How Much is Enough?

Last month I learned that a gentleman I work with recently had a heart attack after an incredibly busy, stress-filled month. The doctor said it was truly caused by stress. (He did survive, thankfully!) It’s just not worth it.

As I shared with you in this post, actually enjoying the life you’re living is very important to me. It can be hard to balance, whether you’re an ambitious entrepreneur or employee, with so many opportunities and so much to do to achieve  your goals.

Today I want to share a story with you that perfectly captures the vision I have for each and every one of us…whether we’re in the corporate or entrepreneurial world (or both!) (author unknown) 

The American investment banker 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 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 he didn’t 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.”

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, 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 Mexican 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?” asked the fisherman. “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 siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evening, sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos!”

What might you take away from this?

I hope it encourages you to reflect on what you want your life to look like…

  • Why did you start your business?
  • Are you doing what you love?
  • What steps might you take so that you’re doing it the way you imagined?
  • What do you need to be able to do it that way?

Send me an email or share your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter. I’d love to hear what this sparks for you!


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