Brian Jung is a Youtuber, and online entrepreneur who went on from being a college dropout at 21 years old to building a full-time online business that made him over $3 700 000 in revenue last year.
In this article, we are sharing with you his story as he told the team at CNBC how he went from dropping out of school to how his online side hustles turned him into a millionaire in just 5 years. Brian goes further to explain how exactly he earned $3 700 000 in 2021 and how he spends that money.
In late 2018, Brian Jung decided to drop out of college to pursue entrepreneurship full-time after having launched an e-commerce site that earned him about $200 per day. His South Korean immigrant parents were surprised by this decision and decided to give him the freedom to venture on his own.
At this time, Brian had his e-commerce site which he ran as a side hustle and a Youtube channel which was more of a hobby than a full-fledged business.
Brian was confident in his decision and had to face his parents:
"I had to tell my parents, ‘I know you’ve worked hard and I know how scary this is going to be, but I’m not going to finish school'," — Brian says.
He was determined to make things work, despite the uncertainty. And eventually, he did.
Now at 25, Brian has turned his Youtube hobby into a full-time million-dollar business of which he earned well over $3 700 000 million in the last year, largely from his personal finance-focused channel, which has more than 1 000 000 subscribers.
Looking back, he says the decision to drop out of college to become an entrepreneur was a “pivotal moment” in his life: It allowed him to put more time into the channel and grow it into a business.
About Growing up with Less
Raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, Brian grew up in a low-income household. His mother cut hair in a salon and his father worked long hours as a contractor installing hardwood floors. Sometimes, they struggled to make ends meet.
Tales about saving money were the norm in their household:
"Don’t spend a lot. Don’t eat out that much. Don’t drive too fast or you’ll use up more gas. Maximize every coupon possible, every discount possible — that’s what I grew up with," — says Brian.
Brian Jung with his parents and sister
However, he admits that he didn’t feel deprived. He had friends, enjoyed fishing with his father on weekends, and was into gaming and cars. But as one of the few Korean - Americans at his middle school, he also felt like he didn’t fit in.
Finding Success on YouTube
Brian started posting videos on YouTube in 2013. As a teenager, he made content about video games and fishing. He started his channel about personal finance and entrepreneurship during college in 2018.
"In the beginning, YouTube did not pay me anything. But I realized the downfalls of [the e-commerce] businesses and saw the advantages of YouTube.
I didn’t have to rely on clients. I didn’t have to work with other people. I didn’t have to scale and buy an office and get hundreds of employees.", — Brian explains.
By December 2019, Brian was fully focused on YouTube. His most successful videos were credit card reviews. At that point, his channel had about 6 000 subscribers and was making $200 to $300 a day.
Brian’s Youtube channel took off in 2021 during the retail investor craze and cryptocurrency’s bull run.
"It took me years to get my first 100 000 subscribers, but in less than one year I gained 900 000 subscribers," — Brian says.
Monetizing the Youtube Channe
Brian’s Youtube channel is monetized largely by affiliate marketing, Patreon subscriptions, ads, and brand sponsorships. His channel brings in just over $300 000 per month and he turned it into a full-time business with 4 full-time employees helping him produce videos.
Brian also recently purchased a stake in a Japanese barbecue restaurant that brings in another $5 500 per month which is supplemented to the $3 700 000 million he earned last year.
How Brian Spends His Millions
Brian shared with the CNBC Make it team how he spends his money and below is how he budgeted his money in March 2022:
Source: CNBC Make It
While most of his earnings go toward operating costs and taxes for the business, Brian puts roughly $50 000 into various investments each month, including cryptocurrencies, NFTs, collectible items, and angel investor ventures.
Brian says his crypto assets are long-term investments, and that he doesn’t plan to change his investing strategy despite frequent downturns in crypto markets. He does say he wants to continue diversifying his portfolio by investing in more cash-producing businesses.
Aside from investments, Brian pays himself $400 000 a year, or about $33 000 per month, to cover living expenses, taxes, and gifts.
Brian’s biggest living expense is a three-bedroom apartment in Rockville, Maryland, USA which doubles as his office space. His business covers utility expenses. He also put a $145 000 down payment on a home worth $1 800 000, which he plans to move into in 2023. It’s a new development that’s currently being built.
Brian drives an Audi RS7, which he bought with his YouTube revenue. He also owns a 2019 Toyota Tacoma, which he recently gave to his parents. He still covers the $600 monthly payments for the truck, as well as his parents’ $1 878 monthly mortgage payments.
Recently, Brian purchased a 2021 Lamborghini Huracan for $290 000. He paid $100 000 upfront for the car and he will finance the rest.
Meals and Fitness
In addition to splurging on meals, Brian gets glass bottles of premium spring water delivered for $249 per month. It’s worth it, he says: "It makes me feel better, lets me feel more clear in my head.
Brian has memberships at a gym and a rock-climbing facility. Beyond that, most of his subscriptions including Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon Prime are covered by perks from his 14 credit cards.
Brian says he hopes to keep growing the number of subscribers to his YouTube channel, pursue investment opportunities and build up more wealth to ensure his financial independence.
"My goal in the next few years is to have the largest crypto and personal finance YouTube channel," he says.
He also wants to invest in more properties, including a new one for his parents, as well as an e-commerce clothing business.
"I want to keep building and to create a future generation for my family where no one has to worry about money again.", Brian says.