January 04, 2011
Do You Really Need More?

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An investment banker was standing at the pier of a small coastal village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The banker complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The fisherman replied, "Only a little while."

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

The fisherman said, "Why bother? I now have more than enough to support my family's needs."

The banker then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening and spend time with my family, I have a full and busy life."

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The banker scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing; 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. 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 the capital city. After that, who knows, maybe you could take on the world!"

The fisherman asked, "How long will all of this take?"

To which the banker replied, "I'd say about 15 to 20 years."

"But what then?" asked the fisherman.

The Banker laughed, "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?...Then what?" the fisherman replied.

"Then you would retire and do whatever you want," said the banker. "What would you want to do?"

The fisherman answered: "I would sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening and spend time with my family."

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Thanks to Neil Evans for submitting this wonderful story.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at January 4, 2011 08:53 AM

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