At the Highlight of My Career

“I can’t believe it! This is probably the most unbelievable thing that’s ever happened to me.

For years, I have struggled with this business. I have worked hard day and night with no success; and finally, today, it happened- the defining moment of my career.

I still remember when my father introduced me to this line of work. He taught me everything – the markets and seasons, the art of bargaining, the value of savings and investments. Along the way, I also learnt about responsibility, how to work together to provide for the family, as well as how my father hoped for prosperity, with me by his side.

And yet, on most days, we barely made enough to feed ourselves, let alone make a profit. The journey was frustrating, but we did what we had to every day. We would set out early in the mornings, work tirelessly throughout the day and return late at night, some days being worse than the others.

But today was different. I set out in the morning, convinced that it was going to be just like any other day, not knowing that the events of today would change the course of our family business forever. In fact, today started terribly. Nothing seemed to be going right. My partners and I had just finished our night shift, with absolutely no progress – we had hit a dead end. When morning came, we had decided to head back, completely dejected. That’s when we met him – the expert, the consultant.

At first, the suggestion he offered seemed ridiculous. But I was too tired to even laugh. As he explained his idea further, I tried to let him know that we had been doing exactly that all night. But he would not listen, and he would not leave. He stood his ground, waiting for us to act. I realized arguing with him was futile, so we agreed to follow his advice, just to humour him.

And that’s what we were doing when it happened – breakthrough!

Suddenly there was progress. Not just progress, it was record-breaking income. We were so excited that we didn’t even realize we didn’t have the infrastructure to handle the inflows. We were overjoyed! Everyone there cheered and shouted; all of them but me…

I was overwhelmed; and I still am…

I am still amazed by the advice of this stranger – this genius. His advice brought me to the highlight of my career. All the sweat, tears and hard work had finally paid off, and there I stood, with him in front of me, convinced that there’s no going back. I was finally going to be rich, prosperous, and achieve my father’s dreams; and I knew nothing was going to get in my way. I looked at him, hoping he’d give me more advice, hoping he’d help me reach new heights. But he smiled; he had only one word of advice to give me –

“Quit”

Silence followed. Is he serious? Quit? Now? At the pinnacle of my career? No one in this line of work has had this much success before, and he tells me to quit now? What sense does that make?  This is ridiculous; almost as ridiculous as….

….the advice he gave earlier!

Somehow, he seemed to know what he was talking about. He had a better offer, something better than success, better than prosperity, better than profits or climbing up the ladder. I didn’t know what it was, and though it seemed extremely foolish, I was convinced. I fell to my knees, weeping.

He lifted me gently. Looking at the abundance of fish in my boat, now overflowing onto the shore, he comforted me –

“Don’t be afraid Simon; from now on you will fish for people.

 

 

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