Let’s not forget the Mexican Fisherman (a nice tale from Darren Jefferson)

mexican fisherman

In the corporate world we’re always chasing the next deal, having increased chargeable hours targets, told by the States and our UK management to diversify our product and service range to generate more revenue for our shareholders. Market capitalisation or pure greed, you decide.


Only yesterday we see a global outsourcing business wiping 50% off it’s share price due to running a too complex and diverse business model.


I often reflect on my roots, where I grew up with little but was content and it reminded me of the Mexican Fisherman story.


You may be familiar with this but it is often worth jumping off the corporate merry ground and reflecting on what really matters.

mexican fisherman 2

An 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 yellow 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 didn’t he 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 siestas with my wife, Maria, 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. 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 New York City, 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?”

Asked the Mexican.


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 – 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 evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”


Darren Jefferson

Alius Services Limited, 107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN 

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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1 Response to Let’s not forget the Mexican Fisherman (a nice tale from Darren Jefferson)

  1. Robert says:

    I have a similar tale which my mother gave me many years ago called ‘The Contented Fisherman’. It goes like this:

    The rich businessman was horrified to find the fisherman lying lazily beside his boat, smoking a pipe.

    “Why aren’t you out fishing?” said the businessman.

    “Because I have caught enough fish for the day” said the fisherman.

    “Why don’t you catch more than you need?” asked the businessman.

    “What would I do with it?” asked the fisherman.

    “You could earn more money” was the reply. “With that you could have a motor fixed to your boat. Then you would make enough to buy nylon nets. These would bring you more fish and more money. Soon you would have enough money to own two boats. Then you would be a rich man like me”.

    “What would I do then?” asked the fisherman.

    “Then you could sit down and enjoy life” said the businessman.

    “What do you think I am doing right now?” said the contented fisherman.

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