This guest blog post has been written by Clive Mulligan
This well-known story was sent to me by a friend recently and made me think about how you can get things in perspective about your ambitions and goals, have a read, its an interesting story;
Be completely clear about what you want – and what you’ll get from having it. Ask yourself, “What purpose does this goal serve?” This acts as a reality check. Is it for the greater good, or just your ego speaking? There’s nothing wrong in wanting an expensive sports car if you have a passion for cars. But if you want to show people that you can afford an expensive sports car, then this is not wise.
An American businessman was standing at the pier of a Mexican fishing village when a small boat docked. Inside the boat were one fisherman and several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his catch.
“How long did it take 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?” said the American.
“I have enough to support my family’s immediate needs,” the Mexican replied.
“But” the American then asked, “What do you do with the rest of your time?”
The fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, 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 I could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you should buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.
“After that you could open your own canning factory. Then you could control the product, the processing and the distribution. You could leave this little village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
“How long will this take, senor?” the fisherman asked.
The American replied, “Fifteen or twenty years.”
“But what then, senor?”
The American laughed. “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce a stock market flotation and sell shares in your company and become very rich. You would make millions.”
“Then you would retire. You could move to a small 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 evening, sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos….”
I say to a number of my clients, realise your ambition but don’t be scared to limit what you want to achieve. After all the purpose of your work is to fundamentally serve your life and those in it. As the moral of this story tells it hardly seems worthwhile to spend all your time working and miss out on living in the process.
Food for thought?
About the Writer
Clive Mulligan is the Principal of Simply Consulting, a Sales & Marketing Development Consultancy focused on helping small and medium sized businesses grow their businesses by developing a strong sales & Marketing Strategy.
A Sales Professional since 1984 Clive has been described by colleagues, business partners and colleagues as being “Challenging and Supportive”, being a “Knowledgeable professional and a pleasure to work with” and as having “wealth of business development experience across a number of sectors”, Clive harnesses this experience to work with forward thinking business owners to help them realize their full business potential.