Time Really is Money

How to work for $5000 per hour


Private Capital Markets, Midas Managers and Midas Marketing
Private Capital Markets book


This seminal book created the field of middle market finance and is used as a textbook across the world.


This book contains 18.5 stories of how Midas Managers develop and implement innovative strategies to create value for their companies and wealth for themselves.


This book teaches readers how to become Value Architects, allowing them to leverage their expertise and increase their productivity tenfold.

Time Really is Money


  • Thousands of business books have been written which advise business owners to work smarter. Yet not one of those books shows owners how to do it.

    Time Really Is Money is the first book that instructs owners how to work for $5000 per hour. And this is the secret of the wealthy: they only engage in issues where they can add substantial value.

Time Really is Money is NOT another boring business book!

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  • This is the first business book that shows owners of their time how to become wealthy by working on more valuable hourly activities.
  • How to enjoy a great lifestyle and build a more valuable company.
  • How to create wealth by spending almost all of your time on $5000 per hour activities.
  • How to develop more compelling value propositions, including mashups.
  • How to mentor your managers and stakeholders so they add more value to the company.
  • How to create an effective company culture.
  • How to develop a company that operates without you.


If you own your own time/business, and care about your financial independence, this book is for you.

1 – Introduction

Owners of their time in the Transformation Age choose their level of wealth based on how they spend their time. This book teaches owners how to invest time.

2 – The Urge To Own

The world is exploding with people doing their own thing in the sharing economy. What makes some people want to own their time?

3 – Time Really Is Money

The market prices all activities by the hour, so creating value can be planned. We have only so much time to work, so why not generate at least 10x in results for the same time spent?

4 – The Ladders Of Success

Owners of their time climb the Value Ladder of Success. And this is a far different exercise than climbing the Corporate Ladder.

5 – Who Makes The Climb?

What traits do successful Value Ladder climbers share? Do you have what it takes?

6 – The First ($50) Per Hour vRung

Nearly everyone has to start the climb on the $50 per hour vRung, and this requires a compelling value proposition.

7 – The Second ($500) Per Hour vRung

Successfully climbing to this rung requires managing numerous value propositions simultaneously.

8 – The Third ($5000) Per Hour vRung

This is the major value creation vRung. Climbers must master firm culture, niche building and business model issues.

9 – Incubating a Culture

Successful owners build effective business cultures based on their economic DNAs. This not only promotes firm value creation, but becomes a weapon in the sharing economy.

10 – The Nature Of Niches

The Transformation Age rewards niche building. This chapter teaches how to build a niche conglomerate in the sharing economy by becoming a nicheaholic.

11 – Designing A Transformational Business Model

Learn how to design the model that will get your business to your value destination.

12 – The Fourth ($50,000) Per Hour vRung

This is the rung for people who create or greatly change industries. Think Apple, Uber, or Airbnb.

13 – The Fifth ($5 Million) Per Hour vRung

Some people change the world, and they work for more than $5 million per hour. People like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk live(d) on this vRung

14 – Other Things You Need To Know

To help owners better climb their vLadders, they should know about the private capital markets, generational cycles, and expansive worldviews.

15 – What’s Your Hourly Rate?

Most owners work for less than $50 per hour. This book describes how to work for $5000 per hour or more. What’s your hourly rate?



Rob Slee Time Really is Money


I’ve owned dozens of private business interests and have written a handful of books and hundreds of articles on value creation. But it wasn’t until I started mentoring owners on entity value creation that I figured out what it really means to work smarter.

Specifically, I learned that most owners spend the majority of their time on less than $100 per hour activities. These people are tactical and thus will never enjoy business wealth. It’s just mathematically impossible to build a valuable business at such low hourly rates.

The question was how to get busy and tired owners to first work on $500 per hour activities, and later on $5000 per hour actions, which is where the real fun and wealth begins. The answers to these questions yielded a value creation process, which is the story of this book.

– Rob


If you own your own time/business, and care about your financial independence, this book is for you.


Hear Rob discuss Time Really is Money with Josh Patrick


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Thoughts on Creating Value

How can morons cost you $50k per hour? My hourly rate is $50k, so if I spend a business hour with a moron, they have cost me $50k. I hear you: why would I ever spend time with a moron?

I’ve been asking myself this same question for years. For the most part, I have isolated myself from morons, but there’s still the occasional business academic, appraiser, or exit planner who slips through the time blockade. More often than not, people in these groups add zero value in the real world. They’ve never personally created value in a business, so they have no way of recognizing it. And there’s no use trying to educate them, as they are completely incapable of adding value any way.

In all fairness, I need to differentiate between morons and those who may add some value, but who are caught in the Matrix. Here I’m talking about most professionals: lawyers, CPAs, and planners. Most people in these groups are not concerned with adding enough value to even pay for themselves. They matter-of-factly promote their services as an expense, without any concern for the user.

Here is our example. I recently called my long-time corporate lawyer and told him that I was about to need audit help in selecting jurisdiction and legal frameworks for two new businesses I was creating. Before I could even frame the issues, my lawyer stopped me and said he had been promoted to run his large firm, and that “they” (whoever they are) would not let him work for less than $1,000 per hour.

His presumption was that I couldn’t afford his $1,000 per hour legal services, and that he would need to hand me off to a “cheaper” lawyer in his firm. What a dilemma!

I then told him that my hourly rate was $50,000, and that I was asking him to provide $25,000 per hour solutions, of which I would pay him $1,000 per hour. He was stunned, because in his 30 years of practicing the law, he had always promoted his services as an expense. Therefore, it was entirely up to his clients to use him in a way that created value.

Here’s my question to you: are you a business moron, a Matrix expense, or a value creator?

Of course, your answer determines whether Time Really Is Money the book for you.

Latest Thoughts

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Every author has to make choices, or their writings have no end. Such was the case with my latest – Time Really Is Money. I was determined to write a 200 page book, which meant that the following 5 things were not included. If you haven’t made it by 50 If you own your own

In last week’s Moment I talked about how much more lucrative it has been for me to startup companies recently rather than acquire them. I went on to say that institutional investors, such as PEGs, have been generating less than 6% returns in the past decade, and this number would tend toward zero (at best)

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Each week I get bombarded from private equity groups, family offices, hedge funds and individuals – all wanting to buy a business. All of these people have one thing in common: they are not driven by ROI. Because for the last 3-4 years, it has been a much better use of time and money to

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I spent the last few creating a unicorn. What? Read on, because I’m about to convince you that unicorns really do exist. Imagine creating a startup that investors value at more than $1 billion. That’s a unicorn. Now imagine that there are hundreds of unicorns roaming the technology forest. And almost all of these are

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How time flies. It seems like only 3 months ago that I took a sabbatical from writing these MidasMoments so I could finish my forthcoming book. I have good news on this front. The book is done and I’m pleased with it. Now we’re gearing-up for the social media campaign.

lear to create value and earn $500 per hour

Over the past few months I’ve witnessed dozens of violations to middle market finance. If you don’t know what that is, you haven’t read my textbook, Private Capital Markets. And chances are good that you are one of the people making a fool of yourself in the middle market.

It’s a wonderful time to be rich in America. I’ve never made so much money and had so much fun spending it. I’m not alone, either. If you make at least $500,000 per year, you are a 1%er, and this is a golden age. I think Reagan’s old Budget Director, David Stockman, generally has it

Chapter 4 THE LADDERS OF SUCCESS Much has been written about climbing the ladder of success. Most endeavors can be described by the ladder of success metaphor. I think Ayn Rand had it right when she wrote that “the ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.” We’ll follow her