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How I Spent My Summer Vacation

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.

So in a few weeks, “Time Really Is Money: How to work for $5,000 per hour” will be released. As you may recall, TRIM tells “owners of their time” how to work smarter. Specifically, it shows such owners how to create value—personal or business—by spending hours on value-added activities.

It still amazes me that no one in the literature of business has ever adequately linked value creation with time spent. You would think that’s where business books would start. Time is our greatest asset. We have only so many hours to work in our lifetime, so why not spend those hours on value creating activities? Why not work for $5k per hour?

More on the book in next week’s Moment.

There Really Is No Justice

This summer had two other highlights. First, I raised about $1 billion for companies in which I’m a key investor. So that’s good.

Also this summer I was finally called for jury duty. All I can say is that comedians should hang-out at local courthouses. Think of the experience this way: serving on a jury is akin to spending a day at the DMV – except that prospective jurors are allowed, nay encouraged – to talk. And this was when it got both funny and sad.

I was part of a pool of 30 prospective jurors. Nearly all 30 of us were questioned by the prosecution and defense to test our suitability to hear a DUI case. The reason almost all of us participated was because more than a dozen were excused along the way. Here are just some of the things I heard that got people kicked-off the jury:

  • I am a gang member and am already on trial for a more severe offense;
  • All of my kids are doing time and they are all innocent;
  • I’ve been convicted of several DUI offenses myself;
  • I only speak a little English (someone who admitted to only understanding half of what was being said WAS seated as part of the jury);
  • I’m a doctor and need to get back to the emergency room.

And on and on. I was called so late in the process that if I didn’t pan out, they would have to start over. The judge was desperate for me to be approved that she asked if there was anything the Court should know about me. I answered truthfully, saying that compared to the various gang members, I was looking pretty good. Everyone seemed satisfied with that answer, so after 6 hours of collecting fantastic comedy club material, we finally got started with the trial.

Within 20 minutes it was clear that the defendant was guilty. Guilty on video. Guilty by testimony. Guilty by confession. Guilty, guilty, guilty. But that didn’t stop the lawyers from wasting the next day by showing us the depth of his guilt.

Finally the jury got to deliberate. And this was the first time I truly understood the O.J. verdict. Two women – whose sons were currently doing time but were innocent – had made-up their minds that the police were lying; the police had doctored both the video and the .28 breathalyzer result, and that the defendant was too drunk to know what he was saying when he confessed. I kid you not.

Four hours of trying to convince these women that the guy was guilty, guilty, guilty did nothing to change their minds. So we had a hung jury and the guilty defendant walked.

I learned an important lesson that day in court. Should I ever lose control and commit a serious crime against humanity, I will encourage my lawyer to seat a couple of mothers who raised innocent kids.

The whole thing makes me thirsty just thinking about it.

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