Internet Wealth – A Look Into The Lives of The New Money in California

The world around us is changing rapidly. That includes the whole model around money and the economy. The same principles of supply and demand still apply, but the framework has changed forever.

Gone are the days where your only choice was to work for a company or to open up your own physical store. Accessibility is infinite these days and it has opened up the world’s wallets to anyone with an internet connection.

The early adopters to this new economy have profited quite handsomely from this shift. While their income and net worth may be shocking to some, it is actually not that surprising given that there are virtually no boundaries to how much you can make when the whole world is your market.

On top of that, the cost of doing business is a lot lower in this economic revolution. In some cases, there is no physical product, just a digital platform that can transfer content (and money) instantaneously.

But, we are not here to speak about the ins and outs of this new model. Instead, we wanted to learn more about the people behind the screens who have succeeded in what mainstream society may label as “nontraditional” work.

So, we interviewed three people who have made their living off of the internet to learn more about their projects and how they spend their time and newfound wealth.

As you will see, their experiences have varied drastically, but they are all still able to call this their full-time work and essentially call their own shots. However, these outcomes are not always the norm and you cannot expect to achieve the same level of success without hard work, dedication, and some luck.

With that said, let’s take a peek into the lives of people who have made their money from the internet. Please note that these people have spoken to us on the condition of anonymity, so all of their names and some details have been changed.

The Website Creator

Name: Robert
Age: 37
Location: Stockton, California
Current Annual Income: $47,000

Robert is originally from Ohio and he started creating websites 6 years ago. Today, he owns and operates a portfolio of sites that net him a total of almost $4,000 a month through various methods like advertisements and product sales, which has also allowed him to move out to California.

What’s an average working day for you?
There’s really no average day. I don’t even wake up in the same place every week sometimes when I’m traveling. But, I’ll give it a try. I usually wake up at around 8 AM and go through the sales and stats of my sites from the night before.

Then, I start updating and maintaining all of my sites. There are some that I need to add content to and some that I need to manage product sales for. Right before lunch, I usually head to the post office to send out some products, although that has been changing recently since I have been using the logistics support that my platforms offer.

After lunch, it’s more content creation and thinking about new products and ideas to continue to promote.

I try to wrap up my work around 6 PM, but there are some days that require some extra hours to deal with extra issues. There are also some days that I just stop at 3 PM and head to the beach. That’s the beauty of this kind of digital work – you get what you put into it, so if you’ve had enough for the day, you can just stop.

When did you realize you could quit your job?
After the first 8 months, I saw that the money coming in from my sites was the same amount that I was getting at my job. So, I took a leap of faith and quit a little less than a year after I started. Since then, my income has only increased, so now I make more than I did when I was working.

How has your life been altered since starting this business?
Oh, it’s been a complete 180. I’m actually motivated to work now. I also have more time to spend with my friends and on myself when I travel. I’ve also dedicated more time exercising and finding a better balance in my life. Like I said before, you get what you put into it, and I’m a simple man so I don’t really need much. So, I’d rather have more free time than money.

I wear the same clothes and I drink the same brand of beer. The only difference now is I travel a lot since I don’t really need to be anywhere. That in itself has really changed my life. I’ve gotten to experience the world now that I have the time.

Where have you lived since starting this business?
I spent about 2 years in Costa Rica when I first started. That really lowered my expenses and allowed me to appreciate a slower lifestyle. Then, I was back and forth to the States a lot for the year after that.

Since then, it’s been a lot of country hopping – Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines. I tried Europe for a bit in Romania, in Czech Republic, and in Spain. Now recently, I have been living back in California during the pandemic, but I plan to get back out to Asia soon.

Do you plan on expanding your work?
Honestly, not really. Like I said, I’m a simple man so I don’t really want much more than what I have right now. I’m still in awe that I’ve been able to make as much as I have from a handful of websites. I might start another site if I get a good idea, but only if it helps make me more money for less work.

What is your advice for people looking to emulate your success?
I would say that you should believe in yourself and just trust that your ideas will be helpful and that people will eventually start to pay you for them. It is scary at first, but then you realize there are billions of people out there that could give you a chance.

The Instagram Hustler


Name: Victoria
Age: 24
Location: Laguna Niguel, California
Current Annual Income: $102,000

Victoria is based in Orange County, California, where she continues to curate her Instagram account. Her journey started 4 years ago and she now earns her full-time income from promoting opportunities through her Instagram posts.

What’s an average working day for you?
I set my alarm for 7:30 AM everyday so that I can get an early start on my work. My mornings are usually spent planning out what types of photoshoots I want to do for the next few days or weeks. I also spend my mornings corresponding and negotiating with brands that want me to advertise their product.

I try to remind myself not to work too hard, so I always set aside 1 hour for lunch without looking at my phone or the computer.

After a relaxing lunch, I usually go to different sites around the city to take some pictures, which is usually at the beach, at a restaurant, or at a hotel. Then, I come back home and start to edit and eventually post on Instagram. My day normally ends around 4 PM, but there are some days that I need to take some night shots, so it varies from day to day based on my agenda.

When did you realize you could quit your job?
I never had a regular job since I started doing this during college, so I guess the real question is why I did this instead of getting a normal job. The money I was making right after college was more than any other company was offering me for positions like marketing assistant or social media manager, so it was an easy choice.

How has your life been altered since starting this business?
It really hasn’t changed that much. I know this may not last forever, so I try to save some money and not spend it all. But I still try to enjoy life, so I am traveling more than I ever have before.

What else have you indulged in?
I just bought a condo, so I’m super excited about that. I think about it as a long-term investment, so it feels better than paying for rent. I don’t really splurge on much else. Oftentimes, the restaurants and hotels pay for my stuff since they are sponsoring me, so I spend less than you may think.

Do you plan on expanding your work?
Oh, for sure. There are always new opportunities, especially in the digital world. I always see new ways to make money, whether it’s from new sponsorships or from other types of products. Eventually, I would like to launch my own course and also my own store with my branded products.

What is your advice for people looking to emulate your success?
Don’t limit yourself and think that you cannot do it. You can achieve anything you want in today’s world if you just try. I had no experience when I first started, but I learned along the way and made some mistakes. You just have to learn from your mistakes and try new things and eventually it will work.

The YouTube Mogul

Name: Salvatore
Age: 22
Location: Pacific Beach, San Diego, California
Current Annual Income: $1,100,000

Salvatore runs a series of successful YouTube lifestyle channels that focus on travel, food, and product reviews. He became viral a few years ago and he has continued to maintain a strong viewer base, allowing him to pull in almost $100,000 every month.

What’s an average working day for you?
I usually get up around 9:00 AM, but sometimes I’m lazy and don’t get going until like 10 or 11. I do the majority of my work in the afternoon anyway when I’m not traveling, so it’s no big deal. I catch up on comments and messages and start to plan topics and scripts for my next videos

I usually work through lunch and then start to shoot and edit for the rest of the day. I would say a normal day is us shooting until like 5 or 6 PM and then editing for the rest of the night. Sometimes, it’s just a whole day of editing since some of our videos are like 20 to 30 minutes long.

When did you realize you could quit your job?
I was working at a restaurant for a few years as I developed my channels. When I went viral, my income for that month from YouTube was more than the last 2 years of my work at the restaurant combined, so I said adiós to my job.

I’ve never thought about getting a traditional job since. There’s no way a retail job or office job could pay me what I’m getting from YouTube.

How has your life been altered since starting this business?
I think I’m the same person, so nothing has really changed. I try to help out my family more now since we didn’t have much when I was growing up. I bought my parents a new house and I try to take them on some trips with me. Other than that, I’ve been living the same type of life, just with more fancy things around me, I guess. But, I have the same friends who’ve helped to keep me grounded.

How else have you spent your money?
I bought myself a new house, too. That was about $600,000. I also bought a couple of cars. I got a Porsche 911 Turbo S that I always wanted when I was growing up and a Range Rover Sport. But, I mainly spend my money on trips, which I then film, so it’s kind of an investment into my channel.

Where have you traveled recently and how do you travel?
This past year has mainly been trips around the U.S. to big cities like New York, Miami, and Dallas. But, we also hit up a bunch of national parks, too.

When we travel, I usually go first class and normally stay at a 5-star chain that I have a sponsorship with. I’ve got a personal assistant that I rely on to help coordinate all of the restaurants and events that we will go to once we’re in a location. She always gets us a table at the hottest restaurants and recommends what things to see around the city.

Do you plan on expanding your work?
Yeah, I’m always looking to add a new channel and sell more merchandise. I think the money will slowly shift away to different platforms, so I’m building my profiles in other places, too.

What is your advice for people looking to emulate your success?
Just try out some of your ideas and see if it is popular. Also, be willing to advertise and push it to everyone you know. You need to see if people like what you’ve created, but you also need to get an audience going so that even more people see your channel and it starts to grow from there.