The Mexican Fisherman Story, or How to Find Success in Your Life

After reading the "4 hour work week" book by Timothy Ferriss about a dozen years ago, this one story really resonated with us at PlanetWeb. It reflects the new mantra to be more with less, especially with business gurus like Gary Vaynerchuk who preaches his no nonsense “Love your family, work super hard, live your passion.” The story teaches you to ignore BS, live simply and do what matters most.

The Mexican fisherman story is about how you define success and what is important to you. So basically here is the story summarized.

American businessman went down to Mexico for some R&R and after waking up one morning decided to take a stroll on the beach. There he came across a lonely Mexican fisherman who was docking his boat with few beautiful recently caught yellowfin tuna.

Meditations / Pixabay

American complimented the Mexican on his fish and asked how long it took him to catch the fish. To which the Mexican replied - "Not that long." American was surprised - he said why do not you stay longer and catch more fish, Mexican replied that it was enough to feed his family.

American was confused now. He asked Mexican - what do you do with the rest of your time?

The Mexican replied: "I sleep in late. I play with my kids.  I have some fiesta with my wife, and at night I play some music with my amigos."

The American now was pretty upset. He said Common My Mexican Friend - You catching some amazing fish. I went to Harvard so I know a thing or two about business. You should fish more, so you can afford a bigger boat. After you get a bigger boat , get more people to help you fish, maybe buy more boats, then you will have enough volume to sell directly to the buyer vs using middleman as you are doing now. You can now even open up your own fish processing plant and an office in Mexico City, then in Los Angeles and maybe even New York one day.

Mexican was not getting it: "But how long will all this take?"

American: "20-25 years"

Mexican: "And what then?"

American excitedly: "The best part is. Now you will be big enough to launch your company on New York Stock Exchange. And You will be millionaire!"

Mexican: "Millions and then what?"

American:"Well my friend. Thats the best part. Then you will retire, move to a small Mexican village, where you can sleep, fish a little, play with your children, have siesta with your wife and play some music with your amigos."

The moral of the story is "Know what's important in life - you may already have it."

The 5 important take aways we need to take from this story are:

  1. Time is of the essence: enjoy life now, enjoy hanging out with you kids, wife, friends before it is too late.
  2. No need for more shit: at the end of the day, do what you love, do not do it for cash, do it because you enjoy it.
  3. Smaller is better: Do you really need that expensive car or that big boat. Sometimes living simpler life means enjoying it more without having to worry about all those lease payments.
  4. Story is Powerful: Stories make people think about what matters most. Share with the world who you are and what you have to say.
  5. You already have it all: You should realize every day that you already have it all and so much better off than many other generations before you. Enjoy it!