And then what?


Upon reading a page from The Premonition, which I’ve excerpted below, I’m reminded of a story that I tell often, especially as we figure out our own aspirations here at Hacienda Dominguez & Chelenzo Farms.

Enzo and I recently discussed the matter, as we talked about the importance of cultivating relationships to get things done, create opportunity and build profitable partnerships.

Fresh off the boat from his Ivy League journey, he espoused a rally against the corruptive forces of capitalism and expressed his hopes that we would only grow enough to keep our extended family happy for generations to come and plant sustainable roots in the land of enchantment.

He was concerned that growth might some day spur greed, that the mothership Hacienda Dominguez would spawn other Hacienda Dominguez’s, which would in turn prevent others from having their own enterprising homesteads and haciendas.

Coincidentally, we watched Patch Adams last night and the big message was much the same: the mission to help others is more important than profit and protocol.

It was a good talk with my eldest and reminder of what’s important in life, something I had the privilege of learning through experience and observation as part of a happy Mexican family.

The greatest pleasures and treasures and privileges in life are often the simplest and easiest to be had, as highlighted by this quote from the following story: “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, señor.”

The Parable of The Mexican Fisherman and American Businessman

An American investment banker was taking a much-needed vacation in a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. The boat had several large, fresh fish in it.

The investment banker was impressed by the quality of the fish and asked the Mexican how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.” The banker then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican fisherman replied 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 replied, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos: I have a full and busy life, señor.”

The investment banker scoffed, “I am an Ivy League MBA, and I could help you. You could 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 until eventually you would have a whole fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to the middleman you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You could control the product, processing and distribution.”

Then he added, “Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City where you would run your growing enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But señor, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then?” asked the Mexican.

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 could make millions.”

“Millions, señor? Then what?”

To which the investment banker replied, “Then you would retire. You could 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.”