The Fisherman and the Businessman B.S.

Written by Azat MardanApril 29, 2016

Have you heard the preamble about the fisherman and the businessman? It’s often told in a feel-good blogs and talks. The fisherman’s nationality varies from Brazilian to Mexican, but the gist is that you don’t have to strive for success and achievement. If all you want to do if is to fish and go home early, then you can start doing it now (fisherman). In other words, if your goal is to relax after you’ve made money (businessman), then why not skip making money part and relax now ?

I think it’s utterly bullshit—and potentially dangerous for those who take its advice seriously—for three reasons. The first is simple: the story don’t take into consideration risks. Let’s say your family member gets sick. If you have the money, you can send him/her to a good hospital. This is not an option for a poor fisherman.

Another reason is the experience, adventure, the thrill and satisfaction of making money, doing well in your craft (fishing and business management), career or business. This is the reward in itself for most people in the world of business. Think of it as the journey which will make you a better person. If all you do is fish, go home early and relax, then you are not challenging yourself enough. You’re not growing in your craft or skills.

The last reason is that if you just fish for your family, then you deprive other of the fruits of your labor. If you’re any good (and with practice and time you should become good at pretty much any trade), then you’ll be depriving others, e.g., people in a seafood market, of your fish. So staying at your current level and not taking it bigger is stealing from society. It’s selfish.

Don’t believe all the stupid stories you read or hear from the so called gurus of life. Think for yourself!