How to Become Internet-Wealthy, Not Internet-Rich

rich versus wealthy

Over the last few years, I’ve seen a trend growing on the Internet: people are trying to become Internet-rich. These people want to figure out how to make a lot of money, buy fancy things like Lamborghinis and show the whole world how well they are doing by posting pictures of their extravagant life on Facebook.

Perhaps they hope that if they create a big enough following, they’ll get featured on sites that encourage such materialistic lifestyle like Secret Entourage.

Now, there is nothing wrong with this approach to life if it makes you happy. But I see two flaws with it. The first is these type of people aren’t looking to create businesses that solve problems. They are just trying to do whatever it takes to become rich. Secondly, if they happen to make a lot of money, they tend to blow it on materialistic objects instead of investing it to continually build up their wealth.

Download this cheat sheet of 4 things you should do to become internet-wealthy, not internet-rich.

If you want to become Internet-rich and blow all your money on useless materialistic objects, there isn’t much I can do for you. But if you want to become wealthy, here are some strategies you have to follow:

Solve real problems

It’s very rare that people make a ton of money because they want to become rich. A lot of the Internet-rich people you know got that way because they sold programs and schemes that promised to make other people rich.

The successful entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Marc Andreessen, Evan Williams and Mark Zuckerberg aren’t wealthy because they wanted to make a ton of money. Instead, they saw a pain the world and solved it. The side effect was that they made billions from it.

The big difference between people who are Internet-wealthy and Internet-rich is that the wealthy ones are solving problems instead of focusing on becoming rich. So, if you want to become wealthy, don’t focus on making money first. Instead, figure out a problem you can solve that enough people in the world are facing.

Don’t sell a dream

Similarly to solving a problem instead of selling a scheme, you shouldn’t spend your time selling a dream. That’s how many of those Internet millionaires paid for their Lamborghinis. When you create a real product that solves real pain, you can then create a brand around your business because people will actually want to buy it.

You don’t just want to be creating a brand around yourself because if something happens to you, your company will be worthless. Instead, you want to build a brand around your business by selling a solution to a problem…not a dream.

By building a real business, not only will you make money in the long run, but you’ll also have the option of selling your business for a decent multiple, e.g., four times the revenue, which is how you can really build up your wealth.

Now, if you prefer to live the lifestyle of one of those Internet-rich people, by all means go, travel and sell the dream, while buying nice toys to give you credibility. You’ll have a tough time, however, selling your business because very few people want to buy a company that revolves around one individual and a dream that can easily be crushed.

Never stop investing

If you happen to make millions of dollars, you shouldn’t waste your money on fancy cars or homes for you to live in. Sure, if you happen to make hundreds of millions, feel free to buy those things, but if you have a few million bucks, there are better places for you to put your money.

For example, you can typically buy a 6 to 8 unit apartment complex for around a million dollars in Southern California. If you put $300,000 down, your monthly payments will be around $4,900 a month, including property tax. Your rental income each month should be around $7,000 on the low end and $8,000 on the high end. After paying a property manager, putting some money aside for repairs and accounting for vacancies, you should break even on a monthly basis if not make a $1,000 to $2,000 a month in profit. Plus, after thirty years, you’ll own an apartment complex that will have appreciated, whereas you yourself only put $300,000 into it while the renters paid off the rest of it for you.

If you apply that model of buying to at least one new apartment complex each year, you’ll end up with a nice portfolio ten years from now that your kids could live off or potentially keep expanding.

Now, you don’t have to follow the real estate model that I used above, but you should consider investing your money instead of spending it on materialistic objects, especially when you haven’t made hundreds of millions of dollars.

Heck, even Elon Musk, who had over a hundred million dollars, took all of his liquid assets and put them into SpaceX and Tesla because he had a hard time finding investors. He did this even when he knew the odds of him succeeding were low. But he really wanted to solve the problems Tesla and SpaceX were facing, which did get eventually accomplished. In the end, things worked out, and now he has more than a few hundred million dollars.

Reinvested money will start working for you so you won’t have to work when you are sixty years old. In other words, you’ll be building up your wealth.

The reason this is important is because the good times don’t last forever. It’s very unrealistic for someone to make millions of dollars a year for long periods of time. By reinvesting your cash, you’ll ensure that you won’t be hunting for a job at McDonalds ten years from now.

Wealth doesn’t have to be money

I know most of the content above revolves around money, but wealth isn’t just cash. I know a ton of people who only make $75,000 a year who I would consider to be wealthy. Why? Because they are happy.

According to research done by Princeton University, when people’s income increased to above $75,000, it had no positive affect on their mood or overall happiness. When individuals spent that money on materialistic objects, it had no effect on their long term happiness, but when they helped other people, it did make them happier. Watch the video below that illustrates this point.


I know I bashed Internet-rich people who sell “get rich” schemes and show off fancy pictures of their homes and cars on Facebook, but the sad reality is I was almost one of them. There was a time in my life when I was buying materialistic objects and walking around with an American Express Centurion cardthinking I was the shit. I quickly learned, however, that it didn’t make me happy.

Luckily, I didn’t get into the business of pitching people “get rich” schemes and selling dreams as I learned that it is much more rewarding and fruitful to create businesses that solve real problems.

But if you want to go that route in life, by all means, do so. I even know some of those people. And although I couldn’t live that lifestyle, they seem to be happy living it. Just don’t be foolish by spending all of your money on materialistic objects. Consider investing it into other businesses that aren’t too risky. This way when your “Internet-rich” money stops coming in, you will have your investments to fall back on.

And lastly, if you see one of those Internet-rich people selling you a “get rich” scheme, be careful what you get into. Just because someone has a fancy car and a home, it doesn’t mean they are rich. Typically, people who are loud about their wealth, aren’t actually very wealthy.

So, what do you think about being Internet-rich or Internet-wealthy?

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  1. Great Thought Neil,

    Love your posts. Happy New Year!!

  2. Awesome article! Great advice. The internet is full of people trying to become “internet rich.”

    I guess at the end of the day… how happy you are really comes down to what you make of life.

    Hey Neil,

    If you could point to one thing that you’ve done consistently that has helped you increase your revenues what would it be?

  3. Marcus Sheridan, of , is someone who is internet wealthy.

    He’s doing it the right way.

    Nice post Neil, as always.

  4. Well done, Mr. Patel. The difference between RICH and WEALTHY may be the difference between being self-serving or doing well not just for yourself, but others.

  5. Love buying rental properties… In upstate New York I tend to go for 2-4 family apartment buildings but long term property owners have always continued to grow wealth.

    Property and reinvesting in yourself and your business. No better way to spend your money.



  6. Great post Neil, really interesting point of view. Especially I liked part “Don’t sell a dream”, totally agree with it.

    Happy New Year!

  7. happy new year & awesome article Neil – truly inspiring!

  8. Great post to start the year off Neil. Personally I believe wealth isn’t only about the amount of money you have. I was diagnosed with Crohns disease when i was 20, and it was hardest yet best thing that ever happen to me. Made me realize and appreciate the little things in life like health, family, faith, and my purpose. Without those things life seems meaningless. Now I have a motive to become wealthy, not for materialistic gain, but to serve those I love and the world.

    • Thank you Charith,

      I appreciate you sharing your story and thoughts on the matter with everyone. I think it is great you found a positive way to go about it and hope you keep up the pursuit of your goals.

  9. “….thinking I was the shit, but I quickly learned that it didn’t make me happy.”

    Neil what changed in your life when you learned this ? Something must made you change your mind and I was curious what was that AHA moment.

  10. It’s not common to see an internet guy talk about investing in Real Estate, but I love it! I’m a complete real estate investing junkie (started at 21, semi-retired at 26… then realized that was pointless and started building online businesses after that while continuing to invest in real estate.)

    Apartment complexes like the ones listed above are a great way to build wealth, and part of the “Wealth Trifecta” that I love to talk about: Businesses, Personal Finance, and Real Estate. If you look at nearly every super wealthy person – they have mastered all three of these things.

    Anyways – great article Neil. I appreciate your thoughts and how you are calling out all those internet Gurus who are trying to sell a lifestyle by … selling a lifestyle. It’s great to see some common sense in the Internet world.

  11. You took my topic, Neil. I was thinking to bash those “show-off” entrepreneurs as well sooner of later but you did that anyway :-)

    Well, I couldn’t agree with you more. Selling the dream to own fancy cars, huge houses and trying to show “Look how smart I am – I make money online” is a symbol of low self-esteem and I see that a lot of people seem to be doing that these days.

    Thank you for bringing this topic up here. Hope it helps some people understand difference between “Rich” and “Wealthy”.

    Happy New Year to you!


  12. Neil,

    This is going to be a big part of my book. You’ve nailed it here and these are what Harvard lecturers read and develop.

    Nice one man.


  13. Definitely agree with what you wrote. I actually remember at one point I sold my sites and used all that money to put into the consulting business, a real business.

    Investing money is really important as well. My parents are both in real estate and that’s one thing I learned from watching them. If you make good money, it’s fine to buy material things and reward yourself but your money always needs to be used to make more. Not even for the reason of becoming financially “richer” but I think at one point it becomes the competitive spirit of owning your own business to always improve and get more.

    Personally, I’m happy with $2000 a month because I’m a really simple guy, but I always want to do more because it’s always having that constant improvement/challenge.


  14. Great post Neil. One of my favorite quotes, which I think applies to this topic:

    “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
    – Steve Furtick

    Too many people still focus too much on the “surface stuff”, which like you mentioned, never lasts right. Nothing wrong with wanting to make a lot of money, but it’s the how and why that should resonate and be aligned.

  15. eyas almurshidi :

    Money cant buy you happiness, but it can give you more options to manage your life…

  16. Greetings Neil,

    Great post!
    Here are my thoughts and what I take away from your article:

    You can be financially rich, but spiritually bankrupt.

    At all times, we have a choice to personify integrity.

    Being authentic in all areas of our lives is a true source of joy.

    Servant leadership is other-centered, not self-centered.

    There are many social justice issues that would largely benefit
    from the squandered wealth of those engaged in such selfish pursuits. It is my observation that selfish people are not interested in the wise and compassionate acts of the selfless until their money runs dry.

    Your article reminds me of the TV show ‘Lottery Changed My Life’… most of the people featured simply waste
    it and I don’t think I’ve ever seen an episode of anyone becoming a philanthropist because of it.

    Dollar shrinkage is commensurate to ego inflation.

    Kind Regards,

  17. Good stuff Neil. Beyond a ‘comfortable standard’ money has very little impact on happiness. I think it’s around $75,000 a year in the United States on average. After that, it’s all in what you do with your life.

  18. Neil, it’s all depends how old are you. I want to get rich, invest my money and live on an interest, and never work again because I am not young and tired from work. I want to spend more time with my son and wife. From your posts, it’s look like you have nothing to do but work, including on a Christmas.

  19. Finally! Neil is coming back to his senses and writing the kind of posts that made me fall in love with him in the first place.

  20. Nice Post Neil:
    Enjoyed it and I agree with you. Look at the sports pros who spend it all in their 20’s and end up broke and bankrupt. I think your thinking is the way to go.

    San Diego

  21. I agree with the contents of the post, Niel. Personally I am a beginner trying to earn a living from internet marketing, so not in the big league… yet:-) ….if ever.
    Still, it is important to be persistent and work hard, believe in what you do, hope and be patient.
    Investing the earned is one of the first things to do when you have what to invest. Overspending on luxuries like fancy clothes and cars is not my thing. Real estate-maybe, moderately… I personally live and work to be able to have to support myself and my closest, be able to travel and have a safety fund-just in case.
    Even when I have more money than I do now, I will spend them on travelling and having 1/3 of the earned-never to be spent-kept for security.
    Money can not buy you happiness according to me, but then happiness is a wide term and many people identify themselves differently when saying they are happy (or not happy). Not to forget that you can rarely see very poor people with a happy faces around you… so it is the money again that would make them happy-bit this is different type of happiness they have then…
    In an average human life it is important to be healthy, be respected and have money to live the life you want to -call it with whatever name you wish.

  22. Really enjoyed this article – thank you. I find the more I make the less I want materially. Like the real estate model.

  23. Neil,

    In so many ways you are truly a role model for me. Among the many things I admire in you is your remarkable work ethic, your way to produce steady day-after-day work and productivity, integrity and dependability.

    Interesting to read your thoughts about investing in real estate. I am one of those people who just don’t want to deal with stocks but believe in real estate, and have had success (but so far with just condominiums in which I live).

    The thing I am trying to tackle right now is that money makes money. In other words one needs to have already some money to buy that real estate to make more through renting. E.g., where I live (Hawaii) one can do much better with a condominium than what you’ve described for California. I have savings but not enough, dealing with banks now has become way more impossible. So I am just sitting on my cash, while real estate has been going up and up in the last couple years. So now I am trying to look into maybe some creative scenarios such as sandwich leases or something.

    My point is: money makes money! Need to create more for the initial money to invest! That’s one of my big goals for this year!

    • Thank you Olga,

      I agree, the more money you have to spend the more money you can potentially make. It can be hard to reach the amount you need so you may have to get creative like you said.

  24. I feel like the Lamborgini and social media reference was directed towards Tim Sykes. Lol.

  25. I think, it’s better to go ahead in little steps: set smaller, but realistic goals first.
    For example: in the first months, my goal is to earn some pocket-money to buy a few books. After I achieved it, I can set a little bigger goal: earn enough money to pay the bills. And so on…

  26. Neil, what you say is quite true, and could be described in another way too. It’s the difference between age and maturity. Maturity has nothing to do with the number of years you’ve been breathing. It is also diametrically opposite to the adolescent mentality of those so insecure that they must elevate themselves by pushing everybody else down. They have my pity.

  27. Great post Neil, thanks for sharing!

    One of the most profound realizations I’ve had regarding wealth was when I heard it explained just how big a difference one’s mindset makes. Those just seeking “Internet riches” most likely view money / riches as something that flows TO them, while those who truly master real wealth come to understand that money / wealth is something that flows THROUGH them, permanently enhancing not just their own life but the lives of many many others as well. The more one learns to let wealth flow through them and on to others, the bigger a “pipeline of wealth” the universe allows you to create and manage. The universe simply doesn’t provide any true long term rewards for greed and selfishness.

  28. Well done Neil.

    Another fantastic post.

  29. Neil,

    I think you should re-read your own article.

    “Typically people who are loud about their wealth, aren’t too wealthy.”

    Earlier in the article you talk about how:

    “According to a research piece done by Princeton University, when individuals increased their income above $75,000 it had no positive affect on their mood or overall happiness.”


    “For example you can typically buy a 6 to 8 unit apartment complex for around a million dollars in Southern California. If you put $300,000 down, your monthly payments will be around $4900 a month, which includes property tax.”

    Yes, you do say “if you make a million” before talking about the apartment example, but I don’t really understand your reasoning including this example considering someone “wealthy and happy” at $75,000/year is only making $6,250 gross/month so they probably can’t really afford the monthly payment on your lil Southern California apartment complex, even before you consider how long it might take them to save up $300,000 for your example down payment, or figure how “to take that model of buying at least one new apartment complex each year” on their happy salary of $75,000.

    Furthermore, if you truly financial model “home ownership” one is better off making investments in something else that they actually own at the end of 30 years, versus a home which if you stop paying taxes gets reclaimed by the some government entity – in the United States, except in rare cases, you never actually “own” your home – just a great marketing myth.

    I guess you are trying say “be smart with your money”, but your examples are out of reach, and for someone claiming:

    “There was a time in my life in which I tried to buy materialistic objects and I used to walk around with an American Express Centurion card… thinking I was the shit, but I quickly learned that it didn’t make me happy.”

    This article comes off slightly insulting, if not self-serving, especially considering your recent articles talking about how you spend over $15,000 month on Facebook, wasted $50,000 on split testing, etc…

    I’m very happy for your success, but you might be careful not to get out of touch with your main reader demographic as recently discovered by Pat Flynn:

    See the “Missing Out” section.

    Happy New Year and I wish you continued success with your business:

    “I’m kind of a Big Deal, LLC”

    • I’ll have to check out the Missing Out section… I really appreciate the link… Pat is a great blogger.

      As for your points, I should have done a better job with my wording and the transitions.

      With the loud comment, I mean financial wealth.

      The whole purpose of me tying in the happy part is because some people think money is going to make them happy, when it always won’t. Instead they should focus on solving real problems and helping people instead of just trying to make a quick buck.

      And lastly, the reason I used the apartment example is that for people who do happen to make money from their business or even get rich quick scheme, I wanted to make it a point that it is better to reinvest it than buying fancy toys when you don’t have a big pile of cash.

  30. You are absolutely right Neil, especially with “solving problems” part, that is what the motto should be. The rest just follows.

  31. A great forward thinking post Neil. I hope more people see the value in solving problems verses making a fast buck.

  32. Nice post. Liked it but did not like few lines where you mention don’t brand on dreams and if something happens to you then company will be nothing. If something happens to money maker then who cares where company goes. Did not like this at all. Yes money is ok but don’t just involve in it too much where we need to talk about things after one leave from here. Money can not buy happiness this is try. Thanks for the rest of the post.

  33. Good thoughts Neil. There is the adage that the empty drum makes the most sound. I am cautious when dealing with any one that makes too much noise about their wealth. The full drums hardly make a sound.

  34. Nice emphasis on wealth outside of the realm of pure cash. There’s a lot that can be done online that goes towards building a plethora of centralized ideas. These ideas form a foundation, and can eventually turn into income – especially when established on an information portal, but that first step is about quality, not ephemeral value.

  35. Great post Neil.
    Material objects create heavy overheads and that is not smart as never been more important to build and run a real ‘lean machine’ business then it is today.
    Most people are still into material objects though.

  36. Hey Neil,

    Your post does shed a different light on the next generation of entrepreneurs. While we at Secret do tend to feature the lifestyle driven entrepreneurs, it is also what motivates our readers to wake up and inspire them to take action towards something whether it be for business or for personal growth. This is very much apparent through the marketing tactics by our good friend Tim Sykes. Keep in mind the core of our content is always about providing a valuable lesson while surrounding it with beautiful imagery for the added motivation.

    We welcome you to a friendly discussion on this topic and hopefully you can be our next success story that isn’t all flash and cash. After all, Tim Sykes did mention you had a sick watch collection when we hung out with him on New Years. :)

    Thanks for checking us out and talk soon!

    – SE

  37. This is a fantastic post Neil. I am a huge fan of real estate and had already planned to invest any money I made online into rental properties.

  38. Great post, for me reaching 60-100k of income a year with minimal REQUIRED weekly work (so I can take vacations when I want, work itself is actually fun & satisfying once you get into it) and location independence is key.

    It’s pretty crazy how much $$ some people are making selling others a dream. Even crazier that some people aren’t skeptical enough to demand solid evidence on their claims but if their product got bought XXX times or have YYY testimonials then the owner MUST be legitimate!

    • Great, as long as you are happy with what you have that is all that matters.

      It is crazy what people will buy or believe with very little proof. Hopefully after reading this people will be more suspicious. Like the saying goes, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

      • At this time it appears like WordPress is the preferred blogging platform out
        there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using
        on your blog?

  39. Lalit Bhansali :

    HAppy new year neil. A tremendous post on money and happiness.happiness is basically a state of mind u can be happy without money. And also u could be sad with a lot of money .as is said the amount of money u have in banks at the end of your life is the slogging u did that was unnecessary.we sacrifice our health for money then spend our hard earned money on re building our health ,by that time we become old enough not to be able to enjoy our life and our down with sickness and dreaded diseases .so according to me there is only one mantra for real happiness enjoy yourself in whatever situation u r in .the grass is the same everywhere.the root of our problem is that we r not unhappy with our problems but our unhappy because of others being (appearing)more happier (wealthier) than us

  40. Hi Neil,

    I have long thought about the difference between being wealthy, and appearing rich. People who are primarily concerned with keeping up appearances are rarely wealthy, and even more seldom happy.

    Keep up the good work, and here’s to a wealthy new year!


  41. Shouvik Mazumder :

    Nice thought niel, wish you a very happy new year, however some of the points are not clear to me, what is ur though on earning money online, because many a times i have seen that just a salary is not enough, u have to rely on other source of income. Let me know ur thoughts.
    Businesspro designs

  42. Some I know are truly driven by a desire to be rich. Mostly out of insecurity as a way to prove their self worth. For the rest of us I believe we just simply do not want money to always dictate every decision in our lives.

  43. It takes less effort to be grateful for what you have and working up to bigger and better things. The more we have the more we can turn around and pass the blessings on to people that need them.

  44. Great post Neil.
    I recall a good book, rich dad poor dad, that I may recommend to your audience that would like to go deeper on this subject.

  45. Thanks Niel — great insights — I’m actually going to share this on our Entrepreneur Society’s Facebook page here at San Diego State University ( It’s a great article on what we aim to teach our members… do what you are passionate about, and the money will follow, instead of trying to “get rich quick.”

  46. Neil, that’s real life, this applies to all businesses and not only in the internet business. I really think you did a good job in this article.

  47. REALLY enjoyed this post! I personally get so annoyed when I see these “get rich quick” schemes, and personally consider them thieves. I feel so sorry for those who invest their hard earned money only to be disappointed, and poorer! I do not think people necessarily invest in these schemes because getting rich is their ultimate goal, desperate financial needs may be the motivation. I’m a strong believer in “you reap what you sow”, so I guess payday is coming…

  48. REALLY loved this publish! it’s important that you should realize that you will find no fast methods to make lots of money online. Nowadays, so many people are attempting to start an online business to exchange their job. Get-wealthy-quick schemes aren’t effective.

  49. Hi Neil,

    This is a very interesting article. You are right. Reward (money) comes willingly when value is delivered.

    I really enjoyed reading the article. Good job!

  50. Hi Neil, I like how you talk about buying apartment units every year. I think that is something I could consider as my wealth grows over the next few years instead of getting the material.
    Indeed wealth long term is way better than being rich and showiness in the short term.

  51. Beatrix Willius :

    Didn’t Mark Zuckerberg get rich because he facilitated the one thing that male teenagers always think about? And it’s not eating.

  52. Neil, your write-up inspires me to do something for the society. True, we can earn name and fame by giving solution to a problem, prevailing in this world.

  53. HI Neil,

    This is not just the great advice but in itself is a very wealthy advice, and if someone follows it will sure not working in MD after 10 year. This is the right way to look at your life and your wealth building process….

  54. Way to go Neil, it is nice to see someone who is blessed with success that sees the importance of making positive contributions to the world, helping others, and doing good.
    Best wishes for 2013 and beyond.

  55. Mr Neil,i think you said it like a boss(what is right & good).
    Focusing on masses is the key ! what ever we do it should solve at least 10000000… person’s simple problem. i mean not just solving problems, it could be Interesting things also. from my experience more probably ‘Observations’ i learned that those who reach masses are the only ones who makes a lot !

  56. Very well written article.Even I became materialistic after I earned good amount in my business and purchased a Duccati bike but I really regret now spending so much money on a stupid bike

    • It is hard not to go “wild” when you first start earning more. I myself went through it as well. It is when you don’t stop spending it on items that have no long term value that you should start to worry.

  57. Amazing though Neil,

    I know that there are many Internet marketers who never give a damn about ethics. These people make videos about their latest lomberghini’s, new villas and etc. One thing i dont understand is, when you make so much of money from past few years, why the hell did they buy a lomberghini now? They dont have anything else to show earlier? BTW who cares? I almost went into many traps of such stupid stock exchange internet marketers. But luckily I didnt fall under their traps. God some one stop these people from selling us unwanted stuff.. :(

  58. Wealthy people get their money to make more money. They don’t spend it on material things. I know several multi-millionaires who can’t stand wasting money. They want their money making money. Good lesson to learn.

    How about all the professional athletes who have made millions in their career and their broke now. They over-indulged in cars, jewelry and homes because they never thought it would end. Big mistake for them. Now they have no job and no money.


  59. Neil
    Thanks you very much for your post. Yes you are right- try to help people to solve problems. A great post to read over and over again. Happy and prosperous 2013.

  60. Wonderful post Neil. As you have embraced well, setting your intention to help others create wealth in their lives will be your road to wealth rather than focusing on how to make more money for yourself .

  61. the key really is to, find the pain and then sell the solution

  62. Hello, Neil!

    You mentioned buying a property that costs 1M with 300 000$ down and letting renters pay the rest over the years.

    I was wondering, is there any reason not to buy the property straight away with your own money (assuming you have 1M cash that you want to invest into real estate), so that it would turn into a substancial source of income almost immediately?

    I’m really curious, I gave some thought to the idea of making money on internet, then investing it into real estate to stabilize/expand wealth, but my idea was to buy properties straight away, without mortgage.

    I’m sorry if that’s a silly question, I don’t know much about real estate, so maybe I’m missing something obvious :)

  63. I’ve been studying a variety of marketing strategies for over a year now and what has struck me is how unethical a majority of these Internet Gurus have been. They have sold a plethora of half-baked ideas to the gullible novices (including myself until I got wise) and then left them dangling without any lifeline except to pump them for more money.

    Most people want to be rich without understanding what the implications are of going down that route. You only need to look at the celebrity’s lifestyle and how most people want to emulate them. It is pitiful.

    No amount of money is going to make me happy if I’m not happy within myself. I’m a minimalist now; how many cars can you drive at the same time, how many houses can you live in at the same time, it’s all excess to requirements etc, etc.

    I’ve also come across many people like me who realise they have made a great deal of money through their lives and have come to the same conclusion about life and riches:

    You can’t take your money with you to the grave
    Those with real wealth are silent and ultra modest in life
    That health is vital and important and becoming ever more expensive to sustain
    Pensions have been the worst possible investment and are a real con
    Owning property (through a mortgage) can also bring their problems, bad tenants, people leaving you with a hefty unpaid mortgage and you being made bankrupt
    Owning several properties (through subletting loans) called leveraging assets and using other people’s money is not ethical and that’s why the economies a mess worldwide
    That having a mortgage is only a posh way of saying I don’t rent my property
    Giving to others unconditionally is often a pleasurable activity and boosts fulfilment
    and………… ultimately,…….. you can’t buy friends

    The above is not a comprehensive list and I could go on and on.

    Too many people live in the past and in the future hoping and dreaming instead of living in the present (me included). We follow others like sheep and then wonder what hit us when we don’t make the money the scammers have been broadcasting we would make creating a business online.

    Becoming either wealthy (ethically) as opposed to becoming rich (unethically) is a big topic for both offline and online businesses.

    However, it is very apparent, that through the recession, there are still many internet marketing guru scammers. They got lucky during the boom times with their rubbish. Their days are numbered as more people have had to tighten their belts, be practical, work SMART and concluded that any real business requires blood, guts and tears. Becoming wealthy is a work in progress it is not a one night wonder or fly-by-night scam!

    • I agree money isn’t what makes someone happy. It helps make life easier and that is all. You have to be happy with who you are like you said.

      It is true that the truly wealthy are usually quite and try to stay out of the spotlight as best as they can. You make some good points on property investments. Every business has it’s risks but without risk there can be no reward.

      I strongly believe there is no other way in business, you have to give it ” blood, guts and tears” as you said. I give my businesses that and so much more, for me it is all or nothing.

  64. Great advice Neil.
    Empty vessels make more noise. We are getting more materialistic and the humanitarian side is losing out. Ethics is out of the window. So your perspective comes out as a shining light in the ever materialistic world of Internet marketing. Keep it coming. Wish you and all the readers a HAPPY 2013.

  65. Money is just a tool. It’s not a dream :) especially if you are serious about living your fullest life.

    Happy new year and thanks for the advice Neil :)

  66. Hi Neil

    Happy New Year. Just dropped over to see how your website is doing and notice this article.

    Your absolutely right to become wealthy by solving peoples problems.I’m not a fan for materialistic things anyway. I tend to remove all material clutter from my life. By doing this I’m able to concentrate on the blessings of life with peace of mind, having good fun.

    I moved from New Zealand over 12 months ago to Surfers Paradise, Australia to a beautiful warm lifestyle.

    I run to the beach in the morning about occasionally during the week, read words of wisdom from the best books for spiritual insight in the sand dunes, a swim for 15 mins and a slow brisk walk home. This is wealth in abundance and doesnt cost a penny. In other words its FREE wealth.

    I would sure like to be Internet wealthy but seems to be too much hard work, and time consuming. Thank goodness I use wisdom of wealth before I purchase from any Internet Marketing Guru. Thats money out of my pocket. Of course there is wisdom to invest money to make money

    I would rather accumulate wealth by saving it in the bank. So I’m just plodding along, writing articles and waiting for someone to visit my blog.

    However, its not a big deal. Life still goes on and I’m enjoying this free wealth of sunshine and surf. The beaches here are unbelievable.

    Just wondering whether these so called Internet rich so called gurus rent a flash lambourgini for the day to show off or borrow the car from a friend. Anyway, if it makes them feel wealthy, good luck to them.

    I currently enjoy working for an Internet Marketing website business which pays the bills and allows me to work from home.

    Thanks Neil for your wealth of knowledge

    • Sounds great Richard,

      I love the “Free Wealth” you describe. You couldn’t be more right, some of the best things in life aren’t things at all.

      Internet wealth does indeed take all your time and energy. It is not for everyone. As long as you are happy and healthy you are wealthy in my mind. :)

  67. A great post to kick of the New Year!

    So many people worship money. It’s the wrong way to live life. Money can make things easier and less stressful, but it will not bring true happiness.

  68. You know, most of your posts aren’t just tips and tricks to get by the internet. There’s philosophical stuff here too, and I like that. This post is no different. Thanks for the inspiring post to start the year 2013!

  69. Well there’s is nothing wrong with wanting to be rich, but sometimes, people just want to get instantly rich, they don’t realize that people who are actually rich on the internet have actually been doing it for some time now.

    • I agree, many people don’t realize how long it takes. For me personally it has taken me many years to reach the level of success I am currently at. It doesn’t come easily and it doesn’t come quickly.

  70. I’d love your comparison between internet wealthy and internet rich people. People who are truly rich are those people that can turn their income and transform it into another investment that could yield better results.

    I like this point that you’ve mentioned. Solve real world problems rather than immediately trying to make money online by selling courses on how to make money on the internet.

  71. Hi Neil, you’ve shown me a great variation between rich and wealth. I noticed this just by reading your post topic. Right then I knew that this was another wonderful post. Our main motivation should be positively affecting peoples lives and not our personal gain.

  72. This post of full of it! One question when does being materialistic start? Some people would say it start just above poverty, so say it starts just above middle class. You can call a person who need to have the latest Iphone materialist, and recommend that put that money “$120 a month” into mutual fund and start how it would look in 30 years. So would say buying brand name clothes, and living in a single family home materialistic.

    Most people call materialistic anything they can’t afford. The person driving the old pickup calls the guy driving the new BMW materialistic, and the guy driving the new BMW calls the guy driving the Lamborghini materialistic.

    The guy living in the slums calls the guy living in a upscale suberb materialist, and the guy in the upscale suburb calls the guy living in he luxury gated community materialistic.

    And a whole list of what THEY could be doing with THEIR money starting to come up.

    People judging other for being materialistic always look forward “above their income” not backwards “people with less then them”.

    It’s envy in disguise!

    If a person’s Goal is A 6 bedroom estate, a Lamborghini, a Bentley and a Yacht. LET THEM CHASE THEIR DRIVE.

    If it’s not yourself, don’t judge their.

    Because some people’s dream is just to have a stable secure 9-5 Job with retirement at 65, and you wouldn’t think it’s justify able for them to judge you from wanting to be an wealthy with the freedom and money you make.

    • I do agree with what you are saying. As I mentioned above, you should do what makes you happy. It didn’t make me happy… so I don’t do it.

      I am afraid of people who make a bit of money, spend it on nice stuff, and then go broke.

  73. Extremely well written article! I never thought about it that way. I especially agree with your distinction between ‘wealth’ and ‘money’.

    Its way more important to try and solve a problem than try and fill up your own pockets. Great article Neil!

  74. Thank you Neil for a really great post. I learn so much reading your articles and I really enjoy them all. Keep it coming!

  75. “Wealth doesn’t have to be money” bingo. That’s exactly my thoughts in words, thoughts full of depth. Great blog, wish you a very happy new year may all your dreams come true.

  76. Well said Neil, you put it across very well – invest in appreciating assets not depreciating assets!

  77. Neil,
    I’ve just spent a few grand + loads of time on rebranding my business, a website and building up my profile online.

    So for now I’m skint, darning my socks and driving around in an old banger.

    But I’ll tell you something. I’d much rather have this pain now, as at least I feel I actually have a business.

    I suppose you could call this a case of postponing gratification.

  78. Hi Neil,
    A thought-provoking post! I always expect more from you and I am never disappointed. This is one is again a to the point article where you have accurately paraphrased the current scenario. We must understand that wealth is not always money. Being rich does not count if you are not happy. Making products that solves real problems is important.

  79. Thanks for sharing this. Fir your question my answer is I wanna be internet wealthy

  80. I think if you sell information that helps people see a bigger then that is good but you have to look at the agenda as well. Maybe they are trying to raise capital to invest in there bigger brand. Believe me, it’s hard convincing venture capitalist to invest in your product or get a loan. You have to start somwhere. Awesome post Neil, you bring up some excellent points and what has been on my mind….

    • True, there is helpful information out there for sale. However almost all the information you could possibly need can be found for free. So to be safe it is best to be skeptical of anyone trying to sell you on something that can help you “get rich quick.”

  81. Happy New Year Neil.
    This post came at a time of fate. At the moment I’m reading The rules of wealth by Richard Templar and as I’m half way through the book this post came in my inbox. I’m really starting to understand the difference between wealthy and rich. I loved this post so much I shared on my business blog in our top 10 of unmissable articles this week. Thanks again Neil, Steven from Zap.

  82. Excellent post Neil! Definitely need more people in the world with these beliefs regarding to wealth and money. Love the video too.

  83. Well written Neil. A problem well solved that alleviates a pain will lead you to the road of the wealthy. Wealth is better than riches. Solve a REAL pain and you will not struggle to be wealthy.

  84. There is already more than a 100 comment, i hope this one would get noticed.

    yeah i would also emphasize the word Invest, People whom want to be rich have small dreams ( fancy, car, partying …) those whom are driven by glory as a Goal tend to be more successful

  85. well it certainly makes sense to help other, but are you already rich lol

  86. Neil,

    I usually don’t comment, but this is an epic post. I’m really glad you broke away from the typical SEO/marketing type posts to write this. More “entrepreneurs” need to understand that money is a by-product of solving a real need. I’ve started many businesses many of which failed, and the underlying lesson I’ve learned is to not start a business with the primary intention of making a quick buck. Start a business to solve a real problem, and wealth will follow. When you are genuine and you help others, you will be blessed. It may not even be through material satisfaction, but even emotional and spiritual satisfaction. Thanks again for the post.


  87. Lovely thoughts. Thanks for sharing!
    I have always been wondering why many Internet marketers get themselves photographed on islands, yachts, in Lamborghinis, etc. Why do people get attracted by such images? It must be working for the marketers. But I’m sure smart people don’t get attracted to such schemes.
    Your ideas make more sense anyway.
    Healthy New Year 2013!

    • Usually the want to draw on people’s desire to have nice things. Not all people do but there are many who feel jealous or crave items that others have. This is usually how people get caught up in those schemes.

  88. Neil,
    I am totally new to this environment. I just started my own blog and webpage and I am finding out there is so much to learn. Thanks to people like you who share we us beginners there is hope. I plan to spend a lot of time on your site.
    thank you John D

  89. Hey neil,

    Nice article , the complexities of life put in plain and simple words!
    Its true Money cant buy happiness, Materialistic things last only for a while and their glamor and glory fades away pretty fast, that’s when you are left with a hollow and empty feeling….

    Finding some direction and giving a wholesome meaning to life is truly and deeply satisfying.
    As compared to the small joys of pro social spending the Lamborghini lacks luster!!!

  90. Neil,

    These posts speak a lot about you and how you think and act. What a great post!

    I agree money does not equate to happiness, though it is needed to avoid tensions in life. The only thing money does is it makes you feel secure from the prospect of job hunting down the road or moving out to a place you would otherwise never like to.

    Great tips!


  91. That’s an interesting meditation on the nature of wealth – you should be proud of yourself you looked beyond material richness and into a lifetime of wealth – well done Neil. Spread it!

  92. Good article, money does not make you happy, but it keeps the worry wrinkles away.

  93. Read the, agree with the philosophy.

    My favourite part = Canadian money in the video! 8^)
    It’s worth something now.

  94. Yes the same statement is use for the top businessman for make there business on top because if they are looking for money then they will not get the top position.

  95. Internet Wealthy, the better choice. Great post Neil. And yes, giving makes you wealthy too. Thanks for this article.

  96. hey neil.. i like ur posts man.., i like to see you writing about how a (marketing, advertsing, but not marriage) Proposal should be!

  97. hey by mistake i used ur name in comment “Name” section..,

  98. You really opened me up Neil. Thank you for posting this article. I’m super new in blogging (less than a month :)). I just posted my simple plan on how to monetize my blog, pls check it here:
    My focus is to become Internet Rich, now you make me realized. I should focus now on “How To Solve People’s Problems” approach. Great post Neil.

  99. Here, you don’t share with us, how to become internet wealthy, but you tell us what to do with our money when we are internet wealthy.
    The most important thing that I get in this post is:
    Make a business that resolves real problems and offers real solutions, but even if you want to make a business, and even if you have the solution you still need to invest money in it.
    I hope I don’t have too many mistakes in the above comment, I’m from Greece.
    In overall, great article.

  100. Awesome article Neil & realy helpfull info.Thanks for Sharing

  101. The vast potential of the internet attracts alot of people who wish to make a quick buck but the ones that succeed often did not have the money as their goal but wanted to build something worthwile. If you want to succeed in anything in life you have to take it step by step.

  102. True indeed materialistic object gives you short term happiness but when you find someone who have actually being benefited by your knowledge and thanks you back gives much more happiness.

    While investing i always get confused how much should i invest and how much should i keep for myself.

  103. Awesome article! Neil, Looking forward to reading your posts. Wishing you a very happy new year 2013!

  104. Great read and most of the suggestions would appear to be common sense in business. However, I strongly disagree with your analogy in point #1 Solve A Problem – This is a much greater point than stated and is a significant challenge most everyday Entrepreneurs encounter when starting a business. My point: What problem exactly does Twitter, Facebook, et al solve? Most successful Online businesses (The ones that have survived) are not solutions to problems, but happened accidentally – most did not have an intention of ‘Starting a business’, but were merely tools created for novelty or personal use on a college campus. Further, most of the before mentioned accepted money from Venture Capitalists to actually scale into a business – again, not a solution to a problem, nor an experience shared by most common everyday Entrepreneurs. The moral of the story, most successful Online businesses begin accidentally (Without intention), when you reach a state of perceived mass accept VC money, take your company public, cash in your stock, and retire wealthy – how you get there is not as important.

    • They actually do solve problems.

      I know Facebook made it easier for me to connect with my class mates when it first came out. MySpace didn’t do a great job of that for me.

      As for Twitter, it made it easier for me to keep up to date on what my friends where doing while I was on the go.

      The problem they solved for me where huge… others may use them for other problems/solutions, but that is why I used them.

  105. nice post, one can really become wealthy by working on internet. thanks.

  106. I have seen many people whoa re afraid of investing but they don’t think if they will don’t invest how they can expect some output from it.

  107. Many people are afraid of making any big step because they fear of failure, but you cannot know if you will fail or succeed if you don’t try, right?

  108. Really awesome article.. you show the people that how to become wealthy using internet. I totally agree with you that people should become internet wealthy instead of become internet rich..


  109. It really inspired me. I always dreamed to be succesful as internet marketer.

    Great tips!

  110. Internet wealthy for sure :D great post

  111. I would love to create some passive income (I love Pat Flynn’s blog), but it’s just something I need to make a priority.

  112. That is so true! But I still have a good gap until my 75000) So, I still can increase my happines this way!))

  113. so good to create some passive in come

  114. Neil,
    Love the article! I think the problem, though, is that this is a mindset that is difficult to change. The type of person that is drawn towards being simply internet rich is likely predisposed to also being materialistic.

  115. this phrase ‘hit home’ with me:
    Typically people who are loud about their wealth, aren’t too wealthy.

    I’ve been trying to eliminate the get rich quick, flashy lifestyle, mentality and replace it with a more creating value mindset

  116. Really enjoyed this article. Thanks for the wise advise.

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  119. Hi Niel,

    Getting rich schemes and overnight success stories diddn’t really happen overnight, they developed from weeks (and even months) of slaving behind the scenes. It requires undying passion for what you do and persistence to continually convert that passion into fuel to drive venture towards success. Earning money to get rich because of material purposes is not the right thought.

  120. This is your first blog I read. Very inspiring! Congratulations!

  121. This is so true Neil, people who bombard us with their usual antics of getting rich fast through the Internet while in fact, it’s so strange for a guy to share his top secret formula for getting rich to thousands or maybe millions of people all over the world. For me, it’s just a ploy and a front to lure people to buy their e-books or auto-pilot software that promises good results but can never deliver the results you’ve been expecting. No wonder, only few genuine business individual who has really provided the real deal by solving common problems and making the world a better place.

  122. Awesome article! really helpful for me .Great advice. The internet is full of people trying to become “internet rich.”
    Really enjoyed this article. Thanks for the wise advise. keep posting thanx a lot

  123. Hi Neil,

    I really like your post’s content especially for the fact that you truly want to direct the reader into the right direction of generating their wealth.

    Being an international playboy lifestyle fan, a guy who likes to dream BIG and also the one who truly and wholeheartedly loves to help others solve the problems related to my expertise and passion, I’d suggest that you cover the topic on how to make well over $100 million in one year in one of your next posts.

    Finally, I am especially glad that you’ve ended your post with the subtitle “Wealth doesn’t have to be money” because unbelievably I have lately come so close to reaching my ever desired international playboy lifestyle purely on the basis of my decision to follow my passion about helping others do correctly the things that I am knowledgeable and passionate about.

    Thank you man.

    Stay in touch!
    Bruno Babic

  124. very good article,neil.this article help me for do better in internet market place

  125. well true methods. I like the way you give methods to others. :)
    Thank you

  126. Good article and well written. To become rich, first you have to know how to settle your business. Read about it, Gather the information and then step in.

  127. Excellent article as ever Neil! Very inspiring! It is really true that wealthy people does not focus on becoming rich but rather looking for solutions to solve a problem. Good job on this article!!!

  128. I’ve always wanted be be filthy rich.

  129. Hi!,,,,,,

    Hello!,,,,,Thanks you very much for your post. Yes you are right- try to help people to solve problems. A great post to read over and over again. Thank you so much!,,,,,,,,

  130. Ha, check out affiliatematerial`s facebook page, the guy is constantly showing his 4 figure daily Clickbank sales. I think is wrong to do this he even mentions his trips he`s constantly off.

  131. Nice article Neil. I don’t make 75,000 a year I make 25,000 right now. I made 150,000 the year before that, did a different job but I have invested for years and am close to millionaire status. I live alone, no gf and concentrate on the internet, make 100 here 5000 there and follow the same plan as you have stated. I am an inventor and have come up with some pretty new ideas involving propulsion using ion molecules however only in computer model yet I believe they are sound and revolutionary. I hope to bring these to light in the next few years with the right equipment and luck. I believe in what I do although some think I am a dreamer but I strive forward and will prevail. Best of luck to you as well.

  132. I believe a person accomplishes what he or she believes in. Success and happiness is a state of mind. However, I do agree that creating something that help solves people problems makes perfect since. To many so call gurus out there on the internet are scamers and get rich quick schemers. The world would be a happier and prosperous place to live if there were more honest and truthful people. I have enjoyed reading all the comments on your blog. They were very informative.

  133. Great article Nile, I now really like reading all your blog articles. Interesting stuff :)

  134. Hello Neil !
    Great thoughts. You are right that most of the people want to be internet rich rather than internet wealthy. Excellent post. I actually enjoyed the whole article specially that video.
    Thanks for sharing.

  135. Hi Neil,

    If i am not wrong you are talking about building a replica of real or physical business online for a person not for Internet or SE. Business on Internet need investment of time, efforts and money to will trust and loyalty of your audience. I appreciate your deep research and analysis on it. It is a great article…

    Snehal Joshi

    • Snehal, pretty much. I am talking about web based services that can be monetized, rather quickly in fact. Glad you enjoyed the article. Please let me know if you have any particular questions :)

  136. Hi Neil! I really like your reads it gives me motivation to be an entrepreneur. I like to share my article on your blog, kindly let me know if allow guest posts on your blog. Thanks

  137. Neil,

    Love this post, you are amazing.

    Thank you,

  138. Frequently I do not read post in websites, even so would like to declare that this specific write-up pretty pressured me to see and also achieve this! Your publishing tastes continues to be shocked us. Cheers, rather terrific submit.

  139. Very useful and inspiring info. Thanks!

  140. Would doing stuff like this,, help me?

    I am in dire need this month of some additional help. And I need it fast.

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