Thursday, June 5, 2008

How Much Is Enough?

I am always in the mood to be inspired. I have tried in the past to force inspiration down my throat by trying to memorize some quotes by famous authors and thinkers throughout history, purchase fortune cookies, or hang up one of those signs, you know, like the ones that show lightening flashing above an open field, with one lone tree, with the tag line: Detirmination: The will to succeed can overcome the greatest adversity.
I prefer the inspiration that comes more serendipitiously. They can come from the strangest places. This time it was from Jimmy John's Sandwhich shop. I hope you are inspired too. The sign reads as follows:

How Much Is Enough?

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)


Eric said...


I do love when you post. I too am inspired by the Jimmy Johns poster and have been pondering it for since you first told me about it. I do think there is a lot of truth in what it speaks to everyone who reads it. I only hope that I don't fall into the trap, or even worse, take others down that road.

I am proud of your running accomplishments. (Too nerdy to say in person.) :))


Eric said...

By the way, I have almost worked up my guest blogger post...I'll let you know when I need to post.


Anonymous said...

This may have been a witty quote when there were only 3 Jimmy Johns. But how hypocritical can you be Jimmy when you keep this plaque up in your stores now? You've got a lot of 'boats' and are slinging a lot of 'fish'. According to your website maybe 500stores (approx. because they are multiplying like rabbits) in nearly all 50 states? The only thing missing here is the IPO. I heard YUM brands is interested though, so there's hope.

Anonymous said...

The question is: Is it about the journey or the destination?

Anonymous said...

Or maybe the journey isn't so different from the destination?