The businessman and the painter: a story about the perspectives of success…

There was once a big, successful businessman who owned a beautiful house in the suburbs of a busy city.

He loved business and had dedicated his life to it. Earning a fortune in the process.

Along the way he’d fallen in love with an equally successful woman and they’d had a couple of children between them. He had everything he had ever wanted in life.

One day the businessman decided the house could do with a new lick of paint and some decoration.

He searched around for a painter and eventually found a reliable sounding one in the area. Rich as he was, the businessman still liked to drive a bargain, and was pleased that the painter was very affordable.

The painter arrived the next day – he was a humble, affable man and the businessman instantly warmed to him.

All the work that the businessman had wanted done was completed within a few days and he was very pleased with the results. He paid the painter and told him that he would be his first port of call if ever he needed any work done.

That night, as he was settling down for a glass of Scotch, he noticed that the painter had left a few of his things there.

The painter’s office wasn’t far away, so the next morning the businessman drove it over for him. He was surprised to find out that the man’s office was also his home – a modest apartment that he shared with his girlfriend.

The businessman was invited in for a coffee and duly accepted. As he went in he saw a framed degree hanging on the wall – the painter had first class honours in fine art from a very prestigious arts university.

The businessman also noticed several easels set up around the apartment with half-finished paintings on them – the artwork looked incredible.

After a while the businessman asked him: “Painter, your artwork is incredible – why ever didn’t you decide to pursue a career as an artist? You could make it so easily”.

The painter smiled and nodded; “I have done. You see, every day I paint for people and I give them exactly what they want. Not what I want, or what I think they want. And every day they live in their homes or sit in their offices surrounded by my work. I’m giving people what they need and I never grow short of work”.

The businessman couldn’t help but look astonished.

“I know my work will never go out of fashion, no one will ever steal it, no critics will ever sneer at it and no one else but me will dictate how much it costs. Plus, when I’m long gone no one will ever try to copy it!”

After his coffee the businessman left and continued on with his day, a new perspective on success had opened up in his mind and he would admire the painter for as long as he lived.


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