My first year out of law school, I attended a firm party at the home of one of the senior partners of the firm. Â His house was a huge mansion in Greenwich, CT. Â Well over 10,000 square feet, a big, beautiful manicured lawn, a boat slip, pool, and a beautiful view of the ocean. Â One of the other senior partners called all of us first year associates around him. Â He said: "You see Bill's house? Â It's pretty amazing, isn't it." Â (appreciative nods from all of us first years) Â "It would be pretty cool to be able to afford a house like this someday, wouldn't it?" Â (more affirmative nods from the first year associates) Â "Well," he continued, "I'm going to tell you a secret about our law firm." Â "If you work really really hard, and I mean REALLY hard, that means weekends, holidays, birthdays, and late into the night . . . and you bill thousands of hours, and generate new business for our firm . . . and you do that year after year. . . . Â Â then Bill will be able to build another house, just like this one, down in Florida." More than a grain of truth in this joke.
A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them. "Not very long," answered the Mexican. "Well, then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American. The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family. The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?" "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife.? In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs... I have a full life." The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you. You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City. From there you can direct your huge enterprise." "How long would that take?" asked the Mexican. "Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American. "And after that?" "Afterwards?? That's when it gets really interesting," answered American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions." "Millions?? Really?? And after that?" "After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take siestas with your wife, and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."