window.addEventListener("load", (event) => { ClientPoint.init(); }); The Story of the Fisherman


Leadership Books

Main Navigation

The Story of the Fisherman

The Story of the Fisherman

I came across this story and I loved it. Sharing it here via my blog to keep it close.

A boat was docked in a tiny Mexican fishing village.

A tourist complimented the local fishermen on the quality of their fish and… asked how long it took to catch them.

“Not very long” they answered in unison.

“Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?”

The fishermen explained that their small catches were sufficient to meet their needs and those of their families.

“But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“We sleep late, fish a little, play with our children, and take siestas with our wives. In the evenings, we go into the village to see our friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. We have a full life.”

The tourist 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?”

“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 Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City!!! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”

“How long would that take?”

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years.” replied the tourist.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? Well my friend, that’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the tourist, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” asked the fishermen.

“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 drinking and enjoying your friends.”

“With all due respect sir, but that’s exactly what we are doing now. So what’s the point of wasting twenty-five years?” asked the Mexicans.

My takeaway: Time is more important than money. What you have now might be the thing you actually want, and there’s more to life than the endless pursuit of money and empires.


Justin Skinner grew up in Springfield, Missouri, on a dairy farm just north of the city limits. Author of the book Professional Failure: Using the Gift of Failures to Better Yourself and Those Around You. He is the oldest of four children and married to Kendra Joy Skinner. They currently live in Springfield with their little Morkie-Poo Daisy. They love spending time with family, and enjoy playing all types of board games and pickle ball.

Justin played collegiate baseball at Crowder JUCO and Drury University, and is inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Soon after college (and getting fired from a job) Justin and Kendra started their own business in Springfield. Together, they also began investing in real estate and running short-term rentals.

You may also contact Justin at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.


Leave a Reply