As a boat docked into a tiny seaside village, a visiting businessman complimented the local fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.
“Not very long,” answered the fisherman.
“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the businessman. The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.
The businessman asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, play the guitar, and sing a few songs… I have a full life.”
The businessman interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard, and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”
“And after that?” asked the fisherman.
“With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to the city, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.
How long would that take?” asked the fisherman.
“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the businessman.
“And after that?”
“Afterwards? Well my Friend, That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the businessman, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!”
“Millions? Really? And after that?” said the fisherman.
“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings doing what you like and enjoying your friends.”