I love this story because I meet people like this all the time:
An investment banker was on the pier of a small coastal village when a small boat
with just one fisherman docked. His boat was full of beautiful yellow tuna.
The banker complimented the fisherman on his fish, asking how long it took to catch them.
The fisherman replied “Only a short time.”
The banker asked why not stay out and catch more.
The fisherman replied, “I’ve enough fish to feed my family.”
The banker then asked what did the fisherman do with the rest of his time,
and he replied, “I will sleep late, fish a little, play with my children,
take a siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening, sip wine
with my friends, play my guitar, … I have a full and busy life.”
The banker was not impressed.
“I have a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat and from those increased proceeds you could buy several boats and soon have a fleet. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you could control production, processing and distribution by building your own cannery. You could leave this small coastal village and move to the city then to New York where you could run your expanding enterprise.”
The fisherman asked, “How long will this take?”
The banker said, “Ten to twenty years. Then you would announce an IPO
and sell your stock to the public, making millions and millions.”
“But what then?”
“Ah, now you get to the best part”, said the banker smiling.
“You could retire to a small coastal village where you could sleep late,
fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll
to the village in the evenings, sip wine and play your guitar with your friends.”
Why do I love this story? My friend sent this to me recently and I have probably seen it a couple of times over the years. It got me thinking about some of the StartUp people who come to see me.
They are like the fisherman. They may already have what could be described as “a good life”.
And inside them there is an “Inner” Investment Banker who sits on their (proverbial) shoulder, constantly talking to them in the middle of the night, or when they are on the train or out walking the dog. This Inner Investment Banker is saying
“What you have right now is not enough”
“You are so good at what you do and no-one appreciates you, you could do and be so much more. You could built an empire and sell it for a fortune.”
“And you can have it all”.
This Inner Investment Banker is watching Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den and reading about the successes of Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Arrianna Huffington (to name a few) and cheering us on from the sidelines.
Are you listening to your Inner Investment Banker? What do hear?