There was once a businessman who was sitting at a tiny cafe near the beach in a small Brazilian village.
The owner brings him his coffee and pastry. As the coastal breeze flows through the window, the businessman takes a bite of his croissant and a sip of his coffee.
Delighted by how delicious his breakfast is, he waves the owner over.
“Why are you only open from 6am to 11am?” The businessman asks, nodding towards the hours sign along the front door.
The cafe owner replied “Oh, most of my customers come in the morning before work for coffee.”
“Why don’t you stay open longer? I’m sure more people would come during lunch and after work.” The businessman said.
“My morning customers are enough to help me pay my rent.” The cafe owner said.
Confused and curious, the businessman asked, “So what do you do for the rest of the day?”
The cafe owner replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, bake the pastries, open the cafe and serve coffee til I close. Then I go home, have lunch with my kids and play with them. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, head to the market for groceries and make dinner for my family. Sometimes in the evening, we all go to the beach. I surf, have a drink with my wife and friends, play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”
The businessman offered a suggestion to the cafe owner.
“I have an MBA. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should open your cafe from 6am to 8pm. You should sell more items: sandwiches for lunch, big plates for dinner. When you have saved enough money, you can open another store in a different part of town. Soon you will be able to afford to create a chain of cafes all across the country. You’ll set up your own corporation. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other franchises.”
The cafe owner continues, “And after that?”
The businessman laughs, “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 cafe owner asks, “And after that?”
The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire and move to a small house along the coast. Wake up early in the morning to have some coffee and pastries, play with your kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife. And when evening comes, you can head to the beach to surf, drink with your buddies, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”
Adapted from the classic Brazilian story "The Fisherman and The Businessman", rewritten to reflect my own interests. Originally shared and found by Paulo Coelho.