On Priorities and Goals

We’ve recently been really struggling over a huge decision with our business that would be a huge step in the “crazy busy” direction. I can’t really go into details, but in our struggle these last several weeks one short story (presumed fiction, but great nonetheless) has helped us to keep in mind what’s important.

I read this story sometime last year from one of my faithful email forwarders (we all have a few of those people in our lives, no?) and it made a debut recently on a couple of my fellow photogs’ blogs and it was a perfectly-timed reminder. Enjoy!

A wall-street 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 you stay out longer and catch more fish?”

The Mexican said, “With this I have more than enough to support my family’s needs.”

The American then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta 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 offered, “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 Los Angeles and eventually New York where you will run your ever- expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?” To which the American replied, “15 to 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 siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

~ Author Unknown

Let’s not lose sight of what’s important to us and what our real goals are! I love stories like this that bring life back into perspective.

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