Advice Papa Gave Me: Do Not Complicate Your Life


My Son,

An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Nigerian village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large fish. The American complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The fisherman replied that it only took a little while. The American then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish. The fisherman 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 fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife Ngozi, then stroll into the village each evening where I sip palm wine and play guitar and sing songs with my friends. I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed. “I have a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. 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 Lagos or any other big city of your choice in the world where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The fisherman asked, “But how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “Fifteen to twenty years.”
“But what then?”
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an Initial Public Offer (IPO) and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.”
“Millions? 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 siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip palm wine and play your guitar with your friends.”

So my son be careful not to turn your life upside down to get back to square one.


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