Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Mexican Fisherman and The American Businessman: Your Money Woe Solution

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, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs...I have a 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. 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 middleman, you can 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 enterprise."

"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.
"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.
"And after that?"
"Afterwards? 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?"

"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, and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends!"

* * * 
It's been a long-term goal to earn more than I did as a full-time marketer with Thrift Core, I'm not there yet. You, too, have your money goals. Yet not having enough money is never a thought on your death bed. You don't bemoan not working harder, you don't think of money. If you were going to die tomorrow, what would you regret? What you didn't do: the abandoned dreams, the untraveled roads, not spending more time with loved ones. When I'm feeling down about making less being self-employed I go back to my Mexican roots with this story and remind myself that life isn't about ruthless earning: it's about experiences, the people we meet and the legacy (hopefully of helping others) that we leave behind. My job with Thrift Core allows me the flexible schedule to travel and the complete liberation of being my own boss while helping others. I'm excited to keep moving in the direction of making positive change in the world and stopping to enjoy living (and yes, earning, I'm pragmatic and want savings for the future) while I'm at it. The fisherman's life sounds perfect to me, how about you? I refuse to trade quality of life for money.

* Illustrations are scans from The Golden Treasury of Knowledge Volume 2, 1961 and Sea Songs, 1986
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18 comments:

  1. There is a real lesson in that story. The trouble is so few people see that. When Mr. Jones keeps his store open on Sunday, Mr. Smith decides he has to also... hence everyone is working like a dog and not really getting anywhere. Glad you're more like the fisherman!! Wish more people were.

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    1. I strive to me more like him anyway, I -am- a workaholic American like the best of 'em :) I'm l like him in that I turn down more money to live exactly the lifestyle I want to. Love your example of keeping up with the Jones! Perfect.

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    2. BTW-- I know you work very hard. I didn't mean to suggest otherwise. It's hard to convey just what you mean in print sometimes.

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    3. Oh I didn't get that vibe at all! No worries. I was just admitting I'm not some perfect person adhering to this philosophy perfectly. :)

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    4. Don't spread this around, but I'm not perfect either ;)

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    5. Just noticed all the redundancy in my statement, was typing that fast before rushing out the door!

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  2. I love that story, it's such a great lesson. I'm going to remember that one.

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    1. It's stuck with me since I've read it, great philosophy that I need to adhere to more!

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  3. I've never hear that story before! I really, Really like it! Thanks for sharing it with us!

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    1. No prob, I've been wanting to share the goodness of this story for a while now! I'm applying it to my life in earnest now, squeezing more quality work out in less time so I can do what matters: live more.

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  4. I love that story! Going thru all of that in so many years and then end up back where you started! LOL A real lesson in that tale. I am your newest follower.

    Judy

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    1. Thanks for the follow, Judy! It's definitely a great example of what's wrong with the American way and family. You get lost in focusing on bigger and better and lose what's really important. There's many a tale of a businessman who worked constantly, missed out on their kid's childhoods, and now regret it.

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  5. Really great story. America is very money oriented---money over everything. You have to constantly remind yourself what's important.

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  6. I don't know if you already know this, but I'm completely not driven by money. I hate money and I don't care about it other than how it is the center of the universe. I hate how everyone is so ATTACHED to it and so protective of it. When I have extra money, which is rare (because I usually don't make much due to life choices), I have a tendency to give it away.

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    1. Yep, I remember that and think it's awesome. Ive become less money-driven being self-employed but still want to feel secure, get income up, and get savings...all as quickly as possible so I can enjoy living some more. Took the whole evening and night off and that was fun, will take a lot of today off too :D

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  7. A beautiful reminder of the value of now. Thanks.

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I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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