Be wary not to get lured into things full of money and status that will rob you of freedom and health.” – Roger Nusbaum

It’s so easy to get sidetracked from the things that we really want in life. Sometimes it’s because things happen that disrupt our plan, and other times it’s because we’re actually following someone else’s plan!

There’s a parable that you may have read online about a fisherman and an investment broker – it goes a little like this:

An investment banker was taking a much-needed vacation in a small coastal village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. The boat had several large, fresh fish in it. The investment banker was impressed by the quality of the fish and asked the Mexican how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.”

The banker then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish. The Mexican fisherman replied he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked: “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman replied, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take 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, señor.”

The investment banker scoffed:

“I am an Ivy League MBA, and I could help you. You could spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats until eventually, you would have a whole fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to the middleman, you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You could control the product, processing and distribution.”

Then he added: “Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City where you would run your growing enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But señor, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied: “15–20 years.”

“But what then?” asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said,

“That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You could make millions.”

“Millions, señor? Then what?”

To which the investment banker replied:

“Then you would retire. You could move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

We can’t really add to this story much more, other than to remind you of a blog that we wrote earlier this year where we spoke to four areas of our wealthspace (or being wealthy):

  1. Money (financial wealth)
  2. Status (social wealth)
  3. Freedom (time wealth)
  4. Health (physical wealth)

A happy life is one that has a good balance of money, status, freedom and health! The integration of each of these ensures that we don’t allow one to rob wealth from the others. If you’re feeling out of balance, please feel free to get in touch.