1 MIN READING: The fisherman and the businessman

There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village.
As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish.
The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”
The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”
“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.
“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.
The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”
The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”

The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman.
“I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”

The fisherman continues, “And after that?”
The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”
The fisherman asks, “And after that?”
The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”
The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”

classic Brazilian story, probably also present in other cultures. Someone found the English version, but I could not identify the translator


  1. Wasim says:

    Now I wish I was a fisherman rather than a blogger. Could this be a turning point in my life. I’m only kidding, what a great story. Being happe and content that’s what it’s all about !!

    1. Wasim says:

      I meant, ‘happy’

  2. Phred says:

    This story is so much better when it’s printed without that last line.

  3. Jethro Cortez says:

    What if the businessman says in last, “After that, you can finally retire with greatest achievement, and your million dollars keep growing and growing because it is still working for you, you will now have more time with your FAMILY and Friends” (There is no GROWTH without a CHANGE…)
    if in last turned you in your old doings the Feelings, Discipline and knowledge will still remain, it will help you to start all over again… There is no Man without a DREAM… Everything in this world change… that is why Everybody Seek for Changes…. GROWTH is a FRUIT of CHANGE…

  4. Mezz says:

    So the moral of the story is to catch bigger fish right?

  5. […] says:  I have seen many versions of this story, but this translation from Paul Coelho’s blog is the best so […]

  6. Carlos Torres says:

    This is a beautiful story every time I read it! It reminds that there are more important things more valuable than money! Have a blessed day everyone! : )

  7. Marwan says:

    I really like this story, it tells the story of almost all the men in which every man dream to get the big fish by aiming far but only if he looks under his feet he will find he is standing were he dreamt to be from the beginning so It seems we only spend our life chasing our dreams and wasting the time we should have spent with our families only to be back only to the starting point .

  8. beena manu says:

    we are running fast behind for all the things,but basically we lost our peace of mind,relation ships,but we gain only money,finally we give up all the money to hospitals………really we are fools………..thanks to this small story ,giving a big message to the society……..there is a limit for everything……..love you Paulo

  9. christo thomas says:

    This story is also attributed to Swami Vivekananda from India

  10. Boyan Mirazchiiski says:

    C’mon! None of you who go into ecstasies over this story has chosen the life of the Fisherman! Otherwise you wouldn’t be sitting in front of your laptops spilling over admiration. I’m sure none of you will, if you could start your life over! All of you here have one characteristic in common – everyone thinks about the day after tomorrow and all of you know that fish is not caught everyday, that kids need more than the daily bread and few hours of fun. I agree only that we need not to forget our priorities…

  11. Eric says:

    And don’t use or do it better with all this technology garbage, tell them to put the money into recycling all this very nocive and dangerous wastes and not by young kids in India…Or other places…

  12. Eric says:

    I think it’s also important to contribute to the evolution of society, technology, etc… with new rules that need to be followed by the high polluting factories which are not agreeing to basic, minimal rules about protecting the environment, our life, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat….. the earth, the Mother for some…(Gaia)