What do you want to achieve? Maybe you’re already there?

I recently came across this story in a book. Although I know it’s done the rounds of the internet before, I feel it’s worth repeating here…..

A Harvard MBA took a vacation to a sunny clime where he hired a fishing guide named Joe to help him to land a Marlin.

Joe was in his forties and lived in a modest house by the seashore with his wife and two children. Every day, Joe rose when the sun was warm and took a swim in the ocean with his family. Three days a week he escorted clients out to sea in his boat and they would fish until they hooked a big one.

The four mornings when he chose not to work, Joe would sit in his hammock and read from breakfast until it was time for mid-day lunch with his wife. Almost every afternoon, he picked his kids up after school and took them on ‘an adventure’ or to his workshop for handicrafts. After a long dinner ‘en famille’, Joe and his wife would walk to a nearby cafe where the locals gathered to discuss issues facing their community.

As the vacationing MBA appreciated, Joe’s fishing expeditions were first rate; Joe was a skilled guide, knowledgeable not only about anglers’ tackle but also marine biology, oceanography, meteorology and other subjects about which vacationers were curious. The MBA saw potential for a big, profitable enterprise.

He explained to Joe that it would be easy to put together a group of venutre capitalists to “build your under-performing business”. Instead of inefficiently taking one client out at a time, Joe could have a fleet of high-tech fishing boats, each accommodating a dozen or more clients. With a little strategic advice, he could branch out into related businesses; perhaps build a high-rise hotel on the beach. Most important, Joe could go on TV and become the marketing face for his business, creating a brand that could be franchised at other sleepy fishing communities: “A guy like you could become a celebrity”. The MBA then delivered the clincher: “When that happens, we have an IPO (stock market flotation) and you get rich!”

After listening patiently, Joe asked, “And what then?”

The MBA quickly answered; “Well, you retire to some nice place on the beach, do a little fishing and reading, and get to spend some time with your wife and kids…..”


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