We're gonna sit on top of the watertower and pretend we're Batman.

TINSTAAFL and SL.

“TINSTAAFL”.

For those who just replied “gesundtheit”, that stands for There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.  You don’t get something for nothing.  There is no such thing as an overnight success.  All of these things are true and all of them are often easily forgotten.  Maybe it’s the holidays but apparently more people than usual have been overlooking this basic fact in SL lately, at least where I can see it.  It’s bugging me enough to make me stop working on the Production List of DoomyDoom (really people, it’s truly scary) in order to pop my head up long enough to bang angrily on my (new and quieter) keyboard for a couple of minutes.

Success in any venture, SL or not, can often be seen as “overnight” or “easy money” or whatever. It never is, of course- part of the trick is to make it look easy.  I mean who wants to hear about the utterly boring slogging people have to do for umpteen hours a day in order to get a finished product or a decent payoff or whatever?  Somehow, in SL it’s worse, because whenever a job turns into actual work, a good portion of people will use the old, tired “Well it’s only SL” as an excuse to slag off on it, and then wonder why it is that they fail at whatever it is they were attempting to do(and goodness, the whining that comes after that…).  Even harder still because while money can have an exchange rate, time doesn’t. An hour is an hour is an hour, no matter where you’re spending it.  So the time for value (monetary or otherwise) comparison becomes more stark when comparing SL to RL.

Yes, it is possible to make money in SL.  It’s even possible to make a reasonable amount.  In fewer still cases it’s possible to replace a RL job with it.  And yes, in a small percentage of cases people have become very wealthy through their efforts in SL.  **NONE** of them involve a lack of work.

By work I mean *daily*, dedicated, consistent efforts.  What it doesn’t mean is “only when I feel like it” or “all I have to do is blahblahblah” and I’ll make money!” while pointing to someone who in reality is busting their ass for hours a day that they’re *not talking about* in order to achieve that goal.   SL is not (not. not. not. not. not.) a get rich quick scheme.  It’s not even a get rich slowly scheme.  For every person you seem making money in SL there is a *JOB* behind it.  An actual JOB.  One with goals, expectations, responsibilities, deadlines, pressure and a *daily dose* of invested time, money, effort and energy.  Often for **far** more hours a day than you’d be doing in RL and for **far** less money, with the only advantage being that you can work in your underwear and set your own hours.

If you’re looking at someone in SL who is making money (or you think is making money, anyway) and think that what they’re doing is so easy that you’re going to jump on that bandwagon and do it too and POOF there you go, a few extra hundred bucks a month?  I got news for you- it isn’t going to work that way.  In fact, the light from it working that way is not reaching this planet. You’re going to find yourself discouraged, disappointed, and wondering why you’ve failed.  Here, let me help- you’ve failed because you didn’t recognize that what you were attempting to do is *work*.  Daily, often boring, and extremely pressure filled work that you have to do every single day in order to succeed. If you don’t have that in you, particularly if you don’t have that in you with no boss telling you what to do and when?  Stop. Stop right now and go do something else and stop wasting yours and everyone else’s time.

It’s just like real life, in that respect.  But please, stop insulting the people who *are* doing that work by acting as though with no effort, time, energy, devotion or *daily, regular, reliable* effort, you can do it too.  It’s ridiculous.

 

-AK

 

(PS: Believe it or not, the above post actually has nothing to do with me or Dare- it has to do with my watching people do this to *other* hard working people in SL over and over and over again.  If anyone thinks that OUR jobs are a get rich quick scheme, I think they’re welcome to give it a shot, because we could use the entertainment. Hell, I’ll even make popcorn.)

 

 

 

 

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4 responses

  1. Ash

    *snags a handful of popcorn* I feel like crying out ‘testify!’ ala Sunday at a Baptist Church in the deep south. A million times ‘yes’ on all points.
    There is no easy money in SL, there’s not even -good- money for most. There’s just money, a little scratch to help you through the rough patches, and the amount of time and effort you put into working for said money determines how much money you really get. It’s so varied and based soley on the value other people place on the product you’re providing, and in that market, there are weeks where the market just fails no matter how much time and effort you put into it. Hours and hours and hours, sometimes with little to no payoff, is not ‘easy money’. A part time job is easier money than making your income with the understanding that some weeks will be nothing but heavy disappointments.
    Just because these disappointments and the hard work isn’t mentioned doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. If you meet someone in SL who makes -anything- worth cashing out linden-wise, you make a mental note the next time you speak to them and how many tries it took to get through, or how long it took to contact them because they are BUSY for hours on end.
    Thanks for pointing this all out, Bosslady. The dramatic increase of people trying to make an easy buck, especially before Christmas I assume, is sort of inducing feelings of stabbiness and constipation.

    December 10, 2010 at 7:58 am

  2. Ash

    And to conclude: What these folks are doing is grabbing maracino cherries and mouthwash and expecting to open a bar.

    December 10, 2010 at 8:04 am

    • I’m going to be giggling for hours at that line.

      December 10, 2010 at 8:05 am

  3. JMThane

    You make the popcorn, I’ll handle the beer concession.

    December 10, 2010 at 4:31 pm

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