When I was 16, I used to frequent an anime-themed messaging board called Gaia Online (don’t judge kthx).

It had its own virtual economy where you could earn virtual gold to dress up your virtual avatar with virtual clothes.

After I signed up I painstakingly started collecting gold by posting replies and by browsing the site. This was a very slow and tedious process.

However, I persevered because I wanted to be able to dress up my virtual character so I, too, would be cool and respected by the community.

After wasting many, many hours doing this – making some friends along the way – suddenly one of those friends told me they’d quit Gaia altogether and he’d give me his most prized possession: the OMG hat. At that time, it was one of the most expensive items you could get on the site:

I was elated. That day, I was the luckiest guy on earth.

I owned, and proudly showed off, an actual (virtual) OMG hat. What a baller I was:

Then, through sheer luck and a tiny fuckup of the Gaia Online developers, the system glitched and my trade got duplicated.

What more can a 16 year old boy wish for than an OMG hat? That’s right: 2 OMG hats.

In the span of a day, I went from a poor nobody to one of the “richer” guys on Gaia Online.

That was a defining moment. From then on, I was convinced the best methods to make money are:

  • Getting insanely lucky
  • Being friends with the right people
  • Inheritance
  • Cheating the system

I’m being flippant, but I do believe that most fortunes are made through one of the above methods.

Important sidenote: one of the better ways to earn gold on Gaia back then was to create art and sell it for a lot of gold. The better your art, the more gold you could earn.

Compared to shitty grunt work, this was a big improvement. So maybe I should add an extra item to the previous list:

  • Actually providing value for people

This might be my favourite method in real life, even though I never tried it on Gaia Online…