So when I first started in Second Life it was to learn as much about it as possible to investigate the possibility of creating a campus for an online school there... now just about two and a half years later I look back in total amazement of all that became of that simple intent.
I joined Second LIfe July 19th, 2006. As I said above I had a very specific goal in mind and set to work on that goal, spending every minute I could investigating how to build, script, and create things in second life as well as how the world worked from the simple to the complex. I never do anything half way and felt it important if I was going to create a proposal (along with others) that we know all we possibly could as factual data to back up our recommendations I believed would be the most powerful statement we could make for the case we were making.
Within two weeks I had changed my membership status with Second Life from a free basic account to a premium paid account enabling me to buy land. By the end of the first month I owned land, had my first shop open and was renting two other mall locations to sell my items from.
By the end of my third month in second life I was teaching classes to new residents on how to build and create. I also had more then doubled my land holdings and my business was starting to see steady sales. Nothing huge mind you but on average 3 or 4 sales a day at an average of L$100 each that is the equivalent of about US$44 a week.
By the end of my first year in Second Life I was making approximately US$500 a month with a second business added and more land. I had regular customers who would message me if they had items they wanted but didn't see in my shop and students from classes who would watch for my classes and take them regularly.
By a year and a half i was making US$1500 a month and had 4 products lines as well as had been asked to take over as Dean of the school I still run within Second Life. I was building like mad and at this point was able to spend all day doing something that was more fun and less work then any job i could ever have dreamed up.
After some personal tragedies I took about 6 months off... the joy of a Second Life business is that so long as you pay the rent on your land/shop space your items are still there to sell... so while i was not really in Second Life my items were and were still selling.
I returned to Second Life this past December with fresh ideas, a renewed creative spirit and enough items in my shops to fill a shop larger then 90% of those who sell items in Second Life. I have sold my old land holdings, and am in the process of building a new shop on half a sim as well as creating tons of new items to debute in the new shop when it opens (hopefully by the first of February.
I should caution that my story is unique, I have been told over and over that what I achieved so quickly was a fluke, some kind of amazing luck, and just amazing. Most content creators in Second Life sell items only to make money to pay for the play they do in Second Life those of us who are able to turn that into a real income is very small. I am blessed to be among those... so if you see me walking around in a daydream don' t wake me up because I am living a dream and having a blast doing it!