So.... 2008 is here, and the change of the calendar tends to make us all get a bit reflective about the past and the future. 2007 in SL for me was a year of highs and lows - but I guess it was in 2006 as well, and in RL it has been every year! lol The human condition, I guess. But I have made a few New Year's Resolutions (which normally I think are silly) about how I am going to conduct myself in SL over 2008. Maybe they are just reactions to the way things have gone over the last few months, but regardless, here they are.
1. Stick with what works. 2007 was a great year for me in SL in many ways - I have spent a lot of time on the land biz and have had some success, have met some amazing people, and have had a great time doing it. So, I am going to continue to focus there in 2008. Although I am not going to expand dramatically in the near future, I am going to keep working on making all of my estates better, keeping them full, and streamlining things so they all run smoothly. This will be my main "business" focus in SL, in terms of time, since it is the engine that drives whatever I do here.
2. Protect myself. SL is a dangerous place... There are not enough rules and regulations, and I was bitten a few times in 2007 by fraudsters, liars, and cheats, both financially and emotionally. I did manage to do well with some investments, and of course have made some great friends in SL, but I am going to be increasingly careful about separating business and friendship, and about building some safeguards into whatever I do. Unfortunately, this will likely mean that I have to stop being the kind, forgiving, generous landlord and person that I have been up to now. I have neither the time, nor the faith any longer, to keep it up, and I simply can't support losing time and money trying to solve everybody's problems any longer. So, while I will always be fair and ethical in everything I do, I am going to have to become more strict in dealing with tenants, business partners, etc... In addition, I am not going to invest in any more businesses in SL, be it through WSE or elsewhere. No more joint ventures, no more being the silent investor in a new business idea. They have met with some success, but not universally, and I just don't have the time or inclination to spread myself any thinner.
3. Better SL/RL balance. I won't be in SL as much in 2008 - I need to have more focus in RL. I plan to spend most of my time in SL on the business, and cut out all the other stuff, so that I can focus on RL more. It has got to the point where the stress of SL has actually had an impact on RL, both in terms of being pressed for time, all the time, and in terms of SL just making me feel stressed and worried. It is enough to run the estates without all the other stuff. It's not so much that i don't like doing it all - but I seem to have become a resource for a lot of people on a lot of issues and i tend to spend all of my time in SL juggling 5 IM conversations about 5 different things all the time. Sometimes more! lol I need time to think, time to create things, and time to have fun!
omg i sound like a whiny bitch. lmfao. In the end, I can't be anything other than what I am, so I am sure that I will continue to try to be nice and fair and will probably be taken advantage of by people - lol. Perhaps this has actually been part of my success - people know that I will cut them a break if they need it, so they keep coming back and referring their friends... We are all people first, I like to say, and shit happens... But when that shit hits my bottom line, I have to take action. The debacle with kejo merlin and KJL has taught me some valuable lessons...
I don't want this post to sound negative (even though it kind of has...) - in most ways things are going great and I have learned a lot, done a lot, and met some incredible people. I am still committed to Second Life, to all the people that live/work on Delicious Estates, and all the investors that have put their faith in DDE. Come what may, I will make good on my commitments, and will take care of the people that are important to me in SL (all of the above!)
So, as we enter a new year, I'd like to wish you all happiness and success. Let's all continue to try to make Second Life the place we all know it can be. :)