didn’t sound convinced. “How long will this all take?”

“15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?”

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 incredibly rich. You would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would 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 your guitar with your amigos.”

photo credit: Fishing

Kasia Gospos
Founder of Leaders in Heels. Passionate about using Leaders in Heels to empower and connect all women in business. Loves all 'sorts' of technology and on most days can be found happily typing away at her desk or looking up things on the web. Is a feminist at heart and loves to meet new people. Australia, Sydney
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