Last Updated Feb 9, 2011 12:43 PM EST
On Saturday, I glimpsed a live interview of Forbes CEO Steve Forbes on Fox News. He was wearing a suit and tie. The guy's in his 60s.
I asked my wife, "If you had that guy's money, at his age, would you get up early on a Saturday, suit up, and drive into the city in a blizzard for your thousandth TV interview?"
She just looked at me like I was an idiot. It was a dumb question. Neither of us has any idea what we'd do with half a billion dollars, but we know a lot of things we wouldn't do, and that was definitely one of them.
Don't get me wrong, I work hard, always have. Hell, I love to work. And if I had Forbes money, I'd still work. But it would be the kind of work I love and on my terms. And there were so many things that Steve Forbes was doing that Saturday morning that struck me as so wrong that I had to share ...
If I had Forbes money, I'd still work, but here's how I'd do it:
The clothes. I don't know why, but I really can't stand suiting up, let alone suiting up on a weekend. Sure, I did it a lot when I was an executive with a big job and a lot to prove, but not by choice. And I'm apparently not alone. When Bill O'Reilly asked Barack Obama what the worst part of "the job" was, the president replied, "I've got a jacket on on Super Bowl Sunday. If I wasn't president, that would not be happening." Touche.
The time, day, and location. I don't mind doing a little work on a Saturday morning; I do it all the time. But this is how I do it. I get up around eight o'clock - nine if Friday night was too much fun - play with the dogs for a while, make a cappuccino, commute to my office - that's about a 40 foot walk and down a flight of stairs from the kitchen - plop down in my La-Z-Boy recliner in PJs and Uggs, grab the laptop, and work. And if the weather's nice, I do that outside. I know, it's sort of like the Land of Oz, but I do manage to get some writing done.
The work. Forbes runs a media company. That's what his father did. It's also what his grandfather did. With his kind of money, you'd think he could maybe come up with something original. Something different. Like Forbes Cereal - The Breakfast of Bluebloods. Or a line of men's cologne, like Forbes Obsession. I don't know. Sure, he did have a bout with politics, but he wasn't very good at it. One commentator called Forbes' stumping a "great comedy-club impression of what would happen if some mad scientist decided to construct a dork robot ..."
The age. Okay, I looked it up and Steve Forbes is 63. So I'm thinking he's been doing pretty much the same thing for, um, 30 or 40 years. Here's what I think about that. An old friend - a highly successful former executive who was in his mid-60s and long retired at the time - once told me, "There are two reasons people don't retire and they're both tragic. Either they don't have the means or they have no other interests."
Even if tropical islands, sandy beaches, world travel, and golf aren't for you, you can at least try to Fulfill Your Second Half Career Dream. You know, that thing you've always wanted to do but you had to make a living so you couldn't. Well, if you had Forbes money, you could do that. I don't have that kind of money, but I'm doing it anyway.
So, that's how I'd roll if I had all that dough. How about you? If you had Forbes money, would you still work? How would you do it?
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