Yesterday, someone posted a comment in one of my old blogposts entitled "Why do you want to get rich?". The comment reads:
I have experienced this wisdom from the help we had while operating ranches in the southwest. It's not what you have, it's how it has you.
It's amazing how sometimes we learn life's important lessons from the most unexpected people.
If you're curious to know what kind of wisdom this blog reader is talking about, read the following story from Timothy Ferris' The 4-Hour Work Week:
An American businessman took a vacation in a small coastal village in Mexico. One morning after taking a business call, he walked out to the pier and saw a fisherman with a small boat. Inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna.
He complimented the Mexican on the great catch and asked him how long it took him to catch the fishes and the Mexican fisherman replied “only a little while”.
The American asked the fisherman, “Why don’t you stay longer to catch more?” to which the fisherman said “I have enough already to support my family and give a few to friends”.
The American continued to probe and asked “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman replied, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, and stroll the village each evening, where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor.”
The American businessman laughed and said “I have a Harvard MBA and I can help you. You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. In no time, you can buy more boats until you have a fleet.” He continued to talk about product, processing and distribution, and he said when the business is big enough, the fisherman should to the US, maybe LA or New York, to further expand the business.
The Mexican asked, “But senor, how long will it take this?” to which the American replied, “15-20 years. 25 years max.”
Then the Mexican asked, “But what then, senor?”
The American laughed and replied, “That is the best part. When the time is right, you could do an IPO and sell your company stocks and you will become very rich. You will make millions!”
The Mexican said, “Millions, senor? Then what?”
“Then you would retire and move to a small coastal village, where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play guitar with your amigos…”