Recognising Success

The story

FishermanA well-loved fishing boat docked at the pier in a small coastal village.  A scruffy-looking fisherman emerged from the wheelhouse and proceeded to set up a boat-side fresh fish shop.

A young business Executive on holidays on the pier complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.  “Not very long”, answered the fisherman.

“So why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the Executive.  “Because this catch is enough to meet my family’s needs, as well as those of my friends and a few regular customers”, answered the fisherman.

The Executive asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”  “In the morning, I sleep late before going fishing.  In the afternoon, I have a siesta with my wife, then we do things with the kids when they get home from school.  In the evenings, we catch up with family and friends.”

Super Trawler“But I can help you achieve more success than that!  How about you fish longer every day, sell the extra fish you catch, and buy a bigger boat?”interrupted the Executive enthusiastically.  “Why would I do that?” asked the fisherman.

“With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy more boats until you have an entire fleet.  Instead of selling fish to your friends, you can negotiate directly with the fish processing plants and maybe even open your own plant.  You can then leave this little village and move to Sydney, or Melbourne, or even overseas!  From there, you can direct your fleet, and make millions!” cried the Executive.  “And why would I do that?” asked the fisherman.

“Because after that you’ll be able to retire to the coast, sleep late, do a bit of fishing, play with your grandkids, and enjoy your retirement with your family and friends…”

The lessons

Whether you’re a young business executive or a part-time fisherman, there are a number of lessons here:

  • Is it that more doesn’t necessarily mean better?
  • Is it that you need to think before you speak?
  • Is it that everyone has different views about what constitutes success?
  • Or is it that only you can decide what constitutes success for you, and when you have achieved it?
The source

I first found this story with a Mexican-Amercian twist.  Its provenance is unknown.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *