Story Time: The Fisherman & the Consultant


A management consultant, on holiday by the beach in Thiruvananthapuram, watched a little fishing boat dock at the shore.

As usual he started calculating the ‘pro’s and con’s of the visible outcome’. Noting the quality of the fish, the consultant finally  asked the fisherman ‘How long did it take to catch them?’

“Not very long.” answered the fisherman.

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

The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

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

“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, have an afternoon’s rest under a coconut tree. In the evenings, I go into the community hall to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the Mridangam, and sing a few songs….. I have a full and happy life.” replied the fisherman.

The consultant ventured, “I have an MBA from IIM and I can help you…… ” He said.

And continued by enumerating the a series of events

  1. ‘You should start by fishing longer every day for extra fish.
  2. You can then sell the extra fish you catch.
  3. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.
  4. 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 a large fleet.
  5. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants
  6. Depending on ROI and market conditions, Maybe even open your own plant.
  7. You can then leave this little village and move to a city or maybe even out of India.
  8. From there you can direct your huge enterprise.’
Quite a business plan it was, hearing which the fisherman asked, “How long would all that take?”

“Oh, ten, maybe twenty years.” replied the consultant.

“And after that?” asked the fisherman.

“After that? That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the consultant, laughing, “When your business gets really big, you can start selling 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 afternoon naps under a coconut tree, and spend relaxing evenings having drinks with friends… A beautiful life”

” That’s what I’m doing right now”, said the fisherman and went his way.

Moral: Wisdom is not free but patience is priceless and one does not work without the other.

End-note: I was reminded of this story because of something that happened at work today. As usual, I jumped the gun! That’s my biggest AOI now.

Source: Abridged version - Rewritten by : Abhinandan Chatterjee P.S. I have read and heard this story at a few places earlier; the original source is untraceable. A similar story is available on cite hr posted by vrajeev.

 


					
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