The Tourist and the Fisherman

An American tourist was at a resort in Mexico. Day after day he would watch the small fishing boats go out early every morning and return just before sunset every night. That is, all except one. For some reason one boat in particular would always leave very late in the morning and usually came in about mid afternoon.

One day, when that particular boat was just coming in to dock, he walked over to the pier for a better look. In it he noticed just one fisherman. Also inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The tourist complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, "Only a little while."

The tourist then asked, "Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more fish?"

The Mexican said, "With this I have more than enough to support my family's needs."

The tourist 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, Maria. At night I help the kids with their homework. Sometimes after the dishes are done, Maria and I will stroll into the village where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life."

The tourist continued, "I have an MBA from Harvard, and I can help you. That boat is costing you money while it sits all afternoon. You should be making that asset work for you. You should spend more time fishing like the rest of the boats; 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.

The fisherman listened with interest. "This sounds good, but what then?" asked the Mexican.
Once you get big enough you can use your influence; instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor; eventually, as you get bigger you would open your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution.

"But what then?" asked the Mexican.

You would have to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to a larger city, perhaps Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York where you could run your ever-expanding empire."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"

The tourist replied, "15 to 20 years."

"But what then?" asked the Mexican.

The tourist laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is right you would issue an IPO, sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions?...Then what?"

The American said, "Then you could retire and do what ever you wanted. You could move to a small coastal 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 with your amigos."