A Simple Tale of a Fisherman

Written by Alun John

Alun founded Marketing Tom and delivers some of its courses.

September 19, 2006

I have just started re-reading Harriet Ruben’s excellent book, Soloing, where she describes her journey from corporate life to ‘soloist’. According to the Amazon review: “The life of a “soloist,” as she came to describe this new professional direction, turned out to be both challenging and exhilarating–and one, Rubin immediately realized, that she would never trade for a return to big business.”

Towards the start of the book she offers readers a very interesting ‘joke’:

There was a fisherman working alone in a beautiful, seaside village. He went out every morning in the forever-blue waters and caught one spectacular fish each day. A marketing whiz happened to be vacationing in the village and said to the fisherman, ‘Why catch only one fish? If you’re out there anyway, why not catch a hundred, sell ninety, and make a big profit?’

“‘I love my life the way it is’, the fisherman said. ‘Why would I want to do more?

“‘Because then you could get rich, start a fishery, move to a place like Silicon Valley and bring in sophisticated, technological systems to market all the fish. I’ll be your partner and after a year or two or five of endless hours and almost never seeing the sun shine, we can take the fishery public and make millions’

“And what would I do with the millions?’, asked the fisherman.

“‘You want millions’ explained the whiz kid, ‘so you can take your millions, buy a place in a little fishing village like this, and spend whole days doing nothing but catching one perfect fish'”

I actually know a couple of people who couldn’t understand why the fisherman wouldn’t see the argument of the whiz kid’s argument!

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