The American Tourist and Mexican Fisherman

A lesson about understanding whether you are following your business plan or not.

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered the Mexican.

“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the American.

The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family. The American asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, play the guitar, and sing a few songs… I have a very full life.”

The American interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard, and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”

“And after that?” asked the Mexican.

“With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked the Mexican.

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the American.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? Well my Friend, That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the American, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” said the Mexican.

“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings doing what you like and enjoying your friends.”

And the moral is:

Know where you’re going in life…
you may already be there.
3 Responses to The American Tourist and Mexican Fisherman
  1. Emily MacKendrick
    April 30, 2009 | 8:16 pm

    I’ve got to pay attention to a coach/ instructor who references White Snake!

  2. Sean M. Carpenter
    April 30, 2009 | 8:30 pm

    Heck yes. I am not metal head but you gotta admit the 80’s boys wrote some good lyrics.

    “Sometimes I sleep, sometimes it’s not for days. And the people I meet always go their separate ways. Sometimes you tell the day
    by the bottle that you drink and times when you’re alone all you do is think”

    or maybe this classic:

    “I listen to my favorite song
    Playin’ on the radio
    Hear the D.J. say
    “Love’s a game of easy come and easy go”

    But I wonder, does he know
    Has he ever felt like this?
    And I know that you’d be here right now
    If I could’ve let you know somehow”

    Thanks for reading the blog!

  3. Emily MacKendrick
    April 30, 2009 | 8:38 pm

    Today, mine went something like this…

    Welcome to the jungle
    We got fun ‘n’ games
    We got everything you want
    Honey we know the names
    We are the people that can find
    Whatever you may need
    If you got the money honey
    We got your disease

    have a good one…