Fisherman ? and Empires ?

By July 24, 2017 No Comments

Ever hear the story about a fisherman and the businessman? It’s a nice life story. Let me try to sum it up but here’s a link to a 2 mins summary.

A fisherman on a small island enjoys a siesta after catching enough fish to feed his friends and family. A businessman approaches him and is impressed by his fish catch. But he’s curious why the fisherman doesn’t stay out in the water to catch more fish.

The fisherman replies by saying he has enough fish for to feed his friends and family and wants to spend the rest of his time enjoying siestas and spending time with his wife, kids, and friends.
The businessman; however, sees a great business opportunity and tries to convince the fisherman to see things his way:

“You should work harder and catch more fish. Then you could buy another boat. And with another boat, you can increase profits to eventually own a fleet of ships and even factory. And after that, you could have a global enterprise and manage fish worldwide. And if you work super hard, you can do all this in 15-20 years and then retire.”

“Then what do I do?” the fisherman ask.

The businessman replies, “That’s the best part. You then settle on a small island, spend time with your wife, kids, and friends and enjoy siestas whenever you want.”

…so who’s the smart one?

I read this story before. But during the weekend while on a bridge looking out to the Eiffel Tower, an elderly guy I met told me this story.

It was nice to hear from someone else. Also, great for my French practice.

I think he wanted to remind me about priorities in life as he saw my pregnant wife.

The day-to-day of business can be consumed by a lot of execution. And I noticed that if we don’t step back and think about our actions, we can find ourselves heading down paths that we don’t want.

I’m asking myself and challenges my teammates:

Do our activities, projects, and decisions get us closer to where we want to be or just keep us afloat in the present?

Business is an art of priorities. If you can understand where to pull back and where to double down with efforts, you increase your chances to reach your goals on your terms.

If anything, the fisherman story had me thinking. I wonder if it does for you too.

Wish you a great week ahead! As always thanks for reading.

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