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《赫芬顿邮报》创始人的财富启蒙课

Patricia Sellers 2012年02月29日

“艺术和文化是财富。世界上的艺术家都很富有。他们拥有金钱永远也买不到的才华。如果你知道你是多么富有,你就可以出去赚钱了——但只有你想挣钱的时候(才需要这么做)。”

阿加皮•斯塔斯诺珀罗斯

    每当我问到女强人是什么造就了她们(近年来,我经常会问到这个问题),她们通常都会和我讲起她们的父母,然后说,“噢,我妈妈……!”

    因此,当我看到美国新媒体女皇阿丽安娜•赫芬顿的妹妹——阿加皮•斯塔斯诺珀罗斯在新书《释放心灵》(Unbinding the Heart)中大段引述其母亲的财富观点时,立刻就产生了共鸣。对于这位了不起的母亲,我早就有所耳闻,阿丽安娜和我谈话时就曾提起过她;去年秋天她在《财富》杂志的最具影响力女性峰会期间接受电视脱口秀主持人兼传媒企业家切尔西•汉德勒采访时再次谈起自己的母亲。这位母亲性格鲜明,永远乐观,嫁给了一位堪称“花花公子”(阿丽安娜是这样回忆她的父亲的)的报纸出版商。阿丽安娜11岁时说服母亲离开了他——从那时开始,这位母亲就靠着很少的一点钱在雅典抚养着两个女儿,但仍让她们深信,自己拥有大量的财富和大把的机会。

    后来,阿丽安娜干了很多事情,其中包括创办美国知名的时事评论博客网站《赫芬顿邮报》(the Huffington Post),并于去年以3.15亿美元的价格将这个一手创办的企业卖给了美国在线(AOL)。因此,也不能说姐妹俩一点都不看重金钱。但正如阿加皮在《释放心灵》一书中所述,她们很早就认识到金钱并非生活的全部。下面是摘自《释放心灵》一书的部分章节:

    When I ask powerful women what made them who they are (a question I've asked constantly over the years), they often tell me about their parents and then say, "Oh, my mother...!"

    So when I read one mother's take on the topic of wealth, below, it struck a familiar chord. The passage is from Unbinding the Heart, a new book by Agapi Stassinopoulos, Arianna Huffington's sister. I knew a little about Mrs. Stassinopoulos from conversations Arianna and I have had, as well as from an interview that TV talk show host/media entrepreneur Chelsea Handler did with her on stage at last fall's Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit. Larger than life and perpetually optimistic, Arianna's mother married a larger than life newspaper publisher—and "huge philanderer," as Arianna recalls her father. When Arianna was 11 years old, she convinced her mother to leave him--and from then on, with little money to raise two daughters in Athens, made the girls believe that they had wealth and opportunity galore.

    Arianna went on to create, among other things, the Huffington Post. She sold her startup to AOL (AOL) for $315 million last year. So, it's hardly the case that she and younger sis Agapi lack an appreciation of money. But as Agapi writes in Unbinding the Heart, they learned early on that money isn't what life is about:

    我很早就发现母亲与父亲有一些本质性的不同。母亲对所有人都一视同仁,无论和谁在一起,她都是照常行事。她没有门第之见,不被这些东西所累。而父亲更加看重等级制度,我可以看到这给他带来的束缚,虽然他也非常聪明,且成就斐然。一个周日的早晨,父亲和他的朋友驾车离开后,我带着一个9岁孩童的天真忍不住向母亲问道:“妈妈,我们富有吗?”

    I knew that my mother was different from my father in some basic way, because she treated all people the same, and she herself behaved the same, no matter whom she was with. She had no status handicap, and it freed her. My father was much more attuned to hierarchy, and I saw how it hindered him, though he was a brilliant and exceptional man. One Sunday morning after he and his friend drove off, I burst out to my mother with the innocence of a puzzled nine-year-old. "Mummy," I asked her, "are we rich?"

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