It’s cool, but does it pay well?

nudie-sand-castleWe had a fantastic afternoon out of the office today – as a team building exercise we had a group of sand artists come and show us how to make sculptures on the beach. We split into 30 teams and I think did a great job in an hour – pretty much every group had a different sculpture from mermaids to a model of our campus..

At the end, as we were lamenting how fantastic the beach was, and how unfortunate it is to be sat in the office all day, one of my colleagues imagined that the life of a sand artist must be great – but, suggesting that it wasn’t a practical reality for most, that it probably didn’t pay well. This reminded me of a fantastic story I’d read earlier in the week by JC Duarte – I’ll include it in full here:

A boat docked in Ferragudo, a tiny fishing village in the Algarve region in the South of Portugal and an American tourist approached the captain, Peixoto, and complimented the Portuguese fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered Peixoto.

“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the American.

Peixoto explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs… I have a full life.”

The American interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”

“And after that?” asked Peixoto.

“With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to a great City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked Peixoto.

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the American.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? Well my Friend, That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the American, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” said Peixoto.

After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends.



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