See, there’s a reason you haven’t bumped into that college classmate for years, and it’s not just because you’re both so darn busy. It is because the luxocrat moves within a sphere that remains pretty much invisible to the rabble. Even if you’re tony enough to fly business class, stay at the Four Seasons, and gorge yourself at what’s supposedly the best steakhouse in town—Oh boy, creamed spinach!—you will never rub elbows with the luxocrat on a trip. This is because the luxocrat navigates his itinerary by private jet, floats above the airport traffic in a helicopter, whisks up to the presidential suite in a private elevator, unwinds for a weekend on a private island in the Indian Ocean, and dines at home on a menu tailored by Daniel Boulud or in a private club with fellow members of the elite. (Luxocrats hang with other luxocrats. They cluster.) The actions of his day are as swift, self-enclosed, and gravity-free as the rush of a capsule through a pneumatic tube. Chores are eliminated. Obstacles removed. Mobs avoided. Environments engineered for maximum efficiency and—as you’ve probably figured out by now—privacy.
At ExcelAire, a private-jet company, senior vice president David Rimmer has seen a 50 percent surge in charter flights over the past year. A single jaunt from New York to Hawaii might shrivel your wallet to the tune of $150,000, but hey, it allows you to bypass the hassles. “You get to control your schedule,” Rimmer says. “When you travel this way, your stress level doesn’t have to increase when you get to the airport. We cater to people who are used to having more control over their environment.”
Control—another magic word. Farhad Vladi, a Canadian entrepreneur, became a pioneer in international real estate by launching Vladi Private Islands, a company that helps rent and sell obscure and isolated atolls to people yearning for seclusion. “Bill Gates, we rented him Frégate Island in the Seychelles for 10 days—he came, nobody knew, he enjoyed it, then he left,” Vladi says. “We did the same thing with Angelina Jolie. She rented an island off Kenya.” But a member of the upper crust is unlikely to buy an island, because word would leak out, and that would only invite intruders. “It’s too dangerous for them. You are alone. You don’t have any help left, right, and center.”
Amenities, control, help—more than net worth itself, these are the factors most likely to arouse envy in anyone who peers into the cocooned and glitch-free biosphere of a luxocrat. The 19th-century railroad magnate had a Gosford Park–style retinue of servants who took care of all of his mundane tasks and needs. The luxocrat does too. But his legions of butlers and valets and scullery maids are, thanks to technology and changing tastes, invisible.
If you squandered part of your day bickering with Verizon over your phone bill or trying in vain to get a reservation at the French Laundry or begging United Airlines for a merciful upgrade to business class—if you did anything at all that reinforced how lamely you’re stuck on the ladder between status and schlubbiness—well, then, a conversation with Steven MacGeachy is going to feel like divine intervention. Because MacGeachy helps. MacGeachy makes things happen for you. MacGeachy, 35, and his brother Gordon, 44, run a service based in Los Angeles called Mint Lifestyle. They have roughly 140 clients from around the globe, each of whom pays them $20,000 a year. “Let’s not kid ourselves. Our clients are exceptionally affluent,” Steven says in a ruddy Scots accent. “And successful people are incredibly busy. They are just manically busy. They don’t have the time to wait on hold for anyone.”