Why you can have millions in the bank and still be poor

ok. ok.

I know what you’re thinking. I could go ahead and preach about love and relationships and happiness, etc…

But I won’t. I just want to share a story. Every time I read it, my perspective is refreshed and my direction is challenged.

Here it is: The story of the Fisherman and the Investment Banker.

An unmarried wealthy venture capitalist gives advice to a successful, happy Mexican fisherman.

An internationally renowned venture capitalist from Hong Kong was vacationing at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village. A couple hours before lunch time, he noticed a small boat with just one fisherman docked nearby. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The venture capitalist complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican Jose replied, only a little while. The venture capitalist, Mr. Wang, then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish?

Jose said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. Wang asked what he did with the rest of his day.

The fisherman Jose said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. Some nights, I stroll into the village and play guitar with my amigos. We entertain the children with stories and songs. Some evenings my wife and I help at our church.”

Mr. Wang offered, “I have an MBA from Harvard and could help. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds,buy a larger boat. With the proceeds from a larger boat you could buy several more boats. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you could sell directly to the processor and open your own cannery. With my advice on marketing, you would ultimately control the supply of product, processing, and distribution.”

Mr. Wang continued, “Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City in order to manage the growing fleet. After you open the cannery, you would then need to move to Los Angeles to manage and coordinate the marketing and distribution.”

Jose asked, “How long will all this take?”

Mr. Wang replied, “Fifteen to twenty years.”

“What then?”, asked Jose.

Mr. Wang laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would relocate your growing empire to Hong Kong or London, announce an IPO, sell your company’s stock to the public, and become very rich. You would make millions.”

“Millions? Then what?”, the Mexican asked again.

“Then you could retire,” Mr. Wang replied, “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, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play guitar with your amigos.”


What a great story right?

Real wealth is not what’s in the bank. It’s in the freedom… If you have a lot of money, but are trapped by your money in that you don’t have the time and emotional energy to do anything else, then your money makes you poor.

Freedom is to have TIME. Time to be creative, to explore your interests, to spend with family, children and loved ones. Time to learn new things and acquire new talents. Time to give away.

Real wealth is to have enough money to support yourself in doing the things that inspire you and help you towards finding the purposes in your heart.

I want real wealth.


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