The Fisherman’s Parable


I’ve been working with a budding writer recently and he sent me this great take on a well known parable.

The Fisherman's Parable

A man sits fishing at the end of a long pier, a businessman approaches and looks at his catch in the fading sun.

After a short while the businessman remarks,

‘How's it going? Looks like you’ve done well today.’

The man smiles and nods, ‘Yep, not too bad for a day’s work.’

‘You know what, if you kept some back and sold them down at market I bet you’d make a tidy profit.’

‘Uh huh,’ says the man adjusting his rods.

The businessman puts his hands on his hips and starts to think aloud:

‘If you did that every day you could save the money you made at market and maybe get yourself a little row boat. Then you could get over the deeper water and catch some really big fish. Imagine what you could do then, with bigger fish to sell at market you could eventually get yourself a bigger boat with a little cabin and you could sit out all day catching fish. You’d probably need some help but with the money you’d be making you could hire a couple of hands. Think how much you’d be bringing in now! It wouldn’t be long before you had more than one boat, of course once you have wages to pay and boats to upkeep you’d need someone to run the accounts but that’s ok you’re making plenty of money by now. Get yourself an accountant, you’ll soon see where you can make a margin and then you’ll have enough for another boat. Hire yourself a couple of decent skippers and rotate them so you always have a boat out fishing. Get a little office by the harbour…’

The businessman is in full flow now as the fisherman continues to cast out.

‘…I see you with a little fleet of fishing boats before long, you’re catching enough now to go direct to market in bulk. You’re negotiating better and better prices, cutting deals with major suppliers at the same time and turning in a decent profit. That accountant is full time now, you probably have some sales staff too and together with your skippers and the fishing crew you’ll want an office manager and a PA. But that’s good, with all this your business can grow. You can start to think about a packing plant on the river, getting that fish out to the wider market while it’s fresh. You got ships for transport now, you’re going places and you’re thinking about the logistics of taking this national. Franchises, a board of directors, shareholders! People are starting to take notice of your business and this is when you make your play. While the going is good,’ he pauses, triumphant, and declares, ‘you sell up and make yourself a fortune.’

The businessman seems lost in thought when the fisherman asks,

‘What would I do then?’

‘Well I guess you could retire and spend your days doing what you enjoy!’

The fisherman smiles,

‘Like fishing?’

Alice Stapleton

About Alice

Alice coaches those who want to change career but don’t know what they want to do instead. She offers Career Coaching designed to help graduates, early to mid-level career-changers, and parents returning to work gain a clear vision of what career is right for them, and how to achieve it. She is also an accredited Coach Supervisor, and host of The Career Change Diaries podcast.