Life lesson from a billionaire

MinecraftThere has been a spate of articles lately about Marcus Personn, the 36-year-old Swede who created Minecraft and last year sold it to Microsoft for $2.5bn. He owned a 71% stake.

In March this year Forbes Magazine told us that “like a dog chasing cars” Persson had bought a $70m ‘megamansion’ in Beverly Hills and “become known for spending upwards of $180,000 a night at Las Vegas nightclubs.”

By September, Fortune was telling us: “Being a billionaire is lonely.”

The Guardian and the Daily Mail spoke of “the Minecraft billionaire sending lonely late-night tweets from Ibiza”:

“Hanging out in ibiza with a bunch of friends and partying with famous people, able to do whatever I want, and I’ve never felt more isolated.”

“Found a great girl, but she’s afraid of me and my lifestyle and went with a normal person instead.”

“The problem with getting everything is you run out of reasons to keep trying, and human interaction becomes impossible due to imbalance.”

Money, it seems, is not everything.

So what is?

Forbes Magazine puts it this way: “With well over half his life ahead of him, the man who created an entire universe… must now figure out exactly who he is.”

In Persson’s own words, he lacks two things: “human interaction” and “reasons to keep trying”.

Billionaire Marcus Persson seems to be waking up to the fact that in order to be happy he needs to learn to make the meaning of his own life: to figure out what he cares about, and then find a way to put that into practice that generates the human interaction he so craves.

Let’s learn from his experience.

Marcus Persson might well benefit from spending some time reading The Churning.

He could use the tools of Chapters 1 and 2 of inner leadership to get in more touch with what matters most to him, and make clearer sense of his situation.

Chapter 5 would enable him to articulate his life purpose (and his values).

Then Chapter 3 would help him to identify the ten types of opportunity that face him now, while Chapter 4 would help him choose the one that suits him best.

Whatever route he chooses, Chapter 6 would then show him how to express that as a vision which would inspire him and others to make it happen.

Chapter 7 and the whole of outer leadership are then focused on implementation. You might argue that he has already succeeded in implementation by creating and selling Minecraft. But it seems he might want to do it differently second time around.

Photo By Mike Prosser via

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