A Story from The 4 Hour Workweek

story from the 4 hour workweek

If you read my review of “The 4 Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss, you will know that I had a-hundred-and-one things to say about the book. It definitely made for a lengthy blog post! I thought that sharing my favourite story from The 4 Hour Workweek in the same review would make the blog post far too long. I decided to share it in a separate post instead, which is what I have for you today!

story from the 4 hour workweek

In the 14th chapter, called “Mini Retirements” you can find my favourite story from The 4 Hour Workweek. According to Ferriss, this fable has been told in various ways all around the world, and it really struck a chord with me.


An American businessman took a vacation to a small coastal Mexican village on doctor’s orders. Unable to sleep after an urgent phone call from the office the first morning, he walked out to the pier to clear his head. A small boat with just one fisherman had docked, and inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.
“How long did it take you to catch them?” the American asked.
“Only a little while,” the Mexican replied in surprisingly good English.
“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” the American then asked.
“I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends,” the Mexican said as he unloaded them into a basket.
“But… What do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican looked up and smiled. “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Julia, and stroll into the village each evening, where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor.”
The American laughed and stool tall. “Sir, I’m a Harvard M.B.A. and can help you. You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. In no time, you could buy several boats with the increased haul. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”
He continued, “Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution, and move to Mexico City, then to Los Angeles, and eventually New York City, where you could run your expanding enterprise with proper management.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will all this take?”
To which the American replied, “15-20 years. 25 tops.”
“But what then, senor?”
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, senor? Then what?”
“Then you would retire and move to a small coastal fishing village, where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos…”


story from the 4 hour workweek

This story from The 4 Hour Workweek reminds me to enjoy every single day in my life. It reminds me to stop and smell the flowers, and to not take work too seriously. Live for the moments that matter to you the most. For me, that’s family, and creating art.

It’s really important to do what you love right now.

I hope you enjoyed this story from The 4 Hour Workweek as much as I did. Please let me know in the comments below if this story struck a chord with you as it did in me. Let me know if there are any other fables you have read that taught you valuable life lessons, I would love to read them!

Wishing you a lovely October, with love, Satisfy Her Soul

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Related Post: Book Review: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

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