The Entrepreneur

Donald

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Donald "Don" Cleveland
Part I: A Sad Farewell

The problem was simple enough. I was broke, out of PED, and needed more. The solution, unfortunately, was not as clear. "Well, simply deposit some more money, Sir!", you might suggest, and under regular circumstances, I would most likely heed your advice. However, these were not regular circumstances. You see, in exactly thirty days Mrs. Cleveland and I would be striding aboard the Queen Mary 2, a luxury liner of no small fame. In the time between that happy occasion, and today, I needed to acquire as many real life dollars as possible. If we were to find much enjoyment on our various planned excursions, we would be wise to have adequate funding.

So, an idea came to me, to see what various avenues of endeavor I could take, for the express purpose of acquiring PED. I already felt that my current, impovershed condition was causing me, more and more lately, to spend less and less time in-universe- the Entropia Universe, to be precise. What I proposed to do was to see exactly how much PED I could earn, from a starting point of zero, within 4 weeks time. It would require a good deal of thought. I reviewed all that I knew on the subject, and one idea came clear to me: Do not expect to gain PED from MindArk. They are not in the business of doling out cash to their clients. Do look to my fellow Entropians for it.

(I actually learned this from none other than Ms. Pinky, in reading and re-reading her fine work entitled, "How to make money in Entropia - A guide". Under Part II, para. 3 she states, "There are loads of professions (jobs) you can take up, but you need to make sure you pick one that makes money from other players, not from Mindark if you want to profit…" Earlier in the piece she mentions that MindArk could not survive as a business if it were possible to easily make a profit directly from them. Think of it! If it were that simple, everyone would be doing it!)

I needed to come up with a service that would be appealing enough to others, that they would want it, and want it a lot. If this encouraged them to increase the size and frequency of their deposits, so be it. So much the better, I say!

The first step in my personal 'enrichment program', would have to be cutting costs. With a current income level of zero, I needed to have zero expenses. At this time, I only had two recurring expenses, which were the care and feeding of Raffy, and the maintanance fee on the flat. As for the flat, I had several weeks before anything had to be done, so I could just postpone action; as for Raffy... he was not yet starving, but beginning to feel a bit peckish. The last time I saw him, I had no nutrio-bars to offer him, and although he performed his tricks with the usual amount of skill, I could sense that his heart was not in it. I made a very hard decision... At home, on the table in the banquet hall, were several very large piles of fruit -fruit of all kinds! In happier days, I would take the fruit, buy some sweetstuff and whip up a good supply of food for my pet. These were not happier times. That fruit represented PED to me now, and I knew they were meant for the auction-block. I would retain one of each variety, for as you know, one looks as good as one hundred one, as a table centerpiece. The rest would go to the highest bidder, and Raffy be damned! Well, not actually...

On this particular day, I forced myself to go to Jason Centre, and have the stablemaster fetch him for me. From there we walked together, toward the south, through town. Once out of range of the turret that he so feared, we headed west, and away from the city. As we walked, I talked and he listened. I explained to him as best I could, that his place was truly in the wild, being a wild thing by nature. I explained that lounging around in a stable, and occasionally doing tricks for a human was not the life for him. Then I gave him some pointers on how to survive. Your average Snablesnot Young is made mincemeat of by the newest new-comer off the boat. How much more so, one who has spent the last several months in the company of humans, and has lost the fear of them?

"And so, my pet, upon seeing any human- any human what-so-ever- run in the opposite direction! Run like the wind! Even if you have observed a human doing nothing more than sweating others of your kind, do not imagine for a moment that they will not at once pull out a weapon and dispatch you when you are of no further value to them. Do you understand what I am telling you? Trust NO ONE!"

He gave me a sideways, upward glance and wiped some mucus from one snout. I didn't mind... it comes out easy enough in the wash...

"Even if you should suppose it is I, myself, who is approaching you, perhaps even calling you by name, do not come. Once again, run like the wind! There is much treachery afoot in the land, and you never really know who's who- or who is logged in as who." I fear that last part went a bit over his head, and he continued to take care of his drainage problems. ...be that as it may, we were soon well away from Jason Centre, back in the wild- back where he belonged.

"Good bye my friend! Mind the whips! Run like the wind! Don't look back! Go! Go now!"

With that I turned back toward town. With a heavy heart, a countenance full of gloom and thoughts of the darkest kind occupying my mind, front row and centre, I meandered away. As I walked I remembered that magic day when he was given me as a pet. He, more than any else, had always been a faithful friend and true. And now I was sending him away.

"It's for the best for him", I told myself. "If he can only manage to avoid those guns..."

At that point, I heard a slight noise, coming from behind. What? Could it be? Was it Raffy following me back home, refusing to be dismissed? Refusing, once and for all, to let go our vast friendship, and all the joy and happy moments we had shared? With a sudden tearing of the eyes, and joy leaping to my breast, I spun around- And look! I saw on the trail, not ten metres away, a ...pair of chirpy young, taking a dust-path. As I stood there, my eyes still wet, I heard from what seemed some great distance away, the trumpet-call of one happy Snablesnot Young... it was beyond a doubt, Raffy himself, and he trumpetted with glee.

Turning slowly, and yes, once again with a heart made heavier still, I stumbled back to town.

And so ends day one of the great experiment. From this day onward, I will consider myself as Donald, Entreprenuer. I need to make this work... whatever the cost. I need to be smarter, thriftier and more conscientious than ever before. I need to really learn how to earn PED in-universe. By means of my wit and stunning intellect, I need to learn to not only survive but prosper!

And so my Entropian friends, stay with me over the next four weeks, as I relate the news of my progress, or lack there-of. Will I succeed? Am I as smart as some think I am? Or am I simply a verbose, dullard- one who's bound to eke out an existance on the dole? As I always say, let's see what happens...!

[End of Part I]
 
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Donald

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Donald "Don" Cleveland
Part II: Don't Sweat the Auction Fee

Now that the problem of recurring expenses had for the most part, been solved, I thought it might be wise to evaluate my total assets. So, it was with that in mind that I logged into my account with the "Masters of the Universe". From there to the 'My Items' page for a quick summation. This is what I found: 414 Bombardo, 56 Caroot, 208 Haimoros and 364 Papplon. Of course, that is only the fruit. If I published my entire inventory, why, you'd be bored to tears. At any rate, based on the latest PE Auction values, I had a good amount of PED in fruit alone. So, that would comprise my starting capital, for whatever venture I happened to settle on.

I knew also that should I elect to put the apartment back on the market, there would be a nice chunk of change for me as well. However, this was not about liquidating my assets. Any fool can do that! And I am not just any fool. This was about earning a living, within this alternate universe. If I were to have any operating money I'd need to get over to that auction house, so away I went. Now, running with 1038 pieces of fruit is not as easy as you might expect. No sir! Infact, it required all my juggling talents just to keep the lot together. Along the way, one single Haimoro dislodged itself from the pack, and rolled across the ground. This was a small disaster because I was by no means in a position to stoop over and retrieve it. Neither could I set down the bulk of them, to get the one. In short order, the problem was a problem no more, as that bit of fruit came to a stop against the standard issue Urban Walkers that are handed out to newcomers. Without a moment's consideration the fellow snatched it up, gave me a wink and said, "Is this your fruit, Guv'nor?"

"That it is", I responded, "That it is..."

"No more now, yer stupid git! Now off with you before I cock you up side the head and take the lot!"

Well, really... Who says the EU attracts a better class of colonist? You certainly could not tell it from this ruffian. Unfortunately he was not the only one of this ilk that I had met. There have been others, who were equally rude. In any case, I left that particular Haimoro in his grubby hands and continued on my way. And in a few minutes I was in the Auction house, in the city where I live.

"You lack the proper funds to place an item on auction", came the message, loud and clear. It brought to mind the old Earth adage, "It takes money to make money". I had no PED, therefore I could not sell anything on auction. So be it- there were ways around this issue. I seemed to recall that I had in my possession exactly 861 bottles of glistening sweat. Quick as a fugabuga I placed all that fruit into storage and retrieved those bottles. Next, I would simply proceed to an excellent location I had read about, a place well-suited for sweating, and get to work. Yes, it would be work and no, it would not be fun. I've never been very successful at sweating but I had to boost my total bottles to 1000 at least, before I could ever hope to sell them.

"I wonder what price they're getting these days...", I thought as I made for the area. Now, the spot where I was headed was along a line drawn horizontally from Rei's Defense to Sakura City, just north of the large lake that lies between. The end closest to Rei's Defense was home to any number of allophyls and it had come to my attention that these docile creatures could be counted on to yield copious quantities of sweat. I would try my hand at it. After a quick teleport to Sakura City, I ran with a hop, skip and a jump toward the area in question. It is my belief that, as the sign says, "To BE enthusiastic, one must ACT entusiastic!", and that's what I truly hoped to be.

Just a few more metres distant, and with no problems so far. Soon, my radar showed red dots, just where I knew them to be. I approached with the proper amount of caution, the first allophyl I could see.

"Hummmm.... Humena, humena, humena...", I chanted as I went through the concentration phase. In a bit I was charged up and ready. The long green circlets emanated from my hands as I worked my sweating skills on the beast. It seemed not to notice, however, in a few seconds I received word that my first attempt had failed. And so, once more, it was "Humena, humena, humena..."

My word! I was only half done when the wretched thing turned on me! It quickly increased it's pace and in a moment it was near! I ran for the lake, as fast as I could run! With the dreaded thing on my tail, I splashed into the water, and fell face forward, dead! If I could have read it's mind I'm sure it would have been thinking thoughts along the line of, "You won't get my sweat, Mr. Fancypants!"

I pressed T and revived at Rei's Defense. "That wasn't so bad", I thought, "Let's try it again." So dripping wet, I set out once more for the location of my demise. I planned on a course of natural healing this time, since there was a good distance to go and I wanted to save the fap 28 for as long as possible. Economy, you know...

In a bit I spotted the herd I had just left, but not before I stumbled across a nice pile of Papplon. This helped to brighten my mood a bit. At any rate, those allos spotted me at precisely the same instant that I spotted them. Oddly enough, one was still standing in the water, apparently wondering where I had gone. Not particularly bright, this breed.

I don't know what had put these fellows in such a foul mood. All I wanted was a little bit a sweat from them. I was not even armed, there being no reason to carry a weapon since I had no ammunition. As one, the entire herd turned to face me. They approached ever so eagerly, and I turned and ran. At this point my earlier enthusiam had waned considerably and I had but one thought in my mind- Revenge! I knew instictively that with 15 some odd allophyls all on me at once, there would be no sweating done. So why not just kill the lot!

"Come on boys! Chase Donald! Over HERE!", I shouted as I ran for the nearest turret. There was a long way to go, but I had a good lead on them and high hopes, as usual. It was quite a sight to see, with me running full-bore and all those graceful creatures, in a lather, hot on my tail! And in no time at all, the first turret hove into view and I headed straight for it! Soon it would all be over but the laughing...

I ran until at last the turret barked and a wounded allo cried out! At just that moment, I cried out as well as down I went once again in a bloody -I mean really bloody- mess! The rest of the herd, sensed what was happening, immediately halted their mad pursuit, and retreated. So, out of the whole, only one perished, as did I. Needless to say, I was most displeased. Suddenly I was out of the mood for sweating. Infact, in a right snit, I decided to log out in that state of deadness- I had done it before, and now opted to do it once more.

"Daft allophyls... they think they are so smart.. I will just check out the forum... see who's going on about what" and so I did. Now, I prefer to leave the auto-login function set so I never need to worry with it, and as soon as the page loaded, I noticed a good number of private messages waiting for me. Now, I am aware of rule 15, and I have no desire to get crossways with our esteemed hosts, however, I am telling a story here, and in order to properly do so, I need to disclose the contents of some of those messages.

I opened the first in the list, this one:
Uncle Marmaduke said:
...plastics...

Hmmmm... not sure what to make of that one. Rather cryptic, I think.

The next read:
Siddy Shyster said:
ok, don't talk, just listen. Here's what you need to do re: your money crunch. Get yerself a little alternate- know what I mean? An alternate character. Slip him a few ped to start. Then let him buy a lot of opalos at the TT. See where I'm headed? He can turn around and sell them back to the fresh meat- I mean, new arrivals, for a slight markup. You can work this scam as long as you want. When ever things get tight for me I log in my Molly McPherson and she does a little work for me this way. Ok, this is just between us, right? I never sent this.

Siddy

Well, that was simply out of the question. First it is strictly against the EULA, to create a second account. And that thing he spoke of, "reselling", I believe it is called, I would not be caught dead doing it, no sir!

The next:
Nealix said:
Donald, I have to say, I have heard about your financial situation and think I have found a solution for you. Try going to public locations and dancing for PED. I do it and I make out quite well. The n00bs think it's funneh and they can usually cough up a pec or two. It adds up!

your friend,
Nealix

I set that one aside for further consideration. And finally there was this (tell me what do you make of it?):
Howie said:
Heya pal, I have a bit o' advice for you. Do exactly as I say and you should make a bundle. First, lay in a supply of cheap wine. A case or two should do it. Then PM Noggin, Mudkicker and Mallo. Have them meet you somewhere- maybe Zychion. You know, somewhere like that. Next you gotta get them to <deleted>, and <deleted> with just a little bit of the old <deleted!>. Then <deleted> for a while. After a bit try <deleted> and <deleted>. Fujifilm 400 speed is best. I'm tellin ya, you can't go wrong here. They'll pay and be glad for the chance!

Howie

P.S. Maybe try some gin instead. It can't hurt!

I'm not altogether sure I ought to have posted that. I wonder will it get by the censors? Anyway, that suggestion was clearly of the question. However, since my sweating attempt had failed under the optimal condition for it, I having been slaughtered by a rampaging herd of allos, I thought maybe my friends advice was best. After all, I only needed a few PED to get my fruit on auction. Also, I do dance at parties, so how difficult could it be to dance a bit for PED? It might even become my new career should I attract a following.

I will give it a try and let you know how it works out.

[End of Part II]
 
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