I want to share a story that will change the way you think about money. This story is about an encounter that a vacationing American businessman had with a relativity poor Mexican fisherman. My goal in sharing this story with you is to get you to question your pursuit for financial wealth. Is the statement "If I only had more money...." a form of laziness in your life?
An American businessman was standing 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 yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
“Only a little while.” The Mexican replied.
“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” The American then asked.
“I have enough to support my family’s immediate needs.” The Mexican said.
“But,” The American then asked, “What do you do with the rest of your time?”
“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a 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,” replied the Mexican fisherman.
The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you can 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 consumers, eventually opening your own factory. 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 señor, how long will this all 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 (Initial Public Offering) and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”
“Millions? Then what?”
The American said slowly, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal 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 evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos…”
As Tim Ferriss states in his book, The 4 Hour Workweek, "Money is multiplied in practical value depending on the number of W's you control in your life:"
- What you do
- When you do it
- Where you do it
- With whom you do it
These W's are called freedom multipliers. Think about it: how much is your money actually worth if you control none of these W's in your life? How much would your money be worth if you had the freedom to control all of the above?
Many people think that the secret to living a better life is money. The problem, however, is laziness.
"If I only had more money is the easiest way to postpone the intense self examination and decision-making necessary to create a life of enjoyment" - Tim Ferriss
You don't need as much money as you think to live the life of your dreams. Having the lifestyle of a millionaire and being financially rich are two fundamentally different things.
Stop reading for a minute and imagine your millionaire self in your head right now. What are the characteristics he or she embodies? Is he or she super fit, outgoing, social, and spiritual? What does he wake up and do on a daily basis? Does she live by the beach, go surfing in the mornings, and then hang out with friends?
Think hard about all of the things in your millionaire lifestyle and go after those attributes now! You don't need money to become physically fit, spiritual, and hang out with good friends every day.
Start living like a millionaire today.
Do you find yourself using the "If I only had more money I would _____," excuse? Fill in the blank in the comments and we'll help you recognize that you can become whatever you want to become without the money.