Bigger Is Not Always Better – Ready For Sale Is!

Business Owners Board John

Business owner: If your only goal is to have a bigger business, because you think bigger is better – think again.

This is a great little story about a Mexican villager to get you thinking about “What is the purpose of my business? What will it look like when it’s perfect? Do I have a plan?”

Before I tell you the story – I want you to think about why you started the business or got in to it in the first place. Was it to get rich? Help people and make the world a better place? Or was it for the lifestyle you imagined you would have as a business owner? Whatever the reason was, have you thought about how you will get out of it and when? Could you even get out of it if you wanted or needed to? Better that your business is “saleable” all the time, then you have options. Now read this little story and leave me your thoughts in the comments!

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 yellow 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 didn’t he 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 all 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.. 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 evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

So, what IS the purpose of your business? How and when will you get out of it?

I believe you work to live and don’t live to work. What is it all for? What is your ‘end game’? Do you have an ‘exit strategy’? This is why I’m are so big on getting business owners to have a plan and a strategy for their business – all on our unique one page plan format!

If you are a business owner and want to know more about having a saleable business OR if you would like attend one of my business owner mentoring group meetings to try it out – click the link below and let’s talk!


Would love to know your thoughts and experiences – please leave a comment below! Thank you!

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John Denton

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