The classic story about a Harvard business graduate and a poor Mexican fisherman

Posted on October 13 2011 by frank

On his well-earned holiday, a Harvard business graduate watched how a small fishing boat approached the harbor in a small coastal Mexican village. It was still late morning but the boat was full of fish so he asked how long time did it take to catch them?
“A few hours.”
“And what are you going to do now?”
“You know, the usual: Play around with my kids, have some quality time with my wife during the siesta. Stroll around the village in the evening hanging out with my amigos, drinking some wine, playing my guitar.”

Upon hearing this the successful business man knew that he could help the poor fellow:
“You know, I am a Harvard business graduate. If you follow my advice you could change your life!”
“What do you mean?”
“With that amount of fishing you can support your current lifestyle, right?”
“Yes, quite much so.”
“Then, if you would work also the afternoons you could use the gained extra money for investments. Soon you could by another boat and hire some guys to run it. Your revenues would increase again and soon you would be operating a fleet of fishing boats.”
“And then what?”
“Then you could leave the fishing to the others and concentrate on the business part. You could cut out the middle man by selling directly to American distributors. You would of course have to relocate to LA or New York but that would be a necessary sacrifice for the success that awaits you.”
“And then what?”
“By working hard you could be a millionaire in twenty or so years.”
“And then what?”
“Then comes the best part: You would sell it all, cash in the money and retire into a small coastal fishing village where you could just play around with your kids, have some quality time with your wife, stroll around the village in the evenings and hang out with your friends, drinking some wine and playing the guitar.”

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3 responses to “The classic story about a Harvard business graduate and a poor Mexican fisherman”

  1. frank says:

    This tale has been told and retold countless times in different books, blogs and lectures. And for a reason: It is a powerful story. If you know where it originated I would be glad to know!

    Read also about how I met two real-life examples of the kind of fisherman of the story: Why are you sweating your ass off in work when you could be fishing right now?

  2. Jaylynn says:

    Appatrenly this is what the esteemed Willis was talkin’ ’bout.

  3. Rachna says:

    I just love this story. I think this story should be narrated to the young generation every now and then. They are running after money but do not know why are they doing so. We all should understand that we should not love money for money sake but for the comforts it buys for us.

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