Once upon a time there was a wealthy businessman who took a week vacation to a small beach town.
While he sat under an umbrella on the beach, thoroughly enjoying his vacation, he noticed a fisherman launching his small rowboat into the ocean to start his day’s work.
After 2 hours, the fisherman came back to the dock and carried 6 huge fish to a nearby beach-side restaurant. He sold the fish for $200, walked to the bar and ordered a beer.
The businessman was impressed, this guy was obviously good at his job – so he walked over to the bar and joined the fisherman for a drink.
“Nice catch you just sold”, the businessman said. “What else do you do for work?”
“Thanks, I’ve been doing just this since I was 17, practically my whole life. Every day I go out and fish for a couple of hours, then I come to this bar for a well-earned beer” replied the fisherman.
“Wow, I’m impressed. You effectively make $100 an hour. Why not stay out there for 8 hours and make $800 a day?”
“Why would I want to do that?”
Flabbergasted, the businessman squinted his eyes and cocked his head to the side. “Well, you could save up the money and retire, then you wouldn’t have to go fishing anymore.”
“But then what would I do once I’m retired?”
“Hmmm, I don’t know, anything you want. You could sit on the beach, drink beer, relax and enjoy retirement”
“But that’s exactly what I’m doing right now. Why wait until I’m old and retired?” the fisherman replied.
The Takeaway: As small business owners, we have the unique ability to shape our businesses around the lifestyles we want to live. Don’t waste the flexibility your business gives you by doing what others think you should be doing – design your business so that it fits your unique personal goals.