How Much Is Enough? – Jimmy John’s


I enjoy “living the good life” parables like this that help put put the concept of “Life > Money” in perspective … it’s featured in most Jimmy John’s sandwich shops …


“The American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while.”

The American then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican said 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 said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should 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. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

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

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then?”

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 would make millions.”

“Millions?” asked the fisherman, “Then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. 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 evening, sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos!”

(Author Unknown); Image Credit: Pixabay

5 thoughts on “How Much Is Enough? – Jimmy John’s

  1. I don’t think I’ve read that one before – it’s very clever!

    As I have moved along my FI journey I’ve come to realise that most people can’t see what the Mexican is talking about because they are so caught up with consumerism. The further away from consumerism I get, the happier I am and the simpler life becomes for me – just like it is for the fisherman!


  2. I’ve seen it do the rounds, recently. The big problem though: if that fisherman ever doesn’t bring home enough fish, then his kids will go hungry. If one of the fisherman’s children falls ill, then he may not have enough money to pay the doctor for a simple treatment. If the coastal town gets hit by a tropical storm, then the fisherman has no means to protect his house or to flee.

    The fisherman is happy today, but his happiness is quite fragile. And he knows.


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