The Parable

 

We're a small business, as in very small. Just a mom-and-pop, really. We're blessed with two ridiculously cute kids, a boxer named Daisy-Lee, and a lifestyle that is far from lavish ... but is more than ample. We've arrived at this condition after a long time of imagining how to grow the business so that we can someday "retire". Then I came upon this business parable that demonstrated the foolishness of my "retirement" fantasy - which I'm sharing with you, below:

An executive from America was standing at the pier of a Mexican village, taking a much needed vacation. It was his first in more than 10 years. He noticed a small boat with just one fisherman had docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The executive complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The fisherman replied, “Only a little while.”

The executive then asked, “Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?”

The fisherman replied, “I have enough to support my family for a little while.”

The executive 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 siesta with my wife, 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 executive scoffed, “I am a Haaaaarvard MBA and I can help you. You should 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, 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 would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

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

To which the American replied, “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 very 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 siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”