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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Story of Money

The following story appears anonymously on a number of web sites and blogs. For me, it says what there is to say about money.

The American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin 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 siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could 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 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 Mexican fisherman asked, "But senor, how long will this all take?"
To which the American replied, "15-20 years."

"But what then, senor?" 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, senor? 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."

19 comments:

  1. My goodness, I love this story. Greed and sloth versus balance: no wonder the business man was on the ground and the fisher man was on the boat. One needed a solid ground in his "busi-ness", the other could "walk on water".

    Thank you for this story! I have woken up one day recently and said: "let me fish a little" and let the others chase their own tail some more, I have finally seen mine! And suddenly, the days are longer, the sunsets are more intense, the flowers are more beautiful, the streets are wider, the green is greener, all because I have time to "look around" and not worry where the key to my safety deposit box is. Blessings. Jolanta

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  2. -- great story, this what i have learned from this story,forget 15 to 20 years from now, even tomorrow is a promise to no one,today is every one's first and last chance.take time out with your wife and children today,not in the next 15 or 20 years. " live life today to the fullest"
    "Eddie"

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  3. Thanks for the comments. Today is what we have. Today is when we make all our choices.

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  4. Jonathan, thanks for sharing! Sounds like we have an American epidemic on our hands, go..go..go..more..more..more.. What a great and needed message as the world seems to want to go faster and faster.

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  5. "Your life is right now! It's not later! It's not in that time of retirement. It's not when the lover gets here. It's not when you've moved into the new house. It's not when you get the better job. Your life is right now. It will always be right now. You might as well decide to start enjoying your life right now, because it's not ever going to get better than right now-until it gets better right now!" Abraham-Hicks

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  6. Lets face it maybe We were spinning the bottle too fast the last decade or so...every thing had a limit , even Michael Jackson There was Triller than he was rolling off..great to achieve but nobody can maintain in a presure chamber,
    i think Business / products / expansion is the same there has got to be a saturation point..mabye when the joy goes and the greed kicks in thats the moment to retreat or rethink...nature ir god ..and when it time to blow the volcano will blow...better Be Sane Healthy..and peaceful

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  7. Thanks Jonathan for this piece.

    What a pity for a man in pursue to gain the whole world and lose his own life in the process.

    Live your life today.


    Joshua- Papua New Guinea

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  8. With so much stress in our lives which leads to illness and unhappiness, what a very timely message for all of us. Thank you.
    Freda

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  9. jonathan thank you for the wisdom you share with us it is a great blessing i have always said stop and smell the roses but i kinda like do a little fishing too we get so wrapped up in life we forget to live i am getting reminders everyday to stop and live i run in a busy life so i need to take time to go fishing sometimes loved the story

    jwallace

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  10. Life is too short... enjoy every second of it for tomorrow we shall die. Let us not be consumed by our greed and selfish desires, but instead, let us enjoy the beauty and simplicity that surround us.

    Nothing wrong with aiming high and hitting the mark. But let us not forget that achieving little things is just as good.... Marites

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  11. Thank you!
    Although I always get this story from friends & family I don't think I'll ever get tired of the story nor the lesson

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  12. What the American MBA graduate didn't realize was that after all the wallowing in riches in the city, the fisherman still would return to his old, simple style of life so why does he have to leave is anyway. Life is simple but we make it complex with lack of content. The love for money puts us into trouble and unnecessary worries. Isaac, South Sudan

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  13. Love this story. Life is short, let us fulfil what the holy book tells us about eternal life. We must not be consumed by greed and money. For after all, we are all going to die. We do not know what tomorrow will bring. Esther

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  14. IS SUCCESS SITTING AROUND DOING NOTHING, SLEEPING LATE, TAKING SIESTA'S, OR IS IT LIVING A LIFE FULL OF MEANING, OF SERVING OTHERS, OF USING YOUR GOD GIVEN TALENTS. TOO MANY PEOPLE HAVE THIS LAZY ATTITUDE, THINKING OTHERS SHOULD TAKE CARE OF THEM, NOT WORKING HARD WHILE THEY ARE YOUNG AND SAVING, SO THEY CAN TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES WHEN THEY ARE OLDER AND CAN NOT WORK.
    DOING NOTHING OR JUST WHAT YOU WANT CAN BE A WASTE OF LIFE.

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  15. To IS SUCCESS SITTING: There is some validity to what you say, but it is a rant that is not related to the fisherman story.

    The fisherman in the story works every day and provides for himself and his family. He is not depending upon anybody else.

    The fisherman's life is a good example of balance between work and play.

    Also, the fisherman's life allows him to be of greater service to his family than if he became an agressive business person.

    I am all for being of service to humanity, but I don't see any particular correlation between being a high-powered business person and being of service. Some executives are kind and generous - many are greedy and self-serving.

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  16. We should know what we want in life, we might already be there!

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  17. Nicely explained the value of life each and every moment is precious , money is not everything.
    Thanks sir for sharing inspirational quotes and teaching us a real value of life , god bless .

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