Billy Brown, who is the family patriarch of the Alaskan Bush People reality television show produced by the Discovery Channel, used to be like many Americans. He had a plumbing business, a wife, a young son, and worked from nine to five in a suburb of Fort Worth, Texas. Today, Billy has left his plumbing business and Texas far behind, and he and his seven children make a good living appearing on Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People.

Billy Brown’s early beginnings

While living as a child with his affluent parents in a suburb in Fort Worth, Texas, littleBilly Brown was all too familiar with the American Dream.

However, when his parents and his sister died in a private plane crash when he was just 16, that dream died. After marrying his young sweetheart Ami, the head of the Alaskan Bush People household tried to make a living by working as a plumber, but when the nine to five job didn’t quite become him, Billy looked for something else to do.

By 1983, after having traveled across the lower United States and not found anything that could replace the American Dream that he had once known as a child, Billy decided to sell his truck and plumbing tools and to take his family to Alaska to find his fortune in the Alaskan wilderness.

How Billy turned Alaska into gold

Discovery Channel noticed Billy and his family after Brown wrote and self-published a book about his childhood and his 18-month struggle to survive in the Alaskan bush.

Today, 33 years after his arrival in Alaska, the family’s patriarch is estimated to have a worth of at least $500,000. As the BitBag recently reported, Billy Brown’s seven children – which include Matt, 33, Joshua, 31, Bear, 28, Gabe, 25, Noah, 23, Snowbird, 21, and 12-year-old daughter Rain -- have at least an estimated worth of $40,000 to $60,000 each.

For a family living and working part time in the Alaskan wilderness, one might consider this quite a worthwhile income, especially if you are just 12 years old.

You don’t have to live in Alaska to be a reality television star

Discovery Channel most likely chose the Brown family for its reality television show because of the setting of the Alaskan outback.

However, as some other reality television shows have shown, any setting that provides interesting scenery to viewers will do. Do you live at a beautiful beach, an enticing street, a dramatic city, or in a household filled with lots of imaginable action and drama? Of course, the key to earning a living like the Brown family in Alaska’s wilderness is to get noticed. Billy Brown’s way of self-publishing a book is one way, but his way took a long time until Discovery Channel featured the Alaskan Bush People in 2014. Today there is a much quicker way to get a network's attention by using YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter.

Similar to the family living in the Alaskan wilderness, with a little imagination and exaggeration, nearly everyone can turn family members or neighbors into valuable reality television cast members.

If you have never watched any television reality show, you might want to do so just to get some ideas on what kind of drama and conflicts fans of a show like to see. Quite obviously, once a network like the Discovery Channel has found you, the dramatic writing and filming will be done for you and you don’t have to worry about what to say or what to do in order to keep viewers’ interests going. And if you don't have that lunatic neighbor, relative, or animal that threatens to destroy your whole universe, a network will certainly provide that for you. Instead of having to work from nine to five for nearly the whole year, you could, like the Brown family pretending to live in the Alaskan outback, just work for a few weeks and make a lot more money.

However, until then, all you have to decide is whether or not you would like to make a living like the reality television stars of the Alaskan Bush People family.

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