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How to Work Long and Hard and Go Nowhere

fisherman | BIGG SuccessWe were e-mailed this story some time ago. We thought about it when we talked about a bigger boat and BIGG success on The BIGG Success Show earlier this week.

There are various versions of this story floating around. We wanted to share it with you to wrap up the week.

The consultant and the fisherman

A management consultant was on vacation in a small coastal village in Mexico. After his morning stroll, he stopped by a pier to watch the activity.

Before long, a small boat docked nearby. The consultant noted a few large fish in the boat.

He complimented the fisherman on his catch and asked how long it had taken to catch them.

“Just a little while,” the fisherman replied.

“Then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?”

“It’s all I need to support my family.”

The consultant asked, “Then what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The fisherman joyfully responded, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta in the afternoon in my hammock. In the evenings, I go to my favorite watering hole to see my friends, have a few beers, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full and happy life, senor.”…..

The consultant jeered, “I can help you. I am a very well educated man. Business leaders from around the world call on me for advice. You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With this extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one. Eventually, you’ll have a large fleet. Then instead of selling your fish to the processor, you could open your own plant. You can leave this little village and move to Mexico City to run your huge enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked the fisherman.

“Oh, ten, maybe twenty years.”


“And after that?”


“After that? That’s when it gets really interesting,” replied the consultant with excitement. “When your business gets really large, you can sell shares in your company and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” pressed the fisherman.

“After that you’ll be able to retire, move out to a small village by the sea, sleep in late every day, spend time with your family, go fishing, take siestas in the afternoon, and spend relaxing evenings drinking and playing music with your friends.”

And after that?

By this consultant’s definition, this fisherman was already a BIGG success. Make sure you’re not working long and hard to go nowhere.

As you design and build life on your own terms, make sure you ask the same, simple question as the fisherman:

“And after that?”

If the answer leads you back where you are, you know you need to re-think your design.

Sometimes money isn’t the answer.

Sometimes bigger isn’t better.

Sometimes ambition gets in the way of BIGG success.

Image in this post from ZaNuDa