Written by: Brad B.
Although it may seem crazy that we decided to get up and quit our jobs, the decision did not happen overnight. This has been a discussion Ella and I have been having now for years. We are both hardworking people and it has taken some time for us to get to where we are both financially and in our careers.
We were both raised to:
- Go to college,
- Get a professional job,
- Save your money,
- Get married,
- Buy a house,
- Have children,
- Climb the corporate ladder
And then maybe, just maybe you can retire with enough money to finally start living your life.
We made a conscious decision this month to chart our own course and really discover what makes us happy. We made a promise to ourselves and each other that no matter what happens we will enjoy this time and be fully present.
Along the way to making this decision, we have found a lot of great books, videos and people to inspire this big adventure. We look forward to sharing them all with you, in hopes that you discover something to spark your passion, no matter what it may be.
Below is a short story that I came across a few months back. It really helped me start to reflect on what I am really working towards.
The original story was written by German writer Heinrich Böll published in 1967.
The Story of the Mexican Fisherman
An American businessman was standing 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 yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.
“How long it took you to catch them?” The American asked.
“Only a little while.” The Mexican replied.
“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” The American then asked.
“I have enough to support my family’s immediate needs.” The Mexican said.
“But,” The American then asked, “What do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a 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, senor.”
The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, you buy a bigger boat, and 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 consumers, eventually opening your own can factory. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”
“But what then, senor?”
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO (Initial Public Offering) and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”
“Millions, senor? Then what?”
The American said slowly, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos…”
I think the irony of this story is that I am in my last year of my MBA and I am making a conscious decision to be a fisherman. Hindsight is always 20/20.