Posted By Randy Jones on September 2, 2009
The question I am most often asked regarding The Richest Man in Town is after this last recession, are they still the richest in their town? Most still are, but in one notable instance that is definitely not the case. Anti-virus pioneer, John McAfee in no longer the richest man in Rodeo, New Mexico. He has lost 90% of his net worth during this recession. In fact, he no longer even lives in the town that he pretty much single handedly built in the post anti-virus stage of his life. This past weekend, he auctioned off almost all of his worldly possessions; huge home, private air strip, even his prized aero-treking motorized toys and has headed to Central America to begin a new life and a new company to develop natural medicines. And yet, he is thrilled by his loss, or from his perspective, his gain. He told me a few months back, “People think that if you have lots of money, then your life is set and for me, that is definitely not true.” One of the absurdities of McAfee’s life with wealth was the acquisition of what he simply calls “stuff.” “Financial success brings many things to our lives,” he says, “it brings freedom, attention—sometimes unwanted attention–and, yes, it inevitably brings stuff. Stuff that we don’t need, stuff simply to fill some gaping hole within ourselves that can’t be filled with, well, stuff.” McAfee is not suggesting that money is evil, that it is something to be avoided. All RMITs agree that money is a good thing, but it must be earned and used well in order to bring any degree of real happiness into your life. McAfee agrees with the late comedian George Carlin, who famously said, “A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.” McAfee offers, “If I had my life to do all over again, I would have done it with less stuff and more grace, meaning being less driven by the urge to meet society’s measure of success and more driven by the urge to integrate the world around me through my company in a harmonious way.” On Saturday, he began his new life. ABC’s Nightline chronicled the story. Bravo John.