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Fishing for time

The very best thing about working for ‘Art of Brill’ is that we only have one meeting a year!

ONE meeting!

Per year!


And because it’s such a rare thing, the meeting becomes a bit of an event. We look forward to it. It’s fun! Yes, we have a meeting that’s fun.

After this year’s meeting we went out for a drink and I got chatting to Dr Andy. I’m into fishing and he told me – sagely, like he does – that most men spend their lifetime fishing without realising it’s not fish they’re after.

I scratched my head a little. That’s too deep to be an original Andy quote so I’m pretty sure he stole it from someone very wise.

So, in return, I shared the old fable about fishing – my version – which goes something like this…

An incredibly successful businessman sailed into the marina aboard his mega yacht. His immaculately dressed crew docked his boat next to all the other mega yachts and he walked across the beach to his swanky hotel. He noticed a fisherman with a rod, casting a line into the ocean.

‘Caught anything?’ asked the businessman.

‘These,’ smiled the fisherman, pointing to six fish in a coolbox.

‘Wow,’ said the businessman. ‘What time did you start fishing?’

‘First light,’ nodded the local, watching his float bob on the water.

‘And how long do you fish for?’

‘Until I have enough fish for my family, and some to sell in the market. Normally a couple of hours,’ replied the man.

Both men stood in silence for a minute, listening to the waves crash on the shore. ‘And what about the rest of your day?’ asked the yacht owner.

‘Oh, there’s plenty to do,’ smiled the fisherman. ‘I have to look after my vegetable patch, I spend some time with my family and there are always jobs to do in the community.’

All of a sudden there was a tug on the rod and the fisherman started reeling in. The businessman was excited. He sometimes did deep sea fishing off his yacht but shoreline fishing was something new.

Two minutes later the local had expertly landed the silvery fish, unhooked it and added it to the coolbox.

‘Man, you’re good,’ exclaimed the businessman. ‘I like you my friend,’ he beamed. ‘It just so happens that I’m a super-successful entrepreneur and I want to help you have a better life.’

The fisherman placed the lid on his coolbox, ready to go home with his catch.

‘If you fish for longer, say 10-12 hours a day, seven days a week you will catch more fish and make more money. It’s obvious!’ said the yacht owner.

The fisherman looked unimpressed so the businessman explained further. ‘And with the extra money you could buy a second boat. A bigger boat!’ he said, nodding to the marina.

The fisherman remained blank. He slid his feet into his flipflops and picked up his coolbox.

‘And you could employ other fisherman. If you all worked long hours you could make stacks of money.’

The fisherman lifted the coolbox and started walking.

‘Wait!’, shouted the businessman. ‘Eventually, in a couple of years you could earn enough to open a fish processing plant. That’d earn you even more money. Don’t you get it?

The fisherman kept walking, the businessman jogging by his side. ‘Then you set a distribution hub and send your packaged fish all over the world, he urged. ‘In no time at all you could become a somebody in the fish industry. A big fish, so to speak.’

‘Big fish.’ The local smiled but kept walking.

‘And within 10 years I guarantee you’d have a business that you could sell.’

The fisherman stopped. He looked at the businessman. He nodded and smiled. He placed his heavy coolbox in the sand. There was a glint in his eye.

‘Good man,’ beamed the businessman. ‘I knew you’d get it.’

‘And in 10 years, when I’ve followed your plan and sold my business,’ smiled the fisherman, ‘what then?’

‘What then?’ spluttered the yacht owner. ‘What then? With all the money you’ll have made, you can now spend time with your family, grow your veggies, do off jobs in the community and maybe do a little bit of beach fishing.’


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