US$10 Investment Generated US$2.5 Million in Revenues

Jan 16 17:31 2007 Jun Yuan Print This Article

There was an article in “The New Paper” (“The New Paper” is a Singapore newspaper) about a lady who, started off with less than US$10 of capital, is now making US$2.5 million. I would like to share this article with all of you :

3-D Babe Turns $15 (US$10) into $4M (US$2.5million) – by Eugene Wee, December 11, 2006

WEARING a spaghetti-strap top,Guest Posting with her flowing hair tied in a ponytail, Anshe Chung looks more like a model rather than a real estate mogul.

A millionaire who started with a capital of less than US$10 ($15), she develops properties that she either sells or rents to clients all over the world.

Her latest development is called Plush Market, a high-tech multi-purpose building situated next to a beach.

During a press tour, she reveals: 'This will become an office and meeting tower for company and citizen meetings, press conferences, and demonstrations.'

Earlier, Anshe, who has appeared on the cover of BusinessWeek magazine, hosted a press conference to announce that her business had made her her first million.

You might think that making US$1 million dealing in real estate is no big deal, but Anshe's case is special - she's not a real person. She exists only in the virtual world of Second Life, a 3-D online computer game environment where people from all over the globe join to socialise, hang out and do business. The properties she develops are virtual as well.

But the money she makes for her creator, China-born teacher Ailin Graef, is very real. The Financial Times estimates that her virtual business generates US$2.5 m ($4m) in real-world annual revenues.

Mrs Graef was born in Hubei, China, but moved to Germany in the mid-1990s with her husband, Guntram, to teach languages.

She started creating her digital empire when she joined the Second Life world in 2004 as Anshe Chung, after paying US$9.95 as a sign-up fee.

At first, the avid player of online games was happy to just wander the virtual world making friends.


Soon, she started to earn extra cash by 'tutoring' novice Second Life players in the finer points of virtual living.

She also put her computer skills to work by creating animation programmes that allow avatars - the 3-D characters in the virtual world - to do special movements like dance or stand on their heads.

Then, she set up a virtual shop and sold these animations to others for Linden Dollars (L$), the currency of Second Life. Linden Dollars are convertible to US dollars at the rate of about L$270 to US$1.

She soon expanded her creations to include custom-designed virtual buildings, landscapes and even entire islands.

Mrs Graef, who hosted a press conference inside a virtual Chinese teahouse in Second Life, said: 'I must admit that at first, I thought it was just an interesting experiment with a small community. At some stage, something special happened...Things became very real here - friendships, doing things together with others, 'living' here and, well, doing business.'

The first sign that her small business could become a big one was when she was not only able to send part of her earnings to her parents in China, but also have enough left over to help support a poor boy in the Philippines, whom she met through a church organisation.

That was when she said she realised that her entrepreneurial activities in the virtual world could reap her real-world profits.

So, together with her husband, she set up Anshe Chung Studios, a real-life design company that buys virtual real estate in Second Life, then builds houses, offices, recreational facilities on them before renting or selling them to others in the virtual world.

Business became so brisk that she opened a branch office in Wuhan, China, earlier this year. Today, her company has 25 employees, a number she hopes will double in the near future.

Mrs Graef declined to reveal the identities of her virtual real estate clients, but said they included individuals, academic institutions and corporations.

'Last night we rented 12 (plots) to a major TV station,' she said. 'We also have real-life billionaires as clients who live on our lands.' At last count, she reckons her avatar owns about 550 'regions', or plots of virtual land, in the Second Life world.


While her business has made her a millionaire, she said that she is not exactly enjoying an extravagant lifestyle because she re-invests all her money into the business.

Her company also plans to sponsor non-profit organisations that hold events in the Second Life world. 'At the moment, the focus is more on Second Life and to support the non-profit groups there.'

She also stresses that the millionaire in question isn't her, but Anshe, explaining that she prefers to keep her real-world life separate from the activities of her virtual alter ego.

And Anshe clarified this during the press conference too, saying: 'All the assets are inside Second Life. It is not money that my creator has put in her bank account.'

But when pressed, Anshe admitted if she were to liquidate all her virtual assets, Mrs Graef would be an instant millionaire.

Toyota, adidas set up virtual shops

SECOND Life started in 2003 as a 3-D virtual world for gamers to 'hang out'. But since then, it has turned into a bustling community of over 1.8 million 'residents' with a bona fide economy and currency of its own.

Apart from property, players in Second Life buy and sell items like virtual clothes, furniture, gadgets and musical instruments, with an estimated US$500,000 changing hands daily.

Global news agency Reuters even has a website dedicated to Second Life, with a reporter living in and 'reporting' from the virtual world.

The website also features a chart that monitors the commerce going on and shows the latest exchange rate between Linden Dollars and the US dollar.

The popularity of this online game has drawn some of the world's biggest companies to set up shop in the virtual world.

For example, car maker Toyota, computer seller Dell, and sports apparel company Adidas have virtual outlets in Second Life.Many residents also make use of the Second Life world for educational purposes.

So a professor in Toronto and students in Boston can log into Second Life and meet their virtual selves to conduct lessons.

Ms Catherine Smith, a spokesman at Linden Lab, the San Francisco-based firm that created Second Life, said that the number of things you can do in the virtual world could make it more than just a game in the future.

Lessons learnt from article

The article above proved to us that it is indeed possible for anyone of us to become millionaires.

Mrs Graef only invested US$10, and she is now a millionaire. This proves only one thing – you need not spend lots of money upfront to start up your own business, and become a millionaire. If she can, so can any one of us reading this article I’ve posted.

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About Article Author

Jun Yuan
Jun Yuan

Jun Yuan is an avid Internet marketer who is constantly exploring ways to make money on the Internet. He has set up a website for all Internet Marketers and Internet Marketer wannabes entitled “Think Rich, Grow Rich” to uncover the secrets of how millionaires like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Jack Welch think and work, as well as ways to make money on the Internet. “Think Rich, Grow Rich” is accessible at

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